The Last prince

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The Last prince

Post  Nagi on Sun Oct 24, 2010 3:58 pm

Prolog

Every story has it’s end and it’s beginning. This is the whole story, from the beginning to the end. We have watched the vast worlds and their inhabitants for all eternity, We ourselves are many. We do not interfere with the lives of others, We simply record time as it happens for future generations to read. These are the only remaining books of time that we were able to recover from their destruction, The Lost Books of the IGM. The lives that play out that are laid before you are true and happened as you read it. Before you lies the beginning and end of many lives, of many races, from many planets, in many universes thrown into a world and a purpose they never saw coming. What do the fates have in store for them? Only time will tell.

- The Wise Ones


“The Lost Books of the IGM”
Book 1
“The Last Prince”

The soft huff of hot breath hit Nagi in the face full force. She sighed and rolled over trying to escape the warm breath. Every morning was the same, just as the sun came over the mountain ridge, CrispWing, awoke the Prince. Nagi scrunched up her face as the second huff hit her again. She sighed and opened her eyes rolling onto her back.

“Morning Crisp.” She reached up to the window and petted the dragon’s large snout that was poking in through her window. The dragon could fit in her room easily but he preferred the veranda that wrapped around her corner of the palace to stand on.

She rolled out of bed and grimaced slightly as her bare feet touched the cool polished Blood Marble floor. It was slick with a high polish, and despite it’s name it only had a very very slight red tinge to it. She moved to her bathtub, a tub large enough for 6 to 10 people to fit in comfortably. She didn’t waste too much time bathing this morning, she had a feeling that today was going to be unlike any other, yet she couldn’t think of how or why.

Opening the doors to her armoire she sighed, today, another training session in the afternoon. She almost snarled at the armor she knew she would have to wear. Though it was perfectly fitted to her body and allowed her to move unhindered, she didn’t like the constriction of it. She looked away from the armor and grabbed a white soft billowy under shirt with long sleeves and a pair of black jewel encrusted loose fitting pants. Both fit perfectly for her. She tucked the undershirt into her waist band before pulling on her vest. The vest was a very dark Merlot red with a glittering black trim.

She stood in-front of her mirror, inspecting herself. She straightened the collar of her vest for it to stand tall around her neck. She ran a hand through her short sandy blonde hair giving it a messy look. she smiled to herself happy to see that though her body was female she had not developed the pronounced female hips or breasts too large to hide easily with her clothing, which her clothing did a marvelous job at. She was tall with an athletic build, muscles and that had been toned nicely coated her body. She was very androgynous and she preferred it that way. She had always found her self to be one of the boys rather than one of the girls. This had always made it easy to portray the Prince rather than the Princess. Her blood red eyes shifted to watch her hands move gracefully over the fur of her tail, grooming it to a perfect shiny coat and extreme softness. She wrapped her tail around her waist like a belt and gave her self one last look over before smiling a fangy smile. she gave herself a nod in the mirror and turned to leave her room to walk through the palace, as she did every morning.

The palace was deserted; her steps echoed down the hall, Prince Hino knew the halls well this had been her home for her whole life, all 15,000 years of it. Getting lost was not something she had an issue with but today something had caught her attention. A door she had not seen before, she tried to recall its existence and could not. Prince Hino stopped in front of the door looking strongly at it.

The door did not fit with the rest of palace, it was old and worn looking, not pristine or inlaid with the standard jewels. Instead of white the door looked black. She reached out to touch the door. The door was rough and when she pulled her hand back it was now covered in a black residue. She stood looking back and forth from her hand to the door; she was not sure what to make of it. Deciding this was interesting she pushed on the door and gave a jiggle to the rusty old handle; it was locked and did not budge.

“Prince Hino.” She turned to the sound of her name and there stood one of the few she trusted in these days of war, Tanol. At a young age she had been required to hide her true gender from the people, which she had grown to appreciate, as she was destined for the throne, and being a woman would have caused her complications, minor complications but still unneeded complications. Women in power was not unheard of in the demon history but was rather uncommon. The first child born was to always take the throne at the time of Age but that child was normally a boy, rarely if ever a girl.

“Oh, Tanol, how…I…I was just…” she trailed off as she looked at the door. She scowled. She did not like getting caught, even when she was sure she was doing nothing wrong. Quickly she pulled her hand up to look at it once again, it was still black.

“Are you lost your Highness?” Tanol asked in his deep rich soothing voice she had known her whole life.

“Um…no. I was just going for a walk.” She stared at her hand for a moment more and decided that she would investigate this later. She pulled a cloth from her rear pocket and wiped her hand clean.

“Ah I hope it was a relaxing one my Prince. You will want to change, training begins within the hour.” He smiled at her and bowed ever so slightly. He was to train her like always but still showed the utmost respect during times where training did not exist.

“Yes of course.” She said smiling back at him and moved to walk past him. He bowed to her once again as she left the hall.

He turned back to where Prince Hino had been standing, he waived his hand ever so slightly in a tiny arc and the door disappeared. Hmm he thought to himself. 'She is getting too nosy for her age; you still have a few years yet my Prince before you are to know the truth that lies in this Library.' He shook his head and rounded on one foot and headed, himself, to his room to change for training.

