Aria stared at the limp body of Evie, and something inside her just... snapped. She stood up slowly and stared at the guards, who were here to beat her up and drag her back to her cell where she would await a much harsher punishment than the one she received that morning.

But she didn't care. She looked at Ray. "Take Evie and leave me here. I'll find a way out of this, but I won't let Evie get hurt over me."

Ray was about to argue when he saw Aria's eyes. The unearthly beauty had changed to unholy anger that made her eyes unbearable to look at. For a fraction of a second, Ray, an anivamp, was frightened by the death glare Aria was giving.

"Alright, lady, time for all of you to get back inside." One of the guards approached her, grabbed her by the arm...

...and the next second later, he was on the ground, a bloody stump where his arm used to be. Aria breathed heavily in and out, and stared at the entire regiment before her. "You want to take my friends? You'll have to go through me first."


It took Tsir a moment to realize that the Aria he was talking to wasn't Aria at all. He took his khopesh out and pressed it against the false Aria's throat. "Who are you?"

"Saw through the illusion, eh? Didn't take you long, but still, my work here is done." The voice that now emanated from the false Aria's lips was masculine, sounding very wizened and powerful, but also incredibly dark and terrible. Aria's body morphed into that of a man in dark armor, fashioned similiar to that found far to the East. A helmet concealed the entirety of his face, instead replacing it with an almost featureless face. The man that stood before Tsir spoke. "I am Voland, one of the Seven."

Tsir kept his blade close to Voland's neck. "Where is Aria? What have you done with her?"

"Nothing. She left the cell on her own accord. Right about now, she's facing the entirety of the Ixion Palace Guard all by herself. If you hurry, you might be able to save her life... that is your purpose, isn't it, dog of Anubis?"

Tsir was somewhat stunned at how Voland knew which god he served without even looking at his tattoo, or even how he knew that he was bound into the service of a god, but he couldn't wait. He transformed himself into smoke again and flew towards the courtyard, but he could hear Voland's cruel laughter as if mocking his pain.


Aria had "disarmed" almost fifty of the guards all by herself, but she was beginning to tire out. One of the guards, instead of attacking with a weapon, actually punched her in the face, knocking her a bit off balance, but regained it just fast enough to dodge an oncoming spear thrust.

Aria's tattered outfit was now even more tattered, the lower half of her skirt having been torn away and the right sleeve of her shirt having been entirely ripped off. She had been cut and slashed in places, but they were merely flesh wounds and Aria kept fighting on, but she knew it was only a matter of time before she finally lost.

Two of the guards grabbed her by the arms and slammed her to the ground, and began to pummel her, all of the other guards joining in. Aria struggled with all her strength, but it was useless...

She was useless.

Aria finally gave up, and they lifted her off the ground, blood dripping down her forehead and from her mouth... and tears streaming down her face.

"Aw, look, the poor bandit girl's crying!" One of the guards exclaimed, before slamming his knee into her stomach, causing her to cough up a lot more blood.

"That's enough. Just take her back to her cell." One of the others spoke, obviously a bit perturbed by his companion's lack of humanity.

The End

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