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Death's Throne is Frozen

Chapter Text

Long before time had a name, the first spinjitzu master created Ninjago. There were sixteen realms of creation, but little known was the 17th 18th and 19th realms. These three were not the realm of creation but realms of endings. The 17th was the realm of eternal suffering, where the darkest criminals and villains of the realm went when they perished, different than the departed realm which could be accessed by the realm crystal or travelers tea, this realm held the souls of the darkest beings to exist whose souls could not be redeemed through the realm of the departed, the torture realm was one of screams and black lava. It was here that the overlord was sentenced. The 19th realm was the Paradise realm, where heroes and those pure of heart went when their time came. Where souls would spend eternity being pampered, the first spinjitzu master ruled this realm with kindness and wisdom. The 18th realm was the realm between life and death. Literally frozen in space and time, where a soul could choose to wait until those they loved could come to join them before moving to the paradise realm. And it is in this realm that we focus our attention on a glittering palace lit by a star in a perpetual state of going nova. A lone figure sat upon his throne inside the palace of ice. His robes were of the purest ice and his crown was of the same and sat atop a head of windswept blonde hair, his icy blue eye radiated a warmth one would not expect from such a stoic expression. He looked like a king home from battle, a hero of his people. The city in the distance, visible from the balcony of the grand palace, was also made of ice. People going about their day or waiting for those they loved at the docks of the sea of cloud. To those who reside in this state of waiting, the realm was known simply as Winter’s Rest, beings from all the creation realms were there, well except those from the Cursed Realm. Zane had diligently ruled the realm after being the only elemental master to ever wish to wait for those they loved, his element was very fitting of the realm after all. He had come here immediately after destroying the overlord once and for all, and for his bravery had been given ruler status. He had met with the rulers of the other two realms, The First Spinjitzu Master and Hailey. Hailey was the embodiment of hatred and vengeance and rode an acid green and black dragon with purple eyes named Kryptonite. She and Zane didn’t exactly get along very well but were civil towards one another. She wore a dress made of fire and had black horns on her head. Her brown hair was made of rattlesnakes and her unshielded eyes could turn even an Oni to stone. She wore thick black sunglasses made of obsidian in order to shield others from her gaze, her clawed hands were covered by gloves of black silk. She had the black wings of a bat and lips red as blood.A dangerous-looking black, gold and red crown sat on her head She ruled the Realm of the Damned with an iron fist. Zane was snapped out of his thoughts by one of the guards entering the throne room.
“Your Majesty, the First Spinjitzu Master requests an audience with you,” said the guard
“Send him in,” said Zane
“Hello Zane, I come to give you the opportunity to go back to Ninjago, without ice the balance is at stake and your brothers miss you dearly, the team of ninjas is falling apart, I can send you home,” said the FSM
“And what of the looming threats of invasion by the Oni? I worry about the souls here who are not being given the same option as me,” said Zane
“I will personally take over the care of this realm until your return and I will give you the ability to travel the three realms of death and Ninjago,” said the FSM.
“Alright, I will return to Ninjago,” said Zane
“One more thing, you must keep your status as a ruler of a death realm a secret unless revealing it is unavoidable, you will be sent back to Ninjago at the time of your funeral, you must have your sister Pixal aid you in constructing a new body, I urge you to take the Calling crystal with you so that you can contact me or, if desperate, Hailey,” said the FSM
“I understand,” said Zane
“Oh and Zane, one more thing, if the need arises, my personal guard is at your disposal, the late family members of a few of your friends are in the guard, your father asked me to tell you that he misses you and that he loves you very much,” said The FSM, Zane smiled and nodded. The FSM made a portal and Zane walked through. He found himself in the digiverse in Borg tower. Pixal seemed to have been unable to bring herself to go to the funeral and was leaning against the window. Zane played a few memories to get her attention. She ran down to the assembly line.
“Hello little sister,” Zane said.

Chapter Text

The next few months were a whirlwind of emotions, memories, and reuniting with his brothers. The FSM would call Zane through the crystal with regular updates and the occasional question. One afternoon Zane was laying in his bed after the battle against the cursed realm when the Calling Crystal glowed black.

 

“Hailey? What in the world do you want?” asked Zane

 

“DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MUCH MORE WORK YOU MADE FOR ME! I HAVE SEVERAL THOUSAND NEW SOULS TO FIND PUNISHMENT FOR BECAUSE YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS DESTROYED AN ENTIRE REALM!” screeched Hailey. Zane held the crystal away from him like one would do a phone with a pissed off relative on the other line.

