Twilight Crusade Book 2 Ch. 14, The Promised DayAlmost a month had passed, and the night of the Winter Solstice had arrived. Greyson spent every last second of his free time training with the newly upgraded Blitz and Nimbus. It was the only thing that kept his mind at ease. So much time had passed without Azure. What had been done to her and Raven, the fear and confusion they must be feeling, and the motives behind the “Church of Awakening” tore at his mind. It was torture for him, and he knew how much worse the time had to be for the abducted.
Twilight Crusade’s airship flew silently through the murky black night. The air was frigid and dense, clouds above obscuring the moon and warning of rainfall. Below was a sea of old-growth pines, their shadowy branches poking up into the hazy sky. Nobody in the airship’s cabin talked. Rusty stared grimly at Child’s Play, letting it down and back into his hand. Ember sat in back of the cabin, sharpening her daggers. Ezelia, Dustyn, Kita, and Al
Twilight Crusade Book 2 Ch. 13, Discovered“...That’s right, Rocco. It looks like this Winter is set to be the coldest on record!” the television blared. “We can expect a higher than average snowfall in the Yamakori Mountains, along with--”
Greyson turned off the news.
It was a rainy Saturday morning, one week after Azure and Raven’s disappearance, and two after the fight against the Phantom. Greyson, though convinced the two had been taken by Vladimir, was still no closer to figuring out where exactly they had gone. He called every member of Twilight Crusade over, hoping anyone would have information.
“I looked up the location of Garnett Jewelers’ Headquarters. It’s not far from downtown Mistral,” Ember declared. “Searching it is an option, but it seems unlikely they would bring a pair of hostages into corporate HQ. Azure and Raven are probably at a private residence somewhere.”
Twilight Crusade Book 2 Ch. 12, Captive Raven had almost grown used to her prison. Three nights had passed, as far as she could figure based on the long periods of darkness and silence. Surprisingly, she found sleep in these times despite being chained by ankle and wrist to a marble throne, in an unfamiliar world of stone, wood, and silence.
The door to the cathedral creaked open. Raven caught herself hoping, for the first time, it was the usual hooded figure coming to deliver her twice-daily portion of mystery meal. Though Raven was convinced what she was force-fed was not food by any safety or ethical standards, whatever the greyish-brown, slightly salty, slop was did cure her hunger.
Raven shivered, head sinking as she saw who entered her chamber. The woman, who seemed to be in charge of the hooded figures. The one who knew her father. And, Raven figured, was responsible for his death. The woman had stopped by a handful of times since Raven
Twilight Crusade Book 2 Ch. 11, Speculation Greyson’s eyes opened to an unearthly scene. A crimson birdcage sat suspended in the air in front of him, illuminated somehow in the suffocating blackness. Though Greyson himself could fit inside the cage, the only captive was a lone raven, perching on a branch and nervously picking under its wing with its thick beak. A moan filled the air, and eventually surged into what sounded like a faraway chant. The bars of the birdcage leaked blood. The liquid dribbled down the bars and dripped off, creating a dark puddle on the now visible floor.
Below Greyson’s feet, and below the cage, was a pale, flesh-like floor. The puddle of blood absorbed into it. Greyson watched in horror as the raven itself began to melt, flesh and feathers alike liquefying and dribbling through the cage’s bottom. The floor absorbed it all.
A gash opened in the floor. From the w
Twilight Crusade Book 2 Ch. 10, Phantom Church Azure’s head hung below her knees as she sat on the steps to Greyson’s porch, completely ignoring the rain soaking through her clothing. She watched the tears fall, joining the raindrops with every lurch of her body. Raven softly placed her hand on Azure’s back and rubbed, unsure of what to say. Rusty had stepped inside to speak with Greyson alone.
“I-I... um... h-how about we go for a walk?” Raven shyly suggested. “I-It might make you feel a little better. Th-That’s what I used to do sometimes...”
“Yeah, let’s go...” Azure agreed weakly.
“H-Here,” Raven said, offering Azure her hand. With her other hand, she produced several tissues from her coat pocket.
“Thanks,” Azure said, taking the tissues. She wiped her face dry, then took a deep breath to salvage any hint of composure she could muster. “Where to?”
“Hmm, that way,