Bella hated it that Volterra was so beautiful. It was situated on top of a mountain with walls all around and the buildings were old, ancient. The streets weren’t paved with modern stones, either. She didn’t sense any human inside the city, either. It was filled with Cold Ones and she felt relieved, she had been afraid of human casualties. There was no way you could drive a car in Volterra, which meant they’d have to walk the next few kilometres and there was no doubt they’d get company on their way up.
They were greeted by a mass of Newborns who were ready to kill them as they walked through the gates to make their way up to the top, to the castle that held the Volturi. It only made sense they had the newborns recalled, as most of the Volturi Guard had been killed by them less than a week ago in New Orleans. Elijah muttered something along the lines of why they hadn’t surrendered already, knowing what could be in store for them.
Kol was happy with the challenge. All they needed was to cut the Cold Ones somewhere, or round them up, really, and throw a molotov cocktail at them. He and Rebekah were all for chaos and mayhem. And that was what it was, all the way to the top. Limbs flying everywhere, occasionally ducking out of the way for splattering of venom, buildings and Cold Ones set on fire, and everyone telling Bella to stop exhausting herself by forcing the Cold Ones to fight each other because they were going to need her on her best in the castle.
Myriam was having fun using her magic, doing the simple things such as pushing the Cold Ones back or breaking their necks off of their torso’s, much like Kol had told her to do. She didn’t want to change into an animal right now, it wasn’t necessary and her dress was too pretty. Like Bella, she was wearing a dress, black but with red accents to match her sister. Unlike her sister, Myriam could walk on high heels and her Jimmy Choo’s were extremely comfortable to walk on.
Halfway through the city, most of it was already burning, they stumbled upon a bakery that still had fresh pastries, telling Bella that the humans must have left quite recently. Myriam pushed something in Bella’s hands and told her to eat while they rounded up the next wave of Newborns and destroyed them. Klaus had already gotten hurt a little when the venom splattered on him and burned through his shirt, but he insisted that he was doing alright; it’d heal eventually.
When they got to the top of the city and the vampires were taking a breather, finishing their blood bags to heal up and watch the fire from their spot, Bella couldn’t help but to feel as if all of this was her fault. So many lives were lost. Granted, newborns were usually created to be destroyed within their first year if they were created for an army, but still, lives were lost. She had hurt so many newborns when she was still with the Cullens due to them being in close proximity to her when she had one of her meltdowns, but lives were lost.
It wasn’t as if they could be cuddled and loved, either. Newborns needed a leader and they were definitely loyal to the Volturi. And without most of the Volturi guard already gone, newborns were the last line of defense. And the Volturi created them, not Bella. But they were created because of her and what had happened after she had screwed up. Well, she screwed up, but her life was better now.
She needed to stop making excuses for them. The Volturi and 95% of the Cold Ones were evil and needed to be destroyed. Her sister had already done most of the destroying and there were likely some more Cold Ones around who did horrific things to humans and or children, but by destroying the Volturi they’d send a powerful message. And Bella was so ready to send that message.
The Volturi ensured that both her and her sister didn’t have a normal family. Her sister was raised by two loving Cold Ones, but Bella wasn’t. She had to miss out on the most important things. She was the reason some children were being kept around too. The Volturi exploited so many children, and perhaps a lot of adults as well and they needed to pay.
She could feel her hatred towards them bubble underneath her skin, itching to get out. She really wanted to destroy them, and it shocked her that she didn’t feel remorseful about it. It was bad to kill people, but The Volturi weren’t people. They were monsters. Not even the Mikaelsons had done horrific things to children like this while they could have, they were powerful enough. There were no redeeming qualities about the Volturi. None. Absolutely none.
All the Mikaelsons had admitted that they’d done some questionable things in the past, not as bad as hurting children, and they had turned over a new leaf. While they all didn’t believe that had redeemed their Karma, Bella believed that they were truly good people. Likely the best on this Earth. It took some time, but they changed. For the better.
The Volturi needed to pay. For all the lives that the Cold Ones had destroyed, either by turning them into vampires, newborns or by taking children, by manipulating children. The numbers ran in the thousands, perhaps even millions. All those lives. Hurt. Lost. Bella couldn’t stop the tears from flowing, and she quickly wiped them away with her hand.
“Are you alright, darling?” Kol asked as he put his arms around her, holding her tightly.
Bella nodded as she looked up to him with watery eyes. “I’m happy,” she replied. “After we’re done, everyone will be a lot safer. Children will be with their families and nobody will be turned to become a worthless army of throw-away vampires. No one will have to live through what I and so many others have lived through.”
He smiled at her then and lightly brushed her lips with hers. “You are ready to do some real damage?”
“Then I think we’re all ready to proceed to the castle’s doors,” he kissed the top of her head and put his arm around her as he looked at his siblings. “Aren’t we?”
“Let’s huff and puff this place to the ground,” Myriam said as she eagerly rubbed her hands before looping her arm through Bella’s free one. “I am so going to enjoy this. I always believed I needed a big army to take on the Volturi, but we are the army, Bella.”
