Dantega:Volume 5 Chapter 2

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(PART 2)

“An interesting play Prince Noah.” said Satan as he stared down on his chessboard.

On the white side where there were once three pieces left, now has thirteen. He is playing the game in which Noah has positioned more characters against him. The dynamic has changed from these ten extra pieces that include rooks, knights, bishops and pawns.

But Satan feels that it is too little too late.

He has already infiltrated all three countries to the highest of ranks, he is extremely close to the leaders and nothing is standing in his way.

“It is amusing how you think this would be fair game between equal opponents. If only you knew just how close I am to winning already, I’m only one favorable move away..”

Chess is a game of positional strategy, one has to think many moves ahead in order to win, but what kind of chess game would it be if one player’s pawn could jump the entire board and defeat the king in one move?

It’d be a sham.

It’s exactly the type of advantage Satan enjoys operating within the most.

“I’ll let you have your hope for now and enjoy watching you struggle.”

Satan takes a black rook and moves it to the far right corner of the board, parallel to the King piece representing the real life Queen and King of Eiyalazo.

His red eyes glow and with an evil grin he says,


Dice awakens to find himself alone in his room in the middle of the night.

(How long was I out for?) he thinks to himself.

Looking at the clock he sees that it hasn't been too long, just a little over six hours.

He rubs his tired eyes and remembers that the snake had promised to devise a plan to kill his parents.

“Snake... Did you come up with a plan?”

An onlooker would think that Dice has gone mad talking to no one in the dark of his room, but he is not alone.

The snake's bright red eyes shine the room in an eerie red tint as it speaks, “I have secured a pathway between here and your parents room... Once you walk through your door you will end up walking through theirs.”

“What do you mean?”

“There are hundreds of guards in this castle, if you simply enter their room and kill them, there’s bound to be witnesses. While you were asleep I set up a spell that will give you the benefit of absolute obscurity, you can finish the job and walk right back into your room without anybody noticing.”

Dice looks towards his room door, just beyond it is where the source of his hate likely sleeps right now.

Without a hint of hesitation he walks to it and opens it.

Just like the snake said he finds himself in the large room of the King and Queen, the lights are off and the atmosphere is ominous. This is the kind of room that is so big that one could get lost in it if he isn't careful; in fact, this is Dice's first time here, so he is treading cautiously.

Making almost no noise he weaves his way around the fine wood furniture and expensive vases, after what feels like a long walk he finds the bed where his parents sleep. It is a large bed that is covered by the extravagantly designed curtains that are used to block the morning sun.

Seeing that the curtains are down he realizes that his parents are currently sleeping behind them, he inches closer and the insanity in his eyes grow. A wicked grin surfaces on his face when he holds his hand out, all around his arm an evil black smoke forms, it grows larger the closer he gets to the bed.

The snake's voice rings in his head, “This is for Rain, this is for the person you love most... Soon, very soon you will be able to hold her in your arms.”

With visions of his dreams coming true swirling in his head, he quickly opens the curtains and sends his black hand into the bed forcefully. The entirety of the bed explodes and sends cushion fabric flying throughout the room. The destruction caused by this simple motion is truly frightening, the bed and its frame is mangled so badly one couldn't wouldn’t guess the shape of it beforehand.

Although blinded by his delusions, the sensation of hitting only cushion is still felt in his hand. Now with the blur of his adrenaline filled eyes gone, he sees a sight that makes him bite his lip in anger.

There is no one there, not even a trace of human remains.

“What the fuck is this?” Dice hisses to his hand.

The snake doesn't answer his question, it is already apparent what is going on.

Dice quickly turns around and heads toward the door.

He runs through and finds himself in the hallway leading to the innards of the castle. Though the original plan was for him to end up back in his own room, the snake ended the spell so Dice could get to the inner castle faster.

Running through the dimly lit hallway he turns to his left and heads down the absurdly long flight of stairs leading to the lobby. Once at the bottom he carelessly bumps into someone and falls on one knee.

Just the mere surprise of such contact inflames his anger.

With eyes full of fury he looks to the person he ran into and sees the flushed face of a girl in her teenage years.

The fury quickly fades when he recognizes who he knocked to the ground.


The girl moves her short grayish hair from over her bright silver eyes and says, “Prince Dice! I heard you were back and I came rushing!”

“It’s so unlike you to have so gracefully found me.”

