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Enlighten My Darkness

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~1~

-When Opposites Meet-

Crisp winds rush past the lone demon perched precariously on the ledge of the topmost tower of an ancient obsidian castle. Resting not too far behind him is a single spire that juts proudly into the sky. Hoisted proudly at its peak is a rich red flag embroidered with an intricate swirl, declaring the castle to be under the rule of the demonic bloodline. The single demon sits idle with his pitch-black eyes coolly gazing ahead. The wind swiftly races by once more, tussling his wild blond locks before they settle back in place.

He grips the rough bricks beneath him as his eyes narrow. Once again he's been forced into stillness upon exhausting a great deal of their army in a simple spar. "So weak," he scoffs lowly as his eyes seek something he can possibly use to hold his attention.

Peace. The world has been much too quiet as of late, allotting him nothing to do in terms of chaos and destruction. A slow curve to his lips arises as a thought comes to mind. "Perhaps I should stir things up? Massacre a few villages, or even torment those pesky fairies."

Anything would be better than standing in that stuffy throne room and listening to reports and complaints from the lower class. That's the King's job. He ignores the fact that one day soon he'll be taking over and it'll be his job. The blond grimaces. "I have no intentions of our race continuing the way it does now. No. We'll rise up once more and bring terror upon this world." An ominous chuckle vibrates through the air as his dark eyes gain a menacing gleam. "If I have to, I'll persuade those goddesses to turn a blind eye."

An approaching energy interrupts him from his musings. The maniacal look that colors his visage washes away into one of blank loathing. A second later someone lands on the roof behind him. Their shoes click smartly as they approach him. "General Meliodas, may I have a word?"

The velvety smooth texture of the female's voice grates roughly on his nerves. Does no one understand the consequences of disturbing him unnecessarily? Meliodas pulls himself slowly from the edge as he rises. The dark crimson longcoat he adorns clings to his chest and flares out around his legs, giving him a regal look as he turns to face the ignorant demon. She gazes at him with confidence, but he can see the subtle shifts in her posture. Reading people has become second nature over the years and it's come in handy as well. This busty female is cautious. She's wary of his reaction.

He feels a growl form in his throat at her pitiful display. What is his race becoming? "What is it?"

Her back straightens. "His Highness, he wishes to see you immediately."

Meliodas curses viciously as he marches past the woman whose head hangs low. "Damn servants and their inability to be efficient." He's about to take a leap off the tower when the sound of her voice causes his ire to rise further.

"General, wait!"

The withering stare he gives her causes her to tremble. An instant later however the ravenette seems to gain her nerve. "I was actually hoping to see if you would join me later this evening…?" As courage begins to slip more firmly into her veins, her eyes become hooded with unspoken words. Her hand reaches up for the buttons of her blouse and, brazenly, she begins to unbutton them as if to give him an idea of her intentions.

Meliodas raises an eyebrow insultingly. This isn't the first nor will it be the last someone throws themselves at his feet for his attentions. It's only gotten worse as his ascension to the throne grows closer. They wish to be his Queen and gain power they haven't rightfully earned. Demons are all devious in their ways and, if he were a few thousand years younger, he certainly would have taken advantage of the surplus amount of available woman. But seeing the bare skin of this desperate demon now…

Meliodas' smile turns cruel as he strides towards the hopeful woman. His hands cross over his chest as he stands just shy of her. He stares directly into her eyes, wanting to see how his next words affect her. "It's women like you, women with no fight in them, that positively disgust me. You'd let me do anything to you and you wouldn't care so long as you ended up with what you wanted in the end."

Her eyes lower in submission as she begins to close her blouse, much to his amusement. Meliodas doesn't spare her another glance as he takes his leave. "Maybe you'll have better luck with my younger brothers. Although Zeldris seems pretty taken with that vampire Gelda." As he leaps from the tower's edge and the wind presses against him fiercely, his eyes gleam maliciously. "Although he wouldn't admit it with his dying breath."

~.~.~

Meliodas' hands shoot forward, thrusting the throne room doors open with a bang. Subtlety was never apart of his qualities. He strides forward without a care. The room is decorated with floor to ceiling crimson wall-hangings depicting Kings long since passed in all of their glory. The elevated throne made in thick stone is occupied by a towering male. Black strands cascade upon his shoulders and sprout from his chin. His eyes betray his agitation towards Meliodas' appalling behavior.

