Ruth & Chthon 2

Chapter One

Ruth longed for her children to be alive again. She missed them so badly. Chthon decided to try and track down Assaku. He knew that demon had escaped when he destroyed the castle and everyone inside. It would be dangerous to travel to that world since not as many knew of him. There was also the fact of what he had done after he saved Ruth. Alot of demons in that world highly valued that place and would be very angry at him for destroying the source of their toys.¬†He would talk to Nero and Nigel about accompanying him and pray Ruth would stay home where it was safe. He had only had her back a little over a year and didn’t want to lose her to anything. He had only been in that world the one time so wasn’t sure what he¬†could¬†expect there when he returned.

“We would be happy to come with you, but have you told Ruth.” Nigel said.

“No, not yet. I know if I do she will insist on accompanying me. You know how she is. She’ll want to make sure I don’t rip Assaku’s head off.” He replied, crossing his arms.

“You should tell her Chthon. You have never lied to her before so why start now?”

“I agree with Nigel dad.” Nero said and his father frowned.

“Oh fine, damn it.” He had left Ruth in the library and made his way through the castle. She was reading a book on mythology and smiled up at him when he entered the room. “We need to talk.” He said and she quickly closed the book and sat it down.

“What is it love?” She asked and he sat down next to her.

“I am going to take Nigel and Nero to find the demon who resurrected you so he can bring our children and Zeus back. I want you to stay here.”

“Chthon, what if you try to hurt him or kill him before you get back? I know it’s been a year, but you are known for holding grudges against those who would hurt your loved ones. Not even Nigel and Nero would be able to hold you back if you wanted to kill someone.”

“I knew you’d say that, I just knew it. This is why I insisted on not telling you.”

She grabbed his face in her hands and kissed him. His heart fluttered and he wrapped his arms tightly around her. She had him wound so tightly around her little finger that there was nothing he wouldn’t do. Even if he didn’t like it. “So not fair Ruth.”

“It wasn’t supposed to be. Let me come with you and keep you calm.”

“I don’t want you to see me kill those who might try to stop us. I don’t like being violent around you. It makes me feel uncomfortable.” She hugged him and kissed his cheek. “I don’t want something to happen to you.”

“I have magic you know. I’m not helpless.”

“Sometimes I wish you were so you wouldn’t want to follow me like this.”

“No you don’t because then I’d be human” Chthon sighed “I just, I can’t lose you ever again Ruth. Life isn’t life without you”

“You’ll never lose me Chthon. Is anybody else going?”

“Nigel and Nero.”

“Between the four of us we’ll be fine. There’s nothing to worry about.” Chthon met their lips again in a loving kiss. “lets have dinner then and make our departure in the morning. I still remember where to go to get to that world and I’m certain I can do it without whatever stone. Assaku and Andras were very powerful aside from bringing back the dead so I’m sure a demon like me wont need it.” Ruth agreed then Chthon lifted her up so he could bring her with him to tell Nero and Nigel then take her down to the dining hall to eat with everybody. “Glad to see your coming mom” Nero said with a smile “see? Our son has faith in me that I wont just become a tasty snack there.” Nigel and Nero chuckled while Chthon kept a serious face.

They all went down to dinner. Neros wife was very worried about Nero leaving. This would be the first time she would spend nights alone without her daughters or husband. Diana had gone home with Aurel after his visit so with Nero going on a trip it would be just her. Nero reminded her of how many friends she had made in the castle and that she was always welcome to go hangout at Sophie and Charles house. Lisanna and Sophie had become very close and loved talking so Lisanna decided she probably would make a trip to Tresnia and just stay a few days with Sophie, Charles, Victoria and Thatcher.

After dinner they all went to their bedrooms to rest for the night. Chthon instructed Nigel and Nero to meet him at the front door at six am so they could start before the sun hung too high. Ruth could tell Chthons nerves were up as they laid together. She kissed the top of his head since he had it laying on her chest. “relax Chthon”

“I can’t, you could get hurt. What if I make a mistake and you pay for it.”

“Stop thinking like that, never doubt yourself honey.”

“But I love you so much”

“and I love you. Relax and go to sleep”

The next morning Chthon woke before Ruth and wrestled with the idea of just leaving her. Looking at her peaceful and trusting face he knew he could not. He never wanted her angry with him for any reason. He gently shook her and she opened her eyes and sat up, rubbing the sleep out of them. “Sorry baby, but it’s time to get up.” He said softly as she yawned.

“I’ll make breakfast while you boys pack.” She said and stood. She pulled on clean clothes then headed downstairs. She made bacon and fried egg sandwiches, leaving Nero’s yolk nice and runny. It gave her the willies every time she thought of sticking an undercooked egg in her mouth. She carried the plates into the dining room as the men came in with their packs.

“This is so delicious mom.” Nero said as he practically inhaled his sandwich.

“Except for the runny yolk.” She replied.

“It’s the best mom, absolutely yummy.” She wrinkled her nose in disgust, making the men laugh.

When they were done with breakfast then headed out of the castle. Chthon was still worried about her coming. He knew she was capable of protecting herself, but it didn’t help to ease his anxiety. He lifted her onto his back then slipped his pack onto one shoulder. Lisanna came out and kissed Nero bye and almost started crying. He reassured her as best as he could and they took off running. He knew of he looked back at her face, he would change his mind. He wanted his brother and sister back so kept his eyes focused forward. Chthon lead them to the closest body of water which was a small pond. He lowered Ruth to the ground and dipped his finger in the water. He drew his hand up, the water following it. He focused on the world he wanted to go to and the water flattened out like a mirror. He grabbed Ruth’s hand and they all stepped through.

Ruth had nearly forgot this world where she had been sold to a sick twisted demon who wanted nothing more than to make her his play thing. Chthon had helped chase the images of this terrible place away, replacing them with love and passion. The castle he had destroyed was still a pile of rubble and ash. There were signs that demons had been around just a couple of days prior, one of which was Assaku. Chthon had taught her the value of remembering certain scents. She had taken it upon herself to never forget Assaku’s just in case he came back around to take more girls.

“They must be thinking of starting the business again if they’ve been around this castle” Chthon growled, the idea making him seethe. These kind of trades sickened him to no end and Ruth ending up a victim to it only deepened his hatred. Ruth rubbed his back “calm down and concentrate. Assakus scent is here.”

