To Dream, To Hope, To Serve
Author: Ria ()
Disclaimer: Demon Diary belongs to Kara, Lee Yun Hee, Tokyopop and Sigongsa. No profit is being made from this � I do it all for my own entertainment (and hopefully that of others, as well).
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Eclipse/Raenef
Spoilers: General spoilers for Volumes 1 � 5. Heavy spoilers for Volume 5.
Summary: After the departure of Leeche, Eclipse finds himself having to face some difficult personal feelings. But in struggling to keep these feelings private, he finds himself questioning just how far he�s willing to go for his young master.
Author�s Notes: This chapter takes place during Volume 5, during some of the scenes and in between others. Eclipse�s POV, again. Things are starting to hot up, now, and this chapter was actually quite difficult to do; so much information to fit in and all filtered through Eclipse. Erk. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy! (And let me tell you, writing �Demon Lord Raenef the Fourth� over and over again got really tiresome� ugh.)

To Dream, To Hope, To Serve


I�m balanced on one of the thicker window-ledges, one of my legs drawn up to my chest with an arm draped carelessly on it. The night is cool and calm, the full moon casting her impassive, pale light over the land. I stare out at the surrounding landscape without really seeing it, my mind on the matter that has been plaguing me for most of the evening.

I should be relieved that Master Raenef has become a true Demon Lord at last; it�s what I�ve been striving for these past few months, after all. No more can the Demon population make a mockery of my master and me � now Raenef can take his rightful place as Demon Lord Raenef the Fifth with no one silently laughing and talking about him behind his back. My task is complete. I should be overjoyed.

And yet�

Perhaps I became too complacent with Raenef�s innocence, kindness and cheerfulness, but when I look into his cold, cold eyes and see nothing but an empty detachment, my stomach twists and tension runs through my body. For Raenef to have become this hollow � it is not fitting, not fitting at all. Even his predecessor had his moments of warmth and sparse humour, infrequent as they were. Raenef the Fourth even respected me a little, often wishing to hear my opinions even though I was his servant. I was� valued.

I can go on and on about how Raenef�s sudden change is not fitting for him. In all honesty, it�s not fitting for me. The new Raenef has no interest or use for me. In his eyes I am merely his servant, no more. To be suddenly viewed like that, after everything we went through � after I gave him my trust! � I can hardly stand it.

I should be overjoyed and relieved. I am not. True, this new Raenef now possesses attributes I would have dearly wished on his old self, but too much has changed. He is not the Raenef I gradually came to like and even grudgingly respect.

He is not the Raenef I fell for, and that makes all the difference.

He even has little interest in riling Chris, an activity he regularly (unwittingly) participated in. Even Chris is cautious around him now, sensing a power and authority in him that wasn�t there before. He doesn�t know what to do or say to this Raenef, and he thus takes the safest option of not doing anything at all, if he can help it. And Erutis� I find Erutis looking at me with sadness and pity in her eyes. I don�t know if those emotions are for her or for me, and if they�re for me I don�t want them. I may tolerate her, but I could never tolerate her pity.

I sigh and shift slightly, closing my eyes as something almost like a headache starts to throb at my temple. To be told that Raenef probably couldn�t be changed back to his former state� it can�t be true. I refuse to believe that idiotic, chatterbox book-demon. Why the previous Raenef hadn�t destroyed him, I never understood. Loudmouthed troublemaker; my mouth twists from simply remembering the encounter with him today,

No, there has to be a way and I will find it. Almost all magic has a countermotion, apart from the death incantations. There has to be a way to revert whatever Raenef did to himself. I frown, thinking hard. For a moment, I entertain the idea of retrieving my previous master�s documents and spellbooks and looking through them.

Perhaps. But only as a last resort, I tell myself firmly. The thought of reading my previous master�s notes and ideas is not appealing and feels too much like betrayal. No, I will not do it if I can help it.

But it doesn�t leave me with much else to do, does it? I suppose all I can do now is tread carefully and keep Raenef from losing his temper. Which means subtly protecting those two foolish mortals, curse it. When we get Raenef back to his old self, I doubt he�ll be happy to find he�s inadvertently destroyed them. I sigh and rub my face, already dreading the task. But, nevertheless, it must be done.

Having come to a decision, I make to rise and finally retire for what little rest I can get. But while going to my chambers, I cannot shake the feeling that I can sense a familiar presence watching me.


