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A solemn vow [Solo]

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A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:23 am


To desire is to long for something, to have a dream or ambition to pursue. Every being has a desire, no matter how small or large it might be: For desires give us the means to feel truly alive.

To be wise, means to escape from ignorance. To seek wisdom means to depart on an eternal journey in search of further horizons. For in the end even the wisest of sages will be ignorant of some things.

Two different paths that would once more converge. And yet it was within the city of Hargeon that this tale truly began.

As dawn rose over the port city the white-haired vampire was seated calmly in her chair at the window within the room she had booked at an inn within the city. Despite her mentor's desire for her to return to the guild Esperia felt there was the need for her to settle something, to accomplish a goal she had set out to do before she could well and truly return to her roots.

Hearing the sound of soft yawns coming from the nearby bed Esperia watched with a content smile at her still sleeping wife and their son, for indeed even if Hasani was not of her blood, she still saw him as her son.


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:24 am


"Will you truly be alright on your own?" A soft girlish voice called out to her in a whisper, to which Esperia saw the little Daemon she had taken in approaching her, stifling a yawn as she looked at her with a hint of concern in her eyes. Esperia smiled kindly, gesturing for the child to get closer after which she ruffled her hair lightly. "I'll be fine~ At the first sight of danger I'll be out and back here in no time. But be a dear and keep an eye on our family, will you?"

The child smiled weakly at Esperia’s attempt to reassure her, but nonetheless nodded her head firmly. After Esperia had finished getting dressed she made her way outside of the inn room, a final glance being made into the direction of the inn and then she started walking away toward the outskirts of the city.

Fortunately she didn’t need to walk too long, at her pace and the distance she was soon at a clearing spacious enough for her to call for the aid of her loyal mount.

A sharp whistle was made, leading to a white wyvern to descend from the sky. The creature let out an excited cry at the sight of her, and upon its landing she petted the wyvern’s head lightly.


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:28 am


“Thank you for your aid Ryuko, I’m going to need to head to Baska to meet up with an old acquaintance.

The wyvern nodded its head lightly in affirmation, lowering its body so that Esperia could easily climb onto her back and once properly seated the wyvern spread its legs, a rush and a jump being all that was needed to make it get airborne.

Gazing around the sky as they were flying Esperia pondered quietly about what would await her. Although this would be her final journey, it didn’t change the fact that it was her most dangerous adventure yet.

The wyvern flew amidst the clouds, yet the speed of the creature made the trip fortunately be far shorter than when she would have traveled on foot, for after roughly an hour she already found herself arriving at the outskirts of Baska.

The wyvern slowly descended downwards amidst the grassy plains, and after it came to a halt Esperia hopped off the creature’s back, gently petting its neck. “Thank you Ryuko, I’ll let you know when we can finally go home.”

The wyvern let out a soft growl of appreciation as Esperia started to approach the village of Baska: the place where it all began. Just walking amidst the streets of the village was enough to fill her with an immense feeling of nostalgia, memories both beautiful and sad resurfacing from her subconscious till at long last she arrived at her destination.


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:29 am


Near one of the poorer parts of the town stood an orphanage, and a bit past it near a field of flowers stood a lone grave. The sight of the bouquet of flowers at the tombstone already caused a bittersweet smile to emerge on her lips as she took a seat in front of it, revealing from within her traveler’s robe two bottles: one being a bottle of beer and the other a bottle of apple juice.

She gently uncorked the beer bottle, pouring some of its contents on the gravestone as she hummed softly. “Have a drink Fia~ I’m going to be talking a lot today~”

It was the grave of her first love, her late wife and the one who had once been her closest friend: Fiametta Barone.

“Well~ Where should I begin…” The vampire pondered as she proceeded to start telling her story. “I recently returned to Hargeon, met Alisa again there. She is doing quite well, can you imagine she of all people got married? Never expected our empress to get a ring on her finger~” Esperia couldn’t help but giggle softly as she continued. “I heard her wife is pretty cool, but I didn’t get the chance to meet her yet, so that’s a story for another time. Daiko is also doing well! I heard he has been training a lot recently.” The girl nodded her head sheepishly, and already she could imagine the take-over mage and Coda training diligently. “I hope to pay him a visit soon~ I’m sure he will be excited, and I promise I try not to tease him…. too much~”


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:29 am


Teasingly poking out her tongue she continued her story with a cheerful tone. “Alisa asked me to return to Blue Pegasus, I know you would had been all for that idea, but I can’t do that yet. I have some duties I need to carry out first, and I don’t want to endanger anyone by getting involved in those.”