……………………………………………………………

15,000 years ago…

The demon royal family was throwing a grand ball for its people to celebrate the birth of the next ruler. As was typical fireworks were in the venue as was an elegant masquerade ball, and lavish amounts of exquisite food.

Lord Rondavess stood with a single arm around his wife Lady Ryoko who held, swaddled in a plush black jeweled blank, the next to take the throne, Princess Minagi Keiko Hino, and a grand prideful smile across his ageless face. The child’s name had not been one her parents were blessed with to create. Her parents were granted the ability to give their first born her first name but her middle and last were bestowed upon her from the Guardian, for the Guardian had been given a message from the Old Ones of the name that the child must possess.

The child slept but the character on the back of her hand told the story of who she would become one day. All Demon children are born with a single character on the back of the right hand. This mark will either move as they become older or fade before their first year has passed. In many cases the mark is red with in the families of high priority and blue with those of common priority. Those that become Royal Guards the mark moves upon acceptance to the Guard to their foreheads and here it stays their whole life, though it can be hidden when on away missions by a simple spell. As for the royal family the mark is black and disappears only when the child has reached the age of Recognition at the age of 1,000 years. Those destined for great things, whether royal or not the mark is white and never disappears truly, it fades and becomes unnoticeable by the time they are 6months old. The mark on the Princess was not just one mark but the rarely before seen two marks, one on each hand, a white mark on her left hand and a black mark on her right. This had only been seen twice before in history.


…………………………………………………………………..

Prince Hino growled and pulled her self up from a pile of fresh mud. Looking down at her now extremely dirty armor, she stabbed her sword into the dirt and proceeded to attempt to wipe the mud off.

“Tanol, that was uncalled for. I just had this cleaned.” She spat between clenched teeth. Thinking it would be funny she made a wide wiping motion and flung a sheet of mud from her tunic all over Tanol. The pure look of shock that spread across his face all covered in mud was hilarious, and Prince Hino could not restrain the explosion of laughter that ripped from her chest.

Tanol’s expression did not remain shocked or covered in mud for very long. He heaved a hard sigh and the mud fell from his body in a fluid motion back into the mud puddles that littered the sparing field. His face turned to a deep rooted scowl.

“Your Prince appears to not be training on her magic as she should be. If you refuse to practice that which is trained to you, you will not be ready for the throne when you become of Age.” He straightened his shoulders and looked her in the eye.

“Tanol there is much to be learned at every crossing however to retain all is an impossible feat. The amount of magic cursing through this world and others is uncharted and can not be all known. So why does it matter if I choose not to retain every bit passed to me?” she was not one to argue what she was taught but when faced with an impossible feat she had no reserve for voicing her own built opinion.

Tanol stared at her. He was unsure if what stood before him was the lost Dark One or a disobedient child. She had quoted almost word for word what the Dark One had once said to her father when he demanded all the magic in the world to be at his control. There was not written documentation of that conversation and could not have been know but by Lord Rondavess, the Dark One, and the only other one present, Tanol. She seems to know far more then her age, far more than anyone should know of magic. It is almost as though she can see it, feel it, breathe it. This makes no sense; she is not the lost Dark One nor is she destined to be one. She can not know this. It must be just a coincidence. Tanol’s internal conversation was brief and unnoticed by the Prince.

“You look like you’ve seen your mother’s ghost.” She called to her trainer. Both of them started laughing. Tanol’s mother had been dead for centuries; she had been a Great Master in a previous war and had died with great honor in battle. She had always given Tanol the crawls.

Prince Hino grimaced as she felt the hard lick of a riding crop on the back of her head.

“Minagi, you are far to laxed in your trainings. I think perhaps you need a real threat to straighten you out.” Prince Hino looked blank faced at her father. She had always respected her father, but for some reason had never feared him. He always carried out his threats to her but it had never bothered her.

“Father, what do you have in mind?” her voice was emotionless and her face reflected her tone. Tanol stood watching the two interact. He had watched how Minagi had gone from a little girl clinging to her father’s leg hiding from the court jester to having no attachment to him at all.

Her father laughed a rumbling laugh that echoed off of the sparing arena’s walls.

“Oh my little Nagi, how much you have grown, yet you are still naive. Perhaps we should assign you a Post.” And with that her father turned and made his way back into the palace; stopping only once to trade words with the General of the Guard.

Nagi turned away from watching her father to face Tanol, His face was scrunched up in a worried yet shocked look.
“What is wrong Tanol?” her voice low and concerned. He looked at her and sighed looking at the ground.

“It appears your father sees your training as being complete and is going to have you assigned to a Squad. I am afraid that he does not understand how little your training you have retained and is about to make the biggest mistake of his life.” Tanol could not believe that Lord Rondavess would make such a rash decision without first knowing where she stands in her training, especially seeing as how Prince Hino was his only child. If she were to pass there would be no one to take Heir when he stepped down or died.

Nagi stared at one of her life long friends. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. This wasn’t possible. Her father must be a total idiot.

“But I……” she trailed off as she turned to look back the way her father had left only to see the General and his new Sergeant walking towards her. The general was well of 50,000 years old and looked as though he was about to kick the bucket any day now. General Emic had been her Fathers best friend growing up and the young Sergeant that was nipping at his heels was Torren. Torren had grown up playing in the streets with Nagi when they were young. He was her first and far most her best friend. He had been drafted into the Guard only a year prior due to the fact that the Guard used Dragons as mounts and Torren’s family were the only dragon handlers and raiser on the whole planet. The guard had been in dire need of someone on staff that could work with the dragons, and Torren was their best choice.