“Which one is it dad?” Nero asked since he had never learned the mans scent. Chthon thought about it then said “the one that smells heavy of raw fish. Nero and Nigel took in the air and tried sorting through the scents until they both found it. “You guys got it?” Chthon said when their faces said they did. “Yes sir” They both said. “That’s who we look for. Remember we need to bring him back alive so he can do the resurrection.”

“Can we kill him after?’ Nero asked making Ruth turn quickly and say “Nero” in a dissapointed tone. “Mom, he brought you back to sell you as a sex slave. He’s a disgusting monster.”

“But you never kill unless you need to” Ruth said sternly and Nero sighed “I’m sorry mom, I will not kill him” Chthon cleared his throat saying “lets follow his trail and see where it leads.” Ruth got on Chthons back and they took off running. Nero really hated this place. All it did was fill him with rage to be where demons had treated his mother like she was some object only ment for their pleasure. He wanted to rip the heads off of every single demon that had been around that day but could settle for the fact his father had taken care of all but Assaku.

It was a fact he didn’t like at first but now he was happy that there was a chance to have his brother and sister back. Nero just didn’t know how Noah would react to living again. He’d remember having a newborn baby and a wife. Both of which were long since dead. He hoped his brother could handle the loss of his wife better than Chthon had handled the loss of their mother. Nero almost wondered if it would be cruel to bring Noah back. He may not want life once he knew he no longer had a wife and newborn baby.

“You would think that twit would have given up on slaving after the fright I gave him.” Chthon said as he they ran, following Assaku’s scent away from the castle.

“Maybe he has and was here for another reason.” Ruth replied and she clung to her husband’s shoulders.

“Once a slaver, always a slaver.” Nigel said angrily.

“It is not fair to judge Nigel since you yourself were not always an angel.” Ruth’s words shamed him. Even now she was willing to forgive the men who had hurt her. She had never been one for holding grudges.

“Mother, I was wondering if it would be a good idea to bring Noah back. He no longer has his wife and child.” Nero said as they came to a stop on a hill. Down below was a small settlement of demons.

“I am sure they would be happy to be brought back as well. I am sure he would want to know the daughter he never got to raise.”

“Of course you are right mother.” Chthon lowered her feet to the ground and started down the hill. Assaku’s scent was stronger here. As they got closer, the smell of blood met their noses. Laying scattered over the ground were six demons, all dead. None of them were Assaku, but his scent covered them.

“Someone killed these men.” Nigel said as he examined the bodies.

“Do you think it was Assaku?” Ruth asked.

“It could have been or he just looted the bodies when they were all dead.” Chthon answered. “Either way, some of this blood is his.”

“If it was him, what would drive a slaver to murder his fellow slavers?” Nero asked.

“Regret, fear, disgust. It could be a number of things. We have to find him.” Chthon lifted Ruth back up and they continued on their way. Ruth hoped that he was not dead and she believed he had been wounded killing these monsters. The day she had met him, she had known he was not like his mentor. He had seemed to regret taking her from her grave and tying her up. She had believed he had simply done what he was told and was probably following I the footsteps of a long line of slavers.

If Ruth found out he truly was good like she thought she was planning on convincing her husband to let him stay in the castle where he could start a new life away from this world. He’d never get to be anything here but he could find somthing better to do with his life in Barense. She knew it would be a hard sway with her husband, sons and Nigel but she knew they’d bend for her. The only one she truly had to convince was Chthon. She hoped since Abraxas wouldn’t try to rip him apart when Assaku came back home with them. Ruth and Abraxas were just as tight as her and Nico. It made Ruth feel special just how important she was to him. Abraxas meant the world to her too. She didn’t see him as any less of a son than Noah or Nico.

She wondered how overloaded Noah would be when they sat him down and explained how everything was now. He would have no memory of her dieing or Chthon going through a period of devastating depression and chasing most the residents in the castle away. All the friends he had in the castle were among the ones gone. She knew her son could handle it though. He was as tough as his father. He may not have been born with very much power but he made up for it with his capability to face anything.

Suddenly they heard a sound that could only be described as a dragons and lions roar mixed into one. They stopped to see two of the largest demons Ruth had ever seen in her life running towords them with swords that were about half their body length. Hair covered their bodies, they resembled apes to Ruth but she could smell they were very malicious demons with a thirst for blood. She could even see their lust for blood in their orangish yellow eyes. They looked at her especially hungry.

“I want you to keep your distance Ruth.” Chthon said as he, Nero and Nigel attacked the demons. She could easily aid them from a distance if it was needed. The two demons slashed and kicked and punched, using their strength and speed to try and out maneuver the three men. Nigel and Nero took down one and the other, seeing he was about to be ganged up on, pulled lightening down from the sky. It slammed into the ground, momentarily blinding them so the demon could slip past them. It came at Ruth and she threw up a barrier that it bounced off of. Chthon was on it in an instant and breaking it’s neck. No one touched his wife.

She dropped the barrier and he pulled her into his arms, looking her over. “Honey, I’m fine. I don’t have a single scratch.” She said, trying not to laugh.

“I just want to make sure.” She grabbed his hands and his eyes jumped to her face.

“You can check at home, but right now we need to find Assaku. He’s wounded remember?”

He sighed and squatted down so she could get on his back. She kissed the back of his neck and goosebumps covered his entire body. “I love you so much Ruth. I am so glad you have such fast reflexes.”

“Thanks to you I have become amazingly quick. Next time we should try using out magic together. I bet it would be amazingly powerful.”

“I’ll think about it.”

They continued to follow Assaku’s scent. The sun started to go down when they came upon a small shack in the middle of the woods. The smell of his blood was even stronger here. There was some smeared on the front of the door in the shape of a handprint. Nero pushed on the door and found it locked. Chthon put Ruth down and banged on the door. “Assaku, you in there?” He said loudly. They heard nothing. He kicked the door open, ripping the bolt lock off the wall. Assaku lay unconscious in the middle of the floor. Dry blood covered his face and hands and had soaked into his shirt. Ruth dropped to her knees next to him and pressed her ear to his chest. His heart was just barely beating, but he was alive.

“Nero get me some water, Nigel find a rag or something I can clean this blood off with. Chthon, please examine his memories and see what happened to him.” She ordered. The men sprang into action, not daring to argue.

