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Despite the rain pouring down over the battlefield, fires were still burning. Magic that nature could not extinguish so easily. Two forces, battered and bruised, stared each other down. The humans from Coteon, their hero at the head… The monsters working for the Demon King, and their head general, Nessraya. Despite the overwhelming power of the general, the hero wielded a magic sword, that staved off most all her attacks, the rest unable to stop the girl’s advance. Still, the Demon King had ordered for the hero to be stopped, alive. Something had to be done. Weather this storm would just mean more sadness and misery for all involved… “It is time to put an end to this foolishness… ‘hero’. Surely you must see by now, on your warpath… that the Church has imbibed you with naught but lies.” Nessraya finally managed to get out, a small cease in the fighting… just what was the King’s plan for all this? Learning more about the hero and the mechanisms that brought her here perhaps, but keeping her alive as she still held that sword…? Marina’s legs shook and her body trembled. She was so close, wasn’t she? But the demon’s words caught her ear. Putting thought into it, since making her way here, the ‘monsters’ she was told to eliminate would cower in fear of her actions. And now, one of the big bads still asks for her to stop. She held up her sword, until… something odd occurred. The glow of the blade suddenly… dissipated. Myrithali suddenly felt heavy, and the wear of the constant fighting took effect, and her arms dropped, the sword’s blade thudding to the dirt below. Sweat, rain, and blood surrounding her, Marina finally spoke out, “And… what of my comrades, then?” "Marina! Be careful, don't underestimate this demon's magic. You saw what happened to our men." Agni warned, removing his dagger from the slit throat of a felled demon. This 'truce' made Agni uneasy, ready to doubt the demon's intent. The church's lies? Carnage like this demon wrought made their name fitting, perhaps it was right to strike first. It meant they were doomed if anything happened to Marina, unable to fight back in kind. Agni had to be wary for Marina sake, rushing to her side. "Think of your safety first! Pick up the sword!" Those damn humans! How had they spotted her and her group? It… didn’t matter how they had, she was battered and bruised, barely able to fly with all her injuries. Still, she needed to continue on so all of this wasn’t for nothing. If she could just get one hit on the ‘Hero’ that would be enough for her. Then, she saw them, two humans and a lone demoness. That had to be the hero if they were this far. “Not a step further, humans!” She roared as she landed by the demoness, lance at the ready. Good, she was listening. It was a start, at the very least… of course, one of the human comrades was telling her to pick up the holy sword, and a Vaian soldier… not one of her own men, at least not one she recognized, came into the fray with a war cry. Holding her hand up to the newcomer and beckoning her backward and away from the hero. They may have a chance yet… “Those whose lives you have yet to throw away on this farce shall be spared, and allowed to leave… provided they do not aggress further. Our King wishes to speak with you, and I will not-” Nessraya began, a sigh escaping her lips as a foolhardy wraith lunged at the hero, once her sword was dropped. With a snap of her fingers, a bolt of lightning came down on the demon soldier, turning the man to dust mere feet away from the hero. “As I was saying… I will have my King’s will done. Even if my own men should make an attempt on your lives should you surrender… I shall prevent it. You have my word as a General.” Though her hands continued to grasp the holy sword, even Marina knew she was tapped out. She wanted to reply to Agni’s request but she was intent on hearing out the general speak. Lives you have yet to throw away, caught her in a way unlike everything she has been told since she got here, possibly even her entire life. That got Marina thinking, she never did think this through, did she? It was just then that she caught the wraith in her sight, and fear caught onto her like a hook to a fish, and before she knew it, the demon just saved her. Even if she could wield the sword, she didn’t know if she stood a chance to begin with. Marina turned to Agni, “...I-I can’t keep this fight up anymore…” then she turned to the general, completely letting go of Myrithali, “I surrender.” Agni remained uneasy, listening to the demon general's words with scrutiny, trying to find anything that would belie her intent. The