Chapter 3.1Mature

The Zodiacs arrive in the dungeon moments later and were greeted by Ren and Captain Lucian Ash, desperately trying to open a door to a cell. “Where is Lady Nova?” Leonardo demands as his intense orange gaze glares down at the mortals. They ignore his gaze, only focusing on opening the door as various scenarios play through their minds of Nova being trapped in there with the strange prisoner. “She’s inside.” Lucian grunts as he wipes the sweat from his brow.

Ren looks at the warriors, wondering why they aren’t helping in their futile attempt to open the prison door for the woman whom leads them. “One moment we were in the cell, next our bodies were carrying us away. I don’t know how she did it but we have to get her out! We heard a scream. She is not safe in there!”  The warriors clearly relax at Ren’s words, Leonardo puts away his broad sword and runs his fingers through his orange mane. Ren stares at them wide-eyed. How can they care so little about her? The corners of Rius lips twitch as she rolls her eyes, leaning against one of the cold stone walls as Gemi and Ni begin giggling hysterically. Isorropia looks amused as she gazes up at the ceiling. “Why are you laughing?!” Ren demands, moving away from the door as Lucian rests against the wall opposite it, his eyes glaring. “Nova will be fine.”

“The lion warrior is right for once. If Nova is in there with that demon then it is because she wants to be.” Rius smirks whilst her fingers trace the sharp end of one of blades. “Do not underestimate her Prince Lockwood.” Isorropia’s light grey eyes twinkle as her hand rests onto her flail. “Yeah! Lady Nova is tougher then she looks and probably can crush thousands of mortals before a scratch touches her skin.” Ni smiles proudly, her twin nodding next to her. “Exactly! But Ni, it’s more like millions of mortals rather than thousands.” Gemi ignores the harsh look from his sister as she throws her war hammer against her shoulder. Turning, Ni laughs at her brother. “No. Thousands of mortals.” Scowling, Gemi mimics his sisters stance. “No. Millions.”

Ren stares wide eyed at the twins as they begin to rise their volume, heads bashing against each other as they argue over just how powerful Nova really is, their debate becoming more and more serious. The Captain watches Isorropia out of the corner of his eye, wondering if she will put a stop to their arguments.

More screams escape through the thick walls of the cell, causing the twins to immediately stop their bickering. Everyone turns towards the door, wondering what is happening on the inside. A high pitched shriek travels through the marble of the castle, shaking the very foundations in which it was built.

A haunting silence rings out, leaving the people the other side of the door to their own thoughts. The four Zodiacs tilt their heads to the left as if they were receiving a message that only they can hear.

Ren and the Captain hold their breathes as they await the next signs of life. “You might want to step aside Lockwood.” Leonardo says in a disinterested tone, seeming to brush small specks of dirt off his shirt.

As soon as Ren moved next to his captain, the door is thrown open, briefly blinding them as an intense white light burns their eyes before disappearing. Quickly, Ren runs inside, his eyes frantically searching as the others follow at a slower pace.

The prisoner that Captain Lucian captured slumps against the ground, held up by his chains as fresh wounds cause blood to weep heavily. Along various limbs and parts of his body are thin silver rope, width no larger than a hair, severely seining the flesh it wraps itself around. Following the silver ropes, Ren’s eyes widens as he discovers that the strings are wrapped around Nova’s fingers. Her face is blank, her eyes stern as she glares at the slumped form of the prisoner.

“Our Lady Nova can handle herself.” Isorropia half-smiles.

Lucian raises an eyebrow at the scene before him, knowing how hard it was for him to capture the prisoner in the first place. Truthfully, he doesn’t understand how Nova has created those silver string or why but no way was he going to mention in the presence of the enemy.

“Ask the questions you seek Captain, Lockwood. He will answer now.” Nova mutters, causing her Gemini warriors to snicker whilst Rius and Leonardo smirk, eyes gleaming with anger as they stare down at the captured man. A low hiss sounds from the prisoner as he spits blood from his mouth.

“How did you manage to slip through our forces and traps?” Ren asks as the Captain observes the prisoner, removing his sword and leaning it against the stone wall, his eyes never leaving the prisoner. Leonardo rolls his eyes, knowing full well how the man before them snuck through the defences. The man snickers at Ren.

Just a flick of Nova’s left index finger causes one of the silver strings to pull. The man howls as the string digs into the skin around his neck, burning into his flesh as the goddess forces his head up to look into the face of the Luna Village Prince. “Your barriers were no match for the likes of me. I am a creature of darkness and as such, I was able to wield the darkness against your defences.” Looks of disgust cloud the warriors faces as they glare down at him.

“What do you mean by creature of darkness?” Captain Lucian asks, arms strongly crossed over his chest. The man cackles bitterly, the sound worse than nails against granite and more haunting than a hoard of Banshee. His gaze turns towards Nova, smiling wickedly. “Have you not told them?” Following the silence, the man’s body starts shaking viciously, bones cracking as he metamorphoses. The darkness seems to be feeding him as his form grows twice the size of the body before revealing a horned creature with various dark talons and claws producing out of his skin.  

Ren and Captain Lucian are frozen by the sight before them. The man in front of them is a man no more, now he has taken the form of something far more ungodly.

The End

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