“Hey, what about us? We’ve helped!” Rebekah objected, seemingly hurt.
“An army of six,” Myriam smirked at her. “That’s all we need. Granted… I wouldn’t have been able to pull it off as a Cold One. Despite everything, after a lot of loss and a lot of gain, I am grateful that Klaus decided to keep Bella in his dungeon after his daughter kidnapped her. If that hadn’t happened, we would have been in a completely different situation.”
“I will have to teach Hope that we don’t bring home strays and she certainly won’t go looking for trouble next time!” Klaus huffed.
“It’s a family trait, Nik, you brought home Marcel one day, didn’t you?” Kol teased him. “The only difference is is that everyone likes Bella, and Myriam. I’d say that your daughter has better taste than you.”
“That was different!”
“I don’t think so,” Elijah replied thoughtfully. He hadn’t spoken much and had instead focused on their upcoming battle and fighting the newborns. Their first battle with the newborns up to the castle had been cathartic. Every once in a while, he needed to feed his inner monster and it hungered for more. “Granted, Marcellus was only a boy, but he was unfairly treated, like Miss Bella, who, unfortunately suffered at the hands of immortal beings like ourselves…”
Bella opened the door to the castle. “Can we stop talking about this, please?” She ducked away when a wave of Newborns shot out of the open doors, looking at them with big eyes, surprised. “I should have thought about listening out for thoughts before I opened that door…” She eventually said when the vampires were taken care of. “Why didn’t I do that? I’m so sorry. It’s the one thing I can do and I failed at it.”
“It weren’t that many,” Kol said as he put his arm back around her and smiled. “We’re all still in one piece. Now, where do we go?”
“I-I don’t know,” Bella said as she peeked inside the main entrance from the door. “I haven’t been here before.” She looked around in the reception area, there was no one behind the desk and all the doors were closed. The castle was nothing but a converted and extended church, but the Volturi had left in most of the furbishes and glass panels. Coloured glass depicting stuff from Christianity. Wooden beams and sand-coloured walls.
If it weren’t for them being on a mission to kill the Cold Ones inside the building, Bella would have loved to take a few pictures on her phone so she could try to replicate it with her drawings. Listening for any random thought, it took her awhile to find one, there was no doubt that the Volturi had tried to teach the newborns to control their thoughts, but Bella was powerful. She could push and listen. She didn’t want to make the same mistake that she had done earlier, she’d been lazy. But there was more going on, maybe some magical protection. It took her a minute before she picked up on about a dozen behind a door, she pointed at it. “That way, but there might be magic involved, I should have easily picked up on them.”
“I thought the Volturi didn’t do magic?” Kol wondered out loud.
“The Volturi have very powerful wives who aren’t a part of the guard, it’s likely that they are now working hard to confuse some of us,” Elijah replied calmly, tugging on the sleeves of his shirt. He hated wrinkles.
“The wives go first then,” Klaus decided before he opened the door in one fell swoop and started to tear into the Cold Ones that were waiting for them. It was disappointing that this was another ‘waiting area’. It had been a long time since he and Elijah were at this castle; something he and his brother kept quiet because they weren’t proud of it. They were here centuries ago, after learning of this new breed of vampire and their curiosity got the better of them.
Their visit had been trivial. One time only. Nothing to feel guilty about towards the girls because there had been no indication of any of the Volturi’s projects. Then again, the Volturi were big on secrecy. And back in those days, the Mikaelsons didn’t particularly care about what was right or wrong, only survival. Upon learning that the Cold Ones were nearly indestructible and had a lot of means, they had tried to become allies with the Volturi for protection against Mikael, but even the Volturi didn’t want to dirty their hands on a ‘family dispute’.
The Volturi were likely too afraid that Mikael would eat through some of them, which was part of his and Elijah’s plan back then – give Mikael a distraction, but still. It had been a one time visit, because the Volturi and the Cold Ones were not the same as them. Elijah didn’t like them, and that’s saying something as Elijah liked nearly everyone with power. Klaus hadn’t liked them because they weren’t going to roll over easily. He didn’t like having allies that believed that they were better than the Mikaelsons. Why? Because they wouldn’t, and couldn’t, be controlled. Control was everything.
Yes, they had intended to use the Volturi for many things, and, in the end, they were going to use them for kindle.
After clearing this room, Klaus kicked down one of the other doors. Even if they had to go through the entire castle and clear it all, they were going to find the Volturi. They weren’t going to be delicate about it, as long as his family kept up with him, everything would be alright. Wronged things needed to be made right.
They tore through the castle for an hour or so, searching every nook and cranny before finally finding the Volturi hiding on the top floor, with their wives and another shield of newborns. According to Bella, these were newborns with gifts. It wasn’t going to be as easy as before despite all the strength, gifts and powers they shared amongst them.