Ruth pushed every ounce of healing she had into Assakus body then began to clean him off. His heart beat had become a bit stronger so she was sure he’d pull through. She wished any one of the men had healing magic so they could be sure. She could always give Assaku more when her body rested some. Now that she was a demon her body recovered faster from her using all of her magic energy. As soon as shew felt it return she would aid him again. Ruth couldn’t get to all the blood because Chthon was in the way. She couldn’t tell by his expression what her husband was seeing. “Check to see if he has any haling potion around here to add what I just did Nero.”

Nero nodded then began to search “I will help” Nigel said. They only found two but two was better than none. Ruth poured it over the gash that still hung open in his chest. It closed putting Ruth at ease. There was no way he would die now. Nigel and Nero wished they could do anything but just sit there. Finally Chthon jerked back. All eyes flew to his face that still wasn’t giving any indication as to what Chthon saw. Chthon cleared his throat and sighed “He isn’t so bad afterall. You’re an excellent judge yet again Ruth” Chthon said giving her a half smile. “what did you see love?” Ruth asked urgently. She was dieing to know and wished he’d just come out with it”

Well apparently he never wanted to be in this line of work atall. I read that much from his emotions and thoughts as he walked. He was forced into this job by his father because the demons in his family have been doing it countless generations. He didn’t want to be disowned so gave the work a try. He didn’t like it atall and was sickened by the demons he worked with. He was being forced to examine the rubel to see how hard it would be to rebuild and start business again. On the way back the other men were talking about all the stuff they wanted to put the human women through and how much they’d enjoy it. Assaku snapped, unable to tolerate this life anymore and began attacking every single one of them. He wanted them dead before they inflicted more harm on human girls that should be resting in peace.

“This poor man.” Ruth brushed some of his hair off of his forehead. “Lift him onto his bed and start cleaning this place.” Chthon and Nigel lifted Assaku off the ground, going slow. He groaned once then made no more noise. Ruth was able to clean the rest of the blood off and asked the men to undress him. She covered her eyes and waited until they had him covered before looking again. He was extremely pale and his eyes were moving beneath his lids. He was dreaming. “We will take turns watching him tonight.” She said and pulled the only chair he had over to the bed.

“Let me take first watch Ruth. You should get some sleep.” Chthon said as he brushed his fingers over her cheek.

“Alright, but make sure to wake me if he stirs.”

“I will. Nigel and Nero please guard the front door. I am sure there are more demons prowling around and I don’t want them surprising us.”

“Yes sir.” They said in unison and grabbed their bags before exiting the shack. Nigel decided to stay behind the shack while Nero stayed out front. He would switch places with him in a couple of hours so his best friends son would not have to face the most dangerous area the whole time.

Ruth made a bed on the floor and Chthon sat in the chair next to the bed. Ruth fell quickly asleep, leaving Chthon to listen to the softness of her and Assaku’s breathing. As the sun started to rise, Assaku began to wake. His eyes drifted slowly open and he turned his head, nearly jumping out of his skin when he saw Chthon sitting next to him.

“Don’t hurt me please, I’ve been good I swear.” He said, his voice weak and shaking. His panicked words woke Ruth and she looked at Chthon who was just sitting there looking at Assaku. There was no malicious intent in his eyes. She moved to Assaku’s side, instantly drawing his attention.

“Calm down, no one is going to hurt you I promise. We found you unconscious on the floor.”

“Fucking bastard Shinja, stabbed me. It’s okay though because I killed him and his sick fucking friends.”

“We know, we found the bodies.” Chthon said.

“I couldn’t do it anymore, not after you Ruth, not after the look on your face when I wouldn’t let you go. I’m so sorry for what I did, but I swear I didn’t want to. I would have untied and helped you escape, but they would have killed me. I’m so sorry.”

“Shhh, all is forgiven. Just relax.”

“Thank you for helping me…I didn’t deserve it for leaving you to be sold.”

“Like I said, quit talking about it and rest so you can finish getting better. We want to take you back to our world. In fact after you help us with somthing I want you to live in our castle. You can start over in Barense and have a life of your own. One you choose for yourself.” Ruth looked at Chthon. “He could stay with us couldn’t he?”

“Only if he helps with what we’re asking”

“anything, I owe you two. I need to make amends.”

“we’ll talk about it when you’ve rested more”

“Please ask me now. The answer is yes, just tell me”

“I have three children, two of which are dead. ¬†We want you to resurrect them and my son Noahs family.”

“I will need your help too then. It takes two to ressurect one. How big was his family?”

“He had a wife and daughter”

“So that will be a ressurection of four people so I will need seven others.”

“We can make that happen”

“Ok, I am tired so when I’ve rested I will go into more detail. Think of the seven who you trust because this is a very sensitive thing for lack of a better describing word. If the person speaks so much as one word wrong your loved one will be a zombie and there’s no coming back from that. Choose wisely your seven.” When Assaku was resting again Chthon said “well there’s you and me, Nico and his wife would help so thats four. Nigel would do anything for us and I trust him so theres five.” Chthon paused in deep thought. “what about Charles and Sophie? They would help I’m sure.”

“I have a feeling it’s demon words. They would be too likely to fail. We need demons.”

“why don’t we search for Empusa and her son. They would help.”

“Sure, we can hunt them after we get Assaku out of this world. Smart as always. They’ll probably be happy to find out you’re alive again.”

“Yeah, I would think thye woudl have shown up if they knew I was living.”

“They would have. Many times when I went to your grave Empusa and Manah were there too.”

Chapter Two

“Perhaps they still visit my grave. We should check when we return home.”

“Good idea. Why don’t you go ahead and relax while I make breakfast for all of us.”

“Are you sure? You spent all night awake.” He nodded and she went ahead and laid back down. Chthon checked to see what Assaku had. There wasn’t much, but he did have bacon and eggs. He cooked all that was left then called Nero and Nigel in before waking Ruth and Assaku. He had Nero help Assaku set up then handed him a plate.

“Thank you.” He said and ate. When breakfast was over, Nigel washed dishes while Ruth made sure there were no more open wounds on Assaku. Nero brought him some clean clothes and Ruth covered her eyes so he could get dressed. She dropped her hands when he was finished and giggled when she saw him blushing.

“Haven’t you been naked in front of a woman before?” She asked.

“Yeah, but you’re different.”

“It’s not like I actually saw anything.”

“I know, but…I don’t know what it is. It’s just the understanding way you look at everyone, like you can see past all the bad down to the good. You shame people and make them want to be better.”

