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— Release the Kraken! —


Kimi and El continued to fight with no rest; there was no rest, after all, for the wicked and the undead. Ice Guardian did his best to weave Ice and Water to do his bidding; El, however, seemed even stronger and more ruthless than he was in life. Though his body displayed fleshless parts and hardened skin, the former Emperor of the Elves from the North was even more resilient than he was when alive.

His sword began to cut through Kimi's defenses as the Ice Guardian began to show signs of exhaustion; on the meantime the rest of the Knights began to push the undead back.

"They are retreating!" Thalas shouted. "Don't let them run away!"

"There is nowhere to run!" Maya replied as she incinerated a dozen more near her. "None shall exist to tell the tale!"

Anael was already a few meters ahead, near the strange altar Altagracia saw beforehand; as he finished to put another Elven undead to rest, he met his sister in the middle of the body mass.

"Mi rayo de Sol!"Anael shouted as he welcomed his sister with a hug. "Why were you screaming? What happened?"

"It was her! The Danish Demon!" Altagracia said really startled. "She plans to do something terrible to us! She said we are not who we think we are!"

Anael looked at his sister with a mix of curiosity and worry; soon these feelings were replaced with anger as he realized his sister was being played by the vicious Necromancer.

"Don't worry, sis."Elite Dragon said. "She is wrong and we'll prove it by defeating her and stopping this madness okay?"

Altagracia nodded as an agreement and followed her brother back to where they came from; as they were running back, Anael gave a look to the strange altar hoping that his words would be true in the end of all of that.


****


"Hm... They are proving themselves as fierce opponents..."

The Danish Demon grinned as she saw the battles through her crystal ball; the Gates to the Underworld lied locked in front of her, though it seemed at the brink of opening and unleashing all horrors Mary Hellheim so faithfully worshipped.

"No matter... They will need the Keys to my gates if they want to catch me." She grinned once more as she passed her soft hands into the cold crystal. "They surely won't like to know what those Keys are after all... Ha,ha,ha,ha...!"

She put her scepter down firmly into the dark lands of her domain and she gave a deep look into the fights that were taking place at the coldest of her Necropolis' regions. 

"Blizzard Wastes has never been a nice Necro Coven to inhabit..." She said to herself. "Most of the northern inhabitants were once Elven outcasts who wanted to believe in something... Like this Ice Guardian fellow."She smiled as her crystal ball displayed Kimi. "Ah, look at him... Fighting his former master as if it was going to give him any certainties of his actions in the past."

The crystal ball showed Kimi being pushed back to the proximity of a large lake as the other Knights finally began to notice he wasn't nearby; Anael began to lead a search for Kimi as the undead battalion finally seemed to have given up and being completely wiped out.

"This fight is almost over... And the first Key will be found." Mary Hellheim muttled as she put her scepter away. "And they surely won't like it."

She turned her attentions back to the gates, which she began to feed by using her Darkness Elementals; as she built and destroyed their existences, they began to shriek in agony as their bodies became nothing more than purple shards tossed into sinister, engulfing winds commanded by the sinister will of the large portal ahead. The Danish Demon knelt down and opened her arms, chanting a cruel chant of creation and destruction.


****


The Knights arrived at the moment Kimi and El were almost entirely depleted; Ice Guardian puffed and breathed with troubles as El made his best efforts to corner him with the lake. Kimi gathered whatever he had left of his strength and pushed him back with Ice, throwing shards and snow beams that forced El to retreat some steps.

"It's useless! Give up!" El screamed, charging ahead.

He cried out loud to scare and unfocus Kimi; at that time Kaiser arrived and threw a darkness beam against the former Emperor, who fell in the cold waters ahead. Kimi looked at the lake puffing, startled. He sensed something dreadful coming from that very lake.

"Are you alright?" Melchior asked. "We have to keep going!"

"I...I am... Fine, I guess." Kimi replied, puffing. "Guys... Something is wrong."

"This place is all wrong Kimi." Anael commented. "We have to move forward while she hasn't conjured more reinforcements."

A huge growl interrupted Elite Dragon; the waters bubbled and gargled as Kimi's sensations became true. A large, blueish ghastly tentacle surfaced, revealing a hanging, screaming El, who was trying to escape the beast's grasp. The Knights looked at the scene utterly paralyzed.

"Help!" El screamed. "Help!"

Before any of them could do something, the beastly tentacle crushed El's body and threw his remains back into the waters, where dark blood soon surfaced along with other tentacles.

"Run!" Melchior and Anael shouted. "Run! We have to go!"

Kimi, however, stood there; he looked to his right and he saw the strange altar with the empty crystal ball in its silvery basin. "It is... Calling for me.". Ice Guardian thought. "I...I have to do something.". As he thought that, he looked back.

"Kimi!" Kaiser shouted. "Brother, we have to go! Move!"

"I'll distract the beast!" Kimi shouted back. "Go with them, Kai! The crystal ball must be a key somehow!"

A huge growl was heard once more and a large tentacle grabbed Kimi, who could do nothing to prevent it.

"Kimi!" Anael screamed, rushing back to the lake.

"No!" Kimi shouted. "You guys go! I'll take care of it! Go!"

Anael stopped, but Kaiser kept going. Kimi looked at his brother with a sad countenance and conjured a large, icy forcefield around the lake, creating an ice dome; Kaiser hit his face directly in it, being unable to be with his brother.

"Kimi, no! Stop fooling around!" Kaiser shouted as he hit the icy dome. "Brother...Brother!"

"What the hell is he planning?!" Thalas asked. "He isn't possibly thinking to take down the beast on his own!...Is he?"

"Oh, no..." Altagracia moaned.

Kimi could no longer hear his friends calling for him; in fact, all he could hear was the loud gargle made by the beast down below. He conjured an icy polearm and began to poke and cut the creature's tentacles, which reacted by trying to steal Kimi's polearm.

"Oh no, you won't!" Kimi shouted as he kept harming the beast. "I...Will... Finish...You... Here!"

He managed to cut one tentacle and stood in the air beginning to fall; he rapidly posicioned his body and shouted with all his might and magic.

"Winter Balalaika!"

He then submerged and the surface of the waters and everything above it froze immediately with a loud cackling noise; Anael and all other blue Moon Knights heard it, and Kaiser felt his heart stop as his eyes became full with tears.

"Kimi...What... What are you doing?" Kaiser whispered in despair.

Ice Guardian finally could see his underwater opponent; it was a large octopus-like creature with eight tentacles in total and a fierce mouth full of teeth; it began to move ravenously as it tried to break at least one tentacle free; its movement made the waters extremely dangerous to Kimi, who began to feel the urge to resurface and breath. He realized, however, there was no way out and the waters continued to freeze indefinitely.

"So... Will that be... My demise?" Kimi thought as he began to swim against the dangerous stream. "If that's so... I won't die alone."

"The Kraken has been realesed..." Mary Hellheim's voice echoed through Kimi's head."Yes, Ice Guardian... This... Will be your demise. Your lies and cold heart will cost you your life. Hadn't you lied to the Empress, you'd be at my service with your conscience clean and your sanity kept. You chose not to. This is the aftermath of all your deeds in this life."

Kimi grabbed the nearest tentacle and concetrated all his powers and efforts to freeze it; the creature growled, objected and kept moving, but it was of no use; Ice Guardian's hands were frozen, stuck in the Kraken's tentacle. The creature slowly began to freeze as Kimi's lungs became depleted. He witnessed the last bubble air of his lungs float out and freeze within the waters. His eyesight became blurry and he heard the Kraken growling for the last time before everything became forever cold and dark.

The icy dome shattered with a loud, pristine sound as Mary Hellheim's laughter could be heard in the air.

"One down! Six more to go! HAHAHAHAHAHA!" She shrieked.

Kaiser fell in his knees as he saw the icy sculpture with no sign of Kimi; all the Knights saw a bright blueish sphere coming out of the ice; a light hailstorm began and they all realized Ice Guardian was bidding them farewell. The strange crystal ball shone in the same tone as the sphere's and then shattered in thousands of pieces, doing the same very sound.

"Ei..." Kaiser whispered. "Ei... Kimi... My Brother...Ei...EEEEEEIIII!"

Kaiser's cries were followed by his tears and all the other Knights'; Melchior kept looking at the icy lake with tears rolling through his face. Kaiser lost his twin brother. Anael lost a trustworthy friend. Maya lost a reliable friend and librarian. Altagracia lost a mentor. Thalas lost a European comrade. He, Melchior, had just lost his best friend.

"I will avenge him, Danish Demon!" Kaiser cried. "Do you hear me?! I will cut your heart out, burn your body and banish your soul! Be ready to meet your Maker! Vengeance is coming and he has a name!"


To be Continued...




— Keeper of the Seven Keys: Blizzard —


“Curses! It is not working!”

The Danish Demon muttled as she failed on a particular endeavour of hers; she finally finished rebuild the gates to her domains after Melchior’s first assault. Her body was still recovering from the injuries she got; sill, she was feeling something she had never felt before. A dreadful, alarming feeling regarding her last battle. The burnts imprinted on her half-dead skin were a constant reminder of that awful, unwanted feeling: fear.

