Feliciano followed silently behind Arthur into the underground fortress with Victoria in Arthur's arms. To say that Arthur was in a foul mood was an understatement. Feliciano was terrified of what was going to happen and wanted nothing more than to take Victoria and run away. He was the fastest when it came to retreating but with this pendant around him and with no real way out, he was trapped.
Arthur went berserk once that female pirate returned and failed to bring back ___________ and told Arthur that a pirate named Alfred betrayed him. What really drove him over the edge was that most of the crew were terrified of him and they were having second thoughts too. Feliciano had never seen anything like it, he had nightmares for days and he swore that there was blood everywhere.
They finally arrived at an underground chapel where there was a long hallway between the double doors and a grand staircase. It was creepy how empty this room was with stain glass windows above them with pictures of demons and angels alternating in each one. The room was no longer empty once Feliciano followed Arthur up the right spiral staircase.
Once he reached the top, there was another set of stairs that lead to that lead to a wall with two gargoyles crossing their wings where a door entrance might be. Across from the two gargoyles, there was a third one with a large gem in its chest containing six golden balls and wisps of smoke dancing around them.
Feliciano looked at his immediate surroundings and he was horrified. There were seven altars, six in a circle and one unoccupied altar in the center. The others were occupied by three boys and three girls. They were all so young, the oldest looking one was a boy with chin length golden hair. But with them resting so peacefully, it was hard to tell.
Arthur placed Victoria on the center altar and positioned her like all the rest, hands crossed on her stomach and he cast a spell in which a light engulfed her body. Once it faded, she was in a elegant short white dress.
"Quite fitting for a princess, wouldn't you say?" Arthur smirked. "A very troublesome princess if you ask me. Love really is unpredictable and always seems to get in the way of the grand schemes which I find to be a nuisance." Arthur sighed and lowered his head so his forehead touched her hands.
Feliciano noticed that Arthur's eyes shifted from gold to a deep shade of green, a shade that Feliciano hasn't seen from him before and he was unsure of what to expect. He was quite afraid of what he was going to do to Victoria.
"I promised I'd reunite you with your sister
" Arthur's eyes went back to his usual lighter shade of green with a gold tint to them and smirked again as he stroked Victoria's cheek. "And a gentleman never goes back on his word."
"Don-Don't touch her!" Feliciano weakly shouted. "Don't touch Victoria!"
"And what do you know boy? You don't even know who she is." Arthur replied lazily as he stood up.
"I know she's ____________'s sister. And ___________ is part of my family and therefore, Victoria is my family too and I
I won't let you hurt her!"
"Who said that I was going to hurt her?" Arthur said slyly emphasizing on 'I'.
"What are you planning to do?"
"Look around you. Is it really that hard to figure out what's going to happen once I get the girl's heart and soul here?"
"You know what I mean. What are you planning to do to ____________?"
"Good boy. You're cleverer than I originally thought." Arthur mused. "I have no need for weak vessels and with my power weakening its grip, I say good riddance to them. It would be better if I could concentrate all my power on one vessel instead of four."
Arthur motioned to three other figures Feliciano hadn't noticed before on the sides. There was a blonde pirate in a long black coat and garments and he wore an eye patch. The eye that wasn't covered was a vivid blue. The other figure was short Asian man with a dark ponytail and was wearing red oriental robes. His eyes were gold but not quite the demon's shade. The third was the female pirate he met before.
"I was hoping that I could have Kirkland sacrifice himself for my sake but there is proof that there are others who challenge his power and he is no longer the strongest. You and _____________ have deemed worthy candidates and I intend to take one of you because my body no longer exists." Feliciano's eyes widened in horror. "If both you and ____________ make it difficult for me, well
I can't promise that you will be responsible for your actions. I'll make you kill everyone if she refuses to yield and you somehow manage to resist attacking her."
Then take me! Take my body if you want it so badly."
"Sadly, there's the rub. You don't get to decide who shall be sacrificed. Your job is to release her soul seeing as I can't do it. And she has to decide whether to bring you to the darkness in her place or go herself as my sacrifice. But if she doesn't make her choice quickly and you don't release her soul and her sister's soul, I'll make you kill everyone and you'll be my sacrifice. "
"That not fair! It makes no sense!" Arthur walked over to Feliciano and slapped him on the cheek which made him yelp.
