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1ionFang

{The Areder Mountains} Ashes to Ashes

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The air smelled with the scent of sea salt and the wind was still and motionless. The clear waveless ocean glistened under the radiance of the Full moon's light, only disrupted by the magical strokes Karuna made in them, in her own way, rowing the boat she and Dradiro resided in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. She did this with bent knees, fanning the air in the direction of the waters from left to right gently to conserve energy during the trip. They had been traveling for a few hours, but to Karuna it felt like at least 5 tops. She wasn't tired...just bored. With too many questions unanswered.

"So where is this place anyway? Are we close?" She inquired, maintaining rhythm. She had at least asked that question 5 times during their travels and she will probably ask again soon. She did not enjoy the limbo-like features of the ocean, it just made her feel like she's made no progress, though she was closer than she thought. The air was deafly silent, and the sky cloudless. She conjured a floating orb of purple energy to see somewhat where she was going, but it only succeeded in glistening the ocean surface with purple. Still it made her feel a bit better being able to at least SEE. She supposed Dradiro would not have that problem...

Perhaps if she woudl dim her lights she would see the glow of the volcanoes  in the far distance.

"What are we expecting to find here? why couldn't we just do this ritual thing back at home?"

The ritual she referred to would supposedly help her understand what this...thing in her head was and what it wanted with her. For the past few months, Karuna has been having night terrors...terrible night terrors. where she attempt to leave her home, only to be engulfed by the flames of a crow, veined with flames and a scar on its left eye. It was sometimes a man in a cloak but she could not discern his features. It was beginning to worry her, and it probably worried Dradiro if he would go to such lengths to help her.


"So...you said it was a demon that's been haunting my dreams?" She said lowly.

 

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Each time anxiety got the best of her, he would respond, " Patience my young apprentice."  Their past trainings more fast paced by far, this however came sooner than he had liked.  

"In a manner yes."  He gave a heavy sigh as the glow from those ovens grew brighter.  "You remember when we first met, how I referenced the shadows to you?  They do have their own mind.  This is their way of..."  He paused, searching for the way to word his next statement, "If you pass this test, they will view you as an equal.  Any umbramancy is dark magic make no mistake my young apprentice, demons dwell within it all, and they will use your mind and emotions against you.  They will force you to do the one thing you can't."  He told her, "You fail....just don't fail, please."  He asked of her, eyes watering lightly as a memory fluttered for a moment.  

"We are close enough let the tide take us the rest of the way."  He informed her.  He stood slowly, as not to rock their boat.  "Be on guard my apprentice, your trials begin now."  The wind picked up, Dradiro's own power flared around him and her.

Edited by Dradiro

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Karuna could not help but gulp at the disturbing comments her Master had made to her as she rowed the boat to the approaching land. She knew the risks of delving into the dark arts, but she did not know the repercussions would be this...intense. It only made her a little more anxious if anything. She may have to fight a demon accept this time, there wont be anyone to help her. 

This is her test.

In the midst of her personal thought a glimmer of sorts, could be seen beyond her own energetic lights. "What the..." was all she said as she dimmed the lights of her power to view the growing glow of heat and fire. She basked in awe of the sheer size of the place.

"There it is..."

It was vast, and even from the distance they were in, she could feel the slight rise in temperature from the molten rock that flowed from the volcano that resided there. As they began to close distance, the crackling popping sound of lava meeting sea was flinch worthy to Karuna. Everything was smoke and steam, bare ash and heat and coal...it was nothing like She thought it would be. She gulped as she found a location that was relatively calm enough for her to dock. Taking her first step onto the charcoal flooring she rose a stump of stone to tie the boat down to...hopefully it doesn't combust? She shrugged as she sighed, turning to the bright orange lights that were the hellish fires that she and Dradiro woudl have to venture through to get to...where ever it is she needed to get to.

"So..." She looked over to Dradiro, assuming that he knew what she wanted to know. What next?

Edited by 1ionFang

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He smiled, "This is your test, I am merely here as teacher grading his student."  He answered, removing his duster he sighed, "I just got this one broken in."  He said and discarded it into the boat as if it was not needed for the return trip.  