 

“The balance Hailey, we had to keep the balance,” said Zane

 

“WELL MAYBE NEXT TIME YOU CAN FIND A WAY TO KEEP THE BALANCE WITHOUT MAKING MORE WORK FOR ME!” shouted Hailey before hanging up.

“Ok note to self, no more mass villain destructions,” sighed Zane, the minute he had gotten back from Chen’s island he had given Pixal back to borg and she had her own body back. The crystal glowed again, gold this time for the FSM.

“Can you keep the lecture to a minimum? I just got an earful from Hailey,” answered a thoroughly done Zane. The FSM chuckled.

“You’re lucky over half the souls and the cursed realm itself ended up in the departed realm, there are a good three thousand souls that have a chance of redemption by going to the departed realm, my eldest son included. But no I wasn’t going to lecture you, I was just going to let you know that when one realm is destroyed its sister realm falls as well. I forget which one was linked to the cursed realm but you might want to keep an eye out for ticked off beings from another realm finding their way over,” said the FSM

“Noted, so Hailey might be even madder at me depending on what realm got destroyed,” said Zane

“No, for every bad realm there is a decent realm, the number of souls she is going to have enter her realm from the fall of whatever realm was connected to the cursed realm is going to be very small, though I think one ghost escaped the cursed realm so I’d keep an eye out, he’s caused you all quite a bit of trouble in the past,” said the FSM

“I’ll keep an eye out, how is everything in my realm?” asked Zane

“Just peachy, no one suspects anything on your end right?” asked the FSM

“Nope, as far as I can tell no one has any idea,” said Zane

“Good, although Hailey might demand a meeting soon between the three of us,” said The FSM rolling his eyes at the thought of having to listen to a raging she-demon.

“I’ll see if I can figure out how to get away from the guys for a bit,” said Zane

“Good luck, I’ll have the crystal glow white when the meeting is determined,” said the FSM before hanging up. Zane sighed, trying to live two different lives was hard. Zane vaguely wondered what Hailey was doing to the Overlord, she had said he was being dealt with but he wanted to know, how in the infinite cosmos she managed to find something that could torture a glowing golf ball of evil.
Meanwhile In the realm of the damned

“HAHAHAHAHA TASTE THE RAINBOW YOU PURPLE GOLF BALL OF DOOM” shouted Hailey,(Author’s note, she sounds exactly like Azula from Avatar the Last Airbender) as she spammed the button to blast the tactical rainbow cannon at the Overlord for the tenth time in 20 minutes, sending him flying into one of the many lava pits. Suddenly her black calling crystal glowed Gold

“What do you want FSM, I’m playing Overlord Golf with my favorite cannon,” said Hailey

“Zane agreed to the meeting when will work best for you?” asked the FSM

“I don’t know, maybe when I get tired of blasting this glowing thing into lava via rainbows, if it’s that urgent I can just have Kryptonite use him as a chew toy,” she said, spamming the button again as the overlord was teleported back in front of her cannon.

“It can wait, go back to torturing that purple thing,” laughed the FSM

“Gladly,” smirked Hailey

“FOUR!” she shouted pressing the button again

Back to Ninjago
Zane rolled over to face the wall, before sighing and getting out of bed. Deafeteing the ghost had caused the ninja to become famous and thus they were mobbed in the streets. Zane had half a nerve to punch Dareth in the face but he had to keep up appearances and play the smart naive and sometimes clueless android and put up with the annoying brown clad idiot. They were once again behind the billboard. Lloyd mentioned something about Deja vu, but Zane remembered all the stuff that happened with Nadakahn, of course, he had to pretend he didn’t. That night he face planted on his bed, trying to keep up appearances was hard. Cole came into the room and saw Zane on the bed.

“Hey, quit pretending, something’s up and I can tell,” said Cole

“What do you mean?” asked Zane cringing internally at how robotic his voice sounded. He had spent at least a year ruling the waiting realm as a soul. His emotions had been completely free and there was no programming to hold any of his thoughts or feelings back, now however he was once again trapped behind blaring statistics and switches controlling his humor.

“Zane, I can tell you are just pretending to act like your old self, I’ve seen the glares you give Kai and Jay, I have seen your fist clench whenever Dareth is talking, something about you changed and I want to know what,” said Cole. Zane felt a blush creeping onto his cheek, or was it just coolant leaving his head, he didn’t know anymore. But something about Cole had always made his power source spike in activity level, grrr he was doing the robot terminology thing again.

“Please Zane, I want to know what’s going on with you,” said Cole sincerely

“I can’t tell you,” said Zane
“You can’t, or you won’t,” said Cole raising an eyebrow.

“Can’t and Won’t,” said Zane getting up and going to the window, but Cole became solid for a minute and grabbed Zane’s hand.