Torren had wanted nothing to do with the Military other then sell dragons too them. It had been by force that he had been taken from his home. In the middle of the night 4 highly armed soldiers entered his house and forcibly took him from his bed in chains and shackles back to the holding cells in the dungeon of the castle. There he sat for 3 days and 3 nights alone aside from the occasional Blood Rat and the guard shoving a tray with food on it through a small slot at the base of the cell door, the Blood rats normally got to it before he could. On the third night Nagi sneaked her way down into the dungeons and was able to incapacitate the guards and slipped into Torren’s cell. She was able to convince him that this was a good thing, he would be able to spend more time with her and he would be paid 4 times the amount he would make selling a single dragon. The following morning Torren was compliant to every request and demand he was presented with.

And now a year later he stood at the General’s side, a proud strong and resilient soldier.

Nagi smiled ever so slightly to him and gave a tiny nod to him. The nod was so subtle that not even Tanol was able to pick up on it.

“Your Highness.” Nagi’s gaze shifted from Torren and into the eyes and face of General Emic. His face was stern but not rough. She nodded to him. Her training had always told her that even though she was a soldier that because she was the heir to the throne she never had to salute or acknowledge another soldier or officer other than a simple nod, but she proceeded to go one step further.

“What is it that you want Emic?” she asked her voice rough and demanding. She was not a fan of being handed off from one person to another simply because it was thought to be the best thing for her at the time.

“You are being assigned to a Squad. And I know just the squad for your tight little attitude; your Highness” General Emic was one of the few in the Palace that did tiptoe around Nagi when speaking with her. Though she was the Heir, she did have to be put in her place occasionally.

Nagi raised her eyebrow at the General in curiosity. She had been dealing with this man her whole life. For her it was like having two fathers. Yet there was something in the tone of his voice that the Squad she was about to be assigned too was not going to be one of her liking.

“And which Squad are you thinking General?” her question came from between clenched teeth. She was not very pleased that she now was at the mercy of this bulbous mammoth of a man. The General started chuckling at her question.

“Well I was thinking the Incursion Squad would work well for your attitude.” The General bust into a roar of laughter. This squad was a difficult one to belong to and was always away from the planet, coming home maybe once every 5 years if at all.

Nagi’s jaw dropped. Her mother had been assigned this Squad when she was only 5 consecs old. She had not seen her mother in almost 15 consecs now.

Torren’s jaw dropped as well when he heard the Squad she was to be assigned. He was not happy about having to loose his best friend to the front lines, she may never return. Tanol was the only one that’s jaw did not drop. He stared harshly at the General. Was this really the Squad she had been assigned or was this old man pulling all their legs’? Never in history had the Heir ever been assigned to such a brutal Squad let alone one that they may never return from. The Incursion Squad was usually reserved for the most ruthless of demons, such as was with Lady Ryoko.

The General composed himself and looked at Nagi’s shocked face.

“Ah yes the same Squad your mother was assigned after your birth 15,000 years ago. This I’m sure is quite a shock. But this is the Squad you have been assigned permanently. You are after all your mother’s daughter. It is in you to be ruthless like her and this role will fit you well.” The General watched Nagi’s expression go from pure shock to pure disbelief and then pure anger. “You are being assigned to a new Squad that is being assembled now. We are waiting for a few more volunteers for the assignment. However do not feel too depressed, you will be heading up this Squad.”

Nagi stood there unmoving, unblinking, as though cement covered her entire body. No no NO!! This can not be happening!! I am nothing like my mother, why in hell would they assign me this?! I……..I…this is not FAIR!!!!! Her internal disbelief was running rampant. It was Torren that finally broke the deafening silence.

“General Emic, I am officially volunteering for the new Incursion Squad Governed by Prince Hino. I will not accept a denial.” Torren’s shoulders straightened and he stood rigid, waiting to hear what the General had to say about his request.

“Fine fine Torren, if that’s what you want to do then so be it.” General Emic chuckled too himself and shook his head. Nagi looked at Torren. As much as she preferred his company to anyone else’s in the world she did not want to loose him in battle, and especially could not handle being the cause for that death.

“No Torren, no, you can not serve with me you can not join the Incursion Squad!! I will not have it!” but her words fell on deaf ears. Torren saluted the General and had made his way back to the barracks to acquire his uniform for re-assignment. General Emic sneered at Nagi’s reaction to the whole situation. She caught his sneer out of the corner of her eye and turned and glared at him. “Fine if you will so willingly release him from his duties to pursue a mission of death then as his commanding officer and your Prince I am promoting him from Sergeant to Lieutenant General.” This wiped the sneer off of Emic’s face. Never before had a single soldier been promoted 20 ranks instantly.

“Your Highness, I do not believe that is the best decision, he has only been with the Military for…”
“Enough General! I will hear no more of this from you. This is my final decision and final conversation we will have on this topic. If you question me again I will have you in the gallows faster than lightening strikes” her voice was strong and firm. Not a falter in her words. She meant every word she said. General Emic went to attention almost immediately, he saluted her and waited to be released.

