Dantega:Volume 5 Chapter 8

From Baka-Tsuki
Jump to navigation Jump to search



(PART 2)



Dice is up in the garden at the very top of the Eiyalazonian castle.

He’s here for one specific reason, to kill the people who gave him life.

King Gile and Queen Diana enter through the door at their promised meeting time of noon and after cordially greeting each other they walk into one of the green houses and take a seat on a table.

This green house is full of plants such as vines and flowers; normally, an atmosphere like this one tends to hold a little less natural of a feeling, but since the vines wind all throughout the structure and blend in along with the flowers so well, it feels more like stepping into a different world. The sweet aromas from the flowers really give off a soothing air to add to it. Out of the four greenhouses atop the castle this has always been Queen Diana’s favorite one to relax in.

Dice’s eye cringes slightly because he can feel the warmth emitted from what he thinks to be his two-faced mother. The genuinely happy smile she’s wearing is sapping away the light from his eyes as she speaks.

“I’m glad you’re safe Dice... Did you run into any danger out there?”

When she asked that, she was referring to his days on the front-lines with the 1st Royal division. Even though his parents are aloof to the intricacies of that whole situation, they still know that the division was involved in at least one battle.

Dice stares right through her and throws on a fake smile when he replies, “Nothing really... It wasn’t near as bad as I thought it’d be.”

An obvious lie; for the most part he was at the center of many different life threatening moments and took part in the center of the biggest battle of the war thus far. To say it wasn’t that bad after everything he’s seen and been through is dishonest.

“Hmmm, I don’t believe you.” Gile says, glaring at Dice with one eye open.

“Is that so?” Dice answers, still wearing the smile of a perfect son.

“I can see it in your face, you don’t look anything like the boy I raised.”

Dice’s eyebrow again twitches, he can’t help but think that Gile has found something out about him.

But that thought is quickly uprooted when he continues, “You look like you’ve been through more than enough out there, and you look stronger because of it... Am I right?”

“You are right... I didn’t want to worry you two by telling you everything that happened.”

Gile leans back in his chair and folds his arms. “What do you think we want to talk to you about? Of course we want to hear everything. The fact of the matter is that you’re here safe, so knowing how you got to this point should be quite the story.”

Diana smiles and adds, “I agree, we’re both really interested in your story of survival out there.”

“Hmm, that’s nice of you guys... But it might get a little tedious if I explained it in detail so how about I summarize it shortly in the way I saw it through my eyes?”

His parents look at him as if telling him they’d love it if he did and Dice begins to explain.

“As you both know my journey started with Rain... You remember her right?”

“Of course we do.” Gile quickly replies.

“We both feel terrible about what happened to her...” Diana added.

Dice’s lips shrink as he blows a sharp puff of air out of his nose. “Well let’s continue on from the topic of Rain shall we? You see, her brilliance shined brightly on the battlefield as we wiped out a division of Trojan soldiers in order to reach Tronoble. You would’ve been impressed I’m sure of it. But that’s beside the point.”

He takes a deep breath and his glare becomes thinner as the fake smile he’s trying to keep planted on his face begins to dissipate with each word. After exhaling to regain his composure, he sits astute to gather their attention and continues.

“After a week or so we finally reached Tronoble; once there she came up with a great plan to weaken the city before sending the brunt of our forces to attack. Naturally, she wanted to go alone but I wasn’t going to let her do that, so I joined her. A lot of events conspired and we ended up at the Ball that was held for the King of Troy. The plan to weaken the city was to kill him obviously, once done with that we’d send in our soldiers that lay in wait just on the outskirts of town and claim victory.”

“You were actually attending that Ball?” Gile asked in disbelief.

By now the happenings of the Night of the Ball are world famous, partly due to the military ramifications of the loss of that city, and also due to the fact the King of Troy was supposedly killed that night. Hearing that his son was in such a spot at such a pivotal time in the war has piqued his attention level.

Dice doesn’t answer his question but presses on with the original story. “Once there for a certain amount of time I was able to get close enough to the King to be able to kill him myself. And you know what? It would have been easy too. But sadly I was interrupted; it wasn’t by Trojan soldiers, but La’Juutians. Only ten of them. To get me away from the King, they had kidnapped Rain and ended up taking all the glory for themselves. They had killed the King, the castle that held the ballroom was destroyed, and along with it the entire city was sacked. Ten soldiers was all it took; which gets me to the point at why I’m so angry with that whole night...”

His parents look at him anxiously, wanting to hear more of his incredible story.

He holds his hand out as he says, “If there was only ten of them, there’s no doubt that our waiting soldiers would come to the rescue and save Rain. But sadly, they never came, and as Rain was being taken away by those ten Knights I was told that there was a spy in the higher-ups of the Eiyalazonian military that sold us out. When I returned to where our soldiers were supposed to be I found that to be true indeed, they were nowhere in sight. We were abandoned; well technically I wasn’t because I wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place.”

“I-Is that really how the whole thing went?” Diana asks, still halfway shocked.

“That’s what I was wondering as well...” Dice replies, “Can that really be the gist of that whole night? I don’t think so, you see, to me that night still isn’t over. I’ll forever be living in the Night of the Ball until I fulfill the promise I made with Rain before she was taken away. I promised her that I’d find the culprit and kill him. And then, no matter what, I’ll come find her.”

“So you’re saying she’s still alive?”

“Come now, just because you assume things doesn’t mean it’s actually true. Sure you’d think that she was dead just by taking a look at what happened, especially since it went exactly the way 'you' planned it.”

“..?”

“??”

It took them both a moment to catch that because what he said caught them completely off guard.

“Don’t look so surprised. Did you think I wouldn’t find out? You planned on sabotaging her from the start in fear of how bad it would look if she actually succeeded in anything meaningful. Did you really think that you would be able to hide behind your power to eliminate evidence?” Dice’s fake smile and polite tone are long gone and his voice steadily rises, “Did you really think that you could try to kill of the girl I love and live out the rest of your days consequence free!?”

“What are you talking about!?”

“Shut it!!! I don’t want to hear your damn excuses!”

Dice stands to his feet and his arm is engulfed with black smoke, it twirls around until it takes the form of a sword and he points it at them. Whether or not they can’t move from the shock of this strange sight or if it is the fear of death permeating from their son, they are left frozen.

A wide smile taints Dice’s face as a deep laugh exits his throat, “Huuahahaha, and here I thought killing you two in order to have her love me was going to be difficult! This isn't going to be hard at all!”

He swings his sword back and readies to send the blow that will utterly destroy his parents when he is halted by a familiar voice yelling,

“Stop it Dice!!!”

His eyes grow wide and he quizzically turns his whole body around.

Standing in the foot of the doorway is the person he’s doing all this for, Rain Von Ronheim.

He is in absolute disbelief and blinks a few times to make sure of what he’s seeing.

“Don’t do this.” Rain says, inching her way closer to him.

Dice immediately runs to her and embraces her tightly, even with his arm covered in black smoke. He is beyond ecstatic to see her and can barely contain himself. Rain on the other hand feels the ever so familiar sting of hate spewing from him. As much as Dice is happy to see her, she is equally disgusted at the assault on her five senses brought forth by the black smoke.

“You’re here... You’re okay, thank goodness.” Dice said in an almost desperate fashion.

“Dice... What are you doing?”

“I’m avenging you. You can see it now right?”

“.....”

“You can see that I love you so much that I’d destroy anyone who causes you pain. Even if those people are my parents, I’ll do anything for you.”

The tinge of insanity coming from the air of those words are felt like shards of broken glass in her ears. She can’t help but feel that what Jeffrey said about him being a lost cause is more than likely true.

“If you’d do anything for me... Then you’d stop this madness immediately.” she responds sharply.

“...What?”

“This isn’t what I want. In fact, this is the opposite. As much as I’ve always hated the King and Queen, I still found a way to vow to protect them.”

Dice stops hugging her and backs away, with his hands still planted firmly on her shoulders he asks, “You’re kidding right? You’d never do such a thing for someone who has disgraced you and your family.”

“That’s correct, I wouldn’t... I wouldn’t go so far as to give them a bread crumb if they were starving; but it’s not them I’m doing this for, it’s your sister.”

“Daey?”

“Yeah, your sister is my best friend... I refuse to let harm come upon them for her sake.”

“So you’re saying that what I’m doing is wrong..?”

“Yes... I don’t want this Dice, so please stop.”

Dice’s face twists awkwardly and he backs away from her in a shoddy manner. He drops his head and from under his hair’s shadow his lips thinly rise, “Kukukuhahaha, I get it now... I’m being fooled once again by your words. Hahahahaha! That’s right! That’s what it is! It’s just another one of your backward statements that you always use so well to torment me!!”

“What? That’s not it at all!”