She sighed deeply after which she grinned mischievously. “Oh! And I got married also~ Remember the werewolf lady I told you about before? Yes! The one who I had to teach the importance of clothing in public— I mean yes, I’m not complaining if she is naked around me but it’s important not to stir anyone in public~”

She giggled playfully and clarified further. “Valerie has been really nice to me, she also has a son from a previous relationship, her lover died and I can feel she still carries the pain of that loss, so I want to do all I can to protect our newfound family, and ensure that I will always return home to her.”

Time seemed to flow so easily as the vampire talked about various topics, as if she could feel Fia was there with her.


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:30 am


“And of course dark mages are still stirring up the hive~ Do you remember Odin, that cool looking Lich we met who was dressed in the fancy suit at Kon and Sassice her wedding? It seems he went on the rollercoaster of lunatics and is trying to release a dangerous being into Earthland~ I don’t know exactly why or how yet, but I intend to find out soon. After all, I can’t let anyone destroy the Earthland we fought so hard to protect.”

As silence started to follow, the vampire closed her eyes as she felt the tears starting to slowly trail down her cheeks. “I’m sorry…. I’m so sorry I couldn’t couldn’t save you from your curse. For all the knowledge bestowed onto me, losing you has been my greatest failure, and most painful loss.”

Soft sobs came from Esperia as she remained seated in front of the grave, till a voice suddenly came from behind her. “Don’t blame yourself for the things you couldn’t do, be proud of the things you did do, after all that is something Fia would have said, right?”

Esperia opened her eyes, gazing upwards as she saw the obsidian-haired maiden standing behind her, a tender smile on the woman’s lips as Esperia muttered softly: “So you came… Asmodeus.


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:30 am


Asmodeus nodded her head lightly at Esperia’s comment, replying with that soft honeyed voice she came to know after all those years. “Of course, I did promise you that I would aid you in your endeavor, right?”

Esperia sighed softly at Asmodeus’ reaction. She had always found it incredibly difficult to read the demon lord’s intentions, but for now she put the thought aside, instead focusing on the earlier topic.

“There is truth in your words Asmodeus, Fia would indeed have scolded me if I started moping around. And I got a promise to keep now~”

The words seemingly intrigued Asmodeus for she soon inquired with a grin. “Oh~ Could it be related to the cute lady you been sharing your bed with the last few years?”

Esperia’s cheeks rapidly flushed up into a blush as she averted her gaze, muttering softly in response. “Indeed… I made a promise to her, that I would return to her side at all costs.”

In a way those words made Asmodeus smile genuinely, because she could sense something in Esperia she had adored for so long: An innocent and yet immensely strong desire, a longing so pure even she didn’t want to try to corrupt it. It reminded her of something…


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:31 am


“Well then~ We better get on our way soon then, after all we got quite a journey ahead of us~” Asmodeus’ melodious voice was soon accompanied with a series of slow unsteady steps, and turning toward their direction the two women soon noticed a young man dressed in fine garbs approaching them.

“Did you have an appointment Espy?” To which the vampire shook her head to, yet as the stranger spoke Esperia quickly realized something was off. “No… hehehehehehehe my business is with you Asmodeus~”

Esperia slowly rose onto her feet, stepping beside the Demon Lord of Lust. “An unexpected fan? You do get around~” To which the demon remarked in amusement. “How crude! I might be a Demon Lord of Lust, but I am quite selective on who I share my bed with~ And this lad doesn’t seem to meet the qualifications.”

Still the figure continued to advance, shaking its body slightly with disturbing twitches. “My master…. will reward me handsomely for your head!”

The man suddenly started to swell up like a balloon, and just like one, the moment it popped out of its mortal coil a grotesque looking demon lunged straight at Asmodeus! The Demon Lord raised her hand toward the fiend, seemingly ready to cast a spell but without any warning she saw Esperia darting forwards, her hand balled up into a fist and colliding straight into the face of the demon!


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:31 am


The creature let out a pained growl as its body collapsed at the other side of the road, and yet it quickly climbed back onto its feet. “Master…. didn’t tell me Asmodeus would have an ally!”