The whispers came just as his cloak hit the boat, his power suddenly dropping away.  "It brings the stand in Avatar."  Followed by childish giggles.

Dradiro took a deep breath, "Am I being tested for a second time?"  He questioned aloud, knowing she heard them to, they had referenced her.  

"So fun to play with, and now we has your...." They paused, "child of light."  Wind rushed at their backs, rattling the sheathed sword on his hip.  It lay just behind his right hip.

"Remember where she lays."  He said to her, patting the hilt to the sword, this sheath more bright and vibrant the his training katana.  "That's how you'll know me if we separate."  He turned to her and held out his hand.  "Time to play."  He said with heavy sarcasm, "Only you can find the ritual site, it's been that way since you're father and I went through and before."  He nodded, "Follow your feet."

Edited by Dradiro

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"I don't know why you put in all that work for us to make it here, Remington. You don't even like the heat." Remington scoffed at Izolde's words. Even if it seemed like sitting at the base of a volcano waiting for somebody to arrive served no purpose in the long run he knew they had to be there. The vampire had taken a seat near the coastline on a crag elevated above the waves, securing a beautiful view of the ocean under moonlight. However, this beauty was bittersweet given what was about to commence. "You know damn well why we had to come here. Someone's going to initiate 'the ritual' soon." "That doesn't explain why we're here. Anybody could come here to do the ritual." the demon retorted. Instead of posing as Remington's cape, Izolde took on a very basic humanoid form with over-sized arms. Originally this form was meant to be a means of independence, but the two beings are bound for eternity. A large strand of pure shadows tethered Izolde to his partner's back as he paced impatiently. "One of our own is on their way here." Beady white dots resembling eyes stared back at Remington, more puzzled than anything else. "Who's on their way here? We haven't been here since-" "Hold that thought, Izolde." Remington stood up, somebody had finally arrived and it was just who he expected. He motioned for his partner to turn around, to which Izolde obliged and realized who they were waiting for. It had been far too long since they encountered this particular student of their's.

Izolde retracted his bipedal form and morphed into a large set of wings upon Remy's back, flapping them for good measure to prepare for flight. The vampire smiled, "Usually you're not this quick to make the wings, old friend." "This type of reunion deserves a dramatic entrance, I just figured I'd facilitate your desires." With a grandiose leap from their rocky perch, Remington and Izolde flew out over the ocean, their wings slicing through the air as they maneuvered. As they turned back towards the volcano they ascended into the moonlight, flaunting their power and making their presence known. Swiftly, they dove back towards the mainland, landing just in front of the recent arrivals with Remington's back facing them. Izolde morphed back to his cape facade as the vampire turned around to face his former pupil. The dark orbs that were his eyes lit up a little bit as well as they could, his cape peeking around his shoulder using a basic oblong shape to show acknowledgement.

"Well if it isn't one of the great masters of the shadows in the flesh...besides us of course." "It's been far too long since our last encounter, young Master Dradiro. Great to see you again."

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Dradiro saw the movement from the air, half turning his body as to hide the sword at his hip which was already slowly being drawn.  Soon enough he realized its source, dropping the blade back into its sheath and a smile forming on his face.  

As the pair landed Dradiro swept around once more, facing them, and dipped low into a bow, his sword arm coming around his own waist.  "Last I checked Master, you are only second to that of the Goddess."  Dradiro praised, coming up from his bow his icy hues gazed at Izolde, "Great to see you to Izolde."  Returning the demons greeting.  Dradiro turned his form so that Remy could see Karuna better, "Master, allow me to introduce my apprentice, Karuna, Daughter of Rukun Ranala."  Extending an arm in her direction.

Waiting a moment, his eyes went back to Remy, "Why am I being tested again, or am I to face my own Izolde?"  He asked, referring to a theory he had formulated when the shadows gave their introduction, he was to face the shadow demon he would be playing host to just like Remy and Izolde, and this he explained to his master.  "I can see no reason other to retest me."  He added lastly before looking just beyond Remy and Izolde, feeling the pull Karuna was most likely feeling as well.