It takes me a while to realise that I�ve been staring at the pages without having attempted to actually absorb any of their information. It doesn�t take me much longer to realise that the words and symbols have simply blurred into dark lines on the faded parchment. Trying to read this book has been a wasted effort. I sigh and bit back a groan, lowering the book and returning to the problem that plagued me for most of last night, earning me very little sleep.

I ignore whatever Chris and Erutis are babbling about (most likely connected to Raenef�s abrupt personality change), instead deep in thought. I only snap out of it when a loud, long yawn permeates the air, made by none of us. We all look as one to see Raenef ambling towards us, his hand managing to half-cover his widened mouth.

�For some reason, I�m still sleepy,� he mumbles, glancing at me with bleary, open, warm eyes.

While I manage to keep my expression carefully blank, my grip slips on the book and it slams onto the ground, its pages fluttering wildly.

Raenef�s eyes � his eyes! � widen fractionally, before he giggles and breaks into a cheerful grin, practically carolling, �Good morning, everyone!�

None of us manage to find suitable words in reply. The silence thickens.

Erutis and Chris manage to finally break the silence, replying nervously, while I still struggle to even get my head around what�s just appeared before my eyes. This is � what is this?

Raenef looks worried, his forehead creasing in puzzlement. �Why are you all looking at me like that?� he asks slowly. �Did something happen?�

I gaze at him again, before slowly answering, �It�s� it�s nothing.� A wonderful answer, of course, but instead I think, my hand cupping my chin and mouth, Perhaps the enchantment was temporary? Come to think of it, I have not seen that book of late�

Still not particularly convinced, Raenef shrugs and asks, �Okay. So� shouldn�t we get ready to go to the demon world?� He gazes at us expectantly.

I stare at him blankly, my mind racing to quickly reconnect all that has happened in the last day. �Ready?� I ask at last. �For what?�

Raenef smiles easily at me, looking mildly proud of that fact that he�s remembered something that I�ve apparently forgotten. �Remember, there�s that meeting we have to attend.� He pauses, then grins self-consciously. �I�ll do my best not to embarrass you this time,� he adds.

Another silence, this one thick with tension; none of us has forgotten Raenef�s reaction from yesterday.

Erutis swallows, then says tentatively, �Raenef, you�re not going to that meeting. Don�t you remember?�

Raenef blinks, a long slowly blink. Again. And another. And with another, just for good measure. Then:

�Huh? What? Really? Why can�t I remember? Did I say I wasn�t going? How strange��

His eyes widen to the size of saucers as he babbles frantically, while I try not to cradle my face in my hands and let out a long, steady sigh. At last I ask, �You do not� remember anything?� What is going on?

�No!� he wails, turning to me with a face overflowing with tears. I suppress the urge to step back. �What am I going to do?� he continues to wail, cradling his arms on his head. �What�s happening to me? Have I become a moron? Is this Alzheimer�s?� he cries desperately. The rest of us are silent, mostly due to a sheer lack of anything to actually say.

As Raenef�s wails escalate and Erutis and Chris try to calm him down, I merely stand and observe. It seems the Raenef we know is back, after all. Strange, very strange. But not entirely unwanted�

Slowly, unbeknownst to myself, a smile creeps across my lips. Unfortunately, it�s a smile Erutis manages to catch. �Hey, Eclipse,� she calls, smiling. �Feel better?�

I blink and start, glancing over at her. �Master Raenef is Master Raenef,� I reply, shrugging, �regardless of his relative charms.� It is, of course, a complete lie on my part, but what else was I to say to her?

Her smile widens to a wicked grin, and I know she�s remembering our previous conversation. �Oh, really?� she asks archly, folding her arms. She leans in close to me, her expression suddenly soft and gentle. �Then what was with that smile a minute ago?� she asks quietly. �If I didn�t know better, I�d say that you were downright jovial.�

I start violently, my hand reaching up to rub my neck uncomfortably. �Nonsense!� I snap, glaring at her sourly. �Jovial? What are you, a poet?� I demand.

Erutis merely starts to laugh outright, reaching over to fling an arm around Raenef, much to my dismay. �You�re very lucky, Raenef,� she tells him cheerfully. �You may be a moron, but you sure are loved!�

What is she saying to him?

�Just a moment ago, Eclipse was gazing at you with such sincere affection �� she goes on, blithely glancing at me as if to tell me that, yes, she is delighting in making me metaphorically squirm. I do not squirm. Physically, at least. �All right, all right!� she decides. �I�ll write a poem!�

I twitch, mentally vowing never, ever to trust a mortal again, especially a loud, obnoxious redheaded one.

