The wind blew with ferocity causing the snow to fall with force. A woman draped in a black cloak stood overlooking the sea, her face obscured by her hood. Standing on a dead tree to her right was a Blood Phoenix, it's crimson feathers and soulless black eyes were a sight to behold. Behind the woman appeared a black cat wearing a pointy black hat over it's left ear and a white bandanna around it's neck. The woman turned to face the cat who let out a sigh.
"Trust you to be out here in the coldest part of Alra. Maddalena has news and requests you to come back to New Feridum, it's important". The cat stretched as the woman extended her left arm for the phoenix to sit on it. Her arm was covered by a gauntlet that reached up to just below her shoulder, it had four spikes on the underside of her forearm.
"Alright Nova. I'll be there soon". The woman's voice was calm yet monotonous and flat, almost as if there was no emotion.
"So long!" The cat disappeared in to thin air and the woman turned to stare in to the sea again. The phoenix moved from her arm to her shoulder and the spike on her gauntlet furthest from her wrist sunk in to her arm. Blood dripped from the spike and ran down to her exposed fingers and the woman vanished with the phoenix. She was in another realm that looked similar to the mortal one, she called this plane Facsimile as it resembled the mortal plane almost exactly, the only differences being how time worked and how much darker Facsimile was. In this plane, time went by much slower than in the mortal one. A minute in the realm of man was a day in Facsimile, however this rule did not apply to the woman and she could traverse Facsimile with great speed. The woman floated like a spectre, she was going at inhuman speeds, she traveled past all sorts of places and landmarks until she came to a large city undergoing construction. The woman appeared in front of three children who stared in shock as the spike from her gauntlet shot out from her flesh. The woman pulled down her hood to reveal a young face with big yellow eyes. Her skin was as white as snow and her eyes were dark and bold. Her lips had a pinkish colour to them and her hair was as black as midnight until the ends where it turned white. Here fringe covered most of her forehead and her bangs hung loosely at both sides of her face. Her hair was tied in a low ponytail that fell to her backside. The children stared up at her, they were frozen with fear at her cold and determined gaze but she took quick notice of them. She turned to them and smiled kindly, this put them at ease and she wandered up to a massive gate. New Feridum was an exaggerated name, the city still stood where it always has but during the war between the Rebels and Dalmur it was destroyed and almost a complete ruin. As the woman approached the gated guards wearing green coats over their armor opened it for her and she ventured in to the city. The woman was taken back to her first visit to the city, it was much more lively then and the streets were busy with people looking to spend their gold and have fun. Now it was filled with people working hard to rebuild it to it's former glory. The woman continued walking through the city, scanning her surroundings with curiosity. The scaffolding around buildings and the people working hard to rebuild the city gave her a strange comfort. She kept heading north until she reached a statue of two people. A man and a woman, the man stood proud with glasses and long tied back hair while the woman stood modestly with a smile. At the base of the statue was a message engraved in it. It read 'Feridum was built using the most priceless treasure of all, kinship'. The woman bowed her head and had a moment of silence before walking past the statue towards a mansion. It's font garden was in disarray and the gate was destroyed. Guards wearing grey coats stood watch and moved for the woman and she was greeted by a servant who opened the double doors leading to the main hall. The woman was surprised, the interior hadn't changed at all, the servant beckoned for the woman to follow him upstairs and she did. At the top of the stairs was another set of double doors and the servant opened them, as the two stepped in the woman shook her head. The study had changed quite a bit since she last saw it, instead of having a black floor with white walls there was a red carpet with purple walls. The desk in front of the window was also smaller and the chair was replaced by a comfortable looking couch with a cat bed next to it. Standing by the window was a tall slender woman with crimson coloured hair, it fell to the middle of her back and was rather messy. She turned to meet the woman and the servant, her piercing violet eyes and plump lips stood out. She wore a black jacket that sat above her waist and zipped all the way up, a pair of dark purple leggings and a black mini skirt. Her boots were knee high and dark brown and she wore a black top hat with a purple ribbon tied around it. Hanging from the breast pocket of her jacket was a pair of glasses, like the ones the statue of the tall man outside wore. The slender woman smiled at the shorter more broody woman and approached her.
"Lisette, it has been a while my dear. How are you?" Silence filled the room for a brief moment until Lisette answered back.
"I see you wasted no time in redecorating his study..." Silence filled the room once more before the other woman sighed.
"How can I... The Marvelous Maddalena Magicka be expected to work in such a drab and boring study? Kit may have been my teacher but his taste in decor was absolutely awful! Besides it's not like I redecorated everything... Just the carpet, walls and sitting area!" Maddalena's voice was as shrill and irritating as ever, her attitude was still the same too.
"It's nice to see you've not changed much Mads, so what is it you called me here for?" Lisette stood still and focused, where as Maddalena fidgeted and swayed around.
"Straight to the point as always..." Maddalena sighed before she continued. "We sent out Aika to hunt down any of the previous Emperor's allies or any with loyalties to the Six, that was three months ago. She had been sending letters regularly until about a month ago... Griff fears that she may be in danger, however he's stuck back in Zion Isle dealing with refugees from all over. As you know I'm busy here or I would be out searching for her... Oh how I feel like a bird trapped in a cage". Maddalena became rather depressed while Lisette stared blankly at her. "In any case, if Aika has been caught or harmed we can assume the enemy is strong... After all Dreth entrusted her with Vlakier". Maddalena's face turned serious, and Lisette closed her eyes with a frown.
"Understood, where did she last contact you from?"
"She had just stopped at Blossom Springs in Heavens Reach, I believe she went there to gather information from Kassandra". Maddalena winked and lifted her right index finger. "She's currently helping Lamented overcome their transformation after you opening the gates". Lisette jolted a bit, she was shocked.
"I see, so Kass really did stay true to her word".
"Which brings me to my next question Lisette, have you spoken to 'him' since then?" Maddalena tilted her head and grinned.
"No, However Seres tells me he's doing well". Lisette crossed her arms underneath her cloak and turned her face away.
"Curious, why don't you call her 'Mother?' Seems odd".
"I do, just not when speaking of her to others. Anyway, is there anything else I should know?" Lisette faced Maddalena again and Maddalena nodded.
