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— Apocalypse? —

The Warlocks were caught by surprise at the end of Dark Blaze Steppes; a trap had been set to them. A trap which neither them nor the Blue Moon Knights were aware. The everblazing forest still had part of Black Witch's spirit, whose energy and resolve were well awaken but completely out of control.

The surrounding flames became Fire Elementals driven by her desire of vengeance; the creatures shouted and fiercely charged at the commitive, deadly hitting some of their Vampires.

"Heal us! Help us!" They shouted as they burned. "HELP! HEEEEELP!"

Some Warlocks rushed to help their dearest companions; as they tried to use Water and Ice to heal and save their lifelong partners' lives, they realized nothing was being able to extinguish the magical flames; Ushuriel and the other untouched Vampires came to their aid in vain as they witnessed their friends turning into agonizing dust before their very eyes.

"No...No!" One of the male Warlocks shouted. "Not her! Not my Diane! Damn this fire! Damn this mission! We are being led towards our doom!"

Mirabelle charged onto a Fire Elemental and used Ice to cool it down; as she did it, the Elemental gained Black Witch's forms and looked sad and angrily at her. Then, she understood what happened there.

"Calm down, Bjarn!" Mirabelle said as she hugged the desolated Warlock. "We are going to avenge her and all others. It seems Maya's spirit is trapped here and looking for revenge. We must move out as quickly as possible!"

The grieving Warlock obeyed Mirabelle and stood up; he was holding a scarlet and pink rosary, which had the name "Diane" engraved in its cross. The other Warlocks and Vampires came at them in a rather slower pace, feeling unmotivated to go on as they mourned the sudden losses.

"My love... What are we going to do?" Mirabelle whispered to Ushuriel.

"I... I don't know." Ushuriel replied. "I only know we have to hope our son and at least his friends are still alive. We know Maya and Kimi are already dead; we have to hope the others are still alive."

"What if they are not?" Mirabelle whispered in return. "Or worse: what if they are in a worse condition than dead?"

Ushuriel stopped and froze at his step.

"Do you think they...?" Ushuriel reluctantly asked. "No...No, no! Absolutely not, Mirabelle! They can't be!"

"I...I hope you are right." Mirabelle replied. "For I don't know how much time they have left..."

That said the group of arcane reinforcements continued their grieving march outwards the Dark Blaze Steppes. Bjarn held late Diane's rosary close to his heart and moved along with the rest of the crew. As they walked through the charcoal road leading elsewhere, they could hear two female weepy voices accompanying them and Mirabelle gasped as she recognized both: Maya's and Eclipse's.


*****


On the meantime, Melchior engaged in battle with the Danish Demon; scorched skeletons and melting Elementals ran away while Elemental Alchemist unleashed his fury with full throttle; Mary Hellheim conjured walls of Darkness and rotting corpses to protect herself. He continued to press forward to the courtyard as the Danish Demon constantly retreated.

"Very well!" She grinned. "Your powers will be a useful source for the Gates... DARKNESS TIDES!"

Hellheim conjured a large wave made of dense darkness and shadow; Melchior stomped on the ground and raised a large rocky dome to protect himself. The blackish waves fiercely hit the dome as Melchior stood inside of it in darkness of its own. He was breathing heavily as he felt something else was wrong there.

"You cannot hide forever!" Mary screamed. "Your soul shall be taken for the gods!"

"Not...In a million...Of years!" Melchior replied.

Elemental Alchemist concentrated his Mana and shattered the dome, smothering the foul wave; however, when he did that, he was stricken by a  darkness bolt and fell on the ground. He stood up and shoot an ice bolt against Mary Hellheim, shattering the skull on her hand. She grinned and growled, covering her body in black flames.

Melchior covered his body in an icy armour and charged ahead; Mary tried to punch him, and he was able to hold her assault; the second punch hit his torso and melted part of his armour; he wobbled, stood firmly and punched her back into her face. Mary stumbled and Melchior pressed forwards with punches and kicks, which were defended poorly by her.

"Enough!" She growled, spitting blood on the foul ground. "I'll drag your soul to the bottom of the Gates to the Underworld!"

She conjured a large vortex, which engulfed both Melchior and her. as she did that, parts of the Necropolis' surrounding buildings collapsed and entered the spiral mass of mana, chaos and void...



****



Melchior fell on the cold ground with the weight of large debris; they were not large enough to smash and kill him, but they weight was enough to weaken an already worn out Elemental Alchemist. He stoop up with difficulty as he tried to understand where he was. He could hear the uneasy steps of Mary Hellheim coming closer.

"Welcome to the borders of this world and the Underworld." She said. "I am growing tired of your futile resistance."

Elemental Alchemist stood up and saw the large Gates ahead; the skull's engraving were glowing in different tones, which seemed gruesomely familiar to him.

"Do you recognize it?" The Danish Demon asked, pointing to the Gates. "Those are the remaining energies of your former masters. Their Soul Spheres were strong enough to fuel the closed Gates to Xibalba, but they are not enough to open it... That's why I require your Soul. After all, you are a living bridge between the two realms and you got... Nothing else. Am I right?"

Melchior grinned and muttled, charging ahead; Mary covered her body in flames once more and the battle continued fiercer than before.

"Those gates will never be opened!" He shouted. "The horrors below will stay there and YOU WILL JOIN THEM IN ETERNAL AGONY! You'll die a freezing death and I'll bring my friends back to life and warmth!"

Punches, kicks and spells were drawn into battle as the Gates seemed to reach to both of their lifeforces; a grin, sinister laughter echoed through the foul place as the two Warlocks continued their battle. Melchior grasped the Heart of Guatemala ready to ask for its protection.

"CORAZÓN DE GUATEMALA!"


To Be Continued...

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