The Story of the Red Witch
Chapter Twenty Four: Road To The Future
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Liri: Please Serana, calm down.
Serana: Calm down? Have you HEARD what these people have been saying about my Clan? My father’s going to get all of our kind killed!
Liri: YOUR kind.
Serana: Right… Because none of this bothers you at all!
Liri: (Hmmm… Come to think of it, other than Serana and MAYBE Silas, there’s only… Teresa maybe?) Yeah, this has nothing to do with me. You KNOW I’d be better off with your kind out of the picture.
Serana: And of course that includes me as well.
Liri heard the venom in Serana’s words and chose her next words carefully.
Liri: Do I want you dead? No. I’m not ashamed to admit it, but you’ve become an irreplaceable part of my life.
Serana: You just feel like that because of our bond!
Serana snapped her fingers and Liri suddenly felt very alone…
Serana: Do your words still hold true?
Liri looked at Serana, and she didn’t even seem like the same person she’d known, she… Felt like Serana was all the things that Aelfna had called her before. Creature. Monster. Abomination.
But all the same, Liri wrapped her arms around Serana, and everything felt right again.
Liri: It’s true that if you weren’t a vampire that we’d have never met. But… you weren’t always a vampire…
Serana: You’re right… Damn this forsaken bond of ours.
Liri let go and looked Serana up and down.
Liri: I want to hear it.
Serana: It’s… a long story.
Serana: I guess... *sigh*We kind of have to go way back. To the very beginning. Do you know where vampirism came from?
Liri: From everything I’ve heard, it’d have to be Molag Bal.
Serana: Exactly! The first vampire did indeed come from Molag Bal. She... was not a willing subject. But she was still the first. Molag Bal is a powerful daedric lord, and his will is made reality.
Serana: For those willing to subjugate themselves, he will still bestow the gift, but they must be powerful in their own right before earning his trust.
Serana paused, and Liri swallowed hard. It was only her curiosity that carried the conversation further.
Liri: How did you actually become a vampire, then?
Serana: The ceremony was… degrading. Let's not revisit that. But we all took part in it. It wasn’t really a wholesome family activity, but I guess it's something you do when you, you know…
Liri: When you what?
Serana: …When you GIVE yourselves to a Daedric Lord.
Liri: How… How has it affected your family?
Serana: Ha! Well, you've met most of us. My father's not exactly the most stable, and eventually he drove my mother crazy with him.
Serana: And it all ended with me being locked underground for who knows how long. It's definitely been a bad thing, on the whole.
Again Serana fell silent, and Liri felt like that was all the vampire was going to say about the whole ordeal.
Liri: Are you… Will you be all right?
Serana: I… I don’t know. There’s too many masks I’ve had to wear for too long. Schemer, obedient daughter, proud fiancée, cowardly vampire… This entire thing has definitely been a process…
Serana: *smiles* But don’t worry about me. I’ll feel a lot better in the short while when the men Isran sent out return. And hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.
Liri: *smirks* With names like ‘Sorine and Neruen’ do you really think he sent MEN out to find the priest?
Serana: I don’t care who he sent, it’s been three days! If it were us, we’d have been back by now.
Liri: True, but then again, we’re not normal by any stretch of the word.
Liri smiled gently at Serana, who only further sulked.
Liri: So, it seems like that cowardly vampire mask is broken, huh?
Serana: Smashed, incinerated, grinded into dust, and then smooshed into the dirt. It was a tactical play. You honestly believe that I of all people would be scared of a few vampire hunters?
???: You should be. You never know when Isran will rescind his command and allow us to chop your head off.
Serana spun around and got into a low offensive stance, but before anything could happen, Liri got in between vampire and Dawnguard.
Liri: Gunmar… Do you HAVE to be an ass?
Gunmar: I could ask you the same, witch. But we both know the answer to those questions. What I’m more interested in the question on EVERYONE’S mind: how strong is the ‘Red Witch.’
Liri: *snort* Pwahahahaaahaha! You’re… you’re joking right? I could kill you all without breaking a sweat.
Gunmar: But would you be able to live to tell the tale?
Liri: You wanna find out?
The two glared at each other for a few moments, then nodded and proceeded to head into the main area of the fort with Serana on their heels.
Once there, the two went two opposite ends of the room and faced off.
Liri: It’s not too late to forfeit.
Gunmar: You saved me once wench. I’ll show you that I’m not the same man from then…
Just as Serana was trying to figure out how the two were going to square off, the two Nords ran at each other at full speed.
Gunmar heaved a heavy swing at Liri, who dodged it simply and made sure that he saw the smirk that was on her face.
After regaining her footing, Liri turned to blast the member of the Dawnguard with a gout of fire, but ceased up when she felt cold steel across her neck.
