Summary Edit

"What Once Was - Lillith" is a series of oneshots from Season 4, March 6-8, 2015, in which Kiri and Dagger track down Lillith's witch and defeat her, freeing her soul.

Full Text Edit

Part 1 Edit

Her weapons were ready, her knives sharpened, Dagger’s fire fresh.  They had already warmed up in preparation.

It was time.

Kiri brought out her soul, which glinted in its gem form.  It was still dark, dull, but maintained at least some of its glow.  It pulsed briefly as she focused on sensing another fallen soul.

She closed her eyes, then hopped onto Dagger’s back.

"That way," she urged the dragon forward towards the northeast.  "We’ll find her."

Dagger nodded and launched herself into the air.

We’re coming.  Just a little longer. Her heartbeat quickened in reminder.

Part 2 Edit

"She’s here."

Kiri released a magical pulse from her soul.  It burst out in a wave, brushing over everything in the training ground.

The symbol appeared over a single tall tree.

Kiri remembered that tree.  It was one of Lillith’s favorites, where she would hang apples from the branches and practice hitting them, dodging as they came swinging back towards her.

With a quiet nod to Dagger, her crooned softly in reply, Kiri led her towards the entrance to the labyrinth.

It was just as she remembered it.  Quiet, serene, lush grass plains under azure skies.  The scent of dried kelp and salty sea, crimson flowers dancing across the sky with their petals falling like gentle snow.

She couldn’t see the crystal tower.

Kiri made a hushing noise towards Dagger, urging her to remain as silent as possible.  They glided forward along the breeze, brushing against the grass in search of the glass tree of daggers.

It took them some time to find it.  Kiri wanted to take in the serenity of the labyrinth more, with its soothing air and lulling song in the distance.  She knew what it actually was, and how much it must have meant for Lillith.  She loved battle, was filled with the fire of life, but this place was what she must have wanted for peace.  Grassy plains.  Clear skies. 

She was going to destroy it.

Kiri took that moment to prepare herself.  Almost immediately, her conjured armor came to her, the daggers on her belt and magical power spinning about her.  Her soul came to rest as a leaf-shaped gem on her chest.

Then she surrounded herself and Dagger with a barrier and struck the glass tree once.

The tree twisted and shattered.

The barriers caught all the shards, and Kiri watched as the daggers, caught floating in the air for one last moment, dropped to the ground.  The earth split where each one struck, but this time she was above it on Dagger, watching, waiting.

The distant song became harsh and distorted, and the flower petals began to fall like rain, splattering blood red across everything they touched.  The beating drum of a heartbeat echoed as the sky darkened, the sun itself growing darker, more crimson…

And then finally, finally… the crystal tower appeared.

Radiant, glittering, a beacon of light in the hellscape.  But it too would fall to corruption just like the world around it.

Kiri gave a dark smile as she gazed up at it. "Hello Lillith.  It’s been a while."

Part 3 Edit

Four years ago, this had been the nightmare that haunted her.  It came back every so often, reminding her of her friend’s fate and why she could never truly trust the word of someone so quickly. 

So much had changed since then.  Now this was a powerful witch.  She just happened to know this one personally.

"Lillith," Kiri said softly, her barriers protecting her from the shards and fire that exploded outwards from the crystal tower.  "I know you’re in there.  And I know I can’t reach you.  You’re trapped in your own misery… I know.  I know because I’m getting close, myself. 

"I just wanted to say that… I understand now.  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry for everything.  I’m here to fix this, make sure you can rest in peace.  So let me help you, like you helped me."

There are familiars surrounding the tower, beating their hands against the tower, melting as they come into contact, leaving black handprints on the tower walls.  The tower itself has grown dim, its glimmering facets dulled and damaged.  Just like Lillith.  She’d always been so optimistic, bright, full of life… the contract took it away from her.  It corrupted her just like the labyrinth had corrupted the tower.

Dagger breathed powerful fire, combating back Lillith’s attacks.  Kiri ensured that the barriers were secure around the dragon, then flew herself towards the tower. 

