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TTCHI 3: Into the Blackness

6. srpna 2010 v 22:43 | Amantia Aceracea M.L. |  TO THE CHAOS INSIDE
After a long travel they have come to the seat of the evil necromancer...


The black castle was situated on a hilltop just above where the river flowed into the sea. The coastal village with a port on the other side of the bank was their last stop before they went on to try their fate. They were surprised by the openness and sincerity of the people living in the village. Never would it occur to them that anyone living so close to the necromancers's seat and under his government could be so kind, happy and well living.
"We serve him and he lets us be who we want to be. We support his mortal needs, so while this mutual agreement lasts, we are safe," the mayor of the village said with a broad smile on his pale face. A young man standing in the doorway behind him smirked on his words and hid again inside of the house. "Well, good luck to you, my lords. I hope you're gonna find what you're looking for."

They thanked him and were on their way again. They have overcomed the slight slope pretty quickly and stood in front of the main gates of the castle. It was a fascinating building, that much could have been said from the very first sight from the village. High walls protecting the necromancer's seat were built of a gray stone, several small loopholes were put into it and from the sharply carved crenellation long black and dark red banners were hanging down, showing off the golden personal-sign of the necromancer - lion-head grasping a sword in its teeth and a five-tips-star, symbol of grace, nobility and leadership.

The darksteel grates were lifted high and three comrades easily get onto the inner courtyard. They felt as if the inhabitants of the castle were somehow waiting for them, though all was empty and silent.   The huge courtyard was paved with a deep gray stone, encirled by the walls on three sides and the main building right in front of them. In the middle of the yard was installed a fountain with benches around it. It seemed as a seat of one of many nobles in the kingdom, but the heavy silence and darkness gave it a strange odour that something here wasn't just as it seemed.
The estate was two stories high in a shape of an irregular pentagon. The two front corners were attoped with ornamented bastillions, next two to the left were closed in slender, sharply ended spires and the last corner, the one to their right was a huge tower raising high above the others with high windows in its stories. The top of the tower was made out of black iron strips, entwined together to create an ornamental cage and covered by a copula with a statuete of a black winged angel.

Facade of the building was covered with a precise and beautiful ornamental relief and two statuetes of naked women holding chalices in their hands were placed on either side of the great doors. These doors, made of an ebony wood, engraved and fitted with gold, suddenly opened wide and a mysterious darkly clothed figure stood in the shadowy doorway.
"I do welcome you, my good sires. Please, come in. We are already waiting for you," a deep  yet clearly a female voice echoed in their ears and caressed their senses as a velvet. They tried to pierce the darkness and see the face hidden under a cape - in vain. As if in a trance they bowed to her will and stepped out to the doors, following her inside.

The castle looked like a fine settlement from outside and in inside it was a perfect mirror of the Palace of Roses. Broad corridors lit by torches in steel ornamental holders, carvings on the walls and ceilings, frescos in the main hall, crystall chandelier with candles, curtains, arched windows and portals, furnishing - it was as if somebody tried too much to remake the greatest edificial beauty of the kingdom. All three of them were startled by this fact so much that they hadn't even noticed more shady figures following them.

The dark clad woman lead them to the great tower. Kamijo broke from the overwhelming experience and realised right away that this must be either illusion or something really bad was going to happen to them. A strange sudden knowledge struck him - she was leading them to where a chapel should be. But what chapel could be found in the seat of a necromancer?
From original chapel only an altar remained. Walls were wonderfully carved, ceiling painted in abstract motives and the pillars were in the figures of young men carrying the weight of the ceiling on their strong, naked shoulders. The altar was covered by a deep red blanket with black embroidery and laces and there, right there on that cold dark stone, was laying Kamijo's beautiful fiancee. Kamijo and Yuki cried in horror and sprinted out to her, but they were stopped by the shadows. The woman laughed softly and stepped away into the shadows under the pillars.

"So you have come, Kamijo. I've been waiting for you. It's been so long since we have met," the voice came out from the darkness from the niche beyond the altar. And then the darkness took on a shape of a wavy long robe, that kept hiding a humanoid creature. He seemed to be lost in eternal shadows and his whole figure was blurred by that unnatural darkness. Even without seeing his face, they instinctingly knew that they stood face-to-face of the necromancer.
"I don't know what you're talking about. We've just come for Hizaki-,"
"Don't be so hasty, Kamijo. I've been looking forward to this meeting and all you want to talk about is this little princess of yours? Don't worry, I won't hurt her - now."
Kamijo hissed in anger and frowned. "We will fight you if the need be. We are prepared for anything you might cast on us."
"Reckless, fervent, proud and aggresive, as you've always been. Pretending to be caring for someone else than yourself. You are ridiculous and pathetic, Kamijo. Coming all the way here, claiming you want to save Hizaki, but all you truly want to save is your possession that you've lost. She means nothing else than a jewel in your hands. Admit it."
"Say whay you find fitting for your ugly mouth, necromancer. My love for Hizaki will light the way and I," he paused and flashed en encouraging gaze over to his comrades. "We will save her. If we must then-,"
"Yes, you will all fight me. But truly - can you face me? Do you have the power to defeat me and take her with you? There's no way you could manage it. First, you have no means to hurt me. Second, if you would kill me she would die as well. And third, there are only three of you and my servants seem to be very hungry. But I'm glad you've come. I hoped that kidnapping Hizaki would turn out like this," coldness of his voice made them all shiver. Such hatred towards Kamijo - Teru and Yuki looked inquisitely on their friend, who just grinded his teeth.
"Why taking Hizaki then? If you wanted to meet with me you could have just stopped by."
"Mere talking wouldn't be enough, dear Kamijo. I have greater things prepared for you. Hizaki was a decoy and will become my precious queen once I'm done with you. That mere fact will pursue and hurt you even beyond death."
"Why? Why do you hate me so much?"
"Have you forgotten who I am? Perhaps now I am called Darkstar, but there was a time when I had a different name. Name you should know well, my dear cousin."

With that, he waved his hand and the blurring darkness settled. Long black robe covered his body as a normal clothing should and his face was now clearly visible. Pale skin was framed by long darkbrown hair and his dark narrow eyes sparkled with ambitions that were driving him insane.
"Masashi? How-," Kamijo's voice broke in unbelievement.
"Hard to cope with, ay? Palace of Roses and Hizaki as well should have been mine, alas your father accused our family of betrayal and banished us away. You should have been here, in this cold and dark place and I should have been in the warm beauty of Roses. It's about time things should change," his laughter was a terrible one and Teru with Yuki backed away few steps.
Kamijo shook his head, his eyes wide with fear. "Wait. If you are Masashi, then-," he turned to the side, where he thought the strange woman should be staying. He fixed his eyes on her vague figure and she stirred a little.

"Enough!" the necromancer, formerly known as young prince Masashi, cried out loudly and streched out his hands. Shadows from the corners started to move and entwirled their legs and hands. "You wanted to fight me? Than fight, you braggarts!"
With that the blackness covered them and everything vanished with a loud hiss.


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