Gunmar: Disappointing. Clearly you haven’t changed much, and you haven’t realized the proper way that you should be fighting. Until you switch up your paradigms, this outcome will never change.
The Dawnguard leader walked away leaving Liri in a bewildered state.
Liri: (I lost!? But how? I’m stronger than him! There’s no way I should have lost! So how was he able to—)
Teresa: …You have the potential, but you just won’t push yourself to your limit…
Sevetia: …Also, just like Tesa, you’re complete shit at close range…
Silas: …So you’ve gotten your magic back? Big deal, witch. As long as you’re so one dimensional you’ll never be able to escape the grip of Clan Volstikar…
Liri: Wait! Hold on!
The Dawnguard member stopped and turned back towards her with a smirk on his face.
Gunmar: Heh, so the great ‘Red Witch’ is now resulting to excuses? I should’ve—
Liri: No. You, and everyone thus far have been right. But I… I want to improve. So please…
She bowed catching Serana and the Dawnguard member off guard.
Liri: Please, give me another chance.
Gunmar smiled and readied himself.
Gunmar: Well I’ll be… Seems like the stuck up bitch has a bit of humility in her! Fine, you wanna go? Then don’t come at me all half assed!
Liri nodded, and once again the two went two opposite ends of the room and faced each other.
Serana: (What happened to Liri? Something about her seems… Different…)
Serana didn’t have time to decipher what was different, as the two Nords again charged at each other.
Almost an exact repeat of last time, Gunmar unleashed a massive swing at Liri…
But unlike last time, Liri stopped it in its tracks with but a hand… and an ominous look in her eyes.
Liri: Is that all you have, hunter?
Rather than back down, Gunmar’s face lit up.
Gunmer: Now this is what I’m talking about!
Gunmar gained a bit of distance from Liri, and was prepping another attack when Serana got in between them.
Gunmar: Have the daedra taken you girl? Didn’t anyone tell you not to get in the way of two warriors? Now, get the outta the way!
Serana: Ignorant brute! Can’t you see that Liri’s not in her right state of mind!? If you continue take her on, she’ll probably kill you!!
Gunmar: You think that she’s any more of a threat than she previously—
Gunmar finally got a look at the woman he was facing and froze. Her skin had become pale, her hair a deep red, and her eyes…
Gunmar: Is... Is she a daedra!?
Serana: *sigh* No… But she is worse, and if I can’t get her to calm down—
Liri: Vampire… Release me and… Allow me to continue fighting… Or else I’ll leave you… In a bloody… Broken heap… On the ground…
Not one to test the waters, let go of Liri but didn’t back down.
Serana: Why did you undo your seal? Don’t you care? This is what I was talking about! You don’t care about yourself! You don’t care about me!
Serana: Look at yourself! Look at what you’re doing!
Liri looked down at the paleness of her skin…
…But she didn’t even flinch, her eyes immediately returning to Serana.
Liri: Is this… Supposed to mean… Something?
Serana: Snap out of it! You’re out of control! You’re letting the power of your seal—
Liri pulled her arm back, and readied a fiery spell of at least the expert level.
Liri: You know nothing… Vampire… And now… It’s time…
Serana: (If it’s to save her, I’ll do anything…)
Serana closed her eyes and winced at the inevitable pain that was to come…
…But all she felt was a familiar warm hand caressing her cheeks.
Liri: *smiles* It’s time for me to say thanks for being here for me… Serana…
Suddenly Liri fell forward, and Serana moved quickly to wrap her in her arms.
Serana: *whispers* I’ve got you, and I won’t leave your side, so just rest, and… Thanks for sticking up for me.
Just as the mood began to lighten up, the rushed opening of the fort’s entrance put them on edge once more.
Gunmar: Tilde… By the Nines, girl! What’s happened!?
This ‘Tilde’ fell to her knees out of breath and tried to compose herself.
Tilde: *pant* *pant* T-two groups… Here… *pant* Sorine, Neruen, priest… Vampires—
Gunmar took his weapon in hand and glared at Serana.
Gunmar: Vampires!? At our doorstep!? Ready the men! We’ll show them what it means to—
Tilde: N-n-no… *pant* They just… *pant* *pant* Want to talk…
She pointed at Liri and Serana.
Gunmar: Talk? So you were working with them… You’ve exposed us all!! What’s the body count?
Tilde: O-one… But it was preventable… *pant* *pant* *pant* I-it was our fault really… We should’ve—
???: Enough enough enough. Let’s be smart about this.
Celann walked towards the group with his palm pressed against his face.
Celann: I know it’s not the popular opinion, but let them talk.