“Zane, look at me, I care about you, a lot in fact. I want to know what’s going on with you so I can help you,” said Cole. Zane sighed.

“Cole, I really really can’t tell you, it has to do with what happened to me after I destroyed the Overlord but I am literally sworn to secrecy,” said Zane

“Ok, I can accept that, but Zane, please, promise me you’ll at least tell me when something is bothering you because as much as I’d enjoy seeing you do a Kai and punch someone’s lights out because you’re mad, I want to be able to help you,” said Cole pulling Zane into a hug which Zane gladly accepted. Zane sighed, statistics were blaring in his head about the possibility of what he wanted to tell Cole succeeding, he decided to go with logic for now, but he definitely wanted more hugs and one on one time with the master of earth.

Chapter Text

Zane still had no idea how he managed to convince his brothers to let him leave for a month. He claimed it was a vacation and that he needed a break from all the publicity, not to mention the craziness of the aftermath of the Day of the Departed. That day alone had resulted in him getting screamed at by Hailey again, this time for sending Chen to her. After his crystal glowed white and the FSM said the meeting would last quite a while, Zane told his brothers that he needed a break for a while and when no one was looking, he made a portal to the meeting room in Hailey's palace. The wall of the stone room dripped with lava and the carvings on the floor depicted screaming souls. The table in the middle was carved from a large chunk of black obsidian and the chairs were made of granite. Zane vaguely thought about accenting his own meeting room to reflect his realm but his thoughts were interrupted by Hailey's arrival.

"Alright you two, I have the Overlord in a cage with Chen at the moment Chen has a chair the has one button that will send an axe through his head each time he presses the button, the button happy lunatic is too stupid to not press it, he's with the overlord to annoy him," said Hailey as she took her seat, the luxurious black throne carved from petrified wood and bone.

"So what is this meeting about anyway?" asked Zane

"It's simple, ever since you went back to your home realm you and your friends have been sending me more souls than ever, how many threats could you all possibly have so suddenly that warrant them getting killed and sent here?" asked Hailey

"Well SOMEONE'S son doesn't tell us stuff we need to know so enemies from his past keep showing up and we have to deal with them," said Zane, looking pointedly at the FSM. Hailey turned to the ruler of the paradise realm.

"With the threat of the Oni invading all the realms of creation and death, I cannot afford to be at maximum capacity, I have started to need to build layers of punishment in order for the more ahem, slippery, pieces of work, the ones that I have to find obscure punishments for because normal torture isn't enough. If you could please warn me in advance when you are about to send villains to me en masse," said Hailey

"I am unsure if I will be able to make a call on the crystal in the middle of a battle," said Zane

"So I should just expect random villains to show up?" asked Hailey, he tone of voice raising as she glared at Zane.

"Unless you have a way for me to contact you in a split second then yes," said Zane.

"Do I look like I have the resources or the type of people who could do that here?" she asked. Both rulers of death looked at the third who had remained silent throughout this whole exchange.

"It's your kid who is causing the problems, I think you should at least try to help give us an advantage," said Zane to the FSM. Suddenly a tolling bell sounded from high above them. Hailey looked up and cursed under her breath.

"I'll be right back, Cryptor got out again," she said, rising from her chair and exiting the room swiftly.

"Mind telling me why your son frequently endangers the balance by not tell us things we need to know?" said Zane raising an eyebrow at the FSM. The FSM sighed and swirled his cup of tea, they had all been given tea and cakes at the beginning of the meeting, lapsang was not Zane's favorite and the cakes were very dry and lacked sweetness as well as slightly burnt, sugar did not exist in this realm so the only flavor in the cakes was the pomegranate seeds. Zane noticed that pomegranate was a very prominent food in this realm, as well as apples, but it was all sour and unripe. Smoky tea was not the best with unsweet fruit pastries. Why couldn't they have had this meeting in Zane's palace or the FSM's castle? At least those places had decent tea and food. Zane's realm strictly had mint teas as well as hot chocolate and coffee and the foods had large amounts of whipped cream and maple syrup. Currants and passion fruit and all sorts of root vegetables and other foods that were in season in winter there were always soups and stews and food designed to warm you up. The Paradise realm had mostly grapes and other rich and expensive cuisines, as well as a wide variety of wines and cheeses an all types of calming teas. After the meeting, Zane planned to go to his realm and take care of some paperwork and other things the FSM couldn't handle for him, such as the additions Zane wanted to make to the meeting room.

"My son always tried to bring out the good in everything, even if it wasn't there, his attempt to make friends often made dangerous enemies, he was always too trusting and he always felt that his mistakes were his own to fix, a habit that has certainly not improved with age," said the FSM after a moment.

