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Rin

Moonskull Palace; The Search for Otherworld Blades

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Allia, the small island. It was the last one to be founded in the series of floating islands in the sky. The elder Yevon ruled such a place and yet you would never know how really old he was. The land is mostly infested with vampires. And that was fine if you like that kind of thing. But the place; the city of Moonskull Palace held the blades of the Sakimura clan. One of the Otherworld blades. Hidden among the islands to make sure they didn't fall into the wrong hands. 

H.H. Dylan the famous historian had been here in the search for the blade. However it was the last search he did, for it was where he died. 

Yevon himself had been looking for the blade yet hadn't found it either. Seeing it was the Otherworld Hell blade, it would be the hardest to find. And though the princess herself had these blades, the ones she had were replicas of the true blades. Moonskull Palace held many secrets and hiding spots for a sword of such wealth. 

All you have to do is search the city for it. Beware the vampires are about and don't take kindly to outsiders. Some will try to turn you into a vampire themselves. Others will try to gain the sword from you once and if you find it. No one is to be trusted. No one believed as they all live in secrets. But the search on the map to find the famed blades start here. 

Good luck and hopefully you'll make it out alive. 

Edited by Rin

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Kazuhiko entered the city with an overwhelming arrogance in his spirit. He heard rumors of the blade from citizens and ventured into the city as though it would welcome his presence. His footfalls would be heard by vampire and human alike, but he wouldn't enter the city without his weapons and gear. From head-to-toe, Kazuhiko was dressed in his makeshift kimono, which when applied in combat, enabled him to be lithe. Twin blades rested against his back and his stance on the city was simple: hunt the artifact, kill anyone who gets in his way. 

 

On his way to the palace, several vampires attempted to delay his goal. He fought each one with youthful vigor and dared more to come after him. After a handful of hostile confrontations, Kazuhiko was certain that the city was aware of him. He'd stop at nothing to get the Hellblade and kill anyone who got in his way with a few slashes of his twin blades. His excitement for the chase created a sense of purpose in him unlike any other. Rumor had it that some sort of vampire lord rested in the palace and guarded the blade, but he hoped they weren't as weak as the city vampires. It was apparent that demons didn't frequent Allia in search for their legendary Hellblade, but he was about to change all of that. 

He walked on and took his time. There was no sense in rushing this and maybe he'd run into another vampire that wished to greet him. Shadow crept around him and rose over his frame like blackened flame. There was no hiding the fact he was demonic and he wanted the vampires to know who he was.

They would remember his name that day.

"Send me your worst." Kazuhiko said to no one in a raspy voice. The determination continued to bubble and rise in his spirit. His footfalls energetic, he'd soon reach the palace and threaten every vampire that rested in its catacombs.

 

 

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Many vampires had fallen to the demon's blade. His determination to gather the blade was a courageous one at that. And many had tried to cut that down or make him afraid. But it was to no avail. Each one was cut down with a slash of the blade. The city vampires were not really trained to fight and using them as warriors was not the best idea. But the leader didn't really care what happened to his people. Well, most if the time. 

"Well, seems another comes to the island seeking a blade. I think that's five now." The voice from the shadow said. "Maybe six. We did eat a few of the last people that ventured out here. Looking for a blade guarded by an elder. Tsk, tsk. Not very smart fighting with the leader. Took us three days to bring him back from the dead."

The vampire chuckled moving from the shadow to another. It seemed that it did like to play with the man. The shadows seemed to twist as if more voices came from the one shadow.

"No you idiot, it was seven." Said another. "Though they did have those kind of weapons. It was cute they tried to use them upon us. Didn't think they would lose though. Some Talian heroes. We ate good that day."

"Indeed." Said another.

The shadows swirled as the vampires appeared then. Each grinning as they eyed Kazuhiko. He looked like an ordinary man to them, like all the others. And then it happened. They stopped grinning and ran towards him at all directions. Each throwing their weapon, a sword here a twin blade there and even some magic came flying at Kazuhiko's arms, torso and legs. Each attacking as if they wanted to destroy him for no reason other than it was ordered to. 

"Thought you look weak." Said the first one. "We will enjoy eating you like all the others.'

The vampires laughed. As they wondered if their attacks even hit, they kept going at it. Running here and there at Kazuhiko with their weapons. All except the last one that stood there watching the others fighting. 