"There are those who don't want to accept the new God and hold all of us responsible, I'm pretty sure some are aware of your position as well... Lady Kaotica". Maddalena calling Lisette that caused her to grit her teeth, it bothered the young woman. "Oh sorry I forgot you don't want any special treatment, either way be very careful. We may have stopped total destruction but people can be stubborn". Maddalena sat down at her desk and sighed. "Keep me updated, I'll send Nova every now and then alright?" Maddalena seemed a bit concerned which Lisette had to pounce on.
"Oh? Was that concern Governess Magicka? How unlike you". Lisette gave a taunting grin and Maddalena shook her head.
"You know I hold nothing but apathy for this world, I just seek entertainment that's all".
"Same old witch, So long". Lisette made her way out of the study and Mads let out a groan.
"Oh Mads, what's the matter? You seem to be rather distraught". Nova manifested herself beside on top of the desk and yawned. Maddalena let out a light chuckle.
"Not that I care too much but... Lisette seems much colder than she once was. I do hope she doesn't do anything too rash, after all it would mess up the balance of things".
"It's not every day a girl takes on the burden of Kaotica... she's technically a deity now. However Lisette chose to work with 'him' unlike the previous Kaotica and instead of being the destroyer she became the shadow casted by light. The girl has been through a lot, she'll manage". Nova licked her paw and shook her head but Mads seemed distracted.
"Either way, she better succeed".
Lisette made her way out of New Feridum with determined eyes. She wandered out of the main gate and turned around. The city still overlooked the frozen lake, it seemed as though nothing had changed but Lisette had no time to linger in the past. She began chanting in the demonic tongue and summoned a demon. It was as small as her and scrawny, it's eyes were covered by a visor made of bone and it wore a tattered robe.
"Jiko, I need you to scout out the area surrounding Blossom Springs".
"Yes Princess". It's voice was raspy and deep, Lisette shot Jiko a look of disdain.
"No titles, I've told you all before".
"Sorry". The demon vanished and Lisette shot the first spike of her gauntlet in to her arm to traverse Facsimile, as she entered the plane the phoenix from earlier circled above her.
"Embershade... It's time to move out". The phoenix liquefied itself until it was blood and entered Lisette's body through the wound on her forearm. Lisette traversed through Facsimile until she reached Blossom Springs, it was to the north of Heavens Reach, near the border of Alra. Lisette manifested herself in the mortal plane at the south entrance of Blossom Spring and waited for Jiko. The demon came up from the ground beneath her and grunted.
"I don't sense anything out of the ordinary Lisette, just be weary of a massive power coming from within". The demon showed concern for the brooding woman but she just chuckled.
"I think I know who that is, either way keep an eye out please. I'll try and make this visit short". Lisette walked off while Jiko descended under the ground. Blossom Springs got it's name from the beautiful cherry blossom trees within it's walls and the hot springs to the west of the city. It sat just out of reach from the freezing temperatures of Alra and was a favourite rest spot for travelers. It's buildings and houses were outlandish and foreign, they had sliding doors and roofs that slanted heavily. It was built by a foreign family who fled their continent due to a feud with another family. Lisette made her way in to the city where the people went about their business. However there was something odd about the people here, they all seemed depressed and on edge. Lisette knew fine well what was going on and she approached one of the guards.
"Where can I find Lady Heriott? Lisette didn't waste any time or beat around the bush and the guard turned to her. His armour was heavy and bore the crest of a phoenix rising from the ashes, a symbol adopted by the current emperor after the end of the rebellion.
"Lady Heriott can be found in the school to the east, she's the head of the spiritual arts there". The guard beamed with delight. "She's the pride and joy there, despite what others say I believe the Lamented deserve a chance at life and Lady Heriott is doing all she can to ensure that".The guard seemed overjoyed to speak of Kassandra which forced a smile on Lisette's face.
"Thanks". Lisette headed east towards the school, she was anxious about seeing Kassandra again. It was Lisette who turned her in to a Lamented after all, not to mention what happened to Xander. He was Kassandra's adopted older brother before the end of the rebellion and Lisette had left before anyone could say anything to her. As she approached the school, Lisette froze. She stared at the sliding mesh door and panicked a bit, she shook her head and slid the door open. As she entered the school she was greeted by a lady behind a desk.
"Morning! How can I help Miss?" The lady was cheerful and polite.
"I'm looking for Lady Heriott, have you seen her?"
"Oh! Miss Heriott can be found in classroom twelve, it's to your right and down the hall there". The woman leaned forward and pointed down the west hall and Lisette bowed her head to thank her. She made her way down the west hallway until she reached classroom twelve, she stood outside it for a moment and took a deep breath. She opened the sliding door and the classroom fell silent. A large group of teenage students all had their eyes locked on Lisette and a dark purple haired woman with a large chest turned away from the chalk board to see her. Lisette stood awkwardly for a moment and her cheeks went a bit red as the purple haired woman swanned towards her. Her left eye was covered by her fringe and bangs and her right eye was a jade green, her hair was tied in a high ponytail and hung quite loosely and she wore a black yukata with a red sash wrapped around the waist. It's sleeves weren't as loose as other yukata's and she wore a fishnet shirt underneath it. She wore a red skirt that clung to her curvy figure and fell to her knees and a pair of open toed ankle high shoes. She approached Lisette with a cross expression on her young face before taking a deep breath. She grabbed Lisette by the right arm and dragged her to the front of the classroom where Lisette stood awkwardly again. The other young woman turned to Lisette once more and let out a massive grin.
"Big Sis! Welcome to my classroom!" Her voice was sweet and filled with energy. "Everyone welcome Big Sis Lisette!" Lisette went as red as a tomato.
"Welcome Lisette!" The entire classroom spoke in unison, only adding to the embarrassment felt by Lisette. She took a bow and waved.
"Th- Thanks..." Lisette was like a deer caught in the hunt, she had no idea what to do.
"This is Lisette Ashwake... She is the daughter of Queen Seres from the Lamented Hells. It was her power that gave you all a second chance at life after she opened the gate of lament to oppose Dante Hykarus and the fallen god Sazrus". The purple haired woman praised Lisette as if the sun shined from her.
"Kass... Please..." Lisette hung her head and felt discomfort but the class all gave a round of applause and started cheering for her.
"I'd still be dead if not for you"
"You gave me the power to save my family, thank you!"
"You're as beautiful as Miss Heriott says!"
Lisette stood at the front of the classroom in shock, she couldn't move and Kassandra laughed.