The girl named Evelyn shrugs her shoulders and smiles off his subtle insult; she gets to her feet and holds out her hand to help him up.

“You know, I was worried about you when you left for the battlefield... When I heard about the division you were with losing its Brigadier General in an enemy attack, I couldn't help but panic. You should have let me come with you...”

“If I brought you, I'd just be constantly annoyed.”

Evelyn frowns and shouts, “B-But I am your bodyguard! Why would you not bring me!?”

Annoyed by the rise in the tone of her voice, he rubs his ears and replies, “I needed to prove to my parents that I was able to fend for myself... Bringing you along would make them think less of me.”

“There’s no shame in going into battle with your retainers. Please allow me to accompany you next time, I could have helped.”

“Wait a second…” Dice takes her hand and stands to his feet, he rubs the back of his neck while saying, “What do you mean by losing the General?”

“You know, that girl... Detrieg Von Ronheim's daughter. I heard she went into the battle of Tronoble and was killed when the LaJuutian's attacked.”

News traveled fast back here in the Capital, of course there is the possibility that numerous runners brought this false information here but it is still suspicious. The only thing he could think is that the King and Queen knew of the result well beforehand and doomed Rain to death before they could even prove it.

He knows she is alive, he knows that she has been kidnapped by the La'Juutian Knights that sacked Tronoble. What makes him angry is that his parents didn't even make an attempt to save her, he's sure that they purposely did this to destroy her name permanently.

He grits his teeth, but takes a deep breath to calm himself down, he then grabs Evelyn's shoulders and inquires, “Where are my parents!?”

Such a change in his attitude has gotten her confused, but nonetheless she answers, “They went out on a campaign earlier in the day.”


“Yeah, you know, those kinds of campaigns where they go around the country to boost up public morale during war time. I'm pretty sure every country does that kind of-----”

“When do they come back!?” he sharply interjects.

“Eh, Uh... They're supposed to be gone for a couple weeks.”

Dice grits his teeth and pushes her away, “Damn it!!”

“W-What's wrong?”

Evelyn is extremely confused by this sudden outburst, he morphed from his normal self just a few seconds earlier into an angry person she doesn't even recognize.

Because he went straight into his bed for sleep once he got home, his parents left the Capital from right under his nose. He wants to blame the snake for this disposition but realizes that he can only blame himself for succumbing to his body’s exhaustion.

It's his fault that Rain is being held captive by La'Juune in the first place and now he is forced to leave her in that situation until his parents return in two weeks time.

Dice grips his hand over the front of his face extremely hard and says bitterly into his palm.

“I was careless.”

Noah and Ash are walking along the grounds of the castle, the parade is long over and the sun has been down for quite some time now.

Guards alongside the castle walls salute Noah proudly and Ash can’t help but feel bitterness towards their devotion. To her, this person has nothing that should be honored or saluted; as a person of military rank such as herself, she finds adult men paying such respect to a despicable young King to be disturbing.

“Where are you taking me?” she asks coldly.

Noah keeps walking in front of her, without turning to acknowledge her question he answers, “I'm going to have you stay in the castle for the time being. I'm taking you to your room.”

“This makes me a prisoner?”

“Hmm, you can think that way if you want to... Personally, I consider you more of a necessary tool than a prisoner.”

Glaring at his back, Ash frowns and smiles simultaneously. “A tool or a prisoner, it’s still unwise to turn your back to an enemy like me. I am a trained soldier after all, I could easily kill you and end this war.”

Noah still doesn't bother to turn to her, it's as though he doesn't even comprehend her words as a threat.

He calmly replies, “I doubt my death would end the war though, we have quite the capable militarial command structure here in La’Juune.”

“Even if the war doesn’t end after I kill you, I’ll still get what I need out of it.”

“You aren't the type of person to attack someone with his back turned to you.”

She flares her nostrils in anger, he is right. Unlike most others, Ash’s honor would never allow her to do something so cowardly.

What she is left wondering is just how he could tell that this is the kind of person she is, they haven’t so much as made eye contact yet.

The two start an awkward silence that extends all the way to the room where Noah wants Ash to stay in. He opens the door for her and points his hand in, this is actually the first time she has seen his face since she was invited onto the float. This makes her feel like she is more on the same level as him instead of feeling unbearably low in his presence.

The room is very extravagant, the castle itself has dozens of rooms but this one would seem like it has a lot more put into it than the others.