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There was no reason for him to even give these fools a comeback. Kazuhiko remained indifferent to the situation and gripped his katana’s with an open arrogance. Unlike their past enemies, his arrogance was backed up by skill with the sword. Before one of them could finish their sentence, he had picked up enough momentum to manifest through shadow and morph to another point. It was somewhat like teleportation, only he used it with shadow based construct. Manipulated by the demon, the shadows flickered in and out of existence, once his destination was made.

 

The right katana was pushed right through the chest of the last vampire to talk, while he pulled it free and used the other to slash at the vampire’s neck. Their head would roll and their body would crumble with a surprising fragility.

 

Their attacks would miss, once he morphed into a pocket of shadow and used it to maneuver around his enemies. The surprise on their faces would ignite something in him further. He spun around and attacked the closest vampire and aimed for their head to be lopped off. Kazuhiko mentally counted each vampire and continued to work with a lithe momentum. His feet glided over the ground, barely disturbing the gravel when his footwork went into the next transition.

 

Agility was everything, but speed was even more important with vampires. These weren’t ordinary vampires, so he didn’t lose any time with his attacks. He hacked and slashed his way through and found his tapered blade pointed toward the remaining vampire.

 

“Send a message to the elder that I’m going to kill him next.” Kazuhiko let the last vampire live to warn their master.

Edited by Deviant

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"Oh ho? That's pretty funny. The elder dying by a demon."

The last one said as it got up and shook it's head. The vampire had watched it's companions die one by one and yet, didn't mind them dying at all. However, it seemed that they were severely disadvantaged against this man. The vampire dusted herself off as she stood there blinking. This Kazuhiko guy seemed to be so arrogant. Usually they were when they came here to the land. But this man seemed to be different.  

"I rather bring you there and tell him yourself. Doesn't matter to me either or. I'd still like to see you easily beat a man like the elder. Like I said, it would be pretty funny to see a demon take down the elder."

She chuckled and then appeared out of the shadows. The woman was the artifact Amaranth. And she was wanting to see someone take out the elder for some time now. She was the one that lead the weak vampires into battle with Kazuhiko. And it made her laugh to see them fall. Though she thought with their petty training they would be able to at least last longer than they did. 

Oh well. 

"I see that you aren't from here. Most aren't. Allia hasn't seen people in ages. I think the elder Yevon keeps capturing them and turning them into either experiments or killing them. You are here for the sword aren't you? Most come here just for that. I'm afraid if you want it, you'll have to reach the castle. It's hidden in there somewhere. Maybe even the elder guards it?"

Amaranth shrugged as she walked ahead from the demon. Yes, this would be interesting indeed. 

 

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He listened to Amaranth with caution and kept his blades drawn while they walked together. Her words were meant to challenge him, but he only took the information that was needed from Amaranth. She was an odd creature and naturally otherworldly, but it didn’t move the demon in any grandeur way. Emotions remained suppressed and locked behind his persona, his defense to her snideness was obvious. His strides were even and he relaxed his shoulders when she spoke of the location of the castle.

 

“Take me, but be quick.” Kazuhiko instructed and motioned toward the path up ahead with his right sword. Even if it was guarded by some elder, he wasn’t turning back. The sword was all he thought about. His motivation was to obtain the power of the Hellblade and use it for his own gains.

 

Collector, or not, it would be in his possession by twilight.

 

His gait brought him side-by-side with Amaranth and he studied her from the corner of his eye. She was too eager to take him to their Elder, but he pushed the thought in the back of his mind and followed her with great caution.

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Amaranth chuckled to herself as Kazuhiko demanded she take him to the elder. He had the smell of the half breed on him like everyone else and it made her curious. After all he was going after her family blade. But she didn't ask, not yet anyways. The artifact would walk down the path, it was covered in dirt and grass. It was 30miles to the castle. It would be a while to get such fun. 

"I don't see why anyone would want to steal the blades of the most know family. You must really hate the owner." She said with such snarkiness. "Or maybe you're bringing it back to her? I think you're going to like the elder, you probably have the same end goal. Probably the same in every way."

Amaranth grinned. She was a rogue artifact. And she didn't care much for the politics of the island. She only cared for the game of the who could gain the kingdom fast enough. For now she wondered why he wanted to find the blade. But she didn't ask. Finding out was the best part, making the game more interesting. And even the elder could provide some fun. And that was all that mattered. 