Yet before Esperia could reply the fiend raised a hand, its flesh extending like tendrils toward the vampire who nimbly dodged to the side, her hand grasping a hold of the outstretched appendages and brutally pulled the creature toward her.

The fiend could only watch in terror as it was flying toward the vampire, a hand wrapping around its throat as she spoke in a cold tone. “Who send you?” The demon shook its head furiously. “I won’t betray the Master! The things she’d do to us— gahhhhhh!” A pained cry came from the demon when suddenly Asmodeus grabbed a hold of Esperia’s back and jumped backwards, just in time even for the demon’s body started to swell up once more and exploded in a grotesque display of flesh and blood. Truly a demonic bomb…

“Guess you got a lot to explain on the road Asmodeus…” To which the Demon Lord of lust nodded her head slightly. “It seems that might be the case~ Let us depart then my dear~”


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:32 am


As the two were walking along the road leading away from Baska Asmodeus started speaking: “So where to start~ To answer your question about the reason behind my cooperation, I desire for you to find the Akashic Records. I believe that your discovery of it will aid us both.”

Esperia frowned, her gaze shifting to the Demon Lord of Lust. “Surely you must have a personal gain in this.” Esperia’s words earned a soft chuckle from Asmodeus who replied in kind. “You wound me my dear~ But you are right with asking that question. To clarify further, that demon from earlier? He was likely a servant of Zafahiel.”

The statement made Esperia ponder for a bit. “A demon?” Hearing Asmodeus’ statement made the vampire ponder just who or what that creature might had been. To be able to terrorize Asmodeus it must had been a powerful demon.

“Zafahiel is an Ancient Demon that I have a fanatical feud with. They were part of the reason I got sealed in the past, and slighted me… Although she seems to have grown obsessed with hunting me down.”

Asmodeus sighed softly at those words.


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:32 am


“So you are searching for a solution on how to defeat this Zafahiel?” Esperia’s insight made the Demon Lord chuckle in amusement, clearly amused at the fact the girl had deciphered it so easily. “Indeed, I believe there should be something in the records that will help me figure out an idea on how to vanquish Zafahiel.”

Esperia nodded in understanding as she turned away from the demon lord, pondering about it. “Do you think that you’ll be able to defeat her?” Asmodeus giggled softly, continuing soon afterwards. “I am not certain to be honest, Zafahiel is a demon of raw power, I rely more on subtlety and manipulation. So in terms of a raw power struggle I would lose~”

For a Demon Lord of Lust, Asmodeus was being quite honest today, which was a curious something. Nonetheless she did need to decide on whether she could truly trust Asmodeus in order to cooperate with her. Then again, looking back at the past most of Asmodeus her actions did have her best interests in mind, so part of her believed that whatever the demon was searching for, it likely wouldn’t be harmful to her.

“Can you promise me that whatever you discover in the Akashic Records, won’t be a threat to the people of Earthland?” To which Asmodeus nodded her head, a slight increase in her walking pace accompanying a spin in her footing as she turned to face Esperia and smiled kindly. “I promise you that whatever we discover in the records, I won’t use it against Earthland or its denizen.”

Courtesy of her powers Esperia knew at that moment that Asmodeus was not lying, and as such decided that it was alright to trust her. Extending a hand she smiled back at the demon: “Fine~ I’ll work with you again, for nostalgia’s sake.”

To which Asmodeus happily clasped her hands around Esperia’s hand: “I’ll be in your care again my dear~”


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:32 am


As the duo continued their trip Esperia’s curiosity took the better of her. “So Asmodeus, why does this Zafahiel hate you so much?” The question made Asmodeus chuckle softly as she answered: “Honestly the hatred is mutual. But to answer your question I need to go back to a touchy subject: The time I was sealed away inside your ancestor.”

Esperia’s eyes widened for a moment, but she quickly hidden her surprise as she nodded at Asmodeus, who took the motion as a cue to start her tale. “As you know already, I was sealed away in the abyss after a group of heroes snuck into my domain and were able to ambush me. But how, you might wonder where they able to outsmart me and track me down?”

Esperia couldn’t help but wonder“Because they were aided by someone?” To which Asmodeus nodded her head firmly. “As much as I loathe to admit it, among the Demon Lords I am emotionally the most vulnerable. You see, despite being a Demon Lord I still possess traits of my being before I was reborn as a demon. As such I always held a strong attachment toward my trusted allies.”

