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Chronicles of Concordia: Cleopatra

Twenty six years ago, Valius Pendus expected an heir to his name and the power he would obtain. He wanted an heir who was strong, fearless, and was willing to do anything to be worthy enough to hold the family name. This heir would smite anyone who stood against him and overcome obstacles that men deemed impossible. On the day Valius' child was born, this heir became nonexistent to him. He cursed the gods viciously, and in his disappointment, aided the death of his wife. His second chances at a child were futile. He couldn't imagine loving anyone else. He wouldn't. What could have been wrong with the child that came from the womb?

The child was healthy, had no deformities, and hadn’t been born too early. It had taken him a while to accept the sight of his child... The child that destroyed all hope of an heir. The child wasn't to blame, but he held too much pride to blame himself. This beautiful child that he held in his shaking arms could never be his heir. Only because the child had not been born a boy. No matter how strong, how fearless, or how willing she would be to remain worthy in her father's cold eyes... Cleopatra Pendus would never be the heir of Valius.

People say that children pick up easily on feelings of anxiety and discomfort, and even when there is hatred. They are perceptive. However sometimes those feelings can be pushed aside, why would a child choose to believe that her father doesn't love her or want her... that at the simple age of four a daughter could have disappointed her father beyond reconciliation. For Cleo though this was the case and for the simple reason that she was girl. However as a young child she had pushed these feelings aside and pretended that these underlying tones of disappointment were not there. At age four though, it became all too real. Cleo had been sick. It was simple stomach bug and fever but she had been in bed for a week. A nurse had been looking after her but Cleo hadn't seen her father the whole time.

Valius was decently wealthy at this time, living off of the wealth his father passed on to him after his mysterious death. During this time, Valius was usually locked away in his private chamber. Everyone in the small village thought of him as a madman after the death of his wife. This passing winter, was much colder than most. The cause of the dropping temperature was more on his mind than his sick daughter had been. He assumed she would be fine after a few days in bed. Unlike most days, he was heading outside, currently putting on his coat at the front door.

After about a week of being stuck in bed all Cleo wanted was her father. She wanted someone to wrap their arms around her and tell her that it was all going to be okay. The whole time Cleo had been attended to by a nurse but that wasn’t the same as having a parent comfort her, also the nurse wasn’t very nice to her. The nurse believed that Cleo needed to toughen up and gave little sympathy to the young girl since there were many people coming down sick this winter.

While her nurse was out getting her some more soup, Cleo dragged her weak small body out of bed. Stumbling a little she picked up her rag doll and made her way out of the bedroom. "Daddy?" Cleo called out quietly as she reached the hallway. There was no one there though and slowly the young girl still dressed in her pyjamas made her way down the hallway towards her father’s chamber. She, like everyone else knew that he spent most of his time there. However she had also been warned on many occasions not to disturb him by either her nanny or her father himself.

As she made her way down the staircase she noticed her father at the front door. Her face lit up a little bit as she glanced over at him. “Daddy?” Cleo called out as she walked down the stairs slowly, her body obviously weak from the effort of getting out of bed and the small distance she had walked in an attempt to find her father.

Valius had just gotten his coat on, ready to leave his home. At least until he heard the high pitched sound of his daughter's sickly voice. While he was still facing the door, he grimaced at the predicament. He now had the burden of sending her back to bed. He turned around to face her with a worried look on his face. This winter had brought on an illness that was currently inflicting his daughter. It was easy to see with her pale face and her loss of weight.

"Cleo, you know you must stay in bed. You're ill and must rest... I am leaving, so head upstairs." Valius demanded, showing no sympathy. He didn't even say goodbye as he opened the front door, letting a heavy breeze of cold air enter the house. He closed the door behind himself as easily as he could take a breath. He was heading to the source of this anomaly. Instead of his daughter, this was his top priority.

Cleo just stood there, looking down at her father with a desperate expression. Her eyes were pleading with him not to go and to come upstairs and at the very least tuck her back into bed. All she wanted was some sign of love or compassion. His voice showed none of this though as he simply instructed her to take herself back to bed. Cleo stood there in shock and disappointment as he turned and left. He hadn’t even said goodbye.

The cold breeze that he had let in whipped around her small frail body as she just stared at the door. Tears formed in her eyes as she sunk down onto the step. Her little body sat there staring at the door for an hour before her nurse came and found her sitting on the steps, curled up into a little ball crying as she watched the door. Cleo had sat there wishing that her father would come back... but he didn’t.

When the nurse tried to remove her Cleo had only cried louder, screaming out for her father who was nowhere in sight. The nurse eventually had to go and get one of the male servants to come and pick her up, carrying her back to her bed where Cleo calmed down a little and cried herself off to sleep. All she wanted was her daddy.

Valius searched through the outskirts of town, feeling the temperature drop lower and lower. He was lucky to have his coat, or otherwise, he would have frozen to death. You could call Valius arrogant, but he was no coward. He was a risk taker and almost never chose defeat. He would die before he let his pride leave him. The blistering winds didn't halt him, and the echoing howls of wolves in the distance didn't make him think twice about entering the wilderness alone. He had been out in the wilderness for hours, getting closer and closer to what had been causing this surge of extremely low temperatures. Valius momentarily stumbled over an elk that had died from the harsh weather. Valius' eyes widened, fascinated by this power. If anything, he wanted to understand its source and grasp it for his own. Upon that thought, he heard the sound of faint whimpering.

"Huh?" Was all Valius could get out as he wondered what living creature could be dwelling in these conditions. He was getting frost bitten by the cold himself. Perhaps it was an animal that was an innocent victim to the freezing weather. Valius continued on, but stopped once again when he heard the whimper again. It was much louder this time. He wasn't going to investigate at first, but his curiosity had gotten the best of him. He ran toward the direction of the sound, before he spotted something shaking rapidly in the cold.

It was a... boy. He didn't look too much older than his daughter. His skin was pale, his body was malnourished, but the thing that caused Valius' eyes to widen in shock was the fact that the only thing keeping the boy warm was a thin white blanket. The boy looked at Valius, waving him away immediately. There were many frozen bodies lying on the ground of the forest floor around the boy. "So you are the cause of this... I don't fear you." Valius said with a smile as he reached out toward the boy. "Just think of warmth... Think of the warmth the sun grants you when it's high in the sky." Valius said before the scenery started changing. The boy began feeling the warmth this stranger had spoken of as he peered into the man's eyes. The cold air around the two diminished in seconds. Only because Valius made the boy see what he wanted.

It didn't take too long to venture back into town with the boy. The townspeople were curious as to who the boy was. Only Valius knew at the time. This boy had a family, and knew its name well. He was someone who lived on the other end of the flames of misfortune. Demetrius Black was an heir with nothing to receive. Valius entered his home shivering more than any man could.

"Get me some blankets now! Now I say!" Valius ordered before servants came scurrying in to aid the two.

Cleo had been in bed crying when she heard her father's voice booming through the house. He sounded... well he sounded concerned. It caught the young four year old off guard. Her nurse was also caught off guard as she turned to Cleo. "Stay in bed" She ordered before leaving the room to go and see what all the fuss was about, quickly going to the aid of the young boy and helping him with some of the other servants as they took him over to one of the couches.

Upstairs, Cleo could hear the sound of movement down below and despite being told to stay in bed; she wanted to know what was going on. She also wanted to see her father. Slowly the little girl once more got out of bed. Tiptoeing she made her way across the hallway and towards the stairs once more. Wondering down the stairs she clung to the railing for support as she saw the scene unfolding below her, pausing on the second last step.

Valius was barking orders at his servants. Demetrius was now seated on one of the couches with blankets covering his body. Soup was immediately brought to him too. Valius hadn't even allowed himself to be tended to himself before Demetrius had all that he needed. The seven year old boy shakily grasped his spoon that was sunken in the bowl of soup. It had been the same thing that was being brought to Cleo at the time. He put the spoon to his mouth, before smiling at how delicious it was.

"Good isn't it? I don't hire servants who can't cook a good meal Mr. Black." Valius said sternly, but with a hint of hospitality. Demetrius could only nod as he felt his strength already returning to himself. He took another taste of the soup. Valius was handed a mug of tea, and was just about to take a seat on the couch, until he spotted Cleo on the steps again. The worried look returned to his face. "Cleo... I suppose you can take a seat beside me. Come here and greet our guest, Demetrius Black. He might be staying with us for a while... Demetrius, this is my daughter Cleopatra. You may call her Cleo." Valius said to his daughter. His hand had patted the space beside him.

For the first time after tasting the soup, Demetrius' cold eyes left his bowl and stared up at Cleo on the steps. He didn't say a word to her; he only gave her a gaze before returning to his soup.

For the young girl on the steps, the scene before her was almost heart breaking. She watched as this young boy commanded the complete attention of her father, something Cleo had tried to get for years. In a matter of a few short moments, this... this boy had got everything that was important to her. Cleo didn’t understand. What did this boy have that she didn’t? Why didn’t her father look at her like that, or act like that around her? For the little girl it was confusing and she could feel the tears starting back up in her eyes.

Yet before the tears could run down her face, her father noticed her. Cleo looked back at him with big eyes. She noticed the change in his demeanour as he spoke to her and she felt like she could have sunk down through the floor. As he asked her to take a seat next to him she slowly moved across the room to where he had indicated for her to sit. Cleo sat down as she studied the boy who was eating the soup. Her mouth turning into a pout. She didn’t like this boy. He was taking her Daddy away from her. “Hello Demetrius...” Cleo said, clearly not happy that this boy was here.

“Daddy, when is Demetrius going home?” Cleo asked curiosity in her voice as she tried to get her father’s attention back on her. Her voice was still very weak and her face pale, it obvious that she should have been in bed but her father had hardly noticed this, too worried about how this other boy was.

Valius had been glad that Cleo had actually taken a seat. His shivering was slowing down as he sipped his tea. He was beginning to get comfortable until he felt something somewhat ominous from Cleo that caused his attention to quickly turn to her. It couldn't be. He didn't want to believe what he had felt from his own daughter. Her question only confirmed what he had felt. His brows furrowed at the rude question.

"Cleo! We don't say things like that when a guest is present. Demetrius will stay as long as he likes!" Valius said a little upset at his daughter.

"Does she not know of hospitality..?" A monotone, but weak voice asked. It was Demetrius who was halfway done with his soup. He didn't even look at Cleo as he said, only at the man he asked.

"She is still young my boy... She will know her place with time." Valius said before pulling the blanket from off himself and moving them onto to Cleo who was in need of one. "I'll be heading to my private chambers. Get the girl some soup!" Valius said before heading up the stairs. He had much work to do, and sitting on a couch shivering wouldn't get it done.

Cleo felt herself blushing as she realised that she should have kept her mouth shut. It wasn't normal for her to speak out of turn but she felt threatened. What little standing she had in her father's life was under threat and she was curious to know when this boy would be gone. "Sorry Daddy" Cleo mumbled to her father as he spoke harshly to her. Her attention then turned to the boy as he spoke about her, the two of them acting as if she wasn't here. As her father put the blanket onto of her she looked at him with desperate eyes. He however just announced he was leaving and left the two of them in the care of the servants.

After a moment or two of watching where her father vanished off to, Cleo turned to look at the boy who was sitting there finishing his soup. "Why did my Daddy bring you here?" Cleo asked, making sure to say that it was her Daddy, not his. She knew nothing about this boy and this in itself made her curious. As she sat there her nurse came over with some soup. "Here you go girl, eat up and then we will get you back up to bed. Hopefully this time you will stay there" The nurse said with a glare. When the lady turned away Cleo simply poked her tongue out at the ladies back.

Demetrius had been eating his soup with nothing to distracting him, until he heard Cleo speak. He didn't mind her too much, so he would respectfully answer her. His answer wasn't going to be sugar coated for her. It was going to tell the girl the truth. Before answering however, he put his bowl to his mouth and drank the leftover contents of soup that he could no longer catch effectively with his spoon. He handed his bowl to the passing maid, and she accepted it with a smile.

"Thank you." Demetrius said before positioning himself to face Cleo. His face showed no emotion as he looked her in the eye. "Mr. Pendus says that I'm powerful... that he needs me and my power. He's going to take care of me and I'm going to help him... help him achieve his dreams. That is what your father has told me." Demetrius answered. He gazed at Cleo before speaking again. "Why did he bring you here? You don't look special." Demetrius said coldly.

Cleo listened closely as he spoke about being powerful and her father needing him. She frowned a little. Her powers hadn’t come through yet, she was too little. Yet here was this boy who had his powers and her father was admitting to needing him. Cleo wanted to be needed! Her dislike for this boy was growing. However when he asked why she was brought here Cleo frowned.

“I live here... he is my Daddy, that makes me special” Cleo said defensively. Although it was obvious from even that small display between her father and her, that she was anything but special in her father’s eyes. The little girl put the uneaten soup on the table as she folded her arms. “Where are your parent’s? Did they not like you?” Cleo asked. Her question was actually asked innocently, she was after all only four years old. Despite being brought up by her father of all people, she had led a very sheltered life up until this stage.

Demetrius hadn't even winced from Cleo's defensive answer. He saw that she wasn't eating her soup, and wondered if his question was offensive. He hadn't meant it, but he was curious as to what her purpose was. She couldn't just be living to become a housewife. Valius seemed like a man who only moved forward, at least to Demetrius. When Cleo had asked her question, his eyes widened. His breathing got heavier as he stared blankly. The temperature in the home started dropping drastically. The servants in the home started panicking at what was happening. Within seconds, Valius was storming down the steps, his eyes glowing a bright whit as he stared down Demetrius.

"Demetrius! You must calm down! I can help you control this! I can be a father to you!" Valius shouted. Demetrius' blank expression faded as he fainted, and the cold temperature left the house. Valius' eyes stopped glowing before he turned from the couch and headed upstairs. "Make him bed out of wool blankets on the far side of Cleo's room. He'll sleep fine there." Valius said before reaching the top of the steps and stopping for a moment. "Cleo... he will kill you if you are too foolish. I may not be here the next time he does this." Valius said before continuing to his chamber.

Cleo’s eyes opened wide as she watched Demetrius’ reaction to her question. As she felt the temperature drop she knew it must have been coming from him. The cold ran right through her body, causing her to shiver violently. Being the closest to him, she also felt the full effects of his attack. Cleo was about to yell at him to stop when her father appeared. Cleo watched as her father calmed Demetrius down enough to make the boy faint.

However his words about being a father to this boy cut right through her heart. Cleo didn’t want to share her Daddy with anyone, let alone this boy.

She watched in silence, her body shivering as her father ordered for a bed to be made up in her room for the boy. Coughing a little from the sudden cold and the effect it had already had on her health she watched as her father walked away once more. Cleo frowned but when her father turned back to look at her she studied him curiously. She had thought for a moment he was going to say something kind, yet he simply warned her that this boy could kill her.

With that Cleo lost what little colour she had in her cheeks. "Yes Daddy..." Her attention turned back to look at the boy who was now unconscious. This boy might be able to kill her but Cleo wasn’t going to go down without a fight. She loved her Daddy and she wanted him all to herself, even if that did mean going up against this strange boy.

********

Six years... It may have been a long time to both Cleo and Demetrius, but the time proved to be nothing to Valius. During these years, Valius had been setting his plans in motion. Before being completely busy, he had helped Demetrius gain control of his magic by weakening it with a seal he had placed on the boy's back. If Demetrius ever lost focus when using his magic, he would never do too much harm without exhausting himself. The boy was growing up to be a powerful tool that would chisel his sculpture of a future. When Cleo had reached age five, Valius was glad to see that the Gods had granted her magic of her own. He hadn't been too reluctant to train her as much as Demetrius, but she had forced herself into their training sessions. Valius would never turn away someone who was hungry for growth in power. The thought of her trying to gain his approval never crossed his mind. Valius was just grateful to have the chance to lead two children toward power.

The two children however, weren't too grateful to be rivals going for the same goal. Demetrius found Cleo annoying, and their bickering soon became annoying to Valius. Valius didn't think he had to have Cleo's room completely split by having a wall built. Valius noticed that Demetrius pushed himself so Cleo could never be known as his equal, and Cleo pushed herself so she could prove that she was better or just as good as him.