"I can’t change this fate," she spoke.  "But I can save you.  I’m sorry.  I’ll try to make this as gentle as possible."

It was something she had never done, and she knew no ordinary contractor could do this.  But Kiri had made a specific wish, and she had done it for this reason. 

She took out an ornamented dagger - one that had once belonged to a fiery girl with red hair - reached out for the damaged, trapped soul at the core of the tower.

"You don’t have to be alone anymore.  It’s okay.  I’m here.  You’re my best friend Lillith.  You don’t have to curse anyone, or destroy, or let your rage crush everything.  You can be you again."

She focused her power outwards from the core.  

"Now Dagger!"

The dragon roared and took off towards the sky.  She aimed one great blast of nadder flame at the sun, already a blood red color shining crimson across the landscape.  But it was only a prop, a way of controlling this world within the labyrinth; the fire blast toppled it, knocking it from the sky. 

Kiri stared at the tower, maintaining her focus on Lillith’s soul.  She ensured there were barriers in place such that it wouldn’t be destroyed in this aftermath.

And now… we free you.

She released her power just as the falling sun smashed into the tower.

The world rippled in shades of red.  Crystal shards shattered, digging into everything.  An agonized female scream echoed above the landscape.

"It’s okay, Lillith," Kiri choked, recognizing the voice.  "It’s okay.  I’m here.  We’re here."

The power of that curse was broken though, now.  The world was crumbling, the tower fallen to ruin, and sky was changing colors again.  

And at that core lay a grief seed, emblazoned with the image of a sun and a knife.

The world had returned to normal; they were at the tree in the training ground again, everything so ordinary compared to the hellscape that had been Lillith’s labyrinth.  Kiri sighed, quietly banishing her conjured armor, leaving her in her regular state.

Then she quietly raised her hand over the grief seed and began to pull its corruption away.

Dagger landed next to her as she did, nudging Kiri slightly in a comforting motion.  She nodded back, trying to hold back the flood of emotion she knew was rising within her.

The grief seed gradually became a bleached white, the despair that tainted it vanishing.  Kiri knew where it went.  But nothing else mattered now.

The soul within the grief seed twirled above it, free at last.  The image of a proud girl appeared.

How?  Kiri?  Is that you?

Kiri smiled and nodded.  Something wet fell from her eyes. 

"Yeah… it’s me.  You’re free now Lillith.  You don’t have to worry about anything anymore."

Lillith’s spirit looked shocked, if not sad.

But - you - how long has it been?  Are you all right? I’m so sorry for everything… I can’t even begin to say how sorry I am…

Kiri held her hand forward.

"It wasn’t your fault.  And the ones who were responsible will never do this again.  I’m sorry too Lillith.  I never wanted any of this on you.  Everything will be okay now."

The spirit didn’t look convinced.

But you’ve contracted now too.  You’re going in the same direction!

Kiri smiled and shook her head.  “I have it figured out.  Besides… I made a wish to heal the souls of world myself, right?  If it’s true… then I don’t have anything to worry about.”

There was understanding there.  A last bit of hope, even when the inevitable came.

Then… I guess everything will be all right in the end.  I’m glad. 

Kiri nodded.  She smiled once more.

"Then… go in peace, Lillith.  Be happy.  And I’ll see you soon."

Lillith gave one last bow, twirling, smiling.

Thank you Kiri.  See you soon.

And with a small little bounce, the image was gone.

Kiri sighed as she held the white grief seed in her palm.  It was done.  Everything was fixed now.

Just one last thing to do.

She sat there at the tree with Dagger, staring up into the sky.  It felt so surreal now, just the gravity of what had finally been done, and what was to come.  She was more free now than she had been in years, but locked by fate.  It was a strange balance.

She was at peace too.

Kiri smiled, then glanced at the black and silver dragon beside her.  Dagger looked back with a knowing glint in her eye.

Kiri laughed and jumped to her feet.  She was ready for anything now.  Other nins, witches, Ragnarok, Walpurgisnacht.  Anything could happen.  She didn’t care.  Her work was done.

Flying? "Flying," she grinned.  "Let’s go flying."

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