My retaliation is slightly unpleasant for her.


Raenef�s sudden change back to himself is almost as surprising as his abrupt personality change in the first place, but this time, at least, it�s a pleasant surprise. I find myself thinking about it � yet again � while wandering around the castle looking for him, trying to find a reason for any of the changes. Perhaps that irritating book-demon had something to do with it � it would be just like him to tell is that there was no way to change Raenef back, and then do it secretly himself. He�d be immensely amused. I growl. Where is that book, anyway?

But it seems that Raenef is back to normal and deep down, as Erutis has already guessed, I cannot help but be glad. No more are my master�s eyes so cold and hostile. No more does he looks at me with contempt. Things are as they were � with Raenef usually overjoyed to see me.

I�m so grateful, it�s pathetic.

As I round another corner, I hear faint voices. I freeze, recognising them as belonging to Chris and Raenef, and then try to pinpoint where they are. My gaze falls on an open set of double doors.

They�re in the previous Raenef�s rooms.

A shiver crawls up my spine, as yet again I feel like someone is watching me. Then I quickly hurry towards them, picking up bits and pieces of what they�re saying.

�He had a much shorter lifespan than the average Demon Lord,� Chris is saying as he and Raenef stare up at a portrait of my former master. �From what I understand, he was only five hundred years old when he died.�

Raenef looks mildly puzzled as he considers Chris� words. �Huh,� he says at last. �Eclipse said that Demon Lords can live to be three or four thousand years old� so he really did die young. If lifespan is proportionate to power� maybe he really was weak.� But he doesn�t look particularly happy when he says this and stares up at his predecessor as he softly adds, �I wonder if there was another reason��

I can stand it no longer, saying clearly, �Raenef the Fourth was not weak.�

Both Chris and Raenef whirl to face me. �Eclipse,� they gasp.

�I have been looking for you,� I remark, knowing full well that I went about my search the long way so I could think more. �I did not expect to find you here.� I cross my arms, watching them sternly.

Raenef beams happily, rushing towards me. �Eclipse!� Again, another of his strange bouts of hardly-contained joy at seeing me.

Then he stops and glances back at Chris, who asks, �If it wasn�t weakness, then why did he die so young?�

I sigh, not immediately replying, though I cannot explain why I�m so reluctant to tell them what I know. At last I say, �In the history of the Raenef Demon Lords � indeed in the history of all Demon Lords � Raenef the Fourth was the most powerful.�

Raenef blinks. �Then what happened to him?� he asks quietly. It�s my turn to blink as he continues, his expression serious, �He didn�t die of natural causes, did he?�

I stare at my current master for a long moment, suddenly realising that perhaps Raenef isn�t as oblivious as he seems to be. �Do you want to know?� I ask finally.

�Yes, please!� they chorus, looking at me with pleading eyes.

I almost recoil, gaping at them. Puppy dog eyes�?

I gaze up at Raenef the Fourth as memories that I haven�t remember for a long time surge back to me. �If one compared Demon Lord Raenef the Fourth to the others, one could say that he possessed less magic, naturally,� I say quietly, at last.

Chris yawns, folding his arms behind his neck. �So he really was weak,� he drawls lazily.

I glare at him as the atmosphere tenses. Taking my eyes off him (much to his relief), I stare at the ground without really seeing it, continuing, �However, he discovered a way to magnify his powers. He learned incantations.

�Demon Lords normally use their magic without incantations,� I explain. �By using them, Raenef the Fourth was able to get exponentially more powerful results from what little power he possessed. And his incantations were only effective when recited by him.� I sigh, remembering in my mind�s eyes how hard my previous master had studied to heighten his limited powers.

Raenef gazes at me with large eyes that are vaguely puzzled. �I thought that any Demon Lord could memorise an incantation?� he asks.

I stare at him silently; once again, he�s surprised me. Perhaps I�ve been wrong to constantly assume that Raenef can�t understand what goes on around him. Perhaps it�s time for me to change my opinions. �Though the powers of demon lords may seem similar, they have differing traits,� I say. �The incantations that the former Raenef Demon Lord wrote could only be used by him.� I take a deep breath, then add quietly, �He understood them� and became obsessed with their use.� I can see one of them so clearly in my mind � and my hatred of them returns so fast that it startles me.

But it was because of them that I lost him, so my hatred is justified.

I look straight at the two of them. �For the numerous incantations that he developed, he was renowned throughout demon-kind as their mightiest.� And he loved it, I add silently.