“Well I’m not falling for it this time!” Dice shouts, Rain’s words and the look of concern on her face don’t reach him. It’s as though he has shut his ears and closed his eyes to reality as he continues, “My resolve is set! And I’m certain you’ll love me for this! You’re just not thinking straight, something must have happened to you. But once it’s over, you’ll see, you’ll see how heavy the weight of your burdens are once I destroy them in front of your very eyes!”

Dice’s speech begins to give her a headache and the swirling smoke rising from his body makes her feel nauseous. This is the pit of denial showing its ugly face to her, Dice is so far gone his only thought process can be focused on one thing, reason not being it. The words of the person he’s doing this for can’t even change this.

It becomes even more apparent that that is the case when Dice’s face stops twitching and becomes calm. He opens his eyes and reveals that their color has been replaced by two pentagrams. These are the same eyes Rain once held when confronting a certain Trojan girl a couple weeks back.

He smiles and from his lips comes a voice that doesn’t belong to him, “It’s too late girl.”

Rain takes in a sharp gasp of air, this voice has exited her own mouth once before and she knows its name.

Satan.

The pentagrams disappear and Dice quickly turns around and swings his black arm that holds the shape of a blade in one motion. A huge gust of black wind rips through the greenhouse and utterly blows it to oblivion; the attack was directed towards the King and Queen and was committed in such a flash Rain couldn’t even mutter a word before it was too late.

The afternoon sun that was once blocked by the greenhouse shines down upon them and an eerie warmth hits their bodies. That’s when it becomes obvious that the attack that should have ripped his parents to shreds never hit its targets.

The King and Queen are gone.

“HAAH!?” Dice groans in anger as he scours the garden for any sign of them.

The sound of his teeth gritting in frustration is heard when he doesn’t spot them right away.

He sharply turns to Rain and shouts, “Where are they!?”

Asking her such a thing is more than likely pointless, but in his current mindset he just wants to voice his displeasure towards someone. To his surprise, and answer comes, but not from Rain.

“They’re safe and away from you.”

Noah walks over the rubble of the greenhouse from behind Rain and steps in front of her. “I figured you’d be distracted for a few moments after seeing her. I couldn’t help but use that opportunity to get them out of harm’s way.”

During the short amount of time Dice was confronting Rain, he had Jeffrey slice through the greenhouse and quietly pull the King and Queen through it. Of course, there was a possibility something could’ve gone wrong with that but they had no other choice.

“Who the fuck are you?”

“You don’t recognize me? I believe we’ve met before, of course I was wearing a mask and we didn't talk to each other. Maybe my hair color strikes a bell for you?.” Noah replies, shrugging his shoulders in the process.

This seems to trigger something in Dice’s mind, his eyes widen when it hits him.

"The Night of the Ball!?

“That’s right, my name's Noah and I'm the King of La'Juune. I was the one who kidnapped Rain back at Tronoble. I’m the bad guy here, not your parents.”

“YOU!!!”

Dice swings his black blade and sends a gust of wind just as powerful as the last toward Noah. Not even phased in the slightest, Noah holds his left hand out and with a smooth motion, deflects the attack and sends it flying off into the sky.

The repelled blast of wind hits the metal antenna holding a large Eiyalazonian flag at the highest point of the castle and it is ripped in half. The sharp end of the antenna tips downwards and falls into the garden, piercing through it like a knife through butter it quickly disappears into the castle. The sound of repeated bangs and crashes reaches the ears as the antenna likely makes its way down to the bottom floor. Noah can only hope that somehow no one happens to be standing in its path.

“Something tells me that this isn’t going to be as easy as I first thought.” Noah says as he keeps his guard on Rain.

Dice grits his teeth and takes a deep breath before saying, “It’s clear to me now... She isn’t playing a mind game on me, not at all. The reason why Rain is acting this way is because you brainwashed her, you bastard!”

Noah frowns, he knows that there is no avoiding a conflict. Any thought of resolving this peacefully is shot out the window as the apparent sight of Dice’s insanity reveals itself.

Fully expecting Dice to attack him, Noah prepares himself for yet another attack when to his surprise, Dice turns around and runs out into the open of the garden.

“!?”

“He’s going for the King and Queen first!” Rain shouts as she pursues him.

Noah quickly follows suit, his mind racing as he does so. (So he is still able to comprehend the situation, choosing to take out the intended and easier targets is the correct thing to do after all. I figured he’d have gone berserk like Rain did by now... If he can still think, then he’s not a lost cause just yet!)




Jeffrey is with Diana and Gile crouching behind a bush in the thick of the garden. This whole garden area atop the castle is a hundred yards long and fifty yards wide so there are numerous spots to hide in such a radius. Ignoring the confused glares of the people he is desperately trying to protect, his whole body is on high alert in wait of a certain attack.

“Harold? What’s the meaning of this!?” Gile shouts.

Jeffrey doesn’t even bother to turn when he answers, “You saw what just happened with your own eyes, do you really think it’s wise for you to raise your voice like that? Throw away your pride and keep your mouth shut, you’d be surprised at how much good it can do for you.”

Gile frowns and is about to say something in return but is interrupted by Jeffrey.

“Oh and by the way, my name’s not Harold. Neither is the girl that’s accompanying me, we’re impostors.”

“!?”

“Don’t act like it’s such a big surprise, anyone and their mother could’ve fooled their way into having you believe they were actually family members. For future reference you really ought to pay more attention to those kind of things.”

Diana, who is almost as shocked as the King tugs on his sleeve and asks, “If you’re not Harold and Melissa, who are you two?”

“Are you sure you want to know? I don’t think you’d like it if you found out.”

“Does it really matter now?”

Jeffrey huffs air out of his nose and smiles, “Hmph, I guess you’re right about that. Well then, let me formally introduce myself and my currently absent partner. My name is Jeffrey Durbin, and she is Elise Whittier. We are two of the Ten Knights of La’Juune.”

“What!?” Gile shouts, prompting Diana to cover his mouth to keep down.

One can understand his surprise, not only did he unknowingly bring in impostors but they happen to be two of the strongest Knights in the world that are loyal to an enemy country during wartime. The two of them could have easily assassinated him in the last month since they started living under the same roof.

Jeffrey figures that frightening truth has already dawned on him so he speaks as though the point has been made. “Take a deep breath and think for a second, if we didn’t kill you in all this time, why else would be here?”

After a moment’s pause, Diana asks, “To Protect us?”

“Bingo bango bongo, exactly.”

“But why? And from who?” Gile inquires.

“You’ve got to be blind to not be able to tell who we’re protecting you from, it’s your son.”

“Dice would never hurt us!” Diana shouted.

It was not the kind of for sure statement that one would hope for when speaking about their own son, there was most certainly a little doubt in her voice.

Jeffrey sighs and says, “That black smoke around his arm should tell you otherwise.”

Gile, not trying to fight the reality of their disposition any longer calms himself and asks, “Who gave you the order to do this? If you knew that our son was after our lives, then why would you go to such lengths to protect the enemy rulers?”

“I’d like to say that it was out of the kindness of our hearts, but sadly I’d be lying. Though I can’t speak for Noah on that matter.” He shoots them a serious glare and lifts his finger to add intensity to his words as he continues, “Here’s the deal, we know where your daughters are; and our King is doing everything he can to stop this war and bring them back. In order to do that, we’re going to need your cooperation, we can’t have you being killed off without doing anything.”

Ignoring his statement, both Gile and Diana simultaneously exclaim, “Where are they!?”

Jeffrey shrugs his shoulders and replies, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. And keep your damn voices down.”

Gile grabs onto Jeffrey’s shoulders and yells as quietly as possible, “My son has some kind of mysterious power that he’s trying to use to kill us. I’m pretty sure I’ll believe in anything at this point.”

“Hmph, well if that’s the case, I’ve sure got a crazy story for you. How about I fill you in on the details before he gets here?”




Dice is running through the garden at full speed, he doesn’t know exactly where his parents are hiding so with each step he sends more of his black wind attacks ripping through the trees in hope that it hits. Noah and Rain can’t keep up with him and they both know that if they don’t stop him soon, he’s bound to connect with one of those wild strikes.

A storm of leaves, branches and other forms of debris impedes their view of him and the smell of sawdust reaches their noses. With each wind gust the shade that the trees once surrounded them in is overtaken by the afternoon sun and adds to the surreal intensity of the scene. Between the adrenaline rush and the noise this could almost be considered an out of body experience.

The desperate dash in pursuit of him comes to a sudden halt when everything abruptly stops. Dice stops in his tracks and before they knew it, Rain and Noah are right on top of him. The reason for this is standing in front of Dice, it is a girl holding what looks to be a large hammer with pointed ends on each side and a pointed top where the shaft protrudes.

“Not another step pal.” Elise says while swinging her hammer in a jolly fashion.

