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~Chapter 35~

Lukas was still at the spot where you had left him. There was no turning back after everything he had done for you even if you hadn't realized it until it was too late.

Now that you were able to see, you were able to get a grasp of what exactly this place was. In short, it was both a garbage heap and a graveyard for whatever the people above didn’t want to deal with. The clacking sounds you had heard earlier had been the bones of small animals, unfortunate humans, and even a few strange skeletal structures you did not fully recognize.

Thanks to the Sapphire Flames, as you so called them in tribute to Lukas’ formal title, the nightcrawlers and bloodsnares had steered clear of your path. You could occasionally hear them chattering in the darkness, but for the most part, they remained unseen.

With the flames of the world now residing safely in your heart, you had one final task to take care of: find Emil and if possible, rescue him.

You had tried reaching Emil a few times while you were walking around the cavernous garbage heap, but the only thing you were able to hear was the chorus of dark-loving creatures. Until you could find him, you decided to continue walking. It was a good thing you had that meal with the other dragons before coming here or you might have collapsed of starvation.

After much debate, you thought it was best not to have the other dragons get involved. It had been enough when Tino and Berwald had come searching for you, but Mathias was a dragon all on his own. He had come to your aid without you even telling him to. If he found out Lukas, his friend, was dead, then he most likely wouldn’t have hesitated to storm whatever this place was for revenge—assuming he was that noble or shallow-minded.

As for Emil, on the other hand, you thought it would be best to tell him and the others once you were sure they were all safe—if you even managed to reach him.

At this point in time, your mind was a complete blur of thoughts swirling in your brain like soup. You had absolutely no direction and no concept of time. There wasn’t any natural lighting coming through the ceiling after Lukas had been dropped, and you didn’t even know where you were.

How were you supposed to find your way out of this place if you didn’t even have defense against enemies or a way to escape? Even if you managed to find Emil, he wouldn’t be able to fly with the force field up. If the force field hadn’t been up, Lukas might have remained a dragon the entire time. You wouldn’t have had to go through all of those other bumps in the road before finally winding up in this place with Lukas dead.

He’s really dead… you thought.

It was hard to believe. You had to save your tears for later, but not crying made it feel worse. If you didn’t cry, you feared that you weren’t feeling enough guilt for the dragon’s death. Lukas would have scolded you and told you to pull yourself together if he was here.

The pest…Even when he claimed to try to distance himself away from you, it made you oddly attracted to him even more. You weren’t sure why you had felt that way, but whenever Lukas had tried to barricade himself from intimacy, you had found yourself trying to break down his defenses even harder. Maybe if the arrogant dragon had admitted to wanting friends, things would have turned out differently, but whether it would have been for the better or for the worst was something you wouldn’t be able to predict.

The time you had been looking for Mathias and Lukas downstream on the river had been the only real time you hadn’t been with any of the dragons—that and when Emil had been captured. Until now, you always had a sense of direction: follow Lukas or stay close to him and everything would be alright.

While arming himself with a sharp tongue and even sharper teeth, Lukas had always been the one thing that kept you moving. Even when he had left you behind during the earlier walking portions of your journey, he had made sure to prepare a resting spot ahead for you to come to. Even in the Bone Forest, he had made sure that your survival was the only thing that mattered—even if that meant only looking after his brother. And at the end of it all, he had taken a big gamble.

What if your heart hadn’t been pure? What would have happened? Would the world really have frozen over? Would your heart really have burn up and spontaneously combusted against your will?

The more you thought about it, you weren’t even sure if Lukas knew what he had been doing when he gave you the Sapphire Flames. Before dying, he had made a point of being unsure as to whether or not your heart was even pure. He had implied that the main reason he had wanted to keep the flames from you was to ensure that you wouldn’t throw Emil and yourself into oblivion.

Neither of you had expected Lukas to die so unnaturally, though. Lukas had hoped that if you managed to find other dragons, one of them would be able to take the flames in his stead. Either way, if Lukas had died with the flames in his heart, then the entire world would have been destroyed according to his story. Giving you the flames could very well have been a last-resort decision. There was a high chance that he didn’t even care about you, too.

But there was that lingering question that was making your heart flutter: was the kiss necessary? Surely when the other Dragonheart had taken the flames, his dragon hadn’t kissed him, had he? Well, Lukas never said anything about that, so it was still open to debate.

“Damn you, Lukas!” you screamed kicking a small animal skull away from your path.

Outrageous! Preposterous! Ridiculous! It was downright rude of him to do that! After teasing you and lying to you for so long and finally leaving your side with a parting act like that was completely unpredictable! It wasn’t like him! Had he meant to tease you to the very end and play with your emotions? Damn him!

“No! Hold it together, ____________!” you cried out, your voice rising above the soft murmurs of the bloodsnares. “Lukas, if you can hear me from wherever it is you’re watching me from—if that place even exists—then know that you haven’t gotten the best of me! No, you haven’t!”