“That child… That Half-Breed maggot!”. She angrily thought. “He is going to ruin everything I worked so hard to build! But this part… This gate… Oh…Ha,ha,ha…! He won’t be able to ruin that for sure!”

Mary Hellheim was not talking about the gate for her domains, though. She was talking about something else that lied further inside the so-called Nightmare Realm. Something dreadful that she wasn’t being able to open.

“I have to try again…”She muttled between her teeth. “Once I open this place… The gods will reward me with the eternal life I so much desire… And a place among them as their loyal and most faithful servant! Come on, Soul Spheres! You are the strongest ones I have! Open the gates to the Underworld!” She yelled.


The Danish Demon began a gruesome chanting as she raised the shadows to chain the four Soul Spheres at her grasp; as she did that, the gates in front of her began to respond; it was a large construction merged with the black rocks which gave Mary Hellheim's domain an end. The gates were two halves of a large skull carved in the stone with Maya engravings whose colors shifted according to the Sphere closest to its range.

As her chant continued, the Soul Spheres of Antoniev, Cynthia, Lunia and Nathalie began to twist and lose their forms as they began energy dust and were sucked by the gate's energetic eyes. As it happened, all four screamed loudly in pain and agony. The scream was so loud and agonizing that it felt like music to Hellheim's ears, who did nothing more than grin and laugh at the scene as she was seeing some kind of cruel, gruesome dream coming true.

The former Elemental Lords' screams were so loud they could be heard miles from their origin; the Blue Moon Knights were in the range to hear and so they did as they were charging against the frost army ahead.

"Lunia! Antoniev!" Melchior screamed as he threw a beam of fire against the frozen Ghouls ahead. "Cynthia and Nathalie too! She is... Torturing their souls!"

Elite Dragon roared as his sword cut through the frozen decaying flesh ahead and churned them with his lightning. The very idea of someone being able to torture the core of a being's existence was far too repulsive for Anael to withstand. Thalas kept shooting arrows at all enemies at his sight, and it was up to Maya to purge and burn the raid battalions coming in. Kaiser kept charging along with Anael as he sent Danish demon's frozen minions to a one-round trip to the Void. 

Kimi, on the other hand, began to sense something was utterly wrong on that scenario; the houses were too resembling to those of Deeper Finland to be a mere coincidence. In fact, even the raiding party sounded way too familiar for Kimi to ignore the coincidence, and things got worse when he saw a foe from the old times rising in the horizon.

"By the gods!" Kimi muttled. "She... She took them! The... Emperor's army!"

His skin was pale in a blueish tone, as if it had been frozen a long time ago; he had a long hair and a large scar in his neck as if it neck and head had been sown back together. His hair was black and long and his eyes were green and lifeless. Judging by the clothes, Kimi knew who he was right away.

"Emperor El!" Ice Guardian screamed. "Guys! Guys!" He looked back to warn his friends. "It's the Emperor's army! The Demon resurrected my people! Kaiser!"

"It's of no use, Kimi." El spoke in a nightmarish tone. "She will take everything that stopped breathing to her own purposes. Surrender now or your death will be the most agonizing one."

"We are not here to give up on our lives, El" Kimi replied as he made Ice surround his arms and legs. "Not a single one of us. I promise to give you a clean and honorable new death."

El drew his sword and engulfed it in dark blaze; Kimi charged at him, throwing ice shards; the former Elven Emperor deflected some of the shards and went for Kimi with killing intentions. Ice Guardian made his best to punch the sword and avoid the flames. El kept pressing him and keeping Kimi farther and farther from his friends.


***

"Damn it! She's using my people too?!"

At that point DarkStalker realized he was fighting against risen Elven brethren; he conjured dark flames of his own to purge their enslaved existences. As all Blue Moon Knights kept fighting, soon one of them notice something that would change the whole course of the battle. The youngest of all Knights notice something in the middle of the frozen village: a strange altar with a crystal bulb on top of a silvery candelabrum.

As Altagracia looked around she realized there was a large Gothic wall on the horizon, from which she could hear the last screams from the former Elemental Lords before they vanish into nothingness.

"Run... Little child. Run..." Mary's voice echoed. "To find me again, you all will have to make sacrifices. You are not  as sanctified or righteous as you think you are... And to come here... And try to 'teach me a lesson'... It's pathetic. And you will have what you deserve. One by one."

"Oh no..." Altagracia gasped. "Hermano mayor? Hermano mayor!" She screamed as she began to run and cast Light spheres against her foes as she rushed back to her beloved brother with gruesome news. News that were going to change everything for each and every Blue Moon Knight.



To be Continued...







— Into the Unholy Pit —


October 31st, 2013

The Blue Moon Knights went inside Melchior's manor, where Mirabelle, Ushuriel and Soloyev were awaiting.

"So... These four are the new Elemental Lords?" Soloyev asked. "Are you ready to carry such responsibility?"

"Si." Anael replied. "We are ready; since we became heroes, all we have done is protect people in all ways we can. We can take this one down for good, Soloyev. Trust us."

"I hope you are right..." The Russian Warlock replied. "Since my last encounter, I lost considerable amounts of power and I'd be useless down there with you. The least I can do is help you reach the Necropolis on the entrance I know. We'll be waiting for you and will barge in if you need."

"Alright." Melchior replied. "It's settled, then; I... I am sorry for all that has happened, Solovey." Elemental Alchemist sadly added. "Things were never supposed to end like this; I'll make it up to you and your brother, I promise."

"Melchior... You don't have to promise me anything." Soloyev replied with a resentful sigh. "I don't blame you for my brother and friends' deaths. I really don't. I just want to see justice done here, that's all. Mary Hellheim has been provoking havoc for far too long."

"Indeed." Ushuriel said. "I advise you to move quickly; Mirabelle and I will assemble more Warlocks to raid other Necromancer's settlements to stop that madness. The Danish Demon needs to be an example of what happens to those who trespass the gods' designs."

"First, we'll head to Siberia... To the place she trapped Melchior and my brother." Soloyev explained. "It is the only passage I know to her Necropolis. Are you all ready?"

"No need to ask. We were all born ready." Kaiser replied with confidence. "Just give Anael your directions."

Soloyev agreed and Anael unveiled the Corazón of Guatemala, which was craving for action as it remained not so much used for the past weeks; Elite Dragon then raised his right hand, holding the Corazón slightly above his face.

"Corazón de Guatemala! Please, by the powers of the Lord of Air, Kukulkán, guide us to our destination!"

The liquid Shaman-Stone obeyed and engulfed Soloyev and all Blue Moon Knights in a turquoise cloud of light, which moved them through space and time in a blink of an eye; Quetzal feathers were placed where once they stayed, and Mirabelle and Ushuriel looked at each other.

"It's time for us to do our part, my love." Mirabelle stated. "Let's move,"

Ushuriel agreed and the Warlock opened a dimensional portal, in which both of them passed through.


****


Siberia, Russia


The Blue Moon Knights arrived at a forsaken spot on the ever frost Siberia; it was a snowy backgroud tainted by an enormous crate emanating darkness and evil. It was open; purple gas and moving shadows swirled as if they were inviting the Knights to join them in their deadly waltz. None of them was ready to back up so easily.

"Listen, I'll head back to the closest Warlock Coven." Soloyev whispered. "My powers are almost entirely depleted; I'll try to recover as fast as I can and meet you inside. I'll help you out here to make her pay for all her crimes."

"Don't worry, Soloyev." Melchior replied. "Focus on your recovery and we'll do our best out here. We will take her down, trust on us."

Soloyev nodded and opened a dimensional portal in which he entered and vanished from that scenario. Now the Knights stared at the hole and took the deepest of their breaths.

"Let's go, then." Anael stated. "Corazón de Guatemala!"

Once more, Anael asked Kukulkan for his blessings; once again all Knights were bathed in the glorious turquoise winds of magic brought by the righteous of all Maya gods. As the Shaman-Stone shone at the zenith of its glory, the Knights received their outfits; for those who were chosen and Elemental Lords, the correspondant Elemental Gift was printed on their foreheads and chest, showing their pledge of allegiance to the elements. Elite Dragon grasped the grip of the Sapphire Sword one last time and held it firmly in his hand. His reptilian eyes rapidly sought for Elemental Alchemist.

"Melchior, you have been here before. Please, lead us." Elite Dragon asked.

Elemental Alchemist agreed and led all the Knights down to the hole. As they walked near the crate, the shadows seemed to swirl and play with their clothes in a rather harmless way, which raised Melchior's suspicions.

"Hm... Weird." Melchior commented. "She either must be expecting us or has absolutely no idea we are headed back. Anyways... Let's move one. Heads up."

The Knights kept moving forward; they entered the unholy pit and continued to move into the dense darkness; Melchior began to feel the dreadful deja vu feeling as he kept moving forward. When they finally hit the plain ground downstairs, Anael used the Corazón to give some light down there, while Maya casted a tiny fireball and Melchior used the crystal ball in his vampiric scepter to do the same. The three different sources of light gave them an insight of what was waiting for them next.

Melchior was expecting to see a cave full of decaying limbs hanging from the muddy walls; instead he found a large ungarded vortex a few meters away from them. His countenance was filled with distrust as he approached the vortex.