Dice clicks his tongue and doesn’t even give her a word when he immediately runs in for the attack. With one swing he sends a black gust of wind directly at her torso; not being able to avoid it by jumping off to the side, Elise has only two choices to make in order to not be cut in half, duck under it or jump over it.

She picks the latter.

Using the sharp tip of her hammer she slams it into the ground and pole-vaults herself above the girth of his attack. While in the air she tilts her center of gravity and takes a front flip, the centrifugal force swings her hammer along with her and the sharp end is swung at an incredible speed towards the top of Dice’s head.

Dice takes a jump back and narrowly avoids getting his head smashed in. Thinking that was the end of it, Dice thinks about his next move when,

GAAAAASH!!!

Debris from the granite pathway strikes his face and upper body as if it was shrapnel from a grenade.

“Guaah!?”

The next thing he knows he hears a strong gust of wind zooming towards his left ear and his body instinctively knows to avoid making contact with this incoming sound at all costs. He buckles his own knees and Elise’s hammer swings above his head; desperately attempting to gain distance on her, he swings his sword down and propels himself backwards by creating a gust of wind.

Little does he know, he’s heading in a collision course for Noah and Rain.

Noah isn’t one to pass on a chance like this, he takes a big crow's step forward and sends his left fist directly into the back of Dice. If the impact of such a blow wasn’t enough, Noah’s power to negate dark energy is put to use and Dice’s body is sent flying into the trees at a bone breaking speed.

The silhouette of Dice disappears in the bushes and trees of the garden and a moment of apprehension engulfs them. It’d be stupid to go rushing in after him solely because getting close to that arm of his is suicide, the three of them are forced to wait for him to come out, not being able to guess what he’ll do next.

“I gotta say King Noah, that’s the fastest I’ve ever seen you move.” Elise said, twirling her hammer once again.

“I don’t think now is a good time for jokes.”

“Oh lighten up, it’s just another battle.”

“Maybe for you, I’m not used to this kind of thing. Plus, it’s definitely not just another battle, the world is at stake here.”

This saying as quite the cliché, but in this case it speaks to the truth. Failure will result in Satan’s rule over the world; they cannot afford to think lightly on this possibility.

“Noah.” Rain says, tugging on his sleeve as she speaks, “You said you have a plan to get him out of the hands of Satan right?”

“I always have a plan.”

“Then can you use it already? I have a bad feeling that someone is going to get hurt.”

Elise walks in between the two and butts in, “By someone you mean that Prince right? You never struck me as a tenderhearted person, I gotta say, it doesn’t suit you.”

“Being tenderhearted is far from being one of my personality traits. But I take full responsibility for the way Dice ended up, if something happened to him I’d be overrun with guilt. And that’s not an emotion that I’m accustomed to feeling.”

“Oho you’re sassy too, I like that in a girl. But your stupidity outshines that pretty face of yours. If you feel responsible for that Prince, then how about you do something about it instead of getting Noah to do your dirty work?”

“!?”

“Enough.” Noah calmly interjects, he senses the emotion in Elise’s tone and can see that it has affected Rain. “I’m doing this because I want to. I’ve already heard enough from Jeffrey, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t throw in your two cents as well.”

Elise scowls at Rain and says through her teeth, “Yes your highness.”

As if intending to break the tension brewing between the three, an enraged shout comes from the innards of the garden. Suddenly, the light of the sun flowing through the trees of the garden is engulfed by a black fog.

“OOOOAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!”

With a screech of wind, what seems to be tentacles of black smoke come spewing from every angle and they shoot towards them at tremendous speeds. Being at the epicenter of a 360 degree attack like this really makes one feel that the walls are closing in.

Elise uses her hammer to break some of the approaching tentacles and dodges whatever she can’t hit. Noah uses his left hand to negate them whilst doing whatever he can to keep them from coming in contact with Rain. Though he’s quite sure that Dice wouldn’t do anything to harm Rain, he still has to be cautious under the assumption that Satan might be trying to take control of her once more.

Having these odd tentacles attacking them from all over adds to their disposition; not only do they not know where Dice is positioned, but they are being attacked at the same time while he awaits in the darkness of the trees ready to strike at any moment.

“This is bad Noah! Make sure you stay alert, he’s planning on using these things as a diversion!” Elise shouts as she does a spin and smashes three or four tentacles.

“Right!”

Noah scours the area with eyes completely focused on whatever target is to appear before him. All he needs to do is catch Dice in the act of revealing himself and with the slightest touch of his left hand he can negate the tentacles attacking them from within the darkness.

After scouring the area for a few moments and blocking a few attacks; his eyes finally catch something. Dice comes running in a direct line towards Noah with his black sword pointing forward.

Perhaps due to Dice’s brazen attack, or maybe just the whole situation in and of itself, Noah reveals a rare frown and rushes toward Dice as well.

“You're underestimating me!” Noah shouts as the two are mere feet from a collision course.

Noah sidesteps to the right and avoids Dice’s thrust; he has got a beat on the Prince. With his left hand he grabs onto Dice’s face and squeezes as hard as he can. With this, the series of attacks by the tentacles will come to an end and a more straightforward battle is to be expected.

Or so he thought.

The mass that Noah grabbed eviscerates and the pure momentum from Noah’s movements almost causes him to fall flat on his face. Quickly turning around to find out just what had happened, he sees that the form of Dice all together turned into a puff of black smoke that quickly dissolved into the air.

“A clone!?”

“Haaagghhkk!!?”

Near the edge of the darkness Rain’s gurgled scream is heard.

Around her neck is one of the tentacles.

“Rain!” Noah shouts as he starts running to help her.

As if blocking his path, a couple more tentacles get in between the two and begin to take on yet another shape. After swirling for a second, the tip of the two tentacles form into the figure of Dice’s face.

He’s wearing a cockeyed smile as he speaks, “Perhaps being around Rain has got me to think of strategy a little more often. You see Noah, I didn’t underestimate you, it was actually the opposite. I never thought you’d fall for such a simple trick!”

“Disgusting.” Elise said as the horrid form of Dice’s face in the black tentacles begins to laugh evilly.

“Let her go.” Noah demands.

Dice squeezes the darkness around Rain’s neck even harder and replies, “No no no, that’s just flat out ridiculous. If I did that, I wouldn’t be able to get her out of the brainwashed state that you put her in. Which in turn would make her hate me for killing my parents for her right!? I’ll never let that happen! She will love me! She just doesn’t know it yet!”

By now Rain’s face is beginning to turn as blue as her eyes, she can’t hold out much longer if this continues. Both Rain’s condition and the nauseating insanity spewing from Dice sets the bar of intensity very high.

Noah is desperately trying to figure out a way out of this when the intensity bar doubles its height in a flash. Before he knew it, he is watching Rain being dragged off into the darkness by her neck, it’s as though she is some kind of worthless rag-doll being pulled along the ground by a spoiled child.

Any rational thoughts in Noah's head shatter and he instantly begins running after them. There’s no telling what might happen to Rain if she is taken into that darkness, as far as he knows it could mean the last time he’ll ever see her alive. Dice’s insanity is at such a level where he might just kill her in the name of an unrequited love; with his logic tossed out the window, anything is possible from inside that madness of his.

“RAIN!!!” he shouts as he holds his hand out to her.

She holds her hand out as well and the two stare each other in the eyes as they plea for their hands to make contact. Coming agonizingly close to that contact adds to their despair when Rain’s throat is yanked harder and the speed in which she is being dragged doubles and leaves Noah in the dust.

He can’t catch her, she is going to disappear in that darkness alongside Dice. His legs simply won’t move fast enough to stop this from happening.

An extremely rare surge of emotion overruns his body as he shouts at the top of his lungs, “NOOOOOOO!!!”

At that very instant, a sound of meat being sliced hits his ears and Rain’s body grows limp and drops still on the ground. At first glance, by combining the scene with the sound, one would think that Rain has just been killed. But that is not the case here, the tentacles that were pulling her were cut into multiple pieces and wriggle like worms on the ground before puffing into a ball of smoke and dissipating.

“Man this kid must be a serious pain in the ass to be able to get the upper hand on both of you like that. Wow.”

Those words came from Jeffrey, who has nonchalantly appeared from the darkness of the trees and looks rather disinterested in what’s going on around him.

Elise scoffs at him and replies to his subtle insult, “It wouldn’t be that way if we didn’t have to protect that girl’s ego and not kill the brat.”

“I agree with that for sure.”

Noah ignores the two and immediately rushes to Rain’s aid.

“Rain! Are you okay!?”

He lifts her limp body onto his lap and braces her neck, he checks her pulse and is relieved to feel a heartbeat in his fingertips, proving that she is still alive. She has just passed out from asphyxiation, although she is not out of the clearing just yet, he is just happy she is still breathing.

