Chapter 3 - Know Thy Enemy.Mature

Nova leaves the Great Hall, walking towards the dark presence which has been brought into the Lunar Village castle, with Ren speaking to his men as he follows in het wake. “Knights of NightShadow, warriors of the Lunar Village and its people, your duty holds you to stand at your posts. If any of you are feeling weak then go straight to your homes and rest. You are no good to anyone weary.” Rius rolls her eyes at the prince’s speech, knowing that when the war attacks with full force, fighting when well rested and whilst in good health will be a luxury long wished for. “Might as well make up for it now.” Ophi whispers, looking up at her fellow Zodiac warrior.

Leo straightens his back, even though every fibre is urging him to follow Nova, he knows that his Goddess can protect herself, and she has given him an order that he must fulfil. Breathing deeply, he lets his magic lightly surround him and with a flick of his wrists, the orange light he produces causes all of the food on him to disappear as if it were never there. The other Zodiacs follow his lead. “Sting, you will be our eyes in the darkness. Scout out around the perimeter and if anything moves out of the shadows, kill on first sight and report back to me.” Sting bows her head respectfully, muttering “Yes Brother Leo.” before disappearing into the shadows of the surrounding darkness. Around them, the walls still seem to quiver, as if the very stone was trying to reject the intruder within its walls. The candle light seems to grow dimmer.

“Go on Sces.” Ophi smiles softly at Sces as she grips her hood with one hand. Sces spreads a toothy smile, showing her ragged, sharp, pariah-like teeth as a briefly panicked look crosses the faces of the other Zodiacs.

“Not now Sces! Take your hand away from your hood. With one pf them being here, we have enough trouble without our little friend coming out to play.” Leonardo takes a few steps closer, his tense shoulders only relaxing when Sces reluctantly does as he says. “Good.” The men of NightShadow watch as the strange warriors let out sighs of relief, wondering what could be so wrong with taking off a hood when the walls of their castle rumble like a Clawry’s roar. “Sces, Tarius, Cercan, Ricorn, Vi and Seira will lead the NightShadow warriors back to their posts and each will stand guard with them. We will need to be prepared for any surprise attacks and we must protect the border.” Listening to their leader, the Zodiacs leave with the NightShadow men, their faces full of anticipation, their hands gripping their weapons as they all charge in various directions.

Leo shakes his head, slightly annoyed that the dark presence had to occur when every warrior is caked in food. What a sight. “Rexrus, take Ophi,”

“And Tody.” The small warrior interjects as she smiles lightly at the others around her, lightening their hearts a little with the warm glow of it and the bright sparkle in her eyes.

“Of course. Take Ophi and Tody to the highest point of this castle. You two know what to do if the time comes.” Rexrus stands with his large arms crossed, pushing his muscles against his shirt, as his intense green eyes look at Leonardo, serious as always. Ophi lightly strokes Tody’s head before wrapping a small hand around one of Rexrus’ arms and both of the leave through a small door behind the grand thrones.

After watching them go, Leo turns to the remaining warriors. “Rius, Gemi, Ni and Isorropia, follow me.” The Zodiacs stride in the direction their goddess left. “Awesome! Maybe now we can have a good fight!” Ni smiles, looking towards her other sibling whilst running a hand lightly over her braided head. Gemi’s smile matches his sisters, the dimming candle light shines off the his bald head. “Yeah! Where are we going anyway?” The twins smash their war hammers together as they nod determinedly at each other.

Rius pulls out her throwing daggers, causing the blades to glow a light blue. “We are going to follow our goddess Nova of course.” Isorropia giggles as they pick up their pace after her, balancing her half armoured side perfectly as if it were made of paper.

Even with walking quickly with determination in her black eyes, Nova’s feet do not make a sound as she hurriedly follows the dark essence through corridors and hidden passageways, making it a challenge for Ren to keep up, not that she paid much attention as to him following her.

Nova leads Ren down towards the dungeons where Captain Lucian Ash’s rough voice travels through the stone, his voice is uncharacteristically serious. “Lady Nova, I insist that you stay here. The dungeon is no place for a Lady, especially if the Captain is interrogating a prisoner.” Completely blanking the prince, the white haired woman matches further into the dungeon, only stopping when she stands in front of the most secure cell.

Pushing the door wide open, Nova strolls in with her head held high and her eyes blazing as they land on the crumpled figure heavily chained to the floor. The figure slowly lifts his greasy head, neck twitching as saliva drips from his blooded mouth, his lips pulling into a crooked smile when he looks at Nova. A low growling hiss is produced from his body as she walks further into the cell, getting closer to the prisoner. “This is no place for you-”

“Leave Captain. Permit me time alone with this creature.” Nova cuts him off, her voice adopting a harsh edge to it. “Lady Nova, listen to the Captain-” The prisoner’s hissing increases as Nova looks down upon him. Throwing her arm behind her, Nova never takes her eyes away from the man. “Leave me. Now!” A bright light seems to glow around her fingertips as the prince and his Captain walk out of the cell, their limbs moving without their permission. The door shuts securely, automatically locking Nova inside with the prisoner.

A loud cackle shakes the dungeon, cut off by the sounds of a bloodcurdling scream followed by the sounds of bone breaking and a bright white light flashes through the gaps between the door and the stone floor.

The End

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