“Right,” you sighed. “It was stupid of me to think that you would answer me. You’re…dead, after all…”

The last thing that was still keeping you from breaking down completely was trying to stay angry with Lukas. It had kept you sane when he had been alive so maybe it would be able to keep you sane while he was dead. It didn’t hurt anyone. He wouldn’t hit you or scold you if you cursed his names to his grave—not that he had one, of course.

“Confounded dragon!” you growled and matched onward. You could see your breath condensing as you exhaled in fuming huffs.

“Lukas, y-you were right! You did your job! I don’t miss you! I don’t! Nope! You were a high-class snotty, overgrown, shape-shifting lizard to the very end! Even your looks didn’t matter! I told you this already, but your attitude cancels everything about you that made you attractive! Beautiful on the outside, ugly on the inside and all the way to your core! No wonder the flames didn’t last long! I bet…” You took a moment to catch your breath. “I bet you were the real reason Dragonfall happened in the first place! It never was a curse, was it?!”

No answer.

“Ungrateful beast…” you wheezed. “Even after I took good care of your brother, you never thanked me. Not once. Even when I thanked you, you didn’t think twice about blowing my gratitude away. I don’t miss you in the slightest! Okay, so I might have cried, but that’s what happens when I get a little shaken up and see a mangled corpse. It’s not very pleasant. It’s not.

“Gods, Lukas, if you could see yourself right now…” You caught yourself. “On second thought, maybe that’s not a good idea. You’d come back as an ethereal being or something and go around haunting this place, and that’s that last thing I want: you coming back to haunt me.”

At this point, you finally found a wall. It was about time. Your eyes wide open and alert, you continued to march onward.

“I don’t miss your cocky attitude, your stupid jokes, how you would always blame me for everything that went wrong…even though everything was pretty much my fault…But still! That didn’t mean you didn’t have to act like a gentleman! I thought your first vessel was a prince! Couldn’t you have picked up some noble qualities instead of his damn high-and-mighty attitude?”

The wall felt solid and cool along your fingertips as you moved alongside it. You continued to pass more supporting beams.

“I...” you sighed. “Oh, gods, Lukas, why did you have to be like that? Why did you have to be such a irritable fool? Why couldn’t you have been like Mathias? I’m not saying I want you to be exactly like Mathias, but it would have been nice to see you smile in a not-so-creepy kind of way. You were so creepy…”

You shuddered just thinking about the memories of Lukas’ dry, sarcastic laughter and his mischievous smirks. It was one thing to see him look like a stiff all of the time; it was another to see him genuinely amused. Whatever humor he had, it always had to do with things going his way. What a cheeky bastard he had been! How in Eliatha would you have missed such qualities from such an ungrateful dragon?

“And that part about being able to love!” you burst out of nowhere in particular. “You said you were able to love, but never have I seen a more conceited person or dragon such as you.”

“That’s not to say I’ve actually known too many dragons in my lifetime,” you added.

If anything, besides the concern he had expressed for his brother, Lukas hadn’t cared too much about anyone but himself. Even if he did have feelings for others or even for Mathias in particular, he never admitted it. What did it matter that it was the type of person that he was? He had been awful! The kiss must have been nothing more than an action to pass on the Sapphire Flames to you, after all!

“Scheming wretch!” you shouted into the garbage heap.

You must have been putting on quite the show for the bloodsnares and nightcrawlers. It was best not to look directly at them, however. The light may have frightened them, but you weren’t sure if it was because it was physically harming them or because they were unfamiliar with the color. If they decided to attack you, there was no possible way to defend yourself. The most you were able to get out of the Sapphire Flames’ power was making the room a bright blue color. That was it.

At least you cold see where you were going, and thank goodness you had gotten used to seeing twisted sights. There were some ungainly things lying about the floors. Interestingly enough, for a garbage heap, the place didn’t really seem to have a lot of real garbage, just several remnants of living things tossed somewhere in the brink of time’s journey.

Thinking about journeys, I wonder if I’m making any progression in my own, you thought.

Perhaps it was time to try communicating with Emil again.

Emil… you thought. Emil, can you hear me? Are you still alive? Wait, what are you thinking, ___________? If he was alive, then of course, he could hear me.

You wanted to stop and shut your eyes for maximum concentration, but the fear of leaving yourself exposed to the predators of the darkness made you continue walking along the wall.

Emil? you thought again. Emil…Emiiiilllll…………EMIL!!!

Still nothing.

You sighed. It was worth a shot. What if the poor guy really isn’t alive? I’ve been talking to the dragons in their human forms, after all. Maybe he died somewhere along the way? No, but then how am I able to hold the Sapphire Flames in my heart? Magic? I wish Lukas would have taught me how to use magic. He never even told me what sort of magic he could do. He said it was useless magic. Pointless magic.