Tanol gawked at her. He had never heard her be so stern before nor had he ever seen the faint glow of black tinged red energy around her. In fact he could not recall a single time in history where such a color blend existed. Wait! I remember this. It couldn’t be! No it has to be, but not possible!! That’s the same blend that the Dark One possessed. She… he was not the only one gawking at her, General Emic and the rest of the Guard in the sparring arena were. It was at that moment that Tanol, and Emic realized that she was the demon of her mother.
………………………………………………………….

Nagi stood staring in the mirror of her room again. This was the last day that she was going to see her room for a very long time, if ever again. Her room had a large bed against the far wall, decked in lavishly jeweled bedding; many different shades of brown and black silk. Her armoire stood close to the door in the opposite end of the room from her bed. There was a step down just 6 feet from her bed that entered into a room with a sunken tub large enough to hold 6 people comfortably and a loo closet just off it.

She was wearing her battle armor, black steel with the royal silver accents and jewels inlaid in dragon scales. Her cape hung from her left shoulder, the bottom layer in tanned and hardened dragon hide and the top layer in red silk with jewels inlaid. And the ceremonial silver chain lay across her chest attached from each shoulder. She had not worn this armor set since she was announced to the people as being the official Heir and was announced for the first time as “Prince” Hino. That had been 5,000 years ago.

Her reflection was one she was not used to seeing in this outfit. The armor on the outside led the world to believe she was truly a Prince yet the bottom layer was designed to support and protect her female body.

With a great sigh she covered the mirror with a heavy curtain just before being pulled out of her trance by loud rapping on her door. She flicked her finger at the door across the room and it opened on its own. There stood Torren in his battle armor, black and accented in cobalt blue instead of silver. He smiled at her.

“Prince Hino. May I enter?” he looked her in the eye.

“Torren get your ass in here and quit being so weird.” They both laughed as he entered and shut the door behind his self. “You know you do not have to be so formal with me, we are good friends you and I.” Nagi said as she adjusted his armor so it sat on him properly.

“We were not in private Nagi, anyone could have heard.”

“Then let them, I do not care anymore. They are insignificant and always snickering about the halls. Forget them. You are my friend.” Torren simply smiled at her. Both turned to knocking on the door of her room. Nagi walked over to it this time and opened it. Tanol was standing there.

“Prince Hino, its time.” His voice seemed depleted and sad. His entire being seemed as depleted as his voice, it was apparent he was very depressed. Nagi nodded to Tanol and then laid her hand on Torren’s shoulder, signifying that it was time to go. Nagi and Torren followed Tanol out of the room and out of the palace and across a small court yard to the landing pad escort platform. Here they climbed aboard a transport chariot pulled by the Royal Golden dragons.

They were paraded rather quietly through the cities streets and then down a deserted road that led off towards the Oracle Forest where the main Military encampments were located. The road kept the cities away from the forest as they were in such disrepair and over grown that the villagers barely knew the roads were there. The sounds that came from the forest also led the people to believe them haunted. Nagi had only been there once in all her 15,000 years, and that was when she saw her mother off when she was assigned, and that was 14,995 years ago. She herself had feared the forest and cried the whole hour ride to the forest. Once she had seen what was there and that it was not haunted she had never feared it again; until now. Now she was unnerved by the fact that this could be the last thing she ever sees of home.

Torren could feel the slight tension emitting from Nagi. Tanol looked at her from the corner of his eye. He knew that everything was about to change for her, everything. It was highly possible that if she ever returned she would not be the same girl that left. Her temper would be higher, and faster to be activated, she would in all essence of the word be completely wild, and untamed; just like her mother.

As the ship lifted off Nagi stood looking out the large full length windows watching the forest fall away and then the city, and the elaborate Palace, and then last of all the Planet it’s self fell away to darkness. Her mind slipped to memories of growing up. The smell of the red dirt after a spring rain, and the smells that wafted into her room from the kitchen, the sounds of the dragons, the endless number of nights she snuck out of the castle and down to Tanol’s village and sneaking out with him and going for a fly on the back of one of the dragons. A smile spread across her face.

“Lord Hino.” Nagi composed herself and turned to see at a meek boy that didn’t look even her age standing in a suit of armor that looked like he was swimming in. He looked scared and out of place.

“Yes?” she couldn’t help but notice he was actually shaking
“I…I…just wanted to report for duty sir.” He was having trouble standing up straight under the weight of the armor.
“What is you name soldier?” she watched the boy closely noticing that he had not expected anything more than an order to report to his station.
“Reidan, Reidan Coric, sir.” it was obvious that he was nervous, his fingers kept twitching.
“Well Mr. Coric, I think perhaps we need to get you into some more fitting armor.” With that she waved her hand ever so slightly towards the boy, he flinched, and then relaxed when in an instant his armor shrunk to fit him perfectly. His face lit up and he smiled examining his armor and how well if fit him now.