“If it makes you want to always be a good person then I’m glad.” She placed a gentle hand on his shoulder and smiled. “Are you well enough to travel?”

“Yes, I think I can manage. I feel a lot better than I did now that I’ve eaten.”

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you get tired. Your body has been through a trauma and there is no shame in asking one of us to support some of your weight.” She looked around the small shack. “Anything you would like to bring?”

“One thing.” He got down and pulled a small wooden box out from under his bed. He opened it and showed her an old necklace with a dragon pendant. “It’s all I have left of my mother. She died a long time ago. My father burned her body and this was all that survived.” He closed the box and handed it to Chthon. “You have a pack and I know it will be safest with you.”

Assaku also grabbed the books they would need and handed it to him. Nero couldn’t help but ask “why couldn’t you bring her back?” Assaku sighed “He burnt her bones too. I need a skeleton or I can’t resurrect. As long as 80% of the skeleton is there I can resurrect but any less than that and there’s nothing I can do.”

“sorry I asked” Nero said suddenly ashamed of the question. “Don’t be, it’s an understandable question” Chthon tucked the pedant and books away safely in his bag then picked up Ruth. They set off quickly, wanting to be out of this world. Chthon asked along the way. “so what else did we need to discuss.”

“Mainly that we can’t rush getting this done. Everyone needs to practice their words as long as it takes for them to say each one perfectly. I would hate to see any of your loved ones turn into a zombie since it can’t be reversed. Also we’ll need to find the ingredients for the potion I’ll need to spread over the bones. It’s very hard to make and normally takes months. Maybe with a bunch of people we can gather and prepare the potions faster than when just two people do it.”

‘we will all work on it to get this done faster.”

“Another very important thing is you’ll want to keep this book safely hidden. Ruth and the other people we’ll bring back would be in danger if this book found the wrong hands.”

“Why’s that?” Nero asked urgently. The very next page after the potion we will make is one that takes the life back of resurrected people. The potion is the biggest part of the ritual because its a part of the new person, what allows their soul to return and stay.If sombody made the potion all they’d have to do is pour it on Ruth or get her to ingest some of it and she would literally fall dead in seconds. So would everyone else who was given a second chance of life this way. This book contains many helpful and powerful spells but make sure nobody but your family has access to it so no evil entities can take Ruths life back.”

“You couldn’t just bring her back again?!” Nico asked near panic at the thought. Assaku couldn’t look at him anymore and said “no, it would put a permanent block on the ressurection ritual ever being done for whoevers life it took again. It’s a nasty potion.”

“what’re you going to do with it dad?”

“I’ll think on it while we travel”

“why dont we just destroy the damn page?” Nigel added. Assaku answered him “you cannot. This book has been protected by powerful magic. You can’t detroy this book or any pages in it no matter what you do”

“You have not seen the real monster that hides beneath this face. I am never truly using all of my power because I simply haven’t had a need to use it in a long time.” He pointed at Nigel. “He is one of the very few who has seen it.”

“He speaks the truth boy. With that much strength and that much magic, he could destroy anything.” Nigel confirmed and Assaku was even more intimidated by Chthon.

“Don’t be scared of him Assaku. You are looking at his true face, it is the darkness inside that is the illusion.” Ruth said and smiled at all of them. She truly believed what she said.

It was a relatively quiet journey until they arrived back at the pool of water. They were surprised to see a group of demons camped nearby, obviously using it as a water source. “Stay here.” Chthon said and moved slowly out of the woods and into their camp. They all jumped up, drawing swords. “You wouldn’t happen to be slavers would you?” He asked.

“And what if we are?” One of the men said.

Chthon sat his pack down and stared the self appointed leader in the eyes. “Then you will have to die.”

Watching Chthon so easily dispatch of the demons made Assaku take a step backwards. Ruth grabbed his hand, holding him in place. He had been about to run and she had seen it. “Sorry, I don’t want to leave, but he scares the hell out of me.” Chthon lifted his pack and motioned for them to come out. He opened the gate to their world, grabbed Ruth’s hand and stepped through. They were happy to be back in familiar territory even if it was raining. Ruth turned her face up to the cleansing water, closing her eyes and allowing it to refresh her.

Chthon smiled and lifted her in his arms. He would have stopped the rain if she had not been enjoying it so much. They made their way back to the castle as quickly as possible. Assaku was still a little sore from his attack and traveling was making it worse. Once they were home and inside the walls of the castle Chthon had Nigel take Assaku to one of the rooms. Nero went directly to his wife and Chthon took Ruth up to their room so they could change clothes.

In their room Ruth said “we forgot to tell him about Zeus too. So that means we need two more people since he needs two for everybody.”

“damn, I can’t think of anybody else.”

“Maybe Nigel has some friends he trusts”

“True, I’ll ask him” They pulled new clothes on then Chthon stopped the rain before going to Tresnia to see if maybe Empusa and Manah would be around and get Abraxas to come home to help them gather. He had moved into the village to live with Adette. He still hadn’t asked her to become a demon. Chthon was anxious for him to. He was really worried about him and what might happen if nobody could convince her. They decided to check the grave first for Empusa and Manah. They weren’t there but their scent was like they had been there only hours ago. They followed the trail and found them in their old home where Ruth used to visit. Chthon set Ruth down knowing the two would want a hug. Chthon knocked and Empusa answered. Her eyes widened before she began crying “Ruth! How is this so!” Ruth explained then told her what they needed help with.

“Anything for you Ruth. You have been missed so dearly. Manah will be back soon. Please sit down” Empusa said still sobbing with her happiness at seeing Ruth again. “I just can’t believe it’s you”

“I couldn’t believe it either when I was first brought back. It was pretty scary”

“I’m so glad we can bring your children back too”

“:Thank you for agreeing to help”

“Anything for you Ruth.” When Manah came through the door he dropped the fruit he was carrying and lunged at Ruth. he grabbed her face “you’re real” he said in disbelief. Ruth told her story all over again and asked for his help. He too agreed then they all went to get Abraxas, they would also bring Adette if she felt like going. They knocked and soon Abraxas came to the door “Hey mom, how’re you.”

“Wonderful, we’ve found the man who brought me back to life and he’s going to help us.”

“That monster!” Abraxas said suddenly angry then added “what is he helping us with?”

“He is good now Abraxas so please be nice. He wants to bring back Noah, Lucy and Zeus. It takes two for each person to perform the ceremony so we hoped you would come home and help out. First we need to gather supplies to make the potions needed for the job.”