“Woo! Magic makes the world go ‘round!” you yelled in a singsong voice tossing your hands up in the air. Perhaps you had gone mad in solitude, after all. Getting mad at a deceased dragon didn’t save your sanity.

“Oh, and maybe I’ll wander here forever! There are no stairs, not ladders, no door of holy light guiding me to a sacred place above. It’s all darkness and bones, and soon, I will perish and join them in their bare bony states! And the world keeps turning!*”

Dead silence.

“I, ____________, a Dragonheart, will die here! I could have the will of a thousand men fighting for their lives and still be stuck here! There is no escape from this deathly place! The darkness calls to me!”


“What’s that? You don’t think I’m going to make it? Oh, well you might be right! You might be absolutely right!”

And then you stopped walking.

“Oh, Lukas…Who am I fooling? Come back…Come back, I need you…You can scold me and hit me all you want. Just don’t kill me. But you won’t kill me because I’m connected to your brother with a magical bond so if I die, he dies—at least that’s what I remember Berwald telling me.”

You looked up to the black ceiling.

“Lukas, come back!” you wailed.

There was only silence. You thought to turn around and go back to where Lukas’ body was, but that would only have been a big waste of time. You weren’t even sure how far it was. Maybe if you really couldn’t find a way out of this place, you would try seeing if you could find his skeleton. Being the semi-mad freak you had become, you thought of even saving of piece of his remains to keep him in your memories.

…On second thought, Lukas wouldn’t have liked it. Had he been alive, he would have shouted at you for doing something so stupid as keeping a piece of his remains. Then again, maybe you would do it just to spite his vengeful spirit.

Ha! Take that, Divine Keeper of the Sapphire Flames! Oh, but since I have the Sapphire Flames, then I guess that makes me the Divine Keeper of the Sapphire Flames now! Ha ha!

And then…

“By all that is holy in Eliatha, would you please shut up?!”
Oops. I actually forgot to update. :P

*Reference to a line said by Denmark in Gutters, an emotional story and one of the best Hetalia fan-fiction works I've read. [link] (Sorry for using it at such an inappropriate time...)

Axis Powers: Hetalia and its characters belong to Himaruya Hidekazu.
This story and picture belong to me, *GydroZMaa.

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cursedwolf102 Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2015  Student Filmographer
Hahaha I laughed at the ending xD
TechieTapper Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
You have done what grief feels like perfectly!
I cant remember what stage of grief it is but its well done!

(I have kinda been hiding through these chapters and decided to appear)
AoTTiffany Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Reading Gutters, has made me unable to be as badly hit by feels. So I couldn't cry in this fanfic... until now XD.
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah...I'm sorry. 
AoTTiffany Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
No don't be! I was actually hoping I would, weird as that is...
FlawlessDeception Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm thinking that MAYBE it was the Asian family who shot Lukas and took his body parts, and MAYBE Lukas chose Mei as a vessel. MAYBE Lukas isn't dead.

Or maybe I'm just being too hopeful about this.
Ravelium Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2014
AHHH! The way you described all the desesperation feels so real. I could even feel there. You did such a good job!!
Girl, you have to publish one day.
P.D.: By the way, thanks for almost tearing my heart.
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
A-Ah. Thank you...?
PolarbearNinja2 Featured By Owner May 15, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
“By all that is holy in Eliatha, would you please shut up?!”

THIS LINE MADE ME VERY HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LoZGamer316 Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That makes two of us my friend :)
StarSapphire9601 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014
suddenly my two personality debates in my head:
during the first parts:
Sane Ai: *cries and wailed* Whyyy??? by the time I was so madly in love at him...whyyyyyyyyyy?
Insane Ai: *speechless*
Sane Ai: *looks at Insane Ai* it's quiet weird seeing you quiet Insane, I'm expecting you to act Insane and kill both of us
Insane Ai:.........if we die....what will happen to Emil?
Sane Ai: .....and you started to act like me...who easily feel guilty....*cries more*
Insane Ai: *acts Insane*
Sane Ai: *wailed* at least I feel normal seeing Insane being Insane!!

“By all that is holy in Eliatha, would you please shut up?!"

Sane Ai: *cries while laughing* haha...see Insane? I told you you're the most Insane personality in the world, you even made someone say those words, ahh who am I fooling? I bet Aina will become completely Insane, I can see myself laughing while crying
Insaner Ai: *stare at Sane Ai* Sane, I thought it was you....
Sane Ai: ........
Insane Ai: .......

oreoruby Featured By Owner Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
you were so creepy? Lol
TheGirlSniper Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
applekillingfanfirl Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
I read Gutters and cried for three hours straight after crying through it since the second chapter like the crybaby I am and was unable to look at the Nordics (Denmark especially) without immediately tearing up or thinking about the story for quite the longest time.