"That's the world. It's going to be MY world soon. You obey then I will let you live with your so called family."
It seemed like the days were going by very quickly and at the same time, they were going by at a torturously slow pace. It was easy restocking from Thebes, the crews knew exactly what they needed and gathered everything within two days. There weren't any new recruits this time around but the crew that was still around were highly skilled. The new recruits you picked up last time were among those who were killed any there was no time to train wannabe pirates.
The winds were in your favour on the day you were set to sail. However, they turned into a storm later in the evening that dragged on through the night. This time, you didn't have to help secure the sails, you had to help navigate with your compass. The giant waves threw the ships off course and it took two other men along with Gilbert to control the helm of his ship. You stayed near them to give the direction you needed to go and you held onto the compass as if it was the last lifeline you had.
Other than that one night, it was smooth sailing. You were relieved (or more like kicked out) of kitchen duties, courtesy of Ludwig. You thought Ludwig was alright but he was stricter than Gilbert regarding cleanliness and training and had an unintentional frightening appearance. But the way that Feliciano talked about Ludwig, you did believe Feliciano when he said Ludwig was a nice person. You learned to not get in his way when cleaning. He was originally supposed to help you but somehow, you ended up without kitchen duty.
You weren't complaining too much though. It gave you more than enough time to improve your fighting skills. Since you joined Gilbert and his crew, your skills have improved significantly. You had one or two excellent techniques and tactics but overall, you were slightly above average regarding your skills. It was enough for you to survive and this time, just being able to survive isn't enough. You had to set your goals much higher. You trained vigorously with Alfred and Gilbert to improve your physical attacks and didn't really work to improve your magic with Lovino.
"Again!" You panted and pointed your sword at Alfred once you finally managed to knock his sword out of his hand. You made too many mistakes when fighting him. He almost beat you but you were finally able to get the upper hand. This wasn't the first time this happened when you were dueling him. He almost always had an advantage because of his strength and knocked you down several times but you forced yourself back up and managed to knock his sword out of his hand. Your body was exhausted and pleading you to stop but your mind was like a drill sergeant, telling you to keep going.
"______________, dude, don't you think we should take a break? I mean, you've been going practically non-stop and you've improved. And I'm hungryyyyy." Alfred whined.
"One more round, Alfred!" You barked. It goes without saying that your attitude was fairly sour while you were in your non-stop training mode. You thought that you had every right to continue training until you literally passed out because you believed that this would improve your endurance and you have a limited time span to do so.
"Very well." You raised your sword and pointed at him. "Don't expect me to lay off." Before you could begin the battle, there was a flash of light and some strange thing appeared out of nowhere. You skidded to a stop but kept your footing.
'What in the world?'
"Fucking bitch." It said to you and you were horrified and furious. Before you could react, Alfred stopped you.
"Hang on, that's my friend Tony." Alfred stopped you.
'And Victoria met him? He better not have taught her those words.'
"Bitchy bitchy FUCKING!! Fucking. Fucking fucking Bitchy!!. "
"What?! You better be serious dude!"
"You understand him?" You point to the creature.
"Yeah." Alfred's expression turned grave. "Arthur's completely losing it."
"Define 'losing it'." You said cautiously, your mind thinking of the worst that could be happening. You hold your breath in anticipation.
"He killed the majority of his crew. Once he found out that I was helping you, he killed his crew because others had second thoughts of helping him. But your sister and Feliciano are still alive."
'Thank God.' You allowed yourself to breathe again and you bit your lip. "Alfred. He has to be stopped. I'm ending it once we get there."
"No, _________________, please! Just-just give him a chance! I KNOW he's still alive."
"How long do we have to wait?" You cried with tears threatening to spill from your eyes. "You say that the person you knew is still alive but I can't just sit around and let my sister and my best friend die while we wait! I'm putting an end to it all."
"There's still time. They can all be saved, ___________________."
Later that night, Alfred had gathered the crews and explained the situation by translating Tony's rather unique speech. Even though Arthur didn't have his crew, he wasn't alone. If someone were to believe Alfred's theory that Arthur was actually possessed by a demon, then according to him, three other pirates were possessed as well.
