The mask of the pure vessel lay against the cool marble floor as the last of their energy left them at the claws of Ghost. They didn't die- they retreated out of harms way once they could not continue. The ghost would never allow true harm to come to their dear sibling.
At the defeat of her vessel in their prime form the radiance screeched in indignation. She shone her blazing light down onto the battle arena and roared pulling the Ghost into her domain to defeat her ancient enemy.
Once the light had faded Ghost saw the towering form of the absolute radiance towering sinsterly above them. Puffy golden clouds surrounded the platform they were stood on and structures could be seen off in the distance. It was beautiful.
The radiance was not going to sit and let the warrior admire the world of dream though. That was not what she pulled them here for. At once she began to fire off at the small vessel.
Pillars of searing heat crossed in front of her, swords were summoned from all directions, orbs of sunlight swerved around and daggers shot up from the floor all from the the absolute power the radiance had. The little ghost began to swiftly manouver around this chaos and strike the glowing being. They had faced all the other foes hallownest had to offer- they were not going to let one moth cause all of their work go to waste.
After several harsh blows from the pure nail of the knight, a tendril of void came up from below and seized the radiance holding her to the ground.The higher being struggled before spreading her wings and teleporting with a flash of light to far above the void.
Small platforms began to form in front of Ghost so they began to ascend upwards. The void below them churned and began to rise with them. Intense beams of lght began to shoot downwards from the sun godess so the knight had be carful in their climb to reach her.
They continued to scale upwards with a will so strong nothing the radiance could do would break it in pursuit of a future for hallownest. All the lives lost or consumed by the infection. Children torn from parents, friends turned against each other and civilisation gone. All the work of one single being.
Upon reaching the top two platforms awaited the vessel as the glowing being produced projectile after projectile of the suns energy all firing and tracking the only other living creature. The knight was not going to take this however a fought back valiantly. Both began to grow wear and were eaching their limits when the focus of sea of minds zoomed in on on single bug.
At the final swing of their treasured nail Ghost shed their shell a dropped into the void below. When they rose again they had changed into a new being. They had unified and embraced the void. They were the lord of shades.
While a single pair of eyes had shut 4 now opened. Two horns became 8, form became comparable to the other higher being and terrible claws curled around a hand. The void had been given focus and they used this to utterly obliterate the Radiance. She was beat, completely at the mercy of the new being until essence began to spill out of her form as the void consumed and killed the goddess of dreams ending her reign over a dying kingdom.
Hallowest was free.
Hornet kneeled in front the stone plinth the little Ghost had visited not so long ago. Hornet had witnessed as they overcame the distant villagers in a brilliant display of power after being trapped and tricked by them. She saw them trek through the twisting caverns and long corridors of the beasts den before arriving before Herrah the Beast herself and..... leaving.
Her mother had been allowed more time.
As the figure silently slept away Hornet began to speak. It started out as a whisper but soon became something more as guilt and sorrow reached her heart, "Mother i am so very sorry for what has happned to you. Soon they will return for your soul to challenge our birth cursed sibling. For now they have shown mercy and allowed me to spend thses prescious moments with you. I am thankful for the life you granted me even if it ment you had to give up yours in return. I bid you farewell and a safe departure to the next life.".
As tears rolled down the shell of the half spider the figure began to stir. The princess did not see this as her eyes were squeezed tightly shut.
A voice split throught the weakning veil of dream upon the spider queen. "I only wished we could of had more time". Hornet! It was Hornet speaking! She was still here! She still cared after all this time!
Herrah began to focus all energy on fully breaking the seal upon her. A needle pierced the barrier many times before the full weight of the agitated queen shoved against it. "I will truely miss you" the voice spoke again. Footsteps could be heard and Herrah grew despeate. Her only daughter was leaving!
Herrah growled before unleashing the terrible might of the furious queen of deepnest. A bright white light shook her as the spell began to unweave itself and disappear. It was finally happening, Herrah could see her going to.....
Hornet was dropping down through the secret path of the Beasts Den, when she heard new footsteps not of her own. She paused and pretended to have not noticed before quickly jumping round with her needle pointed at the offender. No one was going to stop her from defeating this foe.