“Thank you Lord Hino, Thank you!!!” he smiled at her. She returned his smile only slightly.
“Now Mr. Coric, I need you working. What did you specialize in during school?” her question wasn’t as gentle as she had initially planned. He straightened up and looked at her, the smile gone.
“Specialized in Puzzles and mapping, Sir.”
“Puzzles and mapping? Hmmm. Then you are being assigned the post of Star Charter. You will map the stars as we go and keep us on path.”
“Yes sir!!” Reidan was ecstatic for having a real position other than cleaning up after dragons. He quickly made his way into the star charter’s seat and started working at the console. Nagi half smiled in his direction before turning to look back out of the windows. She sighed as all she could see was darkness. I can’t begin to imagine how the others must feel being assigned to this Squad. This is not a fair mission. She hung her head, eyes closed in sorrow for her Squad.

“My Lord?” The voice came from the shadows. Composing her self in less than a blink of the eye she turned to face the voice.
“Torren, my friend, what can I do for you?” she was happy to see that the voice in the shadows belonged to her friend. Though normally she would be rather informal with him she knew that upon this ship while not in private she would need to uphold her command.
“My lord I was curious what Post would you like to fulfill on this ship?” his voice was flat and had he had seemed to have lost his boyish tone.
“You are my first in command Torren, by my side you shall serve.” With that she turned back to the window. She looked at him out of the corner of her eye and winked ever so subtly, but she knew he would pick up on it.

“Commander Burk.” She said turning to the third in command based on his rank.
“Yes your Highness?” he looked at her surprised.
“You have the Bridge sir.” She ordered him and made her way to her office, nodding to Torren for him to follow.

Her office housed the same large floor to ceiling windows. She ran her fingers along the edge of the desk feeling the smooth polished Blood Oak wood glide beneath her finger tips. “Lock the door Commander.” She said as she felt Torren’s presence in the door way. He did as was told. He knew as well as anyone else on the ship that the Captain’s office was sound proofed completely.

“Torren, I’m not sure I have the heart for this type of thing. Yet I can’t let the Squad see that. I want to send them home, to their families and friends and do this on my own.” She was looking out the windows again, watching nothing but darkness, she couldn’t even tell if they were moving. Torren came to stand next to her.
“Nagi, you can do this. You are a demon, the prince of all demons. You can find it in you to take on this mission. I have faith in you, and I will always stand at your side.” He placed a hand on her shoulder and felt her shudder ever so lightly. She wasn’t nervous, this he could tell, but she was confused.
“Torren, today may be the last time we ever see home.” Was all she said, was all she had to say. Yes she may be a demon, yes she may be the Prince of all demons but she had never left her planet. Not once in her 15,00years of life.


The loud crash pulled Nagi out of her staring. This was planet 35 in her conquest. She stood staring at the bodies of the people she had single handedly taken down, 30 or so lay with faces in the dirt or shocked looks staring at the empty sky. She had figured out the best way to take the planets over; she simply integrated herself into the civilization, spinning lies and tales to get her into positions where she could acquire any useful information. Once she had compiled all the information and technological advancements she desired she would dispose of the planet. If the planet had been further advanced or close to the technological level of home she annihilated the planet, those still in a primitive state were left to be, uninhabited but still left intact. Though it did not start out as such; the first fifteen planets were not so lucky. She did not even attempt to integrate herself into the society; she just simply attacked and destroyed.

…………………………………………………

Mud stuck to every inch of her armor, the rain pouring down from the heavens. Her hair wet and limp lying on her forehead she stood poised and ready to strike. Her foe a young man in the early 20 years of his life stood facing her. His left shoulder bleeding from where she had already ripped his arm from his body; sword raised in his right, ready to fight. His hand was shaking ever so slightly as he desperately tried to overcome the pain emanating from his left side.

“Why are you doing this? We don’t even know you, what could we have done to you for you to do this?? WHY???!!” he cried to her.
“Because you fool, you have no right to live!” she laughed hysterically.
“Why do you get to live and not us? Why do we have no right yet you do?” his voice was weak and raspy, cracking with pain.
“I am the God you never feared!” again she laughed. She lunched at him and plunged her energy sword through his torso. The look of shock on his face, he had not been able to see her move. He fell against her shoulder gasping for the breath that would never come. “You are weak and therefore must die. The ferry man awaits his payment.” She released her grip on her sword and it faded away. She felt a single tear fall on her shoulder and heard one last whisper.
“But why?” and then he was gone. She pushed him off of her and stared down at his body. She broke into hysterical laughter raising her hands and face to the sky.


…………………………………………………

She sighed as she looked to the sky. The sky was once beautiful and a deep blue-green colour, to think that now the sky dances with destruction in colours of red and orange and black. She thought to herself as she saw the smoke, embers, and heard the sounds of a distant battle that now filled the sky. Explosions and screaming, battle cries, energy clashes, and the sounds of swords striking rang clearly in her ears. Her energy sword faded away as she released her grip on it. She was tired, two-thousand years had passed and it was the same thing over and over again; integration, collection, destruction.

Nagi sighed and squatted down next to a body of a young girl. Gripping the lifeless body by the upper arm she rolled it over with great ease. The girl was young, too young, to be enlisted in a military organization let alone be part of war. Nagi looked at her face, her skin pale and smooth and she had deep blue eyes that stared blankly into the sky. She wrapped her fingers around an emblem that was sewn onto the left chest of the girl’s uniform and in one fluid motion ripped it off. She looked at the emblem in her hand; it was round and was hand sewn with great detail, a dragon wrapped around a sword with a star in its mouth. With her other hand she reached down to the young girls face and drew her fingers over her eyes pulling her eyelids shut, she placed a small coin on each eye. May the ferry man guide you true. She said to herself. As she stood up she slid the emblem into her breast pocket and nodded ever so slightly to the young girl. She had been collecting trinkets from each planet she visited after defeating the peoples on it; it was her way of remembering the devastation she brought to each.