“Hey Noah, I recommend you take the girl and get away from there.” Jeffrey said while holding out his hand to them.

Looking closely, one can see that there is a silver ring with a rather large metallic red circle on his left middle finger shaking violently. He pulls what seems to be a metal wire out of the lining of his sleeve and drops it on the ground. It bounces and shoots itself past Rain and Noah and into the darkness.

He takes a confident huff of air out of his nose and says, “He’s right behind you.”

From the exact area where Jeffrey is pointing comes a storm of jaggedly sharp forms of darkness screaming towards Noah, hee grabs onto Rain and runs away as fast as he can.

Expecting to at least be grazed by that attack, he is surprised to find that nothing has even touched him.

Only the sound of yet another slicing noise and Dice’s dull groan of pain is heard.

“Hnnghh!?”

Shortly after, the sound of fluid dropping to the ground follows.

The black smoke that plagued the garden disappears and the sunlight reveals Dice’s position. It is just as Jeffrey said; Dice is standing only a few feet away from Noah and Rain. Except he isn’t showing a threatening pose, instead he is leaning on one knee pressing his hand against his bloodied stomach.

“W-What the fuck is this..?” he asks as he winces in pain.

Jeffrey gestures Noah to take Rain further away and begins walking toward Dice. “Those buttons in your coat. They’re made of metal.”

“What the fuck does that have to do with anything!?”

“It has a lot to do with it, that’s how I found your location in the darkness after all.”

Elise, who is standing by watching, sighs and says, “Can you skip the explanation and just take him out already? You always have to be the guy that plays it cool, you know it’s lame right?”

A vein forms on Jeffrey’s forehead as he replies as calmly as possible, “What is this, ‘give Jeffrey shit day’? I don’t wanna hear it.”

“How?” Dice asks.

“Magnets. Take a look around you and tell me what you see.”

Dice hesitatingly uses his eyes to scope the area and notices that there are dozens of shards of red steel all around him. They are somehow floating by themselves and the unusual sight of this alone is enough to make someone double take.

“I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, but the gist of what I’m getting at is that through mathematical equations; I can control the vectors in a ‘Magnetic Moment’ to either produce its own magnetic field or react to another. In this case, I had my red ‘Positive’ magnetic blade react to the cobalt buttons on your overcoat.”

“That’s ridiculous! I’ve never heard of such a thing!”

“Not many have, to be perfectly honest with you I had no clue about this stuff until Celestia somehow managed to turn magnets into weapons. The only thing that makes me unique is the fact that I am the only one who can calculate the math that goes along with using it. Without that, my blades wouldn’t be able to move the way I want, they’d just go in a straight line towards the nearest positive metal.”

This is the Ten Knights of La’Juune in a nutshell, each one of them has a talent that they are literally the only ones capable of. In this case for instance, Celestia created a weapon that only she would have been able to conjure up, and Jeffrey is the only one smart enough to use it.

Magnetic science was far from perfect back during times of electronic technology; nowadays the entire field is near non-existent. That being said, Jeffrey has perfected the science itself a thousand years after its height of relativity.

Dice scowls at him and responds by grabbing his overcoat with his dark hand and rips it to shreds. “If I don’t have any metal on me, then your stupid magnets have no effect right?”

“Well I guess you can say that.”

“Then good!” Dice stands to his feet and flings the blood off his hand with a flick of the wrist. “That means there is no more tricks up your sleeve and I can kill you without any problems!”

Dice charges at Jeffrey with an incredible dash of speed, he shot forward so fast that a black wind trail is left in his wake.

Faced with an unfathomably strong attack, Jeffrey still finds a way to sigh and look disinterested as he lifts his right hand up and smoothly takes a swipe at the air.

With that simple motion, a dozen shards of metal pierce Dice’s back and his fast movement comes to a painful halt.

“Uggaaaaackk!?”

“I told you didn’t I?” Jeffrey says as he walks up to the Prince and peers down on him as if the Prince was a dog. “With math I can maneuver my magnets any which way I want. There doesn’t have to be metal on you, that’s what these are for.”

Jeffrey then reveals the rings on each hand, on his left hand is a red one, the other on his right being black; positive and negative magnets. With these two rings constantly creating a magnetic flux density, no one is safe upon entry. This magnetic field of his can be used in a similar fashion to planets and moons, and can also be used as repellent to keep things away, or shoot things forward. Anyone who enters this perimeter is walking directly into a vector field in which he has free reign and full control of.

In fact, back in the age of technology, scientists were close to developing guns that fired bullets out of the barrel from magnetic force alone. Having a weapon like that would make the use of gunpowder obsolete and promptly eliminate all sound in the process. That along with the doubled speed would’ve made it a perfect weapon.

Jeffrey is virtually attacking under the same principal, except he’s only using the aid of his two rings and the rest is done manually from within the body.

“Did you know that all movements of the human body have an electrical kick-start that happens in the brain? Well, using that electricity and pouring it into the rings, I’m using them as a charge to constantly create a field. I gotta say, it is a pain in the ass, one miscalculation and it can backfire and leave me brain dead, or my heart could just suddenly stop.”

When he mentions calculations, he’s talking about the precise equation needed to cause the vectors in the magnetic field to react the way he wants it to, and in turn cause his magnets to do what he wants it to. It might sound simple, but even a basic magnetic math equation can make one’s head spin. For example, a regular bar magnet may have a magnetic moment of magnitude 0.1 A•m2 and a volume of 1 cm3, or 1×10−6 m3, and therefore an average magnetization magnitude is 100,000 A/m. Iron can have a magnetization of around a million amperes per meter.

That is just a simple bar, what Jeffrey is dealing with is an entire vector field filled with hundreds of positive and negative reactions that are hundreds of times the strength of an iron bar. To calculate the SI units and amperes per meter without killing himself in the process could be considered a miracle.

With yet another sigh, Jeffrey again lifts his left hand and the blades exit Dice’s back and begin to form into something above his forearm. It’s a small sword about three feet long, the pieces fit perfectly like a puzzle and have now turned into yet another menacing weapon.

Without a moment’s hesitation, he swings down the blade directly at Dice’s neck. This isn’t an attack to incapacitate him, it’s an obvious motion to lop off his head.

“STOP!” Noah shouts at the top of his lungs. His time for being a simple onlooker comes to an abrupt end when his end goal is put in jeopardy.

“This isn’t what you think King Noah.”

“Lies, I can see it in your face. You have no intention of following my orders.”

Jeffrey laughs smugly through his nose and replies, “Ah damn you caught me. You’re right; I have every intention of killing this little shit.”

Hearing that, Rain, who has just awaken after catching her breath joins in and yells, “You can’t!”

“Shut it girl!!” Jeffrey shouts, revealing a rare surge of emotion. His raised voice alone is enough to stop everyone in their tracks and listen intently. “This is an unreasonable order that I refuse to follow. My job is to protect the King, not to aid in his destruction because of the emotions of an enemy girl!”

“That’s not how it is Jeffrey, this is what must be done in order to secure a peaceful world after this.”

Noah is trying to remain as calm as possible to keep Jeffrey from doing anything rash while he’s out of reach. If there’s one thing the Knights of La’Juune all have in common, it’s reason. Jeffrey being the most reasonable one out of the whole bunch, is not giving in.

Is Noah’s request really that hard to understand? Should they even have the right to fight him on this?

“A peaceful world huh... At what expense? Our country without a King? Laid naked out in the open to be attacked by the very countries that we saved? I won’t stand for it! I’m going to kill him whether you like it or not!”

Jeffrey swings down his magnetic blade but is met with a surprise when the sparks formed from metal touching metal flashes before his eyes.

“!?”

His sword has been blocked by a teenage girl with silver hair and transparent emerald eyes.

Dice, who is also surprised says the name of the person who had just saved his life.

“Evelyn!?”

“I won’t let you touch him.” Evelyn said, shooting a steely glare at Jeffrey.

“Listen kid, I don’t know who you are or what you’re thinking, but you’re making a mistake! Out of the way!”

She scowls at him and pushes him with all her weight, and with that he is shocked to find himself flying backwards a good distance. (How the hell did she generate that much power!?) he thinks to himself as he regains his footing.

As if answering his question, Elise rests her hammer atop her shoulder and says, “She’s just like me. She uses her balance and momentum to create a force strong enough to destroy a brick wall. Who might you be girl?”

“My name is Evelyn Le’Fluer. I am Prince Dice’s Royal bodyguard.” She declared proudly without a hitch. She then postures in front of Dice and guards him as she continues, “I don’t know who you people think you are, but I assure you; you guys are in over your heads. Even though I am just a guard, I am considered to be the strongest soldier in all of Eiyalazo.”

“Ohoo how cute. Well if its titles like that, you’ve found yourself in good company.” Elise replied, a fire begins brewing in her eyes and Jeffrey can see it.