"I can't talk to him without blowing my cover, but he meditates almost constantly, can't you talk to him?" asked Zane

"If I've told him once I've told him a thousand times, yet that is one topic he has always refused to listen to me on," said the FSM with a wry grin. Zane rolled his eye and took a bite of the cake in front of him, he tried not to choke on it, he washed it down with the tea that was also horribly made.

"Never trust a skeleton in the kitchen," laughed the FSM as he caught Zane's grimace

"I've had worse," said Zane.

"Ah yes, Cole's cooking, his mother told me about his frequent culinary disasters while she was alive, I doubt he's gotten better," smirked the FSM. Zane blushed a bit at the mention of the master of earth. The FSM noticed and smiled.

"I see your affection for the Ninja of Earth has not wavered," said The FSM, giving a small grimace as he sipped the poorly made tea.

"With how crazy my life is I am unsure if it wise to begin a relationship, I don't even know if he feels the same way about me," said Zane

"The only way to find out is to ask, you have been friends with him for many years and his mother did mention he has no interest in the fairer sex, but I suppose that is true for most of the more attractive men," said the FSM. Suddenly Hailey returned, her hair hissing angrily, their tails rattling.

"That stupid android breaks out of every cage I put him in, I don't know how?!" exclaimed Hailey

"My advice, mix wrought iron and titanium box, no cracks or any opening, he can't blast through it," said Zane

"Good idea," said Hailey. She took a sip of the tea and grimaced.

"Damn skeletons can't even brew a proper cup of tea, I'll let kryptonite chew on them later," she said

" I can have my top inventors working on a badge or something that can let Zane inform you if they are sending villains your way," said the FSM

"Good, I'll be going to my realm for the rest of the month after this meeting, I assume that will give you plenty of time to discuss with your scientists, I would like my father on the project," said Zane

"Zane when I said my top scientist, do you think I have anyone more competent than your father? He's my chief scientist," said the FSM with a grin.

"Also, what is your name? All anyone ever calls you is The First Spinjitzu Master, surely you had a proper name before that title," said Hailey

" I was named Aurum, it means Gold," said Aurum

"That's much easier to say," said Hailey

"Not even my own children knew my name, you are the first ones in eons to know it," said Aurum

"You are the only ones who know my name, usually my prisoners refer to me as Queen of Demons," smirked Hailey

"Zane, perhaps you should create a title for yourself, something other than the master of ice or the white/titanium ninja, something more befitting of your status as one of the afterlife rulers," suggested Aurum

"I don't know what the souls in my realm refer to me as I don't interact with them often," said Zane

"Perhaps you could go by The Ice Emperor, I must say it does command respect," said Aurum

"It sounds like something I'd use if I was a villain," said Zane

"I like it," said Hailey

"You would," said Zane

"What about The Blizzard King," said Aurum

"I like that," said Zane

"I still prefer The Ice Emperor," muttered Hailey

"If we are all done here there are matters I need to attend to in my realm," said Zane standing up. He was so looking forward to a hot bath in his luxurious whirlpool tub.

"Next meeting we have will be in your palace, I might actually get something decent to eat for once," said Hailey. Zane nodded and created the portal.

"Aurum, I will be in touch with you shortly on the development of that device," said Zane

"Indeed," said Aurum, creating his own portal. The two rulers of death left the third and went to their realms. Zane arrived in his bedroom in his castle and immediately went to speak with the castle's contractor about upgrading the conference hall. Then he went to his private study to complete a mountain of paperwork. He dipped his snow owl feather quill in the blue ink that was used for his official signature and writing royal decrees. The sun was setting by this point and the crumbling moon began to rise, it was full tonight, casting it's bright white glow across the realm the stars in the sky flickering, all were also in a perpetual Nova state. Zane got up from his chair and went to the window, opening it and letting the frigid breeze to blow through the white curtains. The lights from the city in the distance were flickering on and off, like closer stars. Zane took a deep breath, this was all his, and it would remain his forever. The wind blew through the forest of pine and birch trees, a gentle howl in the otherwise quiet night. A wolf formling from the Never realm transformed and stood at the top of his house, howling along with the wind to the moon. Lullaby hour, when the song of the realm played on the wind ushering the souls to rest for the night, their waiting would continue with the dawn. Zane smiled, it may not be eternal paradise, but it was beautiful and calm. He sat back at his desk, the candle flickering in the breeze, he penned the decree for his official title to be The Blizzard King, he would call all in the realm to the front gates of the castle tomorrow and make the decree from his grand balcony. Zane set the quill back in the ink well and blew out the candle. He went to go eat dinner, a steaming bowl of potato leek soup and a mug of hot apple cider spiced with cinnamon. His footsteps echoed on the palace floor as he walked towards his grand dining room. His servants, golems of ice, bowed to him as he passed them. He ate his supper with a piece of buttered bread and cheddar cheese sprinkled over the soup. He had missed this while he had been in Ninjago, as much as he loved to cook there was something wonderful about having a perfect meal prepared for you by a being whose only purpose was to cook for you followed by a hot bath. After supper, he went to his private bathroom for a soak. The gorgeous carvings of ice dragons on the pillars glittered in the soft light of the candles in the chandelier. The castle was made of ice that wouldn't melt when exposed to heat so Zane could take hot baths with the scent of vanilla filling the room. He exited the bathroom and put on his silk pajamas, there was a roaring fire in the grate and one of his books was on the bed waiting to be finished. He snuggled under his covers and settled into the enormous four-poster bed, the firelight making the walls glitter. The vanilla and cinnamon scented candles mixed with the scent of pine and holly wafting in from the gardens. The rest of the realm may have amenities that were comfortable but not extravagant but the king wasn't able to move on once his loved ones were ready to join him so his palace had to be as extravagant and wonderful as any house in the paradise realm, perhaps even more so. As long as his people were content, he was happy.