Esperia pondered for a bit about those words. It made sense considering the champions she had met of the Demon Lord all served her with a sense of loyalty that was not born out of fear, no it was vastly different from that which she expected of any Demon. “Indeed, I care immensely for my friends, for even if they are my subordinates, they are also my closest confidants and beloved companions.”

To which Esperia couldn’t help but muse teasingly: “Does that mean you care about me as well?” To which Asmodeus turned toward Esperia, a tender smile on her lips. “No, you’re a bit more special in that regard: I love you.”

Hearing those words Esperia’s cheeks turned scarlet, to which the Demon Lord was quick to tease her. “Hehehe~ Blushing already? Maybe I should tell your wife about this?” Yet Esperia firmly shook her head. “I am a loyal wife!” Still, she couldn’t suppress the fact her heart had skipped a beat. “But there is no need to get flustered dear~ I do love you, but my love for you is more akin to an elder sister or a mother.”

Yet hearing those words only made Esperia chime mischievously in return. “I wouldn’t be surprised if incest is on the list of taboos you enjoy~” But soon the vampire realized too late the trap she had prepared for herself: “Oh~ Do I sense a hint of interest? Does my darling want to get a naughty relationship going with her big sis Lily?”

To which Esperia shouted in a flustered response. “ASMODEUS!”

The two soon started to laugh, and for a bit Esperia couldn’t help but feel that this reminded her a lot of the distant past. And in all honesty? She did kind of enjoy the feeling.


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:33 am


As the two of them walked side by side Asmodeus decided to continue the conversation. “So Espy~ After all those adventures, did you find what you were searching for?” The question made Esperia’s lips curve up into a warm smile, clarifying to the Demon Lord. “Indeed I did. Do you remember back when we traveled together which my greatest desire was?”

Asmodeus nodded her head gently in response to the question. “To be loved by someone in a way nobody else was?” Esperia’s smile brightened. “Indeed~ I longed to be loved, to be the number one of someone. To be loved by someone who had eyes for me and only me~ And then during my time in the Sentinel Syndicate I finally found that person.”

The words made Asmodeus hum playfully. “Valerie hmm? I was surprised when I found out~ Considering she already has a son from a different relationship, I expected a lot of awkwardness.”

Yet Esperia shook her head, explaining further: “While it is true that Hasani doesn’t carry my blood, I still care for him as if he was my son. Although, I do admit at first I felt a bit awkward. You see, for a time I worried I might had settled for being a second choice, but that is not the case at all. Valerie loves me, me and only me in that regard. But… I haven’t dared to suggest to her to someday—”

Asmodeus playfully swayed from one side to another. “To expand the family~ You plan to use that spell I taught you, hmm?”


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:33 am


Yet Esperia snickered softly. “I did consider that, but first I want to show her that she doesn’t need to worry, that no matter what happens, I’ll always return home to her.”

The sweetness of those words made Asmodeus smile gently. She could truly see that Esperia had grown into the type of woman she had hoped she did: One who was not blinded by the greed for power, but one who simply pursued her desires and longings in a way fitting for her. She truly would had been a great successor…

“So tell me more about that concern that made you look into the Akashic Records?” Esperia nodded her head firmly. “I believe that Odin plans to summon the entity the Midnight Cult worships.”

Asmodeus remembered those days, the days Esperia was influenced by the spirit of Morrigan, but fortunately those days are no more. A momentary silence followed after which Esperia continued. “I wish to find out what the method is their ambitions to completion. But I hope it will work out.”

Asmodeus gestured at the forest up ahead. “Do you see that forest up ahead? I believe there is a temple there that I found. While I tried to enter, it seems there is a seal that requires your blessing in order to breach, but nonetheless the Akashic Records should be within.”

As the duo walked along the path leading into the forest, the quietness lingered for a bit. “I believe we’ll find your temple further ahead?” Asmodeus nodded her head firmly as the duo walked into a clearing, and at the center a large structure rose to the canopy of the trees.

“Is this the building? I can sense the presence of Gaia’s magic on it…” The words spoken by Esperia made the Demon Lord reply with a firm nod. “Indeed, it seems our destination is nearby~”

Yet the moment Esperia stepped toward the building she could see the magical seal emerge on the door. “So this is the Akashic Records… Hold on a moment Asmodeus, I’ll try to figure out the unsealing method.”

