Prologue: Ishcard and Andarial are what humans call demonic angels. Horrible winged creatures that impersonate heavenly beings… They trick and steal from not only mortals but even from themselves.
But in reality they are a dying breed. Because most prefer to live alone. But that was the human’s perspective. They are the guardians of the earth’s secrets, and wielders of the elements. Fire. Air. Earth. Water. The unknown fifth ability was lost within the generations. A rare talent forgotten by this race. Until now.
Chapter 01: The Awaking
In a deep valley, in the moonlight, the peach trees were on the eve of blossoming. Here and there among the shadowed limbs one flower had opened early. Pink and White, like a faint star. Down the orchard aisles, in the thick new, wet grass, a young girl ran. In celebration of her 19 birthday, the joy and adrenaline it gave her was enough of a wish. Hearing the call she did not react at first, but she made a long circle before she turned to face towards home. Her stepmother was waiting in the doorway, with the firelight behind her; she watched the figure running almost floating over the darkened ground beneath the trees.
By the corner of the house, splitting wood the stepfather growled. "Why do you let your heart hang on that child? They’re coming to take her away soon…What’s the good to clinging to someone your bound to lose?" He wiped some sweat from his brow. "She’s no good to us. If they’d pay for her when they take her that would be something. But they won’t." He set another piece of wood up to cut. "They’ll take her and that’s the end of it…" He heaved the axe over his shoulder grunting on impact. Slicing the log clean threw.
The stepmother said nothing, staring at Andarial.
Andarial had stopped to gaze up through the leaves. Her golden hair shimmered and her dark sapphire eyes glistened with innocence. Inspired she began to dance along the soft rays with an invisible partner. Twirling with grace and beauty.
"She isn’t even ours, she never was. They came here and said she is a threat. Why can’t you see that?" The man’s voice was harsh with bitterness. "You have four other’s. They’ll stay here, this one won’t. So don’t set your heart on her. She doesn’t deserve our sympathy."
"And let those monsters torture her?" The stepmother whispered.
"If they must…she is not our kind." The man scoffed glancing at Andarial, who was still dancing. Careful in her movements. So…angelic. "Half-breeds like her don’t belong with us. They’re Dangerous. Filthy demons."
"Andarial has never raised a hand to us. She is not a demon!" The wife argued.
"For how much longer…she’ll turn her back on us. Once she realizes what she is…its good there taking her. Before she gets to powerful."
One shift in gear made the black Dodge Charger’s wheels lose traction on the gravel road for an instant.
"Hey Rookie! Keep your head on straight. We don’t need any screw ups or the boss will have are balls." Ron spoke over the earpiece.
"I know." Dart sneered back.
"It’s a standard pick up. After what happened last time you’re lucky the superior didn’t decommission your ass. This is your last chance."
"All right I get it!" Dart turned off his end of the intercom. "Man I don’t need this shit. Its ganna give me a heart attack one of these days." Dart sighed slicking his short brown hair back. Adjusting his glasses he pulled the stick down into fourth, boosting forward. The tires spun up rock and dust, scattering the cattle in the fields at the sound.
Andarial continued to dance, her eyelids shut to the night. Feeling the earth beneath her feet. She could sense the beat as her body twisted and bent, although there was no music.
Unknown to Andarial, deep red irises flickered with curiosity from above.
His wing beats were quite and steady. As a shadow against the sky. Camouflaged by the night. Strands of silver hair floated in the spring breeze. Waiting for an opportunity to arise.
Chapter 02: The story of old
Fire burned all around Andarial, invading her every thought. There was no sound but the crackling laughter of the flames, and screams of the dying. No scent but that of burning flesh, wood, and stone. The only feeling was the warmth and security of the arms that held her close to the hard chest of the man carrying her.
Then laughter began to echo. The sound mocking and gleeful. Images of those she loved appeared. Her foster family’s faces flashed across her field of vision. The laughter of the cruel murderers never ceased.
They still were chuckling in her ears when Andarial awoke. Panting and gasping for air. Tears ran down her face, staining her cheeks. Leaving her eyes red and puffy. She groaned as she sat up. Wishing she could push the memories away. She shuddered as a cold wind blew across the small camp.
Mindful of her weakness now she glanced around. Her mind on alert as a tingle began to seep into her awareness.
"Seems you didn’t sleep well, huh?" Ishcard whispered as he put another log on the campfire.
Andarial rubbed her forehead. "No. I slept fine. What’s it to you anyways demon?"
Ishcard smirked. "Why can’t you stop calling me that? You and I are not so different."
"Unlike you I use my gifts for emergences only. And I happen to consider myself a saint to humans."