"Alright, class is over today, I need to prepare for the older Lamented and I'd like to catch up with Lisette". The classroom all bowed and walked out in single file while Lisette looked away out of embarrassment. Once the class had emptied, Lisette sighed and turned to Kassandra.
"I thought you'd despise me after everything..."
The classroom was eerily quiet after everyone had left and Lisette said what she had. Kassandra glared at Lisette wit confusion, she couldn't help but chuckle.
"Despise you? Why?"
"If not for me... You and Xander... you'd still be together..." Lisette struggled to hold it together and Kassandra gave her a kind smile.
"Lisette, is that why you ran off? Do you think you need to atone for everything you have done?" Kassie tilted her head at Lisette who looked away and held back tears. "Xander was a shadewalker to begin with, he was destined for this kind of fate in a way. He still speaks to me anyway, he might be Imarius the creator now but he's still my older brother. Besides what did you really do wrong? You stopped the world from ending, you gave countless people a second chance including me". Kassie cleared her throat "You also took on the burden of Kaotica... hasn't all that outweighed your mistakes?"
"Kass... I don't deserve your affections. I could have tried to seal the shades in to someone else".
"Xander wouldn't have let you. He was a stubborn bastard, you know that". Kassie leaned forward and gave Lisette a big hug before stepping back. Lisette stared in awe and teared up. "Anyway, what brings you all the way out here?"
"Maddalena told me Aika passed through here a while ago, did she say where she was going?" Lisette fought back her tears and Kassie scratched the back of her head.
"She mentioned about going to Renei, other than that nothing. You know how Aika is, she's more difficult than you". Kassie winked with her right eye which got Lisette curios.
"Your left eye, have you managed to master it yet?" Lisette watched as Kassie swept the left side of her fringe behind her ear and opened her left eye. It glowed a fiery red with a pupil that changed shapes.
"Yeah... No more pains or outbursts and I don't need to cover it with an enchanted eye patch anymore".
"I still remember that day, to think you summoned such a powerful demon... I couldn't get over the fact he died and you took his eye to replace yours". The two girls went quiet for a moment before Kassie smiled.
"I did it to protect everyone, not to mention the power allowed me to make Rickard suffer for all he'd done".
"Yeah... Rickard sure was a disgusting human. He reminded me of Eric of the Bloodwater". Lisette frowned and approached Kassandra before wrapping her arm around the back of her head. Lisette leaned her head in and the two met foreheads. "I'm sorry for everything Kassandra... I shouldn't have been wallowing in despair and self pity when we met and things could have been better for you". Lisette shed tears and Kassie grew wide eyed before giggling.
"I have no regrets Lisette. You don't need to apologise for anything". The two shared an embrace of friendship before Kass pulled away and stretched. "You better get going, I know Aika is a pain to read but she seemed eager about something". Lisette nodded to Kassie and was walked out of the classroom by her. As Lisette left, Kassandra sat behind her desk and felt warm, seeing Lisette again made her feel lifted. Lisette left the school with a slight smile on her face, however Jiko appeared before her.
"Lisette, something big is coming from the north and it doesn't feel friendly".
"Roger". Lisette entered Facsimile and raced towards the north of Blossom Springs. She remained in Facsimile so she could launch a sneak attack, a few moments went by and what Lisette saw caused her to grow furious. An angel stood with a golden sword, it appeared to be a man with no hair and sallow skin and it's wings glowed like the sun. It's armor matched it's sword and it's smug expression fueled Lisette's anger even more. Lisette dropped down behind the Angel and drew her chokuto blade, she cursed the angel and pierced the right side of it's chest from within Facsimile, only materializing her blade in the mortal plane. The angel coughed up blood and Lisette left Facsimile, her eyes filled with rage.
"What's an angel doing here? Your masters are no more, so tell me who summoned you here!" Lisette twisted her blade in the angels chest and it remained calm and smug.
"Daughter of Lament, your reputation proceeds you... To think you could sneak up on me like that". The angels voice was masculine and polite. "My name is Armand, as for who summoned me I don't feel the need to tell you". Armand pulled himself away from the blade piercing his chest before turning in a flash, he reached his arm out to grab Lisette but she ducked causing him to grab her cloak and rip it off. Lisette jumped back, and the wind blew her coat to the side. She was draped in a long black velvet coat that had a crimson linen on it. It buttoned up in a side fashion and stopped at her rather big cleavage. The coat was worn and tattered, it's tails were ripped to shreds and underneath she wore a white cropped vest. Around her neck was a small lilac scarf that fell to just above her cleavage and the left sleeve of her coat was cut off where it met her gauntlet. On her other hand was a fingerless black glove, she wore dark brown leather thigh high boots and a pair of black shorts that sat just above them revealing some skin. Around her waist over her coat was a belt where the sheath of her sword hung from the rear, Lisette stood up straight and met Armand's eyes. He ran towards her in a flash, bringing his sword down however a wing made of blood appeared before Lisette blocking his blow. She still had the first spike of her gauntlet dug in to her left arm and she waved it, splashing blood everywhere. The blood began to take the shape of spikes as it fell through the air, the spike shaped blood raced toward Armand who was caught off guard by it. He was forced to take flight as a way of avoiding damage and he scowled at Lisette from above.
"No wonder Dante Boy and the five had trouble with you... Even Sazarus at full strength wasn't enough to beat you and being the God of Death he had a lot of souls to feed off of". Armand dropped to the ground and stood before Lisette again with glee in his eye. Lisette simply stood still and silent, she didn't entertain the angel's compliments.
"Why are you here?"
"We angels have a decision to make, that will be based on how the coming battles go. I can't speak for all my brethren but... I'd like to see what you do". Armand sheathed his blade and turned away from Lisette. "See you around". The angel took flight and Lisette released the the second and third spike of her gauntlet in to her skin. Two wings made from blood sprouted from her back and blood covered her feet, taking the shape of talons. Blood wrapped around her skin underneath her clothes, forming an armour of sorts and when it spread to her face a helmet formed. It had two horns sticking out from both sides of the back of her head and it covered her entire face, Lisette's face was now an expressionless void with nothing to show. She took flight and pursued Armand, flying after him and he turned to face her. He stopped and let out a roaring laugh.
