Foce was surprised by how delicious the pancakes were, but when Jessie showed her all the different things you could put on it to make it better, she decided she'd have them every morning with the others.
"Heh, I can make more if you want." Jessie offered, watching the vampire scraping her spoon against the plate to gather more wiped cream.
"Uh, it's alright! I don't need to eat, so I'm just wasting food..." Foce hadn't thought of it that way before, but when she considered how unnecessary it was she felt bad for eating as much as she did.
"Are you sure? It's not like they take very long to make." Jessie stepped away from the table to start on more when Foce slowly stood up.
"No, I'm fine...besides, I think I'm starting to eat too much, this pain is familiar somehow."
Jessy winced sympathetically and walked around to Foce, "You wanna go lay down? I can help you if you-"
"I just need to go outside, I'll be in the shade if anyone needs me." Foce turned around, ignored the hero and hurriedly made her way to the upper deck.
As bad as she felt for leaving Jessie and turning down her offer of assistance, she needed to escape; she felt sure of what she was running from, the very thing she thought she came to terms with last night.
"What am I supposed to do, Life? Just accept that I'll be subjected to this pain on a regular basis?!" the vampire lord wanted to kick something, but the airship wasn't her home to leave a mark on, no matter how many it may leave on her.
She pushed open the door leading out and quickly shut it back again; the sun had the whole upper deck bathed in light, so there was nothing she could do but sit on the floor until she fell asleep.
"Well...that was unexpected." Jessie didn't know what just happened, she thought things were going well, aside from Foce overeating. She stopped worrying after slowly realizing that there was nothing she could do or say, but she did go down the hall and peeked around the corner when the door shut nearly as soon as it opened, and found Foce crouched by the door, eyes closed.
She looked miserable where she was, Jessie had a feeling there was more than the pain of eating too much behind the bitter pain visible on her face, though if she wasn't used to eating a dozen pancakes, she was sure she'd be feeling pretty bad, too.
As hard as it was, she went back to the kitchen and occupied herself by cleaning dishes. She stood their and cleaned until Ray walked in and cleared his throat.
"Did you two fight?" he blurted, somewhat defensive, fully prepared to confront Foce about whatever it was.
Jessie let out a rough chuckle, "Nah, we didn't fight, no need to get your spines bristled, my porcupine."
"Hmm...well, I'm glad to see you appreciate my concern." he remarked. She could hear him folding his arms behind her, "What has you washing dishes? I thought you liked the cold."
"I'm worried about her, being around humans isn't an easy adjustment for her." Jessie kept realizing it time and again, when said Foce said all she did before falling asleep on her shoulder in the night and all she had, and now again, something told her Foce's current pain was very connected to her being a vampire, even if it was just because of the food; she didn't know what it was.
"Mm, I'm sure she'll be fine, especially with you supporting her, and now that she's earned my trust, I intend to try small talk with her."
"You mean you were suspicious this whole time? You're pretty good at hiding it." Jessie thought for a moment before adding, with a smile, "Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing."
"Oh, it's probably terrible, but I strive to make the best of a bad situation." Ray smirked at as he saw a faint smile shine on his sister's face, and silently turned to leave, "By the way, you've been washing that same mug for these past few minutes, I think that's enough."
Jessie nodded slowly, took the dish to a counter and started drying the hefty cup. It was black with stars scattered across it, "I know...but it's my favorite."
Ray sighed quietly and grunted affirmatively, "I know it is..."
Vampire eyes glowed bright purple from the shadows, Elitrick saw them, his lightning yellow armor swiftly bristled in response to the sense of looming threats he felt as his eyes darted across the rock cluttered valley.
He heard someone rushing from behind and turned to face the threat with a smile as twin lightning bolts appeared in his hands, striking the attacker before he saw her face, "Foce?! But you were asleep?"
He cried out and turned as two sharp blasts of pain radiated from his shoulder. He was going to strike the fanged foe when he saw who it was, it boggled his mind, not just that Foce was there as well, but that it was Foce. The betrayal stunned him and left him feeling more hopeless than angry. When fury surged in him it was already too late, as another fell on his other shoulder and bit him.
Elitick howled in agony as a large, thorny vine grew out of the ground and slapped him, caught the electric fibers of his armor and pulled him back to where he was, keeping him in range of the painful attack until he retracted his armor just after the fifth strike.
"Monster...you were one of us!" he spat, stumbling to the ground, trapping the duo under his shoulders, not that they seemed to care.
The Foce who commanded the rose grinned and watched as the two vampires drained his face of color, "I am still one of you, I've only embraced the fact that everyone here is a demon and an enemy to mortals, I've become more powerful than any Guardian! None of you could've taken me on, even if we'd met in your early day, but certainly not now, especially since I learned to split myself! I can take my prey down with little more than a struggle. So I stand corrected: I'm better than you."
