Yaketsukuyona was perched precariously on the precipitous edge of the City of Ice's pinnacle building, which had come to be widely known as the Frozen Spire. He no longer wore the same black and white robes, and now wore a traditional white hakama, with sleeves that were slightly longer than normal, an abnormally long? blood-red muramasa with an ornate hilt made of white silver, attached to his waist.
The city itself looked and felt brand new, as it had taken eleven years to set up, and with most of the imperial forces occupied with the relentless search for Gale and her friends, there were barely any soldiers left to help with the construction. Until Kasai decided to revolt, that is. It failed, of course, and the entire populace of what was once the grandest city in the land was subjugated, and put to work building the very foundations of their enemy's might.
Oh, the irony.
His milky-white eyes stared down insidiously, silently, at the slaving labour camp occupants, all of them in a large, rectangular clearing, the ground made of gray mud, mixed with chips of stone and the uncollected bodies of dead prisoners who lost the will to carry on and collapsed mid-task. Each was making themselves busy with a particular task, be it hammering metal, building supports, chopping wood or carting away useless materials. All below wa an orgy of industrial noise. He smiled at the sight, taking pleasure in his enemy's suffering. One of the prisoners, carrying a wheelbarrow full of scrap metal and unsuccessful forge products, looked up to the Frozen Spire wistfully. The hakama-clad Wyrm stared down at him with ice-cold condemnation. The man slowly looked down and carried on with what he was doing.
The White Star raised his arms achaically to the dark, grey-black sky. An almost undetectable smile crossed his lips. He had been waiting for this moment for so long, this one shining moment, where all the humans would be no more, and this land- no, this world would once again belong to the Wyrms. Fourteen years ago, he had failed, struck down by Gale Kaze and her little friends. But not this time, no; this time would be different. Gale and her friends were far too preoccupied trying to evade capture and seeking strength in numbers to even think about him. They were so concerned with Shinkaiyami's intentions, that they had forgotten all about him. Of course, it would be impossible for him to bask in this moment now that his ruy was gone; he could no longer collect souls to bring this oh-so-desired moment about. But that didn't matter any- Shinkaiyami would have more than enough power to summon the winds it himself once he had his "Heart" back.
Those winds, they had come so close to destroying humanity...but were faltered.
Not this time. This time, they were not bound by the conditions of prohpecy. This time, no condition in existence could be met that would stop them once they had been called upon. Guretosutomu was dead, Gale and her friends were nowhere to be found, and Nina had no way of stopping it, despite her myriad powers.
The Wyrms had already won.
Smiling to himself, the ice Wyrm turned briskly on his heels and stormed off back inside his tower.
To Be Continued in: Fate and Freedom XXI: Return to the Wind Village