Return What Was Lost Part Two "So I'm to lead a small team?" She confirmed, asking her god. "And if we die in Hell, we are trapped there forever. Probably something like that..." "Which is why I can't ask you to do this." Mina gave Kva a concerned look. "I understand your loyalty to Taydar. And I really want Eraqus back. But the danger of this mission... how could I live with myself if one of you died in Hell?" "You're concerned we may pay a life for a life." Kva concluded, sighing. "But such is the price of these things, death isn't so easy to reverse. Besides, Eraqus has done more for this world in his life than I ever have, I'm usually more focused on the next." "What a courageus soul." Another goddess appeared in the room, a Light Elven looking woman in red, with long, blonde hair. "Such devotion to both comrades and patron god deserves our respect and assistance." She stepped before Kva and smiled. "As long as a follower of the god of Death would not be opposed to the goddess of Life's help." The Dhampire turned her head, looking over at the elegant goddess. "Mevah? No. I would not be opposed. And although harmony between life and death holds the world together, we Death Priests always had the distinct impression you didn't like us very much." "I don't like death priests and priestesses unaware of the need for harmony. You are one of the good ones who does." Mevah held her hand over the desk, and four small, humanoid figures of light appeared on it, the one standing ahead of the others looking a bit like Kva. "I don't suppose you have heard of soul tethering, have you?" "I can't say I have." She tapped her fingers on Mina's desk unconsciously. "As had been said, it is taxing on a living body to be in the Inferno." Three of the bodies moved back, and we'e replaced with three more forms, those these ones were just outlines, as if hollow. I like moved from each of the three solid bodies to one of the hollow ones. "So we will have Saboran make temporary, non-living bodies to inhabit. Most of the group will be connected, or tethered, to them, so they will resist Hell and be able to be pulled back if they are destroyed." "They need a living host to remain cohesive for long, however." From each of the three hollow bodies, a cord connected to the body representing Kva. You, and the other heads of your groups, will keep them grounded, and they in turn will give you strength. This means, however, while they can not truly die, you still can, and with each one lost, Hell will have that much more weight on your soul." Mevah smiled. "You follow, dear?" "So, I need to act as a kind of director for these empty vessels and with each one I lose I become weaker." Kva confirmed, looking towards Mevah. Mevah nodded. "So choose who occupies them well." Taydar stepped forward and held out his own hand. The desk transformed into a square model depicting a map split in four, with mountains and valleys and many other much more unpleasant things, and a large building at the center. "I hope you can change this back?" Mina grumbled. "That was Elluviana mahogany." Taydar looked to the Dhampir. "This is Hell. As you can see, it is divided into four sections with the main city of Hell in the center. In all likelihood, there is one fragment in each section. You will have to lead four teams, four each, and send them in the four directions to search." "Hopefully one team at a time." Kva noted, examining the map. Taydar slowly shook his head. "You will all have to go in at the same time, twelve in total, with you and three other Captains." Xia walked over. "Please understand that the imbalance of harmony between light and dark is having an effect on the living world too. We have to fill the slot too. If you don't get Grimora now... we will have to replace her." "Replace her how?" Kva asked, looking at the Queen of the Gods. "With anyone we can find," Jeren said. "We have a few candidates lined up. But we want Grimora back if possible." "Then I'll do everything I can." Kva agreed, bowing towards Taydar. "What will I be facing? Demons, I imagine." Taydar nodded. "Mostly. The loss of Grimora has caused some of them to escape Hell. Beware of the souls down there too. Most are harmless... But not all." He stood tall. "Do this for me... return my daughter to me, and In ill be in your debt." Kva merely waved it off. "I do not wish to indebted the god I have sworn my life to." The gods all nodded. "We will have Saboran make the empty shells. Be ready to move out in the next few days." Taydar bowed, and the gods departed. "Are you sure about this?" Mina asked. Kva was quiet for a moment before replying. "Yes... I think I am... This is a chance to do good for the world, the afterlife, and the God to which I owe my life..." Mina nodded. "Get me Eraqus back, and the gods won't be the only one owing you one." "Ms. Havenbrook..." Kva sat down, looking her in the eye. "I have something important to tell you about me. I've told a few others this and because of that it'll probably make it's way to you sooner or later... I want you to hear it from me." Mina frowned. "Whatever it is, you can be honest with me. You have been one of my best Hunters for years now." "I wasn't originally born in Virandio, although I did spend a very long time there." Kva looked down, then back up. "The Truth is I was born in Draculesti. I'm a Dhampir." "A... half vampire?" Mina leaned back. "This whole time... explains a lot of things. But... how have you drank blood this whole time?" "My Rapier is of traditional Nocturnum War design, it stores blood. During my sparring matches it absorbs blood that would normally go to waste on the ground. Then in private, I drink that." Kva explained, happy Mina was at least taking it well so far. "I see. And the clothes you where all the time... protect you from the sun?" Mina rubbed her head. "This is... wow... A lot to... all this time..." "I refrained from telling you because I wanted to avoid a witch hunt against me or people cowering in fear and distrusting me more than they already do. I had even greater reason this year with Alice showing herself as a threat to us." Kva continued, trying to relationalize her choices. "I can understand." Mina slowly leaned forward. "How many... other people know about this?" "No more than a handful. Betty, Erin, Terra, Titania and our newest Hunter Johanna." Kva listed off, it was a short list, she planned to keep it that way. Mina nodded. "We'll keep it that way. To be honest... A year ago, I might have had a freak out. But I was once terrified of Ophidians. I jumped when I saw one like some people do with a big drop or a big dog or... ahem, clowns..." She shuttered at the thought of an Ophidian clown. "But Lyr showed me I need to drop my preconceptions of Ophidians. They still make me nervous, as do vampires, but you have been with me for years. You are the same person now as you were before you told me. Be pretty foolish of me to suddenly grab a silver bullet now, huh?" "Are you sure I'm not using my suggestion to make you believe that?" Kva chuckled, quickly holding up her hands. "Forgive me. That Joke was in poor taste." Mina waved it off. "It's fine." She took a deep breath. "Well... I guess you should get ready. Pick out the three who will be on your team. I'll have the other three captains do the same." "Right. Don't worry, I won't go so easily." Kva assured.