"N-not true...you've rejected any last hope you had of redemption...I know no such friend named Foce." Elitrick wheezed, before closing his eyes and turning to dust.
"Oh, I don't need friends, I only ever had myself!" the vampire lord cried, "I'm the only one I need! Hah, aside from prey like yourself. The way's clear, goblins! We proceed now. I'll recruit those cursed to live as vampires, they will have a strength fueled by hunger that you could never match, we have powerful allies ahead of us."
"We should go around them." One of the Foces advised, "They won't easily betray what they were told, we'll waste our time trying to convince them, best to gather others before then, in case they need to be beaten into submission."
"Very well, then, you're suggestion?"
Her eyes narrowed as she devised a plot that complimented their current location, "We'll try recruiting the ogres, then the trolls, it shouldn't be too hard to persuade them to embrace the inner brawler, and they're very near here."
"You remember that from the day we united the squabbling masses, don't you?"
"No, I remember where we are and dismiss what the other Foce did, what she said to convince the neighboring demons to unite against the priestesses who banished them here, we are not in as favorable a position as she was, and merely saying who we are has no impact if they cease following us based on their own feelings, force has and always will be the most sure weapon."
"Very well, then we'll go with your plan."
It was easy enough to gather the ogres, but when they reached the trolls, Gaia heard the distant war cries and sought out the reason for it, "Foce, milady, you've returned to us!"
"Indeed I have, my old friend." Foce confirmed, smiling as the guardian's eyes darted to the two copies behind the leading one, "Great, isn't it?"
"What wickedness have you dabbled in?" Gaia gasped, appalled by the presence of three Foces.
"Calling it wicked when you haven't been told it's an illusion...you truly are presumptuous." Foce giggled.
"The Foce I know didn't take this lightly! Besides, if it was an illusion, why show off? Who are you...what are you?"
"I am Foce, I am a vampire lord, and I will put you down!" she extended her arm as she stared at Gaia, "Attack!"
"Trolls, ready to regroup behind m-" she fell silent as a club struck her from behind, she was sure she heard a rib crack before she fell forward. She was immediately set upon as she hit the ground and screamed as four fangs pierced her shoulders, two on either side, "Some fight that turned out to be, if honor or loyalty holds no meaning; fight for me because it will be a battle and not some brief scuffle!"
Her words had no effect on the trolls and she let out a breathy shudder as no further action was taken, "Then you've all betrayed what we fought for, along with Foce!" she cried out, roughly pushing her palms into the ground, the cries of pain that followed assured her that her strikes found their targets, "Let's hope this slows down your plot...a hero will rise to stand against you, Foce..."
"Let them send their best, it'll only be so much grander when they inevitably fall to me!" the leading vampire kicked Gaia's skull, but no motion followed. She smiled as she realized the guardian had died, just after she realized it an dusty orange glow gathered from the lifeless Guardian of Earth, "Heh, well timed, Gaia, I'd tip my hat to you...but I don't even know if you're aware of what I'm saying. Nevertheless, I look forward to seeing you again when next we meet!"
"The next target should be in what remains of the mountain," the strategic vampire remarked, "we should find and recruit as many flying demons as we can, and as I think it's safe to assume Valkyrie will be present, we should just go after her right away, the others will be easily manipulated once she's fallen."
"Very good, Thinker, after she falls, Serena will be the last contender...hah, perhaps saying that is giving these Guardians too much credit?"
"Of course it is, Commander." Thinker turned to the silent one and frowned at her, "Not much for talk, huh?"
"S-sorry...I'm just afraid talking will slow you down...I just want to find the one and settle down, the sooner this war's over, the sooner I can realize my romantic ambitions!" the Foce that spoke surprised the other two, but they merely smiled as she clasped her hands together.
"You mean your only ambitions." they replied in unison, sharing a laugh over their simultaneous reply, and over the fact that the other one was a romantic.
"Don't worry, you'll be showered in love and respect by the humans who survive our magnanimous mission," Thinker remarked, patting her shoulder reassuringly when the other frowned, "they'll sing serenades outside your window and make all manner of lovely gifts for you, Lover, and that's just everyone except that special someone, you'll be too happy for words."564Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡi4TqYylbwn
"Oh, I can't wait!" Lover squealed, bouncing on her heels.564Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡXsd2X0t1gt
"For now we must march, or our goals will be further off from becoming reality." Commander advised, eyeing the splitting mountain in the distance, "This world truly is shattering...we must finish this mission and find the priestesses before the terrain becomes too inaccessible." 564Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡguo4mS45Md
She pushed the thought aside and picked up the pace, prompting her followers to do so as well.564Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡ0pGZK8dwEi