"Right. Saint my ass." He mumbled sarcastically. "We are only beasts to them. Wolves to the human lamb. But our race wasn’t always this way. We were once a great nation." He raised his head toward the stars. "Our story is old but the scars never heal. There are few of us left. As you can see we are being hunted. Most like me prefer to roam alone; they feel that way it’s easier to survive."
"But we’re not alone?" Andarial hugged her knees as she listened carefully to the story Ishcard was telling
"Well when our ancestors were born the first male being Ackura and female Senturi. They came from a family thought to practice sorcery. At birth our powers are only premature. When we turn twenty-one we ascend." Ishcard rubbed the back of his neck, poking at the fire with a stick.
"Ascend?" Andarial tilted her head leaning forward a bit.
"At twenty-one our powers fully mature…but…" Ishcard dropped his gaze.
"But?" Andarial inched her way closer.
"Not many of us live that long…" His eyes remained distant.
"Oh…" She said sadly. "What else about our ancestors?"
"They were our beginning… it is said they had five children… two boys Aic and Ezio. Also two girls Amia and May." Ishcard stretched. "That each possessed one of the five elements…"
"What… that’s only four…" Andarial counted on her fingers.
"I was getting there…" He murmured annoyed.
"Well excuse me…" She restrained her anger.
"Alright then… the fifth child’s name was lost within history…but whoever they were…they obtained the strongest of the five elements…" He leaned back to rest his head on the tree behind him.
"That also confused me…Five? There is only four. Fire, Air, Earth, and Water…" Andarial pointed out.
"That’s another thing; the last ability is also an unknown factor of our past. Some have claimed to see others with this unusual power…but that’s all bullshit…?" He tossed a twig into the flames.
"Why’s that?" She reached out to get her hands warm.
"Because….it just is…now will you just sit there and let me finish the story?" He was becoming irritated.
"Sorry…" She stared down at the ground. Feeling embarrassed because she was being yelled at like a little kid.
"They were the first to grow wings and protect the human race…Angels they called them. Although that isn’t the case anymore. Now a day we aren’t given that glorious title." He fidgeted with the dirt beneath his boot. "We are our own race now feared and hated…as angelic demons…"
"I never knew I was a monster until two days ago…I wish I was just born normal…instead of this feared animal." She examined her palms, hate filling her soul.
"You think we’re some kind of plague on humanity. You act as if we are some lower class scum that walks this earth, we don’t seem to deserve." He barked. "We are not. We have a purpose…A reason."
"And that is?"
"There is a war going on, between humans and demons. And were caught in the middle of all of it. Some people still want our help. But in doing so, we risk our lives and the mortals…if we’re found helping a human they are marked as traitors and killed. We are hunted down and burned alive. So when a human asks us for help, we shelter them within our community, until we get them out of harm’s way." He said bored.
"But you’re too good for that path aren’t you?"
"Like I said, these days most of us live on our own. Hiding. Always running." Ishcard said in a sad tone.
"Why do humans fear us, if we are supposed to protect them?" Andarial laid down on her side, propping her head up with her hand.
"We have the power and destruction of a demon…with the grace and majestic form of angels. Sons and daughters born of hells fire. Bound with false wings of heaven" He followed Andarial’s lead and moved to his side opposite hers.
"But we are not demons…You just said were not." She protested.
"No. But do you know how demons came into being?"
"No. I always thought they were just. Here…" She shrugged.
"Demons…once were like us in a way. You see there are some that lusted for more power. Craved it so badly that the desire consumed them. Corrupted there soul. Until nothing was left of their sanity." Ishcard blew into the fire, and the flames grew on his command. "And over time. They became horrid beasts. That control dark magic of their element. Twisting it to change their form. Causing them to appear… ‘normal’…"
"How the hell do you know all this? You don’t appear to be some wise old geezer past the age of 19." Andarial growled. Standing.
"I’m actually 20." He said in a monotone.
"Not my point." Her eyes turned steely.
"If you’re so curious." He in moments stood over her. "Then I’ll tell you…but in return."
Chapter 03: An Unbreakable Bond
"A bond with me." Ishcard whispered into her ear.
"Bond? I don’t understand what you-" Andarial shook her head. "I barely even know you. Why would I?"
"Because you are my mate." Ishcard’s fingers ran gently across her cheek.
"What how am I your mate…what…no! You’re crazy, stop."Andarial stepped back.
"Let me explain Andarial. Why do you think I appeared to you? Saved you. Came to you in your darkest hour. I found you for a reason." Ishcard gave her room to breathe. "Here take my hand."