"This bed is too big for one person," sighed Zane before staring out the window, he wished he could have the courage to ask Cole out, but his two lives couldn't intersect and he knew that he wouldn't be able to keep a secret from Cole if they were dating. He closed his book and set it on the nightstand, before blowing out the candle and falling asleep.

Chapter Text

Zane was moments away from going into a full-blown rant over the SOG, his fight with Mr. E had come very close to killing him again and the revelation that Pixal was samurai X now didn’t fill him with the pride it should have. Harumi got on Zane’s nerves and part of him wanted to duck out of the fight in order to go to his castle and just take a breather. He had known from the start that Harumi was the quiet one, but once again he had to play the innocent nindroid who was just as clueless as the rest of them. When they travelers teaed out of Ninjago leaving Lloyd behind, they landed in the First Realm. Zane was seconds away from screaming in frustration. Cole noticed Zane looking frustrated and was about to talk to him when Zane just walked off, kicking a rock and blasting anything he saw with jagged spikes of ice. Was Zane, actually angry enough to be ranting? Cole shook those thoughts from his head and tried to follow the pissed off nindroid.

“Anyone else notice Zane is being uncharacteristically angry about all this ?” asked Kai, watching their brother raging in the distance, ice beams blasting everywhere.

“I’ll talk to him,” said Cole as he ran to talk to Zane.

As he got closer he could hear cursing, since when did Zane of all people swear? He wondered. Zane saw Cole approaching and sat down in defeat, he didn’t want to risk hurting Cole. Cole noticed Zane’s restraint as he approached.

“Hey frosty, come here,” said Cole, his voice gentle.

Cole’s tone caught Zane by surprise, it wasn’t fearful or hesitant, it was firm yet calm. Zane walked over to Cole, and let the Earth ninja embrace him. As angry and stressed as he was, his desperation for physical contact from his crush outweighed everything.

“Ok, I know you’re keeping secrets, I know you probably have a good reason to be keeping them but I love you too much too let them stress you out leaving us powerless to help you,” said Cole. He held Zane tighter, hoping Zane understood what he was conveying.

“Y-you love me?” asked Zane. Cole’s heart did a backflip, now or never he thought.

“Yes,” said Cole softly

“Like a brother or-”

“Zane, I have been in love with you for years, it’s ok if you don’t feel the same way but I can’t stand to see you stressed out and angry without knowing why,” said Cole

“I do love you, Cole, I’ve just been so afraid to tell you, my life hasn’t exactly gotten easier and I can’t tell anyone because they’ll only get angry at me for not telling them,” said Zane

“Then you don’t have to tell me, but I do want to be able to help you, please Zane, from now on if you’re stressed or angry or just feeling awful, come to me, I might not know why you’re feeling that way but I can hold you or let you cry on my shoulder till you feel better,” said Cole placing his hand lovingly against the cool metal of Zane’s cheek.

“Ok,” sighed Zane, leaning into Cole’s hand.

“We might be stuck here for a while but that doesn’t mean we can’t start a relationship, but only if you want to,” said Cole. Zane just nodded, too exhausted to voice a reply.

Cole pulled Zane into another hug. Zane gave a contented sigh, he really wanted to just fall asleep cuddled against Cole but he knew that was a bad idea. Cole seemed to read his mind.

“You want me to carry you back to camp?” asked Cole, knowing little Wu was bound to wander over.

“No, I can walk, just hold my hand please,” said Zane.