“You take care of the guard.” he says, “That Prince is enough to deal with by himself, I can’t be bothering with two people right now.”

“Roger roger.”

With that, Elise comes rushing in for the kill. In a full sprint she lifts her hammer over her head and slams it in the direction where Evelyn and Dice stand. Evelyn pushes Dice out of the way and readies to dodge the attack by jumping backwards when Elise’s hammer skims off the ground, swings under her own legs and her body is propelled into an amazingly fast front flip.

The momentum of such a violent motion almost breaks the air as the sharp end of her hammer readies to fall directly on top of Evelyn’s skull. With a reaction befitting of a cat, Evelyn twists her body and swings her sword. It barely grazes Elise’s hammer but it did just enough to knock it off course and cause it to slam into the ground beside her. The only damage she takes from the intense attack is a few shards of stone hitting from the impact of one the pathway.

“Kkhh!!”

Elise doesn’t let up from there, with a slight step she tilts herself to the side and sends the hammer directly towards Evelyn’s abdomen. Evelyn blocks it with her sword but he impact was so forceful she is sent flying ten meters off into the trees. Elise smiles pleasurably and jumps into the trees in pursuit. The two disappear out of sight and the sounds of their weapons clashing can be heard out in the distance.

“Do you know that girl Rain?” Noah asks as he keeps his eyes on Dice and Jeffrey.

“I’ve only met her a couple times when she was around Dice, I’ve never seen her fight though. I’ve only heard rumors about how strong she is.”

“That’s good, hopefully she doesn’t get defeated before we end all this. I’d like to avoid any unnecessary deaths if I can.”

“That girl has the nickname of ‘The Castle’s Monster.’ I’m sure she won’t lose so easily, no matter how strong your Knights are.”

“I see, then it’s safe to put all my focus on the matter at hand. Jeffrey is not going to obey my command, so I need to settle this once and for all.”

Noah runs at Dice and prepares to grab him with his right hand. This is what he did to take in all the hate and evil that once plagued Rain, all he needs to do is make contact with him and the first part of the battle will be over.

Dice can sense his presence, and instantly feels the need to avoid contact with him. He forms his black sword around his arm and swings down at the ground, sending debris flying in an attempt to use it as a smoke screen of sorts.

But Noah doesn’t stop advancing, he powers through the dust and once out on the other side he finds that his target is only a few feet away from. Like this, he will be able to make contact with him and begin the extraction of the Prince’s evil. That is, until he feels a sharp pain on his calf that immediately tumbles him onto the ground.

“!?”

He has been cut and blood begins rolling down his pant leg and into his boots.

“Sorry King Noah, but this is for your own good.” Jeffrey said as a shard of the magnet covered in Noah’s blood comes back to him and forms into a blade once more.

“Jeffrey!? You dare harm me!?”

“Hmm, anger for once. I like that in a King, this sensitive nonsense of yours is really getting on my nerves.”

“You... You’ll really do whatever you can to stop me..?”

“That’s right, I’m not going to let you die for that girl. I won’t try to convince you to see things my way either, actions speak louder than words after all.”

Jeffrey then turns to Dice, the two make eye contact with each other and the blood lust between the two can be felt in the surrounding environment. These are two people who have every intention of killing each other, and they will go to any means possible in order to do so.

After a brief moment, the two charge at each other and begin a battle that shakes the castle to its very core.

Jeffrey touches the blade that formed in his left hand and it shards into a dozen razor sharp pieces that float around him as if they had a mind of their own.

Dice swings his blade horizontally and sends his own razor sharp attack.

Jeffrey takes a leap forward and slides under the wind like a baseball player to home plate. Now out of the attack’s range, the shards all fly off in different directions and surround Dice; with a hand gesture the blades zoom in from all angles to skewer him.

Dice swirls his body and a tornado of wind blows the many shards away from him as if they were feathers caught in a strong breeze. Not disinterred in the least, Jeffrey keeps moving and pulls a coin out of his pocket and tosses it towards Dice.

Not thinking anything of it, Dice lets it him in the chest, fully expecting it to bounce off of him and fall helplessly to the ground. But to his surprise, the coin sticks to him; and in that moment of distraction, Jeffrey gains ample time to get in close under his guard.

With an open palm Jeffrey slams on the area on Dice’s chest where the coin is stuck and an odd bang echoes through the trees. Dice’s body jolts and his skin shakes violently as a concussion beats on the innards of his body and shoots him backwards.

Jeffrey had used a cobalt coin as a positive magnet and did a set of intricate calculations to stick to the very small amount of iron in the blood on Dice’s shirt, and then with an open palmed strike he turned it into negative in an instant to repel the iron away. The sudden change is what caused the impact to be so forceful. It is likely that the coin would’ve been helpless the entire time if it weren’t for the quick transference in physical properties.

With Dice still flying back, Jeffrey swings his arms and the previously knocked away magnetic shards once again make their way towards Dice. The Prince catches glimpse of this and swings his black sword against a tree, cutting it clean in half.

“That damn trick is not going to work on me twice!”

A huge gust of wind turns the tree horizontally and blows it like an arrow towards Jeffrey, the magnetic shards are caught in the fray and his attack is rendered useless.

“!!!”

The tree bounces across the ground and picks up dirt, bushes, flowers, and even smaller trees along with it. This has turned into an unavoidable attack and Jeffrey knows it, unless he thinks of something quick on his feet, he’ll be a pile of flesh in no time.

A series of ridiculously complicated numbers flash in his head and he hurriedly picks one out of his mind and puts it to use. He slams his right hand into the soil and a huge mound of dirt forms in front of him, barricading himself from Dice’s relentless assault. He winces as he tries with all his strength to keep the soil from losing its solidity, one slip up here will be the end of him.

In the heat of the moment he had come up with the perfect equation to form that wall from all the iron, and other magnetic materials in the rich soil of the garden. All that needed to go wrong was to miscalculate one number and the solidity of that mass would have fallen apart, or his heart would’ve stopped before the trees could even crush him. None the less, he pulled it off, and he can’t afford to think of anything else but the next task at hand; the Prince should be gunning for him as soon as he lets his wall down.

After what felt like minutes, the wind gusts and the flying debris stop and he finally lets go of his wall of soil. He scours the area for any sign of Dice and becomes slightly nervous when he doesn’t get a spot on him.

That’s when he hears Noah’s voice out in the distance shouting, “BEHIND YOU!!”

Jeffrey only had enough time to dive forward, and that was not enough to avoid having his back ripped open by a gust of wind and seeing his own blood fly in his peripheral vision. He twists to his side and lands on his back, he desperately tries to get his magnets back in front of him for protection but it is too late. Dice is directly on top of him and will send his black sword down through his heart.

(Damn it!) he thinks to himself in this brief moment.

Through his mind he thinks of many different ways he could possibly escape this disposition unharmed and none of them work. The numbers simply don’t add up.

However, one does reach his brain as he watches Dice’s blade come down on him, (I was hoping to avoid using this unless I absolutely needed to!)

Even though he said that to himself, his body’s natural instinct to protect itself takes over and he moves accordingly. He claps his hands together and a loud bass noise is heard, the sound itself is borderline nauseating and it emits a clear ball of energy that expands outwards in a blast.

The blast halts Dice’s attack momentarily and Jeffrey sits up and puts both hands about a foot away from each of Dice’s ears; surrounding his head.

Dice grits his teeth and his downward thrust once again continues its motion and slides across Jeffrey’s shoulder sending blood squirting onto the ground below.

Perhaps due to the adrenaline rush, Jeffrey doesn’t feel the pain of being sliced just yet and instead of wincing he smiles and says, “It’s over Dice, you can’t move right?”

Dice attempts to move his body but has found himself stuck in this position completely unable to budge, he can’t even blink in this paralytic state. His eyes, filled with anger are stuck onto Jeffrey’s smiling face as if he was a statue.

“I’ve created a magnetic field around your head, the electronic signals used by the brain that are needed to move are at a standstill. The only way your body can function is by doing the mathematical calculations needed to maneuver around the vectors swirling in a torrent through your brain.”

“!?”

Even though Dice can’t make any kind of facial expression, one can still see the shock in his eyes.

“Give it a couple more seconds and your entire bodily functions will misfire and jolt out of control. Every breath you take from here on out will destroy you.”

As if his words were a trigger, blood comes screaming out of Dice’s ears, nose, mouth, and eyes. With each heart stabbing gasp of air he takes, more of the red liquid squirts out of him. The sounds permeating from his organs malfunctioning is enough to make someone vomit in disgust.

With this, Dice’s innards will explode and the threat of Satan’s upheaval of the world through him will be completely demolished. This is Jeffrey’s victory, and in turn it is the world’s victory.