"Come through it if you dare." A familiar voice for Melchior echoed through the short corridor.

"Who are you?!" Kaiser asked. "The Danish Demon?!"

"Ha,ha,ha,ha... Yes, impatient child of the Void." Mary Hellheim replied. "That's one of my aliases. So, Melchior... You've decided to bring reinforcements with you... Fresh young Elemental Lords straight out of life and into my domains... Hah... I want to see how this is going to turn out."

"Don't be surprised if it ends with your demise, Danish Demon." Anael angrily hissed. "Your time has come!"

"Ha,ha,ha,ha... Such fury... I like that one." Mary replied with despise. "Let's see how you fare against my challenges, young Elemental Lords."

Mary's voice stopped echoing in the room; Melchior looked at Anael, who nodded at him, implying he should move forward. Melchior obeyed and entered into the vortex, being followed by the rest soon after. As they got to the other side, Melchior realized he had no memory of that part of Hellheim's domains; he was elsewhere, in another kind of village, which pretty much resembled the village they saw in Deeper Finland.

"What the...?" Melchior muttled. "I... This was not were I..."

"Ha,ha,ha,ha! Sweet, naïve Melchior Raven-Hayes!" Mary's voice echoed. "My domains are vast, child. There are at least five other small Necropolis in the Nightmare Realm! You and your friends will never get out of here alive! Enjoy your stay in Hallowed Winter: I am sure none of you will make out of here alive! HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

As she finished her sentence, her mad laughter echoed and woke up some frozen undead and Necromancers to do her bidding. The Knights had now no choice than fight.

"Charge!" Anael screamed as he channeled Lightning with the Sapphire Sword. "We are not going to fall here!"


To Be Continued...




— Bring the Gifts —


“And so one battle ends and another one begins. Seven are the keys for one to unlock the doors to unknown. However,how can one be sure that the price to pay for such keys isn’t the most painful and expensive to pay? Will it be worth the troubles and sacrifices?”


October 31st,2013 -- Guatemala City, Guatemala

Anael's 15th birthday arrived, at last; it took a few days for Melchior to fully heal from his injuries and most of them became light-skinned scars difficult to hide in plain sight. He started to wear long-sleeved shirts because of that; also, his vampiric side gained strength as Melchior was being fed with blood more frequently to accelerate his healing rate.

The Salvadorian Half-Breed was sitting on the balcony outside his manor as he waited for his friends to show up. He was looking serene, yet gloomy to the horizon ahead. As the sun began to fade out in the horizon, he noticed some familiar figures approaching his home.

First arrived Kaiser and Kimi; the Finn brothers came to Melchior with the saddest, yet most determinated countenances, giving him a strong and assuring hug as they sat down in the balcony and waited for the other Blue Moon Knights to arrive.

"So... It is settled, then?" Kaiser asked.

"Yes... It is." Melchior replied. "At least I want to do it. I hope all you guys join me as well."

The Finn twins nodded; soon Anael and Altagracia showed up at Melchior's; both of them greeted Elemental Alchemist, Ice Guardian and DarkStalker with the warmest of greeting hugs. Anael sad beside Melchior and Altagracia sat in her brother's lap, looking at Melchior with empathy.

"Are you sure you want to fight again, Melchior?" She sweetely asked.

"I am, little Gracia. I can assure you of that." He replied as he looked at the little Guatemalan. "I am sorry I missed your birthday, anyways. Ten years old, huh?"

"Yeah... I am getting pretty old, ha,ha,ha!" Altagracia replied with a gracious wink. "Wish you were here... I missed you."

As she said that, she left her brother's lap and hugged Melchior; Elemental Alchemist retributed the gesture by embracing the youngest of all Blue Moon Knights. At that very moment, Thalas and Maya showed up in the horizon.

"Dios mio... Melchior!" Maya exclaimed as she rushed to hug him. "Oh my god... By the gods and goddesses, I thought we lost you!"

"Me too, Maya... Me too." Melchior replied as he briefly hugged her back. "I thought Death had me back there."

"Melchior?" Thalas inquired. "How... How are you?"

Altagracia and Maya backed down as Melchior stood up to face Thalas; the French Guatemala crossed his arms and looked at Melchior expectantly.

"I am... Fine, given the circumstances." Melchior replied in a numb way.

"Good... Good." Thalas replied as he slowly uncrossed his arms. "I... I got worried. All of us were."

Melchior interrupted Thalas with a hug; the French Guatemalan closed his eyes and retributed the gesture as he tried his best to hold the tears back from rolling through his face.

"I am quite indestructible, you know? He,he,he!" Melchior commented as he hugged Thalas and soon tore the hug apart. "It's great to see you. I began to think you wouldn't back me up on this!"

"I was actually considering not to." Thalas mischievously replied. "Manly because your ideas and schemes tend to be stupid."

"Hey! I am offended!" Melchior mischievously protested.

"Heh... But then I realized we are talking about justice and getting rid of a crazy old lady who wants to live forever and rule an undead world." Thalas replied as he crossed his arms again. "I find legit we strike her back and stop this insanity."

Melchior smiled and looked at everyone. The Sun was making its final journey towards the Underworld; Elemental Alchemist took a deep breath as he saw the determinated countenances of his friends, waiting for what was to come.

"Guys... This year has been the greatest of journeys of all my life." Melchior began. "As you know, I have always been an outcast in my life. A freak who didn't know his place or his background. Thanks to all of you, I could finally find my place into this world and discover more and more about myself than ever. I am stronger and better because of you. All of you."

Kimi, Kaiser, Anael and Altagracia stood up and came closer to Melchior, who held an amazing smile in his face. He looked at his Elemental Bracelet and decided it was time to do what he wanted to do all along.

"I never properly paid back for all you did for me. So, today, before this epic fight we'll have, I want to share with you everything I accomplished so far in my magical studies." Melchior continued. "I want to make Elemental Lords out of some of you."

The other six Blue Moon Knights looked at each other surprised and intrigued; Melchior showed them the bracelet attached to one of his arms.

"Here in this Bracelet lies the proof of all Elements I tamed." Elemental Alchemist stated. "I want to begin with our leader, Elite Dragon."

As he heard his codename, Anael went two steps closer of Melchior, who raised his Bracelet arm's hand slightly above Anael's forehead.

"Well... First timer here, I hope it works. heh!" Melchior stated. "Well... By the powers invested on me, I grant thee, Anael Nathaniel Moon'Seeker, The Elite Dragon, The Elemental Gift of Lightning, Air and Thunder, being hereby now proclaimed as Elemental Lord of Lightning, Air and Thunder of his age."

Melchior touched Anael's forehead with his thumb and concentrated his Mana in the effort to make his words true. As he did it, Anael felt his skin slightly electrified and somewhat dryer; as Melchior proceeded with the ritual, the Lightning Seal appeared in Anael's forehead, with some lilac circular patterns in his thighs, ankles, shoulders, chest and neck. Anael opened his eyes, which were fully covered by a lilac membrane, disappearing shortly after Elemental Alchemist stopped pressing Elite Dragon's forehead.

"So... How do you feel?" Melchior asked slightly worried.

Anael was looking to the floor as he breathed uneasily; he slowly began to look ahead as a response to Melchior's question. The circular markings disappeared and only the forehead symbol could be seen. His eyes were fully reptilian and he was smiling at Elemental Alchemist in a confident, yet slightly scary way.

"I feel... Amazing!" Anael replied slightly breathless. "This... Is great! I am ready to fight alongside you, my friend!"

Anael looked at the rest of the crowd; he soon began to breathe normally and the traces of draconian features disappeared. Melchior then proceeded to the next chosen one.

"My next choice... Is another obvious one!" Melchior stated. "Come over here, my beloved friend Ice Guardian! Time for you to get an upgrade!"

Kimi smiled and came closer to Melchior, who repeated the same ritual he did to Anael; this time Elemental Alchemist was forced to stretch his arms a bit more, for Kimi was much taller than Anael.
"Well... Let's do this!" Melchior declared. "By the powers invested on me, I grant thee, Kimi Das Vaali, The Ice Guardian, The Elemental Gift of Water and Ice, being hereby now proclaimed as Elemental Lord of Water and Ice of his age."

As he did before, he pressed his thumb into Kimi's forehead and the same thing that happened to Anael happened to Ice Guardian; instead of feeling his skin dryer and static, Kimi felt his skin colder and damper than usual. The patters in his skim were also circular and located in the same spots as Anael's. As before, Kimi opened his eyes and revealed an icy blue membrane fully covering them, which disappeared slightly after Melchior backed away from him.

"This is true power indeed!" Kimi commented as he breathed uneasily and looked to the palms of his hands. "I am ready!"

Melchior mischievously smiled and signed towards his next chosen one.

"Mayacita... Get over here!" Melchior mischievously asked.

"Me?" Maya asked, confused. "Unless you studied Darkness, I don't see any reasons for you to choose me!"

"Heh... Well, fortunately for us, I do!" Melchior replied as she came closer. "Look, since you joined us, you've been feeling like I did all my life. Yet, you never gave in... Even when you became a semi-goddess villain who almost brought havoc, chaos, ruin and pain to everyone! Heh, heh!"