Edited by Dradiro

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Karuna sensed the energetic presence of the two, but even with her hastened ability to detect where exactly they were, by the time Karuna turned to view the spectacle, Dradiro had already been watching them, as if alerted far sooner than she. This minute detail was enough to inspire more vigorous training in the future. But there was no time for such thoughts. Right now, she woudl have to face whatever may be confronting them now.

As the winged Being closed distance, Karuna's powers fluctuated, her iris beginning to glow a neon purple. The beings landed with calculation, landing hard, yet sturdy on the graveled coal floor. something felt off about the other man. It was as if he held more than one frequency of energy. But this was explained when the wings of the man separated into another being, obviously not human.  Karuna did not flinch as she watched them, but as she looked over to Dradiro for some sort of visual initiation to attack, he was smiling, and soon fell upon one knee in respect to his...

"Master...?" Karuna said to herself in shock. Of course, someone had to teach him what he knows...but she didn't think she woudl ever meet him. She could only imagine how terrible out of her league she woudl be if she were to even try and face such an opponent. She counts herself lucky as Dradiro gestures to her, explaining who she was and who her father was.

"Um. Hello, p-pleasure to meet you." She said in a respectable bow...she thinks. Though proper etiquette was taught to her by Dradiro, it is still not one of her strong suits. She rose as Dradiro asked the opposing duo his question, which she was more than interested to hear.

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On 5/10/2016 at 6:52 PM, Dradiro said:

"Last I checked Master, you are only second to that of the Goddess." 

Remington heartily laughed at his former student's joke, "Well, the Goddess is in a completely different league. I figured we were among the best in our specific league." Izolde rolled his beady eyes; Remy's humor was always hit or miss with him, even if this was Dradiro they were talking to.

On 5/10/2016 at 6:52 PM, Dradiro said:

Dradiro turned his form so that Remy could see Karuna better, "Master, allow me to introduce my apprentice, Karuna, Daughter of Rukun Ranala."  Extending an arm in her direction.

Izolde perked up at this introduction, "Oh, you're Rukun's daughter, are you?" He shifted from the oblong shape he was in to a humanoid bipedal form. Walking over towards Karuna, the demon judged her appearances. "You do resemble him somewhat." "We taught your old man a few things too. He was really talented, a little hard-headed, but talented. How's he doing, by the way?" Remy started to get curious as to what became to most of his former students. He seemed to cut all ties with them once they left, never really knowing if he was a successful teacher. Izolde, looked back towards his partner. "Oh, my apologies. I didn't even introduce ourselves. I am Remington von Vasile, but since you're with Dradiro over here you can call me Remy. This mass of walking darkness tethered to my very being is Izolde. Together, we're primarily known as The Wavering Shadows." "Sometimes we'll take somebody under our wings to learn the ways of Umbramancy, that tradition obviously living on through our students." Remington was proud, he must have done a good job since his apprentices have apprentices. Umbramancy is such a fickle art that not all who delve into it come out sane. Thankfully, Dradiro seems to be well enough to handle this type of responsibility.

On 5/10/2016 at 6:52 PM, Dradiro said:

Waiting a moment, his eyes went back to Remy, "Why am I being tested again, or am I to face my own Izolde?"  He asked, referring to a theory he had formulated when the shadows gave their introduction, he was to face the shadow demon he would be playing host to just like Remy and Izolde, and this he explained to his master.  "I can see no reason other to retest me."  He added lastly before looking just beyond Remy and Izolde, feeling the pull Karuna was most likely feeling as well.

The two pondered the question for a second. It was unusual that he'd feel the pull of the mountains again after already going through the ritual once. Once Remington and Izolde discovered this location they brought all their students here to be inducted into the shadows. "That's kind of hard to answer since this is the first time we've seen you in ages, we didn't even know you had a protege. However, we could always check for you two. Izolde, if you may..." "Gladly." The demon took a step back from the two to look for their own shadows. He found Karuna's first and leapt into it, visually disappearing into the earth. Remy held up a hand before she could object or get startled, "Don't worry, this is completely harmless. Your shadow is like a window into your very being, exposing all of your inner struggles. Izolde was born from the shadows so he can look through that window, something even I can't do." After a few seconds, Izolde's lightless figure emerged from the young girl's shadow. Turning back to her as he returned to his jumping position, he commented, "Something strong is burning within you, Karuna. It's a passionate energy that is waiting to run free. Thankfully, you're in the perfect place to harness it. It's not inherently dangerous, but if you misuse it there could be consequences."