"To think I'd see you in this state so early, like your mother it seems you do have the ability to sync with a bonded creature. Embershade the Blood Phoenix, I'd heard tales of such a beast but to know it's real is a surprise". Armand shook his head before his expression turned serious. "However, I'm not foolish enough to fight you while you're like this. I will most certainly die, especially with how weakened my people are". Armand raised his left arm and Lisette wasted no time in going for an attack. She entered Facsimile before materializing behind him and spreading her wings, the dripping blood took the shape of spikes and flew towards the angel. Armand folded his wings in so he would drop at great speed, as he did a bolt of lightning struck him and he vanished. Lisette flew down to a tall tree and stood on the top branch before releasing the three spikes from her flesh.
"Bastard". Lisette let out a sigh of frustration and desperation, the thought of angels still lingering in the mortal plane was one she didn't like. "I'll look in to this later, for now it's off to Renei". Lisette entered Facsimile and headed south, however Armand was still on her mind.
Lisette set off south toward Renei, the last time she was there was when her and her late sister Blake, came to blows before their final bout. Renei was an awful place, the people there were either criminals, prostitutes or just generally shady. Lisette raced through Facsimile, her eyes never wavering from the path ahead, her thoughts still lingered on Armand but she had no time to stop and think about him. As she drew close to Facsimile, Lisette heard a voice call out to her, it was a womans voice and put Lisette at ease.
"Lisette..." The voice was smooth and calming and melodic. Lisette stopped dead and took a deep breath, she closed her eyes and as she opened them she was no longer in Facsimile. Lisette now stood in a throne room, it resembled the Sapphire Throne Room in Heavens Gate the capital of Heavens Reach, however it was twisted and in disarray. The throne never glowed a royal blue like the real thing, instead it was blood red and cracked. The floors were not the comfortable purple carpets that mortals walked upon, instead they were made of stone and covered in blood. The walls were crawling with bugs and rat like creatures scurried around Lisette's feet. This was the Throne Room of her Demon mother, Seres the Demon Queen. A woman who defied the first Emperor of Heavens Reach in her mortal years and conquered the Lamented Hells upon dying, it was her who birthed Lisette.
"Mother, you've brought me to your domain. Why?" Lisette turned away from the throne were a womanly figure stood at a table with a map of the world was placed with no care. The womanly figure turned to meet Lisette, her glowing gold eyes pierced through any in their gaze, her pupils were mere slits and her sclera black as coal. Her black hair brushed the floor and sat loosely hanging by each side of her face in while covering her forehead. Black horns grew from the sides of her head and curled downwards, her lips black and plump and her skin gray. She left little to the imagination with her attire, her large breasts were only covered at the front by a scarlet robe that separated until it hit her waist then covered her front and backside leaving her legs visible, she wore black wrappings around her hands and feet and stood with authority. This was Seres, the Demon Queen, the most powerful Demon in existence, when the six other Gods were alive they made a pact with her as even their combined might couldn't stop her from conquering the heavens. It was only through threatening Lisette's life as an infant could they form the Spiritual Council and have an uneasy alliance, now however the Divines were gone and Xander was the only God in existence under the mantle of Imarius the Creator so peace between Demon and Divine was no longer a fragile beast but a mutual trust.
"Yes... I saw you encountered an Angel. He got away, are you planning to hunt him down?" Seres approached Lisette and locked her twisted eyes with the young woman.
"I plan to but for now I have to find Aika, with Angels still living I'm concerned for her".
"Ah yes, the brooding girl from the Rangu clan... Well taken in by the Rangu clan. I can assure you she is alive however, I can't find her. It would seem she's being hidden by a barrier, whoever the caster is holds great knowledge as I believe it's a demonic sealing barrier that even I can break". Seres shook her head. "Oh, I just can't help myself". Seres wrapped her arms around Lisette and gave her a massive cuddle, almost crushing her lungs in the process. Once she let go Lisette blushed a little and giggled.
"Is this fitting of a Queen to be so informal?"
"I'm a mother first and a queen second, besides I'll flay anyone who dares ruin moments like this. Now back to business. Yes, the brooding bitch was last heading to Renei as Kassandra said, once she got there however she vanished. I believe there's someone operating in Renei who is knowledgeable of Demons and the spiritual worlds, so do be careful". Seres' words had genuine care in them, her love for Lisette was apparent.
"I will, although I am curious. How have things been since the five were destroyed?" Lisette tilted her head and Seres placed her hand on her curvy hip.
"Things have been great, my people are no longer kept on a leash and can enter the Heavens to see their families. Of course change takes time but that young man is making a fine deity. What exactly did you tell him before he ascended?" Seres raised an eyebrow at her daughter, Lisette just folded her arms and grinned.
"The truth, Demons are what most humans become in death but they retain all the same feelings, thoughts and fears. I told him your dream was for the Heavens and Lamented Hells to coexist and create a world where Demons could reunite with loved ones and not become vengeful monsters". Lisette closed her eyes and let out a heartwarming smile. Seres' face filled with surprise.
"You've always been an honest girl, that's something that should never change. I'm just sorry I failed you as a parent". Silence took the Lamented Throne Room, the two women stared at one and other before Lisette put her right hand on Seres' shoulder.
"Face despair with a defiant conviction, always looking forward and never back". Seres gave Lisette a look of sorrow and pain before looking away but Lisette turned her mother's face back to her. "Those are the words you told me when we first met, I have been through a lot it's true but... I'm not the only one who has to face despair and let's face it... Not many other people can draw power from such feelings". Lisette chuckled slightly while Seres remained quiet. "You don't have to apologize mother, yes life is difficult and I'm now technically a deity but... I made the choices that lead me here. It's too late for regrets". Lisette stood before Seres and her heart filled with pride.
"That is my question for you daughter, why stay in the mortal plane? Why not ascend like Xander did?" Seres waited eagerly for an answer and Lisette sighed.
"It's not like me to be stuck in one place for long and eternity seems like a long time, besides Xander holds the title of Imarius the Creator, I am Kaotica the Destoyer. Xander is the light of the world now and I am the darkness, while we don't repeat the cycle of our predecessors I still have to dirty my hands. If I were to do that from where he sits, the world would become a barren wasteland and our pact would mean nothing. No, I will fulfill my duties in a way that doesn't repeat the cycle". Lisette's words were backed with her conviction and Seres saw that in her yellow eyes.
"But wouldn't you like to hold such power?"