Raenef locks gazes with me, his expression grave. �You haven�t told us why he died so young,� he remarks quietly.

I close my eyes as the bloodiest memories hit me. �Do you recall our lessons about the Hangma War?� I ask finally, my eyes still closed.

�The war between the demons and heaven�s creatures?� Raenef asks, sounding surprised.

�One hundred and fifty years ago, during the Hangma War, the former Demon Lord Raenef killed legions of heaven�s creatures with his mighty power. No other demon lord matched this might.� I can still see him in full battle-lust, his eyes cold and dead and ruthless. The skeletons themselves bowed to him.

The price of this power was the shortening of his life.

�Wait a minute!� Chris yells, looking slightly panicked. �It was a fight against heaven�s creatures and not the gods?�

Raenef glances at him. �You would know them as gods, Chris. Mortals refer to heaven�s creatures as �gods�,� he explains, sounding for a brief moment like the student I truly wish him to be.

�What?� Chris demands. �I�ve never heard that before.�

Raenef shrugs. �It�s true. The real gods are way up above and they just observe what happens to us down here.� He pauses, then mutters, �I saw them once with my very own eyes.�

Ah. He�s referring to when I presented him to Odin and the others, before taking him to Raenef Castle. I manage to suppress a shudder. I, personally, do not want to be reminded of that incident.

�Because the creatures of heaven came down and helped the mortals, the mortals began to call them �gods� and erected shrines to them,� Raenef continues, oblivious to my reaction.

I beam at him. �I see you have been paying attention!� I congratulate him. �Your reading comprehension is much improved, as well.�

He grins back at me. �Thank you!� Beside us, Chris makes sputtering sounds of outrage.

�The battle between the clerics and the demons was just one small part of the war between the creatures of heaven and the demons. Perhaps because they feared Demon Lord Raenef the most, the creatures of heaven sacrificed their own lives� in order to curse him with an incantation.� The words are a bitter irony in my mouth as my previous master�s cloak swirls before my eyes, but blurred as if broken like fragile glass.

Raenef appears shocked. �What kind of curse?�

My eyes narrow as Raenef the Fourth�s voice curls thought my mind. But I can�t tell them. �It is not known,� I answer him flatly.

�However,� I point out, �I assure you that the early demise of Demon Lord Raenef the Fourth is related to that curse.�

�So,� Chris drawls, smiling in that irritating way that warns us he�s about to say something dreadful, �he was cursed to death.�

Raenef groans, then gives Chris a disgusted look. �Well, at least he didn�t die young because he was weak,� he mutters.

�Well, he wasn�t strong enough to resist the curse, was he?� Chris snaps.

�Argh!� Raenef bursts out, flinging up his hands in exasperation.

As they glare at each other, I can�t help but think, Two sides of the same coin.

�So, what do we know about the curse?� they ask in unison, turning away and folding their arms; �Jinx,� the snap.

My thoughts become vague and lost in memories once more. �The former Demon Lord Raenef the Fourth understood the details of his curse, but he never revealed them to anyone,� I say slowly.

Raenef and Chris stare at me in surprise, but I purposely look out the window and up at the night sky. �It is getting late. It�s time for you to turn in,� I order them, assuming the role of the elder once more.

Chris retires immediately, but Raenef dawdles, watching me with an intense expression that I rarely see on him. I give him a quick, fleeting smile, painfully aware of the pounding in my chest.

He slowly returns the smile and disappears to bed, leaving me alone to wrestle with my thoughts. Why should my thoughts of my previous master unsettle me so, especially considering how I feel about my current one?

And once again, I have the strangest sensation that someone is watching me.


The others are� somewhere in the castle, since I�ve given Raenef the morning off. I lean against the wall, frowning. I�ve had yet another restless night�s sleep, this time plagued by nightmares twisted by memories. My previous master looms before me, smiling gently.

That curse�

�Ha! Isn�t it ironic, Eclipse, that the Master of ever incantation should be bound by one?� His smile had a hard edge to it.

I stared at him, suddenly realising that someone was very, very wrong.

�I feel sorry for them.� His eyes were hard and blank. �They have underestimated their foe and the elasticity of time. To manipulate time, one need only understand its nature.�

I took a step forward, feeling more worried that I probably should have. I searched his eyes for the truth that part of me desperately wanted to be false. �Are you speaking of the curse that the creatures of heaven cast upon you?� I asked, already know that he was.