The demon found Dradiro's shadow and dove into it gracefully, hopefully this should dissolve any confusion. Remington turned back to Karuna as Izolde did his thing, "You're in good hands, missy. Dradiro was one of our best so he knows what he's talking about. Some of it may seem unconventional but I assure you it all works in the long run." As he finished, he felt an odd tug on his back. Normally, whenever demon and vampire are separated the tether is just symbolic of their bond. When Remington felt another tug that actually forced him to turn a little bit, he was puzzled. It felt like something was trying to steal Izolde from him within his former student's shadow, which shouldn't be possible. A third tug actually displaced Remington's footing causing him to stumble; something was horribly wrong in there. Izolde started to climb his way out of the shadow, though he was struggling to do so. Something was grabbing onto him, something tough enough to rip a demon out from its host. As his partner made his final efforts upward, Remy re-established his ground just in case something would leak out from behind him. Thankfully, nothing followed and Izolde zipped back behind his partner and peeked back over in his original amorphous shape. "What happened in there?" "Tell me, partner. Have you experienced true darkness, yet?" The vampire rose an eyebrow, he thought he mastered true darkness via his occupation. "What exactly do you mean?" "I don't know what you've been doing since we parted ways, young Master Dradiro. Something terribly dangerous has manifested within you, something that even threatened my very existence. It's hard to describe what it is, but imagine the darkness you've experienced in the shadows. Sure, it's dark, but there's something comforting and freeing in that darkness.

This is 'darker' than that, if you know what I mean."

Edited by Animal

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He listened to Remy and Izolde make their introduction and waited till they finished, "She is remaining more on the less darker aspects like her father."

As Izolde was studying Karuna's shadow he started considering all possible options and reasons for his retesting.  Once Izolde jumped into his own shadow, his hand started to slip back to the hilt of his sword, an almost overwhelming urge to attack his maker washed over but left as his will battled against it.  Shaking his head and relaxing his hand he watched the shadow demon come back out after what seemed a struggle and spoked of things darker than true darkness.

His mind was a whirlwind, this he was comparing the news he just received to being told he had an incurable disease.  His mood and demeanor swiftly changed from upbeat to depressed and down.  His head lowered, the glow of his eyes hidden beneath raven hair and a soft growl emitted in his throat.  "How do I beat...."  He started to question, "Master, I have a request, if we are split apart, go with Karuna, protect her incase I don't win this fight."  He said as he looked up, his eyes glowing bright as if some fire within had went from a flicker to a roaring inferno, "Mind you, I don't plan to lose, we all know my distaste for losing."

Dradiro turned to Karuna and placed a hand on her shoulder, "Don't be nervous, treat Master Remington and Izolde as you would me.  Don't worry about me either, I'm 30,000 years old, and in those years I've never lost a true fight, and I sure as hell don't plan to start now."  He gave her a comforting smile though doubt was filling his mind.

Edited by Dradiro

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 "Oh, you're Rukun's daughter, are you?" 

Karuna stood at attention as she was referred to, but she probably looked constipated in the process.

"You do resemble him somewhat." She smiled sheepishly at the comment. She did use to get that al lot back when he was alive.

 "We taught your old man a few things too. He was really talented, a little hard-headed, but talented. How's he doing, by the way?"

Her genuine smile slowly dropped.

"Oh, my apologies. I didn't even introduce ourselves. I am Remington von Vasile, but since you're with Dradiro over here you can call me Remy. This mass of walking darkness tethered to my very being is Izolde. Together, we're primarily known as The Wavering Shadows." "Sometimes we'll take somebody under our wings to learn the ways of Umbramancy, that tradition obviously living on through our students."