“Such compassion for the ones you have slain.” Nagi turned to see Torren walking up behind her from between two buildings that had once been an alley. Torren had been the one that brought her to reason during times where she had lost complete control of her normal self, her grounding stone. He was the only one that knew about the coins and her ritual; retrieving the emblem and placing coins on the eyes of the one she ripped the emblem from for the ferry man. Had anyone else seen this she would have killed them on site with a single thought. A skill she had not known she possessed until a guardsman had found her with a female shipmate in her bed during his cleaning rounds.

“Does it really make a difference?” she said as she walked up to him.
“I suppose it really doesn’t when there are millions killed and only a few have payment.” He smiled gently at her. He had grown even closer to her over the past two-thousand years.

"Perhaps"
"Perhaps a much needed vacation is in order?" He asked teasing her gently. She nodded and patted him on the shoulder. She turned to him, winked, and the dissolved into thin air.

She appeared back on the bridge of her ship. She turned to her, now, second in command, Reidan Coric.
"Mr. Coric, contact the remaining soldiers and get them back here now." Her command and respect had grown over the years. The crew praised her loudly after each battle, pride in their voices to serve such a Demon. Most of them would refuse orders from anyone but Nagi herself directly. Torren was first to appear back and with in 15 seconds the rest were on board.

"Coric, get this hunk of rock out of my sight!" with the simple push of a button a bright blue beam shot out from below the Bridge and penetrated deep into the core of the planet. The planet imploded in on it self with in seconds of the beam hitting it, and then it was gone from space, as though it had never existed.

She turned and nodded to Coric for them to move on from this place in space.
"Mr. Coric."
"Yes my Lord?"
"I want to see the BloodVines bloom in the spring air and the Crimson River flow wildly. Take us home." She turned to look at him. He raised and eyebrow at her. The crew on the bridge grew quiet quickly. They had grown to expect to never see their home again. They had been in space for too long and were 1,000 years overdue to return home. They had lost a large majority of their soldiers to battle, they would never see their home again.

"My Lord, home?" Reidan, like Torren had become close and good friends of Nagi after such a long stint together and he rarely questioned her.

"Yes Reidan, home." her voice was more gentle then usual and quiet. She was thinking of how their home looked in the spring, the flowers blossoming, the snow melting from the Desolate Mountains feeding into the rivers. She was ready to go home. He nodded as he attempted to hide a slight smile. He punched in the coordinates for their home planet. Smoothly the ship turned and sped off into light speed.

___________________________________________________

Nagi lay on her back, arms tucked under her head. She stared up at the ceiling. She had always found it interesting how intricate the the patterns were that decorated her ship. She had chosen the design but had been amazed at how well the design was. They were finally on their way home, a journey that was going to take some time, 3 years to be exact. For the first time since they had set out two-thousand years ago she was excited and yet anxious at the same time. She was not sure how much the planet had changed in her absence or who had changed. When she had left her Father was still a bear of a man, forceful and demanding. Tanol had been her friend as a child, and her trainer. He had always been secretive, had he changed at all?

She was pulled out of her thoughts by the intercom.
"Lord Hino, we are coming up on an inhabited planet." Something she had heard so many times. The voice was Torren's, he sounded as though he had been awoken from a rather deep sleep. His voice was low and raspy. she sat up rubbing her face and let her bare feet touch the cool floor or her chambers. Standing up she phased through the floor of her room and lightly touched down on the floor of the Bridge.

"explain."
"The path we took home is not the same path we took when we left home. This is a more direct route cutting across vast galaxies. This Solar system is in the Milky Way Galaxy. We have never come across this planet before. There are billions of Humanoid beings." Torren explained. She walked up to the floor to ceiling windows and gazed out upon the planet. It was an amazing color blue.

"advancement?" she asked still looking at the giant orb.
"Primitive to our standards but advanced for theirs." There was something about this planet; a strange and strong pull to it. Almost as though she felt as though she should not leave.

"What would you like to do my Lord?" Torren asked watching her closely. He could tell something was deep on her mind.
Still she didn't answer. Her face scowled as she looked at it. Almost 15 minutes passed before the silence was broken.
"My Lord?" Torren was now standing beside her looking at the planet as well.
"Leave it. We will come back for this way when we return to active duty. Mr. Coric, Enter in the coordinates into the database. this will be the first planet we come back out here for." she didn't wait for acknowledgement. she floated back up through the ceiling and back into her room. She was about to lie down again when the planet caught her attention from the window. She walked over to the window leaning against on the window sill. She had seen many planets in the last two-thousand years and none had been like this one. They had not been so blue, so inviting. She wasn't sure if it was the color of the planet or something else completely that was pulling her to it. The planet seemed oddly familiar to her, but she was dead certain she had never been to or seen this planet before, she would have remembered the color.

