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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...

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