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Kazuhiko rose a brow at Amaranth’s ramblings. The woman liked to talk. He shrugged his shoulders at her words and walked at a steady pace. If they kept their gait, they would reach the palace by nightfall, unless more enemies threatened to delay them. He kept his cobalt eyes on her and listened with intrigue.

 

She was nervous. Her words spilled out with a weakness to them. There was no truth to her words, but she desperately wanted him to believe her version of reality.

 

“I do not know this being. I have no feelings toward their existence, other than they guard the sword.” He explained and kept his eyes on her figure. She was desirable, but he wasn’t here for hooking up with a woman. The focus remained on the blade and while she attempted to verbally fluster him, he kept a calm disposition.

 

Kazuhiko didn’t care who the being was. If they guarded the blade, then he would destroy them. He spun both blades handles in his hands and readjusted his grip. They had been walking for some time and in the far distance, he could make the outline of Moonskull Palace.

 

“I would kill you if I had to.” He said to her then, as they neared the entryway toward Moonskull Palace. It felt like he was being watched by someone, or by more than one being, but he shrugged off his paranoid thinking. Even though she escorted him, he owed her nothing. Amaranth was beautiful by design, but even all of her seductiveness wouldn’t keep him from driving a blade through her chest and finishing her.

 

“Do not get in my way once I face the elder.” Kazuhiko instructed and kept his monotone. He didn’t want her to be able to read him and kept all actions superficial.

Edited by Deviant

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Amaranth laughed then. Kazuhiko said he would finish her if he didn't need her to help reach the palace. And she was not looking to hook up with the demon. But it was cute to think he could kill something not even alive. She was an artifact. But she did love to get into the affairs of others. 

"You are overconfident it seems if you think you can just go in there and end his life." She said as she stopped walking for a minute. "Of course you do know what you're going up against? It took me forever to revive him after the half breed ran her sword through his body many a time. He still has the wounds where his flesh was pierced. I'm afraid he's not even human anymore. So you can stop acting so brave you know."

It was here a few vampires appeared upon the road. It wouldn't be that easy to reach the castle they were not far from. They were more of the elder's lackeys and a bit more compent than the last batch. Amaranth eyed them as she tilted her head. Yevon probably could see them from the balcony of the castle and figured he sent more to deal with them.

"Seems more want to play with you." Amaranth said then. "Either that or you attract everyone with those blades of yours. Who knows.".

Amaranth chuckled again as the vampires ran at Kazuhiko. 

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Kazuhiko listened to her last words, then spun in front of her to block and oncoming vampire from attacking the both of them. The vampires head rolled to the right with a grotesque thud. His body crumpled and folded like a thin leaf in autumn. His eyes watched for subtle movement and his body continued to guard Amaranth, his new companion. His right and left sword continued to go in the same momentum. One hacked through, while the left guarded and protected his body, which in turn protected Amaranth.

 

Two or three more vampires challenged them with surprising speed. The first vampire rushed Kazuhiko and the second one attempted to use the first one as a distraction. Kazuhiko moved his footing forward and manipulated his speed with shadow. He didn’t blink in and out existence, but he used shadow as a shield, whenever the vampire tried to make a direct hit on his person. The shield would materialize every time it was hit and then dissipate. The body of it mimicked the form of blackened flame that flickered out of existence.

 

Once the first vampire was killed, he rushed toward the second one and flipped over Amaranth to protect her from behind. The vampire sought to surprise Amaranth and attack her from the side, but his blade cut through the vampire’s neck just in time. With a clean cut, Kazuhiko didn’t even stop to gaze at the dead vampire. He walked past the fallen body and bloodied head, but didn’t say a word.

 

“Stay close to me and don’t move from my side. Understood?” Kazuhiko asked, but it was a demand. She needed to understand that since she was escorting him, the vampires would consider her their enemy until she left him. "Let them come. He can send an army, I will have the blade." He said to her in a flat tone and proceeded to move forward, his blades coated with the blood of vampires.

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Amaranth watched as Kazuhiko demolished the vampires. Well that was unfortunate. She had thought they would put up more of a fight than to fall to the man. She listened to him speak she shook her head. He didn't need to protect her, but she didn't mind it. The vampires continued their assault, swords and claws along with fangs came flying at the demon. They wanted him dead. 

