His eyes widened, and, still holding onto the blades as the dug into the ground, he collapsed to his knees... his mouth shut - his entire face a display of shock more than horror - but both emotions were clearly visable. A long moment passed before he moved or said anything... Killrae's own strength in elemental control failing... and suddenly the near-hundred vampires that were left of the once increadibly overwhelming army charged forward, breaking through... Killrae and Hawke both stood perfectly still... looking where Layna had been, moments before... Killrae slowly looked down and away, closing her eyes...
...Hawke's reaction was much different... As he slowly came back to reality that the vampires were almost upon him, his face twisted and seemed to reshape itself into that of pure, unadulterated rage... His muscles bulged as the adrenaline rush hit its peak... He leapt up, yanking the blades out of the ground, and began full waves of attack on the vampires - literally slicing at least four vampires in half in a single stroke... then moving on, hacking and slashing as though waving daggers around in front of himself... until there were none left... and he continued to chop, hack and slash at the fallen body of the last to die...
Finally Killrae walked up behind him, placing a hand on his shoulder - instantly Hawke spun around, coming down on Killrae's form with both broadswords - and a swift motion suddenly had both broadswords held up by one hand on her katana over her head... "I'm NOT your enemy, damnit! They're all dead!"
His eyes widened, and he instantly withdrew the blades, then he turned away, his eyes closing... and a long, quiet moment passed, then finally he spoke in a soft voice, "...I'm as good as one of them..." Killrae's jaw almost dropped, "...and why the hell is that?"
Another moment passed - this one shorter than the last... "I finally did what you wanted me to do, Killrae... I found a reason to live, besides killing them..." His eyes opened slowly, both of his blades dropping to the ground as his hands went limp... and he dropped to his knees, this time without the strength to get back up, and sat back, staring ahead blindly... "...He just took the reason I have to live from me... and again, I am left with only killing them as the driving force..."
Killrae slowly stepped forward, resheathing her drawn weapon, kneeling down behind Hawke, placing her hands on his shoulders, "Kyle... You don't know th---" Suddenly Hawke cut her off, "You know as well as I that he's going to kill her... One way... or another... Just to get at me..."
Another long pause ensued... then finally Hawke broke away from Killrae, and looking at her, he moved to pick up his blades, "If I'm going to have any chance at rescuing her, the time has to be now... and if I fail, it's time I embraced reality... there is nothing in this world except killing for me..." He stood, resheathing the blades, "...I'm going to kill that son of a bitch... I swear it..." Hawke was just starting to take note of an increased difficulty in breathing when Killrae suddenly noticed something that she'd not seen before - and her eyes widened, and her mouth opened again to speak, pointing...
Hawke looked down, and saw that one of the vampires had indeed driven a dagger straight into his chest... Then, in his shock-induced trauma, though Killrae made a move to stop him, he slowly pulled it out - and suddenly he could barely breathe at all... He coughed most of what he could breathe, gasping in pain from the punctured lung, then managed to spit out a curse, as he collapsed into Killrae's arms, "Oh... that's just---" He was cut off halfway through the curse by a fit of weak coughs, "...just fucking great..." With that, he passed out as Killrae carried him to the waters to heal him...
Layna had never expected what happened next. Calarius appeared behind her, a knife to her throat. Her eyes widened in horror as everything in front of her faded. She screamed for Kyle with everything she had but it was to no avail. Her body was not prepared for something like this and began to change back to complete human form as she collapsed in Calarius's grasp.
Why are you taking...I have..why... Her last thoughts swirled madly in her head..thoughts of what she why she stayed in Anilysta..thoughts of those she was meant to protect...thoughts of Kyle.... Slowly her mind went blank as everything around her went dark.
Calarius was howling with a laughter to chill even the stoutest of hearts and shivers up and down the spine of all creatures. He had never imagined that taking this woman would cause such a reaction in Kyle. He stood with the woman laying at his feet, passed out from the stress of going through the barrier into the shadows realm. He laughed as he watched his brood being ruthlessly slaughtered and torn asunder. He laughed as Kyle passed out from a knife wound. But mostly he laughed at the fact that he was watching Kyle through his own shadow…and he had no idea where he was.