“Of course i’ll help but I don’t know how nice I’ll be to him”

“Abraxas, you always need to forgive when people are truly sorry.” Ruth said sternly. Abraxas sighed “I’m sorry mom, I’ll try. Adette and I will meet you at the castle in a few hours. We’ll pack to stay awhile. I can’t wait to meet my siblings.” Ruth smiled “I love you”

“Love you too mom” Abraxas shut the door and they traveled back to Chthons castle. They needed to find Nigel to see if he had any friends he trusted to help with this. Ruth turned to Empusa and said “Abraxas acted as if he knew you”

“He does, I came to see your husband a few times after your death.”

“I”m very sorry Id idn’t make contact sooner. Chthons been hogging me”

“It’s ok, he had the hardest time with your passing so I understand. That many was just a husk of a person without you Ruth. I’m glad you’ve become a demon this time”

“I should have the first time”

They found Nigel in the kitchen with Assaku. They were going over the ingredients for the potion as well as the incantation. They looked up when they heard them enter and Assaku nearly jumped over the center island. “Wait, I know you.” Empusa said and Assaku rubbed the back of his head. “You’re the idiot who snuck into my chicken coop and stole my eggs.”

“Sorry?” He gave her a nervous smile. “In all fairness you did throw a cast iron skillet at me.”

“Cracked your head open good too.”

“You stole eggs?” Ruth asked.

“I had not eaten in three days so I was hungry and her house just happened to be in the direction I was walking. I grabbed maybe a dozen eggs and as I’m climbing out of the coop she comes out screaming at me. I ran and she threw a skillet at me. I bled like crazy. She was acting like I killed her chickens. It was twenty years ago, I’m surprised you still remember me.” Empusa tapped her nose. “Oh yeah that’s right. We demons are like bloodhounds.”

“You and Manah should spend some time with Assaku and learn what you need to. Nigel, we need to know if you have a couple of friends who we can trust to help us with the resurrections?”

“Maybe a couple of old buddies from my sailing days, twin brothers. They were always pretty competent. They like to call themselves immortals. Both human, but they don’t age and they can’t die. I even tested it out for myself once. The son of a bitch resurrected on his own. Apparently they are older than I am.”

“Sounds interesting and creepy.” Ruth said.

“It is creepy, scared the shit out of me the first time I saw it. They laughed afterwards because they are completely insane. Last I heard they were retired and living in a village not far from Tresnia. I could head over and see if they’re still there.”

“Please do and make it as fast as you can. I can send Assaku and Empusa out to gather the ingredients we need.” Chthon said and Nigel nodded! heading out of the kitchen and packing a bag. “Can you handle working with the egg theif?”

Empusa and Ruth both laughed, making Assaku blush with embarrassment. “Yes, I think I can mange. Manah why don’t you join us. It will do you some good to learn about this stuff.”

“Yes mother, of course.”

Chthon picked Ruth up “what’re you doing?”

“we’re going to rest and cuddle for a bit before they all get back. I’m having withdrawls” Ruth giggled as he started walking to their room. “We just cuddled last night, it hasn’t been that long.”

“It has when a demon came running at you only hours ago”

“You’re still wound up about that? I protected myself”

“It scared me anyway Ruth. I need you safe which is why I will destroy the page once I dont have to worry about messing up the page with the potion to resurrect. Somthing that could kill you will not exist. I know I can do it. No magic can stop me. Especially when it’s to protect you”

“I love you so much. I’m excited about seeing our children again.”

“Me too”

“I hope their daughters come back.”

“They may not have heard you’re alive yet. Empusa didn’t know and she lives so close”

“Yeah, I just know Lucy will want her girls when she’s among us again” They laid together until Abraxas came into the castle with Adette. ¬†“where do we begin?” He asked setting Adette down. “The ingredients are being gathered and more people are coming. We just wait.” They all just fidgeted and talked until everybody was standing in the entry way. When Assaku came in it was hard for Abraxas not to glare but he managed. He didn’t want his mother to make him feel low because of it. Assaku was also helping bring back people they all loved dearly so he deserved a chance.

“Now the creation, it’s vital this is done precisely and carefully. The potion is a very vital part of this ritual. Since I am well versed in how to mix them properly I would just like helpers to prepare the ingridients. Some needs to be crushed while others need to be torn into tiny pieces.”

“How about us women help you out with that while the men practice what they need to chant.”

“alright, I dont need the book to prepare the potion so please take it. Come with me Empusa, Ruth and who are you miss?”

“I’m Adette, Abraxas’s girlfriend”

“Would you liek to help too?”

“Of course”

“Then follow with the other girls”

Abraxas didn’t want to leave the women alone with a slaver. Nero grabbed his shoulder, startling him. “Mom and dad have already vouched for him. That should be enough for you to trust him.” He said.

“I know, but seeing him makes me so angry. I just don’t understand how mom can forgive him.”

“Because she knows he didn’t want to do what he did. He’s a good man who was dealt a bad hand. Give him a real chance, a little bit of trust goes a long way.”

“Okay, I will try harder to see the world through his eyes.”

Chthon helped the men go over the words again and again. He drilled them into their heads until they were exhausted from the constant repetition. When Nigel returned he would do the same with him and his friends. He allowed them to take a break and went into the kitchen to watch Ruth working with Assaku and the other women. He wrapped his arms around her from behind and watched as she crushed herbs. He kissed her cheek and she smiled, making his heart skip a beat.

“How are the others doing?” She asked as she handed a bowl to Assaku.

“I think I may be driving them crazy, but they know it must be perfect.” He answered. “So, who do you think we should wake first?” He asked.

“Lucy first then Noah and then Zeus. Zeus is going to feel a lot of guilt upon waking and I want our children there to reassure him, especially Lucy. After that we will bring back Alice that way Noah can be there for her when she wakes. Then our granddaughter.”

“You always have a plan don’t you?”

“Not always, but most of the time.” He kissed her again left her to work. He gathered the men again, making them repeat the words over and over until every syllable was perfect.

A few hours later Nigel brought his friends Hudson and Cooper. Once the introductions were done Chthon began drilling them just as he did the other men. When the women and Assaku finished the potions he finally allowed them to stop. “who will join me in resurrecting Lucy?”

‘Could I?” Nero asked. Assaku nodded then said “you all should watch to see how it is done.” Everyone followed him out to Lucys grave where he told Nero to his part of the job. Nero took a deep breath in and out. He knew he could do this but he was still nervous being first. “we wont start until you’re ready Nero, you sure?”