But she did stop.
A needle as elegant and refined as her own met Hornet's midlunge. No one could have a needle like her though! The inhabitants of Deepnest using this kind of weapon had been eradicated by the infection And even if they weren't, they never wielded weapons as powerful as hers-it had been specially made for her to protect herself in the absence of her mother.
"HORNET!"the mysterious bug yelled, "please stop this at once. I thought you'd be happy to see me!" Hornet was shocked.Hoe had her senses clouded over so badly? How in Hallownest could she not recognize her own mother!
"Mother please forgive me. I was not thinking" Hornet spoke. She knew deep down that this must be just a dream but she was going to enjoy it none the less. "Thank you for this dream mother it is wonderful to see you again even if it is like this" She informed.
Herrah blinked. "You think this is just a dream!?" herrah asked "No my child I am really here". "mother" Hornet whispered, "MOTHER!". With that the girl broke down and ran to her mother sobbing uncontrollably. The two embraced and Hornet began to feel tears not of her own roll down. Herrah was crying too.
After a while the shifted and Hornet rose and asked softly, "how?".
"I do not know my child"
"But there must be some reason, i thought the spell was to never break!"
"I believe she must be gone then"
Hornet sat and pondered the implications of this.
This must be the little Ghost's doing-no other bug in the whole kingdom was as capable of such a task. Not even Hornet herself believed she was powerful enought for it. But that still left how did they do it! The dreamers were never slain for Herrah was standing right next to her. They must have found a different way to reach her instead of going through the mind of the Hollow Knight.
"well then it can't matter then mother, you are here now" Hornet stated at last.
"That's the girl I knew. Come daughter we have bussiness to attend to."
With that the two left the Beasts Den out into the opening of the Distant Village. The place was in ruin with tatterd strands of silk hanging down everywhere, the lift to the bottom of the village in a large state of disrepair, all but two houses abandoned and destroyed and the water down below stained dark and dirty. The place was almost unrecognisable to Herrah.
"oh my....." she muttered. Hornet turned her head sharply. What could she say? he hadn't done much comforting in her years wondering the ruins. She was the silent guardian of Hallownest who weaved her way out of any situation clad in a silk red cloth. Most who had seen her smply called her the Crimson shadow. It was quite ironic really as the true shadows of hallownest -the vessels- shared a relation to her by their father not by their nature of shadows!
"Mother, do not fear. I will stay here by your side and we will fix your kingdom!" she said finally," we shoiuld go to the Weavers Den. One has remained behind after all these years!" She smiled up at Herrah and the older spider felt tears form behind the fearsome facade of her mask. "Together" she echoed.
When Ghost woke again they shook their new head groggily. They didn't like this new size-they wanted their old shell back. It was clear they were still in Godhome but how to leave?
After a while they had come up with an idea but they weren't sure who would be able to accept it. They would not let this stand in their way however! They needed to see Hollow!
The void entity sighed and reached out to find a willing bug. To their surprise i didn't take long and soon they found a rather shocking participant. They were surrounded by a thick veil of flames and had just arrived for a second time on the boarder of Hallownest. It was Grimmchild all grown up Ghost realised in delight!
Their call reached her mind and she answered, " Small vessel is that you!?"
"Yes little one"
" It is wonderful to hear from you again but if i may what is it that you need from me?"
"transport. I require a way to get around the kingdom to gain new shell. I can't simply roam around in this form- it is much to large!"
"Ah so a temporary vessel?"
"I suppose so....."
"well then i will gladly return the favour you have granted me! Enter my mind at once!"
Ghost then felt the flames widening and found an opening to the mind of their friend. They entered but shut their eyes not knowing what to expect.
Once safely nestled inside their eyes fluttered open and they saw a pair of jet black hands top of scarlet shell and grey wings! They could see as the Scarlet could!
"Suprised aren't you" a voice spoke, "Well I suppose you're used to being the vessel..."
"The one and only! so where is it we need to go?"
With that the mistress of the troupe set course for the lowest point in Hallownest for her good friend and caretaker. She would repay her debt to them. She was not going to let them down. She would never allow it.