"We have an advantage, don't we then?" Lovino said and some of the crew members agreed. "I think it's time we've gotten some payback." He said as he cracked his knuckles. You translated this as his way of saying that he won't let Kirkland off so easily since he took his twin brother.
"Don't be so rash, Lovino." Antonio said. "Just because that we outnumber him doesn't mean that the odds are in our favour."
"And if those other demons are free
" Francis started as his gaze steadily descended to the deck in fear.
"Like hell we're going to let him have his way! He may have magic powers but we've got more than enough skilled men! We don't go down so easily!" Gilbert said loudly and most of the crew cheered.
'Right. We don't go down without a fight.' You smiled to yourself. 'Until the very end.'
You woke up at dawn for the next few days, staring out to the horizon in search for that one island where Kirkland was waiting. That island was not in sight and it was killing you on how slow this journey was progressing. Once the threads on your compass got thicker, you eased up a bit on your training. After much persuasion from Gilbert and your friends, you did not push yourself too hard after Tony came because it would be really bad if you had overworked yourself.
Finally, you reached the island by nightfall on the fifth night. The waters bordering the island were no less treacherous than the ones at the Seal when it came to rocks that blocked the ships' paths. The entrance was on sea level and only boats could get through it.
Gilbert, Antonio, Francis and their boats followed in single file once the ships were in. Alfred, Ludwig and Gilbert were in with you and Sakura was told to remain behind for her safety. Once you landed inside the cave, you were quite surprised to see that it was modernized. It was more like a castle or a fortress inside. The architecture was at least from the Renaissance era and it also had a Gothic theme to it. There were gargoyles marking the paths that stretch down the main hall and if someone were to stray from the main path marked by gargoyles and a dull red carpet, they could easily get lost with the number of doors and corridors throughout the halls.
The rooms gave you a haunting eerie feeling as you continued to walk forward. Your footsteps echoed and it seemed like it was quiet as if you were the only ones there. But you knew better. You could feel at least one pair of eyes burn into your being, watching your every move. You finally made it to a grand chapel like room where there was a dual entry grand staircase straight ahead of you. You could feel a menacing aura just above it and you had a feeling that Kirkland was there.
Once you reach on the metal landing, you were horrified to what you saw. Seven altars. All occupied by dead
No, they weren't dead. They couldn't be. Arthur couldn't afford it
By seven sleeping people in white elegant clothing. They were no doubt all the Pure Ones. The center altar had your sister with her serene sweet face that was frozen in a deep sleep and it killed you to see her like this. Your mind told you that she was dead.
'No, she isn't! She can't be!' Out of instinct, you ran up to her.
"No, _________________ wait!" Gilbert tried to hold you back but you were too quick for him.
"Tori!" You cried as you embraced her upper body with your arms, holding her close. She was cold, far too cold and it added to her deathlike appearance. It was definitely something that you did not want after being separated for so long.
"Now isn't this a touching scene." A familiar voice drawled. You turned your head to a second set of stairs that lead to a higher landing and Arthur was sitting on top of it, smirking away. Three figures appeared on the landing you were on, surrounding Gilbert and the others. They all had a goldish tone in their eyes and expressionless faces.
You saw there was a female pirate with black hair and black clothing, a tall blonde spikey haired pirate and a fairly short pirate with long brown hair that was tied back in a ponytail and was wearing traditional Chinese clothing.
"Kirkland!" You growled.
"Miss _______________ we meet again. I'm so glad that you and your companions could join me for the ceremony. As you can see, all the Pure Ones are here but one is incomplete and I can't start the ceremony until she is. So here's the deal: If you co-operate, I will grant you and you loved ones protection so that you may survive the new era." Arthur made his way down the stairs with his boots clanking on the metal.
"No. Don't think for a second I'll yield to you." You draw your sword. "There's NO WAY you're taking my sister's heart!" Gilbert and the others started engaging with the other three pirates while you dueled with Arthur. He seemed less difficult to fight than you expected and you knew that something was wrong. You were fighting him by yourself and it was difficult to protect yourself. You were able to land a few attacks on him but you knew that he was holding back, like he had an ace up your sleeve.
You made him back up the second set of stairs to the middle of the landing and you crossed your blades with each other and moved in a circle as if you were in a dance. Your eyes met each other in a tense atmosphere. Green eyes that have shifted to a malicious gold during the fight were locked on to your feisty determined (e/c) eyes.