Maya shyly smiled back, slightly ashamed for the stain on her past. Melchior put his hands on her shoulders and gave her a sweet smile.

"Hey, don't worry! I live in the present, not in the past." Melchior said. "I see in you something I have always seen ever since we met, ages ago: this ever blazing heart, willing to take everything bad away from the world and reduce sadness to ashes. You are a phoenix, Maya. You are always in the process of rebirth, and thus I admire you for that and I see none fitting than you to carry Lunia's legacy." He then moved his bracelet's hand towards Maya's forehead, pressing it with his thumb. "By the powers invested on me, I grant thee, Maya Altahuela, The Black Witch, The Elemental Gift of Fire, Ignition and Power, being hereby now proclaimed as Elemental Mistress of Fire, Ignition and Power of her age."

Maya muffled a scream as she felt her skin getting hotter and hotter, as if she was boiling inside out; her circular markings appeared in amber colour, resembling Lunia's aura. As she opened her eyes, a mixed membrane resembling lava patterns was covering both her eyes. When Melchior stepped back, Maya opened her eyes, breathless as the two other before and amazed with the new powers received.

"Ay, Dios mio!" Maya puffed. "Melchior, thank you! Thank you, thank you thank you!"

Melchior bowed to Maya in respect and let the newly branded Fire Elemental Mistress  get back to her spot on the circle. Melchior now had to do his last choice, and he already knew who was up to the last Elemental Gift he was going to award.

"This last Gift..." Melchior started unusually shy. "In fact, I should have given it first, but I wanted to make some kind of surprise first." He mischievously looked around the crowd surrounding him. "See, this person and I really didn't get along at first. I think we still have problems to agree from time to time!"

As they all started to giggle, Anael and Maya pointed straight out at Thalas, who looked at them feeling slightly embarrassed.

"Even so, this person has always taught me to step up my game." Melchior continued. "This guy had everything to be the worst person alive: and he is not. In fact, he is the most generous, hard-working loyal guy I've ever met."

Melchior smiled and came closer to Thalas, raising his bracelet hand above his forehead, as the ritual demanded.

"Yes, Thalas! It is you, my friend!" Melchior happily stated. "See, my mentor Cynthia reminded me so much of you... And I noticed that you always had to take and extra effort from all of us, even when empowered by the Shaman-Stones. I just realized on my journey that you are resilient, yet ever-changing in a way which is true to your stubborn, strong and proud. For that, Thalas, for always keeping us focused on our path,  I grant thee, Thalas-Juan Dharalion, The Electro Archer, The Elemental Gift of Earth, Stone and Wood, being hereby now proclaimed as Elemental Lord of Earth, Stone and Wood of his age."

As he did before, he pressed Thalas' forehead and the ritual was made; circular patterns ran across Thalas' neck, chest, thighs and ankles. His skin darkened and brittle like mahogany bark; a light green membrane briefly covered his eyes. When Melchior stepped back for the ritual to be complete, Thalas' appearance returned to normal as his eyes recovered their true colours and the Earth marking remained in his forehead.

"Altagracia and Kaiser, I haven't forgotten you." Melchior stated to the remaining couple. "However, I didn't receive any proper training in Light or Darkness, so I cannot do the same for you. Even so, I consider you two very powerful on your own, for many reasons."

Kaiser and Altagracia nodded with a smile. Anael than took a step forward to Melchior.

"Now that we have new powers... Where are we headed, Melchior?"

"To the Necropolis." Melchior replied. "To the final assault against the Danish Demon!"



To be Continued...




— Animae in Nebula —

Melchior had no idea of what time was it or how many days it had passed; everything felt uncertain and somewhat numb in his mind. He was floating in a swirling dark scenario, clueless about time and space. He began to hear undistinguished voices in the air which seemed to be just as close as they were far way from him; slowly but steadily the voices became distinguishable and louder, coming from all directions.

"Melchior? Melchior!"

Elemental Alchemist tried to open his eyes; every part of his body hurt. Everything was painful for him. Even so, he had never been so serene in his lifetime. He began to slowly and painfully open his eyes, and everything was golden as far as he could see.

"He won't wake up...He won't wake up! Why isn't him waking up?!"

It seemed to be Melchior's mother, Mirabelle; it had been a long time since he heard her. For Melchior it felt almost like an eternity as he reminisced the last call both his parents gave him on the day he met the Danish Demon. The Elemental Alchemist tried to say something and show he was alive, but nothing came out of his vocal cords. It was too painful even to speak simple words.

"He will make it, Ms. Hayes.". It was Soloyev's voice echoing through. "He seems to be a pro at it... Given what he's been through these past months.

"He might be Dreamwalking or something.". Kimi's voice could be heard. "His eyes are golden... And they have been golden for a long time. Anael, isn't there anything you can do right now?

"Months? It has been... Months?". Melchior thought as he tried to wake up. "How is that even...?"

The plain golden scenario soon began to take blurry forms of the environment where Melchior was; the blurry shapes of his parents, Soloyev and one or two Blue Moon Knights could be distinguished through the golden mass of energy. Melchior was indeed Dreamwalking, but not in the way he truly wanted to be.

"I think he's waking up. He's waking up!" Melchior's father, Ushuriel, spoke startled.

Finally Melchior could open his eyes at a great cost; the golden veil of dreams shattered and he screamed loudly as he came out of a nightmare of his own; he sat in a bed he barely recognized with his eyes wide open and sweat coming across all his body. He was uneasily breathing as he soon realized he was at his home.

"Am I... Alive?" Melchior asked, startled. "Am I alive?!"

"Yes! Yes, my beloved boy!" Mirabelle emotionally said, hugging her son. "Yes, you are alive and well!"

"We were so worried, champ." Ushuriel declared, putting one of his hand in Melchior's shoulder. "So worried! We thought we wouldn't be able to take you away from there!"

"There? The... Necropolis? Argh!" Melchior slowly asked, feeling a lot of pain.

"Da... The Necropolis." Soloyev sadly replied. "You barely made it; thanks to Balthazar, I could contact your parents as soon as possible. However, it took me two weeks to get in touch with them." He muttled in pain. "Thought you were dead by that time."

"Melchior, what the hell happened?!". Kimi inquired with a worried countenance.

"I... I don't remember much. Argh..." Melchior replied, putting his hand in his head and closing his eyes in sigh of pain. "I... I was at Siberia... Finishing my training and then... She came. The Danish Demon came... And my mentors... They came too..."

"The masters you were going to see?" Anael asked as smoothly as he could. "Melchior, tell us please. We haven't heard of you for more than two months!"

"What day is it?" Melchior asked.

Everyone froze; Mirabelle and Ushuriel looked at each other with a worried countenance, while Anael and Kimi looked at each other hesitantly.

"Should you tell him or should I?" Kimi asked to everyone.

"Go ahead. He'll find out anyways." Mirabelle replied.

"Please, people!" Melchior bluntly spoke. "Tell me! What day is it?"

"October 22nd, my friend. It's Tuesday, Melchior." Kimi replied in the grimmest of tones. "You have been knocked unconscious for several weeks. We thought... We thought you either had a brain death or got trapped inside your own Dreams."

Melchior removed his hand from his head and looked at everyone with sadness and surprise.

"This means... They all... Died down there and I... I missed Altagracia's birthday too?" Elemental Alchemist sadly concluded as he dejectedly bounced his head.

Soloyev sighed and sat on a chair nearby; his arms were no longer attached to bonds, yet they were very bandaged; his face no longer showed signs of trauma, yet the same couldn't be stated about his mind. The Ice Warlock was now mourning in silence for the brother he lost: and he had no intention of sharing his grief with anyone but himself. He bowed his head down and shut himself from the world at the given time.

Anael and Kimi came closer to Melchior's bed and sat in chains nearby, ready to answer his questions and make some more of their own.

"Yes... Yes, you did." Anael sadly and smoothly replied. "We've been trying to reach you since the end of July..."

"Last time we heard from you, you're giving Maya your birthday wishes." Kimi commented. "She told us you gave a call; we tried to call you back, but you never came to answer."

"I was... I think I was with Lunia or Cynthia back then..." Melchior replied. "They were the Elemental Lords of Fire and Earth, you know? They were amazing people... And so were Nathalie and Antoniev, the masters of Lightning and Ice... I... They are... They were..."

Melchior bowed his head down and tried not to cry or let the tears come out. He then felt the hands of his friends upon his shoulders and looked up.

"Tell us everything that happened, Melchior." Anael asked. "Tell us and we'll help you out. You are not alone here. You are one of us."

Melchior looked at Kimi, who nodded as a sign of agreement. Melchior gasped and took a deep breath, hoping to tell everything he had to.

"Well... It started after I left Dresden." Melchior begun his tale. "I first trained in United Kingdom with Nathalie, the Lightning Elemental Lord, and then I was sent to Cynthia, the Earth Elemental Lord. They trained me quite hard and I managed to learn all I needed to be sent to Eastern Europe afterwards. I was in the railroad from Spain to Hungary, crossing the border of Czech Republic, when... When she got me. Mary Hellheim, the Danish Demon."

"Is that the one who did all of this to you?" Kimi inquired.