�Well,� he said, waving his hand dismissively, you need no longer refer to it as a curse � it�s more like a child�s prank.� He frowned. �It is the insolence that bothers me,� he seethed.

He linked his hands and tucked them in his sleeves, piercing me with sharp eyes. �There�s nothing for you to worry about, Eclipse.� He paused, tilting his head as he added softly, �A bit of advice, though: All you need to do is adapt yourself to time.�

I fold my arms, staring hard at the ground. Two days later, he died. But what he said to me that day�

��made me certain he had a plan. He would not have died without some plan,� I whisper.

The power that controls the world influences all things. Existence is possible only within a given span of time.

The one who controls time is the one who has the world in his hands.

All things exist within time.

I turn and stare out over the gardens, the darkness of my thoughts not making my mood any easier. I frown, trying to unravel the cryptic words that my previous master had told me only days before his death.

I�d come to care for him like a son, like a younger brother, and he hadn�t even said goodbye. I bow my head, letting a great sigh heave from my throat.

Someone�s footsteps tapping against the footpath below make me look up, ready to snap at whoever was approaching me. Except for Raenef. I�ve found that lately it�s getting harder and harder to snap at him. My feelings for him are starting to show through my every action towards him. Soon, I won�t be able to hide them anymore.

Then my gaze lands on someone who can�t possibly be here. It can�t be� but it is. My heart throbs painfully in my throat, but I still manage to let out a startled, disbelieving gasp.

Master Raenef? I think, as my world, tips, swirls and spins wildly out of control.

Raenef the Fourth smirks up at me, his eyes amused.

I continue to stare blankly at him, before immensely strong power surges nearby. My eyes widen. That power�

I turn and gasp at the two-bright light pulsing in the sky. Familiar light� no. �Creatures of heaven! Why are they here?� Something squeezes tightly around my heart. �Master Raenef is in danger!� I cry, momentarily forgetting who�s before me.

I start the process of teleportation, before a cold, commanding voice orders, �Stop, Eclipse.� I turn and stare at him as he appears before me. He looks at me dispassionately. �There is nothing you can do.�

I stare at the ever-brightening light, the tightening in my chest becoming even more painful. I can�t lose him, not now�

�The fulfilment has begun,� my previous master tells me softly, but his eyes gleam. �Until it is complete, there is nothing anyone can do.�

�No!� I snarl in reply, panic making me forget my place. �We must go to them, at least!�

He raises an eyebrow at my behaviour, but nods. �Very well.�

We transport ourselves onto the lawns and approach Raenef and the others. My chest tightens further as I realise the creatures of heaven are already gone in the short moments it took us to transport. Raenef notices us before the others and his silence unnerves me more than I�d like to admit. For a moment, a symbol flashes on his forehead. Then he smiles, a cold, cold smile, and cups his hands.

I�m unprepared to deal with the blast of power, far stronger than anything I�ve come to expect from Raenef, which explodes towards us. My eyes widen; that blast is potentially fatal!

The Raenef beside me doesn�t even flinch and merely holds out his hand, palm out, and shields us with the ease that is normal for him.

�He is awakened,� he says after first answering Chris� question, the light in his hands illuminating his pale face. �He is far more complicated that his predecessor,� he adds, referring to Raenef�s first personality change.

I stare at him, trying to keep up with these revelations by doing some extremely quick thinking. My stomach begins to churn.

�Hey, Eclipse!� Erutis calls to me. �Does Raenef know that young man?� She looks understandably worried that Raenef has just blasted power at an apparent stranger.

I glance at her, then stare at my two masters facing each other down. I sigh, becoming worried myself, now. �He is the former Demon Lord Raenef,� I say at last.

The astonished reactions of Chris and Erutis quickly break into arguing between them, which strains my already fragile self-control. �Please,� I mutter, my tone dangerously soft, �I have enough to think about as it is. Please stop.�

They regard the flame in my palm and pale. �Er � sure thing,� they stammer. Apparently, I haven�t lost my touch after all.

My two masters continue to stare each other down, much to my discomfort. This does not bode well. At last, the previous Raenef says, �You look as if you know what has happened to you.� He does not seem the least bit surprised as the rest of us would be, instead mildly amused. Well� he doesn�t know Raenef, so that is no surprise.

Raenef merely looks at him coldly. �I am not an idiot,� he replies simply, speaking with much more confidence than he normally would.