Today was a promising day though... It was the day Valius would go to initiate his plan to breed a blood thirsty warrior that would carry his family's name. Devin Pendus. The thought of this completely blotted out another reason why this day should be promising. Today was the tenth birthday of his dearest daughter. The only person, who had loved him more than anyone, was casted aside.

****
Devin’s crying screams of pain sounded through the small town. Valius had assumed the boy would defeat the creature without causing himself pain, but this boy was not born a warrior. It was destiny to become one, but looking at the boy let him know that he had to twist the boy's life into chaos before his prized nephew could be in his palms. The right thing for Valius to do would be to help Devin out with his foul circumstance, but instead the man smiled with the opportunity to shape the boy's life with his hand. As Devin cried in pain, a hand gripped his shoulder. This hand was dark and twisted. The creature almost looked human except, it's skin was pitch black, its eyes had a yellow glow to them, and its face looked like that of a goblin's. This monster was close to six feet in height, with another accompanying it. The two looked at him with menacing eyes. Valius sent one feeling into Devin's body.

"Survive... Devin." Valius said softly while remaining in a dark corner.

Devin was crying out until he felt the hand grip his shoulder. He gripped his knife and lashed around, slicing the creature’s arm clean off despite the blade not being long enough to do so. He lunged up and jabbed the knife in the creature’s throat. He twisted and ripped the blade from it as blood splattered out. Then he turned his attention to the second creature.

He vaulted off the first creature and pounced on the second. He stabbed the creature in the head and pulled the knife back out. He then swung it around slicing the head of the creature clean off despite it once again not having the length to do so. Blood spurt from his legs as he and the creature both fell to the ground. He laid there crying, barely enough energy left to even scream anymore.

The creatures that Devin had slain soon morphed into humans. They were not just ordinary townspeople... They were the couple that had adopted him. The first creature he had killed was Devin's adoptive mother. The one he was now on the ground with was his father. Devin had killed with an audience, and Valius was orchestrating the show. His eyes glowed as he placed that single instinct of survival in Devin's mind

"Get up! Don't be weak my boy!" Valius whispered to himself.

Devin got up, somehow his spirit to live once again restored. He looked at the bodies of the only parents he ever knew as well as a mob screaming at him and armed. He did the only thing he could do when they came at him. He ran. He didn’t know where he was headed; he just went into the woods and didn’t stop running. Not until they stopped chasing. He breathed heavily deep in the woods now and began crying. He didn’t know what to do. He was alone in the woods with a dagger, and he was covered in wounds. He wasn’t sure if it was the physical or emotional pain that actually hurt more.

About 2 Days later....
Devin walked around the woods alone. He was able to find a small river to wash up in, although he was still covered in wounds that he didn’t know how to bandage. At least they weren’t bleeding anymore. He was able to steal some food from his house (that was being guarded) and some campers he came across. Now armed with just a dagger, a bruised and broken body, a small satchel of food, and just instincts the 6 year old boy was on his own to survive in the woods. Things looked dismal.

In these woods however, there was man... No, a warrior that walking through the woods. Hi his crimson tinted armour was cracked in certain places, and he looked as if he had no equal on the battlefield. His heavy boots crushed nearly anything he stepped on. His face was wrapped in a black cloth, only revealing his eyes that were blood red. He seemed to be passing through, but something seemed to stop him. He spotted a young boy, who looked as if he gotten into a fight with the animals of these woods. The man gripped his sword, before throwing it toward the boy, just missing the boy's head.

"Child! What is your business in these woods? Are you looking for Halikair?" The man asked with authority.

Devin turned around as he heard something. Just as he did he saw a sword fly by his head and stab into a tree next to him. Then some man yelled about a Halikair. Devin had no idea who he was, but figured he was just another person hunting him. Devin grabbed the blade from the tree and pulled it out. It was much heavier then Devin guessed, but he finally held it as if he was ready to fight with it. This man wore armour that would signify he was a great warrior, but Devin wouldn’t let himself be idly killed. His instincts told him otherwise.

The typically silent child glared at the man. “I don’t care who you are or what you want. If your here to hunt me down I will kill you too. I’m not going to let you kill me!!!” The blade began to glow blood red as Devin’s face began to bleed. He whipped his body around and the blade cut through a nearby tree like butter. The tree fell to the ground behind him and Devin stood there. This sword was very hard for him to use, as if he was destined to use another weapon. It didn’t matter though. He just ran with the sword towards the man that threatened him. He was obviously slower, weaker, and untrained, an easy kill for the man. Devin was just too headstrong and running on animal instincts to allow logic in.

The warrior’s eyes looked as if he had been filled with rage as the boy charged toward him with his own sword. He was pleased with Devin's strength and courage, but that didn't mean he would cut the kid too much slack.

"Foolish!" The man shouted before charging toward Devin. He had moved so fast, that he whizzed past the boy. As he passed by Devin, his gloved hand managed to get a grip of the back of Devin's collar, pulling his body backward. He would drag the boy until he felt a lesson was learned. "Never charge blindly!"

Devin was taken aback and dropped the sword as he was being dragged. He pulled his dagger trying to cite the man but his reach wasn’t long enough. He decided the best way now was to slip out of his shirt. So that’s what he did. He slipped out of his shirt, jumped to his feet and latched onto the man’s arm. Hanging there by 1 arm he gripped the dagger and smiled as it did the same as the sword only this time his other cheek began bleeding. “Gotcha now” He said as he tossed the dagger straight at the man’s chest. It would be enough to at least hurt the bastard.

The boy's persistence intrigued the warrior even more. If he wasn't as quick, Devin would have penetrated his armour. The warrior had grabbed Devin by the throat with his free hand, which limited Devin's reach. The dagger had made a deep scratch in his armour.
With a swift swing of his arm, the warrior threw Devin violently into a tree. It was a bit over the top, but the warrior was testing the boy's will to live. That is what differed a growing warrior and a man who just wielded a weapon.

Devin struggled to his feet after being slammed against the tree. He stood and spit out a mouthful of blood. He started moving forward towards the assailant. “I won’t let you....” Devin fell face first into the ground before he could finish the sentence. The past few days had been taxing and his body could no longer handle it.

It had been hours since the warrior had knocked Devin out. He had carried the boy on his shoulder and found an abandoned cave. He had gathered fire wood and started a fire to keep warm. He set out 3 vials and a flask. The man was creating a potion for Devin.
The boy had been badly injured, due to some sort of ability he had. The warrior found this ability of his strange but would try to see if he could figure out how it worked. Taking on students wasn't his forte, but this child held great potential.

Devin had woken up in a strange area. He looked around and saw the campfire. His wounds were now bandaged as well. Through the fire he saw that strange man once more. He tried to get to his feet, but he was just too weak too. He looked at himself but he couldn’t find his knife anywhere. “What do you want with me?” He spoke in a resilient tone. He couldn’t fight back and they both knew it, so he was stuck at the mercy of this strange man. This he was not a fan of.

The man was still mixing up his ingredients. He poured the contents of the three vials he had into the empty flask. Before stirring the contents of the flask together though, he set the flask down, pulled off one of his gloves, and took out a dagger. The small weapon was designed to rip deep through flesh with its jagged edges. The warrior sliced the palm of his hand, and put the dagger away. Blood dripped from his bare hand, but he didn't scream from the pain or the sight of the blood. He didn't even seem to flinch. He had experienced much worse in his life. He then allowed a drop of blood to go into the flask. The contents took on a bright colour of red.

"What I want with you? Humph... You should be grateful that I saved you. Any other man would have left you to die for the way you acted." The man said harshly under his wrappings. He made his way around the fire and to Devin with the flask in his hand. "Now drink this. It may not taste well, but its magic is exceptional. It will heal your body." The man said as held the flask forward for Devin to take.

Devin stared at the man and began breathing heavily. “I never asked you to save me. You should have let me die. It would have made things better. I also would have died fighting like that story my daddy used to tell me.” He then went silent and turned away from the man, refusing the flask. “Drink it yourself old man, and LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!! I will be fine on my own....”

The gripped the flask, but he made sure that he wouldn't let his anger cause himself to break the container in his own hands. The man looked onto the boy with his cold red eyes before setting the flask in front of the boy and walking back to his side of the flames.

"It is your choice." The man stared at the flames which reminded him of the violent motions of battle. "Would you mind telling this tale of your father's?" The man asked as he grabbed a cloth and placed it over his bleeding palm.

Devin turned back around as the man walked away and asked about the story. Devin didn’t like him, but he did want to share his father’s story, especially since his father could no longer. He sat up and stared into the fire. “The story of the mighty Griffon King Nanook and his son Lazarus. There was a big war many years ago that was for the whole planet of Concordia. Creatures of all shapes and sizes were being controlled and used to rebel against the Gods and Goddesses of Concordia.”

Devin paused and coughed up some blood. He was too hurt to continue the story but wanted to finish it. So he begrudgingly picked up the Vial and drank it down. He gagged a bit but it did help. “The Gryphons were the first to try and stop the bad witch that was controlling the creatures. There was a big war where many died from both sides. Finally though the Mighty Gryphon King Nanook, met the Evil Witch Bestresus.”

He paused once more noticing his wounds healing up. Then he continued. “They fought but were evenly matched. To protect the world and the balance, the Gryphon king sacrificed his own life to end that of the witches. Before he died, he passed on the crown to his son Lazarus. So the King died, a new king was born who worked to fix everything, and the world was saved. He died in a battle; my daddy said that was the most Noble way to die. To die a Warrior’s death.”

The warrior listened to the tale, and took notice to Devin being healed with the passing minute.

"A noble death indeed... You say you would have died like that, but what would be gained afterward. The Gryphon King gave his life to save the people of Concordia. You however threw your life into the jaws of Halikair as if it was worth nothing. After fighting you, I see something that I don't see in most men who say they carry the title of a warrior." The warrior stopped speaking as he kicked dirt into the flames, keeping them low. "People born into this world are either great or feeble, nothing more. If you wish to be amongst the weak, then you should set off on your own in the morning. If you decide to stay, I assure you... You're death with be a noble one." He said before putting his glove on his hand that had been bleeding a while ago.

Devin stared at the man after he spoke. He didn’t say anything just stared. After he told him that he could be great Devin wasn’t sure how to react. In the end he just prepared to lay down, and he looked at the empty flask in his hands. “The Gryphon king didn’t die a warrior’s death because he died for a purpose; he died a warrior’s death because he went down fighting to the very end.” With that he just turned over and lay down, drifting to sleep.

The next morning Devin woke up early. He looked around and noticed the fire was out. He Stood up and brushed himself off. He then sat down and awaited the warrior to wake up. If he was going to die, he wanted it to be on the battlefield.

The warrior had awoken from his slumber, which he treasured dearly. He didn't get too much sleep these days, because he had always been busy with one thing or another. His first instinct was to look toward the other side of the ash pile. He couldn't say he was surprised to see Devin sitting there, waiting. He gave the boy a choice that wouldn't affect him after all.

"So you've decided to venture on the path of the warrior? Good. I bet you're wondering what I have planned for you. You probably think I'm going to hand you weapon to teach you combat, or have you exercise to increase your overall fitness." The warrior stood up on both feet. "We are doing nothing of the sort today! Every warrior accepts the guidance of a respective god or goddess, whether it is through simple prayer or connecting themselves with the god. The God's not only give us guidance, but they grant magic to aid us." The warrior stared into Devin's eyes before he was right beside the Devin in an instant. "You magical gift is something that I have never witnessed before. Only your respective god can tell you, and to do that, you must make a connection... So sit! Shut your eyes! Shut your mouth! Find your God! Find them, and you will become powerful!" The warrior spoke.


Devin was nervous when the man began taking an aggressive tone. He knew he couldn’t beat the man but he didn’t want to just go and die either. As he said what to do to find this God he sat down and did as the man said. He closed his eyes, watching the darkness surround his vision. He closed his mouth, his ears now picking up the sounds of nature around him. He sat there waiting for this God to appear. He sat for about a whole three minutes until he felt something. It started deep in his stomach. An awkward feeling that slowly worked its way up, and finally shot up his upper torso. He let out a pretty sizable burp for a young kid that hadn’t eaten much in days. He opened one eye and looked at the man before him. “That wasn’t my God, was it?”

The warrior had been looking directly at Devin, watching to see if the boy was actually making a connection. When the loud burp escaped the boy's mouth, the warrior looked him with disapproval.

"No! That wasn't your god. You cannot proceed without connecting to your god. Your magic is too unstable to not know how it works. Now sit there until you do." The warrior grabbed his blade and left from Devin's sight, but his voice faintly remained. "I'm going to fetch us some lunch. You will not eat until you speak to a god."

Devin pouted and closed his eyes again. He was so hungry that he had to get this done. He sat there trying to see his god. Problem was that he didn’t know who he was. How could he possibly see him now? He tried and focused and wished to see his God. He just couldn’t. He opened his eyes disappointed at his failure. However when he opened his eyes it wasn’t the normal forest. Time around him was frozen, the sky turned pure white. The trees around him began to wither and even bleed. The clouds began to burn and Devin found himself unable to move, or scream. Strangely however, he wasn’t scared, more mystified.

As he looked around a cloaked figure appeared before him. He stared for a second and realized he had seen it before. When he killed the first bully. “Who are you?” Asked Devin as he stood his ground. The cloaked figure moved closer seeming to keep his non visible gaze on Devin. ”You are a fine subject if I do say so myself. My work was impeccable. I am your God Halikair, and you are my tool, Devin P... Perhaps it is best if you do not know your true last name at this point.” Devin stared at him. He didn’t care about a last name that some creature claiming to be his God would say.

“Why am I this way? Did you do this to me? Did you make me kill my mommy and daddy?!” Devin was angry. This thing talked like it owned him. He wouldn’t allow that. ”So strong willed. That will come in handy later on young warrior. I did do this to you, but I did not make you kill your parents. They died for you to be born. You need not worry about those two meagre pawns you have slain.” Devin didn’t fully get what the creature was saying but he didn’t like it. He tried to charge at him but he still couldn’t move. “I don’t like you! GO AWAY!!” He yelled still struggling to get away but still unsuccessful.

Halikair grinned under his hood and moved closer grabbing and picking up Devin by his shirt. Devin was completely paralysed and couldn’t move, despite his best efforts. ”You are here to learn about your abilities correct? You are a special child. I bestowed your abilities on you in the womb. They have had time to marinate in you so to speak. You are completely one with your abilities and as such you will master them quicker then normally. You have a magic called Blood Rage. It allows you to deal amazing damage far superior then those with meagre super strength. You put your very health into each attack, often resulting in damaging your own body because of it. You must want to damage your target. Anger, the will to strike fear into the hearts of your opponents, the thirst for blood, they are all things that influence your magic Devin. You do have another magic however.
Omniscient Sight. All you must do is want to see everything around you and you can. No matter how bright, how dark or what surrounds you. You can always have perfect 360 degree vision. However your eyes will begin bleeding from using this ability. All small prices to pay to destroy the toughest of opponents. You will see young Devin; your abilities are amazing and the learning curve quite quick. Experiment with infusing different objects with your blood rage. Also know that those potions Modnar will teach you to make work much better with your blood. That is all I have to tell you. I leave you with a gift and a message. Tell Modnar I will be meeting him soon enough. As far as my gift, I leave you a Scythe. With it you will grow to be a wonderful warrior. You will bring about the chaos that will burn the world and empower me with its death. Good bye for now Devin”

Devin couldn’t react in any way. As Halikair disappeared and dropped Devin he seemed to fall into nothingness, until the world around him went black. He woke up from his trance instantly, back in the actual world, but Omniscient Sight already activated. His eyes were bleeding and he screamed and fell to the ground. He could see everything around him though. The chipmunk in the bush, the birds flying in the sky and even the scythe hidden in the brush. Devin didn’t even need to look around, he just saw it all. He walked over to where he saw the Scythe and after digging it out, sure enough it was there. He picked it up and wished to stop seeing everything, deactivating Omniscient Sight. He looked at the scythe as his eyes still bled. He could only whisper one thing as he grasped it. “Halikair...”

The warrior had a large elk in his sights. It was a buck, and he knew its meat would be tender. The creature fed on a bushel of leaves close to its hooves. The warrior pulled his arm back that held his dagger. The elk's head instinctively perked up, but its reaction was too slow. The dagger had struck it deep into its throat. The warrior rushed toward his game, going for the kill. He wanted the creature to die without experiencing too much pain. He would have normally snapped the neck of his game, but jumped to the side as a sword came swinging at him.