“It’s a pleasure to meet you both.” Was all she said as they continued with Dradiro’s question. How should she answer? What should she tell him? Does she want to say it? She looked down in somber thought, not even hearing what the others were speaking of. As she looked up, she noticed that the demon man took a few steps back before leaping into her shadow. She flinched and stumbled, not sure how to respond, but Remy reassured her to relax, so she did. Any trusted friend of Dradiro’s was, in theory, Karuna’s trusted friend as well.

A moment, later, the demon spawned out of her shadow with ease and practice.

"Something strong is burning within you, Karuna. It's a passionate energy that is waiting to run free. Thankfully, you're in the perfect place to harness it. It's not inherently dangerous, but if you misuse it there could be consequences."

At that point she understood what he did, and simply went with it. She nodded respectably. “Thank you.”

She then stood in observation as he then proceeded to do the same thing with Dradiro, but it seemed remy wanted to hold conversation in the process.

"You're in good hands, missy. Dradiro was one of our best so he knows what he's talking about. Some of it may seem unconventional but I assure you it all works in the long run." 

She smiled weakly, hands held over her lap. “Trust me, I know.” She looked back at Dradiro’s shadow in thought, but attention slowly focused onto his shadow for some reason. She squinted. Something was wrong, but she could not figure out what. Stumbling beside her turned her attention back to Remy, who seemed to loose his footing. “Are you oka-“ But before she could finish, the demon busted from the shadows, struggling to be freed. Something was tugging him, attempting to rip hi from his shadows. She stood helpless as the demon eventually freed himself from evil’s grasp. He spoke of unspeakable evils lurking within her master, and of course she was alarmed by this. But most importantly she reacted to “if I don’t win this fight-” She flashed a desperate look at Dradiro, as if he said something unspeakable. He placed his hands on her shoulder.

"Don't be nervous, treat Master Remington and Izolde as you would me.  Don't worry about me either, I'm 30,000 years old, and in those years I've never lost a true fight, and I sure as hell don't plan to start now."

This in truth did not make her feel better…but she supposes that was going to be the best she could get from him at the moment. So she just nodded uncertainly. She trusted him, but she did not like this ‘extra percussion’. “Good luck, master.” He smiled at her and she at him, but I think they both knew there was doubt in both of their smiles. She placed her hand on his which rested on her shoulder and lowered her head. She then looked back up at him again. “I know you can do it.” She said this more confidently.

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Remington smiled, his student never was one to lose without a fight. Turning back to Izolde shivering upon his shoulder, he cooly commented, "I think they'll be fine, don't you?" The demon hesitated before speaking his mind, "I think they'll do well..." he began. Izolde was always a little blunt when it came to what he thought. "I'm just worried that they won't come out unscathed." Remy shrugged slightly; that thought process was valid given their apprentice's disposition. Still, the vampire had confidence in Dradiro and Karuna. The fruits of his labor were too good to fall so easily.

"The way this whole test works is rather simple...on paper. See this path behind us?" Remington pointed at a gap in the mountains. "That's where you'll go to start the test." "The magic in this area will stir the powers within you." Izolde continued, slowly reforming into his bipedal stance. "Eventually they'll want to be released from within you, and this is where the test truly begins." "There's a large clearing you'll enter that can manifest the power within you outside of you. Your job is to force it back in and sequester it under your will." Remington smiled again, he was feeling a bit of nostalgia saying this all again. "I can't tell you what will happen from there or how to conquer yourself easily; I've never done this test myself. My test was in a church and it got rather messy." The demon rolled his eyes, causing Remy to laugh. "We'll keep a watchful eye on you guys from a vantage point he have. If something goes sour we'll intervene." "Best of luck to you two." "We know you can do it." With that, the duo flew off to their viewing spot to prepare for the ritual.

 

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He listened, feeling as though he were an apprentice once more.  Once Remy and Izolde flew off to their ringside seats Dradiro turned to Karuna, "Keep your wits about you, remember your training."  He paused looking towards the gap, "I can not assist you nor you I."  He smirked, "But there are ways around that, if whatever we are face just happens to cross into the line of fire after we've cast our ability it's not considered helping.  Your father and I utilized this very well."