She moved over to the intercom and activated a link between her room and the Bridge.
"Torren."
"Yes my Lord?"
"Did that planet have a name in the Database?"
"uh...yes my lord. The inhabitants call it Earth." She suddenly knew this planet. This had been the planet that her mother had spent many years on back before Nagi was born. Her mother had once told her stories of the people of earth. She had always thought it was a bedtime story her mother had made up.

"I see. Let us put some distance between us and it." She felt the engines burst to life like the roar of a dragon and then instants later they jumped into Light speed. She made a silent promise to herself that she would one day return to this planet, with or without a military battalion.

_____________________________________________

"My Lord. My Lord. My Lord!!!!" Coric called over the intercom into Nagi's room. She looked up at the ceiling again, 3 years had come and gone quicker than she had expected. They had only stopped a few times, to either refuel or stock up on rations. But otherwise it had been completely uneventful. Nagi Swung her feet off of her bed and walked to her window. She stared at the red planet. She phased into her Royal Battle armor and sighed. It had been so long since she had last had to wear this outfit.

"Yes Coric?"

"We have arrived home my Lord."

"I see that. Please let the crew know to dress in their Ceremonial Battle Armor." She phased into the Bridge. She saw Torren staring out of the window. Upon her arrival into the room the entire crew present, Torren included, came to attention immediately and saluted her with their arms flat handed across their chests. Now that they were with in com range protocol was required even though most of it had been dropped over the years as the crew grew closer to each other.

She stood staring out the floor to ceiling windows looking at the planet before them. She was amazed at how much closer she and the crew grew over the last three years. The feasts and birthday celebrations that had occurred. With nothing but endless space shipping past the ship there was not much for the crew to do but bond even tighter.

"Take us in Mr. Coric."

"Yes sir." Reidan motioned to the pilots to take them into the planet's atmosphere. The planet grew quickly as they entered the atmosphere. Nagi could here the com manager communicating with the Flight Command Squad requesting permission to land. She drowned it out as the ground came flying into view as they slowly touched down on the Royal landing platform just outside of the palace.

A cloud of dust rose up as the ship's engines gave one last stabilizing thrust. With in moments the ship was surrounded by the Royal Guard. She gave the signal that everyone could disembark. She was left alone on the bridge as she watched the battle weary crew make their way off of the ship in tight rows, shoulder to shoulder, marching in unison. Once they had all disembarked she watched Torren give the final salute and the rows immediately became a mass blob of armored soldiers milling about. Nagi knew they had families and friends to return to and hopefully homes as well.

She had changed a great deal and home no longer looked like the home she knew or had expected to return home too. The palace was pretty much the same as she left it, expect that perhaps the Blood Ivy had grown more up the walls. But it didn't feel like home. Something caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. She turned her head to look in the direction of the object out the window. Tanol was standing on the platform, apparently he had heard of her return. She almost smiled to herself until she saw who was standing on the platform next to him. Her mother, Ryoko, stood talking to Tanol. Both of them were facing the ship waiting for her.

Nagi stood motionless. She was shocked to see Ryoko, not only had she survived but she was here, home. She was unsure if she should be happy about her being there or not. She had been gone most f her line and suddenly she returns to her home and her mother is there waiting for her. 'what kind of trick it this?' thinking to herself as she walked over to a console. If there was one thing she learned over the past two-thousand years was that you cant always believe your eyes, they can lie to you. The console sprang to life as she punched in a few commands activating a bio scanner. She scanned both Tanol and her mother. Both were a hundred percent themselves and real. sighing she turned the console off and just stood there. she was in all honesty nervous. she had not seen her mother in thousands of years and was not sure either would be able to handle the changes that either had gone through. 'can i fake my death? or pretend that i had already gotten off the ship with the rest of the crew?' she thought to herself. she knew that there was no way of avoiding this situation, she would have to face them both.
Defeated by the data presented by the bio scan she could come up with no excuse not to leave the ship. She let out a huge sigh and composed herself and phased out of the ship and floated down just feet in front of Tanol and Ryoko.

"Tanol, glad to see you haven't changed much." she said to her old friend with a slight smile. Though she would not admit it she had actually missed his silent secretive self.

"My word Nagi, you have greatly changed. The power inside of you is awaken and flowing stronger then anyone could have imagined, well done. You seem older in every possible way, you are taller, definitely stronger. Even your eye shine cold with magic and many years of battle." It was apparent that he was very pleased to see her, and see that she was well. He had a pride in himself that was that of which you would expect of a father. He smiled and extended his arm to her. He knew she was no longer the same young little girl that had left where a hug was an appropriate greeting for her. She clasped her arm on his giving a slight shake before releasing his forearm. a slightly sly fangy smile spread across her face; the tip of her tail twitched happily.

"Well Minagi, no 'hello' for your mother? How ungrateful." Ryoko chimed in with her normal bantering tone. Her brilliant blue hair and glowing gold eyes stood out on this planet and still amazed Nagi. Never had she seen such a drastic color contrast. Nagi just stared at her mother, who in return just stared at her. Both of their faces were void of emotion, blank slates. The tension was as thick as the thickest snow storm. They hadn't seen each other in thousands of years, not a word spoken, not even mentally. There seemed to be much to say and much to show however it was apparent that both were being as stubborn as the other in refusing to break the silence between them.

