Chapter 32:

Interlude: The Grudge

Reverie's End: Blades of Malice

Day: 8/11/991; Time: 21st hourBookmark here

Ranos' reckless tackle did not leave him unscathed. Jill's aura dissipated, but Ranos' left side was almost completely petrified; he was not going to get away very easily.Bookmark here

Jill moaned, as she stumbled to get off the ground. Her wounds were minor compared to those that she inflicted on the others, but they were starting to show. "How noble of you! Sacrificing yourself to save your friend!" said Jill. She continued to speak, "I wish I had friends like that!"Bookmark here

Ryu made a sound as if he was complaining. Jill looked over at him. "Yes, Ryu. You're my only friend. I know you'll protect me," she said, in an attempt to get him to settle down. Jill looked over at Ranos, and said, "Any last words?"Bookmark here

"I have no regrets. Gin is a guardian of Ethos… he will not fail in his duty. Your days are numbered woman!" retorted Ranos.Bookmark here

Jill laughed, and then lunged forward to where Ranos was. She put her arm on his chest, and watched with relish as he slowly became living stone. There was no fear in his eyes in those final moments, only courage. His statue captured the essence of his brave soul.Bookmark here

The red-haired girl looked at the beautiful gray statue of the Neko warrior, and said, "I love it! I'm going to add him to my collection! Watch over him, Ryu. I'll have Naki pick up this cat-man later." Ryu nodded and stood there in silence, obeying yet another whimsical command from his master.Bookmark here

"Now where is that giant monk guy that acts like he's so cool and stoic? I need to finish him off," said Jill, as she put her hands on her hips. She ran over to where Gin was previously lying, only to find that his body was missing. Jill pouted, and looked at the trail of blood that Gin had left. It disappeared after a short distance. "He's gone!" said Jill in an irritated voice. She looked over at Ryu, and said, "If you see him, make sure to kill him for me!"Bookmark here

Jill looked over to the other side of the city, and heard the sounds of battle. "Oh! We still need to conquer the city! See ya later! I'll be back!" she said as she escaped.Bookmark here

The Blades of Malice were outnumbered, but were better trained, and more zealous. This created a situation where the two sides were at a standstill; Jill's entrance changed that. Not only was she dangerous, but troop morale increased upon her arrival.Bookmark here

She swung her sword around crazily, and created many stone statues of knights that were previously golden. It was a long night, but the battle was finally over after a few hours. The Blades of Malice had conquered the Golden City. They had recently found out about Dart's failure in Shima, so this victory was necessary for maintaining hope.Bookmark here

Jill had the honor of being the first Commander of the Blades to rule in the new world. She did not hesitate to seize the reigns of power. Upon her steed, the green serpent, Ryu, she arrived at the ruins of the castle. Jill wanted to make an unforgettable first impression upon the soldiers cowering below her. The throne room that used to be located on the 4th floor was still mostly intact, although it was not very far off the ground now.Bookmark here

She jumped off Ryu and landed in the throne room. It was now midnight and very dark, but a few candles lit up the room. Jill walked around the room slowly, with her blade drawn. Her sadistic tendencies had given her a sharp nose for the scent of fear. What she smelled was a particularly cowardly sort of fear.Bookmark here

Jill walked over to a nearby pile of debris near the throne and slashed through it. Underneath lay the King of the Golden City, whimpering. His right leg had been shattered during the earthquake. He looked up at Jill in fear, and squirmed away, trying to get as far away from her as possible. Bookmark here

"Where are you going, O Great King Theodore?" said Jill, mockingly, as she walked over to him slowly. "You knew that the city would fall, didn't you? Yet, you just couldn't leave your riches," she said as she continued to walk around the dimly-lit room.Bookmark here

The king didn't answer any of her questions; he was still speechless from fright. She walked over to him and pointed a sword at his throat. "I could kill you at any moment and no one could do anything about it… but that wouldn't be any fun," she said in a menacing tone. "Stop squirming!" she said, as she petrified his right leg. He looked at his leg in shock and almost had a heart attack. "Now, we can have a proper discussion," she said, with an evil smile on her face.Bookmark here

"10 years ago you used the Topaz' power upon Agra. One of your scholars dug up something in an ancient tome, and you decided to try it as an experimental weapon," Jill said, as she continued to pace around the room.Bookmark here

"How… did… you… know?" stammered the king.Bookmark here

"The Blades of Malice always find out. Our roots run deep throughout all of Ethos. It was a fatal mistake on your part; you were marked the day that you used it. Was it really worth winning the war like that? 10 years have passed and now we have arrived at your front door step with the Topaz in hand," she explained. Jill then pulled out the gray stone, which was now cracked, and looked at it.Bookmark here

She looked at the king, and continued, "It was difficult to find after it left your vaults. It changed hands many times, but the Blades were persistent, and it is now ours. Soon all of the stones will be in our possession." Jill kneeled on the ground and looked at the king. Her piercing stare sent chills down his spine. "Did you ever ask yourself what the people of Agra felt when their homes were taken from them? Do you know the names of those that died?"Bookmark here

Jill got up and continued to walk around the room. "My name is Jill. My parents are dead. My grandparents, cousins, friends, and everyone else that I used to love are all dead. They were killed by this stupid stone that I hold in my hand," she said in a calm voice.Bookmark here

The king looked at her, and begged, "Please… spare me! You can have the throne!"Bookmark here

Jill laughed, and told him, "I already have the throne. There is nothing you can give me to atone for your crimes. It was your misfortune that I didn't die 10 years ago. Perhaps the Golden City would still be sparkling right now." She glared at the king, and said, "Any last words?"Bookmark here

He kneeled on the ground and begged for mercy.Bookmark here

"You're too ugly to be part of my collection," said Jill, as she unsheathed her blade, and decapitated the king. His blood spilled all over the ground, and his golden crown fell off his head. Jill went over, picked it up, and put it on top of hers.Bookmark here

She raised her sword into the air, and proclaimed, "I am Jill, first of her name, the slayer of kings, and queen of East Valis!" Nobody was around to hear her speech, but she didn't really care.Bookmark here

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