"Who?" The warrior said as he spotted a young man holding a short sword. The warrior was confused, because this boy couldn't have been a day over fifteen. Getting a good look at the boy's face made a smirk come across his face. "So... you've come to kill me? Foolish!" The warrior said as he withdrew his dagger and drew his sword. The boy was none other Demetrius Black.

"My apologies Modnar, but I have been given the task of killing you. It must be done." Demetrius said as he thought of what the servant had said. Demetrius charged forward, but the Modnar seemed to vanish right before the boy's eyes. He was swiftly kicked in the back, and sent flying. Demetrius' eyes widened in shock before he hit the ground. He managed to roll and recover, but Modnar was staring him down. Demetrius concentrated as his body spilled out the coldest of presences.

"You will not win! You will die if you continue." Modnar said before Demetrius swung at him with both hands on his sword. Modnar blocked with his own blade, but vanished when their eyes met once again. Modnar was ready to blind side the boy from the right side, until Demetrius swung at him, slashing his face. The cloth wasn't the best protection, but Modnar was shocked that his attack had been anticipated. He jumped back; in order to regain himself, but Demetrius came at him again. "That's it!" Modnar charged Demetrius, blocking his attack. He then sent a punch directly into Demetrius' face. Demetrius stumble back, before he was kneed in the stomach. Demetrius couldn't hope to match the warriors speed as an uppercut connected with his chin. The boy flew back, out of breath and in pain. "You are lucky to be a child, for I would have killed you. Come back to me when you can properly keep up with your opponent." Modnar said he wiped the blood off his wrapping. He ripped the dagger from the now lifeless body of the elk and looked Demetrius in the eye one last time before fading away. The look Demetrius was given was one of challenge. The boy would leave the man, but he would not return home... He would become strong on his own, and deliver Modnar's head to his master.

Meanwhile, Modnar is seen walking back to the camp, elk in hand. Just by looking at Devin, he could see a difference. The scythe in the boy's hand made him express a look of awe. He knew which god had visited him.

"What did he say?" Modnar asked.

Devin stood there staring at the weapon he was given completely ignoring Modnar at first. He was still processing everything that happened, and while all his bleeding had stopped, blood still crusted his face. “I have two magical abilities. One let’s me see all around me without having to look around. The other one let’s me damage stuff really bad, more than other people could ever, but it makes me hurt too. He say to try to use my damaging magic with all different stuff....”

Devin wasn’t ready to say anything about his family to this man. He didn’t have to, it was only his business. “He... He also said that my blood works better for your potions.... He also said he’ll see you soon enough... I don’t know what he means.... He gave me this though.” He said motioning at the scythe. “It has the same name as he did. Halikair. That’s a cool name, don’t you think?”

Modnar looked at Devin; blood dripping from his own face from the slash the boy from earlier had dealt. Modnar had respect for every god, knowing of each of their duties, but the amount the boy was given from Halikair, caused him to wonder what the boy had in store. Halikair was no Santa Clause of Concordia. In tales, Halikair always had something to gain, even if it was minuscule. Modnar did say he would train the boy once he found his respective god. He would have been willing to keep the boy at his side in future battles, but he faintly feared the message he was given from Halikair. He didn't like the grimness of it. As he wiped some of the blood off his face with his hand, he made a decision. He wouldn't allow himself to become attached to this boy. All he was to him was a student that he would discard once he was able to take care of himself.

"A scythe... An infamous weapon indeed. You will slay many after I teach you the might of the warrior. You will be feared... Hmm, Scythe.... Yes, Scythe! You have no family, and no need to carry the name you held when you were weak. I, Modnar, will bless you with the name that will greatly known and feared as. You... are... Scythe!" Modnar said before a smirk appeared on his face. "Now let's begin!"

*****

For the past six years Cleo had been in constant competition. Before she had been competing against the world for her father’s attention but now she was not only competing against the world but against Demetrius, the son her father had wished her to be. Cleo had figured it out not long after Demetrius had moved in with them. He was what her father wanted and Cleo had set about trying to prove him wrong, prove to him that she was worthy to be his daughter.

She had pushed her way into training sessions and been an eager and willing student. Despite being younger than Demetrius, anything he could do, she could also do with a little practise. Any father would have been proud of that but not Cleo’s. He simply couldn’t get over the fact that she was a girl. At five she also got her power. Cleo had been thrilled. Now she wasn’t useless... she could finally be worth something to her father. She ended up with the ability to control nature, or more specifically plants. She loved it and just after she had got it she had spent ages outside in the gardens surrounding the house practising growing things. However no matter how much she would practise, her power was not powerful like Demetrius’ and it didn’t get the attention from her father that his got.

Cleo also continued to argue with Demetrius. The two of them would get into huge fights over little things. However someone always stepped in before things went too far. Cleo remembered her father’s warning about how he was dangerous, yet she couldn’t help it. She was jealous and Demetrius knew just how to annoy her. At times he also seemed to get pleasure out of it.

Today was her tenth birthday. Today she would finally be a young lady and no longer a little kid. Cleo woke up early and raced across to her closet to get dressed. Like the years before Cleo expected her father to be downstairs waiting for her at the dining room table. Each year they had always had breakfast together and he had given her presents. Often he was distracted or busy doing something else at the same time, but still this time was important to her. Cleo knew it was a sad day for her father... it was the day he lost his wife and dreams of a son.

Demetrius had woken up very early that morning; his only reason, being that he wanted to say farewell to Valius before he went off to do his own business elsewhere. He respected the man greatly, but he never put himself in the place as his son. Valius was like Demetrius' closest friend, except for the fact that their ages hugely differed. The thirteen year old boy was currently sitting alone at the dining table, sipping tea. Tea used to be very hard for him to drink before Valius sealed some of his magic away. The tea would always go cold in a matter of minutes. He could faintly hear Cleo's awakening, and only smirked at his reflection in the dark liquid contained in his mug. The steam that oozed out of the mug soon vanished. He knew today wasn't going to be good for Cleo, and just hoped to see her give up on her father so that he didn't have to see her as much.

Cleo slipped on a pair of dark jeans and a light pink shirt. A smile was plastered on her face as she then ran a brush through her chocolate brown hair. She was excited. This was the one day of the year which she got to spend time with her father without having to prove herself. Once she was already she came racing down the stairs. As she rounded the corner she spotted Demetrius sitting at the table... and her father was nowhere to be seen. Her face fell a little. Cleo didn't say anything as she walked in and sat at the chair on the opposite side of the table. Without having to say anything one of the maids brought her over a cup of juice. "Thank you" Cleo said as her maid left the room.

Demetrius was remained in his seat as Cleo sat down. Seeing her excitement die wasn't pleasurable, but it was something he found interesting. He wondered if this was what would break her.

"Happy Birthday and Good Morning Cleo... Valius is in the garden waiting for you. He has a surprise." Demetrius was lying, but how could anyone tell with his very monotone voice.

Cleo looked up across the table as Demetrius spoke. She frowned at him but when he mentioned that her father was in the garden waiting for her she smiled. "Really? Thanks" Cleo said. She was surprised that he was actually being nice to her but then again it was her birthday, maybe he just realised that and figured he could give her a break. Cleo took a quick sip of her drink before getting up from the table and walking out of the living room. She headed out through the hallway and towards the front doors. Opening the doors she looked around but couldn't see her father. "Daddy?" Cleo called out as she stepped outside trying to see him. "Daddy?" She called out again as she wondered outside, still unable to see where he was. What was this surprise?
Demetrius mildly smiled as Cleo left the table. He took his time finishing off his tea, before he got up from his seat and headed for the front door. There was a surprise out there, but not one she would have expected. After Valius had left, Demetrius had decided to freeze the vegetation in the garden. The plants died from the extreme cold, but Demetrius had no feelings toward such things. When he reached the front door, he made sure it was closed and locked it before he headed upstairs.

Cleo wondered around the side of the house and that was when she saw it. The whole garden! She was going to kill him! There was not going to be any stopping her this time. Cleo turned around and ran back to the door. As she turned the handle she realised it was locked. "Demetrius get back here and open the door!" Cleo screamed, rage filling her body. Not only was there ice covering her garden but there was no sign of her father. She banged on the door a few times before giving up. Cleo then headed around the back of the house to where the door leading into the kitchen was open. She walked inside and called out to Demetrius. "Demetrius? Where are you? I am going to kill you" Cleo screamed out as she headed towards the dining room, checking if he was in there.

Demetrius could hear the call from Cleo from his room. He first wondered how she got into the house, but remembered that she wasn't dumb enough not to know about the back door. He was sitting cross-legged on his bed, meditating. His room was very cold at the moment as he practiced using his magic. Demetrius found Cleo's threat amusing enough to actually leave his room and head to the steps. He didn't go down them, but instead just sat at the top of them.

"As if you could Cleo. Did you get your beautiful gifts...? And my bad about your father's absence. He left hours ago to see his other family." Demetrius would antagonize Cleo as much as he could, especially without Valius to stop him.

Cleo turned around the instant she heard Demetrius voice coming from the stairs. Every word which came out of his mouth just made her all the more mad. What he had done to the garden? Well that just spoke for itself... then him knowing that her father wasn't here and he had another family? Well if she thought she could have killed him before then she was certainly going to kill him now. She emerged from the living room and looked up at Demetrius sitting at the top of the stairs. "He doesn't have another family! You are the one with no family" Cleo yelled at him as she looked up at him, creating a vine which came out of the stairs that moved quickly to wrap around his throat.

Demetrius stared down at Cleo cleverly. He felt like he=was on top of the world until Cleo mentioned him having no family. The only thing that fuelled him now was anger. If there was a subject you didn't touch on, it was of his absent family. He had been so caught up with anger, the vine wrapped around his neck. It hadn't choked him though, only withering away as the sheer cold that emanating from Demetrius managed to kill it.

"You little... Bitch!" Demetrius yelled before getting up from the stairs and walking down the hall. "I am finally going to rid Valius of his greatest of burdens." Demetrius said as he entered Valius' armoury. He grabbed a short sword from the set of weapons and head back to the steps. "Say another thing about my family, and I'll make sure to give you a gift for your birthday." Demetrius said as he held the weapon.

She had expected him to do something to the vine that appeared near his neck, so when it was cracked and killed by the cold she wasn’t surprised. Cleo knew that her powers were weaker than his, yet hers were technically still developing. She still had time.

Cleo couldn't help but smile when Demetrius got up and took off down the hallway. It was a small victory. She had always known how he felt about his family and she knew that to say it would only anger him, yet today she wanted to anger him. Just like he knew that she got upset when he mentioned her relationship with her father, his lack of a family annoyed him. Cleo frowned though as he came back to the top of the stairs and was holding a sword.

“Oh a gift? That sounds good. Wait... did your parent’s ever give you gifts for your birthday? Or did they not care at all? Because I can totally understand them not wanting you, I mean who would?” Cleo said in a spiteful voice. She knew that technically she didn’t have much chance of getting out of this without being hurt but that didn’t mean she was going to back down.

As soon as she finished talking, Cleo took off running down the hallway. To some it might have seemed like she was running away but Cleo was heading for where her father kept a sword at the back door. It was meant to be there for emergencies just in case one couldn’t make it upstairs to where the rest of the armour was.

All Demetrius could do was stare with a cold gaze down at Cleo as she spoke more of his family. His teeth gritted and his grip on the hilt of the sword tightened. He had no idea what he was going to do to Cleo, but would surely make her suffer for antagonizing him. When she darted off, Demetrius quickly made his way down the steps after Cleo.

"My family loved me! Unlike your father to you!" Demetrius shouted before spotting Cleo at the back door. "Sword fight? You won't beat me Cleopatra. Our potential is as close as the ground is to the sky." Demetrius said. As he held no stance, and only confidence in his words.

“At least my father hasn’t given me up!” Cleo yelled back as she noticed some of the servants moving out of the way of the two children. They knew things were about to go from bad to worse and that nothing could stop these two and no one wanted to get between them. One of them even went off to see if they could find Valius, only to find that he wasn’t home.

“And maybe I don’t want to beat you. Just causing you pain is good enough for me” Cleo said as she picked up the sword. In fact, Cleo had never beaten him in a sword fight but there was always a first time. Despite never beating him, Cleo certainly was just as well trained.

Demetrius had tried to keep calm, but the mental blows she had been inflicting on him, casted away any means to stay focused. His hand holding the sword made a quick downward motion, slicing the table that had been beside him.

"Pain? You don't even know the meaning." One of the servants tried to approach Demetrius, but his sword was immediately inches from his neck. "Get away from me." He said with bitterness. The man backed away from the killing intent in the boy's eyes. Valius had trained the two well in combat, not knowing what could occur in his absence. Demetrius charged forward first, bringing his sword down at first and then swinging it up toward Cleo's neck.

The girl flinched when Demetrius brought the sword down through the table, obviously showing his strength but Cleo knew all too well that it was just a scare tactic. They had been taught by the same man so she knew what to expect. Cleo watched with a smirk as he threatened the servant as he approached. Shouldn’t’ they have known not to come anywhere near them? Cleo was still so upset at both Demetrius and her father that in that moment she wouldn’t have cared if this servant lived or died. Cleo didn’t even care if she died. Today was meant to be her special day and it had been ripped from her. All she cared about now was inflicting as much pain towards Demetrius as possible.

Cleo was watching Demetrius intently with a cold gaze as he brought the sword forward and she knew to expect an attack. She mimicked him, bringing her sword down but when she saw the change of movement the young ten year old girl darted to the side to avoid the attack. She twisted around and as she did she swung her own sword down towards Demetrius’ knee caps.

Demetrius almost thought he had Cleo with his attack, but she managed manoeuvrer away from the strike. She countered with a low attack to his knees. He smirked as his eyes watched her body movement. With his free hand, he thrust the oncoming blade down and moved his feet appropriately in order to stab the weapon into the floorboards. With her sword stabbed into the floor, he raised his sword wit

Cleo cried out in frustration as her sword became wedged into the floor boards. This was not good. She didn’t have time to think about it though as she saw out of the corner of her eye Demetrius swinging the sword down towards her shoulder. Quickly her hands reached up and grabbed hold of his wrist, stopping him from striking her. “Jerk!” Cleo said as she began to twist his wrist around with both of her hands which were around his wrist. Her grip and twisting of Demetrius’ arm causing the sword to fall from his grip to the floor.

“How will it feel to be beaten by a girl?” Cleo said as she stared into his eyes. At this point she used her ability to create vines out of the ground, making them wrap around his ankles so that he couldn’t move. Then just as a finishing touch she created some pretty pink flowers on the vines.

Demetrius had been halted, disarmed, and made a fool of by Cleo in just a few seconds. He wouldn't take in the defeat. He knew he didn't have access to a weapon, but neither did she. Demetrius' hand that had previously guided her blade into the floor shot up and gripped her throat.

"Don't get cocky." Demetrius said as his emotions seemed to settle, as if he forced them to. His hands were as cold as ice, perhaps even colder. His whole body began to give off a similar effect. The area around them began to drop in temperature. The vine at his ankles began to weaken, which allowed him to move his feet and slam Cleo back into the back door. His grip around her throat tightened as he held her against the door.

Cleo gasped as his hand shot up to her throat. It was a move she hadn't been expecting at all. She struggled against his grip but his hand was freezing cold against her skin and it was like it was stick there. Without having to see she felt the vines weaken and die around Demetrius' ankles but before she could do anything more her body was slammed back against the back door. She cried out in pain as by this stage she was struggling to breathe.

For a few moments she just struggled against his grip before Cleo managed to think of something to do. In one swift movement she brought her knee up straight towards Demetrius' groin. She felt it come into contact with him and inwardly felt good about what she had done. Even at a young age Cleo had learnt that it was the one spot no guy could stand being hurt. Cleo just hoped she had hit hard enough to make him let go as breathing was becoming harder and harder.

