Tales of the Hashashin: the Phantom Dancer and the Endarkened Ones
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May 30th, 2013 (1:00 PM). Edited June 19th, 2013 by Jönne.
Chapter 28: The Assassin's Amour
They were at Claire's villa, sitting on one of the many living rooms. The Count was apparently away; only the Chandelure seemed to be in the house. Claire was sitting gracefully on a huge red cushion, and Shango on a blue one. He was feeling uneasy at first; the Countess' home didn't seem welcoming, at least this part of it. And the scratches he had suffered last night were aching him, not to mention his cloak was slightly ripped on these areas. It bothered him insanely, it seemed as if he had defiled the sacred cloak by allowing his enemies to hit it. Claire seemed to notice his uneasiness - that's why she had sent the Chandelure to go find some wet tissues and sewing equipment. Shango was forced to remove his cloak and give it to the ghost in order to fix it; he felt helpless without it, and the feeling was intensified with Tristana's absence. But he didn't mind, as long as he was close to the Countess.
Shango was now looking at the form of the beautiful Ninetails, wondering what she was thinking. She had turned her head upwards, as if she was enjoying being looked at. Her enticing smell was tickling Shango's nostrils; he moved his cushion a little closer in order to get a better whiff.
"The Count is away," she said in a low voice, letting out a sigh; but she was smiling. "He will be away for some time..."
She got on her feet, Shango staring at her determined face in awe as she approached him. Her figure was massively overwhelming; she cuddled around Shango, her tails wrapped around him. They looked at each other intently, the Countess having a challenging smile on her snout. He'd swear he had fever, his head was that hot and dizzy from the moment. His heartbeats rose as he ran his claws through her soft fur and looked deep inside her dazzling red eyes.
Suddenly, the Chandelure emerged from the floor next to them, the ominous purple light of its candles filling the room. Shango's cloak was floating next to the ghost, as if someone was wearing it; it looked polished and new, somehow. Multiple wet pieces of cloth were placed next to the cushion they were sitting on, and the cloak was sent flying againist the couch, where it landed softly.
"Thank you," Claire said to the ghost with a grateful smile. It simply nodded and sunk into the floor.
The Countess faced Shango, her look alone reassuring him that the ghost would keep anything a secret.
"You look gorgeous, Claire," he whispered, unable to hold his comment back. He needed to be honest, after all.
"Really?" she asked, blinking her eyes in a cute manner; but she knew already. Shango dared to stroke her neck's fur, and she let him.
"Mhm. It's such a waste that you have married Desmondius..." he whispered, bearing a dangerous, menacing smile that was identical to Claire's.
"Ah, but he will be dead, soon..."
Claire put her head on his shoulder and sniffed on his neck; he ran his two claws through her mane again, from her head to the base of her tails, causing her goosebumps. She giggled and they looked at each other again; Shango thought it was great, planning the murder of her husband. Such thoughts weren't according to his character, but Claire had drawn him to a far away land. He would make her his, claim her by sending the Count to the other world. It seemed like an exquisite trade, and he was able to tell that was exactly what Claire was thinking of. Suddenly, great lust filled him, driving him into a storm of emotions for the Countess.
"Until then..." he whispered, kissing her neck, descending on to the mane on her chest...
"... we shall be together," she completed his phrase, closing her eyes and letting out a small sigh, letting herself drift off to the tempest of... love?
Shango woke up in a sea of tails, a comfy and fuzzy bed, proof that the long last night wasn't merely a dream. The assassination of the Judge and the Executioner seemed like a distant, unpleasant memory; he didn't even care about the voidborns looking for him. All that mattered was Claire, and she was besides him. How easy it would be to just remain there forever, staring at her cuddled up on him. Forget about the Endarkened Ones and let them rule the world - they were mortals, after all, they were bound to die some day. The role of the Phantom Dancer could be taken on by somebody else, easily...
Shango shot himself up, shaking these thoughts off his head. He rubbed his face with one hand, looking at the couch where the black cloak, his boots, the mask and his sash were left. Leaving Claire's furry tails, he headed over to the couch a grabbed his garments. He quickly tied the red sash with his insignia around his waist, wore his boots and put his cloak on, but before he could wear his mask, Claire raised her beautiful head and he turned to look at her.
"Going somewhere?" she asked in her most feminine voice that amused Shango to the point where he was smiling greatly and slightly apologetic.
"A thousand pardons, my Countess," he said in a formal manner, taking on the face of a gentleman which was profoundly funny, causing her to giggle. "Duty calls!"
"You weren't that much of a gentleman earlier..." she said, a seducing smile spread on the sides of her snout.