There was something that distracted you from the fight, the gargoyle that divided the top of the landing dividing the stairs had a peculiar large gem in its chest. You weren't entirely sure what was in there but you had an idea and you knew you had to get rid of it somehow. You soon got your wish when you finally were able to set Arthur up. You had your back to the statue and had your free hand supporting yourself on it as you slowly walked around.
"Scared, love?" Arthur smirked.
"You wish." You growled. Arthur thrust his sword at you and you spun out of way at the perfect time so his sword would stick in the gem and released the golden orbs and flew over to the bodies, merging with them. You noticed that beyond the 7 bodies shadow beings had appeared fighting the others making their numbers even. Your attention was redirected back to Arthur who had a malicious smirk that seemed to be growing.
"Six out of seven. I will forgive you for that little stunt if you let go of your sister's heart."
"I don't like repeating myself, Kirkland." You reply curtly. "What are you going to do? Your magic won't work on me."
"That may be true. But what about
dear Feliciano?" He snapped his fingers and Feliciano appeared out of nowhere in front of Arthur and took a swing at you with magic fire.
"Feli!" You cried. You were ready to burst out into tears once you saw him. He was beaten up, he was bloody, tired, and he absolutely didn't want to fight you despite that he was forced to.
"_________________, get out of here! Take everyone and go!" He automatically raised his arms as if he were to cast a spell on you.
Gilbert, Lovino and Ludwig turned and all shared a horrified expression once they saw Feliciano. He was making every offense possible to corner you and attack you. You couldn't strike back at him or run away because he and Lovino were the only ones that were faster than you.
"You may have freed six Pure Ones but there's no way you can free both your sister and Feliciano and still walk away." Arthur smirked.
Gilbert and Lovino tried to make their way over to help you but the female pirate that was helping Arthur and the Asian pirate was keeping them busy and blocking their path.
"It's rude to leave in the middle of something." The Asian pirate said as he relaxed his arms a bit from his attack position.
"Then allow me to take their place, Teacher." Another Asian boy that was a bit shorter than Lovino dashed in between them with balls of ember in his hands. A long blonde haired girl stepped in as well and her hands were glowing a deep green and some stones were floating behind her.
"Go help your friend! We've got this!" The girl said to Gilbert.
"But before you do
" A cheerful looking blonde haired brown eyed boy cast a spell and Gilbert and Lovino's injuries were healed. "You don't want that to slow you down, now do ya? If you'll excuse me, I have to try and knock some sense into my friend." He said with a Finnish accent. Gilbert nodded in thanks to him before he helped another girl and Alfred fight off the tall spikey haired pirate in black.
Gilbert and Lovino were almost to the landing when they felt something was constricting their bodies and they felt as if their lungs were being squeezed out. They turned and the female pirate was squeezing the life out of two straw dolls.
"I won't let you get to Arthur!" She smirked. "Hey, Beilschmidt. How about you blow your girlfriend one last ki- ack!" She was shot twice simultaneously but her wounds healed almost instantly.
"What a nuisance." A blonde haired, green eyed boy muttered as he held up his gun along with a girl next to him who was also holding a gun.
"Vash! Long time no see!" Gilbert grinned.
"Hmph. Get your head straight Gilbert and go after Kirkland!"
You kept on dodging Feliciano's attacks quickly with very little time to rest. You had a tight grip on your sword but refused to attack him. Arthur was watching you like a hawk with a smirk on his face.
"You won't get anywhere if you only keep on dodging him. You have to grip his heart with every amount of strength that you have and you can't do that from afar either otherwise you lose everything." Arthur was suddenly engaged by Gilbert and Lovino came to help you.
"Lovi!" Feliciano squeaked as tears fell down his face.
"Do you have any idea what trouble I had to go through you bastard?!" You were about to reprimand Lovino for speaking to Feliciano like that but then you thought this wasn't the best situation. "C'mere so I can give you a good ass kicking."
Feliciano gave a bitter smile. "Then
Give me a good ass kicking."
"Lovino wait!" Lovino ran up to Feliciano and you pulled Lovino back before Feliciano could cast his spell. "Lovino, we can't get close to him."
"But that necklace is controlling him! What do you mean we can't get close?"