Demetrius thought he had this fight. All he would have had to do was wait for Cleo to pass out. There had to have been a god of mischief somewhere, because the sharpest of pains was felt in the young man's gut as Cleo's knee made contact with groin. Demetrius' eyes nearly popped out of his head from the pain. His grip loosened and the cold temperature was diminishing. Demetrius gasped for air as he placed his hands in between his leg and brought his knees inward. His body dropped to the ground

Cleo gasped for breath as she felt the hand fall away from her throat which now had a bright red mark around it. As she took a few breaths she then looked down at Demetrius who was on the ground, obviously in pain. Cleo couldn't help it but she burst out laughing. It was funny to see him in this much pain. "Looks like I win" She said with a grin as she simply stepped over him and headed towards the stairs. "I promise I won’t tell Daddy... actually no, I think I will" Cleo teased as she walked away from him.

Demetrius couldn't believe he was beaten by a ten year old girl. She had played a dirty moved, but the fact that he had not anticipated it, made him angrier. After a few minutes, the pain left him enough for him to pick himself up. None of the servants help him, only because they had been too afraid to approach the boy who they could tell was furious. Demetrius walked, with his legs slightly wobbling with each step. He grabbed sword that he stuck into the floor and pulled it out with as much force as he could exert. He made his way out the back door and to the frozen over garden.

"I have a present for you." Demetrius said before swinging his sword to the plants. Some of them might have had a chance to survive before, but not now. Demetrius was stomping on every fruit and vegetable he could, slicing the pedals off flower, and even killing the small animals that dwelled around the garden area. "Happy birthday Cleopatra! This is my gift to you!" Demetrius shouted as he rampaged through the yard.

Cleo had wondered back up to her bedroom by the time that Demetrius could actually move and was standing in front of the mirror looking at the red mark around her neck. It was ugly! Cleo wished that she had some make-up or something that was strong enough to cover it but she didn't. Before she could put anymore thought into it Cleo heard Demetrius' voice. What confused her was that it was coming from outside. Cleo wondered over to her open window as she saw what was happening down in the garden. Her eyes opened wide with shock at the damage he was doing. She was so angry. "Stop it" Cleo yelled as she turned away from the window and began running down stairs and out the front door to see what he was doing. "Demetrius stop it" Cleo said as she headed towards him. When he ignored her she repeated herself a little louder, a slight change to her voice as she did. "Stop it!" She said about a metre away from him. Her eyes seemed a little unfocused as she spoke.

Demetrius was having a field day with the garden, taking out all of his anger on it. A smirk was actually planted on his face as he slashed at it. Cleo's demands made him chuckle as he slashed back and forth. He was about to say 'Make me'. With her third demand however, Demetrius stopped his rampage. His sword was at his side, and he looked toward Cleo with a somewhat blank expression.

"Alright Cleo." He said as he just stood there, not making a single twitch.

It was strange. Cleo didn’t really understand what was going on. All she knew was that she couldn't stop looking at Demetrius and that for some reason he was listening to her. In her mind Cleo just wanted her garden put back together. This was all she could focus on. Her garden! It was the one place she could go and think where her ability was useful. Now Demetrius had ruined it. "Make it better..." Was all Cleo could mumble, yet those words were laced with the new ability which was running through her young body. The ability to make people do what she wanted.

Demetrius had no mental control over his actions. The boy couldn't even think for himself at the moment. It was as if Cleo's words were law in his mind. Cleo's next command, caused Demetrius to just nod to her and walk over to the dingy little shed in the yard. Demetrius took out all the tools and supplies he needed in order to 'make it better'. He didn't say a single word as he did what he was told.


An hour later, Valius finds himself entering through the front door. Servants grab his black cloak, and go to put it away. The servants had tried to cover up the damage that was done, but Valius had come too soon. He could see dead vines spouted from different parts of the house, damage done to the floor and table, and he could feel the use of magic. Valius glared at the servants, and their eyes looked toward the back door. Valius didn't say a word as he headed out the back door. He opened the door with furiosity, before seeing Demetrius carefully working on the garden while his daughter watched. Valius was baffled by what he saw, and immediately spoke in a commanding tone.

"What has been happening on the premises of my home while I was away? Explain yourselves!"

Cleo had stood there, still for about an hour watching Demetrius. All of her focus was on the older boy in front of her but as time went on she felt herself weakening. This was a new experience. Cleo had never felt like this before and it was confusing her. She watched as he did exactly as she told him to and the garden slowly began to take shape again. It was nowhere near as good as it had been before but it was clear that the boy was doing everything he could to make it better. When her father came home her attention was instantly drawn away from Demetrius, the magic connecting them breaking. Cleo turned to look at her father with a confused expression as she wobbled a little where she stood, her body weakened by the constant use of her new ability. "Daddy?" Cleo mumbled as she just looked at him.

Valius looked down at his daughter with a scowl. After she had mumbled her words, Valius moved toward her and swiftly backhanded his daughter in the face.

"I was supposed to receive an answer as to why my house has been touched by Imfamel!" Demetrius yelled before his scowl shot toward Demetrius. Demetrius almost had no idea what was going on, His hand were all dirty, and he had a shovel in his hand. The garden that he completely destroyed had been almost restored. Demetrius raised a brow before turning to Valius. His cold gaze met Valius' scowl, without even wincing.

"Cleo and I decided to have a training session in the house. It was a birthday present from me to her. The loser of the spar had to clean the garden." Demetrius lied before his eyes quickly glanced at Cleo. He would have hated to admit it, but he didn't like the way Valius treated her. The fact that she accepts this treatment, made him think little of it though. He lied for her, but Valius could easily tell that the boy was. Even with Demetrius' strong facial expressions, Valius saw right through the boy.

"That sounds much better... Demetrius, your punishment won't be as swift as Cleo's. I will inform you of it later." Valius turned from the two and entered the house in order to get to his private quarters.

Cleo looked up at her father with a look of desperation in her eyes. She knew that she had done the wrong thing but it was a mistake. She hadn’t meant to argue with Demetrius and spoil the house. After all, he had started it when he had frozen the garden and played that nasty trick on her. What happened though came out of the blue. Cleo hadn’t thought for one minute that he would hit her yet his hand swiftly struck out at her cheek. Cleo stumbled and almost fell to the ground from the force of it, her face stinging as tears formed in her eyes. No longer did she look up at her father but her eyes were focused on the ground, her whole body visibly flinching as her father yelled.

Cleo just stood there, tears running down her face as Demetrius began to talk. He had always been quick to think on his feet and at most times this fact annoyed her. It meant that when they had been arguing he normally was able to think something up that incriminated her. Yet this time she was shocked that he in fact stood up for her, well them but it still meant that he stood up for her. He had never done that before.

As her father walked away Cleo burst into tears as she dropped to the ground. This was the worst birthday ever. Her hand reached out to press against her cheek which was hot and hurting. It wasn’t that often that her father would actually physically hurt her, normally it was just mentally.

Demetrius walked past Cleo, without saying a word. His mind was on another subject already, thinking of his punishment. Before Demetrius could place his hand on the back door, he turned his head toward the whimpering Cleo.

"Stop weeping. Crying from pain is for the weak, Cleo." Demetrius said before turning the knob of the door and pushing it open. Upon entering, a servant approached the young man. Mr. Pendus wants you to complete a task as your punishment..." Demetrius raised a brow, wondering what this task could be. "He wishes for you to end the life of a man. A man that is called Modnar. The man was last spotted deep within the woods. He wears heavy armour, and is skilled with weapons. Kill him, and Valius may consider welcoming you back into this house once you step back out that door. Demetrius' eyes grew with shock before anger expressed itself.

"Alright, but if Valius is to interfere, I may consider making him a target." Demetrius said harshly

Cleo continued to stare at the ground until Demetrius spoke. She looked up at him with an angry expression as he told her to stop crying. It was none of his business if she cried or not. What did it matter to him? He had wanted her upset anyway, hadn’t that been what the point of his trick this morning been? He liked seeing her upset just as much as she liked seeing him upset. The only good thing about this situation was that he seemed to be in just as much trouble as she was.

The tears continued to roll down her cheek for another ten minutes or so before Cleo wiped her eyes. She knew that what had happened this morning was wrong. They had caused damage to the house just so that they could hurt one another. It didn’t make sense when she looked back at the situation. Cleo sighed softly as the little girl got up from the ground. With one last look at the garden Cleo wondered back over to the house. As she walked a few flowers grew out of the soil.

Once inside Cleo headed towards her father’s office. She didn’t see Demetrius on her way there and figured he must be off sulking somewhere. Reaching the door she knocked quietly, waiting for permission to enter. On more than one occasion she had forgotten to knock and found herself kicked down a flight of stairs as punishment.

On the other end of the door, Valius had been meditating, before he had been in deep focus, he heard a soft knock on his door. He didn't like being disturbed, but at least no one was barging in. He opened the door, looking down at his daughter with a cold stare.

"What is it? Why have you disturbed my work?" Valius asked.

Cleo felt as if she could have shrunk down beneath the floor with just that one look that he had given her. Walking up to the door she had felt confident but all that was lost with one look from her father. "I.... I ummm, I wanted to say I was sorry" Cleo mumbled quietly but loud enough for her father to hear. Her cheek was still red from the violent strike from her father, her eyes were red from the crying and even her neck was still red from where Demetrius had been holding her.

Valius' eyes first looked upon his daughter with coldness, but his hard look softened as he looked at her face that was half red. He put his hand to her chin, and moved her face to the side to see what damage he had caused. His eyes then narrowed.

"You do not need to apologize. You have already received your punishment for your misbehaviour. You're tears already tell me how sorry you are." Valius removed his hand from her face and looked toward the window at the end of the hall. "You're very lucky that you hadn't lied to me... If there is one thing I despise more, its disloyalty." Valius turned back to Cleo, his cold gaze returned. His hand then set atop of Cleo's head. "Your trust is something I treasure Cleo. If you throw it away, I won't show mercy upon you. Demetrius may not return, so get used to not seeing him. He will be an example. Do you understand?" Valius asked.

A six year span of productiveness and progression. That is what it had become between the loosely tied Valius, Cleopatra, Devin and Demetrius. The ambitious Valius had been going on ventures and learning of the Concordia's legends and great battles. He had been slowly getting people to see things the way he saw them. He was stripping people away from the comfort of their gods, and toward greed and pride. His rebellion was kept secret, and was only rumoured. No evidence could pinpoint in Valius' direction.

He hadn't been the only one who was finding these years glorious. Young Cleo was not as young anymore. She was maturing into a young adult and was now sixteen years of age. With Demetrius gone, and father having few to trust, he gave Cleo the spotlight. He trained her as best as he could when he wasn't out doing business and even gave her the full responsibility of holding down the house while he was away. Valius had purchased more land for Cleo to spread her garden into, and seemed to show pride toward her. Demetrius was nothing but old news... or so Cleo thought.

Meanwhile, in the depths of the woods, Devin was trained vigorously by the warrior Modnar. He trained the boy as best as he could, and found that even at such a young age, Scythe was promising. Yes, Scythe was no longer known as Devin, as Modnar had said years ago. Scythe was someone who could hold his own better than anyone his age. He had no peers when it came to talent. Modnar predicted the boy becoming more powerful than him.

Demetrius, however, didn't bask in glory like the others. He took comfort with what he knew best. After being defeated by Modnar, he ventured elsewhere. There was no way he could have survived in the forest alone, so he travelled from village to village, teaching himself in solitude. The great God of Wisdom guided the young man, in understanding the source of his power. He became as cold as his magic, or perhaps it was the opposite. He obtained a weapon, a choice from his respective god. He was told that it would take six years to make a fool out of Imfamel's disciple, and that's how long Demetrius

With the moment finally rising, Demetrius ventured back into those woods, where Modnar had been training Scythe. Modnar had easily recognized the now nineteen year old man, and took his challenge. Every time Modnar attempted his magic ability to confuse his enemy, Demetrius countered. He kept up with Modnar this time... No, he moved even faster than he did.

"I'm sorry that you must experience the coldest of deaths." Demetrius said in almost monotone. Modnar only roared as he charged the young man, only to be stopped by a hand. It was none other than Valius, standing in between the two.

"Good work Demetrius... You didn't fail me. You're loyalty is eternal." Valius said to Demetrius as Modnar stared into Valius' eyes with shock.

"So, you've finally showed?" Modnar said as rid himself of vigour. He had ordered Scythe to stay out of a warrior's battle, and only allowed him to watch from a distance. The man's red eyes turned to Scythe before his eyes glowed brightly. "I told you that I would teach you. Well this is your next step. Valius' hand glowed as brightly as Modnar's eyes did, before the light engulfed Modnar. Demetrius was bewildered by what was happening, and was even more confused, when he saw nothing but Modnar's armour lying on the ground. The wrappings that had been around Modnar's face was also on the forest floor.

"What? Was he..?" Demetrius asked as he tried to guess.

"Yes. Only I can bring this boy to his true potential... Only I." Valius said as he turned to Scythe along with Demetrius. Demetrius was curious as to who the boy was until he began to remember.

"Your test... It was to prove my loyalty?" Demetrius said more than asked. "I would kill you if I didn't see my gain in all this." Demetrius added. Valius snickered before walking toward Scythe.

"Come! I am your new master! You'll be able to sleep in a bed for once in your life." Valius said with authority.

Scythe watched on with no expression. No emotion at all. He did however listen and in return Modnar died a warrior’s death. Scythe walked closer to where his teacher had fallen and stared at his armour as he held onto his scythe. “A noble death teacher. Halikair was right, he would see you soon enough.” Scythe turned his head and stared at Valius and Demetrius. He blinked once and just kept staring. “I see. You are mistaking in something however. I have no master except myself.” Just as nonchalantly as he spoke he leapt up grasping his Scythe in one hand, a potion in the other. Activating both of his magic skills he tossed the would be firebomb towards Valius but more at Demetrius.

He didn’t even see where it went. No he just went at Valius with a swing of his scythe. His eyes were bleeding as well as the knuckles on both his hands. “You will learn that I have no master. To learn that, I’m sure Halikair will teach you. Now I will just send you to him.”

What Modnar had created was wonderful to Valius' eyes. Even when facing the child in battle, Valius was awe struck. Demetrius on the other hand was a little surprised in the boy's advancement. Both Valius and Demetrius could do nothing, but split in opposite directions. Scythe's first move had been a tactical one. As Demetrius avoided the grenade of a potion, he turned to his master who looked vulnerable without a weapon.

"Valius?" Demetrius said, not in worry though, but in confusion.

"Demetrius, who was the one who trained you?" Valius said in response to Demetrius' confusion. "This boy will not touch me. I am his master after all. He said as he looked Scythe in the eyes. Demetrius' confusion vanished as he watched his master’s hidden movements. He had never witnessed Valius using his true magic until now. Valius' eyes had red tint to them, the exact same tint that Modnar had. In an instant, Valius was a few feet behind Scythe.

"How didn't he..." Demetrius said softly to himself.

“Scythe... It was in Modnar's will for you to serve beside me." Valius said.

Scythe didn’t show any fear or surprise at the technique. He was taught not to. He just had to re assess the situation. “Impressive. You were able to evade my sight for a moment there. How though? A different dimension, perhaps you can teleport, or fade in on out of existence. In any case it seems you are unable or unwilling to strike after it. Either way I don’t really care.”


He twirled his scythe around and lunged at Demetrius without hesitation. “You’ve left your ally unprotected.” Halikair began glowing a crimson red as he swung it attempting to slice Demetrius in half vertically. Scythe’s ability was dangerous even to Modnar since Blood Range disguised his range, and he had sparred with him before. It was very likely that an opponent not knowing his ability would fail to doge the attack enough to escape unharmed from this attack, even though it wasn’t a very pinpointed attack. More a wild strike.

Valius chuckled at Scythe's words, and only watched as his future heir fought against one of his most promising warriors. Demetrius never lost his guard, not even if he knew of the battle. Scythe was good with his movement in battle, both men could see that, but his change in focus was his flaw. Demetrius hopped to the side before the weapon came down upon him.

"I won't waste time with you, child." Demetrius said coldly before he quickly moved past the scythe and went for a slash across Scythe's torso.



Scythe just smiled. He could see the way Demetrius would move, once he committed himself to it in his mind. However to keep that a secret would probably be the better move at this point. As Demetrius moved, Scythe purposely left him an opening to move in. Just as he guessed, Demetrius took the bait. “So predictable.” Scythe grinned as he pulled his knife and let Demetrius’ blade come in.