As his laughter subsided he looked down at the woman whom he had kidnapped Now what to do with you my pretty little thing.. He recalled her thoughts as he dragged her into his personal playground. Thoughts directed towards himself, thoughts of why she stayed in Anilysta, thoughts of those she was meant to protect...thoughts of Kyle. Hmmm it would be a waste to kill such a beautiful creature, even if she is the lover of a half-bred halfling dragon hell bent on destroying me…. Slowly he began to squat next to her grunting and grimacing in pain from the sever wounds that would have killed lesser creatures. Damn, I suppose I underestimated his abilities, I’m going to have to rest for at least a day for these wounds to heal even remotely correctly
With his left hand he began to put his over each of the minor wounds through his sides and midsection. He then he watched as his skin began to stretch to fix the blade sized holes in his midsection. These were easier to heal, the major problems were the two large gashes between his neck and shoulder with two long narrow rows where Kyle’s broadsword had all but cleaved him into three pieces, the only part keeping him together being about five inches of flesh and bone in his back. Ill give him points for power, he cleaved straight through many of the bones… Looking slightly up from his wounds, he looked at the woman he had captured and muttered, “Well I suppose I’ll have to wake her sooner or later, I’m in no condition nor mood to have to carry her…” Gently he ran the back of his right hand down her left cheek to he shoulder and began to lightly shake her.
Layna started to wake and as her eyes opened, she bolted up right, not reailzing where she was. Then she saw him standing over her.."what..whe..where have you taken me..where is Kyle..?" Her voice cracking somewhat as she almost pleaded for an answer.
Slowly she began to move away from him, pushing herself across the floor. Everything inside her screamed to run like hell, as fast and as far from as she could.
Layna knew of Calarius from the stories her elders had told her and she sensed him in the village a few days back. Never in her life did she think she would be face to face with him.
Calarius smiled his warmest smile, which could still have given an Ice apparition shivers, as he spoke in his almost French sounding voice “Calm yourself child, for if I wished to kill you, you would already be dead. And where will you run to, your in the shadows realm…as to where Kyle is…” he rose from his squatting position standing up straight all the while grimacing from pain and he pointed up “He is not far, though he wont hear you one of my brood got to him, stabbed him in the chest. The water sprite is healing him as I speak”
The look of fear in her eyes began to melt away. A new fire glimmered in them now, one of anger for what he had done to Kyle.
"Did you do this just to add to the pain you've already given him?"
She started to stand.."I'm not going to be fooled by your charm, Calarius..although I must admit, I'm sure it works on most.." Even though her mind screamed against it, she began moving a few steps toward him. She could not let Calarius see any fear in her or she would be powerless against him.
Calarius kept his smile firmly in place as she began taking a few steps towards him. “Adding pain to pain? My dear, you were a spur off the moment decision, I had no idea of how valuable you are to him, he slaughtered more than a thousand of my brood off of pure adrenaline and fury, and now he’s vowed to kill me.” He snorted “But then this is also the umpteenth time he’s sworn my death to his sword…albeit this actually gives him some basis and grounds” His smiled faded and he looked very solemn and intense.
He gazed at her for a moment as she stood rooted to the spot determined not to show fear, but her thoughts betrayed her and he told her so, “Your thoughts betray you, Am I that terrifying that you want to run? What have I done to deserve this reputation, is it because I feed off mortals blood?” he gave an annoyed snorting chuckle while shaking his head “I have never even killed, I have drunk enough to sustain me, not to fill me. Those whom I feed from have always lived…” he narrowed his eyes as he looked at her “Who are you….” His voice deepened, but not maliciously rather more with curiosity. “…You seem…. Familiar…..”
She started to ignore his words..to the point of almost blocking her out completely...until he asked who she was. No one had really asked for more then her name in a long time.
She meet his gaze without a blink and introduced herself.."I am Layna Surya Valden..Guardian of the Fire Dragons and keeper of their secrets...." She stopped for a moment and then continued.."I know who you are, Calarius..and I could have gone on the rest of my life never meeting you and been quite content, I'm sure..."
She smirked as she said those words...true, he was powerful and the myth and legend surrounding him was intriguing but she was not fooled by his personality. She had seen the lack of heart he had when they were near the river.