“This is my brother Luke's room. I hope you understand that this is only a temporary accommodation.”

This will explain why this room is so much better than the others, an actual Prince of La'Juune once slept here before he disappeared.

Ash doesn't say her thanks and walks in without hesitation, this is her way of expressing how little she cares about the wealth of the royal family of La'Juune.

Before shutting the door, his words about this being temporary enters her head once more so she asks, “How long do you intend on having me here?” Noah plainly answers, “As long as it takes.”

The door shuts abruptly and the two part ways through the wall.

Ash leans her back against the door and finds herself breathing hard.

She's not tired, nor is she nervous about how long she'll be held captive for. She is shaking with fists clenched as the hate she holds for him is desperately being subdued by her conscious thoughts.

With these emotions running through her mind she thinks it is going to be impossible to forgive him.

“I have to stay strong.” she says to herself unconvincingly.

To her this means everything, and she won't give up until the bitter end, for Zurvick's sake.

Noah turns to head to his room when he’s surprised by the sudden appearance of Rain standing just a few feet away from him with a suspicious look on her face.

“What are you doing here?” Noah asks.

Rain puts her weight on her left leg and throws her hand on the right side of her waist.

“You're late.”

“Who cares about that?”

“You know, I am Eiyalazo's best Battle Strategist for a reason... I came up with more than a few reasons on why you're late.”

Noah sighs slightly and smoothly replies, “That’s just you acting upon your boredom. I didn't know that my presence is so essential for your amusement.”

Rain furrows her brow and puffs. “Don't get conceded, I'll never need you for anything. I just assumed that you would only be late due to something important... with that in mind I realized that what is most important to you, is me... So since it involves me, I'd like to know what it is.”

Surprised by how well her suspicious instincts sense his intentions, he decides not go further into it and changes the subject.

“Whatever I do outside of you is besides the point, I’m interested in hearing how you got out of my room?”

Rain smiles confidently and replies, “Like anyone else would, I used the door.”

“I assumed as much, but the thing is, I locked it.”

“Well I picked that lock, I'm not an idiot that can simply be put in a room alone and not try to escape.”

Her answer is self-evident, but the real question is why didn't she go on a rampage with her power and kill off whoever she could to escape the castle?

Noah is wondering this and Rain can see it in his face, she frowns when she answers,

“I originally left the room in order to flee from this damn city... But my power still didn't work, even when I got outside of your room.”

“Oh? That's certainly interesting enough.”

“What did you do to me?” she queries in anger.

Noah shrugs his shoulders and walks up to her, he grabs her hand and begins to pull her away from the room.

“I didn't do anything, the only answer I can give you is that your evil is beginning to dissipate. In other words, your hate is fading.”

Getting pulled helplessly along she hisses, “I don’t believe that, my hate for you is stronger than ever.”

Noah sighs and smiles, in somewhat of a tender voice he says, “I really must be a terrible person... To be hated so much.”

She halts the assault of her words on him, for some reason seeing him like that has shattered her desire to continue any further insult.

She stays silent as they walk hand and hand and she softly says, “You know, since my power doesn't work you don't have to hold my hand... Or is it that you think I am lying to you?”

“Not at all, I actually trust the things you say completely.”

He stops walking and turns, he looks at her in the eye and a thin smile surfaces on his face.

“What if I told you that I just want to hold your hand?”

Rain looks at him confused for a moment, then a frown surfaces on her face to counter his smug expression.

“Then I'd say you were full of shit.”

He lets out a little laugh and starts walking again.

“Think what you will.”

Getting further away from the door that Noah had exited, Rain begins to forget what she originally asked him in the first place. She realizes this and says, “You are hiding something from me... aren't you?”

Noah ignores her question like he so commonly does and replies with one of his own, “Tell me Rain... If you met with the person that killed your father, what would you do?”

Without hesitation she replies, “I'd kill her.”

A slight smile forms, this is exactly what he thought she'd say if that was brought up.

He meant what he said when he mentioned that he completely trusts her word, he believes that this would actually be the case if she found out he is hiding Ash.

“That's a shame... But at the same time, that is what I'm here for, I am going to destroy that hate of yours.”

As if accepting his challenge, Rain says,

“Good luck.”

“Well this is lame, I thought that we'd be traveling to a far away land to find one of these so-called 'Pawns'... We're only a five hour train ride from home!” Celestia groans in annoyance.