“I think Kai got a fire going,” said Cole seeing the distant sparks. They walked back to camp.

“Hey you two,” said Kai, then he noticed Cole holding Zane’s hand.

“When did this happen?” asked Kai

“A few minutes ago,” said Zane.

Jay looked a bit surprised that Zane wasn’t being exact with his numbers, in fact, Zane had been acting less and less robotic in the last few months. Zane fell asleep in Cole’s arms once they were settled around the fire, Cole stayed awake though, and ran his fingers through Zane’s hair.

“Cole, did he tell you what’s wrong?” asked Kai after a moment.

“No, but I know why he won’t tell us, or at least part of the reason why. He’s scared we’ll get mad at him, whatever he’s hiding is something big and I think he’s worried that because he’s kept it a secret for so long if he reveals it now and it’s something that could have helped us if we’d known sooner then there’s the chance we’d get so mad we say things we don’t mean,” said Cole with a soft sigh.

Jay and Kai merely nodded, they didn’t know if they could trust themselves to hold their tongue if Zane revealed something that could have benefited them numerous times if they had known sooner.

“I wonder if he knows or has something that can get us out of here,” said Kai staring at the sky.

“I don’t doubt it, but there’s probably a good reason for him not using it,” said Cole

“So the stress of keeping this secret is causing him to act out and have a shorter temper than Kai?” asked Jay

“It seems so,” sighed Cole.

“I hope Lloyd is doing better than us,” sighed Kai. The small group fell asleep. The next morning Zane woke up first, he had a plan.

“Ok, so we know that the FSM is the son of an Oni and a dragon right? Well what if we find his dragon parent, dragons live thousands of years, if we can find a dragon that has similar traits to the FSM we stand a chance of befriending it and asking it to take us to the realm its son created,” said Zane.

Chapter Text

“First things first, we don’t know if there are Oni or other creatures out here so we need to pack up and get moving, our power dragons will be the fastest way,” said Zane, he knew that there were dragon hunters in this realm, they almost never went to his realm though, they weren’t evil but they weren’t good either so they normally spent eternity in the departed realm but he occasionally saw one or two in his realm though they never stayed long. Suddenly a very familiar green and black dragon jumped out in front of them.

“Kryptonite what are you doing here?” hissed Zane. the dragon roared and little Wu hid behind Cole. Suddenly Hailey appeared.

“Kryptonite, you stupid cat lizard, I’ve been looking all over for you!” exclaimed Hailey

“Queen of Demons!” hissed Zane

“Oh, Hi Blizzard King what are you doing in the first realm?” said Hailey. The ninja stared at Zane slack jawed.

“Had to travelers tea here after a mission went wrong, Queen of Demons,” said Zane

“Well just make a portal, oh wait, you need to talk to the mother of dragons first,” said Hailey

“Shut up Hailey,” hiss Zane

“Fine, I can tell when I’m not needed, but you might need my help explaining things to them,” said Hailey pointing at the ninja before flying off on Kryptonite

“Blizzard King?” asked Jay

“Queen of Demons?” asked Kai. Zane face palmed.

“Damn it!” he exclaimed. Hailey came back

“Damn what?” she asked

“Oh Go back to your realm you flaming witch,” hissed Zane

“Fine, I will call you to discuss this latter, your castle this time, no one calls me that word,” said Hailey

“I didn’t say that word, I said witch,” said Zane. Hailey flew off in a huff.

“Um,Zane, what’s going on?” asked Cole

“Fine, because the queen of the damned couldn’t keep her mouth shut, I have to tell you all now, you can hate me all you want but the FSM told me to keep it a secret,” said Zane, thoroughly exasperated.

“Woah, if the FSM told you not to tell us, we can accept that but if you can get us out of here then you probably should,” said Cole

“We need the dragon armor from the mother of all dragons, Wu needs to wear it because it belonged to his dad, I actually do have a rough idea of where her nest is but we have to avoid the dragon hunters, except for this one named Faith, I might have to just use my power dragon and grab her,” sighed Zane, though he knew he wouldn’t be using his dragon at all, he’d be using his afterlife powers to give her a vision.

“Well we better get going if we’re going to get to that nest,” said Cole

“Right, yeah,” said Zane, forming his dragon and flying off. The others followed behind him but at a distance.