Meliodas merely shrugs as he crosses his arms. "I apologize for being late. Your servant insisted upon holding my attention after informing me of your summons."

The King raises a hand to brush his beard in considerations. "Really now? I'll take care of it later. What I must speak with you of holds great importance, General. We've been getting a significant number of reports telling of the same thing."

A blond eyebrow raises. "And what is this?"

The King seems uncertain about his next choice of words, although fury seems to overpower that emotion rather quickly. "Something has been decreasing our numbers. Whatever it is attacks at random and disappears before we can capture and eliminate it." His fist slams roughly into the arm of his throne denting it severely.

Meliodas only stares.

"Whoever's behind this, I want them found and I want their body brought to me in slaughtered pieces!" the King roars, nearly shaking the room in his display of rage.

Now this interests the blond. 'Maybe I won't have to stir things up after all…' "I'll get right on it."

"Wait."

Meliodas turns back with agitation stirring in his veins. The wish to thrust himself into the thrills of battle is quickly beginning to consume his mind. His bloodlust is awakening once more after lying dormant for much too long. He longs for the feel of an enemy's life draining before his eyes, the feel of their blood as it slicks across his skin in a warm spray. It grows and festers inside him like a raging storm and the King wants him to wait?

Sensing the growing wrath in his General, the King knows his next piece of information will only set the demon into an explosive frenzy. "These attacks have not just been happening to us. They've affected the goddesses as well."

Meliodas' eyes narrow to thin slits. "What does that have to do with this?" His tone is low, menacing. Those holy beings are beneath him. If they can't handle this on their own then let them perish.

"You know we have an agreement with them. It has kept our numbers stable and growing…" The King's gaze grows severe as he stares down his General. Meliodas may soon take his place, but for now he is still King. "This is an order, General Meliodas. Upon agreement with the leader of the goddesses you will set off with their top goddess in search of the cause of these attacks and put a stop of it."

Certainly he's mistaken. He didn't just speak those words with such seriousness. Heat begins to flash beneath his skin, spiking sporadically as he stares unflinchingly into the King's unrelenting eyes. "You can't be serious." His voice is gravelly as his arms begin to tremble under the force of his clenched fists.

"This is an order." The King only repeats.

No. Does the King actually believe he'll work willingly with someone of purity, someone so below him? His teeth grind as a cold flame begins to burn within his eyes. His energy skyrockets, causing the room to tremble viciously. Cracks form in the stone walls, racing up the stones and causing rubble to clatter to the ground.

The King's fists clench as his eyes narrow frigidly. "Do you plan to go against my word, General?"

Meliodas does not answer. His eyes gain a soulless appearance as the floor beneath them slowly begins to heat, then bursts with twisting flames. The dark flames suck the color from the room as they grow in mass, throwing radiant purple shadows fleetingly across the walls. Meliodas stands in the center of it all as his flames rise around him, licking across his flesh with seemingly no effects. The King knows however if he were to touch those flames they'd char him to ashes.

"Do you doubt my abilities?" The blond's voice echoes eerily around the room. His searing eyes never leave the King's form. "Do you really believe I'll allow a goddess to survive in my presence? Must I prove again why I'll be the next King… and just how far I've surpassed you?" His flames begin to crawl up the walls, eating away at the precious wall-hangings.

The demonic leader rises to his feet as his voice thunders out, "Stop this madness! You will do as I say until your time has come!"

The choking oppression in the room seems to multiply infinitely forcing the King's knees to buckle. In an instant, everything vanishes leaving the room in shambles. Meliodas swivels in his efforts to leave the room in his fury. The snarl upon his face is enough to cause his two brothers rushing towards the throne room to stay out of his warpath.

Meliodas can hardly contain the rage writhing within him as he races from the castle like a shadowy streak. "That bastard! He expects me to comply nicely with his orders. Not this time. Whoever this sorry excuse for a goddess is… she'll wish she hadn't agreed to this by the time I'm through with her," he hisses darkly. He knows precisely where goddesses tend to appear after departing their realm. It won't be long until he can take out his frustrations on the unsuspecting divine being. Then he can begin to do things his way once more.

~.~.~

Constant ringing fills the air again and again as grunts and fierce cries follow each vibrating resonance. Two goddesses clash brutally, darting from place to place in a wide clearing nestled deeply within a great forest. One bears lengthy silver tresses and an elegant longsword. Her opponent wears her purple hair cropped as she too carries a refined blade.