"He knows how to release the heart." Feliciano suddenly froze and gripped the sides of his head until his knuckles turned white and let out a horrifying scream. Everything stopped and all you could see was Arthur smirking and saying 'Time's Up'.
Just get out of here. Now! Take Victoria and run!" He clutched his head even harder. "It hurts
Make it stop, make it stop! Make it STOP!!"
You couldn't handle his screams and you acted on impulse and ran up and embraced him as tightly as you could.
"No, _________________! Get away!" He cried. You could feel his hand trying to make his way to your chest through your tight grip.
"Feli... I won't let you go. You don't have to scream anymore. We're going to go back together! All of us!"
"No, _______________ please! Leave me! I'll be forced to...!" You slipped your hand around the chain of the amulet and shut your eyes.
"It's alright." You said soothingly.
"But then you'll be trapped into the Darkness!" You could fell his hand above your heart and you knew it was only seconds before it happened. All eyes were on you and you caught a glimpse of Arthur's smirk.
"I know. But for the people I love, it's worth it." You glanced to Victoria and Gilbert one last time before a white light blinded you to darkness.
"____________________!" Feliciano cried as you were falling to the ground, snapping off the amulet and smashing it into pieces once it impacted on the hard floor. Two hearts were released, one with a golden ember surrounding it and one with a bright silver flame dancing around it. The silver one went through the doorway the gargoyles guarded and the other to Victoria.
When Victoria woke up, everything seemed to go in slow motion. You were falling with your eyes closing, almost everyone was screaming your name and all the fighting stopped. She got off the altar and ran to your lifeless body on the landing. Arthur and Gilbert ceased their duel to allow Gilbert to rush to you.
"Big sister!" Victoria went on her hands and knees and shook you hard. "Big sister, wake up please!"
"Oh my God." The brown haired girl gasped in horror as the Asian pirate, the female pirate and the spikey blonde haired pirate froze and the golden shades in their eyes left them to their original colours. They stood around, trying to calculate their surroundings and then realized that they were in serious trouble.
"It is done. Thank you very much, _________________. I couldn't have done it without you." Arthur smirked before the golden shade in his eyes faded to a deep emerald green. Arthur quickly realized the situation they were in when he was back to normal.
"Oh bloody hell." He gasped as he walked toward your body. "What have you done?!"
Gilbert immediately rose and grabbed Arthur's coat and pinned him against the wall.
"It's your fault, you damn English bastard!" Gilbert shouted at him. "It's your fault that ___________________'s gone!" For the first time in a long time, Gilbert was crying, tears were going down his face. He was about to hit him harder than he hit anything in his life.
"No! Stop! Don't hurt Mr. Kirkland! It's not his fault!" Victoria grabbed Gilbert's arm to stop him. "It's not his fault!" Her turquoise eyes met Gilbert's crimson ones, pleading him to stop which Gilbert hesitantly obliged.
"Big sister is still alive." Victoria said as bravely as she could. A large dark shadow appeared at the doorway and started to engulf everything. The Pure Ones quickly came to the landing as Gilbert carried your body away from there and everyone moved away.
"We have all the Pure Ones here! We can still seal it!" Vash said as he and the others started using their magic to fight back the shadows. "Victoria! Use your magic to help us! Otherwise the demons will get out!"
Victoria's eyes widened and she was trembling. "I-I can't. I can't do it." She burst out crying.
"Are you crazy?!" Gilbert shouted at them. "_________________'s in there!"
"If we don't seal it now before the king gets out, we're all doomed." The blonde girl said.
"___________________ can beat him! And she'll come out, please just give her some time!" Feliciano said.
"Are you crazy?" Another dark haired girl snapped. "You're expecting us to put all our faith into one girl?! She won't last long against him and if she loses, he'll get out. You can't save someone without making a sacrifice."
"She's not making a fucking sacrifice! She's taking a chance to protect everyone she loves and she will come back!" Lovino said.
"Take the risk." Gilbert growled. "Give her time." There was a pregnant silence in the area until Arthur broke it.
"It's up to Victoria. She can either help the other Pure Ones or sit back."
"I'm going to take it. I believe in Big Sister and you should too!" She gathered her strength and glared at the doorway. "If anyone can win, Big Sister can."