"You didn't want me to be," he countered, with his own charming half-smile. They both laughed and exchanged lustful stares; until Shango wore the mask of the Phantom Dancer, which latched onto his face's fur easily. Claire shot him a sad look.
"I thought we had made an agreement," she said, looking up at him as he walked past her. He turned around and kneeled in front of her, raising her chin with his claw and tickling it slightly.
"All in good time, dear. I have to make sure my allies are alive and well."
She positioned herself better on the huge blue cushion and stared into the brimming green eyes that slightly illuminated the steel of his mask.
"Do you really have to go?" she cooed, as if she was a teenage girl. He only smiled in response and stroked the side of her snout, before he left the room with light steps.
Shango walked in the dense darkness of the Well of Shadows; the center of the pentagon was lit by the otherworldly grey light, the Rhydon statues around giving off the feel that they were alive. But there was another source of light, a vivid red one; Tristana was flying about in the middle of the pentagon as a flare, above Zaunix and company. They had all layed flat down on the cold stone, except the Scyther, who was sitting. Shango walked over them, wondering why they would be sleeping like that. He noticed Hector and Zorthan were on their normal formes, before Tristana took shape and screamed his name. She dove downwards, right into his hood.
"I was worried! What happened?! They forced me to stay here..."
Tristana's loud voice echoed in the round chamber, waking Zaunix up. The voidborn opened his eyes abruptly and got on his feet; Shango pushed Tristana out of his face.
"Shango," Zaunix exclaimed, "well done. And I see you've learned how to infiltrate minds..." Shango raised his eyebrows, thinking Zaunix seemed to be fully awake as if he was never sleeping. And judging by his loud voice, he didn't care if Hector and Zorthan were sleeping.
"You mean those rifts?"
"Yes... the 'rifts of life', as our archaic mentors put it. Now tell me... where were you?"
"Nowhere where it would concern you."
Zaunix looked at him, tilting his mutated head with the huge sharp fangs extending out of his mouth. "The Count has gone missing," he informed him, as if he knew of exactly where he was. Shango wondered if he had slipped into his mind, but he felt like nothing of that sort had happened. Zaunix had just seen Claire pulling him into the alley.
"What do you mean, he's gone missing?"
"One of my contacts saw him exiting the town early this morning."
"He hovered over the lake and just vanished."
"We will be targeting him once he returns. Until then, let the others recover from their wounds."
"I see you had yours taken cared of."
"Yes," Shango said, tilting his whole body and smiling in the remembrance of Claire gently pressuring the wet tissues againist his scratches. "Any news on Jericho?"
"He's locked himself up in his fortress in Ionia... I reckon it is impossible to reach him. Over one thousand are guarding the palace. Not to mention he has passed a law of hoodies and cloaks."
Shango stayed silent. All this was simply a test for his patience, patience which he was taught by the Hashashin.
"Are the Hashashin safe?" he asked, concern obvious in his voice. Zaunix took a moment to answer.
"Good," said Shango, looking down at the grey stone. One of Zaunix' scythes landed gently on his shoulder; bringing a strange feeling to Shango, the feeling of the deeper connection of the voidborns. Tristana was sitting on his free shoulder, biting her bottom lip and looking innocently at the Scyther.
"You did well in erasing their memory, Phantom," he buzzed.
"The world is better off without Shango," he commented jokingly in a low voice, without smiling at all.
"Ah! On the contrary! You freed Myriapolis of great evil!"
"You seem so content in this victory, forgetting that it is ours, and not mine."
"Spoken like a true brother... I am surprised you have shown such devotion to us so far, Phantom. We don't look like the good guys, now, do we?"
"We share the same cause, Zaunix. Looks matter little. I may look scary to a child, but to my Tristana here I am the most adorable Pokemon," he said with a grand smile, raising his hand to scratch the spirit's chin with one claw, still looking to the voidborn in front of him.
"I see your point."
"And I still can't understand why you were sleeping on the floor like this," he said, glancing at Hector and Zorthan laying on the floor. It was extremely strange, seeing a Reuniclus fallen to the ground.
"The Imperatores wouldn't put any beds down here when they made this place..."
"Let me sleep elsewhere, then. I don't think I'll ever be in the mood of hugging the floor."
Zaunix started laughing, though it sounded horrorful, a pestering buzz to Shango's sensitive ears. Tristana let out a laugh as well but, knowing Shango, she got serious and started rubbing the tip of his ears.
"I'll go get some air," said Shango, letting out a sigh and turning around to exit the Well.