"No, power means nothing if it leads to nothing. Xander's power will always lead to great things and it's not in my nature to ruin such greatness".
"You're a good girl Lisette, I couldn't be prouder of you. I suppose we should part ways for now, time is wasting". Seres beamed with delight at Lisette who nodded and waved.
"Until next time mother" Lisette's words faded as she entered Facsimile and Seres stood still.
"I just hope my fears aren't what awaits you my dear. Please, take care of yourself". Seres wandered out through a set of double doors at the end of the throne room and stood atop a balcony. The balcony overlooked the Lamented Hells, were demons lived like people, despite how twisted and vile the Lamented Hells were everyone seemed content. With the fighting having stopped it was no wonder, Seres looked up in to the cold dark blue and black sky where a gigantic dragon circled the dark blue skies. It's body was long and slender and decayed, it's wings ripped to shreds and it's eyes glowing an ominous purple. It flew in closer to Seres, placing it's massive arms and legs on to the Lamented Palace it peered it's head over to the balcony and looked down at Seres. It spoke in it's own tongue, Dragonias and Seres chuckled.
"Azaru... You always cheer me up, you're right my daughter is a stubborn kind hearted fool". Seres stared up at the dragon who spoke again in his native tongue.
"I fear you may be right". Seres bit her lip before Azaru roared a laugh and shouted.
"Trust you to be excited, I suppose the last time we synced together was during the fight against the five after the Emperor was slain by Sazarus the fallen God. Despite their weakened state they still proved formidable but our power in the end was too much for them". Seres leaned over the balcony and shut her eyes. Azaru took flight and the wind created from his wings blew Seres' hair to the side making her turn her head to match the direction.
Lisette was back in the mortal plane, she stood outside of Renei by the gate, or at least what was left of it. The city was in disarray and in need of care, sadly though the previous Emperor had no interest in wasting coin on a place overrun with crime. Lisette's eyes wandered around the entrance to Renei, there were no guards possibly due to the rival gangs within the city. She took a few steps forward and felt a hand grab her coat, she turned and lowered her head to see an elderly man sitting by the ruined gate. His face was quite sunken in and he had no weight to him, his hair was patchy and falling out and his teeth were black and beyond repair. Lisette knew fine well what had happened to him, it was the Rot a disease that ate a person from the inside out. Doctors and healers had no conclusive answer as to which caused the Rot but they suspected it was caught by breathing the air near a specific place to the south west of Heavens Reach. The place was called Conquerers Plight, it's origins are unknown but the Rot started to spread before the rebellion against Dalmur which was five years ago. The first leader of the rebellion Leon Wakefield, lost his wife to the Rot, which lead doctors treating her to believe it was infectious from other people as she had never been to Conquerers Plight. The sickly old man held open his hands, unable to speak he forced a smile. Lisette looked down at him with pity in her eyes, she had nothing to give him except a release. Lisette leaned down on one knee and whispered in to his ear.
"Aren't you in a lot of pain?" The old man nodded at Lisette and she shut her eyes. "I need you to count to ten in your head, I promise everything will be fine". The old man pulled back and closed his eyes after coughing up blood. Lisette released the first spike of her gauntlet in to her skin and pointed her finger at the old mans head. She manipulated the blood and shot it in to his brain, once inside she manipulated it to scatter completely scrambling his brain and killing him as quickly as possible. She stood back up, his head just fell forward and his life had come to an end. Lisette turned from the old mans corpse and marched in to Renei. The city was a dump, she wandered down a narrow walkway that was filled with beggars, prostitutes and sellswords until she reached the centre of the city. In the centre of the city rested a statue of Emilia Moonshine, her family where an important part in Renei's history as they established a brewery from within their house. If only she could see the city now, her statue had been desecrated over time, it was rusting and covered in moss. Behind the statue was an old church, however it was now being used as a tavern. Lisette decided this would be the best place to start in her search, keeping her wits about her she approached the entrance and the patrons inside all turned their heads. An elderly woman clad in black stood by the bar, her face mean and her green eyes filled with discontent. Lisette wandered over towards the bar and the barman greeted her.
"What'll it be love?" The barman was repulsive, hair stuck out of his ears and nose and he snorted as he spoke.
"Nothing thanks, I'm looking for my friend. She came through Renei recently, Black hair and red eyes. You seen her?"
"Lotta folk come through here sweetheart, I don't keep tabs". The barman turned away from Lisette and she turned from the bar, she noticed the elderly woman from the corner of her eye glaring at her but she had more important matters to attend to. A rough looking man came up to her, his face red from drinking and a confident smirk on his face. He stared Lisette up and down and his beady little eyes lingered on her breasts.
"How much?" His breath reeked of ale and he was just as ugly as the barman.
"Excuse me?" Lisette raised an eyebrow as she leaned against the bar counter.
"How much for a good shag?" The man pulled out a small bag of gold and dangled it in front of Lisette who frowned. "What's with that look? With a body like that and your tits on display, you must be a whore. I'll pay well and guarantee you'll come back for more". Lisette chuckled at the man before stepping forward. She locked eyes with him and bit down on her lower lip as she leaned in toward him. The man lifted his hand to her chest and made an attempt to grab one of her boobs, however Lisette had her hands below his waist. She reached her left hand forward and grabbed on to his genitals through his trousers. The man writhed in pain, however he was too scared to move as her grip was tight.
"You guarantee I'll come back for more eh? Not with that pathetic thing I won't, what is that a worm?" Lisette grabbed on tighter and the man's face became redder with rage. Lisette peered over his shoulder to see another man approaching them, she let go of the first man and he raised his fist but his friend stopped him.
"Enough, the girl isn't interested but little lady we can't let you get away with that. Do you know who we are?" An awkward moment of silence passed before Lisette shrugged.
"Am I meant to?"
"Pfft, we're members of the Authority. Our gang runs this dump, you should show us some respect". The other man seemed overconfident, the first man was fixing his trousers and Lisette just giggled. As she did the man speaking of their gang swung a punch for her, the whole tavern fell silent as Lisette ducked and grabbed his arm. She kicked behind his knee and he dropped, he struggled for a moment before Lisette broke his arm from the shoulder down in several places. As she let go and he writhed in pain, the first man pulled a knife on her.
