The hunters and Descendants who had remained behind- Shinji, Jinsoku, Skylar, Makoto, Rakurai, Arashi, Tsubaki, Tamari and Nina- had returned to Tamari's room, crowded around the bedside, eagerly awaiting Helyna's awakening, Rakurai still holding onto her hand, lsot in his won thoguhts like most of the others. Suddenly, everybody came back down to earth as Helyna took a deep breath in before her eyes snapped open, her grip on Rakurai's hand tightening a little. She sat up looked frantically around for a few seconds, breathing fast and heavy, clearly in distress. Rakurai sowly calmed her, and he lay back down slowly, still clasping his hand, the only source of warmth her freezing cold body could find. Kazir's chilling (literally) blade had clearly made its mark, though her plae skin made that fairly obvious.

"We'll leave you alone," Tamari said meekly, kindly, her kimono fluttering around her as she turned on her heel and began to leave, gesturing the others to do the same, while Rakurai stayed to comfort the young girl.

"You're fine. The battle over, nobody's going to try and kill you...again. Some weird shadow wave thing that Altair did killed all the imperials. About an hour ago, Gale, Mizu, Gigas and Altiar all teleported to the Necropolis Boneyard. They say the leader of a rebelllion wanted to meet them there," Rakurai filled her in on what she'd missed, and she listened and understood intently despite her condition. It was so strage that she was freezing, while her skin felt neither warm nor cold.

"...It's t-too...c-c-cold..." Helyna wheezed slowly, shivering, her lips almost blue. "I'm s-so...cold."

Rakurai slowly walked around the room, using the one lit candle in the roomto light all the other candles he could find, before he pulled off as many layers of clothing or armour he could without becoming indecent, before slipping under the covers and wrapping his arms around his shivering girlfriend, who buried her head in his chest. Such an action was not uncommon in groups of desperately cold hunters who hunted in the mountains or tundras- many suffered from hypothermia or frostbite, so this particular action wasn't really awkward at all. Besides, Helyna would most likely want to feel awkward rather than sub-zero.


Nina and the others had returned to the abandoned justice section within the Kyuuryuu Citadel, only to find a large bloody scrible written in the Old Language, in crimson blood. Some glyphs were a little less legile due to the drops of blood sliding down the wall, but it was still readable.




You filthy humans are so naive. Did you truly believe that a rebel leader would be clever, or even stupid enough to arrange a meeting with you in the middle of a stinking, corpse-ridden graveyard? How easy it is to deceive even the strongest of filth. Any shining sliver of hope for salvation and you grasp at it like hungry hatchlings. It's pathetic, really. Whatever your friends find in the Necropolis Boneyard, I assure you, it will not be human. The rebel leader himself is not a ruse. He is merely otherwise located. But I doubt you will live long enough to meet with him. By the way, I should warn you that the Necropolis Boneyard is a Sealed Realm, so I can carry out my affairs without your accursed busybody friend intervening.

I hope your friends fare well against the embodiment of darkness.


The groups murmurs were silenced by Nina's resignedly defeated words, a tone of true regret in her voice.

"It appears that we have been decieved. Without my intervention, they will not survive for more than an hour. You should all find something to do- whatever, whereever, it matters not. I must intervene. And I shall," she said, and she drew her left palm through the air, and immediately a set of strange glyphs appeared in the air befor her. Using both palms this time, he bagn to drag them,w ithout touching them, rearranging them like the pieces of a puzzle.

"You're not really going to use the Divinum Intercessio, are you? That's insane! Doing that would rip time apart!" Tamari yelped at the sight of the ethereal white glyphs, which seemed somewhat like numbers.

"The sanity of the endeavour is irrelevant in a dire situation such as this. And sinking into unnecessary reductio ad absurdum will not make me reconsider. I can stabilize the tear myself, I do not need to be a god to do that. Just leave me to do this," Nina retorted blandly, concentrating intensely on the number glyphs before her.

The others scurried away, fearing for their severely endangered comrades.

To Be Continued in: Fate and Freedom XX: Death's Second Shadow

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