Andarial shook her head at first but then curiosity ensnared her thoughts. "What will happen if I do?" She raised her hand.
"You will see truth; the sight will be open to you." Ishcard beckoned her to embrace him.
Andarial tilted her head. "Why do I get the feeling you’re not lying. That what you’re saying is really sane." She slightly began to pace. "Two days ago I was sitting around the fire reading stories to my little brother and sisters. Laughing, playing, and now…now." Tears began to swell. "There all gone. And now you’re telling me I’m your mate or whatever. Yet there is part of me that wants’ to believe you. Why?"
"Because you can feel this connection as well. It’s our instinct." Ishcard beckoned to her. Andarial continued to step towards the tall figure finally taking hold of his hand.
"So now what happens…?" She wondered looking for an answer. All of the sudden it seemed as if she was pulled back in time but through the eyes of another. She saw a younger looking Ishcard pacing in what looked like a library a very odd looking one at that. The shelves were lined with thousands upon thousands of books. He finally came to one certain shelf and picked up a thick leather book. ‘Angels Dance’ was written in eye-catching gold lettering. Then he started to flip through some pages. A worn picture of a family portrait caught his eye. Underneath in a hand written text was a message. Ishcard had trouble deciphering it. Puzzled he began to pace. The language slowly became clearer. In fact a soft voice spoke threw his mind.
"What follows is a gift to you. As you continue your journey will shape us all. As you will see our past and what will come to pass. Speak the words of the people. You are the witness."
Ishcard unsteadily began to read unsure of all he heard but he had to believe
"Light of the silver moon.
Calm from the distant twilight. Come swiftly to them soon. This quiet shapeless night. Show them the path with the hope and valor bright. Growing larger, the sweet burning light. Purify the darkness with our love. Pouring power from above. Praise the light for all its might. For the story of life. Shadows of sorrow up with flight. Filling all the corners of evils sight. Our blood swells threw there soul. We will save them from the terrors below. Lonely lambs are astray until our wings uplift the dark day. As forgiving sheepherders we lead them home."
Next thing Andarial knew Ishcard was sucked into the book and she followed. She saw a crowded street with many different colors. Ishcard was holding tight to her hand like he didn’t want her going anywhere.
"The two main colors you see represent our ancestors and the so called sorority. Our ancestors are shaded with platinum and the sorority with bronze." Ishcard pointed out.
"But why are our ancestors disappearing?" Andarial asked confused.
"Because the sorority is taking them out. One by one they are cleared away almost like the Judas would run out the disciple." He said figuratively.
"I was raised a Christian. This doesn’t seem possible…?" Andarial asked perplexed. Next thing she knew she could see her breath.
*When did it get so cold?* She wondered as she shivered.
"It’s because you can feel their pain and how cold they are. Just take my hand and I’ll keep you safe because you can get lost in here." Ishcard pulled her close.
"Why can I feel their eyes upon me?"Andarial murmured frightened.
"They can only feel you, but I’ll protect you." Ishcard said as he tightened his grip.
"How could you read my mind…?" She pondered.
"It’s part of the bond I forgot to tell you about sorry I shouldn’t have done that. I’ll teach you later how to block it." He apologized. Then she noticed smoke and they were pulled out of the book. Andarial seen Ishcards’ library on fire and, also seen the young Ishcard run out the back of the library with the book. Next thing she knew she was standing around the fire again.
Andarial dropped to her knees in bemusement. What did it all of it mean. She gazed up at Ishcard.
"Was that exactly how it all happened?" Andarial asked
"Yea it’s sad to say and watch but, it’s all true every bit of it." Ishcard seemed distant and distraught. He knelt down beside her and embraced her. Andarial got misty eyed as she remembered what had just happened.
"Don’t cry for them for they are in a better place and we are here to right the wrongs of men." Ishcard reassured her.
"Your right I have to step up and play my role in this no matter how far we go everything is for the ones I love and, those I’ve left behind." Andarial jumped to her feet with confidence. "When will you train me to use my gifts for our mission?" She turned to Ishcard who was slightly amused with her new found strength.
"Well first we need to find out what your element is. You always start with that then move on to more advanced battle strategies." Ishcard stood up next to her. "If that’s ok with you, Andarial?"
"So when do we start training?" She turned to Ishcard
"Tomorrow so for now we need to get some sleep ok." He looked at her with promising eyes.
"Ok Ishcard I’ll see you in the morning." Andarial turned around and walked over next to the fire and, laid down gazing at the flames. Ishcard watched her for a little while till she fell asleep. Then he walked over and covered her with his shirt. After that he went and stood watch over the valley for any signs of the sorority that may have found them.