"That's almost as small as your cock". Lisette's taunt infuriated the man who brought the knife down toward her chest, but her reflexes were greater and she disarmed him quickly. Lisette smashed her right elbow in to his face braking his nose in the process and he fell to the ground. A bunch of other men stood up and approached her but the elderly woman from beside the bar stood in front of Lisette. She swept her coal coloured hair back and hissed.
"Enough! Everyone out!" Her voice echoed through the tavern and one of the men standing up approached her.
"Listen here, if you defend her then the truce is over. The authority will crush your pathetic little gang do you understand Gabriella?" The man and elderly woman known as Gabriella locked eyes and she raised her head.
"So be it". The man signaled for the others to pick the injured men up as Gabriella spoke.
"You've done it now, the Authority will crush the Sparrow Mist!" The patrons all left and Lisette went to follow but Gabriella whistled.
"Not you, you stay. I have information about your friend but it will cost you". Lisette turned to Gabriella and shook her head.
"I have no money."
"Not money, a favour when you come back". Gabriella took off her long black cloak and underneath she wore an elegant white shirt underneath a plum coloured jacket. Around her neck was a red cravat and she wore black fitted trousers.
"What's this favour?" Lisette's interest piqued and Gabriella smirked.
"I know who you are Kaotica, or do you prefer Daughter of Lament?"
"How humble, once you and Aika return I would ask you help my organization take control of Renei". The barman behind the counter leaned forward and watched intently.
"Your organization is a gang, why try paint a pretty picture?"
"The sparrow mist is a shadow guild child, we hope to bring Renei back to it's former glory but with the Authority lording around, it's been difficult. The other gangs will not support us but I know with your help we could make Renei a safe place again". Gabriella extended her gloved hand. "What do you say?" Lisette and Gabriella stood mere feet from each other and Lisette sighed as she shook Gabriella's hand.
"What choice do I have, now where is Aika?"
"You aren't going to ask the details of my favour?"
"No, I don't care. Once we're back I'll do whatever you ask". Lisette let go of Gabriella's hand and the elderly woman sneered.
"Very well, your friend was tracking a man who came through here, a shady man. He wore a black hooded cloak and his face was covered by a mask, I naturally had some of my agents follow him. Aika came through here and asked about him, it turns out he was heading west toward the Ruins of Skyreach". Gabriella cleared her throat and Lisette turned away from her.
"Thanks, I'll see you shortly". As Lisette walked toward the exit of the tavern Gabriella called out to her.
"You may be powerful girl, but this man seemed more capable than meets the eye. Heed my warning and don't take him lightly". Lisette didn't answer Gabriella back and left, as she stepped outside she immediately entered Facsimile and raced west.
Lisette wasted no time in getting to Skyreach ruins, she stopped on top a massive wall and entered the mortal realm once again. She raised her left arm and let Embershade manifest from her blood.
"Alright girl, I need you to stick to the shadows and be my back up". Embershade flew off and liquefied in to a pool of blood and entered the ruins through the cracks on the stone. Skyreach was a temple built by a cult who worshiped angels, believing them to be the true gods. Lisette hopped down from the tall wall and walked through the destroyed entrance way of the temple. She stopped however, sensing something Lisette put her right hand on her sword and scanned the area. Her attention was drawn to above and as she looked up, Lisette squealed. Nova was falling from just above and Lisette dropped her head so Nova wouldn't hit her face. The cat instead landed on Lisette's head and let out a sigh.
"Mads is hopeless at sending me places, I'm surprised she can even detect you of all people". The cat hopped off of Lisette and let out a moan. "Skyreach temple eh?"
"Yeah, I also encountered an angel named Armand." Lisette relaxed a little and Nova rolled her eyes.
"Oh, one of them. Anything else?"
"Yeah, it seems I'm now involved with the Sparrow Mist Shadow Guild".
"Aren't you lucky, they could be valuable allies you know. Don't disregard them, they find out things that most miss". Nova sighed once more. "Well if that's all I'll report to Mads, apologies for my rough landing". Nova disappeared before Lisette who exhaled and continued onwards. She made her way in to the temple ruins, immediately alarmed by the lit torches on the walls. Someone had been here recently, and Aika wouldn't light torches. She was trained as an assassin, Lisette took caution as she made her way deeper in to the ruins. She made it to a room, the walls were covered in ancient carvings of angels and demons and in the centre of the room was an empty pool. Behind the pool was a podium, on that podium was Aika. She was bound and gagged, her clothes tattered and she was bruised and battered. Lisette turned her eyes right and saw Embershade still making her way through the cracks in the stone. Lisette approached Aika slowly keeping an eye out for any signs of danger. She drew closer and closer to the pool then a deep voice called out.
"That's far enough". The voice belonged to a man and was resounding and commanding. "Lisette Ashwake, Daughter of Lament and false Goddess, you didn't take long to find this place". Footsteps echoed the chamber, coming from way behind the podium. They got louder and louder and Lisette watched closely. The man stopped as he stood next to Aika, he was shrouded in black like Gabriella said and he wore a mask. It was a pale blue and only had one eye hole however resembling a demon with sharp fangs and it's right eye closed, the only thing Lisette could see was his left eye. "I was wondering when you would get here, I've been struggling to entertain my guest".
"Alright, who are you?" Lisette remained still and on guard, the man was also just as still.
"Doesn't matter so much, either way you have a choice. You can give up your life or I kill the girl here". Lisette entered Facsimile and raced toward Aika, however she was cut off by the man appearing in front of her and his arm materialized in Facsimile. Lisette gasped before drawing her sword and slicing the mans covered arm off. The two of them wound up back where they started and Lisette came back to the mortal plane. The man turned his head to his mutilated arm and cast a spell to clot the blood, he didn't seem to phased by the loss of a limb.
"So, you can see me in Facsimile and you can materialize yourself in there... However I know that only I can stay in there longer than ten minutes, so this will be a short battle". Lisette let out a sharp whistle as she entered Facsimile and the masked man materialized before her.
"Yes, this will be a short battle". The man snapped his fingers and summoned two angels. Lisette came to blows with them, as this was going on in Facsimile, Embershade was making her way towards Aika. The blood phoenix solidified beside Aika and glared at her. The black haired girl had venetian red eyes filled with fury that stood out because of her snow white skin and dark purple paint that covered the space around her eyes and nasal bone, her hair wild and a mess falling to the middle of her back and covering the middle of her face. She was wearing a smoke gray jerkin with a white shirt underneath it, black tight fitting trousers and knee high heeled boots. Embershade used her talons to cut the binds around Aika's wrists and she pulled the gag down from her mouth letting it fall to her neck.