It was an order to have the outsider dead. It was an order made by the elder himself. Yet it seemed he probably should have trained them better since he was sending them out to fight for him. Could have helped a little. Amaranth moved forward as she tilted her head. She was everyone's enemy and threat but it didn't bother her. A living artifact was harder to destroy than a human. 

"Well, lead the way then Mr hero." She laughed then. 

The vampires hissed as they continue on to the castle. They were almost there. Almost to the elder. The vampires attacked throwing their weapons in every direction at Kazuhiko. The groups were becoming more and more in numbers. The artifact figured if he wanted to play hero he could take these groups out with ease.

Amaranth continued to eye the vampires attacking, low powered creatures against the demon. She hoped the next group would give a challenge.

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There was no way in hell he was going to let the woman walk behind him. His right sword gestured toward the path that lead to the palace. “There’s no way I’m having you walk behind me.” He chuckled at his words and felt the tension release at their playful banter. In an odd turn of events, he found himself enjoying her company amidst all the chaos. “You don’t feel like the others. What are you?” Kazuhiko walked beside her and wondered about her past. She was familiar with these lands, so was she another elder, or leader of some sort that remained neutral? Furthermore, he didn’t know her name. He watched her out the corner of his eyes and wondered what her tie was in all of this.

 

“You haven’t told me your name. I doubt you know of me. I’m Kazuhiko Xanathi.” He introduced himself casually and waited for her name. If there was any connection to the legends in Athentha, he’d be curious to know if she was a part of the history.

 

They were only a short distance from the palace and he beckoned for her to lead him inside. Kazuhiko wanted the elder to feel his presence.

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"Name's Amaranth. I'm an artifact made by the red blood moon children." She said as Kazuhiko had caught up to her. "I haven't heard of you. You're the first person who came here that wasn't a vampire or human."

The castle wasn't far from them now. Many spoke of legends that shrouded Athentha. Mostly the people of the land spoke of many tales and legends that H.H Dylan wrote on the land until his death. Amaranth tilted her head. This man before her was different from the others she met. He was braver and full of confidence that would make others arrogant in nature.

"You do stink though. Of lust and half breed. It's a familiar stink that I don't like." 

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A living artifact? Well now, that did change things. Kazuhiko slowed his gait and walked with her while she explained her past. It was troubling, but he had been around women with worse backgrounds. To live as an artifact must be difficult. He guessed it would be like being immortal like himself, but so much more was tied to her. Those thoughts got him thinking onto a bigger picture. Since she was a living artifact, did that mean that she was a key of some sort to a secret area, or a legendary? Kazuhiko moved faster, when he sensed more of the vampiric guards begin to swarm them.

 

“Tell me...are you connected to the blade?” He asked her with a straight-forwardness and slashed his blades through the body of an oncoming vampire. His other blade cut clean through its swan-like neck, the surface of the vampires skin reminded him of translucent rice paper. Before the vampire died, it glared at Kazuhiko and muttered something about Amaranth and the elder. He withdrew his bloodied blade and quickened his pace. They needed to hurry and destroy the Elder, before he commanded more swarms to befall them.

 

Kazuhiko smiled at her when she criticized his scent. Now, that was a first. Most women couldn’t get enough of him. “You are an enigma, Amaranth. I want to learn more about you.” He listened to her explain how he was the first demon to traverse the land and challenge the Elder and their army.

 

“I will take his place, Amaranth….His palace will be mine.” Kazuhiko said in a dark tone and fixated his electric gaze on her. She would feel the tension from him, the determination in his voice and footing were blatant.

Edited by Deviant

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Amaranth laughed as he proclaimed wanting to take his place. The land. That was brave indeed. But it seemed an interesting idea as well. He also wanted to learn about her. That would be fun since no one ever wanted to learn about a living artifact. As they reached the castle, even at the front gate, the artifact shook her head.

"Oh how odd that will be. You becoming the new elder to a princess who doesn't want elders in her land. But we are here. Upon the gates of destiny and fate. You really want to get to know me eh? Oh that will be interesting indeed."

She smiled as the gates opened and no vampires swarmed them. It was eerie quiet and Amaranth didn't like it. Quiet meant something was up. Something bad. Amaranth walked in front of him as she shook her head, there were few smells she didn't like only because they reminded her of something she wanted to take. 

"What would you say if I told you I wanted the princess's body to use as my own and become the ultimate living artifact?"

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