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— Wilting Wind Dragon —

The winds chanted a funeral march as the Blue Moon Knights insisted on fighting; the tornadoes surrounding the plateaus made it harder for the Knights to stand on a chosen spot;  to prevent most of them to fly without control Thalas conjured vine belts and anchor stones to keep the Knights on the right track. Except for Elite Dragon, all of them were attached to Thalas' savior bindings.

"Keep them all tied to the ground, Thalas!" Anael screamed. "I'll fly ahead and see who's to blame for this!"

"Take care, Anael!" Thalas shouted back. "We cannot afford to lose anyone anymore!"

Anael nodded and smiled mischievously as he took impulse upwards, opened his wings and flew away in the aggressive mass of air, lightning and sand seeking to destroy the source of the evil enslaving the air to do her or his bidding.

As Elite Dragon was approaching the mass of air, the sand inside the hurricane became glass, which was violently thrown at him; Anael used his wings to defend himself and Lightning to shatter the glass and ended up losing height and injuring his wings, torn by the sharp glass.

"Something is wrong up there... Anael!" Melchior shouted. "I'll help you!"

Elemental Alchemist conjured a dense cloud which held Anael in the air; the Guatemala hero then stood up and tried to remove the largest shards from his injured wings. He looked at Melchior and nodded in appreciation for his gesture.

"Mourn me!" A metallic voice screamed amongst the aggressive, roaring tornadoes. "Forgive me!"

Anael's countenance was taken by a strange curiosity. "This voice..." He thought as he opened his wings once more. "...Sounds familiar. Too familiar to be ignored!"

"Mourn me!" The voice chanted through the air once more. "Forgive me!"

Anael than began to fly towards the tornadoes, much for his friend's dismay and despair. Thalas, who was making all efforts to keep everyone in touch with the ground, notice Anael's brave yet foolish decision to keep flying forward.

"What the hell?!" Thalas inquired. "Anael! Anael, don't go in there! Anael!"

By the time Thalas screamed for his best friend, he was no longer within reach to hear his voice. Instead, all of them had to deal with the masses of wind which torn Thalas' vines and threw them from that plateau to another; as they were mercilessly transported through the air, the trapped souls of former Air Warlocks in glass embodiments tried to shed and rip their bodies with their long, glass-made claws. Their screams of pain were mixed with their conjures and spells as they kept trying to disassemble their bodies.

Anael, on the other hand, kept flying away in the amidst of the glass storm; his wings were heavily injured and his armour was shattering; most of the protection of his legs and his arms were shattered into pieces and he landed heavily into the ground in pain and bleeding through his open wounds.

"Mourn me... Forgive me..." The voice came back, but closer and more distinguishable. "I am being forced to do this... I want to rest... Please forgive me..."

Anael raised his eyes and looked at the figure who was responsible for the voice; his countenance was taken by horror, surprise and sadness as he realized who the figure truly was.

"No...! No!" He stated in dread. "Not you!"



****


November 25th, 2013

Warlock Coven of Munich, 21h


Mirabelle and Ushuriel arrived at a preserved manor in the center of Munich followed by two dozens of Warlocks and their Vampire companions; as the powerful couple knocked on the door, other Warlocks stared at them from the large windows of stained glass.

Time was of the essence; as soon as they opened the door, Mirabelle and Ushuriel presented the case and the importance of solving it as quickly as possible; the elders responsible for that Coven heard their pleas and gathered the current residents to discuss and decide if they were going to join their task force.

The clock was ticking, and Time wouldn't be favouring the Blue Moon Knights, as soon would Mirabelle and Ushuriel discover...



****


The central plateau had only one large household, similar to the others seen in the first plateau, with light blue and lilac hieroglyphic engravings and entirely made out of metal; a strange altar, similar to those found in Blizzard Wastes and Dark Blaze Steppes was also there, in the center of the sandy plateau; instead of finding many enemies waiting for him there, there was only one foe. A female one, which was very familiar.

"Forgive me... Forgive me, please..." She continued to moan in a dreadful, metallic sad tone.

Anael stood on his knees as he looked at his foe; it was a girl around thirteen years with light copper skin, straight, long dark brown with a large bang covering her left eye; she was dressed in a metallic blue jumpsuit that covered her arms and neck completely, leaving her legs uncovered below her kness; she was wearing a pair of indigo ankle boots with low heels and a pair of  blue dream-catcher earrings. She also had a pair of blue feathered wings which looked both metallic and organic. That girl was in front of the altar controlling lightning and air around her, creating small shards of glass which were dancing as she pleased, ensorcelled the same way as she was.

