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9. Hunted Through Hell

Erisey stood at the grounds at which life's glow had once again sparked in her, although soullessly and unholy, at the hands of greed's disciple. The spark had ignited a false flame like a stillborn child, brought into the world doll-like; a poor image of its signified intent. She felt an exhaustion that was perpetuated by the slow pace it forced upon her motion. Consequently, she perceived the spiralling, on-going craze that aimlessly unfolded at an equally painful rate, body and mind in a danse macabre around the grave of the empress's precious mortality.

Walking among the pillars, to her own amazement, she found the figurines Aziel had used to resurrect her. The motion of their material had slowed down but not stopped entirely, and their eerie looks persisted. "Their black magic powers still linger, it seems," she mumbled, “there is perhaps still hope.”

Clutching each figurine tightly as she gathered them, she thought, ”I feel bound to them, like my undead body is drawing upon their powers. It's a surge of strength I feel compelled to and repulsed by." She shuttered in disgust with herself. This state of seemingly not belonging to the living nor the dead, existential ambiguity, was taking a toll on her psychic faculties.

From within her stupor, her hatred birthed compulsion.

"He shall pay," she said to herself in bitter anger, and grasped the figurines in her hands tightly. As an act of total desperation, she placed them as close to the place where the flaming portal had appeared as her memory permitted, and shouted without hesitation, "I call upon whatever gods can hear my prayer! In my wretched vengeance, I can only side with the enemy of my enemy. And so, even if only you, who provoked suffering upon those I love, can hear me, let me through the flaming portal that once scorched the ground where I stand. I need to enact justice, by whatever means, upon the one who cost me everything; a selfish traitor; an egomaniac; a victimising puppet in a game of exploitation. I am not done with him!"

Her prayer was silently and anonymously answered. A portal opened in front of her with black arms grasping from within, and she let herself be dragged into the depths she had summoned. Although she was not certain of what she was going to meet beyond this circle of damned flames, she was certain of her purpose.

Now, she was the one to act. Not out of greed; not out of fear; not because any god had allowed or demanded it; but from utter need of vengeance.

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