“Yes I’m ready.”

“Then please clear the dirt away” Nero willed the earth to move away from Lucys grave then he opened the casket and began to chant.” Nero collapsed when he finished making Lisanna run quickly over to him. Assaku wanted to reassure them that him passing out meant he had done a good job. His energy was used to call upon Lucys soul but he didn’t have time for that. He spread the potion over her bones. While preparing ingredients he asked Ruth what age to make her and she said twenty three so he gave her the age and her flesh and soul reformed in and on the bones. Lucy gasped and looked around near tears at the memory of how she died. She didn’t understand this, it looked like she was in Tresnia. Ruth ran over and hugged her daughter “what’s going on?”

“You’ve been dead a long time honey. What you remember as just happening really happened hundreds of years ago. Assaku and Nero brought you back to life. We are also giving life back to Noah and Zeus. I’ll need you help when we ressurect Noah. Help your father explain to him that Zeus had no control over himself when he killed you two. It should be easy since your father taught all three of you about dismornfia powder.”

“Ok” Lucy said having a bit of trouble taking this all in. “I’ll go get her some of my clothes to wear” Adette said running off. Lucy had gotten used to being naked in front of people in her past life so wasn’t very ashamed to be standing there in front of her family. “Which two will do Noah” Assaku asked weakly. “I’ll do the potion since I’ll need to speak to my son to make sure he isn’t angry with Zeus.” Chthon said then Abraxas said “I’d like to help with Noah.” Chthon grabbed a potion bottle then approached Noahs grave with Abraxas. Abraxas relaxed, not wanting any fear to make him say somthing wrong.

Abraxas began his chant. His every word strong and clear. He finished and fell to his knees. he wasn’t passed out but too weak to move. He had inherited all of Chthons power so could better handle the use of energy than Nero. Adette came back with clothes for Lucy just as Chthon started his part. Lucy slipped them on wanting to shower but not to miss Noah or Zeus rising from their graves. Just like before Noahs flesh and soul met once again with his skelton and he woke screaming Lucys name. Lucy ran to him and Chthon spoke “son, I knwo you’re angry at Zeus but he knew not what he was doing. He was under the influence of dismornfia powder. He had been injesting it for days. He had truly lost his mind and felt so bad when he came to he killed himself. You can’t hold someone accountable for somthing they had no power over.”

“I understand.” He said shakily and wrapped his arms tightly around his sister. “You’re okay, I’m so glad you’re okay.”

“It’s okay brother, you foolish boy. Next time I tell you to run! you better do it.” She kissed his forehead.

“Where are my wife and daughter?” He asked.

“Oh honey, they passed away a long time ago.” Ruth said as she sat down next to her son. “We’re going to bring them back though after Zeus.” Nigel helped him out of the hole and asked his friends to take him inside then come back for Abraxas and Nero who were still unconscious.

“Now, Zeus.” Ruth said.

“Empusa and I will wake him.” Nigel said as he took his place next to the grave. He parted the dirt and started chanting. He could feel his energy leaving him. He collapsed and Empusa sprinkled the potion over him, calling out his name and age. The moment flesh and soul met bone a loud pain filled wail was torn from his throat. He opened his tear filled eyes, confused and torn apart by agony.

“Zeus?” His eyes jumped to Lucy’s face, his eyes widening in disbelief as he sat up and pulled her into his arms.

“Please tell me this is real and not some delusion. Tell me that you are alive, that I am alive no matter how impossible it might be.” His tears soaked into the shirt she was wearing and she stroked his hair.

“This is real my love. We have been resurrected. Please stop crying, everything is okay now.”

“I am so sorry Lucy, so sorry. I hurt you so bad. I can never forgive myself for what I have done.”

“Hush now, it was not your fault.” He cried harder, holding her almost to tightly.

“I should have been stronger. I killed you and Noah, I chased away our beautiful girls. I hurt you so much.” Sh rocked him, her heart breaking at his sorrowful tone. She kissed the top of his head and whispered to him how much she loved him. She could never be angry at him for what he had done to her and her brother. He had struggled so hard to fight his way back to her, his mind nearly shattering under the pressure.

“Daddy, will you please help me get him inside?”

“Of course angel.”

Alice and Chloe were buried near Tresnia so it would mean a trip for Cooper, Hudson, Ruth and Manah. Once Zeus and Lucy were in a room resting Chthon lifted his son onto his back to carry him to Tresnia to see his wife and daughter brought back to life. Lissana carried the potions they would need. Zeus couldn’t quit crying as Lucy held him. It was only making it worse that she was being so kind after he had beaten her to death. “Please stop crying for me Zeus. It wasn’t your fault.”

“i…I still did it Lucy”

“In your past life, this is a bran new life for us to live together Zeus”

“Why didn’t you fight me atall?”

“I couldn’t, your father stripped me of my powers. Even now I can’t feel them anymore.”

“want me to give them back real quick” Zeus asked wipeing his eyes. “You can?”

“Yeah, it’s not so much stripping as it is locking away. I can undo what he did.” Zeus hugged Lucy again and began chanting. Lucy felt her powers return. It was a refreshing feeling. “Thank you”

‘Please do not thank me…”

“Zeus, you’re making me sad. Do you really want to make me sad?” He shook his head then she said “lets borrow somthing comfortable to sleep in then take a nice shower. I smell like dirt” Zeus smiled the best he could at her. “alright, Can I carry you so that you will be close to me”

“Yes” They got up and Zeus lifted Lucy into his arms. They found Lissana who gave Lucy some of her clothes and Zeus some of Neros. “it’s nice to meet you sister” Lissana said softly to Lucy. “I can’t believe my brother actually settled down”

“he was putty in my hands from day one” Both girls laughed then Zeus carried Lucy back to their room so they could clean off in the shower. He set Lucy on her feet looking heartbroken still “baby” Lucy said running her hand down his arm “Because of me….you missed Neros wedding..”

“I thought you were going to stop that and make me happy?”

“How can you forgive me so easily?”

“It wasn’t your fault. That stuff could even take someone like my father down. Stop blaming yourself or I WILL be angry” Zeus nodded then got the water ready for the two of them to step in. Adette and Lissana just sat with their loved one, hoping they’d wake soon. Adette especialyl was anxious because Abraxas had been acting funny the past week and then when he was finally about to talk to her about what he wanted to his parents came knocking and he put it off again. It was drviing her crazy and she needed to know what was on his mind.