"Iracema?" Anael asked horrified. "What has she done to you?"

The girl identified as Iracema stopped doing what she once was; the tornadoes began to lose their strength and the other plateaus started to get more and more visible as the air got calmer. Elite Dragon finally stood up as he waited for her response.

"Yes... I am Iracema. I was Iracema." She replied in a metallic, sad tone. "I once lived and then I died... Where was I from?"

"Brazil, my dear." Anael responded firmly as he tried no to cry. "You were from Brazil... You were a great person whose life was cut short because of someone else's agenda."

"Yes... Eclipse..." She replied walking a few steps away from the altar. "I remember her... Her promises... I remember other things, too..."

"Like what?" Anael hesitantly asked, almost unable to hold his tears.

"Like you killing her, for instance." Mary Hellheim's voice echoed through. Iracema screamed in pain as she held her head with both hands.

"Argh! It hurts! It hurts!" She screamed. "Mourn me, Anael! Forgive me!"

"Iracema!" Anael screamed, grasping his sword. "Fight her! Please, fight her! I mourn you! You have nothing to be forgiven for! You are not to blame!"

From another plateau, Thalas and the others could finally see what lied in the central plateau; they saw their leader at the limit of his strength as he seemed to struggle with an urgent matter. As they saw Iracema, they immediately understood what was going to happen.

"No...Not this again!" Thalas objected. "We have to defeat them! Hurry!"

Thalas and Melchior led the offense against the Glass and Zombie inhabitants of Lightning Summits; as they kept fighting, their bodies began to feel the cost of non-stop fighting, for Altagracia's healing seemed less effective, Kaiser's strength and Void abilities were diminishing and Thalas began to lose his grip as exhaustion began to get at all of them.

Iracema than began to attack Anael; she rampaged with lightning as she used pure energy to hit Anael's increasingly frail body and armour; Elite Dragon used his sword to repel some of her attacks, but he was unwilling to fight her.

"Always feeling guilty, aren't you?" Mary Hellheim's voice echoed. "Your powers and dragon-like abilities feel somewhat like a curse to you, don't they?As if you were always on the edge, always about to take someone's life away... Even if you don't think you meant it."

Iracema's Lightning waves struck Anael mercilessly; he was feeling weaker and weaker as she kept advancing.

"She is forcing me, Anael!" Iracema screamed in a begging tone. "She won't let me rest... She won't let you mourn me anymore! Please... I beg you... Release me and forgive me! Please!"

Anael repelled most of her attacks; those he couldn’t struck his chest, abdomen and tights, shattering the armour which covered the latter ones; he fell on his knees feeling a lot of pain and blood began to leak from his wounds and from his mouth.

“You are not fit to be a warrior Anael, and you know it.” Mary’s voice echoed through again. “You are way too soft and kind for it.”

Iracema raised her hands and sand began to float near her; he was breathing faster and uneasily as he saw the skies get darker and angrier than before. He could hear the growl of the thunder and lightning above him as Iracema bend Energy to convert sand into glass once more. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath as he let fury be his fuel.

“CORAZÓN DE GUATEMALA!” He growled. “LORD KUKULKÁN, GIVE ME YOUR STRENGTH!”

The liquid Shaman-Stone began to glow, answering Anael’s prayer; it created a dense turquoise fog surrounding Elite Dragon and protecting him from the shards of glass and lightning beams thrown by Iracema; as he was there, the powers granted by the Lord of Air began to heal Elite Dragon’s beaten body and armour, giving him a renewing breath for the fight he had at hand.

He put his sword away as he turned it into a necklace pin; then he conjured Lightning around his fists, charging them. He opened his wings and adopted a more aggressive stand.


“I AM a warrior, Demon!” He shouted. “A warrior with a heart and soul, willing to lose everything for a purpose a thousand times bigger than I; I won’t give in without a fight!”

Iracema pounded the ground near her with Lightning creating a large glass polearm; as for Anael, he decided to fight her bare handed. He charged at her and she threw one of the charged polearms; Elite Dragon dodged and the weapon touched the ground, exploding and generating more shards of glass, which pierced Anael's already frail wings.

"ARGH! MY WINGS!" He growled, throwing pure Lightning against Iracema. "LIGHTNING, OBEY MY COMMAND!"