Both she and Allia are cooped up in the bell tower of a large cathedral.

It's close to midnight and it looks as though the lack of sleep is beginning to pick at their psyche.

They, just like the other eight Knights, have been sent off to assassinate the people that hold the same powers as Rain in an attempt to thwart the puppet master's plan.

All of them didn't get a route in which they were going until they were already on the road, and out of all of them, the pairing of Celestia and Allia were sent to a city just outside the Capital.

“This really isn't that much of a bad thing, I heard that the ones sent to Troy and Eiyalazo aren't allowed to take breaks on the way. It must be hell for them to travel non stop like that.”

The others' mission is that of the utmost urgency, so much so that once at the end of the train tracks of La’Juune when they are forced onto horseback, they are to ride until horses pulling their carriage grow so tired that they need to kill them off or let them go and replace them. Because of this, Noah has set up relay points to where certain spies are to resupply them with energized horses.

This marathon will certainly be hard on them; travel time from La'Juune's Capital to the others usually takes well over a month, with the constant speed in which they are currently traveling they hope to make it in half that time.

Celestia sighs and agrees halfheartedly, “Hmmm, that is true... but still, being in La'Juune during war time for a secret mission feels kind of off.”

Allia reaches into her expensive looking nap sack that's strapped to her side, from there she pulls out binoculars and puts them up to her face.

She stares out of the window intently and Celestia asks, “How's our target lookin'?”

Through the binoculars she stares towards the direction of a mansion atop of a hill, through a second story window of that mansion, she can see the figure of a man sitting at a desk. On the desk are tons of gold coins that he is counting and charting off on a piece of paper with a feathered pen.

This sight really gives off the feeling of a stereotypical rich man doting over his fortunes and Allia holds back a laugh as she is reminded of her father back at home.

“He's been cooped up in his room counting his money all day... I don't think I've seen him even move from that desk yet.”

“That's to be expected, he is the Royal in charge of gold after all... I'm pretty sure he is a cousin of the former King or something, it's hard to believe that we're ordered to kill off a member of Noah's family like this.”

“It is... but according to our information this man named Edward has been abusing his authority and supplying mercenaries with funds in order to take out other Nobles and Royals to obtain their resources through 'WTA'...”

WTA, which stands for War Time Absorption, is a term used by the Royal family as a legal way to obtain the resources of others or of their kin during times of war. If the Royal in charge of silver has died, then the one controlling a similar mineral can absorb that into his or her own wealth structure. The only reason it goes to another Royal instead of the King is because of the special occurrence of war, the King has to waive all responsibilities concerning that and concentrate his efforts on the war under La'Juutian law.

This will make it so the King doesn't make any decisions that would disrupt or damage the home front while being distracted by problems abroad. During war, the balance structure of the Royals and Nobles literally teeters on who will use the most off-hand methods to acquire more power. By the end of all this there could be one Royal holding three or four resources and there is nothing the King can do about it unless they are being handled improperly. This is one of the reasons why members of parliament tend to overwhelmingly support a war proposal, especially when they are certain that victory is obtainable. The selfishness of the world shines brightest during times of tragedy.

“Doesn't this put your dad at risk?” Celestia asks while twirling her hair with her finger.

Allia's glare remains through the binoculars as she replies, “No not really, my father runs the cotton industry. People like this Edward fellow here who are involved with monetary elements wouldn't waste their time on the riches of my dad.”

As mentioned earlier, Royals are part of the family whilst Nobles aren't. Allia is a Royal but she is not related to Noah in any way, the reason for this is that her father used this backhand tactic of 'WTA' to acquire his fortune during the war ten years ago.

Celestia nods her head as if agreeing as she pulls a blanket out of a duffle bag at her feet and wraps her body in it.

Boredom has crept into her, and as a natural result she yawns, “Uuuaahhhh! I've never been one to have enough patience to pull off an all night surveillance mission like this, so wake me up when----”

“He's moving.” Allia says unconsciously as the sight of him leaving the desk chair for the first time reaches her eyes. “Wait, now he's talking to someone.”

With her interest piqued, Celestia looks out the window in the mansion's direction as well.

“With who?”

Allia pauses for a moment, and replies confusedly, “With himself?”


“I'm serious, he's not talking to anyone, it's like he's holding a conversation with the wall.”

“Oho? Or maybe he has an imaginary friend.”

“Now's not the time for jokes Celestia, this is a serio---- Wha? What in the world is that!?”