The silverette's power far surpasses the other's. But she was the only goddess willing to battle her in hopes of easing the silverette's frustrations. "Elizabeth, are you… feeling any better?" her friend asks as she raises her sword to block Elizabeth's strike. The force causes her to skid and she backflips to regain her bearings.

Elizabeth's brows lower further as she growls. "Not even close, Veronica." She charges her friend without any restraint as her arm draws in. With speed Veronica cannot match, Elizabeth slashes her blade through the air and feels the rough vibrations as she relentlessly meets the metal of Veronica's sword. With a war cry, she slams her sword into Veronica's futile block, sending her friend's blade soaring. In seconds, the airborne sword vanishes and Veronica is forced to surrender.

On her knees as Elizabeth points the tip of her sword in her direction, Veronica submits. "You win. But did we really believe anything otherwise?" She adds with a chuckle.

Elizabeth doesn't laugh. She merely releases her sword, allowing it to disappear from sight. She's still to angered, too pissed, at what her leader ordered her to do. So when she turns away from her friend, her voice is a low grate, "Thank you for fighting me. It… helped."

Veronica rises from her position as she rubs the dirt from her leather pants with a scoff. "It didn't, but I'll take that thanks. It's never fun having your ass handed to you so thoroughly." Her chocolate brown eyes gaze at her friend in sympathy. "This was a foolish decision of our leader. I'm sorry you're forced to go through with this."

Elizabeth doesn't respond as her anger begins to rise once more. Veronica sees this and decides to quietly take her leave. Once alone, Elizabeth's hands call forth small daggers with glimmering handles. The evening air is frigid against her skin, or perhaps it's her heated skin making it seem colder. With a twirl, she sends her blades flying. They lodge harshly in the bark of trees before vanishing seconds later.

"A demon of all things. What was she thinking?" She cartwheels as two more daggers form in her palms. Without looking, she sends them outward once more when her feet find the ground again and she thrusts herself in the air in a spin. They find their marks perfectly.

"Does she think I'm weak? That I need some putrid being of darkness to handle this situation?" She hisses as four daggers come to her hand. Elizabeth touches the ground then shifts into a tumble. Coming to a crouch she grunts as her right arm arcs in a wide swing sending her miniature blades through the air. She takes in the dull thuds of their impacts with a victorious hum. "I'll prove her wrong. I am the next leader. No demon will push me down and treat me as some dainty being while he takes all the glory."

Slowly she stands as the wind begins to pick up, tousling her silver hair more than her motions already have. "Whatever has been raiding our people must be stopped. He'll just want to kill it. Destroy it with a simple mindedness that runs like a virus through that race. But I'll heal it." Her tone grows soft, solemn. "I'll save it."

The wind begins to settle the moment she senses a heavy darkness coming from behind her. Her eyes widen subtly, but she does not react rashly. Instead, she raises a hand to smooth behind her neck beneath her hair. She stealthily uses her tresses as a shield as she forms her dagger. When she senses the darkness in a prime position, Elizabeth spins. Her hair whips around in a wide sweep opposite to the one her arm moves in as she thrusts out her blade.

She watches with satisfaction as it flies through the air in a blur. The demon won't be able to react in time before it deeply embeds itself within his chest, giving way to the light it wields. The smirk dissolves from her face the instant her blade halts in place mere inches from him by nothing but the thumb and pointer finger of her would-be target.

Shock radiates from her skull to her toes, completely baffling her as she finally observes the male who stopped her attack effortlessly. The first thing that comes to mind is his stature. Even with their distance it is obvious to her she bests him in height. That doesn't draw her attention long as she takes in his… finer details. From his tousled blond hair to his rippling muscles displayed by the regal coat that clings to his torso like a second skin. She finds her eyes lingering on his posture and the power it presents. His smirk and the confidence it holds. Then she finds his eyes. They're cold, like lifeless voids. But what she finds there is interest. He sees something in her worth holding his attention.

She doesn't know if that's good or not.

Elizabeth straightens as she realizes the scrutiny of his gaze. It draws a small flush to her cheeks much to her annoyance. With narrowed blue eyes she marches towards him. "What do you want? If you couldn't already tell, demon, I'm not in the mood."