His voice faded as a laugh echoed from their destined direction, his eyes going wide.  He wondered if she had heard it as well, did his own master hear it to?  Dradiro's skin seemed to get even paler, the laugh almost bringing him to his knees, "No."  He whispered, his voice revealing fear and sadness, a blood tear forming in the vampires right eye, "Not her, please not....her."  He choked out, attempting to push his emotions back down.

"Come play with us lover."  A sudden wind carrying a females voice towards them, this time he knew Karuna heard it.  The voice forcing goosebumps to rise on his arms, his body slipping to his knees, "Not again."  Dradiro fell forward catching himself with his hands, then slammed a fist into the lava rock, breaking the surface of the ground, his doubt starting to flood his very being.  The ritual had begun for him already.

"Go my apprentice, go and defeat your darkness."  He mustered through clinched teeth, "Do not let me hold you back."  He instructed.

Edited by Dradiro

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Karuna too watched as the two wise masters of Dradiro flew off. They were an interesting duo, not exactly what she had in mind when she thought of the men who trained Dradiro. Nonetheless, she had just as much respect for them then she did Dradiro, simply because of the amount of respect he had for them. She turned to Dradiro as he turned to her.

"Of course Master, I got this." She smirked cockily, though she actually  was very much so nervous. She had no idea what her 'personal demons' would hold for her down that path, and she honestly was not sure if she even wanted to confront them. The flames within her dreams burning her alive, she felt, was an omen, a warning not to pursue the very thing she was. Still, she could not live with the night terrors. She had to do something eventually. So she would.

With little warning a faint laugh could be hear in the distance, causing Karuna to look around with a not so alarmed look, moreso confused. "Master did you hear-" As she turned to him she was cut off to him on his knees, a bloody tear in his eye. "Master!" She yelled as she attempted to come to his aid but not really sure how to help.

"Come play with us lover."

She looked around moreso for the sound but alas it was the wind carrying the voice, it had no source. His lover? She thought. was this apart of his test? He punched the ground with enough force to crack the coal earth, making Karuna back up from him suddenly.

"Go my apprentice, go and defeat your darkness."

She felt helpless. There was nothing she could do for him but watch helplessly. She took a few backward steps down the path, uncertain if she should leave or not.

"Do not let me hold you back."

"You are strong master. Stronger than most people I know. I know you can do this. You better or...or I'm dragging your ass out from the underworld myself!" She stammered as she pivots her heal and begins running down the path. She couldn't bear to see her master like that, but there was nothing she could do for him. So she ran. Ran as she did from Blairville. It was a bitter memory, one she wished she never had. And in this thought process, she looked up from her sprint to find herself completely submerged in the scorched forest. Slowing her run into a paced walk, she observed her strange surroundings. The trees held embers but they seemed to grow healthy regardless. The floor was still charcoal black but this time it was softer, like flattened dirt.  The leaves of the trees were like autumn leaves accept none of them fell, in fact, there were no leaves on the ground. She dared though to touch the trees, but her better judgment told her otherwise.  Just as her thoughts roamed back to her master's wellbeing a crackling sound could be heard from just in front of her feet, reflexively causing her to strategically leap a few feet back. Looking down at the sound, energy swirling in both her palms, the charcoal patch of dirt before her crackled with embers and a small flame that seemed to carve something in the ground. Watching from a distance, the markings soon turned into words.

"Stay on the path..." she read, watching the golden letters crackle unnaturally with fire, "Seems easy enough..." She continued down the path for what seemed to be about 20 minutes and was surprised to find herself right back where she started, directly in front of the Sign. She then sighed. "Of course."

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Memories began to surge through, the madness of the Abyss stronger than the last time he was here. Slamming a fist into the Rock against, splintering more debris he forced himself to his feet, icy hues had already given way to crimson.  His vampiric nature showing true.  He knew his inner darkness now, the monster within.  Facingthis will be costly to him, he knew this, and that's what he feared most.  He may conquer, but at a price, what trouble led him more was his apprentice, his mind on her surviving her test.  She had stepped within the arena, and hadn't moved in sometime.