"That bastard!" Aika had quite a rough voice for a woman, at least when she was angered. "Thanks Embershade, Vlakier!" Aika called out that word and extended her right arm. A katana with a black sheath and matching handle appeared in her hand, it's guard was unorthodox to say the least, it was shaped in the shape of four demonic wings all pointing toward the blade. Aika drew the sword from it's sheath which she held in her left hand, the blade was cyan and glowed a bit in the dark. Lisette noticed that Aika was free and she left Facsimile, shortly after the angels and masked man followed her.
"Hey Aika, you look pissed off..."
"Nice to see you Lisette, would you mind if I stepped in?" Aika walked forward and Lisette locked on to the masked man. She absorbed Embershade in to her and entered Facsimile once more.
"I'll leave you two to deal with her". The masked man followed Lisette once again and Aika wasted no time in rushing the angels, she went for the one on the left first but it flew out of reach. Aika grinned and Vlakier's blade split in to segments, it wrapped around the angels neck and tightened, slicing through and decapitating it. The other one came flying towards Aika with vicious intent but the glow from Vlakier became more intense and Aika made a slashing motion in the air. Green flames flew from the blade and covered the other angel who fell to the ground and screamed in agony. It tried casting a water spell but the flames wouldn't go out.
"Purification flames, angels are not free from sin". Aika approached the angel and stabbed her blade in to it's chest, stopping the screams. In Facsimile, Lisette had noticed how little time it took Aika to deal with the angels and chuckled.
"Seems she was more than a match for your pets". The masked man turned and shook his head.
"Well done girl, if we go back there I will surely fall. Don't think this is over, there's another war coming and we will meet again". The man burst in to flames and vanished before Lisette's eyes, frustrated she materialized before Aika.
"Bastard". The two women stood side by side. "Aika, you alright?"
"Yeah, any idea who that guy was?" Aika sheathed Vlakier and hung the sword from her belt while Lisette shook her head.
"No, an Angel named Armand approached me earlier though, said his people have choice to make. I assume it involves him".
"Either way we should regroup back on Feridum, we can figure out what to do from their". Aika sighed. "How was it he could enter Facsimile?"
"I don't know but he could also break the rules of my dimension like me, as could the angels he summoned". Lisette clenched a fist. "We have business in Renei before we head home, in order to find you I agreed to help a shadow guild".
"Fine let's not waste time". Aika placed her hand on Lisette's shoulder and the two entered Facsimile, making their way back to Renei.
Gabriella stood in her tavern surrounded by members of the Sparrow Mist, suddenly Lisette and Aika appeared before her and she nodded.
"I see you made it back with Aika".
"Yes, now about this favour. I'll do it but I'd like to form an alliance, your guild has a way of getting information and I need that". Lisette and Gabriella never took their eyes off of each other and the elderly woman chuckled.
"I thought as much, yes I believe we can help each other achieve our goals. Fine, your task is simple... Destroy the Authority, they are located at the south of town and their leader is a former pirate called Frederick LeCroouse. He is a vicious man so be careful". Gabriella approached Lisette. "One more thing, don't kill everyone. The survivors will defect to our side and we will execute any who don't follow".
"Understood, could you please see to Aika's wounds?"
"Of course, once you are back we will discuss the terms of this alliance". Lisette nodded after Gabriella spoke and vanished in front of her once again. She made her way to the south side of Renei and noticed a mansion.
"This must be it". Lisette entered the mansion then materialized in the mortal plane where guards drew their weapons. Lisette drew her sword and cut through them like butter, she made her way up the stairs. More guards ran toward her and she made short work of them, so far her kill count was eleven. Lisette entered Facsimile and searched every room until she came to a master bedroom where a man was warming up to a prostitute. His left arm was wrapped around her shoulder and he was attempting to slide down the straps of her dress. Lisette materialized in front of the two and tilted her head with a grimm look in her eye. The woman ran past Lisette and the man reached for a gun underneath his pillow. His brown eyes holding murderous intent, Lisette took a moment to take in his features. He had messy blonde hair and a goatee. A scar ran down his face and his teeth were rotting. He fired a shot at Lisette, the bullet went clean through and the man cocked the chamber of his revolver. Several bullets went right through Lisette's gut but she remained standing. She released the second spike of her gauntlet in to her arm and lifted her head.
"Are you Frederick LeCroouse?" Her words were cold and filled the man with fear.
"Yeah, what is it you want? Money? Weapons? Girls?" His desperate attempts at bargaining angered Lisette who slowly approached him.
"I don't need any of that..." Frederick noticed that Lisette's wounds were healing before his eyes. "What I need is quite simple really, ironically though you can help me".
"I'll do anything! Just don't hurt me". Lisette's eyes widened and a sadistic smirk lit up her face as she stood mere inches away from the terrified man. She sheathed her sword and extended her left arm, blood dripped from it and stained the bed beneath her and before Frederick could react Lisette had shaped her blood in to a tendril and pierced his chest. She maintained this as she left the room and entered the front room of the mansion once again. As she walked down the stairs, dragging Fredericks corpse she heard voices. She made her way to the entrance hall and was surrounded by Authority gang members. Lisette retracted the bloody tendril she used to kill Frederick bringing his corpse to her feet. All of the members dropped their weapons and stared in horror as she grabbed the corpse's hair and manifested a pike made of her blood to put his broken and lifeless body on display.
"Listen up! Renei belongs to the Sparrow Mist Guild now do you understand? Anyone who feels like defying this will meet the same fate as this sorry bastard. DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?" Lisette's voice roared through the mansion and the Authority members all nodded and bowed their heads down. Lisette walked through them as the made room for her and made her way back to the tavern. As she entered she saw Aika, Gabriella, Maddalena and Nova.
"Welcome back child, is it done?" Gabriella raised an eyebrow and Lisette nodded. "Good, now the terms of this alliance, what is it you want from us?"
"Information and discretion". Lisette wandered over to the group and Maddalena let out a cry.
"Discretion? Ohhhh you know that I the Marvelous Maddalena Magicka am anything but discreet!" Striking a pose Maddalena winked and Lisette rolled her eyes.