"Yes..." Melchior replied. "She's a skilled Warlock, whose expertise lies upon dark magic, involving Darkness and the raising of the undead to do her bidding. She is a Necromancer, and she is a hell of powerful one."

"She began her path as a Vampire enthusiast, my son." Mirabelle rapidly interveined. "I remember when Mary was nothing more than a Warlock with no Elemental specialization; she was eager for power and eternal life, as she once told a certain circle of Warlocks."

Melchior and the two other Blue Moon Knights turned their attentions to Mirabelle.

"Like me, she once had a Vampire of her own." The Warlock continued. "She had a female Vampire whose beauty was both astounishing and terrifying: her name was Willow and she was a not so young kind. Do you remember Willow, Ushuriel?"

"Of course I do! Before I was assigned to you, she used to be one of my closest friends." Ushuriel mischievously responded. "What? You jealous, woman?"

Melchior, Kimi and Anael muffled a laugh while Mirabelle blushed and got angry with her Vampire husband's remarks. As for Ushuriel, he gazed upon his consort with the most mischievous of all smiles.

"Humpf!" Mirabelle crossed her arms displeased. "Of course not! Do you think I am THAT kind of lady?"

Ushuriel raised his hands slightly above his shoulder with a mischievous look to Mirabelle. The Warlock, on the other hand, roller her eyes, sighed and continued to tell her story.

"Anyways... The story is that Mary wished to be turned as Vampire so that she could live with Willow forever." Mirabelle continued. "However, we Warlocks cannot be turned into Vampires, for we are completely different species of supernatural background. Different aspects of existence are bound to us, so it is impossible to become one. Except, of course, if you are born as a Half-Breed, like Melchior."

"So... I dare to ask." Kimi intervened. "If she never became a Vampire, what happened to Willow then?"

"She... She killed Willow." Mirabelle replied. "Mary actually did worse than that: after Willow told her it was impossible to raise Mary from death as a Vampire, she locked Willow in a forsaken place so that she could drain her soul and blood and consume it as an attempt to achieve immortality."

"In other worlds, she leeched out her life-long companion out of rage and selfishness." Ushuriel muttled, disgusted. "No Warlock has ever turned against a Vampire. None! We are all servants of the dark with a purpose! Natural allies, not enemies! Argh!"

Mirabelle looked at her spouse with sadness and embraced him to calm his nerves down.

"Her soul and body became tainted with her foul crime." Mirabelle continued. "Necromancy and the studies of the Dark Path were already something known by most Warlocks, but she crossed a dangerous and vicious line when she did what she did. She fled her mansion, burned Willow's remains and ran to the depths of Denmark, where she began to plot and study her ways into becoming truly immortal. Her lifespan is already extended for the standards of a Warlock, but she is still unsatisfied."

"She hungers for more souls to do her bidding, and maybe she is thinking on other sources of power to achieve immortality." Ushuriel intervened.

"Being as it may, she thinks I hold the key to that mystery of hers." Melchior continued. "I am a Half-Breed, I have the best of both worlds and I don't know the full extent of my powers. She tried to have me killed in Czech Republic and failed as Lunia, the Fire Elemental Lord, came to my aid. I came to hear about her much later, when I found out that she ensorcelled Lunia, and he tried to..."

Melchior closed his eyes and let the tears fall; it was too painful for him to reminisce all his mentors without eventually remembering about their deaths. Those he didn't witness he could only imagine how gruesome they were, enhancing the pain and sadness he felt.

"She needs to be stopped, people." Melchior said. "I don't care what it takes; she must be brought down and become nothing more than ashes. I want to know what else she is plotting and put an end to all of this."

"We are with you, my friend." Anael said. "We will bring Justice to the fallen!"


To be Continued...




— Overlord Awakening! —


"Such power...". Mary Hellheim muttled as she got the amber sphere. "Yet, he was never grateful for the things I've done for him. I released him from the burden of banality; I introduced him to the Warlock society; I embraced him as a son... And he decided to outcast me as soon as he got a chance. Ungrateful bastard!". She angrily placed his soul in the shelf behind her, along with the brave souls of Nathalie and Cynthia.

The Danish Demon soon turned her attention to the remaining spherTwo spheres of pure energy entered into Mary Hellheim's chamber; one was red coloured, showing tones of amber as if it was a large blob of floating lava. The other sphere was icy blue and left small snowflakes in the air as it made its way into Mary Hellheim's well.

"Very well... Lunia Kardós Karpatí and Vladmir Antoniev Karkaroff...". She grinned as she came closer to the well. "We finally meet again. You fought hard and well, I must admit."

The amber sphere reached the waters first; as it touched the somehow sacred waters, it revealed Lunia's past; he was a bright young boy born in a soviet-taken Hungary, whose parents were held in prison and tortured due to their participation in massive protests against Soviet government. He was taken by the soviet government and raised from age ten to eighteen in an orphanage, where he discovered his massive talent with Mathematics and magic; raised as a skeptic, he was eventually taken by a couple of scientists, where he learned scientific ways to explain his supernatural background. When the Soviet Union was finally dismantled and Hungary became free and independent once more, Lunia met the Warlock society and thus came to know Antoniev, Cynthia and Natalie. The sphere also showed his greatest desire of reuniting with his parents and eventually having a family of his own; two things which never came to pass.e. It was floating over the waters with no sigh of being sucked by the water mirror; Hellheim looked at it fairly intrigued.

"Even after death, you decide to remain fighting.". She grinned. "Impressive, Antoniev. Very impressive."

She came closer to the sphere and saw a couple of boys playing in the snow. One was blond, green-eyed, shorter and visibly younger; the other one was slightly taller with black hair and violet eyes; they seemed to be happy children living in a Warlock village in Russia, which seemed far away from civilization, yet it featured a large train station with three connecting railroads. Their parents were showing them how to control water and ice, using them to do their bidding as they pleased.

The Danish Demon leaned over the water mirror and kept watching; the two brothers started to grow apart as their parents' expectations shifted. Antoniev was far more powerful and faster learner than his younger brother, who had been entitled with healing and minor spells of defence. As for the elder one, the most complex spells were given. While Soloyev had a lighter, more entertaining training, Antoniev had to deal with the highest level of standards, which prevented him of having a normal childhood.

As the Soviet Union came to be dissolved, Antoniev and Soloyev had already grown apart; at their parents' funeral, Antoniev showed up already engaged to a beautiful Warlock, while Soloyev remained alone. They came to reunite after Antoniev's bride's death, where Soloyev saved his brother from himself as Antoniev tried to commit suicide. Now, they were apart once more, for Soloyev was still alive and Antoniev came to perish by Mary Hellheim's hand.

"A sad end to a sad story. How fitting." Hellheim said as she grabbed the icy blue sphere. "Life sure wasn't good to you two... Well, life is unfair anyways. Unlife, on the other hands, can come to all... And it is far more interesting."

She placed the sphere among the others; all four Elemental Lords' souls were now within Mary Hellheim's grasp, just waiting for her to devise the darkest of plans. As she did it, she locked the shelves with a magical purple glass and walked to the doors of her antechamber. Alas, there was still one soul she was hoping to collect for her plan...


***


Zombies. Weakened Vampires. Darkness Elementals. Ghouls. Other creatures with no name or identification. Those were the contenders Elemental Alchemist found within his grasp at Hellheim's Necropolis. He wasted no time as he used all elements he had at his disposal; this time, however, more complex spells were made.

He danced with fire as he burned and purged the sorry walking corpses; with a couple of movements done by Melchior's hands, their screams were used as fuel to shatter and cut the Darkness Elementals within grasp. Their bodies shattered and became nothing more than purple and black ashes, which danced in the violent air Melchior tamed for his sole purposes.

"Wretched creatures!" Melchior screamed. "You'll all be wiped out!"

Melchior then conjured a massive tidal wave which swoop the weaker ghouls; like a puppeteer, Melchior commanded the waves to hit the houses nearby, squashing the ghouls in the path of the running waters. He looked to his right and realized more Zombies and Vampires were coming for him; he rapidly stomped the ground and a line of stone and earth came to his aid, impaling the reckless foes, fool enough to let themselves be crushed by the might of the Earth.

"Hellheim! Here I stand, proud and alive!". Melchior shouted to the profane skies with his arms wide open. "Come and fight me if you dare!"

Elemental Alchemist joined hands and conjured flames; he blasted the Vampires within his grasp. As they screamed loud in agony, Melchior hesitated, feeling some kind of solidary pain towards those he ignited; he took a deep breath and went two steps behind as the agonizing Vampires went out of his way and crumbled on the other enemies, burning them altogether.

The Salvadorian Blue Moon Knight eventually saw a large tower on the horizon meters away from the center of the Necropolis; from there he witnessed a dark cloud moving from one of the windows.

"I am here, Melchior Raven-Hayes!". Mary Hellheim's voice echoed once more. "I dare to fight you and reap your soul from your Half-Breed body!"

The dark cloud soared fast and hit the ground near Melchior; he flew several meters away due to the impact and crashed on the ground, breaking a few cobblestone pavements in his way. As he began to stand up, Mary Hellheim was in front of him, ready to fight.

Melchior began with Energy; he rubbed his hands against each other and created enough static to hit Hellheim with a bang; she was caught off guard and retreated a few steps with her torso slightly injured. Melchior pressed again with lightning and she managed to deflect it with a shadow shield she conjured.