"Ryoko, it has been thousands of years since we last saw each other or spoke a word between us. So you really expect me to go running to you with arms open wide calling 'mommy, mommy' ?" Tanol's jaw dropped. Nagi had always been straight forward never holding anything back but her mother had been her life when she was a child and she talked about her all the time growing up wanting to know when she would return, and now her brutality rivaled even that of her mother's.

'you really have changed Nagi, more than anyone expected. You truly becoming the demon you were born to be for sure.' Tanol thought to himself.

Ryoko stood motionless staring at her daughter. A daughter that had been so very young when she left now stood taller than herself with fiery red eyes and emotionally changed from war.

"Hmph. Minagi you are a bitch. The perfect daughter a demon could wish for." Ryoko chuckled.
"Perhaps, my daughter, we should talk about commonalities rather than the life we missed." Ryoko watched Nagi's face looking for any sign of rebuttal. There was none. her face was just blank, like a warrior's should be.

"We don't have any commonalities any more mother. So what did you have in mind to talk about?" Nagi's. face remained blank. Ryoko sneered and then laughed to herself more so that at the situation.

"Let's eat first." Nagi raised an eyebrow, and smile spread across her face. Apparently she had been wrong, they both shared a love for food. Nagi simply nodded in agreement. Tanol simply laughed to himself at both of them. He had never seen a possible catastrophic conversation so quickly turn to food. Both girls turned and glared at him. He composed him self, slightly embarrassed.

____________________________________________________

Tanol walked behind the two thinking only to himself. 'There is much that these two need to take care of between them, hopefully the Palace will remain intact.' Both were hot headed and quick tempered. Ryoko had always been more so but now it seemed as though Nagi had taken her place amongst the most volatile demons of history. 'There definitely is something wrong with her or at least very very different with her. Two-thousand years can have quite the impact on a young demon engrossed in war, but it seems as though something has been almost...awaken deep inside her.' he thought. He looked up from the floor at the two women walking ahead of him. They hadn't said a word, at least not allowed that he could tell.

Nagi walked down the corridor, head held high. She had all the right to, she had conquered and annihilated more planets than any other demon had, her mother included, 61 worlds. The technology on some far more advanced then the demons ever had, and yet she prevailed over all of them. Yet she felt alone and wasn't sure why. The feeling really had intensified when they had come across the planet Earth, at which point she felt completely empty. She had everything most would love to have, friends like Torren, Tanol, and Reidan; a father and now for the first really time, a mother. Yet none of it mattered, she was empty inside.

"Minagi, you seem not to care that you just made history with 61 planets. You should be proud." Ryoko in her own twisted way was happy for her daughter. Tanol had filled her in when she had returned as to the situation that was forced onto Nagi and why. Shortly after Ryoko arrived back on the planet Lord Rondavess had gone into hiding.

"I am proud. I am just very tired and exhausted. I want nothing more than to relax for a bit. By the way where is father and General Emic? I had thought father would have desired to see me." She hadn't seen either while they walked through the palace, normally she would have ran into one if not both of them at some point already. Tanol and Ryoko shared a glance.

"Well..." Ryoko started but Tanol cut her off. She glared at him over her shoulder.

"You see Lord Hino, when your mother arrived here almost 46 years after you had left, your father was surprised and none too pleased, i might add, at seeing her. After Ryoko discovered why you were not here she gave your father a pretty fierce beating and lecture. Mostly about how you were the only heir and that his stupidity in the matter could leave this planet to the dogs with no leader to take over. Since then your father disappeared and hasn't been seen from or heard from since. Ryoko has been Governing the planet." Tanol informed Nagi in a short version of what had occurred in her absence.

"But now that you have returned..." Ryoko thumped Tanol on the head. He held his head tenderly.

"What was that for?" he muttered under his breath.

"You will say no more about the coverage of the Throne. I am here now and as Queen the throne is mine." Tanol sighed and dropped the conversation there. Ryoko had been doing an OK job taking care of things but technically she was not royal blood and had no true right to the Throne. The Throne belonged to Nagi rightfully. Nagi watched the two. She knew the throne was hers, but at the moment that was the last thing she cared about.

"Will you two knock it off. I did not come back to take the Throne. I came back just to rest." Both Tanol and Ryoko stared at her.

"Forget it." she grumbled under her breath and turned down a hall way . She paused when she heard foot steps behind her. She knew who it was, Tanol and her mother. She sighed and just phased from the all. She didn't want to be bothered.

She appeared in her room. The lights were off and there was a slight smell of dust, like an old library. She made a slight movement which activated the motion sensor. The lights burst to life, the computer console in the corner beeped on, the jets in the large tub turned on and the air filter started up with a low almost inaudible hum. There was the soft jingle of temple music that sifted through the room as well. She smiled, the room had not been touched since she left it, everything was still in it's place. She walked over to her Armour and slid her armor off and placed the pieces on the stand inside. she grabbed a towel from the heating rack, gave it a slight shake to unfold it and made her way over to the tub. She set the towel down on a bench and slid into the warmth of the water. She had missed taking a bath, they only had showers on the ship to conserve space. she dunked her head under the warm water, it felt good, it washed away her stress, aches and pains.

The water dripped from her short Blonde hair as her head poked back up out of the water. The drops making a soft piter pater as they hit the water.[center][center]

Nagi
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