However, the Volturi were more than happy to hide behind the redshirts, like the cowards that they were and when they were almost through the last line of defense, one of the Volturi, Bella remembered his name being Marcus, commanded everyone to stop, his voice echoing through the space that they were in. His voice sounded deep, loud and demanding, likely trying to regain some sense of control.
“Surely there’s a peaceful solution,” he said, half a smile on his face before looking over at the other two ‘kings’, one looking absolutely terrified and the other one only had entertainment washed over his face. He looked at Myriam then. “You must be the one who has been diminishing our numbers and destroying our facilities for the last few years when we all believed it to be your sister.”
Bella wasn’t interested in stopping. There was no peaceful solution and she could tell that they didn’t even want a peaceful solution, only their own survival. She searched the wives for any clues, but Dora was a normal wife belonging to the younger Volturi leader and Sulpicia – what kind of a name was that? – belonged to the terrified looking leader. There was a woman standing right next to them, who seemed to be their guard, and she was influencing the women right now. And the men, but mostly the women. Including another one of the female guard and that was one to be wary of.
Her name was Charmion, and she had her gift in almost everyone of the Volturi, linking them together. The one who spoke was tied to the terrified looking one, his loyalty burning with her gift and oh, it was so easy to get inside her mind and she was already trying to work on breaking the emotional bonds between the Mikaelsons, Bella could tell, and she was going to stop her. ‘I want you to kill the wives, then the other female and then yourself. I don’t care how, just do it.’ While slipping inside the vampire’s mind had been easy, telling her what to do was not, but Bella was strong. She could do this.
When Charmion finally relented, the terrified looking vampire looked even more ashen than he had been, and the younger one tried to stop this powerful vampire from doing what she was doing, but to no avail. The three women dropped like flies before Charmion cut herself and lit herself on fire. Bella couldn’t help but have a stupid grin on her face as she watched the spectacle.
“Bella, the man called for a cease,” Elijah chastised her playfully.
“I’m done listening to Cold Ones,” Bella muttered as she looked at the three Volturi leaders, looking like the pathetic creatures that they were. Without their power, they were nothing. Absolutely nothing. The guard had already been taken care of in New Orleans, Bella had now taken care of the wives, and surely the Volturi leaders had seen the slaughter of Newborns?
“Of course,” the terrified looking leader said, a faint smile dancing on his lips, a sparkle in his eyes, there was no doubt that he believed that he had a trick on his sleeve. “Bella Swan, the girl who we’ve had so much hope for and in the end, turned out to be a monster,” he said as he straightened himself up in a small act of bravery. “And you’re still a monster, look at all the dead Cold Ones because of you. And your sister. But mainly you.”
Aro. His name was Aro. This was the one who Carlisle Cullen spoke with, a lot. She didn’t respond to Aro’s words and instead had to take a step back to take Kol’s hand. He was getting angry.
“And the Mikaelsons. Didn’t you try to use us a few centuries ago to get rid of your father? A mere family dispute?” Aro was getting braver, he mistook Bella’s step back as retreat. “Didn’t we agree not to busy ourselves with each other’s businesses?”
“If that’s your attempt of creating doubt and suspicion into the girl’s minds, then may I suggest you try again? Myriam and Bella both know that we’ve done things in the past we weren’t proud of. Now, why are you so keen on trying to resolve things by talking? We were having so much fun destroying you all,” Kol replied, quite angry towards his siblings for not having told him about their encounter with the Cold Ones, but perhaps his brothers had good reason not to tell them. Now was not the time to doubt his brother’s motives or request that they’d explain themselves. “Let’s continue.”
Aro was surprised then when Myriam lunged forward and grabbed the younger Volturi leader, ripping off his head before kicking it around like a ball. “Oh, that was fun!” Myriam grinned.
“La Cantata si libera!” Aro squeaked when Kol was holding him by the throat. “La Cantata si libera!”
“Been there, done that…” Bella murmured as she spotted some swords hanging from the wall and headed over to grab one. “It’s an experience we all don’t want to go through again,” she added as she walked back, dragging the sword along with her. Not because she was lazy, but because it was heavier than she’d expected a sword to be. The steel blade scraped along the floor as Bella made her way back to Kol, who was still holding Aro by the throat. “Oh, I’d have loved to have gone nuclear here in Volterra. Destroying you all with one simple kaboom! Instead, I nearly ended up ruining New Orleans. If it weren’t for my sister… the one you didn’t know about, then it definitely would have happened.”
“Surely by now you both have felt the changes within my sister, and myself,” Myriam smirked as she kept Marcus in his chair, toying with his long hair, loving her sister’s flair for the dramatic with the sword and all. “The singer is free, indeed, and in more ways than you can possibly imagine.”
Bella handed Marcus the sword. “You are going to decapitate your friend here, I feel a lot of resentment towards him from you, so you will get what you want,” she said as she got inside his mind as well. “And then you will allow my family to rip you apart. Penance for what you and your people have done to me, my sister and many other children. After that, we are going to ruin this city as a warning to anyone who’s left. The reign of the Volturi ends today.”
A/N: One more chapter left! Thank you all for sticking with me!