His teeth gleam in the moonlight as he allows his grip on her dagger to loosen. It disappears, but neither pay it any mind as their focus is solely on each other. "I noticed. You seemed rather fiery in your attacks. Something upset you, goddess?" His tone is low and mocking. It agitates her ire and stokes a building warmth in her blood as he draws closer.

"It's none of your business," she states coldly. The heat of his form is much closer than she's ever been to a demon she hasn't converted. It causes her heart to thud faster in anticipation. Anticipation of what, she can't seem to figure out.

"Hmm." The low rumbling in his throat brings about a gasp from her motionless form. Their bodies are practically touching. Why are her thoughts beginning to fog over? "Now that's where I think you're wrong."

This causes a surge of clarity to return to her as her lips curve downward. "And why is that?"

That smirk arises again as he raises his hand to trail a finger slowly along her jaw, leaving a burning path in his wake. She wishes she can say her gasp comes from the audacity of his motion rather than the thrilling sensation it causes her. "Because I'm pretty sure you and I are being forced into a pretty disastrous situation, don't you agree?"

'…You and I? Forced…?' The words circle through her mind again and again until it all become clear. And then her anger flares like an icy inferno. Her arms rise quickly to forcefully shove against his chest. It merely infuriates her further that he stumbles back at his own will. "You're him? You're the demon I'm being forced to work with!" she shouts maliciously as her cheeks flare a brilliant crimson in her rage.

His eyes seem to skim along her form, drinking her in before he mutters lowly, "Yeah… just like that…"

A growl of frustration rips through her throat as the wind throws her hair into chaos. "What are you going on about? Never mind." Without further notice she extends her hand and her enchanted sword appears more than ready to aid her in taking out this vile demon.

Before she can even blink she finds her wrist being gripped tightly as he bores his eyes into hers with a coldness she can't breathe under. "I wouldn't do that if I were you, goddess…. Or, if you really want to, we can dance with swords…"

She has to find the strength to tear her eyes from his to see what his hand holds. Then the entirety of her form wilts in terror as her heart completely halts within her chest. Massive is an appropriate term in describing the stature of his sword. The clearing stretches several yards and his sword covers nearly all of it. How is it possible? How could he fight with such a thing? And yet his power… His power was already colossal before, but with that thing… It's gargantuan.

Shivering Elizabeth turns her eyes back to him to see that self-satisfied smirk painted across his features. "Changed your mind yet?"

Upon witnessing that look and his attitude, the goddess grits her teeth. He may be stronger than her, but she will not let him belittle her. And she'll be sure to let him know it every chance she gets. She steadies her form and gives him a piercing stare. She's happy to see his expression smooth over as his eyebrow raises. "I don't see much of a choice."

Her grip on her sword releases and she allows him to study her form for however long he wishes. He won't find any sign of weakness where he seeks. She feels the warmth of his breath across her face as he huffs and it causes her eyes to flutter slightly in remembrance to their proximity. It's a relief when he steps back and relinquishes his own weapon. He gives her a look out of the corner of his eye before abruptly turning and striding away.

Her thin brows knit and it doesn't take her long to catch up to his side, albeit uncertainly. "Where are you going?" She's not sure of this demon's motives. So far everything he's done has either left her incensed, or… flustered.

"I'm positive we were tasked with finding the cause of our dwindling numbers. I thought it smart to get started immediately instead of just standing around," he tells her curtly.

The goddess purses her lips as she keeps pace with him through the uneven path in the forest. Nibbling her lip a bit, Elizabeth feels her curiosity rise just slightly. Enough to actually get her to voice her question. "So demon, what is your name?" It doesn't matter if he tells her. She's perfectly fine with referring to him as "demon" for as long as they're forced to deal with each other. She's mildly surprised however when he does answer her question not long after she voices it.

"Meliodas."

'Meliodas…' She turns her eyes to him for a moment and sighs almost grudgingly. "I'm Elizabeth."

He doesn't react. For all it's worth she could have been talking to a stone. Sharply she turns her gaze forward once more as her thoughts flood back to their current situation. She's traveling with one of the most vicious creatures of Britannia. Demons crave nothing but death and chaos. Meliodas will want nothing more than to lay waste to their common enemy. Elizabeth tightens her hands into fists at her sides. Well, she won't allow it. If she has to, she'll race against death's abominable reach. She will ensure the lives of all those she can before Meliodas gets the chance to mercilessly steal them away. He won't be able to selfishly relish in the deaths of others.

'I'll make sure of it.'