Chapter Three

She stroked his hair as he slept, wanting him to hurry and wake up. She kissed his forehead then lay down next to him. “What is it you want my love?” She asked softly. “I will do anything for you. All you have to do is ask.” She kissed his cheek and wrapped rested her head on his chest. “I love you Abraxas, more than anything.”

Alice was so shocked and happy to see Noah alive. He pulled her into his arms and kissed her. He explained everything to her and kissed her again. Chloe was even more shocked and knew her father the moment she saw him. Even though she had only been a baby, she recognized his eyes and his voice. They all three sat crying for the longest time, clinging to each other for comfort. Chthon wanted to get them home as quickly as possible. He wanted them somewhere familiar while they got used to living again.

After their shower, Zeus dried himself and then Lucy. They dressed and he carried her to bed, laying with his head pillowed on her chest. His heart hurt so much from the pain he had inflicted on the woman he loved. He regretted the way he had treated their children and if he had it to do all over again he would have been a better father. They had been so precious to Lucy and he had given them nothing but coldness. He felt a wrenching in his chest, but forced back the tears.

“I love you so much Lucy.”

“I love you too Zeus, with all my heart.” He looked up at her and couldn’t stop himself from kissing her. It was as if he had been hit by a bolt of electricity. He felt so warm, his heart beating quickly in his chest. He tangled his fingers in her hair and found himself above her on hands and knees. He felt her smile against his lips and then she pushed against his chest. He pulled back to look at her, breathless from kissing her. “We both need rest baby. Especially you.”

“Me? You were the one who was hurt the most.” He forced himself to calm down. He wanted her so badly, but knew she was right. He lay back down and pulled her into his arms.

“Your emotional trauma was worse than my physical trauma. Just rest sweety, hold me and rest.”

“Promise me you will still be here when I wake up.”

“I promise, you promise me too.”

“I promise Lucy.” They fell asleep holding tightly to each other.

When Abraxas woke it was very late in the night so all were in their rooms and resting. Adette had been waiting on him because she really wanted to have whatever talk he had been acting so odd about. He smiled “It has to be really late. Not that I’m complaining but why did I just wake up to those beautiful eyes?” Adette smiled “Because you’ve been wanting to talk to me about somthing but you keep putting it off. There’s no excuse now, please just ask. I love you and I’d do anything.” He looked away and she gently turned his face back to her “what is it?” His stomach was nearly in knots with nervousness but he forced out what he wanted to say anyways. “I just am so madly and deeply in love with you Adette. I want you to become a demon so I can be with you forever. I want to get married one day and have children…I want eternity with you but I’ve been afraid of you saying no…”

Adette kissed Abraxas then said “of course I will” Abraxas tugged Adette against his chest and started crying with relief and happiness. “we can ask my dad for help tomorrow. After today I don’t want to disturb him tonight”

“Awe, so I have to wait until tomorrow?” Adette said pulling up from the hug and rubbings his cheek. He pulled her into a kiss as more tears slid down his cheeks. “Thank you”

“I want to be with you forever and I’m glad there’s a way. I was wondering when you’d ask” Adette laid her head on his chest then drifted to sleep. She had been exhausted but wanted to talk to him. She was happy that was what it was. She really had been waiting for that question. Adette had fallen in love with Abraxas so quickly. He was the sweetest man she had ever known. She was also happy to hear he wanted to marry her too. Abraxas silently cried a little longer then also let sleep take him back so he’d have a lot of energy to take care of her once she changed. He knew how tired it would make her from watching Chthon change Ruth.

Morning came and everybody slowly arrived at the breakfast table. It was enough to make Ruth fight back tears she was so happy. Chthon wrapped his arms around her and kissed her head. After breakfast Abraxas pulled Chthon to the side and asked “I know everybody went through a lot last night but I was really hoping you’d help me change Adette this morning. I finally had the courage to ask last night and she said yes.” Chthon smiled, feeling immensely happy for his son. “Of course I will.” Chthon hugged Adette tightly then told the two to follow him. Zeus felt like hiding in his room even though not a single person was mad at him. Lucy kept a firm grip on his hand fearing if she let go he might just bolt to get away.

Chthon could tell that Adette was nervous. Becoming a demon was a huge commitment, one that could not be reversed. He headed upstairs, grabbing his dagger out of his room and then taking them to their room. He did not need the book to do this ritual. He remembered every word. They passed Zeus and Lucy on the way down the hall, the former averting his gaze from them as shame played across his face. Chthon would speak to him later. “Please take a seat.” He ordered. Abraxas and Adette took a seat at the table and Abraxas place his hand over hers.

“This is going to hurt.” Abraxas said and Adette leaned over and kissed him.

“It’s okay, I’ll be fine.” She replied.

“Just remember not to curl your fingers under. You might lose one.” Chthon said then started chanting. He raised the dagger up and drove it through their hands, making Adette yelp. He pulled the dagger out, the words rolling off his tongue with ease. Adette suddenly screamed and Abraxas pulled her onto his arms before she fell. She turned her head and threw up then her head jerked violently back as her body seized. Abraxas cried as he rocked her, begging her to forgive him and promising he would make it up to her. When she lay limp in his arms, he lifted her and lay her gently on their bed.

Chthon patted his son on the back and Abraxas turned, hugging his father as he cried even harder. “She’ll be okay son. I know it was hard to watch her go through this, I felt the same with Ruth.” He gave his son a squeeze then let him go. “I will go down and grab some potion for her to drink once she wakes up and something for your hands. Don’t worry about the blood and puke, I’ll ask your mother to come up and clean.”

“Thank you father for helping us with this and for being here for me.”

“It is my duty as your father to always support you. I’ll be right back.”

Zeus stared down at the plate of food. He had no appetite, but Lucy expected him to eat something after being resurrected. He sighed and picked up his fork, forcing himself to take bite after bite then forcing himself to swallow. The chatter around him sounded almost muffled, just noises. He felt eyes on him and looked up. Noah was watching him with concern in his eyes. He had ripped this mans heart from his chest, but Noah was more worried about him than himself. He mustered a small smile. Noah looked relieved and went back to talking to his family.

Zeus jumped when Chthon touched his shoulder. He looked up at his father in law and Chthon said “Meet me in the garden at the side of the castle once you’re done eating. I want to talk to you.”