The following days passed like a blur to the voidborn, who were carefully scheming the Count's death. However, he had vanished from town and the news had spread all around real fast. Meanwhile, Shango was visiting the Countess alone every day for about a week, keeping her company and forcing any curious citizens out of the manor when needed. He had told her of what Zaunix' contact had said: that the Count flew over Acheloos lake and disappeared in the darkness of the night, just like that. Despite their search for the Count, Claire seemed little concerned about finding him; Shango assumed she believed that he wouldn't come back ever again. She had expressed that opinion to Shango the last night they were together, when she was proven wrong...
"Where do you think he's gone, then?"
They were cuddling with each other on the very same living room they sat on the night that followed the assassination of the Executioner and the Judge. Shango was stroking her shiny fur, and she was pressing againist his chest with her front legs.
"I don't know... he's never been away for so long. He's a
after all," she said the word with a hint of disgust in her voice, "he travels quickly."
"Well I know I'm glad for his absence," Shango said with a cheeky smile, bringing his hand on the back of her head. She smiled back and Shango knew she understood him fully. The time he had spent with her the past week made him realize they had alot more in common than what he'd initially thought. He came to admire her noble qualities, her intelligence and class; he found out that she was impressed by the display of power and he often showed off. It wasn't exactly according to his personality, but it captivated her, so why not? It was the first time he found somebody so identical to him, yet it had become clear that Claire was his ideal partner and match for him. Shango was overwhelmed with happiness every time he laid his eyes upon her; now he wasn't captivated only by her physical charms.
They were staring at each other intently, as if their eyes couldn't feast enough of each other. They did this alot, Shango had noticed. This particular moment was one of Shango's favorite, as he could easily predict how things would develop right after. He laid back on the cushion and relaxed himself, feeling happiness fill him entirely... but suddenly, the air turned cool; he perked up his ears and turned to the right, into the darkest corner of the room. He slipped away from Claire's grasp and shot himself up from the cushion, still staring into that specific spot. He felt a presence, filled with rage, doubt and viciousness.
Two red eyes emerged from the wall, the faint light from the candles on the walls giving an outline to the Gengar; Count Desmondius was standing in front of them. He looked much more intimidating than the last time Shango had seen him. He had lost his creepy smile, which was replaced by a firm line of sharp, white teeth.
"So much for your devotion," the Gengar's spiteful voice echoed around the room; he was facing Claire, who got on her feet with a stone like expression on her face.
"What, did you think I'd live happily ever after with somebody who desires to rule the world?!"
Shango glanced at her astonished; he had never heard her scream before, nor that particular tone of hers. Something had disturbed her usually calm and peaceful attitude - a wave of surpressed anger. Count Desmondius was simply staring at her, but his own anger had diminished; he was weak. Shango realized that he was but a pawn in the game of the Endarkened Ones. Nothing but an unimportant member that would help the great monarchs gain full control over the regions. He was oblivious to their greatest of plans, possibly because his heart wasn't as merciless as some others...
"Did you think it was fun, hearing all of your stories?!" the Ninetails snapped furiously again.
"So you were faking, then..." the Count said in a low voice; Shango saw spite was filling the void anger had left. He thought of it best not to interfere with the two.
"You are pathetic," Claire stated in a calm manner. Count Desmondius remained stunned, his red eyes widened in anger and surprise. He slowly turned to face Shango.
"And who are you?" he whispered menacingly, then the spark of recognition flew across his eyes. "You... you're an Hashashin... Shango Maverick."
"Irrelevant," Shango commented, covering the distance between him and the ghost with one single leap. Darkness formed on his right hand, and before the Gengar could react, Shango stabbed his ethereal body right between the eyes. The Count let out a horrible scream and started to disperse into a black fog.
"Ah... no," he wheezed and coughed. His eyes turned blue and a massive wave of darkness that looked like his hand was shot at Claire, engulfing her. Shango's eyes widened in fear and recognition of the technique:
Before he could blink, Claire had been completely covered by liquid darkness and he could not see nor hear her; he turned to the dispersing Gengar next to him and grasped his light round body tightly. The blue eyes were locked at him, his weak but vengeful grin brimming on his face, until it vanished into nothingness, along with the rest of his face.
Shango ran over to the cloud of darkness, fear veiling his judgement, and shot his right hand right into it in search of Claire. But soon, the cloud dispersed into nothingness, just like the Gengar; no sign of the Countess was left behind. She had vanished on the spot. Shango kneeled on the floor in hope of finding anything, but he knew it was all in vain. Ghosts or their powers left no trace on the physical world.
"No..." he whispered, unable to grasp what had happened. His eyes watered from sadness and anger that filled his heart as suddenly as Claire had disappeared. She was gone, and if the thought that he had been unable to do something about it would torture him for many years to come; the sweet memory of the noble Countess would haunt him in his sleep.
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