�Master Raenef,� I interrupt, then glance at both of them before turning to face my previous master. �What is going on?� I pause, before adding, �You died in my arms, Master Raenef.� For the briefest of moments, the images flash back at me, but I quell them before they can ensnare me and make me relive his death once again.

He smiles at me, his arrogant, familiar smirk and asks, �Why are you so surprised, Eclipse? Did you have so little faith in me as to believe I�d die from a simple curse?�

My eyes widen.

He calmly locks gazes with me. �At one point, I mentioned time.�

�Time?� Chris asks, looking confused.

I frown as pieces of this strange puzzle start to click together. �You told me to adapt myself to time,� I say slowly.

The former Raenef shrugs. �According to the curse, today was to have brought my death.�

What? my mind bellows, as my eyes widen even father. �How?� I ask him dumbly. �You died many years ago. Are you saying that your death, years ago, was not due to the curse?� Deep down, I curse my foolishness and my lack of loyalty. How could I have even thought of doubting my master�s ability to manipulate people and events to suit his own intentions? Of course a simple curse could never have destroyed him.

He glances at me, his expression slightly disappointed, as if he�d expected me to have this all figured out decades ago. He probably did. �The curse,� he says slowly, �was tied to the name of Raenef.�

Something comes together with frightening clarity in my mind. Oh, no. My stomach twists and writhes.

Raenef the Fourth smiles and chuckles. �It ingeniously manipulated time.� My former master, after all, is the best at manipulation. �They shortened my life by three thousand and five hundred years and brought forth my son from the distant future to this time. As such, my son was forced to exist in an unnatural time frame� where, ultimately, he would wipe himself out.�

I swallow. His son� Raenef. My beloved master, who has all along been a pawn in his predecessor�s games, unbeknownst to any of us.

�Your son from the distant future� is Raenef?� Erutis asks, shocked. Chris looks like he�s ready to kill over, much to her annoyance and my chagrin. For a genius, he leaves a lot to be desired.


I turn to face my master, who�s watching us all with no real concern for our reactions. That strange symbol glows eerily on his forehead, as his frozen, dispassionate eyes regard us.

�I am a product of the future,� he states flatly. �I was brought here through time. My personality was fragmented by the journey. I obtained all of Raenef the Fourth�s magical abilities and intelligence, while my innocent self arrived with only the magical powers within his body.� He shrugs, not appearing particularly concerned. �That is what the creatures of heaven were scheming for.�

He lets out a bored sigh, before adding, �Because of the split, I will eventually go mad� and destroy myself.� His cold eyes stare straight at me for a moment, as he drawls, �For a demon to lose his mind is to forfeit his existence.�

A shiver crawls down my spine, as the student teaches the tutor a valuable lesson.

Raenef the Fourth smiles, watching Raenef with interest. For a moment, he looks like he�s quite proud of his heir. �You understand,� he remarks. �If things proceed as planned, within a short space of time, you will die.�

I suddenly remember that the Raenef Demon Lords routinely slaughter their chosen heirs if they do not live up to their expectations or complicate matters. I breathe in sharply.

�And from the distant, distant future, your heir will be drawn,� Raenef the Fourth continues, as casually as if he�s discussing the weather. �However, magic is temporally unstable. And, during the long span of time required for your heir to arrive, our magic will undoubtedly dissipate into space.�

He smiles a cold, cruel smile as he plays his last trump card. �Ultimately, the Demon Lord Raenef will completely disappear from this world.�`

My chest tightens to an unbearable level, as the edges of my vision darken slightly. Disappear? Raenef will simply be� gone?

�Raenef is going to disappear?� Erutis cries.

Raenef simply raises an eyebrow, faintly amused at her reaction. �I understand,� he says with a dismissive turn of his head. �That�s not what�s important.� He stares hard at his predecessor. �What did you mean, today was supposed to bring the hour of your death?�

Raenef the Fourth�s smile widens, as a calculating gleam fills his eyes. �Let�s see�� he murmurs, as he turns to look at Chris. �You, young cleric,� he commands.

Chris starts, apparently astonished that Raenef the Fourth would address him. Come to think of it, he hasn�t said much during all this. �Me?� he asks dumbly, pointing at himself.

My previous master ignores his apparent stupidity, instead saying, �You are a servant of Rased� and a friend of Raenef, aren�t you?�

Chris frowns, looking defensive, before Raenef the Fourth�s smile widens to a satisfied grin. �If you wish to save that child� use the power of your god to attack him,� he says simply.

I inhale sharply, my eyes widening. Fear floods my veins. What?

� End Indecisive

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