He wore armour underneath his clothes so he did in fact know he would survive the attack and be able to heal it off with a potion or two. Scythe moved into Demetrius’ attack and lunged his blood rage infused dagger directly at Demetrius’ Chest. Both his hands were now bleeding from the use of his ability. It likely wasn’t a fatal blow, but it was sure to hurt him like a bitch and at such a close range impossible to completely dodge. Scythe wasn’t afraid to take a hit as long as it meant he made contact with his opponent.


"I may have to save Demetrius... Not a trace of passion seems to be escaping him." Demetrius dealt his blow with a single goal in mind. "How can someone fight without an ounce of passion?" Valius spoke as he watched the movements of the fight. Demetrius saw what was coming, and his goal was still in mind. He would show Valius what he had abandoned for so long. He embraces the power of his magic. He allowed Scythe to pierce him, only so he could remain close to his foe. His free hand placed over Scythe's that had been gripping Halikair.


"I apologize..." Demetrius said his eyes shut. The man had replaced his passion... No, he sacrificed it. He sacrificed his emotions for power, for control.


"DEMETRIUS!" Valius screamed. The man looked horrified as he felt the young man's cold intentions. Demetrius winced from the pain inflicted on him, blood dripping from his chest. Demetrius backed away from the now ice cold body of Scythe. The boy's body had been in such shock, that there would be no way for him to recover. Demetrius had used the boy's self inflicted wounds to critically damage him. Valius pushed Demetrius aside, only staring at Scythe with a look of shock. "What did you do!? What did you do to my he-" Valius stopped when Demetrius moved him away from Scythe.


"He'll be fine. We'll deal with him when he's up and not swinging his weapon at us." Demetrius looked straight toward at Scythe before giving the boy a push in order to knock him down. The boy's will was strong enough to keep up after such an attack.

"Let... Let us head back home then. I'm sure Cleo will be glad to see someone she could probably call her brother back home again."

"Agreed." Demetrius said.

Scythe paused as he felt the cold creep up his body. He could’ve slit the man’s throat, cut him clear in half or so many other things but it wasn’t worth it. He already took a hit and he still didn’t have a way to combat Valius at the moment. Besides without Modnar, he had no reason to stay here and a bed did sound like a decent idea. His point was already proven anyway. He bowed to no one, and he was his own master. This strategy right now was more like a tactical retreat.

“My soul and mind have been empty and cold for years. It’s about time my body finally matched it.” After witnessing the freak out Valius had and Demetrius’ smug words Scythe was able to pull a grin off. “Next time we meet on the battlefield.... I will tear out your throat with my bare hands. Look forward to it.”

With that Demetrius pushed him over and he lay on the ground. He could probably infuse blood rage into his own body enough to warm him up and potion up, but it wasn’t worth it. As he just laid there on the ground he thought to himself, This is the last time I’ll be laying on the ground from now on.


******
Back at home, Cleo was enjoying a day out in the gardens surrounding the house. It was where she spent most of her time these days practising her ability. It was also one of the places where she felt most at peace. These last few years hadn’t been easy but they had been better than the start of her life. Cleo could finally say that she felt like she was number one in her father’s life. She still knew that his work came first but when it came to people, Cleo knew that he thought of her highly and this made her proud.

Yet things were not easy for her. Her father went away often and when he was home he was either in his study or he was training her. At first Cleo had enjoyed the training but as she got older it got harder and harder. Each time she was pushed to the limits but consequently she had become a fantastic fighter.

One thing that had also changed was her appearance. Cleo was no longer a little girl and had grown up to be a very beautiful young woman at the age of sixteen. Her body curved in all the right places and would have been enough to make any man turn his head and stare, that was if she had been allowed out of the grounds, which was rare. Many of the servants who had been with Valius for years often would comment on how much she looked like her mother.

Today though, Cleo was out in the gardens trying to perfect the art of making petals float back up from the ground and back onto the trees. She was quite enjoying herself despite the small drain on her abilities. As she was practising she heard the sound of voices and figured out that her father must be home. A smile on her lips she walked back up to the house to greet him, heading inside the back door and walking through the hallway towards the front door.

After a venturing walk, Valius, Demetrius, and Scythe had arrived back to Valius' home. Demetrius found the house he once lived in to be surrounded by more land, in looking much nicer than when he had left.

"How was that potion?" Valius asked Demetrius who was carrying Scythe over his shoulder. He had been given the burden of carrying the boy since he put him down. Valius held the boy's scythe.

"It's better than anything I've ever used." Demetrius admitted before the two reached the steps. His wound was healing fast, making him curious as to what this boy stored in these potions he kept with him

"Modnar was great warrior long ago. I wouldn't have ever doubted his expertise when it came to survival." Demetrius just nodded at Valius' words. Upon entering the house, Valius pointed to the first servant he could see. "You! Lay the boy down and grab him some blankets!" Demetrius ordered. The servant grabbed Scythe from Demetrius and lied him down on one of the couches, while another grabbed as many blankets as he could find.

"Does my room still exist? Demetrius asked before Valius nodded and placed the scythe in a corner next to the coat rack.

"Take it... What use would I have had for it?" Valius answered. The young man holding his sword went toward the staircase. Just as Demetrius began heading up the steps, Cleo came toward the front door. Demetrius briefly turned around to see the girl who he had once despised, not knowing who she was until Valius spoke once more. "Cleo, it's indeed a pleasure to see you. We have two guests that need tending to, so be easy on the servants." Valius said starting off with a smile that slowly faded. Demetrius stared at Cleo for a moment, taking in the changes she had gone through in the six years of his absence. Demetrius turned away after getting a good look, and headed up the stairs without a word to say to the young woman.

"Valius! Our spar starts to tomorrow. Be ready." Demetrius said with some authority without even turning back t face the man. Valius smirked when seeing the man Demetrius had become. In twelve years he had accomplished so much under the noses of the Wolfsbane.

Scythe let them carry him all the way back. There was no need for him to fight it, after all they wanted this. Eventually he did lose consciousness a few times on and off but it wasn’t really noticeable with how still he stayed. The one thing that annoyed him was when they stole a potion of his. Unicorn blood wasn’t the easiest ingredient to come across and he did have to add in his own blood while he was blood raging for maximum effect. Of course there were many other factors, but over the years he perfected the potion even more so then Modnar.

After they had arrived Scythe was wrapped in blankets and laid on the couch. After the short talk he heard between a few people, he infused his whole body with his blood rage ability. The whole body warmed up from the heated blood, but at the same time, many parts of his body began to bleed. After his body warmed and blood was soaked into the couch and the blanket he grabbed a potion and drank it down. One of the servants stared at him, but he just glared.

“Keep your eyes to yourself or I’ll rip them out and start a collection.” He said with a smirk as he sat up the couch. “Thanks for the ride.” He said know knowing and/or caring if Demetrius could hear him. He sat there, just looking around the room. Other than some servants he was alone. “Where am I now?” He asked himself, but out loud.

Cleo was more than shocked to see that there were two people with her father, although she recovered quickly. She was kind of use to her father bringing people home for the night. With a smile still planted on her lips she looked back at her father. “Yes Father and it is good to see you too” Cleo said in a soft voice. “Is there anything I can do for them?” She asked as one of them took off up the stairs. Cleo found this quite rude but didn’t say anything. After all, her father had brought worse home.

Her attention then turned to the younger boy who was on the couch. He seemed like he had a real attitude but she couldn’t help but wonder if maybe this was just because he was hurt. Cleo’s eyes then went back to her father as she awaited further instruction.

Valius' eyes left Demetrius' back as the man was no longer seen after going up the last step. His focus shifted to his daughter immediately.

"Cleo, you can tend to the child, but I don't believe you can handle him. His name is... Scythe. Valius' eyes darted to and from the couch before taking a breath. "It appears you have blood to clean up. I'll be in the garden if there is a problem." Valius said before Valius whipped his head toward the top of the steps. He felt something that resembled a cool breeze. It had only lasted a few seconds. "You can introduce yourself to that one." Valius said before opening the front door and walking around the house to the back.

Cleo frowned a little when her father told her that he didn't think she could handle the child. She didn't even know how to respond to that. Instead she just remained silent as he mentioned that there was blood to clean up. Cleo wasn't one to do chores like that but nodded her head. She would organise for one of the staff to do it. It was one of the perks of running the house; she didn’t have to do any work which she didn’t want to.

When her father mentioned for her to go upstairs and introduce herself Cleo simply nodded her head again. “Yes father” Cleo said as she waited for her father to leave before turning to one of the servants. “Can you please take care of that blood? Maybe put some plastic or something underneath the boy to stop it getting on the furniture?” Cleo suggested as the lady simply nodded her head and went in search of cleaning products. With one last glance over at the young boy Cleo headed over to the stairs, walking up in search of the man who had disappeared up there.

Downstairs the servant came back with some plastic sheets and cleaning products. “Hello... can you move? We just need to move you onto the other couch to stop the blood from soaking into the fabric” The lady explained as she moved to lay the plastic on the other couch. A smile was evident on her face. She was one of the nicer servants in the house, especially when it came to children.

Scythe heard took the blood soaked blanket off of him. He stared at the servant who was explaining that they wanted to plastic the couches. He got up and cracked his neck. “Don’t bother. My wounds are healed now so I won’t be bleeding anymore.” He turned away from her and walked over to his scythe that Valius had leaned against the wall. Once he had it in hand he looked back to the woman. “Do you all need to listen to me as well? If so I require some items.”

He pulled a potion out to describe some things to the woman hoping someone could fetch what he wanted. “I will need as many flasks like these as you can get me. I also require a live deer, a live bear cub, and Unicorn blood. Please tell me when you have gathered those items.”

He put his potion away and then just looked around some more. What was he supposed to do now? He didn’t know anyone, Modnar as well as everyone else he’d ever know was dead, he didn’t even know where he was. "Why does all this happen to me?” was all he could think to himself.

As soon as Demetrius had hit the top of the steps, he made his way to his old room. His first sight of it, made him scowl. Nothing had been really been done with the room, except for the fact that it had basically become Cleo's half again. The room was basically her storage. Demetrius calmed when he saw that his bed was clear. It was the only thing the man needed of the room. Demetrius took a seat on his old bed that almost seemed untouched. He placed his sword beside him and just shut his eyes as he took a deep breath. He was taking everything in. He had a home again. He was going to probably take a rest after a warm bath, but the heavy sound of footsteps on the wooden floorboards centred his attention onto the doorway of his room.

"Who is it?" Demetrius asked before the person even came to view.

Cleo wondered up the steps and as she stepped into the hallway she heard a voice call out asking who was there. One thing that did catch her off guard was that the voice came from her bedroom. With a confused expression she walked over to her doorway and when she looked inside the huge room she spotted the man from before sitting on the bed which had once been Demetrius' bed. "Umm... sorry but this is my room" Cleo said in a soft voice, trying to be polite. "I can show you to a spare one down the hallway if you wish?" She suggested as she wondered into the room. "Oh and I'm, Cleo... what is your name?" The girl asked as she ran her fingers through her hair absent mindedly. He was cute after all.

Demetrius had watched Cleo enter the room with a confused look on her face. He had been expecting a dirty look or some kind of insult upon first notice, but she seemed to be clueless as to who he was. Demetrius found this amusing, but only let small smirk escape him. He didn't really focus on moving to a different room, only because he was more focused on witnessing Cleo's change in demeanour.

"I can't believe you don't recognize me Cleo..." With his words came a faint chill that breezed through the room. "Then again, I almost didn't recognize you either... How have you been?" Demetrius asked out of plain curiosity.

Cleo looked at him, still confused as he acted like he knew her. She had no idea who he was as she tried to rack her brain to figure it out. It wasn't until the cold breeze hit her cheeks that she realised who it was. Her expression changed dramatically from the friendly smile to one of pure hatred. "What are you doing back here?" Cleo said, not even bothering to answer his question about how she had been. "Get out of my room!"

Demetrius couldn't help but keep the smirk on his face. He didn't think her hate for him could stick with her for a whole six years. He didn't want to start a fight in Valius' home. He remembered where that got him. Demetrius raised himself from the bed, grabbing his sword, and making his way toward the doorway.

"I guess I'm taking the guest room." Demetrius said as he passed Cleo. "I thought you would at least give me a kinder welcome after I lessened your punishment all those years ago." Demetrius said before his body disappeared from the doorway. He made his way back down the steps, and gave a quick nod to all he walked by. He looked at one of the servants as he took a seat at the dining room table. "Get me some tea, please." Demetrius asked with his sword rested on the wooden table.

Cleo's mouth dropped open when he said that he had lessened her punishment six years ago. In Cleo's mind he hadn't done that at all. He had lied... her father didn't like people who lied. Cleo although she had stumbled up on her words hadn't lied and that was what had saved her from a worse punishment. She stood there for a moment or two before she followed him down the steps, not even glancing at the servants who were around. Cleo finally reached him as he sat down in the dining room.

"You didn't lessen my punishment at all... it was your fault that I got punished at all" She said as she glared at him. "You took it upon yourself to make sure that my tenth birthday was a mess... it’s one thing for my father to have not shown up, but you just thought it would be damn right funny to make sure there wasn't one good thing that came out of that day" Cleo said as she stared right back at him. "Well you were wrong... you being kicked out of the house that day was the best thing that ever happened to me"

Demetrius listened to Cleo's words without a wince or a flinch in his cold expression. Years ago, he would have snapped back at Cleo, but Demetrius couldn't find a place in him to let that part of him out. His cold gaze had been looking into her eyes, not leaving them with every word she said.

"I lied on purpose... You're father knew that. He didn't banish me from here because I lied. Is that what he told you? Is that what your father lied to you about? Your father hated the fact that I tried to mislead him to protect you. You of all people... on the day you had taken the life of the one he loved and cherished more than anyone in all of Concordia... Cleo, you will never come to understand your father. Never..." Demetrius said in his low monotonic voice. His eyes left hers and looked toward the kitchen when his tea was being brewed.

Cleo stared back at him as her insides broke. Demetrius had always known exactly how to upset her the most. It was the one thing that she would never be able to make up for... killing her mother. It took all her strength not to burst into tears right on the spot. Instead she kept a cold expression on her face. "At least I have a father..." Cleo said to him as she used her ability which she normally kept hidden. Focusing on Demetrius she made him ball his fist and she then focused on making him punch himself in the face. "Hope you enjoy your stay" She said before turning to leave, her hips swaying as she walked, feeling a little bit of satisfaction in being able to make him hurt himself.

Cleo's blow at him not a having a father at all seemed to brush off him as easily as dust, but what came at that same moment surprised him. He felt a blunt blow to his face, a punch. He look in the direction of the attacker, only to find his fist balled up. His head whipped toward Cleo's backside with a bewildered look. He didn't know whether or not she had done it. She must have, because he hadn't felt that feeling of confusion since the time he found himself tending to the garden he thought he was destroying.

"Valius... You're a friend." Demetrius whispered to himself as he awaited his tea which a servant was bringing him at the moment.

"Be careful, this is very hot sir." The woman delivering his tea cautioned.

"Thank you for your concern." The woman held the mug filled with hot tea with cloth. As she handed the tea to Demetrius, he grabbed the mug with his bare hands. The servant's eyes nearly popped out of her head. He sipped the tea. After finishing his cup of tea, Demetrius headed toward the back door. He more wanted to see the garden out back than Valius.

Scythe looked around while Cleo went up to meet Demetrius, again. There were a lot of nice things in this place. Nice and expensive things. Scythe didn’t care for them though. Not after living half his life out in the forest, fighting every day for survival. No all that mattered to him besides survival, was his Scythe and his two knives, having received a second one made of silver from Modnar. That was when he came upon it.

He had never seen such a thing before so when he saw it, he thought it was very much real, alive, and angry. There was a bear that stood in the corner, stuffed of course. Taxidermy wasn’t exactly the most common thing when fighting for your life, so he’s never even seen it before. He grasped Halikair tightly and lunged at the creature. With a single swipe he had cut the thing in half, not even requiring Blood Rage. He’d fought bears before; they weren’t that tough as long as you didn’t hesitate.

This one though was exceptionally easy. Walking closer he examined the remains. The lower half still stood, and the insides were stuffed with some kind of foam or something? What matter of trickery was this anyway? Scythe just didn’t know and he turned around. He headed back outside to where he was first brought in. There were plastic covering the couches now and everything seemed to be cleaned up. There was also no one around.