The man named Edward is talking to a black snake coming out of the back of his right hand, the snake swirls around his arm as if it has control of him. Something like this should certainly be impossible and Allia's mouth hangs low in disbelief because of it.

Seeing how rattled Allia has gotten, Celestia pouts and snags the binoculars out of her hand.

“Lemme see.”

Looking through, she sees what has gotten her partner so rattled.

“I-Is that snake coming out of his hand!? Eww that's gross!”

It would seem that the snake and the man are conversing with each other as if such a freak thing is commonplace.

Celestia is fixated on this as she tries to wrap her head around just what is happening, nothing comes to her mind that can be logically explained. All she can do is watch in amazement.

That is, until she sees the red eyes of the snake shift its gaze from Edward, directly towards her.

They make eye contact with each other for a split second and a chill runs down her back, coming to her senses she ducks behind the wall and takes deep breaths.

“What's wrong?” Allia asks.

With a pale face Celestia replies, “That snake... It saw me...”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

Allia finds it easy to shrug off because from the mansion to the cathedral is well over two kilometers in distance, something like someone seeing them crouched in the bell tower would be impossible.

“I'm serious! I swear it spotted me...” Celestia shoves the binoculars into Allia's chest. “Look for yourself.”

The two switch positions and Allia prepares to look through the window for the sole purpose of proving her wrong.

“Huh?” she mutters.


Allia squints her eyes through the lenses of the binoculars as she says, “There's no one there.”

“You're kidding right? Lemme see again.”

Celestia takes another look herself and sees the same thing, no one is there. There's almost an eerie emptiness about the room that makes her heart pound.

“What in the world... Where did he go?”

Suddenly, on the backs of their necks they feel the warm breath of someone accompanied by a deep voice saying,

“I'm right here.”

They both turn around as quickly as possible and find that the man named Edward they were doing surveillance on is standing just on the outside of the bell tower.

In that exact short instance where they were looking him in the eye, the midnight bell rang like it does every hour in the day.

With that, the bell tower explodes and sends the two girls flying violently into the air before crashing onto the cathedral rooftop.



The two go sliding down the roof's angled slope towards a fall that would definitely kill them, this cathedral is massive. Knowing that they must stop their momentum if they are to live, they both regain their senses and dig their feet into the tile-plated roof to halt their movement.

Once stopped, they quickly stand to their feet and look in the direction of the demolished bell tower and find that the large bronze bell is hurling down the roof in their direction like a bowling ball dropped down a flight of stairs. The bell likely weighs more than a couple tons, if they are hit by something that heavy they would jellify upon impact.

The two dive out of the way and luckily the bell takes one extra bounce and barely passes over their heads. They take deep breaths in a state of shock for a couple seconds until the sound of the bell smashing into the road below wakes them up to how close they are to death.

“It's interesting... being spied on like this. Who are you? Who ordered this?” The man named Edward asked while walking down the roof towards the girls.

They both struggle to stand but quickly grab their weapons and guard themselves, Celestia with her shield and Allia with her bow and arrow.

“We're here to kill you, that's all you need to know.” Allia smoothly responds.

Edward chuckles, and that chuckle turns into an arrogant laugh. “Do you know how many people have tried to kill me since this war started? I've already faced off with famous assassins hired by other Royals to take my fortune. What damage can a couple of young girls do?”

Little does he know, the two girls in front of him are part of the ten most elite soldiers the world over.

Allia and Celestia smile confidently, but they too must be worried. Because in that man's hand holds the power of a demon, a certain demon that can oppose the power of God himself.

Rain and Noah sit in the King's room in an awkward silence, at least it would be awkward if some other party were witnessing it. To them, it's as though they are communicating in silence like this is their natural way of doing so.

Rain is laying on the large King's bed; to be more precise, King Noah's bed.

Noah on the other hand is sitting on a chair on the other side of the room.

It is well past midnight and the lights have long been turned off since the two began trying to sleep, but the two are wide awake.

Rain is staring at the wall with an angered look on her face, Noah has his arms folded and is staring at her back that is coldly facing him. It is a full moon outside so the light from it that enters the room adds to the tension in the air.

“Why aren't you sleeping?” Noah asks.

“How can I sleep when I feel your sharp glare beating on my back?”

Noah doesn't answer, he instead huffs a sarcastic air out of his nose and looks away.

“Feel better now?”