The Elemental Alchemist was hit and felt his body grow weaker; he realized he was running out of Mana in his system. Mary Hellheim conjured an armor made of dark, hardened bones and charged upon him, hitting his stomach with her hardened fists.

"Argh!" Melchior screamed as he felt his body paralyzing.

"You are no match for me!" Hellheim declared as she kept punching him. "I should have killed you in Czech Republic when I got the chance!"

The Danish Demon punched Melchior so hard he flew a few meters away, falling on the cold floor of the Necropolis. As he tried to stand up, he felt his body weaker, heavier and colder than before. He closed his eyes and began thinking on the journey he had so far.

"I...I cannot... Give up... Like this!" Melchior thought as he spitted his blood on the floor. "I have to... Resist! I need to... Resist!". Melchior heard Hellheim's steps coming closer and he took the deepest of his breath; he stood up and clenched his fists.

"You...Will...Fall!" He shouted, charging on Hellheim.

He suddenly felt a burst of energy inside his body; his aura became golden with hints of purple. As he reminisced every path of his journey, including good and bad days, he felt stronger than before. His body was covered in pure energy and he struck Hellheim back with no mercy; she tried to defend herself with the Darkness and began to feel disadvantaged.

"Oh, no...!" She shouted as she tried to evade and block Melchior's attacks. "He is... An Elemental Overlord!'

The Danish Demon jumped back and conjured a massive amount of Darkness shards and Elementals to giver her cover; Melchior rubbed his hands and conjured all four main Elements altogether, causing the large spell to collide against the foul forces of Mary Hellheim. Darkness and Light struck themselves with a loud, heavy bang and then all seemed to fade away. No noise could be heard afterwards and nothing else could be seen.


To Be Continued...




— Icicle Chains —

Melchior and Antoniev stood in the room in silence; they were paying respects for another fallen Elemental Lords; they both had no idea of what time of the day or night it was, nor the day of the week. For them, it felt like an eternity to be trapped inside Mary Hellheim's lair as if they were just waiting for their turn to be slaughtered.

"There's light across the hall." Antoniev whispered. "It may be a way out."

"I... I hope it is.". Melchior replied trying to get back on his feet again. "Actually... I am sorry."

"Sorry?" Antoniev asked, confused. "What for?"

"I am the cause of all of this." Melchior sadly replied. "I am the cause you four have been hunted and killed so far. It's all my fault..."

"Nyet!"Antoniev replied as he firmly grabbed Melchior's shoulders. "You are not the cause of it! The Danish Demon is a sadist Necromancer who wishes to have more power than she can ever manage!"

"Lunia said something about the reason she wants your souls." Melchior replied, trying to gaze into Antoniev's eyes. "She wants them to fuel something. I don't know what is it though... She also wants mine for that matter."

"Then we have to stop her and avenge the fallen ones!" Antoniev replied. "So that we can walk free into our lives and honour Nathalie, Cynthia and Lunia's ultimate sacrifice. We can do it, Melchior. Trust me, you are far more powerful today than ever."

Melchior nodded as an agreement; he wiped the tears from his face and followed Antoniev on the way into the light; however, as they came close to it, it expanded and became a large mist, swirling around them and revealing a large gate which seemed sealed from the inside. It was a large, gothic piece with a large skull engraving in the middle. There were some light purple stones adorning the doormat and the door pieces itself. From time to time, they changed their colours to either light green, amber, icy blue or light yellow and then back to purple.

"These colours..." Melchior gasped. "They represent..."

"Us." Antoniev replied. "This is the entrance to Mary Hellheim's chambers."

"Wrong.". A voice echoed through the room. "This is the real entrance to my domains, silly Vladmir. You had only a display of the extent of my powers so far. A free sample for all those who soon will join my shelf of immortal souls..."

"Hellheim!" Melchior shouted, angry. "Show yourself!"

"We'll meet sweet and soon, child." Mary's voice echoed with a laughter full of despise. "Now I am looking for Antoniev's surrender. I promise, Russian Warlock, to give you a painless death if you collaborate,"

"Never.". Antoniev grinned. "Come at me and get my soul if you want it so bad!"

"Ha,ha,ha,ha!". This time, as Hellheim's laughter echoed through the chamber, the ground began to tremble and the temperature began to drop."As you wish... Silly, proud Elemental Lord."

Melchior looked back and saw the tunnel behind them freeze; the hanging limbs and skulls became ice pieces and didn't take too long for them to fall and shatter as the ground trembled. Both Antoniev and Melchior began to have a hard time to stay on their feet as their next contender appeared in the darkness. The whole chamber got a light blue illumination and a large Elemental appeared. As before, it looked to be an Overcharged one; by its colours, it was correct to say it was an Overcharged Ice Elemental. Moreover, it seemed to be followed by some other minor elementals, each one from different elements previously faced.

"This is it then.". Antoniev said as he began walking towards the creature. "I have been waiting for this fight." He stopped and looked at Melchior. "Regardless of what happens here, Mary Hellheim must fall, Melchior. We can do it!"

Melchior agreed and conjured lightning and fire bolts, throwing them against the Elementals in order to get their attention; as for Antoniev, he was now free to face the Overcharged Elemental in his way. It shaped itself as a small, yet vicious dragon which started to blow cold flames towards Antoniev. The Elemental Lord did his best to dodge them and raise ice to do his bidding, acting as both shield and sword as he defended himself from the dragon's assault and strike him back.

As he did it, he started to push the mighty icy creature back, entering back into the tunnel and leaving Melchior with the other swarm of Elementals.

"Good luck, child.". Antoniev thought as he kept fighting. "I know you'll make it.". Melchior saw his mentor entering in the tunnel again and had no time to protest; instead, he kept tossing fire, throwing ice spikes, weaving earth bandages and creating small whirlwinds as his best effort to counter each and every single Elemental put in his way.

"One by one... I'll defeat them all!". Melchior thought as he healed himself with the powers of Earth. "They'll all become ashes!". As he kept thinking, he continued to conjure and weave the elements as he pleased; it didn't take much effort for Melchior to shatter the Elementals near him; however, each time he destroyed a handful of them, more seemed to crawl back from darkness, preventing him to go to Antoniev and aid him. To make things worse, he began to feel weaker and weaker.

"Damn it!" Melchior thought as he breathed harder. "My mana... It's... It's running low...!". He looked at the massive amount of elementals and grinned.

"I am not falling here! Not so easily!" He shouted as he generated a massive fireball, which he threw against his foes. He showed them his fangs and charged into the ground, determined to reduce all of them to ashes and nothing more.


***

In the meantime, Antoniev was having troubles on his own; tired from all the relentless battles he had to fight, the icy dragon started to push him back to the gate halls. Shards of ice flew on the corridors and hit the walls, shattering into small pieces that created a small hailstorm. Antoniev grabbed his daggers in order to make an extra effort to take the glacial beast down.

The Russian Warlock roared to the creature as he began to cut it mercilessly; he charged his hands with pure Mana without moderation. The daggers became stronger against the glacial dragon, which roared in agony as large chunks of ice and stone flew away from its body, crashing against the walls of the corridor. the earth trembled as they kept fighting. Eventually the beast managed to pierce Antoniev's torso with its claws and the Ice Elemental Lord had no other choice than smash it's claw.

He was breathless; half of the icy claw remained in Antoniev's torso; he looked up and realized the dragon was about to breathe the coldest of fires towards him. If the creature succeeded, Antoniev would be wiped from earth in a blink of an eye.

"Time...To end this. I am sorry... Melchior and Soloyev.". He muttled, holding the daggers as tighter as he could. "Winter Balalaika!"

The Ice Elemental Lord jumped the first time and raised ice and snow as his feet touched the ground; he felt his bones crackling inside his body and he muffled an agony scream; he used all the strength he had to bounce back in the air with the daggers pointed at the dragon, who blew cold fire towards the ground. Antoniev's wave of ice and snow folowed the final bidding of its master and engulfed the dragon as Antoniev pierced its head with his daggers.

The freezing wave trampled both Antoniev and the dragon, whose arms and scales shattered in the amidst of a true Elemental Lord's power. Antoniev felt his legs and arms break with the impact, and it didn't take long for his ribs to break and shatter, piercing his lungs. His body rapidly lost its temperature and his heart began to cease to function.

The Warlock let his body weight lead him downstairs; the daggers continued to shatter the fierce creature's skull. When Antoniev's dagger reached the dragon's nose, the Ice Elemental Lord was already lifeless. An icy-blue sphere came out of his body and flew away, leaving the shattered bodies alone in the darkness.


***


Melchior fell on his knees in the amidst of shattered pieces of elemental shards of all colours, shapes and sizes. He looked up and saw an icy-blue sphere floating away in the darkness and tresspassing the gates ahead.

"No...Oh, no!" Melchior whispered. "No, no, no, no!"

Melchior saw the image of a young Vladmir Antoniev reflected in the sphere. Soon, he realized it was Antoniev's soul floating away; Melchior was still alive while Antoniev perished. He screamed loudly and painfully as he came to conclude all Elemental Lords of their age were dead and their souls were trapped in Mary Hellheim's domains.