He decided that he’d look around some more, although that hadn’t worked for the best before. He found himself walking up the stairs. That was when he noticed a woman, younger than most of the other servants around. She didn’t dress like them either. The old man had told her to take care of him though. So was she a servant too? He was too curious to not ask. “Why do you dress differently from the others? Is there something special about you?”

As Cleo walked out of the dining room and away from Demetrius she spotted the boy who had been bleeding on the couch heading towards the stairs with his weapon back in hand. She wondered what power he had. If she knew anything about her father it was that he didn't waste his time with people who were not powerful. He seemed to study her for a moment before talking. Cleo was shocked. He thought she was a servant? Was he crazy?

"Yes there is something special about me. I am the lady of this house. Valius is my father" Cleo explained to him. "And what is so special about you for you to be brought here?" Cleo said, feeling no shame about returning the question.

Scythe looked at her. So she was the lady of the house, but she was treated like a servant? What an odd custom. When she returned his question he turned his head sideways and looked at her. "That is a good question. I'm not sure. Do you need to be special to be here? All I know is that your father thinks he owns me. He's wrong. I'm no one's pet." Scythe put his weapon on his back and was prepared to continue the conversation. He didn't really know anyone outside of Modnar who was now dead, so he actually did enjoy what little conversation time he got with other people.

When he said that he wasn't sure if he was special this confused Cleo. Everyone her father brought here was special... maybe this boy just didn't know what made him special yet. Cleo would place bets though that her father did. When he commented on being on ones pet Cleo laughed. "Oh you have a lot to learn. We are all like his pets... even Demetrius" Cleo said, laughing softly. "You will figure it out soon enough" She said as she figured she might as well show him around. "I can show you to your room. You will be sharing with Demetrius" Cleo said, thinking it would be the perfect way to mess with him.

Scythe shook his head when she said that he would learn soon enough. He refused to be anyone's little puppy. However when she said that he would be sharing a room with Demetrius, he just smiled deviously. "Perfect. Now I will have the perfect chance to kill him without any struggle. I do owe him one for that little frosting trick, and it would be little trouble for me to slice off his head as he sleeps. Yes that will be perfect, please do show the way. My name is Scythe by the way." He said unsure if they were ever introduced on the way in.

Cleo was a little taken back when this boy went off about cutting off Demetrius' head in his sleep. In all honesty she couldn't say the idea hadn't come to her all those years ago when they were sharing a room, yet she had never said it out loud and never acted upon it. "Umm ok then... well try not to get too much blood across the room" Cleo said, recovering quickly as she showed him the way upstairs and into the spare room which had two beds in it and that was pretty much it apart from the odd piece of furniture which was used for housing clothing.

Scythe followed Cleo to where his new room was. He looked at the two beds once inside. They both seemed untouched, it seemed that Demetrius had yet to choose one. Scythe picked which one he wanted and pulled down the covers looking at the sheet covering just the mattress. He activated his blood rage ability on his hand and let some blood drip on it. He didn't mind sleeping in his own blood, and this marked it as his. Then he looked at the second bed and took the scythe off his back. With two swipes he had cut the legs off the bed, as well as sliced it in half. Returning the scythe to his back and wrapping his now bloody hand in the pillowcase from Demetrius' bed he turned back to Cleo. "You want to have the servant’s plastic the room like the couches just to be safe." He spoke with all seriousness in his voice. If she was worried about the blood splatter then maybe that was the best idea.

Cleo had thought that there was a chance that he might have been joking but when he spoke so seriously she realised that he was deadly serious. "Umm... maybe since it is going to be your room you can have as much blood as you want in there... just keep the door shut" Cleo said as she sighed a little. This kid was crazy. However if he killed Demetrius then he would be her new best friend. "Maybe I will just let you settle in, I was going to head out to the garden" Cleo said, hoping to get rid of Mr. Crazy and get back to her practise with the petals.

Scythe sighed. "Yes I suppose so." He'd learned to not settle in anywhere. It never turned out well for anyone. "I won't be here for long so don't worry. I'm not even sure why I'm here now. I any case I am in need of Unicorn blood, as well as a live Deer and Bear. Do you have any idea where I may find such creatures?" He really wished to start restocking on his potions, especially since they had left most of his hidden stash behind. He had about 10 on him and that was it. With his ability, that wouldn't last him too long.

Why the hell did he want those? He was getting stranger by the minute. "Umm... you will have to speak to my father about that" Cleo said, thinking it easier to dismiss this kid off to her father. "I will be in the garden if you need me" Cleo said as she turned and walked out of the room. Slowly she began to head back downstairs and towards the back door. That kid was crazy and he unnerved Cleo. Then again, Cleo didn't want to get on the bad side of him, not unless it was necessary.

Valius had been in the garden, staring out toward nothingness, he was in deep thought and found the garden to be one of the most tranquil places where he could think things through. He already knew who was coming before the person had spoke.

"Valius, I must ask you. How do you plan on achieving your goals? Goals which are the equivalent to a peasant dreaming of becoming a god?" Demetrius asked as he strolled into the centre of the garden where there was stone flooring. There was possibly enough room for a few people to stand on this stone flooring without touching any vegetation. Demetrius was very intrigued by it.

"You will see soon enough my dear boy. We are approaching a new age, and your role in it will be revealed soon enough." Valius explained before noticing Demetrius' interest in the garden. "Cleo has done much work on it since your departure. I hope you aren't eying the garden in hopes of destroying it." Demetrius chuckled at Valius' words.

"Not in the least. Your daughter is a rose with that I do not wish to pick... Her thorns are very sharp." Demetrius responded.

"A rose? Is there more to my daughter's relation to the rose than the thorns?" Valius joked.

"I don't think I should give you the chance of using my own words against me." Demetrius said

"Words? I was only speaking of your feelings my boy." Valius joked. Demetrius only laughed lightly before taking a seat, cross-legged in the centre of the stone floor. "What now?" Valius asked, looking at Demetrius with squinted eyes.

"Control... I want to use my magic to its fullest without harming the plants around me." Demetrius informed.

"And if you f-"

"I won't. I don't want to pick the rose." Demetrius said before shutting his eyes. Valius turned his attention back to his own thoughts and his upcoming plans.

Scythe watched Cleo leave the room and he walked out onto the balcony. He could see the garden. Some of the larger bushes intrigued him. They weren’t exactly close, but he thought he could jump to them with the right height. He left Halikair in the room and took out his daggers. Using them he scaled the walls and soon found himself on the rooftop. He walked over across it a bit, and then began to aim what would be the best jump. If he didn't make it he'd probably die, but Modnar did teach him to push his limits and fear nothing.


Cleo walked outside into the garden. She wished to continue the training she had been doing earlier before her father had arrived home. Also being out in the garden was where she felt most at peace. She had always been like that, enjoying the outdoors. When she was younger her Nanny of sorts used to have to drag her inside at night since the little girl wouldn’t leave the flowers. Yet as she walked out there, Cleo picked up the presence of someone in her garden. It wasn’t just one person either.

Looking around she spotted her father and Demetrius. Demetrius was sitting down crossed legged and to Cleo he looked as if he was going to start using his powers in her garden. Cleo didn’t care if her father was there; he was not going to destroy her garden again. Walking over to him she crossed her arms, a glare on her face. “You had better not hurt my garden” Cleo said in a threatening but feminine voice that had the crisp of authority and confidence in it. After all, not only had she been brought up to fight by her father, but her many Nannies over the years had also made sure that she was brought up like a lady should.

Demetrius had been concentrating, trying to keep his focus on the small open space in the centre of the garden. Valius had begun to feel the brush of the cold emanating from Demetrius' body. The young man was taking things slow and steady. The radius of the space was the smallest he's ever fully concentrated on with the maximum extent of his magic. Everything seemed to be going well, until Cleo's authoritative voice broke the tranquillity of both Demetrius' and Valius' focus. Valius had only been thinking, so he only a swift cold gaze was sent toward her before raised both brows, wondering what words would be exchanged between the two. A heavy sigh escaped Demetrius, before his eyes looked up at Cleo with an 'I hate you' look on his face. The coldness was gone, and only apparent on Demetrius' face.

"Why would I do that, or even let such a thing happen?" Demetrius asked. He was testing what she said next with his absurd question. Valius' eyes glanced between the two. He read their emotions as if they were let loose by the words the two held back.

Cleo noticed both the cold expression from her father and from Demetrius but she wasn’t about to take a backwards step. This was her garden. Cleo had spent hours upon hours in this garden. It was her creation, her baby and she wasn’t about to see it destroyed at the hands of Demetrius, well not without a fight anyway. “Why would you? Because you are you. Because you have done it once before. Because you obviously don’t care for beauty. Because you don’t like me. Because you are cruel and selfish and I don’t trust you” Cleo said as she stared at him, her eyes looking deep into his for a moment. She didn’t even glance at her father, knowing he probably wouldn’t be all that happy about this but thinking that maybe for entertainment he might let them go.

Cleo's answer was a little amusing to Demetrius, making him raise his eyebrows as she told him why he would destroy her garden. Surprisingly for him, he only agreed with a few things she had said. He would never let her know that though. A smirk showed on Demetrius' face as he got ready to respond. Valius remained silent, observing the two. He seemed to be the one man audience of the talk between his daughter and Demetrius.

"I have to say, you've become much brighter... I do have to let you know something though. I..." Demetrius paused as Valius placed his palm on his shoulder.

"Demetrius, I'm sure you can use somewhere else on my now spacious property as your training ground." Valius said before his eyes looked onto Cleo. He smirked at her to show that he was on her side.

"But..." Demetrius cut in.

"But nothing. This is my daughter's garden, and I can't have all her hard work go to waste, unless Cleo is fine with you being here." Valius said, already knowing how she felt about Demetrius.

Cleo was on guard as Demetrius said that she had become much brighter. She knew Demetrius and she knew that he never gave out a compliment, well not one that wasn’t backed up with an insult of sorts. This was especially true when it came to her. However, before it could come her father was speaking up and she turned to look at him. Cleo had expected to be told off, to be told that Demetrius was living here now and it was no way to speak to him and she needed to share. However those words never came either. Her father actually took her side and Cleo smiled at him slightly, glad that he had stuck up for her.

“I think I would prefer it if you stayed out of my garden” Cleo said with a slightly smug expression that also showed that she was just as shocked as Demetrius that her father had chosen her.

Scythe stood on the rooftop, near the edge. He was sizing up the jump. It wasn’t too close, and it was pretty high up, but that just made the adrenaline pump more. He could feel the blood pumping through his veins as he backed up. He backed up further and further, until he had a running start of about half the length of the rooftop. He just grinned as he crouched down and looked at his jump. In his head, he began counting down. 5.... 4..... 3..... 2.... 1.... Then bam he was off. It took him all of about 5 seconds to make the run and then he vaulted straight off the rooftop.

It was a close call as he flew through the air. Time seemed to slow down around him. The birds chirping grew slower, the wind around him, was only created by the force of his own body friction with the air. And then finally, after narrowly missing the gap, he landed on the bush he aimed for, and began plummeting through it. It wasn’t the best idea really since the branches and whatnot were now ripping up his flesh. Although it was a hell of a way down, and despite the cuts, he wouldn’t have done it differently. Finally after the longish fall he hit the ground. He wasn’t crying though. No this was more an eerie laugh. One sound both childish and demented.

Valius and Demetrius both shot a look to where they heard the crash into the bushes and the dark laughter from Scythe. Both of their expressions seemed to match as they thought of how random and bizarre Scythe was at the moment. Valius kept his sights in the direction of the bush, while Demetrius turned his eyes to Valius. If looks could kill...

"I'll take my training elsewhere then." Demetrius said before glancing at Cleo, no emotion surface on his face until he turned from her. Worry faintly displayed on the young man's face as he left the garden. He would head for the lake. It was much damper to seat himself, but he was fine if it was a tranquil location. I may not care for beauty... I may be cruel and selfish as well... But I don't dislike you. Perhaps I'd be as selfish and as cruel as possible to enjoy the beauty that I see in you. I wish you would see that in yourself as well. Demetrius dismissed these thoughts as quickly as he could.

"Scythe! What in Concordia are you doing? If you wish to train, simply ask Cleo to spar with you." Valius suggested. His eyes never looked toward Demetrius. He wanted to show the young man that he had won their battle of influence.

“Was that who I thought it was?” Cleo said in shock as her head also turned to look towards the bush where Scythe was sitting there after falling from the sky. She looked back at Demetrius and her father to gauge their reactions. Cleo watched the exchange between the two men. If she wasn’t mistaken, there was something else going on here, something she didn’t know about. However, she was too distracted by the destruction to her garden that she simply just glanced at Demetrius. “Good” Cleo said as he said that he was going to take his training elsewhere. As long as it wasn’t in her garden.

“He’s right, if you wanted someone to kick your ass then you could have asked... not destroyed MY garden” Cleo said as she used her ability to force the pants to grow around him, pushing him up and off the plant before letting him fall to the ground. Cleo was furious and wanted the two guys gone. Things were perfect before they showed up.

Scythe sat there, kind of unable to get out of the bush at the moment. He could heal up later with a Potion probably. If he cared, he learned to not mind pain really. He looked on as they finished speaking and later turned his attention to him. Valius was first.”I jumped. It was fun and I knew I could make it.” He said as if he saw nothing wrong with the jump. He then looked at Cleo. Spar with her?

It seemed she had a few words as well. Her garden? What did it matter? Scythe waited for her to drop him out of the bush, until he spoke though. “Kick my ass? What’s the big deal, they’re just stupid plants. Besides...” Scythe took out one of his knives and smiled. “It’s not like I could get beat up by a girl anyway. So what would the point be in fighting with her?” He said as he blood rage swung at the bush she just fixed. It made quite a slash, as a chunk of it fell off. He just grinned and stared at her. “See? Just. Stupid. Plants.”

He really was crazy... well in Cleo’s mind. Who would jump off a building? However, a she turned on her and her plans, Cleo’s mouth fell open. She might be a girl but she wasn’t weak, her father had made sure of that. Even Demetrius would have admitted that she wasn’t one to argue with because she could physically back up her words. It wasn’t until he lashed out at the plant that Cleo finally lost it.

“You are dead” Were the only three words which left Cleo’s mouth. She felt such a strong connection to her garden. It bloomed and so did she, it was hurt and she felt it too. Without warning Cleo created three thick vines filled with thorns which wrapped around his legs and upper body. There were leaves floating up in the air, possessed by the level of magic which Cleo was giving off. The vines then began to try and twist his body, the clear aims of the vines around his legs being to break them.

Scythe stared at her with a demented smile as she said he was dead. In his mind, a girl couldn’t be a threat. She was just a girl, even if she was older than him. “No I’m not. I am Death’s weapon.” It wasn’t as if anyone would believe that he was actually Death’s tool. More just like cocky talk from the child. However he was caught completely off guard as the thick vines wrapped around him. He couldn’t reach down to cut them as the one on his upper torso prohibited that. He couldn’t let his legs get broken though. However, he did feel something in his right leg pop. He didn’t think it was a break, maybe a fracture or sprain. Of course no matter what it was, walking would be a bitch now.

With a small yell of pain followed by that laugh once more he looked up at Cleo. “If you wanted to play, then why didn’t you just ask?” He said as he stared at the vive around his upper torso first. Only one thing he could do now, to get it off. He bent his head down and began eating the vine until he finally made it through, enough for him to get his arm with the dagger free at least. He swung the blade a few times and with the help of blood rage he cut through the vines and fell to the ground once free.

Scythe looked up and laughed, blood pouring from his mouth thanks to the thorns that covered the vines. The cuts on his body were blending together. It was unclear what was caused by his ability, and what was caused by Cleo’s thorns. Scythe didn’t care though. The pain just caused adrenaline to amplify. He was beginning to enjoy this more and more, even though he’d likely be wrapped up again in a matter of moments. He only had one shot. He pulled his second knife and infused it with blood rage. He tossed the blade at Cleo. She could doge it sure, after all ranged combat wasn’t his thing so it wasn’t moving at an un-dodge-able pace. However infused with blood rage it could cut through steel if she chose to try and block it. He didn’t exactly have any other options though.

