168 I Am The Dark Star
"Surrender yourself," demanded Cornelius Rellen as he fixed his eyes on Zoey's face.
His voice was flat, emotionless, but it was one that was accustomed to wielding power, and allowed only for obedience.
Zoey raised one eyebrow at him.
"And why should I do that?" she asked, sarcasm tinting her voice.
"I would prefer to not have to break you in front of all these eyes," replied Cornelius, gesturing elegantly at the group behind him and the Kreppelin armada in the sky.
"Is that so? What makes you think you can even touch me?" Zoey mocked quietly.
Cornelius narrowed his eyes dangerously at the woman before him. He could not deny her beauty. Even though he had spent his life perfecting the control he had on his emotions, she was still eliciting a response from him without even trying.
She was the one. She would be his key to reaching Rank 8 and taking is place as the head of the Rellen house! Simply being this close to her was already calling to his most base urges, the urge to take her, to break her, consume her! He had made his mind up. She would belong to him until the end of time!
He had been analyzing her expressions and reactions since the instant he had approached. She should be terrified right now, yet she was calm and collected, not giving away any of her thoughts. Her aura was strong, one of lethality, danger, a wild animal that refused to be tamed. But he had seen many like her before, and all of them had submitted to him. Soon she would be like clay for him to sculpt.
"Letting me get this close was your first mistake," He said to the woman as his eyes traveled across her form, appreciating his new possesion.
Zoey wondered if the stick up this guy's ass was what was keeping his back straight. She knew the way he was looking at her, and she didn't like it.
"Your second mistake was not surrendering when I asked," Cornelius continued, his voice still flat and without emotion.
Cornelius suddenly raised his left hand and snapped his fingers, and a magical array appeared on the ground around the woman before him and froze her stiff. He watched with satisfction as she realized what had just happened, and tried to struggle free. He knew it was useless.
The array he had placed was the life work of one of the greatest array masters ever known in the north. It took an entire high-grade Aether stone to activate it, but once you were caught by the array, there was no escape. Cornelius had forced the array master to craft the array while holding his family hostage, then killed him after he had completed the array to keep it's secrets safe.
The array would keep the woman immobile while he used his innate talent to start the invasion into her mind and eventually control her completely.
There was only one thing that bothered him though... why was she not scared? She had struggled at first to try and free herself, then stopped. She had never looked afraid or startled, and even now she looked as calm as ever and was even looking at the array with some curiosity, as if she could understand its complexities.
It bewildered Cornelius to see this. The common reaction to being caught in an array this powerful was to scream, to struggle and beg for mercy, yet she showed no such tendencies. It was as if she was completely disregarding the situation she was in!
The rest of the group that had come down on the skiff had become a little braver now that the mysterious woman was caught in the trap and had come closer to watch the show. Several of the nobles were practically drooling now that they could see the exotic features and alluring femininity of the captured woman.
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Others like the Barron, Serena, and Loxon were not that keen on being here and looked like they would rather be somewhere else. But they had cast their lot, and were now stuck here for as long as Cornelius Rellen demanded.
"What is your name," demanded Cornelius as he activated his innate talent and sent out the first few tendrils of influence to probe the woman's defences.
The woman didn't answer for a moment, then suddenly Cornelius and those with him were stunned when her emerald eyes lit up with an ethereal glow! An instant later, the air around her crackled with an unknown power and her voice rang out like the herald of hell, reaching out to even to the armada far above and chilling all who heard her words to the bone.
"I, am no one... I am Gaia. I am the ashes of a trillion dead souls calling out for vengeance... I, am the Dark Star!"
Following the woman's declaration a shockwave exploded out from her, stunning everyone on the ground and in the air aboard the Kreppelins. All of them saw an image flashing before their eyes, the image of a dark star burning with molten fury, and in the very center was a silhouette that could only be the woman that they had captured!
Then, it passed, almost as if it had been an illusion or a dream. All those assembled looked at each other, wondering what had just happened while the words they had heard echoed in their minds.
On the ground, Cornelius stared at the woman still trapped in his array as his mind tried to comprehend what had taken place. But he barely had gathered his wits when the woman sighed, turned around, and walked out of the array she was trapped in!
Once again his mind was thrown into shock! How had she broken free?? WHO WAS SHE?? Cornelius suddenly realized she was walking towards the sinkhole, and reacted. He brought to bear every ounce of his considerable peak Rank 7 strength and launched himself towards the woman, intent on pinning her to the ground. The ground where he had been standing shattered from the force of him launching towards the woman, leaving behind an explosion of dirt and dust in his wake.
She would not escape him! She was too valuable to allow that! If he had to force himself upon her on this very spot and mark her as his own, he would not hesitate to do so!
It only took him a fraction of a second to reach her, but as he grabbed her, his hands went right through her! Her form was simply an illusion! A trick! Cornelius came to a stop and turned around, gritting his teeth and clenching his fists in fury as he glared at those mesmerizing emerald eyes.
"You think you can run and hide again? For how long? You think those filth that you rescued from the Bulwark can help you? You think my pathetic brother can help you?? NOTHING, will keep you safe from me! I will hunt you to the end of the world if I must, and in the end, you will still fall into my hands!" Cornelius growled at the illusion of her impassive face.
The woman didn't react for a moment, then she smirked and said, "You can try, little boy. But when I smash your toys, remember that you brought this on yourself."
Then she vanished just as his hand reached out at her face. Cornelius was left with only air in his grasp, and that enraged him even further. He spun around and marched back to the skiff as the others nervously followed, anxious not to earn his ire when he was in such a state.
In his mind, Cornelius was struggling to control his rage as the skiff rose into the sky and flew back to his flagship. She was down there, inside the sinkhole. She had mocked him, turned him into a fool, and called him a 'little boy'!!! The humiliation he had suffered was unforgivable!
Fine! She could hide in her hole! He would burn her nest and all the filth she kept with her, including that sack of useless skin that was his brother! His armada was very good at burning things, and that woman would get a taste of that power soon...