I've gotten over it since it's been nearly  month since then, but ... I still get depressed occasionally. I don't regret reading it, though. :[
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I was left like an empty void for a while after reading that story. 
applekillingfanfirl Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013
Noru-kinz Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I must be psycho or something....XD Typical me, ranting and raving to no end, only listening to myself while no one else cares~ I'M CLEARLY IN MY HAPPY PLACE WITH WEIRD CREATURES AND STUFF HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *insane* :meow:
ToshikoYoshikuni Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Did I awaken him from his eternal slumber?~ Then my raving like a madman was a success! :D
SnowCat63 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

this is most likely the exact reaction I would have seeing as I talk to myself on a daily basis. Sometimes you are the only intelligent conversation partner to be found

Great job on the story, you is amazing person yes

GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Heh. Thank you. :thanks:
CrystalRainbow8 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I have grown mad... look at the Reader, talking to herself in the garbage heap lol XD
YumiBlackrose Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
me going crazy in a dark hole yep sounds like something that would happen......
Pokepal5 Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
MrsIshida0560 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Student Filmographer
Lukas! You came back!! :iconsobbplz:
KaraAkuma Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
* being all proud of herself for seeing this coming * I am a bloody awesome genius ( I am tired, don't mind me ).
Anyway, thanks a lot for creating an amazing story and keeping me on the edge so much, it rarely happens with any story I read, so that is why you, my friend, are a bloody awesome genius (too) *grins*
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh my. Thank you~ I can't really call myself a genius, though. ^^;
KaraAkuma Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
No seriously, your writing is really good, keep it up like this and I am sure you will be able to publish things in a few years.
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You think so? Ah, I appreciate it. :blushes:
KaraAkuma Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
Mhm * nods nods * ...the only thing that might give you some trouble is creating a bunch of realistic and complex OCs ...because anime /manga characters we use in fanfiction are a bit too simple-minded ( I know that what I am saying might sound mean, so please , trust me when I say that I don't want to offend you or criticize your work in a bad, negative way )
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, my first stories did not come from fan-fiction. In a way, my OCs were very well-rounded, but I'm not really comfortable sharing those things on here since they stories themselves are incomplete.
KaraAkuma Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
Yeah, I understand the feeling, pretty much the same for me, seems like there are a lot of stories I just can't finish >_< ...even now I have a prologue of a fanfiction with Romania that I posted (besides the fact that no one tried to read it and give a feedback) I simply don't think I can continue it, have tons of ideas but none seem to be interesting enough >.>
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, well sometimes that can be like a motivation to challenge yourself. I'd offer to give you feedback, but I've been known to tear stories apart so maybe coming to me would not be the best option. ^^;
(1 Reply)
Hinatathebloom1 Featured By Owner May 22, 2013
Interesting ending to this chapter ^^
Oh-My-Maple Featured By Owner May 14, 2013  Student Digital Artist
:iconcrazylaughplz: Crazy!
DubstepCat Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Miabia100 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I called it!!!! I knew it!!
Shuru10 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The emotions were SOOOO overpowering in this chapterin this , that POI COMPLETELY FORGOT about the possibility of his his soul (spirit?) could still be there!! :O :iconshockplz:
XlKittiezlX Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2013
LUKAS YOURE NOT DEAD!!!! ...I think :iconsweatdropplz:
Mango-Gato Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013
from gutters? THE FEELS!
SweetAppleVinegar Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
... Thus, our lovely reader descends into a near state of madness as she tries to ward off the survivor's guilt in the aftermath of Lukas' death. Yay. Also, she called him a wench, which I thought was an insult specially reserved for the female gender o.o I guess not!
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Whoa. Have you been gone all of this time?
SweetAppleVinegar Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
^^; yeah, I went on sort of a DA diet and abstained from just going on the internet entirely. Then I remembered that I was supposed to keep up with your series and then my resolve was instantly shattered >.> *shame*
Ramenryu Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
I just read gutters AND GOD IM SOBBING BUCKETS. IT WAS JUST SO... SO .. Beautiful..

Anyways I love your fanfic too, it's honestly one of the best stories I've read so far, an if you wouldn't mind I'd like to draw a chapter or two into a short comic, would that be alright? I'd give you full credit
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, it's perfectly fine for you to do that as long as you don't sell the work for profit or commercial gain. I'm curious to know what sorts of things you can come up with.
Ramenryu Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
Ramenryu Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2013  Hobbyist Filmographer
AWESOME~ i won't seek the work- and I'll have something up for you to see sometime this week ^^
CrazyCharlette1415 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist

And here you had me riled up.
candylover10 Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Student General Artist
Gutters. Thank god someone else has read it! :D
GydroZMaa Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually, quite a hefty amount of people have read it. They just don't mention it here because it's not a reader insert.
candylover10 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Student General Artist
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