"They lost, Melchior..." Mary Hellheim's voice echoed on the deadly halls once more.

Melchior crawled towards the ground and let the tears fall from his face and bathe the unholy grounds near him.

"Their souls are in my grasp now...". The Danish Demon continued to speak with contempt and triumph in her voice. "And soon yours will be, too."

"No...". Melchior angrily muttled as he straightened his back and looked to his front. "I'll make you pay for this, Danish Demon. Starting with this gate of yours."

That said, he grabbed his scepter and concentrated a large amount of Mana in it; he bounced the scepter from back to front and threw a large beam of pure energy, which shattered the large gates; they revealed a small, victorian-like village with an everlasting grey and crimson skies, as if it was an eternal bloody night at that place. For the first time in his life, Melchior was inside a Necropolis ruled by a very powerful Necromancer.

"Very well... Show yourself, Hellheim!" Melchior groaned with all the anger he had. "I am ready! Come and get my soul if you dare!"


To be Continued...

Hello Everyone!

I hope you have enjoyed the last Summer Summit... I have plans for it in the near future, heh. On the meantime, the Ninth and Final Season will start again tomorrow and it will be rushed, which means that every two days there'll be new Chapters!

Yes, it is going to be a "fast and furious" Season because I want to jump to the new version of the Blue Moon Knights (and other things regarding the to-do list posted in June) and other projects as well. Also, I am still on vacation, which means I'll have time to focus my energy in this Season.

Stay Tuned for More!


Sincerely,
Iridium Blade.



- Reminiscence -

Guatemala City, Guatemala - 7:45 p.m.

At last, all Blue Moon Knights finished their endeavours for the afternoon and went to 9a Calle to meet Melchior for the Luau. Anael and Altagracia arrived first, followed by Kaiser, Kimi, Thalas and Maya. Elemental Alchemist was waiting for them at the entrance of the event.

[Melchior] - I thought you guys would never come! (Mischievous smile) Come here, I have your tickets!

[Thalas] - Wasn't the event for free? (Raises a brow)

[Melchior] - The entrances were about 10 quetzales each, nothing much! (Gives tickets to each Knight) 

[Anael] - (Mocking) This better be good! You tend to send us to... Quite weird events!

[Melchior] - Come on! Give old Melchior a break, will you? Let's have some smooth,easy fun!

[Kimi] - (Shrugs, smiles) If you say so...

[Melchior] - See? Even Kimi agrees! Let's do this!

The other Knights looked at each other, shruged and smiled, following Melchior inside the event. There were thousands of youngsters and even families gathered together, sitting on the floor as some improvised, rounded stages had been placed in several spots of the 9a Calle.

The Lual was composed by several traditional bands, who played songs based on formulas and instruments from the ancient Maya times; as the bands were playing, The Knights sat near one of the stages and began to appreciate the show at hand.

[Anael] - It wouldn't be the same thing.

[Melchior] - What?

[Anael] - If we hadn't become the Blue Moon Knights... It wouldn't be the same thing. We all here have a great friendship, that's true... But our lives would be too... Regular, and some of us wouldn't have even met each other if not for the Corazón of Guatemala...

[Altagracia] - (Smiles, yawns) Yeah... That's true... I am happy this whole thing happened... Despite the bad things that came with it. (Hugs Anael and cuddles to sleep)

[Kaiser] - If you guys had never become Knights in the first place, I'd still be trapped in that bloody book and haunting my brother! (Chuckles)

[Kimi] - Damn it Kai!

[Kaiser] - Jokes aside now. Those powers and responsibilities gave me freedom and a second chance in life! For that. I'll be always thankful to all of you. (Smiles)

[Maya] - (Puts her hand in Kaiser's shoulder) I know exactly how you feel. If it wasn't for Thalas and all of you, I might have lost all my memories and my life to protect Eclipse's best interests... I am quite happy I didn't have to. (Hold Thalas' hands)

[Melchior] - I called all of you to that Lual as my way to say "thanks". Thanks for everything, lads. Thanks to you, now I have a home, a family and the best friends I could have always wished for. I feel like the luckiest of all people ever!

The Knights agreed and each one gave Melchior a hug; as they gathered together, they began to realize how fortunate they were for Kukulkan choosing them to carry on the noble mission of keeping Central America and the world safe and sound.

As the bands kept playing, they all made their secretive wishes for the future: good, noble, selfless and hopeful wishes for a brighter future to come...


End of 2016's Summer Summit.



- Journey in the Journals -

Guatemala City, Guatemala - 6 p.m.

One by one, each Blue Moon Knight left skateboard court and went to their destinations prior to the Luau; Kimi and Kaiser left for their bookstore, Melchior went home, Anael and Altagracia went to a candy shop, Thalas went to his home and Maya to hers.

Black Witch walked to the eastern part of the city, going to a building near a commercial center. She walks up three floors of stair and opens a door with the numbers "313" engraved in it. As she enters the room, she sees a couple of letters on the table near the door. She gets it and opens the letter, reading its content.

"Maya dearest,

Your uncle and I left town for a while... It seems there's a new dig site in northern Guatemala, near the Mexican border. I have been summoned and your uncle came with me to help me out. He will be back in two days or so. In the meantime, help yourself and please send me news as soon as you can.

Kindly,

Your aunt Carmen."

[Maya] - (Angered) Every single time... I don't even know why I still get surprised by those letters! (Rumples the letter and rushes to her bedroom)

Black witch violently closes her bedroom door and slams her body against her bed. Her countenance showed anger, yet her tears showed another feeling instead.

[Maya] - I hate this... (Weeps) Every single time they leave me alone... Why do they do that to me? Why? (Weeping, she gets her diary and sits on the bed) At least I have always had you... Even before I met Jasmine or Iracema...

She opens her diary and goes for a pen on her table; she begins reading the words already written, diving into her deepest memories.

[Maya] - What if... What if I wasn't capable of writing? What if I couldn't transfer my feelings to the paper the way I do? What if I had never written a single line of my own...?

Black Witch reads most of her passages in her journal before writing another of her own. Then, she starts fencing her pen on the paper.

"To My Silent Friend, the Notebook,

My Aunt has gone working outside town again; as much as I love her endless dedication towards her profession, I can`t help feeling ignored or unloved by them... Ever since my parents died, my aunt and uncle have been looking after me, taking care of me... But I know I have never been a daughter to them and neither they feel as if they were my parents...

As much as I love them, I can't help feeling like an outcast... And I wish to know why they seldom treat me like this in such an aloof way... I wish they were around more often... So that I wouldn't feel alone and put aside.

Maya Altahuela."

Maya put the pen and the journal back on the table. Then, she reached her pocket sound system and grabbed the Metallica album Thalas gave her. She put it in the disc slot and chose a song for her while laying down and taking a rest.

"..And the road becomes my bride
I've stripped of all but pride
So in her I do confide
And she keeps me satisfied
Gives me all I need

...And with dust in throat I crave
Only knowledge will I save
To the game you stay a slave
Rover, wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home

...And the earth becomes my throne
I adapt to the unknown
Under wandering stars I've grown
By myself but not alone
I ask no one

...And my ties are severed clean
The less I have, the more I gain
Off the beaten path I reign
Rover, wanderer
Nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will

But I'll take my time anywhere
I'm free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll never mind anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home

But I'll take my time anywhere
I'm free to speak my mind
And I'll take my find anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home

But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere

Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home

Carved upon my stone
My body lies, but still I roam
Wherever I may roam
Wherever I may roam
Wherever I may roam..."


To Be Continued...





- Rumble in the Stone Jungle -

Guatemala City, Guatemala - 4:15 p.m.

Kimi and Kaiser arrived at a bookstore near San Marino School, where they attended High School with everyone else; the bookstore, which once belonged to late Mr. Zelaya, had been closed since his death. Kimi managed to get the keys and deed of ownership from the late History teacher prior to his demise.

[Kimi] - (Opens the door) Well... Another day of work.

[Kaiser] - Another day of running away, if that's what you mean. (Crosses arms)

[Kimi] - What are you implying? (Feels slightly insulted)

[Kaiser] - You know it very well, veli. Why do you keep shunning everyone out of your life?

[Kimi] - (Annoyed) I am not... Stop that, Kai! Every single time you do that! (Sighs)

[Kaiser] - (Sadly sighs) Kimi... I am trying to understand you. You seem aloof these days and I want to know why!

Ice Guardian enters the shop Kaiser comes after him, closing the door; Kimi sits in front of an empty table and glances over his brother with a melancholic countenance.

[Kimi] - I... I am trying to understand myself, actually. (Sighs) I was... Thinking at that lie... That very lie I had to tell the Empress. I am thinking of how I prevented her from knowing the truth about her husband.

[Kaiser] - Ah, Kimi! (Sits near his brother and pats his shoulder) Is that why you are so upset?

[Kimi] - I should have told her the truth...! Belarus was one of my oldest friends... I should have...

[Kaiser] - ...Made her hate you? (Looks deep into his brother's eyes) Belarus would have you killed for sure! She wouldn't care whether you tried to control your impulses or not!

[Kimi] - Every time I am having a blast with you guys, I get myself thinking on it. I feel like such a hypocrite...