“Not in the least.”

“Then there is nothing I can do for you.”

Rain bites her lip in order to sooth her pent up frustration.. This still doesn't prevent her voicing her displeasure.

“You know what, I'm tired of your shitty attitude Noah! You need to stop treating me like I'm an idiot that deserves to be looked down on!”

“Or what?”

She grits her teeth, he is doing it again, this time he is adding a childish spice to it just to agitate her. She can't threaten to kill him because that has been done daily since arriving here as his hostage, it’s long lost its value as an actual threat.

When she really thinks about it, she wonders, what exactly can she do? She can’t help but feel she’s reached the limit of what she can possibly do for herself, the weeks living here under this situation has made it painfully evident.

This sense of entrapment and the emotions of anger it brings out of her, clouds her vision when she realizes something.

(...Am I really?)

Finishing her thought process for her is the voice of Noah saying,

“I know how much you hate depending on others to survive, but being dependent doesn’t have to be a bad thing.”


“I looked into your profile, or past if you will... I know how your life went from the moment you were born, from that I was able to grasp what kind of person you really are...” Noah says as his glare is returned into her back. “You always relied on the bravery of your father to give you the will to become strong yourself... Once he was disgraced as a coward, you lost faith in your own abilities that were modelled after him. So you abandoned them in favor of playing your part in the sociopolitical game of Nobility, it made it much easier for you to accept the whispers and insults from those around you I’m sure, stooping yourself to their level like that. But an imposturous version of yourself could only last so long, soon you switched your dependent nature to the comfort and the support of your mother.”

His words are beating on the back of her head, her throat becomes dry and she feels as if there is something trying to pull it down to her stomach. She can't retort, she just lets him continue with the pounding.

“You may have been able to withstand the vitriol flung your way for a time, but your mother couldn’t. When she died, the support that you desperately needed was finally taken away from you for good... With the attacks from within the Nobility continuing to follow you, you had no choice but to turn to the only friend you had left in Princess Daey.”

She feels as though the words that are entering her ears are taking on a life of their own. Those sorrowful memories are resurfacing in her head like a replay of a cheap film.

“Not long after, she was sent away to another country to be married and mysteriously vanished in the process, followed immediately behind that loss is the death of your father in a war caused by her very disappearance... With all of that loss, you gave your soul to an unknown being that promised you power of your own, he promised you freedom from ever having to depend on those that had always left you alone in the end.”

Noah pauses for a moment, but continues shortly after.

“Now I’m the one who took that liberating power away, leaving you once again with nothing.”

Suddenly, Noah feels the soft sensation of a pillow hitting him directly in the face.

Rain's voice is cracking as she yells, “You don’t think I haven’t realized that!?”

Noah glares at her in shock, tears flow down her red cheeks as she lets her emotions finally reveal itself to him.

“I’ve always known that I'm a weak person in reality, I feign strength in order to help myself get by… I hope you’re really proud of yourself for figuring that out.”

She throws the blankets off of her and starts using the assistance of her hands to prove her point.

“Since you have all the answers, why don’t you tell me just what I was supposed to do instead!? Everyone I cared for has been taken from me! Stolen from me by someone else!!” She puts the palms of her hands over her face and talks into them, “Can you really blame me for wanting something more than constant loss?”

Noah leans back in his seat in awe. This is Rain, this is the normal girl who was thrown into a tragic situation and exploited because of it. It's as though this is the first time he has met her, an overwhelming feeling is warming up in his chest.

This sensation prompts him to say,

“I don’t have an answer for your past. But I have an answer for you now.”

Rain takes her hands off her face and looks at him with an innocent face that she hasn’t shown since she was a child.

Noah's confident voice is brimming with security when he says, “You still have the power to make a change that no one else but you can, and you still have someone you can depend on. Everything you’ve lived through has led you here in front of me at this moment.”


Noah grabs Rain’s hands and looks her square in the eyes when he says, “My answer for this moment is for you to depend on me..”

“Depend on you?”

“You’re free to depend on me for however long it takes for you to embrace the power you do have. You have me to help you until you feel that you are finally at peace with yourself.” Noah smiles, “You're Rain Von Ronheim, and you have a lot more within your grasp than you think.”

The two look at each other for a few moments, Noah can feel Rain’s heartbeat pulsating through her hands as the two share this almost surreal moment. Rain is looking at him through her tear filled eyes as if she’s asking him if such an offer is really okay to accept.