“alright” Lucy didn’t ask because she knew he saw how guilty Zeus felt as they passed in the hall. She was glad her father was going to eplain how that outcome really couldn’t have been avoided. She hoped he was also going to offer to teach Zeus as he did them all about those sort of things that can make you do things you don’t want to do. If he didn’t offer Lucy planned on asking her father to do it. When Zeus was finished he kissed Lucys cheek “I’ll be right back love. You don’t have to wait here. I’ll find you when we’re done”

“Take your time, I’ll probably just be getting to know Chloe.”

“I love you so much” Zeus said softly. “I love you too baby” Zeus walked off and outside the castle to find Chthon. Chthon was sitting there, seeming to me meditating. He felt Zeus coming and opened his eyes “sit with me son” Zeus walked over and obeyed. “Listen, nobody in this castle blames you in the slightest for what happened because you had absolutely no control. My kids understand that because I’ve taught them about the stuff that was used on you. I don’t think you knew in your previous life but I can watch memories like movies, even after death. I watched the final week of yours and Lucys life. You had been on that powder for four, nearly five full days son. I’ve taught my children about concoctions like that because you can fight it and delay the outcome but eventually you will snap. Unless it’s caught in time you will turn into a heartless, unthinking killer. It was amazing to me how long you were able to fight it. Some demons are gone with the first dose. Your love for my Lucy was so great you fought it for almost a week. Granted you yelled at her and became an ass but you never laid a hand on my daughter no matter how it influenced your mind. That really meant a lot to me. I knew you loved her but how hard you fought yourself when in your family it’s even considered normal to abuse your wife. My daughter is so precious to you no matter how hard it became you never touched her that way until finally your mind did the inevitable and snapped.”

Zeus started crying again but Chthon continued speaking “There was no way you could have avoided that end. Thats why your father made that stuff because he knew he’d get his way in the end. Do not blame yourself for somthing you couldn’t have stopped. Nobody educated you on such heinous magic. Instead I want you to be proud that you love my daughter so much you were able to fight to keep yourself from harming her for so long. If you want I will teach you all about magic that can control you so that you’ll know if anybody tries to take away your free will again. Do you want me to teach you as I taught my children?”

“Please” Zeus said through his tears.”good, do you understand now that you aren’t to blame atall for what you did. I promise you there was no way of you to stop it since you were uneducated on that sort of magic”

“Yes sir, thank you.”

“When you are done crying tell my daughter I’ll be borrowing you for lessons the rest of the day.” Zeus nodded and thanked his father in law again. Chthon stood then went inside to help Ruth if she wasn’t done cleaning the aftermath of changing Adette for Abraxas. Zeus quickly dried his tears then went to find his wife. She was chatting happily with Lisanna about all that had been going on with Nero since her death.

“Are you okay now?” Lucy asked him.

“Yes, your father wants to borrow me for the rest of the day to teach me some things. Would that be alright?”

“Yes,of course. Let me warn you though that my father will drill you until you can remember everything perfectly. Every taste and sensation of every drug and magic spell will be engrained forever in your memory. He is always serious when he teaches people about things that could save their life.”

“I can handle it. I was raised by a monster after all so I am not easily overwhelmed.” He leaned down and kissed her then headed upstairs to find Chthon. He was very eager to learn any bit of information his father in law would give him.

Chthon made sure Abraxas had plenty of potions at hand for Adette. He and Ruth left the room,closing the door quietly behind them. “I have something I have to do so I will be busy for the rest of the day.” Chthon said as Zeus came to the top of the stairs.

“Just go easy on him.” Ruth replied as she glanced at Zeus. “He is still recovering from a trauma. I know you can be very strict when it comes to training people.”

“I’ll try not to push him to hard if I can help it. I just want to make sure he knows how to detect poisons and malicious magic.”

She tip toed up and kissed him. “You are such an amazing man. Now get going before you make your student wait any longer. He’s just standing at the top of the stairs looking nervous. Such a far cry from the man we met so many years ago. Make him confident again.” She took the rags she had used to clean up Abraxas’s room to the laundry. They had finally hired a maid to help the keep up with the cleaning. The young woman was busy folding clothes and smiled at Ruth as sh entered the room.

“Sorry to bring you such a disgusting mess Opal.”

“It’s okay Ruth, it’s just a bit of vomit and blood. I should be able to keep it from staining.”

“Once you’re done here, why don’t you take the rest of the day off. You have been working so hard.”

“Thank you ma’am.”

Adette woke a few hours later. Abraxas kissed her “I’m sorry you had to go through all that/”

“To be with you forever, that was nothing my love. Dont fret about it.” Abraxas grabbed a bottle and gave it to her. She drank it then he said “that should help with the pain. You can have as much as you want” Adette smiled at him then just relaxed the best she could as he held her. When dinner came around Chthon excused Zeus from lessons but wanted to meet again in the morning because he wasn’t satisfied Zeus knew enough yet. Chthon found a place by Ruth at dinner “how’d lessons go”

“He’s learning well but we didn’t go over enough yet. We’ll be meeting again in the morning. I still want to destroy the page in the book that teaches how to take back the life that the first potion gives. Would you mind sparing me longer?”

“we’re together all day every day for the most part. I’ll be alright. I’m really enjoying my children,Chloe and Assaku.”

“good” Chthon said and kissed Ruths cheek. Everybody stayed at the table to chat while Chthon walked off to fetch the book and do whatever he needed to destroy that page. The rest of the book had valuable information so he didn’t want to rid the world of the whole thing but the page that could possibly kill Ruth in the wrong hands absolutely had to be disposed of. Chthon grabbed the book and left the castle. He went far out then flipped to the correct page. He pressed his hand on it to really examine what kind of magic was protecting it. If he knew the spell then it would be easier to get rid of.

He smiled when he figured out who enchanted this book. It was one of his fathers odl friends and he knew his magic well. It would take him no time to destroy this page. Chthon began to slowly rid the book of it’s protective power until finally it’s seal was broken. Chthon ripped out the page then set it on fire. He burnt it until there weren’t even ashes then put his own protection over the book. He smiled happily then ran home. He was excited about the future with almost all of his loved ones home. The only people left to really make his family whole again was finding where Lucys girls were. He knew one day they would come and that was enough for him. He’d just spend his days enjoying the love filled castle with his decendants and radiant wife.

~ The End ~

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