The Lightning beams hit Iracema fiercely, shredding part of her thin, yet strong armour; she retreated and Elite Dragon charged punching her body; she threw her other polearm and Anael kicked her far, but got electrified by the incoming weapon as it hit the ground near him.

Electro Archer heard the cries of his best friend; the last wave of enemies was finally down and he realized there was no time to lose.

"Guys, on me! We've got to help Anael!" Thalas shouted. "Earth, hear my call and let us through!" 

Electro Archer then conjured a large bridge made out of wood and vines connecting that plateau to the central one, where Elite Dragon stood; he signed for everyone to follow him towards that path. The bridge wobbled as they walked through it, even at their slowest pace. The walls protecting Hellheim's domais were even closer than the other previous scenarios, and the strange lilac glow could be seen by all Blue Moon Knights.

"It's calling..." Thalas whispered. "The orb is calling for one of our souls...! It is a soul collecting vessel!"

Iracema and Anael got even more aggressive; the skies raged with lightning and rain as glass and thunder soared through the Lightning Summits; Iracema's body began to burn and twitch as Anael's strikes became stronger and more accurate. On the other hand, she was also severely damaging Elite Dragon as his armour was no longer being able to protect him from the direct Lightning Iracema conjured at him; his heart was pumping at a irregular, dangerous pace as Iracema decided to use Air against him once more.

"I have no other option!" She screamed. "A hurricane will give us a better death! Forgive me!"

The former Eclipse Warrior began channeling Air and Lightning to do her bidding, and Anael did what he thought he wouldn't be able to: he drew his sword and pointed it at Iracema, channeling Lightning for his own purposes.

"Please... Forgive me." He whispered. "For I'll be responsible for your second death in this existence."

He charged forward with his sword at hand and Iracema combined Lightning and Air into a powerful, deadly spell which she threw on Elite Dragon, who countered it with Lightning of his own. The two spells collided but Iracema's prevailed and Elite Dragon was caught in the energy whirlpool.

The Guatemalan warrior cried out loud in pain and agony as he felt the energy coursing through his veins carelessly, boiling his blood and burning his veins. However, he was not afraid; he was grinning at his opponent, standing in the middle of the destructive forces with pride and glory.

"To use Lightning against me... Is to make the worst of jokes! What do you take me for?!" He shouted as he oddly withstood the energy. "I'll put an end to this... For both of us...! RAINMAKER DANCE!"

Elite Dragon used his Sapphire Sword to channel all Energy and let his body fall downwards vertically; he knelt as he hit the ground and buried his sword deep into the ground and the massive amount of energy did the rest as it exploded and took it all to the air above; Thalas' bridge was torn apart and the Knights fell into the soft sands below. Iracema's body was violently thrown upwards and then fell into the ground below the Summits. Elite Dragon's body also fell in the sands near his friends.

He felt his heart pumping in a strange rhythm as his eyes were gradually losing the spark of life; Thalas stood up with difficulty with the other Knights as they realized the fight was over. Electro Archer saw his best friend lying on the ground with his wings severely torn and his armour shattered. Havoc and dread took him over as he ran towards the Welsh Guatemalan warrior.

"Anael! Anael!" He shouted. "Not this again! Not this way! Not you!"

"Tha-Tha...Thalas..." Anael agonized. "I am... I am... Sorry..."

Anael's body was heavy electrified, and Melchior perceived it; Altagracia tried to come closer, but Elemental Alchemist didn't allow it to happen. The youngest Blue Moon Knight felt tears coming to her face.

"Hermano mayor... Hermano mayor!" She shouted as she tried to hold her tears. "Please... No me dejes sola... Por favor! No hagas esto, te lo pido!"

"Alta...Gracia..." He agonized as he tried to stay with his face faced up. "Mi...Mi rayo... De Sol... Lo siento... I am sorry..." His voice became lower as he spoke his last words. "I... I won't... Make it... My heart... Iracema... Avenge... Me."

Anael closed his eyes and his heart stopped completely; Altagracia covered her mouth with her hands to muffle a cry, but she couldn't hold it much longer, specially when Kaiser held her in his arms.

"NO! NO!" She shouted. "ELDER BROTHER! MY ELDER BROTHER! MEAN DANISH DEMON, SHE KILLED MY BROTHER! MURDERER! SHE KILLED MY BROTHER! MY ELDER BROTHER ANAEL! My dear brother...!"


To be Continued...

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