Cleo watched almost with amusement as Scythe began to eat through the vine. She could see that her vines were causing him pain and in her mind, he deserved it. Cleo tightened the grip the vines had on his legs, hoping to see them break just like he had broken a limb off of her bush. If she had really wanted to, Cleo could have had them regrow as he ate through it and had them regrow together as he cut them off but she decided it would be more fun to watch him look like he had a chance.

As he threw the knife at her, Cleo dodged it. She was so close to being hit, it had been close. Instead Cleo just shook her head. “You really think you can win?” Cleo said, the leaves still floating around as she looked into his mind. Mentally she began to take control, telling his body to wrap his own hands around his neck and start to choke himself. “You have no idea what I am capable” She said watching him.

Valius watched as the fight unfolded in the garden. He could have stopped it, and maybe even prevented it, but he enjoyed a good fight. From his fight with Scythe beforehand, he could tell the boy's magic was the cause of some of his bleeding. Valius wasn't alarmed, until he watched Scythe's hands grip his own neck.

"Cleo, just hold him there. Killing guests is not a good way to show hospitality." Valius chuckled as he looked at Scythe. "You shouldn't underestimate someone I have trained personally. My daughter may be a girl, something that I find difficult to get past, but she's very strong. Now, are you going to damage this garden again?" Valius asked.

Meanwhile, Demetrius was sitting in front of the lake, which was conveniently a good distant away from the garden. He favoured the garden more, because it would help him with control over his power. Perhaps he could sneak into the garden tonight. Now working on the strength of his ability, he concentrated on the lake that would freeze solid in a few minutes.

Scythe sat there as he saw his blade miss. He knew that would be his only real shot. However what came next was a surprise. His hands. His own hands. They weren’t in his control anymore. Well if there was one thing Modnar had taught him, it was to never give up. As his hands approached his own throat he tossed the dagger into his mouth. The last resistance he could give before she took over his arms completely.

He shook a bit as his own hands tightened around his throat. He wouldn’t go out like this. He leaned his head over his own arms and with a twist dug his blade through the muscles in his own arms. He found out that the potions could fix muscles while he was training, albeit it was a slower process, so he wasn’t all too worried. As his arms, that now lacked any strength at all, Scythe gasped to catch his breath, as his eyes began to tear. Resistant to pain as he was, that hurt much more then he thought it would.

He stared at the ground as they spoke. “Don’t underestimate my will to win either. I may be a child, but I will do everything in my power to survive. After all, now there are two people that I have to kill one day. I can’t damage the garden anymore right now, even if I wanted to. You win... Cleo.... Next time though.... Things will be different...” He was holding back the tears to stay strong. He didn’t cry since the day he killed his parents. He wouldn’t start now all because he was in pain.

Cleo frowned as her father told her to basically stop and not to kill him. She really didn’t like Scythe and would have been thrilled to see him dead... or at least for him to pass out unconscious. Maybe she was directing some of her anger for Demetrius onto Scythe but still, he had destroyed her plant. However, Cleo wasn’t going to go against her father and paused with the choking and even loosened it a little so he could manage to respond.

It hurt when her father spoke about her being a girl. This wasn’t new to Cleo. She knew that her father had wanted a son and that she was a disappointment since she was a young girl. However it still hurt hearing him say it since she had been trying so hard to make him proud of her.

“You are right. Next time things will be different” Cleo said agreeing with him as she let go of her control over his hands. “My father won’t be around to tell me to stop from killing you” She said before looking at her father. “I will be in my room” Cleo said before she began to walk back towards the house. As she did the leaves finally settled on the ground and the tree which Scythe had cut began to grow back.

******

For the next through weeks the whole house was on edge. The three young ones were not getting along at all and boundary lines were quickly drawn up. None of them liked each other and the fights which broke out both physically and verbally. There had been a single warning from Valius that seriously injuring one another was not on, and they all understood on some level that there would be serious consequences if they broke this rule. However it didn’t stop them from causing minor pain and suffering to each other.

Cleo had even brought about a new method of making Demetrius feel uncomfortable and unwanted since he was sharing her bedroom. This was not something Cleo liked but after the destruction which had occurred in Scythe’s room it had seemed best to put Demetrius in with Cleo. She had also hated the way that she now had to share her father’s attention and how it had been shifted onto the boys. Her father finally had the boys he had dreamed of, but Cleo knew that there were things that girls could do that boys couldn’t and this was part of her new plan.

It was getting late in the afternoon and Cleo was setting forth her new plan to annoy and tease Demetrius. Leaving the bathroom where she had been showering after doing some work in the garden Cleo headed for her bedroom. There was nothing odd about this, but there was something odd about what she was wearing. The beautiful Cleo was wearing some lacy red underwear and that was all, not bothering to cover up her body. She couldn’t wait to see Demetrius’ reaction to it as she walked into the bedroom she shared with him, knowing he was in there.

Demetrius had been sitting on his bed at the far corner of Cleo's room. He didn't take up much space, but he knew Cleo didn't enjoy him being in the room, let alone in the house. Demetrius had his head in a book that he had taken from Valius' private library. The book told a tale of the god, Orthniel. He was focused on his book until he heard Cleo enter. He instinctively glanced over at her, before his eyes shot back at the book. He couldn't believe what he just saw. Maybe she didn't notice him, is what he wanted to believe. He wasn't a loud person, so that could be plausible. Making sure his eyes didn't fool him, Demetrius took another quick glance. His eyes returned to the book as cleared his throat. This way, she had to know he was in the room. He really hoped that was the case.

As soon as she entered the room Cleo saw Demetrius sitting over on his bed. She didn’t look at him but she could feel his eyes on her. There was a confidence about her as she walked over to her side of the room and looked at herself in the floor length mirror which was next to where she kept her make-up. Cleo knew that she was pretty. Her body had curves in all the right places and was toned as well from the fitness that her father ensured she did every day.

At the sound of Demetrius clearing his thought, Cleo looked over at him. “Is something wrong?” She said, still making no move at all to cover up her body. Cleo could see that he was already uncomfortable with her standing here like this, so maybe her plan was working. She hoped that she would make him uncomfortable enough that he would leave her room and decide to sleep on a couch or something.

Demetrius thought Cleo would have shrieked or something before quickly covering up, but no. Cleo was just questioned him as she stood across the room. It was obvious that she was doing this on purpose, and he really didn't know how to fight back against this. He could attempt to talk her into her clothes, but he knew that had low chance of success.

"Don't you think you should cover up? Your father wouldn't like what you are doing in my presence." Demetrius said as his eyes remained on the book.

“Oh... and are you going to go and tell him? How do you think he would react to you seeing me in my underwear? I don’t think he would be too happy about that” Cleo said with a smirk. “Plus he wouldn’t care what I am doing as long as I am not annoying him, and after all, this is my bedroom” She said running her fingers through her long dark hair. Cleo turned to look away from him as she picked up her foundation and began to apply some to the brush. She had seen that she had caught Demetrius off guard and was glad. Maybe with this she would clearly have the upper hand.

Demetrius narrowed his eyes as he heard Cleo speak. Just as he had assumed, his words didn't get to her. He could barely read knowing that she was in nothing in a lace bra and panties right across the room. Demetrius wasn't going to run to Valius, because his pride wouldn't allow him to do that. Instead, he would play into her game as well.

"Alright then." Demetrius said as closed his book and lay back on his bed. The temperature slowly dropped as he hummed a delightful tune.

Cleo’s eyes looked at him through the mirror as he packed up his book and lay back on the bed. She knew that he was up to something but it was a few moments before she realised what it was. The temperature in the room began to drop and she knew exactly what he was up to. He was trying to freeze her into covering herself up. “It’s not going to work...” Cleo said to him as she continued to put her make-up on, switching from foundation to eye shadow. She was cold, but Cleo didn’t plan on giving in so easily.

Demetrius had continued to hum as the temperature lowered more and more. His hum stopped when she spoke. All he could was chuckle to himself before sitting up on the bed. He didn't say a word but just smirk as he approached her from behind and rubbed his chin as he looked at himself in the mirror. The closer he got to her, the more cold she felt. Getting this close to her wasn't the easiest thing in the world, but he knew if he could turn her fun into his own, he would gladly go for it.

"What's not going to work?" Demetrius asked.

Cleo watched him closely in the mirror as he got closer to her. She was a little anxious about him standing that close to her. It wasn’t because of the cold radiating from his body but also because she was half dressed and he was a guy. She was confident on the exterior but on the interior she was also just a young girl. “You... trying to force me into putting more clothes on” Cleo said with a sigh. “I’m not going to” She said as she finished with her eyes and turned around to look at him. Her eyes looked into his for a moment before she smiled. “Any normal guy would love seeing a half naked girl; you on the other hand just want me to put more clothes on... Is it maybe because you aren’t into girls?” She teased as goose bumps appeared on her skin.

Demetrius thought he had won in their little game. At least until Cleo made her remark that questioned his sexuality. Getting angry and shouting at Cleo was a thing of the past though. Orthniel had bothered him countless times to show the boy how keeping his cool gave him a clear head, and keeping a clear head ensure victory over his opponents. In this case his opponent was Cleo. He suddenly let a clever smirk appear on his face.

"You assume too much Cleo. I never said I was trying to get your clothes on. I just figured if you got cold enough, you'd be in the mood to cuddle." Demetrius said as he dismissed the cold from the room and from his body as he looked her up and down. "If only I had the power to make it hot in here..." Demetrius said.

Cleo just rolled her eyes, although it had caught her off guard. She doubted that he was serious about it, although it did spark some questions in her mind. Questions which she quickly dismissed becoming defensive over the situation. “I would never... ever cuddle with you” Cleo said in a whisper. “So you can keep dreaming because you are never getting anywhere near this” She said meaning her body. With one last cold look in his direction she moved to walk past him. On her bed there was a red satin dressing gown and she picked it up, slipping it around her shoulders.

Demetrius kept a smirk on his face until Cleo walked by him. His eyes followed her as she went to her bed to put on her gown. He let out a low sigh of relief; he didn't want Cleo to hear his sigh. Demetrius was walking toward his bed, but stopped as something seemed to surface. His relief had changed to annoyance.

"I don't understand how you hate me more than you do your father. He... He doesn't even love you." Demetrius said before getting into his own bed and lying down on his back. He wasn't ready to sleep, because he just had too much on his mind.

Cleo wrapped the gown tight around her before moving back to the mirror and picking up a hair brush, not finished yet. At Demetrius’ words though she froze, had he really said that? “He does love me. You have been back for what, a few weeks? How would you know anything about my relationship with my father?” Cleo said turning to look back at him. Demetrius had always known how to upset her. All he had to do was to talk about her father. “And even if he doesn’t love me, it’s not like you do either”

Demetrius was getting tired of Cleo's arguing, which made him sit up and actually scowl at her backside. Her words not only hit him deep, but they stirred the thoughts in his mind about the Pendus household. He somehow found it hard to speak as he got ready to agree with her statement. Perhaps it was because yet again, she said something that was false.

"Of course I don't love you, but at least I don't pretend to. I don't use your naive mind and yearning to be accepted to get you to do and think what I want you to. He plays you like blindfolded pawn in a chess game." Demetrius retorted

While Demetrius and Cleo were arguing, Valius had just arrived back home from one of his ventures. He had been going all around Concordia for years, searching for allies and planning his conquest over the land he walked on. He wanted power over men, and then he wanted power beyond the gods. Valius had the tools, but he needed to be able to use them. He was headed to Scythe's room as he thought on this. He opened the door without warning.

“How are you Scythe? Are you thinking of how you plan on killing her?" Valius asked with a grin.

Scythe was lying on his bed, as Valius walked in. He didn’t get up, hell he didn’t even move. When Valius spoke, Scythe just sighed. “How to kill her? How else would I do it? Use Halikair or my knives to cut off her head. Or limbs or something. She’ll die, so will Demetrius. It’s just when, that really matters. Does it matter to you? After all I thought you said no hurting each other too badly.” Scythe so wanted to get out of that room. He was getting much of the strength in his arms back thanks to his potions, but he still had another week or so to really go. He picked up a potion and sat up, drinking it down. The he threw it against the wall, shattering it, as he looked at Valius. “Is there something you want or need?”

His words hurt and Cleo shook her head, not wanting to believe what he was saying. Deep down she knew that he had a point. Cleo knew that her father used her but she didn’t mind as long as she was able to prove to him that she loved him and have a chance at making him see that she was as good as any son could be. She was hopeful and while there was still hope Cleo was going to do anything her father wanted.

“If you don’t love me, then shut up!” Cleo whispered to him but with a harsh tone. “My relationship with my father is none of your business” She said obviously upset about what he had said. Cleo stripped off the gown, using her ability to force Demetrius’ eyes closed as she pulled on a pair of shorts and a tank top before letting him open them again. Without saying another word she walked out of the bedroom. Cleo wasn’t sure where she was going but she wasn’t going to sit around and continue this conversation.

Scythe just looked at Valius, blinking a few times as he spoke about him being a humorous child. He was about to say something, but Valius wasn’t finished yet, so he waited. May as well let the windbag finish first. The idea. It both confused and intrigued him. “I kill who I want to kill. Why should it be any different for age? Older people can be just as weak as children, plus I’m special. Halikair says so."

He thought a few more moments about Valius’ idea. It was interesting. “I’ll pass. I want to be stronger, but I won’t be your slave. Besides, a group of the most strong isn’t any fun. Not unless I get to kill them. It seems pretty useless to me just to get strong people together, just so we know we’re strong.” Scythe didn’t get what Valius was getting at clearly, but he was also still young. His strength and blood lust was that of someone double his age at least, however off the battlefield he just wasn’t there mentally yet.

Demetrius ignored Cleo's words and followed her into the garden. He didn't want to do this, and he was truly angry at the fact that Valius didn't even need to have a say in order to defeat him when it came to Cleo. A smug smirk appeared on his face as he approached the garden. "I can't believe that worked. Talking about your father not loving you still makes you run away and tear up like a five year old. You should be glad that I'm not in Valius' shoes, because if I was, you'd be one of the maids." Demetrius insulted before walking back toward the house. His eyes shut for a few seconds as tried to forget the words he had just said to the already hurt Cleo.

In Scythe's room, Valius just nodded as he listened to Scythe speak. "Halikair is a knowing god indeed. He must be your respective god." Valius found Scythe's words about his idea a little humorous; due to the way the boy spoke of it. "I'm gathering the strongest, in order to do something that has been said to be impossible... No army or group has ever done what I'm planning and succeeded."

Cleo was annoyed that he didn’t stop following her as she headed outside towards the garden. She needed to get to the garden, everything was better out there. “Go to hell Demetrius!” Cleo called out to him, not turning around but hearing him turning and walking back towards the house. Tears were streaming down her face. She didn’t want to cry but she couldn’t help it. What he had said really hurt. Cleo reached the garden, walking inside and sinking down onto the grass, her knees basically giving out on her as she began to sob.

All she had ever wanted was for her father to love her. While Demetrius had been away, Cleo had managed to delude herself into thinking that her father loved her. It was like she had created her own little fantasy land in her head. Yet Demetrius had seen right through it and had brought all of these feelings back. Cleo couldn’t hold back the tears as she just cried, letting it all out.

Scythe shrugged at his words. A knowing God. “Halikair is an ass hole. He thinks he can use me because I like to kill. He thinks I’m his weapon. He’s wrong. I wonder, if it’s possible to kill Death himself....” Scythe stared for a moment and then looked back at Valius. “So you want me to be a slave in your army to go do something boring just because people say a normal army can’t? I’ll still pass. That doesn’t sound fun.” Scythe liked a challenge, so unless he knew he’d get stronger, get to kill things, and really be challenged, he wasn’t even near interested.

Valius raised an eyebrow at Scythe. He didn't enjoy having to explain the league for a third time, but he had to make Scythe understand what he was saying. "This group I am assembling has the main goal of taking the throne from the Wolfsbanes, the current rulers of Concordia. They boast how the royal bloodline breed the strongest warriors Concordia. They say their army is bested by none. Think of twelve men massacring an entire army. Don't you see? I'm not trying to make you a slave. I'm building you up with your potential. With enough strength, you wouldn't have to answer to anyone... even Halikair...”

Meanwhile, Demetrius walked away and headed to Scythe's room, knowing Valius would be there. He walked in at the end of Valius' words. Valius looked up as Demetrius entered. "What do you want? I was just informing Scythe of the league." Valius said as Demetrius seemed to give him a cold look.