He is taking pleasure in the fact that he is capable of such a thing as he watches the life getting sucked out of the Prince, what he is doing defies the laws of human capability. This attack of his puts him in almost as much danger as Dice, but he is focused and determined to end this quickly and take himself out of harm’s way.

However...

The focus needed to destroy the enemy in front of him will lead to his failure. He wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings when the hurried footsetps of someone running up to him can be heard. The next thing he knew, a bright flash blackens his vision and the only thing he can hear is a high pitch ringing noise before he falls unconscious.

Noah has run up to him and kicked him directly in the temple, knocking him out cold.

The magnetic field instantly vanishes and Dice falls to the ground unconscious as well.

The two bloodied men lay harmlessly next to each other as if they were never fighting to begin with. Such a scene really adds solace to what was once so hectic.

“I figured if your brain abruptly stopped your magnetic field wouldn’t be able to harm you. I’m glad I was right, and I’m glad that I was able to knock you out in one shot. Judging from what you told me, I’m sure you would’ve died if my kick only caused you a distraction on what you were doing.” Noah said in an almost guilty fashion.

Even though Jeffrey didn’t follow orders exactly the way Noah had wanted, he had still done a good enough job to incapacitate Dice. Now all that’s left is for Noah to use his right hand to take in the evil that Satan has poisoned the Prince with.

Noah takes a deep breath and doesn’t hesitate to lean down and reach for Dice’s bloodied face.

But before he could make contact, the soft hand of Rain grabs his forearm.

“Wait a second.”

“What is it?” Noah asks quizzically.

With her sky blue eyes she looks into the black of Noah’s with a more than serious look on her face when she asks, “What that Knight said... About you dying if you do this, is that true?”

Noah pauses for a moment and answers, “I’ll be fine.”

“Liar.”

Noah sighs and says, “I really can’t hide anything from you...”

Rain looks to Dice and glares at him for a long moment and then back to Noah. With the same stern expression she says, “If that is truly the case... Then please, don’t do it.”

“...What?”

“That Knight... He’s right, you can’t throw your life away for a person like me. And to be perfectly honest, I’d be willing to sacrifice the Prince, and live with the guilt of driving him to such a state if it means saving your life.”

“Hmm, that’s an awfully cold thing to say about someone you were just so desperate to save.”

Rain squeezes on his arm even harder when she sternly replies, “That’s the way it is. It’s a choice right? Well if I had to choose, I’d much rather have you live than Dice.”

Noah rests his other hand on the back of Rain’s and responds to her cold words. “What if I said that I don’t buy into those words of yours?”

“Then I’d say that you’re mistaken.”

“If that’s the case, then I’ll be up front with you and say that you’re full of shit.”

Rain’s eyebrow twitches but she still holds on to her stern expression.

“I’ve grown to know you quite well these past couple months. I mean hell, we’ve spent every day together right? That being said, I’ve studied the many faces of Rain, and I’ve found out what expressions you make when you aren’t being honest.”

“I thought you said that you trust in my word wholeheartedly?”

“Oh I do, but 'you' don’t.”

“..?”

“I know when you’re not being honest with ‘yourself’ Rain. And this is a prime example. Though I don’t know the specifics, I can guess what’s going on in your head at this moment. It’s hard--- no, it’s unbearable for you to see what Dice has become. The fact that it’s all for your sake is breaking your heart is it not?”

Noah squeezes onto the hand that he has become so familiar with since he had met her, the warmth is an almost nostalgic feeling to him now as he thinks about his future.

“I don’t like it...” he says in a low voice and his head down, “I don’t like to see you suffer, that’s why I’m doing it. Don’t consider this me sacrificing my life for you, don’t consider it a waste. If I thought of it that way I wouldn’t have made this decision."

After being hit by those words the serious face that Rain was showing has been cracked and replaced by a troubled one. Tears begin to form under her brow when she says, “It’s a waste to me! I’d be a lot happier with you alive! So don’t do this Noah! Please!”

Noah smiles and can’t stop himself from throwing his arms over her and embracing her tightly.

“It’s too late.”

Speaking into his shoulder, Rain says, “It’s not too late, all you have to do is walk away.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about.”

“Huh?”

“I told you already haven’t I? I’m going to die. Taking in your hate was too much for my body to handle by itself. I’ve been dying since that day anyways, so doing this for you will only shorten my already depleting life.”

“Y-You mean it was my fault from the very beginning..?” The despair cracked in her voice when she said that.

“Not at all... I was bestowed the powers I hold in my hands specifically to help people, no matter what the cost. By me fulfilling the will of these powers, I’ve met you. And in turn, I’ve found happiness; you gave that to me, and for that I am thankful.”

Noah can see how distraught Rain has become over this, he’s sure that in her mind it’s a lose lose situation for her. If Dice dies, it’s her fault for trampling on his feelings so badly in the past that he’d sell his soul to the Devil to change things between them. If Noah dies, it’s her fault for selling her own soul to the Devil for revenge.

He doesn’t want her to dwell on these facts anymore, all he wants is to end this finally and have her start anew. To him she is an amazing person capable of anything; she’ll soon realize that what he’s doing for her is meant to help her, not to put her in pain.

He feels that there is no longer the need to explain himself, the more he speaks the more pain Rain feels. With that in mind, he begins the extraction of Dice’s evil.

With his right hand he places his palm on Dice’s chest and is instantly met with a severe pain coursing through his body, it’s as though thousands of needles are piercing him simultaneously. He powers through it but begins coughing up blood as a result.

Just seeing this is enough to cause Rain to feel an intense twinge of panic.

She is watching Noah slowly die right before her eyes and there is nothing that she can about it, he has made his decision and it is far too late to convince him otherwise. Seeing the black smoke leaving Dice and making it’s way into every gap in Noah’s face is making her feel sick to her stomach, she’s almost begging herself for him to stop but she’s frozen in place.

It would seem that her wish will come true however, a certain man makes his appearance and stops Noah in his tracks by shouting, “What are you doing to my son!?”

The King of Eiyalazo appears alongside his wife not too far behind, he has a look that can kill in his eyes and his face is red with rage.

“King Gile??” Rain asks in surprise. This is the first time she has seen him since she originally left out to fight the 105th Specialist Division of the Trojan army.

Gile ignores her presence and begins walking toward Noah, each step he takes emits a threatening air.

“Stay away!” Noah shouts through the smoke entering his mouth.

The King doesn’t listen and his walk gets faster as he intends on attacking Noah with his own two hands. With Noah in such a vulnerable position the King can really inflict some damage.

Seeing this firsthand, Rain can’t help but jump in front of him and block his path. “Stop King Gile! Noah is only trying to help your son!”

“I already understand that, I heard everything from that damn Knight earlier. The problem is that a La’Juutian is doing it. If anyone can save him, it should be me!”

This is the pride that the Eiyalazonians are plagued with, the people of this country would rather do something themselves then let another person help them. The King lives by these rules more than anyone.

Rain can’t believe that under these circumstances he won’t accept the help of an enemy, no matter how futile his own attempt would be.

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Rain says in disbelief.

“I don’t want to hear it from you, you’re supposed to be dead like your father by now.”

Rain looks at him quizzically and he answers her look.

“What? Did you think that I was doing you a favor when I let you take command of the 1st Royal Army Division? Of course not, your name was growing far too big as a battle strategist, people in the royal family were questioning me about the use of your services.”

“You... So you’re telling me that what Dice is accusing you of is actually true?”

“For the most part, yes. Though my wife was under the impression that I actually cared about you, I on the other hand still bare a grudge on that name of yours. Our embarrassment at the hands of Napoleon was caused by your father, and there won’t be a day that goes by where I don’t look at you and am reminded of it.”

She can’t even be shocked at his words, to be perfectly honest, she knew it all along. Like the King of the most prideful nation would do anything for the daughter of the man who suffered the country its greatest loss. The Battle of La’Juune ten years ago will haunt the people of Eiyalazo so long as they breath the Earth’s air.

Gile continues walking closer to Rain and says, “It was a win win for me, if you actually sacked Tronoble and put us on the forefront of winning the war, then it’d be a great bonus. I’d just have you killed afterwards and place the glory upon someone else.”

“That’s enough Gile!” Diana shouts from afar in a disgusted manner, she has heard all she can and is utterly distraught about this all.

Gile ignores her and continues, “And if you failed, like you did, I would finally be rid of your name once and for all. You are nothing now girl, a shadow at best. So you have no right to be in my presence!”

With the back of his hand he strikes Rain’s face and sends her to the ground, and his next target is Noah.

If it weren’t for the black smoke entering through his eyes one could see that there is an abundance of anger residing in Noah, seeing Rain get struck like that has tweaked something inside his head. The problem is, there is nothing he can do about it, he is stuck the way his body is positioned due to the extraction process.

“Wake up Dice!” Gile shouted confidently as if he knew his words would work.