Noah is astonished at how different she looks compared to before. What was once a face whittled with malice is now filled with an expression of hope and tenderness.

“You're an idiot.” Rain puffs and sharply throws herself back onto the bed. “I'm not going to be that easy.”

“I wasn't expecting it.”

She throws the covers back over shoulders and turns away from him, revealing the same cold back as earlier.

Noah lets out a sigh and gently smiles before resting his eyes to go to sleep.

“Hey.” Rain’s voice cuts through the silence. “You've been sleeping on that chair every night since I've come here...” She pulls the covers from her shoulder over her head and speaks in a small voice, “You can sleep here with me, the bed is big enough, and it is yours after all...”

“Is this a trick so you can smother me with a pillow in my sleep?”

Rain’s agitation at his reaction to her kindness can be felt permeating through the blankets when she replies, “I wouldn't do something so cowardly... If I'm going to kill you, I'll make sure you are looking me in the eye.”

Noah waits for a moment, and says under his breath so she can't hear,

“If, huh?”

Rain is normally one to speak in absolutes, all the way to this point, she had always expressed with ruthless assurity that she ‘will’ kill him. Hearing her say ‘if’, means she doesn’t hate him nearly as much.

Feeling grateful for what she just said, he decides to hop in the bed he hasn't slept on for quite some time.

“You are gullible, Noah. Who would’ve thought some sugary offer would entice the King to willingly allow himself to be so vulnerable.”

“I don’t think gullible is the right word,I told you before that I trust what you say completely. I don't think you realize how honest you are.”

“Hmph... I guess I don't.”

“Goodnight, Rain.”

“Don't get cozy with me. You’re still a piece of shit.”

Amused by this version of the once stray cat-like Rain, he can’t help but let out a laugh.


“S-Shut up! I'm trying to sleep.”

As though letting a valve release the pent up pressure of this entire day, Noah allows himself to succumb to the moment he’s found himself. He begins to lose control of his laughter; Rain couldn’t possibly know it, but Noah is laughing in relief, appreciation, hope, and happiness.


Rain frowns and her face turns red, she doesn’t know why he’s become hysterical after she insulted him, but she feels as though his laughter is at her expense.

Certain that he is laughing at her and not with her, she takes the pillow from under his head and begins her comical attempt to smother him with it.

Lelaine's sleep is abruptly ended by the ear ringing noise of a loud explosion.

Two weeks have passed since the news of her husband being killed in an attack by La'Juune had reached her, and despite the explosion that has just shook her from her sleep, she struggles to find enough motivation to get out of the warm covers of her bed to investigate.

It isn't until she hears the accompanying noises of anguished screams that she gets up to take a good look. She slowly walks to her window to peer outside, and what she sees wakes her from her half drowsy mental state.

Hundreds, if not thousands of men are fighting to the death on her castle grounds.

If this sight alone wasn’t enough to frighten her, the men who are fighting are all wearing the uniforms of Trojan soldiers or Royal Guards. Her country's men are fighting amongst themselves.

“What the hell is going on here?” she asks herself, attempting to suppress the overwhelming shock of the sight.

She rushes out of her room for the first time in days and hurries into the hallway, all throughout the castle are the sound of swords clashing and the resounding echoes of battle cries and death screams.

Without a doubt, with each step she takes, her beloved castle is being filled with blood.

Not knowing which way to turn, she heads in directions at random until she runs into a guard of hers. He is bloody and injured, his breathing is shoddy and it looks as though he has been desperately running towards something.

“My Queen!” he shouts in exhaustion. “Y-You must escape!”

“What's happening!?”

“General Sturgess... he has staged a coup!”


The guard grabs her arm and attempts to lead her to safety, but he suddenly feels the sensation that what he is pulling becomes weightless. He looks over to the source and sees the Queen standing with wide eyes a few meters away from him, and then, he sees an arm lying on the ground in front of him.

His arm has been severed at the shoulder, and the sharp loss of blood causes him to go into shock and lose and quickly lose consciousness.

Watching the bloodied man hit the ground in a loud thud has caused Lelaine's body to become stiff.

“I can't be letting a lowly guard put his grimy hands on you, Lelaine.” came the stern voice of Sturgess.

Sturgess is standing there triumphantly, holding a bloody sword with an exceedingly evil grin on his face.