Yet as Esperia touched the seal a sharp headache suddenly pierced through her head. It was so badly she collapsed onto her knees, a pained cry following as she heard an ethereal voice calling out to her.

“See… “

Esperia could feel her vision growing blurry, a dizziness overcoming her as she collapsed sideways on the ground.


Suddenly she found herself floating in front of a giant crystal, a sudden voice resounding once more.

“The answers you seek… are not meant to be found.”

The headache only intensified. A scream came from the vampire.


The voice continued to whisper: “TURN BACK!” the voice grew even louder.


Suddenly opening her eyes the girl found herself regaining her consciousness, the sight of Asmodeus looking worriedly at her awaiting her. “Are you alright?” Esperia nodded her head feebly. Trying to sit upright.

“I… I had this nasty headache the moment I tried to touch the seal. I heard a voice call out to me, warning me not to continue.” Asmodeus’ frowned, a clear look of concern on her face. “So, you think something or someone is trying to prevent us from entering?”

Esperia nodded her head firmly. “I believe Gaia might want to keep this knowledge a secret. But I don’t get why it would want to prevent us from obtaining this knowledge?”

The inquiry made Asmodeus ponder as well. “I’m not certain, our only way to find out is by entering the Akashic Records, I guess?”

Esperia nodded her head, rising onto her feet. “Let me proceed to open the seal.” Esperia raised a hand to the seal, mana pouring into the seal as it scattered, but the moment that followed Esperia noticed a huge pillar of light descent from the sky a few meters behind her, a couple of figures emerge from within.

“Step away from that door Esperia Eisenberg…”

The demon lord stepped beside Esperia, the figures their features manifesting properly: Esperia’s eyes narrowed in a glare. “Champions of Gaia…”

Esperia sighed, knowing all too well that trouble was waiting for her. Gaia certainly was going to be a headache to her…

Asmodeus clearly was looking restless as well, not sure what to expect.


A solemn vow [Solo] Empty Mon May 02, 2022 10:34 am


Esperia slowly took a step toward the group, her hands raised upwards in a motion to show she meant no hostility. “Why do you seek to stop us from entering the Akashic Records?” The leader of the champions, a man wielding a longsword in one hand and a magnificent looking shield worthy of being wielded by a Paladin stepped forward, looking straight into her eyes.

“The tomes within that library are not meant for us to read, the knowledge within too powerful for any mortal to wield. Please cease your efforts Esperia.”

But Esperia was swift to decline, stating firmly. “How do you even know such a thing? Surely you know of the threat that awaits us in the future! If we don’t act now all of Earthland will be doomed!”

Esperia could feel the lingering effect of the headache, the absence of the world’s blessing making it clear to her that Gaia had a hand in the emergence of her champions. Were they acting in her will? “Even should that be the case, we will do our utmost to aid in the prevention of such a scenario, and should we fail it is simply a sign that it was meant to be.”

Hearing those words caused Esperia to ball up her hands into fists, her body shaking lightly in anger. She could see the visage of her lover, their son, her family all doomed to disappear should nobody stop Odin… “Do you even realize the nonsense you’re saying?! We are Chosen by Gaia to protect the world, not to hide in our libraries and wait for the final days to arrive. Those are not the actions of a champion, but of a coward!”

The man sighed deeply at hearing those words, brandishing his sword and pointing it at her. “A pity… You have done plenty in the name of Gaia, but we were told that should you not be able to be convinced, that we should kill you.”

Esperia’s glare turned borderline venomous. “What justness is there in murdering one who seeks wisdom?” Yet the Champion shook his head. “Your death will prevent the loss of many lives that would be affected by the knowledge you’d discover in there.”

So that was Gaia’s decision? To silence her and let Earthland be doomed? The vampire took her combative stance as she watched Asmodeus step next to her, indicating they were about to fight together.

“If that is Gaia’s decision then so be it: Come Warriors of Gaia! I, Esperia will destroy all who dare to stand between me and the salvation I seek!”

The other champions drew their own weapons, the tension in the air razorsharp as their leader spoke: “The time for words is over: By the decree of the World I declare thee traitor to our vows, and by judgment of Gaia sentence you to death!”

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