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— 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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