dragoness' roar had put him on guard, and once a wraith moved in to attack Marina, Agni raised a hand to chant a spell --too late, seeing as the demon general got to it first. Agni was hoping to hear words of determination as Marina turned to him, that perhaps they had a way out. What he was met with was a defeated woman, and the sound of metal hitting the ground. The holy sword was entirely dropped. "Wait, no..." Agni's voice faltered, they'd sacrificed so much, but for what? He couldn't fight back if Marina had given up… “What?” Xalrei growled in confusion. She was being told to back off, but the hero was right there! She had been about to lunge anyway, but a wraith beat her to it, vaporized for their troubles. That was enough to give her pause. A demon, a powerful one at that, defending the hero... Slowly, she stepped back and lowered her lance, but she refused to lower her guard even as the hero threw down her sword. Why the demon king wanted to meet with these humans was lost on her. Just what could he be thinking? “Wonderful. I am glad to see this violence finally come to an end. MEN! Stand down… her men may return from whence they came, or accompany their hero as she comes to meet our King. So long as they are peaceful, no harm shall come to them… you have witnessed first hand what end disobeying this order will bring. Of course, you understand… any who attempt to continue fighting shall be shown the same in kind.” Nessraya commanded, magic amplifying her voice to boom over the battlefield. “Stand, Hero. And give me your name… Nessraya Tryxyss is my own. And I would ask you give the holy sword to your charge, there… the King has not told me what exactly it is they wish speak with you about, but I cannot allow you wield that blade within the royal chamber. I hope you understand.” Briefly falling to a knee, Marina’s breathing was light, suddenly the stress of the fighting came to a stop. She once again addressed Agni first, “Captain Agni, please understand… I have a strange feeling about all of this. I felt something before, the mon- the demons we fought begged us to stop. And now…” She caught the general’s name, “General Nessraya has asked me to stop too.” Removing her sheath, she picked the sword off the ground, still struggling from it’s sudden weight, but she managed to sheath the weapon. “My name is Marina. Marina Fairchild.” Nodding to Nessraya’s request, she turned to Agni. “Please,” She handed the weapon to Agni, “Captain, please. Leave me to this. I… I need to hear their piece.” She trembled a bit, definitely unaware of might happen to her now. “I’m sorry.” A sudden explosion of smoke puffed out between both groups, a rather… Pink and out of place looking fox woman under an umbrella stepping out of it. “Everyone, stop fight-- Oh. You’ve already stopped. Whoops~ Good! This way, then. Good work, Nessraya~” Smiling and turning towards the castle gates, her tail swished with excitement. They’d actually stopped killing each other! Hopefully this would go much better than last time. The Demon King’s castle was quite like any human one in decor. Well crafted stone work for walls and hallways, tapestries with their crest-- a large snake coiled around twin swords --paintings of the previous Demon King and other vistas the surrounded Vaia (mostly rolling hills and small forests). Asami, as she’d introduced herself while walking, led the humans and monsters down the main hall, towards a large set of double doors. “Your audience with the Demon King awaits, poor little hero~ Mhmhmhm~” Opening as if by magic, they were met with a well torchlit room, a red carpet to guide them, and a throne to gaze upon… And, a child on it? "Humans! My name is Thesephine Adozosi! And I am the Demon King." The small girl propped herself up off the throne, scowling down at the... Admittedly smaller than she was expecting group of humans. "L...Lavinia, where are the rest of them...?" "Your highness, the wounded soldiers have been taken to be treated... The Hero and her consort are the only ones who managed to survive Nessraya's carnage enough to speak." A taller, pale skinned knight with jet black hair and glowing red eyes, stood next to the smaller girl, leaning down to give her the information. "I... I see... S-Still! You! You, Hero with the holy sword... Do you know what you've done!? All the lives you've taken, and for what!?" The girl stomped down the stairs leading up to her chair, not exactly intimidating right in front of Marina. She was almost an entire foot shorter than her. "What do you have to say for yourself!?" The fox woman chuckled, closing her umbrella and shaking some of the water off. "She's maaaaad~"