Yoshiki and Kisoka are surprised by the appearance of Grendel, who has Coral with him. The Harpies
don't want Grendel there, but he manages to get Coral to Rahven to be healed before he's kicked out of
the city. She heals her even though she's a human, because she holds some of Arcana's power, and also
because she's only a child. Aware that the brother and friends Dom reminded him he had are in very real
danger, Yoshiki asks his father that the Harpies' imminent attack on the Elves be held off until he is given a
chance to retrieve his mother without incident. He is granted permission, and leaves immediately.

Once he arrives (easily and carelessly tearing through the defenses at the walls of the human city),
Yoshiki faces the scene of Dominick sitting on the ground, still beside Tobias' body. He passes through
the containment field and faces his mother for the first time in years. She embraces him, and tells him to
help her escape her prison, that the Elves and the humans will know no mercy for causing so much
suffering. Yoshiki is doubting that this is the right course of action. No matter how hard he tries to shake
it, he still feels concern for Caine, their mother, Azriel, Sloane, Dominick, and all his human friends.
He tells her it would be better to hide away for a while, that the Harpies sorely needed her leadership,
and that this continued aggression against every other race would only serve to kill them all off.

Arcana asks about Dominick. Yoshiki informs her that he considers Dominick his mate, and that
he is not to be harmed. At that, Arcana then turns on her son. She viciously grabs him by the throat
and pins him to the wall, saying that Rahven is meant to be Yoshiki's mate; therefore, this human was
fair game. She tells him she was afraid that his disguise as a human would expose him to their needlessly
sentimental way of life. His first duty, once he helped Arcana out of her prison, would be to assist
her in killing Dominick.

Yoshiki does lead her out of the containment field, and kneels before Dom, taking his face in his hands
and kissing his forehead. Dominick is too overwhelmed by his murder of Tobias and the current situation
to give much of a reaction. Yoshiki thanks him for his loyalty, and tells him not to worry. He then turns to
his mother and tells her to kill Dom, to flex her powers after having lost them for so long. This grabs
Dominick's attention -- his heart sinks to his stomach, as he tries to comprehend how easily Yoshiki
could give his life away. Hadn't they cared for each other? Dominick tries to protest, but he is interrupted
by Yoshiki speaking, and walking around him in slow circles. The prince tells his mother that he agrees
with her, that the relationships he formed while in his human disguise needed to be eradicated if he were
to assume his rightful position as a future Harpy leader. Such sentimentality simply didn't belong to a
Harpy's personality. Yoshiki keeps walking, talking in this manner, but when he reaches a point in his
walking, so that he is facing Dom and his back is to Arcana, he smiles at Dominick. Dom understands
instantly, and is even more terrified. He cries out for Yoshiki to stop, and starts to get up Yoshiki
takes the opportunity to grab him from behind, and they both turn to face Arcana.

Arcana has been concentrating during all this time, and has gathered enough energy for a spell. Dominick
is screaming and thrashing to be let free, knowing what the prince is trying to do. In another few seconds,
Arcana releases the spell and a blast of searing energy travels toward them -- smashing into Yoshiki,
who shoves Dominick to the ground at the last minute.

Yoshiki staggers back and falls to his knees, severely wounded in the chest, spilling and coughing blood.
Just as Arcana is about to turn to attack Dominick, however, she stops. An identical wound appears in
her chest, and she falls backward into the containment field again, shocked and now trapped once more
behind the barrier. Her son's betrayal inspires fury in her, and she starts blasting away at the barrier.
Spells riccochet off it and into the walls of the tunnel cavern, and the ceiling starts to crumble. Without the
power that Yoshiki (and Coral) still has, she can't get out of the field again.

Dominick drags Yoshiki up to the surface and outside, where they collapse on the stairs together,
unable to move any further. Dominick is still crying, panicking, cursing himself that he's just a human and
can't do anything to heal Yoshiki's wound. The ground is collapsing somewhere behind the church, burying
Arcana alive. Dominick can only hold him protectively and wait for help.


Dominick is not allowed to visit Yoshiki while he is healing. Kisoka has been taking care of Coral,
and Grendel brings Caine and Azriel to the Harpy city, upon Yoshiki's request. They are informed
of the entire long story of what's been happening to the person they knew as Holden, and to the
Harpy Queen. At last, they are allowed to see Yoshiki.

Caine and Azriel don't notice a difference in him, as they had not seen him since he'd attacked Az,
but Kisoka and Dominick notice instantly -- Yoshiki has changed his appearance again. His wings
are still intact, but his hair and body have changed, noticably yet insubstantially at the same time.
His human disguise is in place again. After a reunion with his friends, 'Holden' tells Dominick that he's
made the decision to leave with them. His confrontation with Arcana would have been disastrous for
him if the Harpies found out he'd actually provoked the attack -- though they still mourned her death,
they were under the impression for now that she had attacked her son unreasonably, confused after
being held captive in a weakened state for so long. He had already discussed it with his father,
and both thought it was best for him to leave. Now that it was revealed that Kisoka was another heir
to their father's position, she could stay and very well become the next ruler if she chose. (Her first order
of business is to declare that her mate should be allowed into the city, much to the embarrassment of
the guards who had repeatedly tossed Grendel out in the past. :D)

With the Harpies backing off from their habit of making war with just about everybody, the others go
their separate ways from Kisoka and Grendel. Holden and Caine return home rather than going back
to school, and Azriel takes some time off as well. Sloane goes back to school though, he's a trooper. ~_^
Dominick returns to his old home, in an attempt to sort out what he now knows about his parents' deaths.
Holden and Dom don't see each other for a while, while Holden tries to get back to the life he used to live.
The scarring on his right arm has disappeared. He no longer has the powers that Arcana gave him, and he's
mourning Vincent's death, but his is made a bit difficult as Holden doesn't clearly remember Vincent dying.
Having found out earlier from Kisoka where she had buried Vincent -- a graveyard near his home, where
his family had placed a memorial marker, as his body was technically still walking around -- Dom meets
up with Holden again, and takes him there. They'll have to start over, but Dom still wants to be with
Holden after everything, and closure for Vincent's death is the last step for Holden to finally move on.


(*admits* And they all lived happily ever after, except for Adonis, who is left in limbo because I still don't know what
to do with him. The end. Told you it wasn't perfect. XD;)