And to Noah’s surprised, they did.

Dice’s eyes fling open as soon as Gile gets within a couple feet of him, these cold eyes so filled with insanity are stuck on the figure of his father when they mold from that of a human to that of a monster. A huge gust of wind shoots Dice’s limp body upwards and away from Noah. About ten meters up, a tornado like wind swirls under his feet and keeps him there. For whatever reason, Dice’s shoulders hang loose and his head droops a little to the side, perhaps this is due to the brain damage he suffered at the hands of Jeffrey.

As if there was no feeling in it, he shoddily moves his arm upwards and begins to speak through a cracked voice.

“F-Father...”

“That’s right son! Come back to me! You’d be foolish to allow yourself to be defeated by the likes of La’juutians or some damn snake! Follow my word and abandon your foolish ambitions for that lowly girl!”

At this very moment, Jeffrey happens to open his eyes; and what he sees is something completely different from what he saw before he lost consciousness. To his right is Noah, who is violently coughing up blood and being tended to by Rain. To his left stands the King in the middle of the battlefield he had told him he must avoid at all costs. Out in the distance is the Queen with a horrified look on her face as she looks up toward the tree line. Jeffrey follows her eyes and sees Dice, alive, and completely engulfed in darkness while peering down on his father.

“Oh shit...” Is all he can say as his body still shakes off the butterflies of being knocked out.

Dice smiles thinly, his eyes grow wider as the use of his bodily functions return to him. The arm that he could barely move just a second ago regains its strength and his sword forms once more, but this time it is three times the size. A deep laugh begins to brew in his chest and exit out his mouth; he can now see it, the end goal.

Gile starts laughing with him, he thinks that this is his son coming to reason. He spreads out his arms and says, “Very good Dice! Now come to me, let’s kill these bastards and get your sisters back! After that we can take firm control over-------“

An ear deafening gust of wind interrupts Gile’s speech. It would seem that he’s noticed that something is off and the shocked expression on his face proves it; with eyes wide open he glares up at Dice in confusion.

“I knew it was you...” Dice murmured with his head lowered.

From under the shadow of his hair he starts laughing, and after a few moments his laughing voice changes into that of another man.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAH, HALF WAY THERE!!!”

The entire castle begins to shake uncontrollably and a wide pillar of dust plumes horizontally directly behind Gile. Immediately after, in the same formation, blood sprays from Gile’s abdomen and his upper body splits from his lower half. He has been cut clean in two.

It happened so fast that his brain still functions because it hasn't been able to register what had happened yet. Then it finally picks up something, it latches onto the sensation of falling to the ground in two different directions. Blood screams out of his mouth and the last image imprinted in his brain is that of Dice looking down on him and laughing hysterically.

The image slowly fades into darkness and in his final moment he realizes it...

His son has killed him.

Rain takes a gasp in shock as his organs fall from his stomach and slide onto the garden soil like jelly spilt from a jar.

Diana covers her mouth in horror and is about to pass out when she herself feels the sensation of falling. The ground beneath her has split from the ground in front of her and begins to tilt. The entire corner of the castle was sliced off and there is nothing keeping it from falling onto the ground dozens of stories below.

“Damn it!” Jeffrey hisses as he gets up and runs in her direction.

By now the level of the castle’s rooftop in which they are both separated by is over twenty meters. Jeffrey doesn’t hesitate however, he jumps the gap and lands onto the falling mass of castle where the Queen is.

Knowing that the fall from here would leave them a stain on the Earth’s surface, he instantly regrets making this move. But he knows that if the Queen dies, the world just might be over.

“Take my hand before you fall!!!” Jeffrey shouts as he latches onto a tree with his left hand and holds out his right.

The corner of the castle they are standing on tilts almost vertically and Diana loses her footing.

As a natural reaction to this she swings her arm toward Jeffrey and grabs onto his hand. The two stare into each other’s eyes and share a surreal moment as flowers, leaves, and other plants fall out of their pots and trays and zoom down past them.

Jeffrey needs to think of something fast, it’s only a matter of time before the falling edge of the castle completely flips and sends them on a free fall to their deaths.

(Damn it! What can I do!?)

Jeffrey thinks to himself while gritting his teeth and moving his eyes back and forth to find some kind of hope. When nothing comes to him after a few moments he begins to doubt heavily that they are going to survive this. The situation gets even more dire when the corner of the falling castle tips and propels them towards the ground even faster. Not only will they be flattened by the fall, the mass of castle will land on them as well, when all is said and done no one would even be able to find traces of their remains.

Diana screams at the top of her lungs and her voice rings in Jeffrey’s ears, he more or less just wants her to shut up so he can concentrate but he knows that isn’t going to happen. When the sight of the ground gets bigger with each passing second, he officially abandons all rational thought and thinks outside the box of logic. That’s when he spots something through a large window of the castle, piercing through that certain room is the antenna that Dice broke off.

What’s more is that this certain antenna is made out of metal. The reason for this is because before it was broken it was connected to an electric generation room that functions as the power source for light in the castle.

Dv05-chp07 img005jeffrey.png

In a flash, thousands of numbers and letters fly through Jeffrey’s vision and he begins sorting them out at an amazing speed. As if he was struck by a something, a certain series of numbers grow bold and a solution can be seen. This is the answer he was waiting for, by sorting out all of the calculations of what is humanly possible, he has found a way out of this mess.

Without further hesitation, he holds out his left hand and they are sucked toward the window. With their sudden change of direction from down, to the side, the falling mass of castle zooms towards them looking to take them along with it. Jeffrey notices the mass and all of the falling debris and speeds up, the two narrowly avoid being crushed and with a loud wooshing noise, the castle passes them and continues its sharp decent.

“We’re going to go through the window!?” Diana shouts as she begins to comprehend just what is happening.

Jeffrey doesn’t reply but her question is answered when they get within a few feet of the window and suddenly stop in midair. The two float ominously as the loud banging noise of the castle colliding with the ground reaches their ears, the next thing they know they are engulfed in a brown smoke as the dust and the debris rises up.

Remaining calm in this surreal moment, Jeffrey takes a deep breath of polluted air and says, “I’ve played a little trick on your son, well, I guess it’d be more of a white lie.”

“..?”

“I attacked him earlier and said that I used the cobalt in his buttons as a magnetic source. The truth is, that was a lie, he actually has steel toe boots on that contain iron. During our fight I wrapped a little bit of this around his foot without him noticing.”

Jeffrey throws Diana’s arms over his shoulders and releases his hold on her, with his right hand he pulls a rather long piece of thick wire out of the linings of his jacket that instantly coils up into what looks like a slinky. This is an electromagnet coil, this solenoid is lined throughout Jeffrey’s clothing to constantly produce a magnetic field around him, when he created a field around Dice’s head, this was needed to transfer it.

A slight smirk appears on his face as he begins to chuckle. “Little does that brat know, I literally have his number.”

He then raises his left hand and the two begin floating upwards, bangs and crashing noises can be heard from inside the castle as the gigantic antenna makes its way up with them.

Jeffrey smiles as he explains, “If this coil of wire is wrapped around a material with no special magnetic properties like cardboard or something, it will tend to generate a very weak field. However, if it is wrapped around a soft ferromagnetic material, such as an iron nail, or to be more exact, iron boots, then the net field produced can result in a several hundred to thousandfold increase of field strength.”

To simplify, it means that the solenoid coil that he had wrapped around Dice’s boot is permeating a strong enough magnetic field for Jeffrey to latch onto and send materials towards it. He is using the ring on his left hand and a set of calculations for that sole purpose, and the ring on his right hand along with a separate batch of calculations to keep him moving along with the antenna at a safe distance away.

“I hate to do this to you lady, but your son is fucked.”




“HAHAHAHAHA WITH THAT I’VE ARRIVED!!!” Satan shouts through Dice’s mouth.

The scene in the garden at the top of the castle is that of absolute dread. Not only did the King get sliced in half, but the Queen and Jeffrey had most certainly fallen to their deaths. To top things off, Noah is barely conscious and is coughing up blood violently; it would seem that there is nothing they can do.

Dice’s body grows wings just like Rain’s did and he floats towards Noah and Rain; the roles are reversed this time and Rain gets in front of the struggling Noah and guards him.

“What do you think you can do girl?” Satan asks as a smile forms on Dice’s face.

“I won’t let you touch him!”

“Don’t worry girl, I’m not going to kill him. I’m just going to cut off those pesky arms of his and torture him until he succumbs to your hate. A fitting death for a man who opposed the Devil don’t you think?”

Rain scowls at him and firmly keeps her position.

This prompts Satan into a sigh, he shrugs his shoulders and says, “Very well then, just because you once gave me your soul, I’ll do you a favor and end this quickly. How about I show you my full strength by turning the both of you into dust?”

