Sage paced the castle's conference room, located at the lowest point of the building. It took up occupancy in the same place where a dungeon had once resided. The space had been converted to a meeting area, because there was little chance of anyone being heard this far beneath the common area of the castle.
The lack of light and heat was a burden that one would have to succumb to, for the sake of secrecy. She eyed the old man, who sat before her. He was asleep in a chair. She watched his chest rise and fall against the ropes that bound him. Only yesterday the man had been a fierce rival. He had nearly killed Baron, before Sage trapped the serpent that had been bound to his soul. Now he was simply a weak and feeble man. He did not fight against his restraints, he did not have the will to.
Sage had called off the guards that stood outside the door to the meeting room. She was still weary, although Blue had been captured there was still a traitor among them. She had several knives concealed beneath her dress, tied carefully around her thigh. Her crossbow hung on a low hanging rafter. All she had to do was jump up and reach it.
Drakmor entered the room, and Sage averted her eyes from the ceiling. She didn't want to draw attention to any of the weapons she had hid about the room. Nobody was to be trusted.
At the sight of Blue Drakmor's eyes widened. Instinctively his hand went around the sheath of his sword. Sage crossed over to him, covering his hand with hers before he could draw the weapon. “The Serpent has been captured. Blue is weak and powerless.”
Drakmor narrowed his eyes at her. “So why keep him alive?”
“Because I have questions that I need answered,” she said levelly.
Drakmor shook his head. He walked over to Blue and eyed him skeptically. “Honestly, I'm surprised the man can still live without the assistance of the Serpent he had become reliant on. Without the Serpent his memory is distorted.”
Sage smiled knowingly. Her eyes shifted towards the grimoire. Drakmor arched an eyebrow. “All I have to do is reverse the spell and summon the Serpent back into Blue's body,”
Drakmor scooped up the grimoire. “This is not a good idea,” he said slowly.
Sage snatched the grimoire out of his arms. “I'm not going to pass up on a chance at getting information out of Blue,”
“No,” Drakmor shouted, trying to dismiss the topic. “It's dangerous the Serpent might not cooperate.”
“That's where I need your help,” she admitted reluctantly. She averted her eyes. It was still hard to look at him, without remembering the kiss. Heat flooded into Sage's cheeks. She brushed it off. “Just be prepared to fight it.” She made direct eye contact with Drakmor. It was the only way to use the power of persuasion on someone.
Sage sat down crossed legged on the floor with the grimoire spread open. Drakmor became quiet and stoic. Sage couldn't afford to take the time to feel guilty about using Athena's magic on him. She opened to the page of the reversal spell. She read the incantation. Moments later the chair in the room began to shake. There was a blinding flash in the room. Drakmor let out a disgruntled scream. He was thrown back by sheer force.
After a minute the light died down, the room stopped shaking. Sage looked at Blue. He didn't appear anymore lively than he had a couple minutes ago. She turned to Drakmor for assistance. The look in his eyes had her backing against the wall.
Drakmor's pupils were dilated. A creepy smile spread across his face. Right away Sage understood what had happened. Drakmor had tried to warn her about the Serpent. Sage's hands balled up into fists. How could this have happened? Blue was the Serpent's home, not Drakmor.
“Something a matter?” Drakmor's voice asked, stepping closer to her. His hands went around the sheath of his sword once more. The Serpent had Sage right where he wanted her, cornered, backed up against the wall. Even if she were to scream nobody would hear her. Mentally, Sage scorned herself for calling off the guards.
She tried to be stealthy as her hand crept downward, beneath the skirt of her dress, fumbling for a knife. But she was trembling. She couldn't harm the Serpent without harming Drakmor's body. Her options were limited to none. Drakmor caught the small gesture. His hand coiled around her wrist and he threw her to the floor. He knelt over her, and pushed a strand of hair off of her face. Sage stared up into Drakmor's eyes. She had imagined a moment like this with Drakmor before. Only this wasn't as romantic as she remembered. His Sadistic smile and the sword he held over her head was a bit of a mood killer.
Sage summoned a small bit of magic. The little she used on Drakmor before, was already starting to make her feel drained. She placed her hands on Drakmor's chest and blasted him with an orb of fire. The impact threw him off of her. Luckily for Sage the Serpent was unable to access Drakmor's powers, though it had it's own magnitude of shadowmagick.
Sage felt something seep through the soles of her boots. When she peered down a pool of water was rapidly forming on the floor. It grew fast.
Drakmor walked over to Blue. He didn't seem to worry about turning his back towards her. Sage stripped off her wet boots so they wouldn't weigh her down. Quickly she bolted for the door. The Serpents instincts and peripheral vision, were too sharp. He jumped at her, knocking her back down to the floor again. Digging his nails into her arms, he flipped her onto her back. He held her captive there until the water in the room had drenched her hair and clothes. She titled her chin to keep it from reaching her mouth and making it's way into her lungs. Drakmor lowered his head. He was playing with her, enjoying every prolonged moment of her death.
“Just Kill me already!” Sage shouted desperately.
He shook his head. “No Empress. I want to see you drown, slowly. I want to see the life bleed from your eyes,” He pressed his palm flat against his chest. “I want to see the rise and fall of your chest come to an abrupt halt. I want to feel your rapid heartbeat slow as the water fills your lungs, corrupting it's natural rhythm,” Sage couldn't met his eyes as her head was tilted back, but she could hear the sick laughter in his voice. She took one last gulp of air and closed her eyes. Slowly she floated into a state of unconsciousness. When she came to, the room was immersed in water. Drakmor smiled at her, apparently the Serpent could breathe under water, it didn't seem to phase Drakmor's body.
As promised he floated next to her, watching the life drain from her eyes. Sage was too weak to access any power. She wouldn't bring herself to kill Drakmor.
In the distance she spotted a stray arrow floating in the water next to her bow. She wouldn't give this creature the satisfaction of drawing out her death any longer. She made a move to plunge the arrow into her own chest. Then she noticed a soft blue light, shimmering in the corner of the room.
It was Blue. He was being kept alive. Sage noticed he still slept undisturbed. The Serpent still wanted or needed him alive. Without any haste she swam over to the body. The Serpent wasn't as fast of a swimmer. Drakmor wore a lot of heavy armor that slowed him down. Sage stabbed the arrow into Blue's arm. Drakmor's body shook. He wore a look of anguish. Sage knew that the pain she was causing was internal. It was directly affecting the Serpent not Drakmor. The water level in the room died down.
Sage couldn't afford to kill Blue. If she survived this she would still need to get the Serpent back into his body for information. Every time she stabbed the arrow into Blue's body the Serpent wailed in pain. The room shook and the water died down. She did this until she could lift her head above the waterline. She coughed up water from her lungs and took a greedy breath of air. Soon enough the water only pooled around her feet.
One last time Sage plunged the tip of her arrow into Blue's flesh, puncturing his shoulder. This time the Serpent relinquished it's hold on Drakmor. Blue's eyes fluttered open. Drakmor fell to the ground. Sage rushed over to him. She shook him and screamed his name until he regained consciousness. He was confused at first. Sage motioned towards Blue, who was now awake and wearing a lethal look on his face. Drakmor groaned and Sage helped him to his feet.