Dusting himself off, he moved towards Karuna, if his madness had already hit him that hard, what awaited in the Shadow Arena for him was going to hit much harder.  Stopping briefly he turned, looking up at his own master.  'She takes priority.'  Was all he sent to him through their link, Maker to Fledgling.  He turned back, gave a heavy slow unneeded breath, and walked inside.

Stepping to Karuna's left he stopped, paused a moment waiting for what he saw to sink in, he knew now, they were in two separate places yet in the same place at one time.  If Dradiro had only been there to observe he would have seen what she saw.  "Make no mistake my apprentice what you see is very real but imaginary in the same right.  Welcome to Madness.  Welcome to The Abyss, or a make shift version on this plane, it's called the Shadow Arena, created by my Masters by order of the Fallen Exemplar."  He had briefly explained and was sure she had read about the Shadow Mistress selected some time ago to represent The Shadow Goddess on this plane.  His eyes narrowed as he felt his own mind begin to struggle against the pressure of Madness.

He hoped she had heard him, he had faith in her, she would figure it out.  He mainly spoke to distract his own train of thought.  He stood in a meadow of tall grass with an altar in front of him about 60 yards.  "If your test comes to combat, which there is a chance it won't, I won't see your opponent nor will you see mine, but we will see each other, and can even get in the others way, so be weary."  He spoke to Karuna, but his eyes remained on the altar, blood soon slamming into his nostrils as a gentle breeze carried its scent.  His hunger pegged, reaching down he pulled a small tube from a pocket that held just one more tube within.  Popping the cork on the tube he down the watery red liquid and his hunger disappeared.  "Murderer." Came a whisper on that same breeze, this brought tears to Dradiro's eyes, these same tears fell down to his cheeks, the tears made of blood.

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"Murderer!"  Echoed around him, raven locks falling around his face as his head lowered, tears steadily rolling down his cheeks, leaving streaks of sanguine on his pale skin, "I thought you loved me Dradiro?"  Came that voice once more.

He made no sound, no motion, seeming as if he were a colored statue, his madness growing, his memories crashing through his mind of her.  He knew Remy could see his trial, an knew his inner darkness, and the demon that waited there.  She had manifested, standing just to his shoulders, a thin strapped tank top covered by a duster that resembled his only where his was white and grey, black replaced.  What appeared to be leather pants stuffed into a pair of knee high heeled boots.  "How can you kill someone you loved, someone you were sworn to protect?"  She asked, her voice echoing all around him.

He still remained motionless, "Answer me!"  She commanded as the woman stalked around him like a tiger ready to pounce it's prey.  She stopped behind him, a smirk forming on her bright red lips, auburn hair falling just under her chin.  "Trying to impress Remington still?"  She asked running a delicate hand across his shoulders.   

Dradiro's right hand came up and lay over here as she stopped on his left shoulder, "You can't beat me my love, just give into the madness, give into the shadows and we can be together forever."  

Dradiro turned his head so his hair fell away from the right side of his face, revealing it to her, a smile forming on his lips.  "I killed you because."  His eyes shot open, crimson pupils surrounded by black, "It was your destiny, as made so by the goddess, Cerena, the Fallen Exemplar.  You were to be a sacrifice, killed by the one who loved you most."  He spoke lowly, "And I have given into my madness," his smile turned into a wicked grin, fangs bared, "My Cerena."  He said as he whirled, grasping her wrist, launching an elbow into her stomach before turning again and throwing her over his shoulder.

The female flew over him, flipping through the air and lightly landing on the altar giggling.  "You've improved.  I am not yours anymore lover, I belong to the abyss now." 

One thing Remy and Izolde drilled into Dradiro's head was when a teacher is repetitive you best pay attention.  "A little madness goes a long way."  He had drilled this same practice into Karuna.

The demon tilted her head, "What did you just say?" 

"A little madness goes a long way."  He said, "Karuna?" He questioned, his concentration slipping to Karuna, he was her teacher and damn it he would act like it.

Edited by Dradiro

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