Lelaine finds his smile to be so utterly disgusting that she has an acute difficulty staring him in the face when she asks, “You... how could you do this?”

“It was quite simple really...” He pulls out a rolled up piece of paper from the inside of his Trojan armor and hands it to her. “Go ahead and take a look.”

She unfolds it and begins to read as her eyes shake, she reads it aloud as if to make sure her mind is working.

“As a result of the King's death, we have concluded that Queen Lelaine is no longer suitable to run the country due to her mental state. Because of the harsh environment of the world during war time, she is to be relieved of her duties in order to protect the best interest of Troy. This is an official request for permission to commandeer the authority of the Queen.”

At the bottom of the letter is the signature of many members of Royalty and Nobility from around the city. The ones that stand out the most are the Leader of the Trojan Church Cardinal Franz Luudnt, and the Commander of the Royal Guard Anders Hansen.

These two have worked around the castle grounds and by her side for many years, for them to look her in the face with the intention to betray all this time makes her sick to her stomach.

At the bottom of the declaration is the large signature of Sturgess Wilhelm, the man who has been considered a childhood friend has written down his name so boldly on a proclamation of betrayal.

“I put a lot of effort into minimizing the bloodshed by getting this paper authorized. But some people didn't take the death of their King well, and they weren't about to accept power to be taken from the Queen without a fight... That's why some soldiers and guards are opposing me at this very moment.”

Sturgess said while twirling the sharp end of his sword on the smooth granite floor.

Lelaine stays silent in disbelief, Sturgess was supposed to be more than what he’s presenting himself to her as. This person she has watched grow up alongside her is revealing himself as a warped monster.

Sturgess continues to speak as though he is addressing the people still opposing him, or like he is attempting to break Lelaine's will to resist by pointing out the obvious.

“It's pointless of them though, even if the miracle of my men being defeated actually happened, it'd be too late. My coup has spread from the castle all the way to the front lines. Sooner or later the country's citizens will follow my rule as well, especially since I've already gained control of Troy's gold reserve. It's amazing how easy it is to sway the hearts and minds of people by dangling that pretty color in front of them.”

Lelaine despairs, dreadful thoughts of panic immerses her as she tries to comprehend the consequences of what has just happened. Without her title, the Queen is just a normal woman vulnerable to the men with weapons around her.

“It's the Queen!” a man shouts from deeper in the hallway.

He is accompanied by five others and they are all members of the Royal Guard. These men are loyal to the throne of the Queen and the sight of the blasphemous traitor named Sturgess sends them into a rage. They all charge to protect the woman they consider their ruler.

Seeing the men attack for her sake, Lelaine is filled with hope once more.

It's people like this who have given her strength as Queen, and even more so as a person.

With men like this working under her, there is no doubt that they will prevail in stopping this absurd coup.

And then...

All five of the men are ripped apart by an explosive wind that flies past her shoulder. Their limbs go flying in every direction and blood and flesh sprays and sticks to the walls like an abstract painting.

They didn't even get a chance to scream, as quickly as it started, the sight of the bloody aftermath of the massacre impacted her so greatly it immediately brought upon an intense migraine.

She quizzically moves her stiff neck towards Sturgess and sees that an evil black smoke is floating around his right hand.

A twisted thin smile is on his face when he says in an annoyed voice, “Those damn loyalists are a lot more persistent than I thought they’d be, but it is nice to test out my new powers. I enjoyed that.”

Lelaine can't even fathom what had just happened. What she had just seen is something that defies the laws of everything physically possible. Her hands begin to shake when one is grabbed by the evil hand of Sturgess, he tugs her towards him and the two begin to walk.

“W-Where are you taking me?” she struggles to ask through her dry throat, it's as though she is choking on a cotton ball while trying to speak.


He doesn't answer, but that thin smile remains on his face, and it grows wider and wider until he reaches a door and opens it.

The two walk in and he shuts the door behind him.

This room wasn’t chosen at random, this large and well decorated room is Sturgess' personal room given to him as the General of the Trojan army. This is where the plan to betray Lelaine was hatched and she can feel the energy of the lingering maliciousness towards her beating on her temples.

Lelaine turns to him and gives him a look of confusion, the look is asking him what he intends to do.

Sturgess feels obliged to answer, in fact, he is taking so much pleasure in tormenting her he is shaking.

With that horrifying look on his face he answers her glare by demanding,

“Lelaine... Take off your clothes.”

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