“Anyone else wondering what’s going on, Zane seemed to know that demon chick and that dragon, she definitely knew him, and she called him a king and mentioned a castle,” said Kai

“Look, Zane said the FSM told him not to tell us, we need to respect that,” said Cole
“That just raised more questions, like Zane actually met the FSM?” said Kai

“Listen Cole, we know you want to be supportive of your boyfriend’s choices, but things are getting to the point where we really need answers, Garmadon is a massive threat and if Zane has information that can beat him-” said Jay

“I know! I know, it’s just that I want Zane to feel comfortable with telling us, I don’t want us forcing him to tell us it then us getting mad at him for what he tells us, the fact that the FSM told him not to means that this might be something way out of our power,” said Cole

“And what if he has the power to single-handedly beat Garmadon? What then? And how would we tell Lloyd? What if he’s withholding something amazing from us?” asked Kai

“And what if he tells us and it destroys the team, what if he’s punished by the FSM? What happens then huh? I can’t lose him again!” said Cole

“Okay, okay, jeez, look, we’ll go along with this for now but I’m worried we all might be out of our
depth,” said Kai

“I have to trust Zane knows what’s he’s doing,” said Cole
“We all trust Zane, but blind trust can lead to trouble, we need to know what we’re getting into so if something goes wrong or if Zane can’t lead us anymore, someone else knows what to do,” said Kai.
Cole stayed silent, he understood both sides of the argument but he wanted to be a supportive boyfriend. Zane was flying on his power dragon several hundred feet ahead of the others and was in a crystal call with the FSM.

“I might have to tell them Aurum,” said Zane

“Zane you are a ruler of death, we are equals, if you truly need to tell them then I have no power to stop you, things are getting out of hand and Hailey was very reckless, but Firstborne will need to know who you are, she will recognize the dragon blood in my son but you know as well as I do that dragons enter our realms as well upon their death, so you hold power over even Firstborne and she will respect you and she’ll be easier to talk to than my mother, I can send Faith a vision to find you after you talk to Firstborne, you will have to prove who you are to both of them,” said Aurum

“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do to prove who I am,” said Zane

“Your outfit and speech patterns will be the biggest proof, but a small show of your powers of death, I suggest calling the Ultra dragon back from your realm,” said Aurum

“I didn’t know I could do that I didn’t even know he was in my realm, dragons don’t normally live in the city, and that does not sound like a small show of power,” said Zane

“You never did test out the full range of your abilities, raising anything from the dead is child's play compared to your full powers, I suggest once things calm down you head to your castle and test somethings out,” said Aurum