Gunmar: What!? Are you crazy!? Isran would never—
Celann: Which is why most people left his side before. We’ve got to be completely reasonable about this, and the way these two carry on…
Celann: It’s obvious that the ‘Red Witch’ isn’t a thrall, and if rumors are to be believed, I’m hard pressed to believe that she’d turn on her own kind for the undead. Or am I wrong?
Liri gave a long sigh, and with Serana’s help got to her feet albeit unsteadily.
Liri: No… You’re right, although there ARE some exceptions.
She smiled at Serana, and Celann understood.
Celann: That’s fine with me. Vamp—Serana, you stay here and help us with this moth priest, while the ‘Red Witch’ talks to the vampires. That won’t be a problem for you two, right?
Liri took a deep breath and shook her head.
Liri: Killing two birds with one stone. *rolls eyes* What’s not to like?
Liri: I’ll be back soon. And if these fuckers do ANYTHING to you…
She shot a nasty look at Gunmar, who flinched.
Liri: He knows what’ll happen.
And then she exited the fort.
Celann: Well damn, and to think you had her number not ten minutes ago.
Gunmar shot him a pretty nasty look of his own before storming off.
Celann: Heh, now then Tilde, where’s this Moth Priest you spoke of?
???: Right here, sir.
Celann turned and saw Sorine, Neruen, and another woman standing at the entrance of the fort.
Celann: My, my! Well done. Now come vamp—Serana. Let’s hear out this prophecy of yours…
Liri exited Fort Dawnguard only to see its members standing opposite of two… vampires?
Liri: *sigh* Looks like I better get down there before…!!
She took a harder look at who the ‘guests’ were and couldn’t hold in her surprise.
Liri: Teresa! Sevetia! What are you doing here?
She rushed down as quick as she could between the Dawnguard and vampires and greeted them with a smile.
Liri: I thought that I’d seen the end of you two unless we were on opposite sides.
Sevetia: *nods* I as well, however…
She glanced at Teresa who didn’t miss a beat.
Teresa: You wish to bring an end to the current powers that be among vampires, Harkon and Tinira?
Liri: Well… yeah. That’s why I’m doing all this, so your kind will let me be at peace finally.
Teresa: Then it’s time to train. Sevetia said you’re pretty quick on the uptake, so all you’ll need is the one lesson. Now let’s go.
Teresa turned on her heel, as did Sevetia. And Liri was about to follow in their sets, but a chill that went down her spine reminded her of whose fort she was outside of.
Liri: So what? Are you two going to try and stop me?
Ollrod: You’re damn right we’re going to stop you! Did you see what they did to Mogrul!? We should be—
Vori: We’ll let you go.
Ollrod: Are you crazy!? But what about Mogrul—
Vori: But do be quick about it, Red Lady. Having more of their—of Serana’s—kind around is more than a little unsettling…
Liri: Finally, a modicum of respect. Vori, was it? You would do well to follow Vori’s example brute.
She gave the male a fierce look, before trailing after the visiting vampires…
???: Rise and shine, Silas. You’ve got a big day in front of you. Wouldn’t want to look as if you’d been hanging off a wall for a few weeks now. I said… GET UP!!!
A blow to the head woke up the Head of the Volstikars, however he acted as if it hadn’t happened as he sat up and surveyed the room.
Silas: Where’s Innis… I said, where is Innis, you bitch!!!
Tinira: Really now, and you speak to your wife with that mouth. Despicable.
She took note of his glare and added…
Tinira: But to answer your question, the Nord isn’t hurt. Neither of them are.
Silas: Neither!? (Fuck… she got to Liri! NonoNO!! I shouldn’t have been biding my time for so long… And now… I shouldn’t have gotten her involved… I’ve got to—)
Tinira: What are you looking so distressed for? Why would the wolf care about the wellbeing of the hare? Why do these mortals effect you so? You didn’t care about the animals that made up your food back—
Silas: Back to this crap? This and that are different! Now tell me where they are now or I swear on Lisaly’s soul I’ll fucking kill you where you stand!
Tinira: Haaa… So Bold… And interesting that you would utter THOSE words, ‘Lisaly’s soul’ because one, you’re not going to kill me and two, you’re going to be reuniting with it quite soon.
Silas was suddenly flung across the room with a wave of her hand.
Tinira: Surprised? I so desperately wanted you to disobey me so I could go after the mortal, your fiancée, and your underling—
Silas: She’s not my underling! Rosalie’s a dear—
Tinira: Whatever she may be, it’s time that you’re shown that while I may be a liar…
She leaned over Silas and placed a kiss on his lips…
Tinira: I’ve been truthful to you this entire time.
Before he could stop her, Tinira cast a spell and teleported Silas out of her sight.
Tinira: And for your disobedience Silas… It’s their turn.