"Lisette is right, discretion will be key... Especially with the current political state of the empire". Aika spoke up and Gabriella nodded.
"Yes you are right, I was also filled in by Aika about your encounter with the masked man. I would recommend starting your search in the far province of Markia, the cult who worshiped angels as gods originated there".
"Yes the old woman has a point, but isn't Markia a closed off province? Even with Lisette's access to Facsimile getting there would be a challenge". Maddalena turned to Gabriella who let out a chuckle.
"This old woman has many resources available to her besides Maddalena I know you are much older than me, I have contacts in Markia who can help you get in". The room fell silent for a brief moment until Gabriella spoke again. "It will take at least six months to arrange something, that is the only downside". Maddalena grinned.
"You are quite resourceful aren't you? The time will give us a chance to prepare". Maddalena snapped her fingers and vanished but spoke as she did. "I'll get started on my end". Nova also vanished with her and Gabriella turned to Lisette.
"Aika, you head to Zion Isle and let Griffsco know what's happened, we'll need everyone we can get". Lisette and Aika locked eyes before Aika closed hers and nodded.
"Right away". Aika left the tavern and Gabriella sighed.
"I thank you for your assistance, I will aide you how I can but I will not put any of my people in harms way". Lisette glared at the elderly woman who's face was like stone.
"Understood, if we're done here I'm going to go rest".
"Yes, take care child and I'll be in touch". Lisette disappeared and Gabriella sat down at the bar. "Things are going to become difficult, I want everyone to be careful". The Sparrow Mist members all spoke in unison.
"Yes Sir!" They all went back to their business and Gabriella smiled.
"I never believed in such things as gods and demons but that Lisette is definitely something else".
Lisette stood in the Lamented throne room before her mother. Seres seemed concerned about something and she took Lisette's hands.
"You seem troubled, what happened?" Lisette told Seres who grew wide eyed, this was the first time Lisette had seen her mother look worried.
"Mother? What's wrong?"
"It's too early to jump to conclusions, just keep me notified about what you uncover... That's an order". Seres wrapped her arms around Lisette and held her tightly. "Just be safe and take care of yourself, alright?" Seres pulled away and ran her hand down Lisette's cheek.
"I will mother, you take care as well". Lisette gave her mother a comforting smile and Seres chuckled.
"I've been around a long time, don't you worry about me... Oh I forgot to say, you have someone who wants to see you". Seres beamed with delight but Lisette was confused. Seres moved out of the way and behind her stood Xander. His unkempt hair white and his sharp eyes silver, despite ascending to godhood his appearance hadn't changed. He still looked like a messy haired young man with a bored expression. He still wore the same clothes he did as a mortal, a long black leather coat with a vermilion red shirt buttoned only to the second button and a pair of black trousers. Lisette even spied his belt where his two daggers sat.
"Xan... Your hair it's white now, I kinda miss the blue shine off the black". Lisette approached Xander and he laughed.
"You haven't changed much Lisette, how are you?" Lisette looked down at the ground and forced a smile.
"I've been alright".
"You're a bad liar, I don't need godlike power to know that. Besides Kass told me you feel guilty for all that happened". Xander approached Lisette, he had grown a bit more. Rather than being slightly taller than Lisette he towered over her.
"I... I..." Lisette held back tears and Xander gave her a kind smile as he placed his hand on her head and tussled her hair.
"Enough, the burden is to be shared Lisette. Just because you took up the mantle of Kaotica doesn't mean you are this evil being who exists to bring despair and harbor guilt. We are the two things that keep the world in balance, the sins of humanity and the pain felt all over is something we bare together... Isn't that the agreement?" Lisette looked up at Xander and was taken back to the day of his ascension. The previous Imarius took them in to his dimension and bestowed their titles, after that he asked how they would handle keeping the balance of the world and they both replied: "We will work as one, we will break the cycle of destruction and creation and move forward with what you and Kaotica left behind. That is our answer".
"I'm sorry... I just... I just can't help but feel that I caused this, if I just didn't take you in to Facsimile to try save you, maybe you and Kassie could still be a family. I never got that with Blake... I never had that and I destroyed yours..." Xander brought Lisette's gaze to his and smiled.
"I accepted the burden as did you, I have no regrets". Lisette shed some tears as she gave Xander a hug and he wrapped his arms around her. "I must go now, Queen Seres will be keeping me informed about what happens, mind you I can see all now but you know what I'm like..." Xander let out a roaring laugh as he vanished under a shining light and Lisette grabbed on to her chest with a smile.
"So what will you do now Lisette?" Seres approached her daughter and tilted her head.
"I am The Daughter of Lament, Kaotica Reborn and Heir to the Lamented Throne... I will stop that masked man and fulfill my duty as Goddess of Destruction and maintain the balance". Lisette and Seres made their way to the balcony overlooking the Lamented Hells where the wind chilled to the bone and blew heavily. Lisette stared up in to the dark skies of the Lamented Hells and felt a determination she hadn't in a while, she felt rejuvenated and was ready for the coming battle.
A blackened room, nothing was visible until a fire pit was lit. The masked man from earlier stood before another man shrouded in black facing away from him.
"You encountered her didn't you?" The other man's voice was gruff and he sounded aged.
"Yes... It's no wonder she destroyed Sazarus the Fallen God". The masked man was approached by a creature wearing a robe and it's face covered in bandages. It ripped it's arm off and handed it to the masked man who attached it to where Lisette had cut his arm off earlier. The creature's arm grew back instantly and it wandered off in to the darkness.
"You need to be more careful, without Sazarus our goals are much more difficult to achieve. Did you at least manage to resurrect 'her'?"
"No, don't worry though. I'm going back later, we will revive the demon lords. After they have been revived and the seals to their circles of hell are broken we will achieve our goals".
"See that you don't fail. I have waited quite some time for this, I'm sending my attendant out to recruit others. Strength in numbers won't hurt and no game of chess is complete without sacrificing a few pawns". The masked man nodded and walked off in to the dark.
"Lisette... Your power may be great but I will crush you".
Author Notes: Well. I tend to use Evernote as my writing tool so the paragraphs will appear messy, I will fix that at a later date. This is not the greatest work ever but it's a set up for a novel I wish to write. It's below par in my eyes and I need to refine my skills more if I wish to make it but any feedback is appreciated.