“I’ll do that, thank’s Aurum,” said Zane

“Tell my boy I love him,” said Aurum. Zane smiled

“I will,” said Zane

Chapter Text

They landed on the outside of the cave. Within held the mother of all dragons.
“I will explain everything later, but you all must hold your tongue,” said Zane. Zane waved his hands and his appearance changed. Gone were the titanium features and ninja clothes, in its place, was smooth pale skin, soft lips, ice blue eyes that glittered in the light, blonde windswept hair flowed under a crown of pure ice, and blue and white gemstones. His clothes turned into thin sheets of glittering blue ice forming robes with skull and rose patterns, a glistening cape flowed behind him, skull-shaped epaulets made of ice and sapphires adorned his shoulders and held the cape in place. His shoes became slightly heeled boots made of thick ice and were bespeckled with white sapphires. Young Wu stared at the man in front of him that almost glowed white in the light of the setting sun. With a flick of his cape Zane walked into the cave, each step formed a layer of ice under his feet, the ninja noticed skull shapes in the ice, which freaked them out more than the ones on Zane’s clothes. The ninja followed close behind him, there was a frigid air around him now, it wasn’t the cold of normal ice though. It seeped through their clothes and into their very souls, it was the cold of a winter’s death. Firstborne stood in front of them, reared on her hind legs.
“Who are you?” came her echoing voice that seemed to only exist in their minds.
“I am The Blizzard King, ruler of the middle realm of death where souls chose to wait for the ones they love. I come asking for your assistance great mother of dragons as well as a request from The First Spinjitzu master that you bequeath his armor to his son,” said Zane, his own voice boomed in the cavernous expanse of rock.
“You come before a mother, claiming to rule death yet you give no words of offered comfort as to the whereabouts of the children she has lost, instead you come to beg for aid instead of forgiveness,” questioned Firstborne
“Your children who are in my realm are safe and await those they love to join them before heading to the realm of paradise which is ruled by the First Spinjitzu Master himself, I do not control when a being shall die or where they go upon death I only rule a realm in which they may reside in for a time,” said Zane
“Prove you have some rule over death,” said Firstborne
“I can only bring back someone if they are in my realm and for a reason, as messing with the laws of life and death are not to be done lightly, but for the sake of my plea I shall bring back one of your children I know for certain is in my realm,” said Zane.
“Very well,” said Firstborne. Zane created a swirling white and blue portal in front of everyone.
“Ultra, our faithful friend, I call you back to the realm of your birth to live once more,” called Zane. Suddenly the four-headed dragon came through the portal which instantly closed behind him, he was still a soul, not yet solid but Zane waved his hand and a solid shape of a four-headed dragon took form. Ultra walked into the new body and was living once more.
“Very well, Blizzard King, I shall aid you, where is the son of my good friend?” asked Firstborne. Zane turned to the Ninja
“Wu, please come forward,” said Zane, young Wu came out from behind Kai.
“Hi,” said the little boy timidly
“Last I heard the children of my friend were fully grown, why is there a child claiming the title?” asked Firstborne
“A old foe of his caused us to have to use the reversal aspect of time on him, this caused his age to reduce him to an infant and the effects are slowly wearing off,” said Zane
“This can be remedied,” said Firstborne. Suddenly an orange dragon came out and breathed on Wu, setting his age and memories to how they should be.
“Well, that was easy,” said Jay
“Blizzard King, who are these others?” asked Fristborne, staring at the ninja
“The other bearers of the elements of creation,” said Zane
“I see, what do you require of me other than the armor?” asked Firstborne
“Passage to Ninjago and aid in defeating an old foe,” said Zane
“I shall aid you, but the night is upon us and it is not safe for my children with the hunters out there, we will fly at dawn” said Firstborne. Zane nodded then turned to the ninja.
“Stay here, I have someone I need to meet, I know you have questions and they will be answered in time but I have things I need to do first, oh and Wu, your father asked me to tell you that he loves you very much,” said Zane before turning on his heel and walking out of the cave to go meet Faith. The Ninja and Wu watched him leave then looked at Ultra.
“Um, ok, when Zane said he had a secret, was anyone expecting this?” asked Jay
“No, I can say for certain, that this is not what I was expecting,” said Kai. Zane met Faith at the bottom of the mountain.
“I was sent by the First Spinjitzu Master to aid the ruler of the realm of rest, I am Faith,” she said.
“Baron’s Death will come on black wings and you must reform the hunters, no longer will you hunt the dragons but you shall ally yourselves with them, Baron’s lies will expose themselves once the oni invade again, only by allying yourself with the mother and her children will see your soul and lives saved, she who punishes the damned will send her dragon to destroy Baron’s body and drag his soul to damnation. We have seen your soul, Faith, only you can redeem your people,” said Zane
“I will,” said Faith
“Good, now you must prepare in secret, Baron’s days are numbered and you must take the throne instantly upon his death,” said Zane. Faith bowed
“Of course my lord,” she said
“Good, now go, when you see a black shadow and a cloud of poison descend on Baron’s home, the time to act will be upon you,” said Zane before he made a staircase of ice back up the mountain. The moon glowed and Zane entered the cave, he saw the ninja and Wu sleeping under Ultra’s wing. Zane sighed and sat next to Cole before getting out his crystal. He pressed the icon to call Hailey.
“What?” she answered, the screams of souls and the Overlord could be heard muffled under cannon fire.
“The Hunter’s have been warned, feel free to let Kryptonite eat a dragon killer,” said Zane. Hailey smirked
“I’ll have the cell ready in a few days,” she said. Zane hung up and leaned against Ultra and ran his hand through Cole’s hair. Cole woke up after a few minutes of this and saw Zane next to him.
“Hey, come here, I haven’t gotten to hold you today,” said Cole softly. He pulled Zane close, and the soul-chilling cold from earlier wasn’t there anymore, Cole guessed it was because Zane wasn’t fully displaying his powers right now. Zane leaned on Cole who wrapped his strong arms around the icy king of death, surprised that the icy clothes of his lover were not as cold as they looked.
“Your hair looks nice like this,” said Cole softly as he ran his fingers through soft blonde strands instead of wisps of metal.
“So you’re not frightened of what I am?” asked Zane
“Why would I be? You’re still the same Zane, just more powers and a title, I still love you the same,” said Cole. Zane snuggled closer
“I love you too, I would have told you about all this sooner but I had no way of knowing how any of you would react,” said Zane
“I’ll make sure you have the chance to explain everything before they jump down your throat, but maybe it’s an explanation that should wait until Garmadon is defeated,” said Cole
“This Garmadon isn’t the real one, it’s his Oni blood given form, the real Garmadon is with his father in the Paradise realm,” said Zane
“Lloyd is going to have to know that,” said Cole
“Yes, but Lloyd won’t be facing this Garmadon. Now that my secret is out I have to be the one to weaken his power, he will be of use later but I aim to take this one battle at a time,” said Zane
“Well, we have a big day tomorrow, I suggest we get some sleep,” said Cole. Zane merely nodded and rested his head against Cole’s chest, both of them fell asleep within moments.