"Is he even strong enough? Never mind, I forget that his age doesn't fit his fighting capability." Demetrius commented. "I just wanted to speak with you about my leave." Demetrius added.

"It will be addressed. Just allow me to finish speaking to the boy." Valius replied. Demetrius just nodded and walked back into Cleo's room. With a sigh, he got into bed, lying on his back as he did before.

Scythe stared as he laid out everything that he wanted to do. He didn’t care about the world. He thought it nothing but a rat hole that was ready to be slaughtered. However the Wolfsbane. Royal blood, ready to be spilt. Not to mention their army. It was a Chance Scythe wouldn’t get on his own. Before he could say anything though, Demetrius walked in. He still hated Demetrius and wanted to kill him. Simple as that. However there was no question that he wanted to get stronger. If Valius could really promise that, as well as a challenge like taking the throne Scythe was in. Besides that would leave an army of 11 others left. 11 Others just ripe for a slaughter.

“I’m plenty strong. You’ll see that when I kill you one day. I’ll join your league, but I want to start training very soon. Even if my arms aren’t at full strength, I want to start training. Oh and one more thing. When I’m strong enough, I will come after you Valius. Demetrius, then Cleo, then you, and finally Halikair. You’ll all die, by the demon you raised.” Scythe wasn’t acting cocky or anything. No in fact his voice was steady, almost unnervingly. He very much believed that one day; they would all die by his own hands.

Valius stood up after Scythe finally thought positively about his future in the league. Valius would easily give the boy what he wanted as long as it helps himself in the long run. He didn't see what he was doing as using people, but thought it was actually a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" concept.

"Look forward to training within the next few days." Valius said to Scythe with a deathly serious face before leaving the room. Valius walked down the empty hall of his home before entering Cleo's room where he spotted Demetrius resting.

"So, inform me of my leave." Demetrius said as he sat up. Valius' mood of laughter with Scythe had left him as he spoke to his other apprentice. He didn't even know if he could call the young man that. When they had sparred, Valius saw movements that were unfamiliar to him.

"As you know, you will be leaving almost a year from now. I will not only train you in combat and magic, but I will also teach the art of war within this year. By the time you make your leave, you'll know all you'll need to know about the world we live in and even beyond that. I am also giving you a test. I have considered several men to joining the League of Twelve, but I need you to filter them a bit."

"Filter?"

"I want you to witness their power, whether you stage a challenge for them, or fight them yourself. You might think your progression will be halted, but I am giving you the opportunity to grow in a different way. You will experience challenges and wonders that you would never take part in if you stayed here. The young man I see now isn't ready for the league just yet. However, the man I shall see you as after you've returned will be more than I wished for." Valius said as Demetrius listened carefully. A minute ago he had despised the man, but now he was somehow looking up to him. All Demetrius could do was nod. "Be ready tomorrow morning. I will show you what you must study and your regiment. Now, goodnight, and pray that my daughter doesn't kill you in your sleep." Valius said before leaving the room.

***********

Concordia. The Invasion was quick and pretty painless for the League. A swift and fatal blow dealt to the Royal family and their kingdom. The remaining Princes captured, as well as the Princess. Their memories were being erased at this point, as well as new roles being assigned. The second group for assignment was Demetrius, Cleo, and Scythe. It wasn’t like it was a surprise. They grew up together for the past few years; it was poetic that their old lives would be ended as a group as well.

Scythe however was running a bit late that day. Goodbye to the life he knew. That’s what he was saying, as he stood on top of the roof of the old mansion. It was nostalgic. The memories. He was such a child back then. He overlooked the garden he took the dive into when he first arrived. He smirked at the memories. Cleo tried to kill him back then. Oh God if it were today, she’d be dead in moments. He was just young back then.

It was time to go though. He smirked and took a potion in his hand. “Just. Stupid. Plants.” He said as he through the blood raged potion into the heart of the garden. In mere moments the whole thing was ablaze. He smiled and jumped down, not aiming for the bush, but for the ground. He landed on both feet. A jump that would have killed him back then, was nothing now. Tossing another potion inside the mansion as he got on his horse, he rode back towards the new castle with a grin on his face.

It wasn’t all that long before he got back to the castle, although he was pretty late comparatively. As he entered the throne room, he smiled at everyone, his normal evil smile. “Sorry I’m late. Just had some business to take care of. Did I miss anything?” In the distance the smoke could be seen for miles. However, unless looking out the balcony, it couldn’t easily be seen.

Valius had a look of victory in his face as he paced the throne room. Cleo and Demetrius had arrived on time, and Scythe had been the only one he had been waiting on. It took a while, but Scythe arrived, making their meeting go underway.

"Finally. What took you so long?" Demetrius asked coldly. Valius stopped his pacing and stood before the three with a smile on his face.

"Now, this is a pleasant sight. The warriors I have bred now stand in front of me after achieving the greatest victory in Concordian history. I bet you're wondering why you were called here."

Cleo was watching her father as he paced the room, keeping her eyes off Demetrius who was standing not that far away from her in the throne room. She was proud of her father and was finally understanding what he had been aiming to do all of these years. Her part in the plan was simple. She had been brought in afterwards to use her mind control in keeping people calm and convincing them not to continue fighting. There was no point in running a kingdom when everyone was dead.

As Scythe finally showed up, Cleo rolled her eyes before turning her attention back to her father. Cleo was exhausted. Her ability had drained her since she had been using it on such a large scale. “Yes father” Cleo said. She had long since stopped calling him Daddy, yet still called him father. It was something she could hold over everyone else. She was the only child to Valius, the man who was in control of all of Concordia.

Scythe grinned as Demetrius asked him what took him so long. “Just saying goodbye to some old memories. Nothing you need to worry yourself about.” Scythe replied with a bit of sting in his words. As Valius then spoke, Scythe waited for him to finish. Did he wonder why they were there? A bit he supposed. It was more like a hope that it was a one last spar to see who was the strongest. No a fight to the death. Yeah now that was more his game.

“Unless it has something to do with more fighting, not particularly.” He did wonder if maybe Valius was giving them the mansion. That would be my luck now, wouldn’t it? He then thought a moment more. Who was he kidding? He would have burned it down anyway. He didn’t want that place filled with memories of when he was weak. “Well I don’t have all day old man, so if you could make it quick I’d appreciate it.”

Valius chuckled at Scythe. "I've brought you three here to let you know what responsibilities I have entrusted onto you after the war." Valius began walked toward Cleo first out of the three. "Cleo, you have been given the duty of guarding the eldest son of the Wolfsbane family, Markell. You will be sent to Earth with him, and make sure the memories we plant into him remain true. Due to your age, I would recommend you acting as his wife." Valius said as he looked upon his daughter.

"I'm assuming the actual league members get better jobs than that." Demetrius commented.

"Are you in a joking mood today Demetrius? Jarev has a similar job." Valius replied.

"In all honesty, I wouldn't compare Jarev to myself. Scythe and I had showed great prowess during the overthrow. I won't interrupt any longer though."

"Hmm... Demetrius, your duty is to rule over northern Concordia. You will be in charge of maintaining peace in that area, and crushing resistances if needed." Demetrius nodded at Valius' words.

"An honour." Demetrius said as he kneeled. Valius then made his way to Scythe. He couldn't help but laugh.

"Now for my jester of the league.... You are free to do what you like. All I ask of you is to keep to our side. You'll always be able to fight resistances." Valius said with a smile.

Cleo was quiet until her father came to stand in front of her. She was a little anxious to find out what her job would be now that the whole kingdom was under her father’s control. She was quiet as her father told her she was to go to earth. He was sending her away? After everything she had done to try and win his love and affection he had pulled away from her and was sending her to be a simple minder. She would have to look after some stuck up Prince for the rest of her life and to keep him from knowing about the place she loved?

She shook her head a little, trying to come to terms with it as he told the others what they were to do. Scythe was given the freedom he wanted and Demetrius was given control over the whole of the North, the power that he had wanted. Yet she was being sent away! “Why? Why am I being sent to do it?” Cleo said as her eyes tried to seek out her fathers.

Scythe listened to his job. Well if you could even call it that. He was to do whatever he wanted, except for the thing he wanted most? What the hell? Valius always knew where to hurt him the most, intentional or not. In fact if he knew he could beat Valius, he would have attacked them all right there. Right now though, he knew it just wasn’t possible. He wasn’t able to beat Valius yet, but one day he would watch the man die, and smile as he did so.

“Oh shut up Cleo, at least you have a job. You get to get out of this rat hole and get to go start a new life were no one can harm your stupid plants. So be happy. Why the fuck do I get this kind of job though? I mean I’m to do nothing? How many resistances can we possibly have? And to make it worse I’d have to work under him for it?” He said motioning to Demetrius. To say he wasn’t happy was an understatement. Livid was more like it. Livid at the fact that what he was planning on doing since he first joined the league, was now ruined. Valius would pay for this. They all would.

Valius raised a brow as he first heard Cleo, and then heard Scythe's response. He had tried to assign the duties he had in place accordingly, so he would address Cleo and Scythe's complaints. Valius turned his attention to Cleo first

"Cleo, don't you understand. I need someone I can trust to guard this brother. I know it's a sacrifice, and it hurts me deeply to go so long without seeing my daughter, but this is something that must happen. Your power to persuade others will make your duty nearly infallible." Valius said before turning his eyes to Scythe. "What more could you want? You are free. And I wouldn't allow any league member to have power over another. That's just absurd. I don't see why you can't train and kill me when you're strong enough. Isn't that what you want... to kill the most powerful?"

Cleo ignored Scythe. She had always been pretty good at ignoring him and his banter. Demetrius on the other hand, well if he had spoken up at this point in time it would have been a very different matter. One which probably would have resulted in someone getting hurt. She wasn’t looking forward to going to earth. She would have to be normal and Cleo had never been good at being normal. She also would miss her father and really didn’t want to be away from him, not for the time period which he was talking about.

However her face softened as he spoke about trusting her and missing her. Those were the words which Cleo had sought after. It wasn’t that he was sending her away, he was entrusting to her a job of great importance because he knew that he could trust her. Cleo smiled at him. “I understand now. Thank you. I promise I won’t let you down” She said in a confident voice. Her father was right. With her ability, who could stand up to her? Surely not some Prince who was having his memories wiped.

Scythe listened to Valius talk. It was like listening to a pile of shit, because bull shit was all that was spewing from his mouth. Finally Scythe just ended up laughing. “You, the strongest? Don’t make me laugh old man in thinking that you’re the strongest. You’re the leader because it’s a shitty job. Have Concordia, have the Earth, take it all. I want Halikair’s head you pompous, self centred jackass. I will obtain a strength the God’s will Envy. Then everything will burn. You’ll see. You want me to get stronger; well you’ve raised a demon now. One you can’t put down. I will watch you die. Be sure of it. Until that day, enjoy this shitty kingdom.”

That was when he turned to face Cleo. “Don’t tell me your buying that shit? Really now? I mean come on. I didn’t even think you were that stupid. Why do you think there are no women allowed in the league? He’s ashamed of you, he doesn’t Love you. He won’t miss is darling little baby. If you actually believe him, well your more pathetic then you’re stupid plants. Have fun whoring yourself out to your new hubby. Don’t worry though, it won’t be forever. One day you’ll die too.” Scythe was pretty much ready to leave. This was a bunch of shit and if he was to get stronger, well now he had the time to.

Valius grinned as Cleo excepted her duty thanks to his swaying words. His attention then pulled to Scythe. The man's words made him furrow his eyebrows. He never liked the mouth on the boy, thought it did make him laugh every now and then. His face then went neutral as he realized how much closer he was to accomplishing his goal.

"You may take leave from the castle now, Scythe. I must inform Demetrius and Cleo of what they'll actually be doing. Good day Scythe." Valius said. His eyes then met Demetrius'. "What do you have to say to Cleo?" Valius asked. The question would seem to be pulled out of nowhere to all but Demetrius whose eyes widened as he heard the question. He looked at Cleo from the corner of his eye.

"I don't have to say anything to her. I never have, and never will after she departs to Earth." Demetrius said making Valius snicker.

"Good."

Cleo’s smile vanished from her face at Scythe’s words. He had never spoken to her like that. Normally it was something that Demetrius would say to her, she expected it from him. Yet Scythe had never said things like that to her and it caught her off guard. The shock on her face was evident. Was Scythe right? Was he really ashamed of her? Her eyes watered a little but she held back the tears. Cleo didn’t know what the truth was but she did know that she would do what her father asked her to do. “And that is why he is giving me a job, trusting me with one, and simply sending you away” Cleo said to Scythe as he was asked to leave.

As her father asked Demetrius what he had to say to her. Cleo turned to look at him, curious. Yet the hurt expression remained on her face when he spoke about not having anything to say to her. Her feelings towards him had become complicated over the past few years. There were times when she could have sworn that he cared about her, yet he said things like that and it made any doubt of that vanish. “I wouldn’t want to hear what you had to say anyway” Cleo said, trying to keep herself together.

Scythe stared at Valius. He wanted to rip his head off right now. It wasn’t the right time though. The he was asked to leave. He wondered what exactly the old windbag would do if he refused. Would he actually break a nail to try and remove Scythe himself? It’s not like the piece of shit guards outside could stop him. Demetrius and Cleo were there. Although he wouldn’t have minded killing them either. Then again, he didn’t want to stay there either. What a weird situation.

When Cleo finally spoke up though Scythe just smiled. “A job? He’s sending you away too honey.” He said with a condescending attitude. “Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. He doesn’t consider you either one it seems.” Scythe laughed and walked closer to both Cleo and Demetrius.

“Enjoy your little life of delusion. Daddy doesn’t love you, and I hope I can be there to see the pained expression on your face when that realization hits you.” He said almost in Cleo’s face now. He then backed up and looked at Demetrius. “Don’t get too cosy in your new castle or job. You’ll be the first to die. I think I’ll shrink your head to carry around as trinket. That sounds good.” Scythe walked over to the door and looked at them all expecting a final response before he departed.

As Scythe turned around to look at the three one final time, Valius let a smile show on his face. He wondered when he would reveal the young man's heritage. Demetrius glared at Scythe though. They had never really gotten into many verbal arguments, mostly because Demetrius just let Scythe talk.

"I'll be waiting." Is all Demetrius said to Scythe before turning to Valius.

"Is that all? After he threatened your life?" Valius said, almost trying to instigate something on Demetrius' side. Demetrius stared at Valius coldly from his frail attempt.

"You must understand that dog normally bark or howl up at the shining full moon... If the moon were to bark back, only the dog would receive attention."

"Hmm...Hahahahaha!" Valius let laughter escape him, but regained his composure quickly. "You should use a metaphor to describe me one day. I feel left out when you use them on Scythe and Cleo... Anyway, we shall begin our next step in keeping the world in the palms of the league's hands."

Scythe stared at Cleo. She wasn’t saying anything. She often tried to ignore what he said. It was true though. Albeit he wasn’t trying to help, rather hurt her, but it was still the truth. When Demetrius and Valius decided to speak Scythe could only find himself laughing at the end. “Oh, you brought a tear to my eye with that one. Really you did. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. The strongest, the moon, god your both so conceited it’s amazing that your egos fit in the same planet as each other, let alone the same room.”

That’s when it was time for his last personal attacks. After all this was the last time they would all be together for a very long time, if not forever. "Demetrius, you’re a hopeless, loveless prick, who will die cold and alone, your own blood being the only warmth left as is seeps out of your body.”

He then turned to Cleo. “You’re no better than freezer burn over there. Enjoy life on Earth, cut off from everyone. Await the day I visit. You’ll die and so will that Prince of yours. This way at least you can still whore it up after death.” He said with a smirk.

Lastly was Valius. “Last but not least, old man. You’re the worst of all. You ruin the lives of everyone, just to get what you want. It works though, doesn’t it? You’ll find everything around you slowly crumble away. You’ll watch it burn, and only when you realize that you’ve lost it all, will it be over for you. I will stand there with a smile as I watch your blood cover the ground.”

Scythe removed the weapon from his back and smiled. “Until then, you can all fuck off.” He turned around and walked outside of the throne room. He swung his weapon around, killing the two guards and collapsing part of the doorway in as he left. His dark and eerie laugh filling up the halls of the castle.