Satan spreads Dice’s arms and a huge mass of dark energy pulsates above his head and grows larger every second, the mass causes the castle to shake and makes the air crack with static. He begins to laugh pleasurably as the power that has been absent from the world for over a thousand years finally can reveal itself once more.

However, his laugh comes to a stop when his energy fizzes out and loses power before fading into nothing.

“What!? I should be able to use my full power once the contract was fulfilled!” he asks himself in confusion.

Then the answer dawns on him like a bolt of lightning...

The Queen is somehow still alive.

If that wasn’t enough of an answer, an extra one comes from below.

GGGGAAAAAAAAAAASSSSHHHHH!!!!!!

In a massive blast the antenna screams through the innards of the castle and exits out of the garden floor. All of the debris the thirty meter long mass of metal brought up with it suddenly appears right below Dice’s feet.

Satan’s vision is clouded by the dirt, wood, branches, and even whole trees pluming up towards him.

“!!??”

Before he can even react, the fat end of the antenna crashes into his legs at such a speed they both instantly compound fracture and his vertebrae smash together before his face violently meets the metal with a loud thunk.

His silhouette disappears along with the uprising debris and the antenna screams over the side of the castle and flies a hundred meters before beginning its decent to the ground. The force of impact was so great that a torrent of wind still blows even after the initial hit is long over.

The clitter-clattering of thousands of pieces of the castle landing on the ground doesn’t stop for almost a minute as the maelstrom of noise and wind finally come to an end. Standing in absolute shock is Rain, she has to shut her eyes and shake her head to fathom the severity of what had just occurred.

She is brought back to her senses when she feels the gentle touch of a hand on her shoulder.

“S-Stay here...” Noah struggles to say as he shoddily walks to the side of the massive crater caused by the antenna.

From above falls Jeffrey holding Diana in his arms, perhaps due the the physical exhaustion caused by what he had just accomplished he stumbles upon landing.

“Now that...” he says as he lets Diana to her feet. “Gave me a migraine.”

Blood squirts out of his ears as he winces in pain and drops to one knee.

“You did good Jeffrey.” Noah said as though he expected something of such magnitude from the Captain of the Ten Knights of La’Juune.

He walks past Jeffrey and into a pile of rubble, he removes some tree branches and some planks of wood and finds Dice laying there in terrible shape.

His legs have been horribly mangled, his body seems to be tilting the wrong way, and his left eye is gone.

Noah leans over and checks his pulse, and to his surprise he’s still alive. This could be the doing of the state of his body under Satan’s power because a normal human should have been flattened by such an impact; and Noah is certain that was Jeffrey’s intent. None the less, he can still be saved, by the looks of it he’ll likely never walk again but he can still be saved, he must be saved.

Noah holds out his right hand and gets ready to do what he came here for when from out in the distance comes Elise. She is carrying the limp and unconscious body of Dice’s royal bodyguard Evelyn, other than a few scratches she is completely unscathed for the most part. It's obvious that the rumored 'Castle's Monster' wasn't much of a match for her.

She smiles and says happily, “ Yohooo I’m all done here! What did I miss?”

She takes one good look at the destruction she had heard during her battle and looks at Jeffrey dejectedly.

“Don’t look at me like that, I was just doing my job.”

“You’re a monster you know that?”

“Why thank you. One of the core values of magnets is the planet’s gravitational force, by reversing the direction of it from pulling downwards to pushing up, I can create the same effect of having a heavy mass of metal falling on someone from below.”

In other words, what had just happened to Dice was of the same equivalent to having something that weighted tons landing on him from hundreds of feet above, just reversed.

“Listen everyone.” Noah interrupts their conversation and addresses everyone present. “You are to run our country and settle this war in my absence until the Napoleon and the others return. This is my final order to you two and the rest of the Knights.”

“What makes you so sure they’ll return?” Elise asks.

Noah smiles and answers, “I just know it, it might be a bold prediction but I know that they’ll be back one day and the world can be at peace. So trust me on this.”

Jeffrey can hardly move, so stopping him is out of the question, this time he has no choice but to accept what is to come. He sighs and replies, “Yes sir.”

Noah then turns to Rain and looks at her tenderly. “Rain... There’s so much that I want to tell you, but I hope that my actions reveal my feelings for you at the end of all this.”

She fights back tears as her own feelings jumble inside of her chest. “Noah I... I---“

“Don’t worry about it.” He again turns to Jeffrey and says, “On second thought, this is my official last order as King.”

He looks at him intently as Noah finishes, “Rain is to be happy... And you are to ensure of that, got it?”

“Yes sir.”

“Good... With that, I’ll be going.”

“Yes sir.” Both of the Knights say simultaneously.

Noah doesn’t hesitate and puts his right hand on Dice’s chest; the remnants of Dice’s evil and hate screams into his body and he is overwhelmed by a horrid pain.

“Noah wait!” Rain shouts as she runs to him.

Elise blocks her path and keeps her from getting any closer. Rain tries to get past her but even with Evelyn on her shoulder, she is simply too much for Rain to surpass.

She shouts as she watches Noah die before her eyes. “Noah!! Stop this! I don’t want you to do this anymore! Let him go!”

Noah doesn’t stop, the floodgates have already been opened and by now almost all of the evil of Dice as been taken in by Noah.

“NOAH!!!”

Rain shouts but her words seem to go unheard, that is until she shouts the one thing that gets Noah’s attention.

“Please don’t do this!!! I LOVE YOU!!!”

The last torrent of darkness slithers its way into Noah’s body and the job is done. He stands motionlessly for a moment and falls to his knees. If one looked close enough, through the blood on his face he’s wearing a smile as he rocks from side to side uncontrollably.

From this position, he says to her what will be his final words.

“...Thank you.”

He then falls limply onto the rubble and fades away.

Rain’s heart sinks to her stomach and she is finally able to get away from Elise and run to him. She puts him into her arms and shouts his name a few times to no avail.

“He’s gone.” Jeffrey said in a bitter tone after watching her desperate attempt at getting him to wake up.

“No!! No he isn’t! He can’t be!!”

With denial written all over her face she said those words in anguish. She squeezes him tightly and begins to weep hysterically. With her cheek pressing up against his, she then notices a small breath of air blowing against her ear, she looks at Noah and checks for a pulse and finds that his heart is still beating.

“He’s still alive!” she shouts to Jeffrey as if expecting him to do something about it.

“No he’s not. He’s as good as dead.”

“How can you say that so coldly!? He’s your King isn’t he!?”

“Of course he is, but that doesn’t change the fact that he isn’t coming back.”

“!!”

“Don’t you get it? King Noah and that brat are in a coma; the difference between them is that Dice’s coma will end once his soul is used to functioning without the use of darkness. Noah’s on the other-hand is slowly being eaten away by yours and that brat’s hate. Once it is completely engulfed, it’s over."

“B-But there’s a way to stop it right?? There’s got to be!”

“That hate comes directly from Satan himself, unless we magically find a way to kill him before his darkness eats Noah’s soul completely, there is no chance of his survival. I don’t know about you, but I happen to think that’s entirely impossible.”

“N-No way...” Rain said is disbelief as all shreds of hope was dashed for her.

She had finally realized what he meant to her now that he’s gone; and now there is nothing she can do other than cry into his chest.

Jeffrey takes a deep breath and turns to Diana, he points in Dice’s direction and says, “Go to your son... And be grateful that the King of La’Juune was a merciful pansy who kept him alive for a stupid girl.”

Diana looks him in the eye and bows, “Thank you... I never loved Gile, and though I can’t say that I’m all too saddened by his death, if one of my children were to die I don’t know how I could live with myself.”

After saying words that Jeffrey found a little unnecessary, she runs to the aid of her battered son.

Jeffrey scratches his head and says to himself, “That’s a little sad... For a woman as beautiful as you to never have fallen in love.”

“Oh? So older women are more your type huh?” Elise asks as she pats him rather hard in the shoulder; she had dropped Evelyn in a pile of flowers a few feet away.

“Now’s not the time for your damn jokes. We’re in deep shit here.”

“I've heard that twice already today, so trust me I know, it’s just natural for me to pick on you.” She looks around at all the destruction and it prompts her to ask, “So now what?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know what I mean... What do we do next?”

Jeffrey looks around at the scenery as well and he figures that at any moment, soldiers will be arriving to see that the King is dead and La'Juutians are standing over his body. One glance would be enough to execute them on the spot, and he highly doubts with a tattered and unconscious Prince present that the words of the sole surviving Queen would be enough to sooth their rage. They'd more likely think that they had made her say that they are the good guys than to actually believe her.

With those thoughts and many others in mind, such as the future of both the countries of Eiyalazo and La'Juune, he answers to the best of his ability.

"I have no clue."




Back to Checkmate Return to Main Page Forward to Checkmate (Part 3)