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— Fiery Loving Heart —

Black Witch felt the blaze of glory as the burning waves of enemies became less heated and more petrified due to her amazing efforts; as she kept throwing large fire balls against what was left of her enemies, it didn't take much for her to realize someone was keeping the troops coming, and it didn't seem to be Mary Hellheim's doing.

She then began to feel her heart pumping faster than ever; as she looked to the blazing troops, she finally realized who was there keeping them alive and coming. It was a former figure from her past; someone to whom she once pledged allegiance: Eclipse.

"Guys... Check this out." Melchior shouted, pointing at Eclipse. "Look who's back from the dead!"

Eclipse's face was more beautiful than when she was alive; she was dressing a black gown and a pair of black high heels which made her look sexy and better than ever, a silver crown with bone engravings was adorning her head; her once rotting, deformed body was now perfect, as if death and sin healed her wounds and grieves from the past .He hair was shorter than it once was, but it was beautiful and adorned with white and garnet beads; her lipstick was red and she looked better, stronger and more beautiful than ever. The first foe the Blue Moon Knights ever faced was back in business once more: and she was looking straight at Maya.

"Welcome, traitor!" She spoke with a metallic like voice, similar to what happened to El's. "You are no stranger to these arts, neither to this area. Your life belong to me, as it once was and ever will be. Are you so eager to meet your end?"

"The only one here dying today will be YOU!" Maya angrily replied.

"So much anger... I pity you." Eclipse replied with her arms crossed. "Come to me, my child... Seize your destiny!"

"Guys, leave her to me and GO!" Black Witch shouted. "I'll be fine!"

"You are not going ANYWHERE!" Eclipse replied, raising her hands to the sky. "This will be your burning grave!"

A large fire halo appeared behind Eclipse, and ten large stones appeared in front of the halo, being instantly ignited and thrown towards the Knights; Thalas, Melchior and Altagracia managed to duck and dodge, but Anael and Kaiser were hit and pushed far away from whence they stood. Maya conjured a large fire shield which obliterated the stones that tried to harm her.

"Impressive!" Eclipse shouted with a grin laughter. "You still lack some refinement, though!"

That said, Eclipse took a deep breath and blew a large beam of fire through her lungs, like a dragon bestowing death to all who were standing in its way; Maya conjured a fire wall and used it to drain Eclipse's assault from it. The powerful, ancient Elven Warlock realized black Witch was not burning; in fact, she managed to absorb her assault: and she was willing to strike back.

"What...?!" Eclipse said.

Maya rapidly blew the flames toward her, hitting her foe and some of her minions in the flames' way; Anael charged back to his nearest foes once more, but Kaiser was barely standing due to the increased heat. Melchior went to give him aid, while Thalas and Altagracia kept running away from the flames. Maya looked at the scene horrified, with her heart pounding faster again fueled with the raging fires she tamed.

"Dios mío..." Maya gasped as she saw her friends giving in to the fire.

"It is done!" Eclipse hissed with a grin smile. "They will all burn to ashes, Black Witch... Your treason will be their demise! HAHAHAHA!"

She looked at the ever burning scenario with an uneasy breath and a desperate countenance; they kept fighting the blazing hordes without fear, but the flames were getting the best of them. Eclipse began to channel the fire near her to draw another powerful spell. She took a deep breath and a crazy idea came to her mind.

"No..." Maya angrily hissed. "No... They won't die here! YOU WILL BURN TO ASHES!"

Black Witch began to channel fire near her; Melchior looked at her, surprised with the amount of power she was being able to grasp. Thalas, on the other hand, as looking at the strange altar which stood between Maya and Eclipse, afraid of what was about to happen.

"She... She will sacrifice herself!" Thalas shouted, running towards her. "We have to stop her! Maya!" Melchior held him by his torso and Kaiser came to aid Elemental Alchemist. "Maya! Stop! MAYA!"

Black Witch was no longer hearing Thalas' cries of despair; by the time her friends were staring at her with fear and despair, she had already channeled most of her half of the Dark Blaze Steppes; Eclipse began to laugh at Maya's desperate attempts. Black Witch's hear was pumping faster and faster, and she started to feel everything to be blurry and lighter than before.

"Guys... I'll say it only once!" Maya gasped out lout. "GO! LEAVE AT ONCE! I'LL MEET YOU AS SOON AS I CAN! GO!"

Anael agreed and guided Altagracia and Kaiser away while Melchior tried to get Thalas out of Maya's reach; when Maya realized her friends were out of her reach, she heard Eclipse's last spell being conjured.

"BE ENGULFED BY FLAMES!" She screamed, tossing a large pillar of fire towards Maya.

"Here...I... Go!" Maya replied. "HELL'S CORE!"

Black Witch concentrated fire around her and made it explode with a loud, hot bang, which the Knights felt as they made their way out of the Steppes; Thalas looked back and saw nothing but flames. His eyes widened and got full of tears as he saw the hanging crystal ball acquire an amber tone with Judas-coloured stripes, heated and blew off like the one found in Blizzard Wastes.

"Is she...?" He whispered. "She... She can't be..."

Melchior and the other Knights looked back and saw something moving through the flames; Thalas grasped his arrows just to realize it was Maya: but engulfed in flames like a Fire Elemental.

"Mon dieu...Non..." Thalas gasped. "Maya...!"

She was nothing more than a form made of fire and amber; her eyes were gazing at Thalas with a loving stare; she came closer to him, held his face in her hands and gave him a loving kiss, which was her last; as Electro Archer tried to embrace her, her body soon began to fade and disappear in the air like flames being swept by the wind and turning into nothing.

"Adios..." Maya's voice echoed gently as she faded away.

Thalas felt in his knees and cried; he began to cry out loud as tears rolled off his face and fell on the warm ground beneath. He kept weeping in pain as if thousand knives were cutting through his body and tearing his soul apart. For the first time Thalas learned what it felt like to lose someone he loved the most in his life. Anael knelt down and hugged him, and so did Altagracia and Kaiser; Melchior looked at the flames with sadness as he let tears roll through his face in mourn.

"Two down...! Five more to go!" Mary Hellheim's voice echoed through as Melchior closed his eyes and cried for his friend...


To Be Continued...

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