[Kaiser] - Of course not! (Frowns) See, the fact Cody died and you are still here are not completely related! Cody might have died anyways!... What if you were dead? How could I live?

Kimi looks at Kaiser, thoughtful. His melancholy is slowly replaced by joy as he thinks about his brother`s words.

[Kaiser] - If you were dead instead of Cody, I would have never become such an amazing person... You are responsible for me, you know? You precticaly raised me, brought me up and brought me into you world and into your life, even when I had the darkest of actions and thoughts! Cody was an wonderful guy, but you are even better!

[Kimi] - (Touched) Kai... Thank you so much.

Kimi hugs his brother really tight; Kaiser positively respond to his brother's embrace. A few minutes later, they begin to organize and rummage the empty bookstore they now run together.


To Be Continued...



- The Last Summer -

Guatemala City, Guatemala: 3 p.m.

Anael and the other Blue Moon Knights are near a skating station; they sat on the concrete benches and watched as the regular folk entertained themselves with their prowess on top of a wooden plan and four wheels.

[Anael] - (Sighs) Do you remember those times when we had nothing to worry about, besides school and other things?

[Thalas] - Yes... (Smiles) I remember. Those were...

[Melchior] - ...The best days ever.

[Kimi] - Yet... They seemed... Boring.

[Maya] - Indeed. We have been through a lot together, haven't we?

[Anael] - Yes... We have. (Stands up) But I think we still have even better times to come.

[Melchior] - Speaking of which, I have gotten the word of a Luau thingy that's going to happen tonight, near 9a Calle! Are you guys in or out?

[Kaiser] - Why not? We haven't actually been to somewhere nice or fun these days.

[Thalas] - Indeed... Well, if Maya wants to join us too, I'll gladly go!

[Maya] - Of course I'll go! (Chuckles) What time will it be?

[Melchior] - Around... 8 p.m.; it is a fair schedule, to be honest.

[Anael] - Agreed!

[Kimi] - I have to go to the Bookstore... (Standing up) Can I meet you folks there?

[Melchior] - Of course, bro!

Kimi bows to everyone and leaves, with Kaiser following him instantly; as the Finn brothers left, a thoughtful Melchior asked:

[Melchior] - What if none of this had ever happened to us? I mean, the Shaman-Stones... The fights... Everything. What if we haven't been The Blue Moon Knights? What would you all be up to?


To be Continued...

Hello Everyone!

The Ninth Season has already started and we'll have a short break in it to introduce the last Summer Summit! Instead of having its chapters posted in every days, they'll be posted in odd days, beginning Monday, July 11th. This Summer Summit will be only four chapters long. After that the Chapters will continue to be posted at July 18th.

Stay tuned for more!


Sincerely,
Iridium Blade.



— Heart of a Dragon —

Lunia became restless and angrier as Antoniev insisted in fighting him back; it was Ice agains Fire, and Melchior was caught in the middle of the elemental riot provoked by Mary Hellheim and her hideous designs.

Elemental Alchemist tried using his spells against the Hungarian Hellhound seeking his awakening, not his death. However, that goal was proving to be a far more difficult one than expected, for the Fire Elemental Lord kept advancing without a trace of change.

Antoniev seemed to be more of a target to Lunia than Melchior himself; as the Salvadorian tried to diverge the attention from the Russian Warlock, Lunia seemed to care little about Melchior’s efforts; moreover, Melchior seemed to be holding much of his power back.

“Lunia doesn’t react to me!”He thought as he kept throwing elemental magic with his sceptre. “Damn it! I’ll have to get down to business then…”. With that thought, he raised his sceptre and decided to go for heavier spells.

“Greater Blizzard!” he screamed, conjuring a dense hailstorm across the hall.

The icy magic struck Lunia and ceased his fiery attacks; the powerful Warlock fell on the ground behind him, stunned. That gave enough time for Melchior to reach and aid Antoniev.

“What’s happening?!”. Melchior asked startled. “What did he mean with…”

“Maybe… Maybe my brother had sent them.”. Antoniev replied. “Soloyev wasn’t caught… And he might have contacted them all.”

Before Melchior could ask Antoniev all questions he wanted, a creeping, undead-like Lunia rose again with a sinister smile in his face; he whispered again in a language both could not understand and casted two massive fireballs against them, pushing both Antoniev and Melchior against the foul walls, which quickly made their way into holding the two Warlocks back.

“Damnit!” Melchior gasped. “Lunia, please! Stop this!”

Lunia responded with a grin smile and flames being conjured in his hands, preparing himself to his last and deadliest attack.

“He is not his true self, Melchior!” Antoniev muttled as he tried to free himself. “He’s lost the battle against Hellheim’s control!”

Lunia raised his hands and the fire spread above his head making a gruesome hot halo; Melchior closed his eyes, joined hands and drew the deepest of his breath; Antoniev conjured ice as protective gauntlets for his arms. Then, Lunia said the words both of them did not want to hear.

Hell’s Core!


The fire halo enlarged and charged towards the crowd. Melchior blew the air in his lungs as a massive icy cloud which blocked the path for the magical fire. Fire and Ice stood in the air moving against each other, as dragons who try to bite each other's bodies. The Elemental Alchemist tried, then to manipule the icy air and smother the flames. As he did that, however, something else was about to happen.

"Melchior, look out!" Antoniev shouted, pushing the young Half-Breed against the floor.

Lunia roared as he made fire swirl on his body, covering his arms, legs and torso as a powerful weapon; Antoniev ran against him and began to punch him. Lunia responded the same way. Once again it was fire against ice.

Melchior stood on his knees and looked at the brawl happening in front of him; Antoniev was being beaten fiercely by the Hungarian Hellhound and there was only one thing he could to to bring Lunia back to his sanity. Ït is time to Dreamwalk.". He thought, closing his eyes and touching his Quetzal mark. As he did it the scenario in front of him started to fade, disappear and reshape. As for Lunia, he suddenly stopped hitting the Ice Elemental Lord, who looked to his back and saw Elemental Alchemist with a determinated countenance and his eyes opened, gleaming in a smooth golden tone.

"What is this?". The Russian Warlock whispered, confused.


***


Melchior was in a college classroom which was coloured in golden tones. Lunia was there, sitting in front of a large wooden table. His arms were strapped behind the back of his seat, and his legs were also held in chains to the chair's feet. He looked up and saw Elemental Alchemist staring at him. 

"I can't fight it, Melchior." The Hungarian Hellhound looked supplicant. "She took me a long time ago... Even before we met."

"You can fight it, Lunia! You are the best Warlock I know!" Melchior said, hitting his hands against the wooden table. "Come on, let me help you! I can take these chains off!"

"Even the best can be bested, child...". Lunia replied. "Mary Hellheim wants my soul, Antoniev's and yours to do something dreadful... Which might tear this world apart."

"Then help me defeat her! Don't give up!" Melchior angrily replied. "Don't let her take your soul... Or Antoniev's... Or mine! We can best her! I know we can!"

Lunia closed his eyes and sighed; then, he projected a fiery aura which start to melt the chains away.

"I don't think I'll last this encounter, Melchior...". Lunia said as he broke free from his straps and chains. "...But I'll do my best, child!"

Instead of weepy and supplicant, Lunia looked confident and Melchior smiled at him. They both closed their eyes and the environment began to fade away.


***


Melchior and Lunia came back to their senses in a daring moment; Elemental Alchemist saw Antoniev battling a large creature made of fire, magma and amber shards. The Russian Warlock was heavily injured, with this clothers torn and burnt due to all battles he had faced so far. As he tried to freeze the massive elemental being, it kept repelling his spells and hitting him twice as harder and hotter than before.

"An Overcharged Fire Elemental..." Lunia whispered. "It's about time!"

That said, Lunia threw some fireballs at the massive blazing creature, drawing its attention to him instead. 

"Antoniev and Melchior, go! I'll take care of this!" Lunia shouted. "For Cynthia and Nathalie!"

Antoniev agreed despite all the wounds in his body; Melchior, on the other hand, reluctantly accepted to go, for he knew that would be Lunia's demise and he was not yet ready to deal with that loss.

"Melchior, come on!" Antoniev said, grabbing Melchior by his arm. "There's not much we can do for him! We have to get out of this place!"

The two Warlocks kept moving forward on that tunnel; as the corpse hands and limbs tried to grasp them both, they could hear the agony of the fight between Lunia and the fire elemental; the tunnel eventually led to a large room with some dim light in its end. When they reached the middle of it, they could hear the last battle cry of the Hungarian Hellhound.

"Hell's Core!"

The spell echoed on the tunnel mixed with the Fire Elemental Lord's last cry of agony. Melchior felt his eyes getting full with tears which he shed knowing that Lunia certainly died at the blaze of glory as he always had deserved. Elemental Alchemist closed his eyes and let tears fall from them as he realized he had not only lost a mentor, but the greatest of his friends. He fell on his knees as he acknowledged that Nathalie and Cynthia were also gone forever, and that Antoniev was the only Elemental Lord that still drew breath. His sadness slowly fueled his anger and desire for vengeance as he started to realize that only taking the Danish Demon's life he could ever repay for all unjustice done in those unholy pits.


To Be Continued... 

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