Author: Master Gray Wolf PM
Short story taking place in Modern Europe. In Italy, The Catholic Church beseech the services of an ageless warrior boy, a so-called Paladin, named Airgid to battle against demons led by a Fomorian avatar.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Supernatural - Words: 1,232 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 2 - Published: 07-29-11 - id: 2937803
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Ancient Entities in Modern Days
Rome, Italy, the ecclesiastical capital city of the world even in modern times.
At dawn, a private worship was believed to be commencing inside St. Peter's Basilica. Those who wanted entrance faced not only closed shut doors, but also the Swiss Guard. Seeing the Guard in their brilliant orange, red, and blue striped uniforms was enough to captivate the curious eyes of people rambling around St. Peter's Square. It was an abnormal sight to see since congregations were usually public, and especially since the last ones who entered the Basilica were only two people.
Six people paced through the nave leading to an over ninety foot (or over 27 meters) bronze baldachin towering over the Basilica's altar. The Renaissance Period, which birthed in Italy and marked a prosperous change in human culture, radiated everywhere from the building. The tall columns, the walls, and the domed canopy over the altar were embellished with stylish Baroque images. Four ivory statues of Saints stood in the dome's pendentives. Each statue carried a tool that distinguished their identities, from the spear of St. Longinus that pierced the helpless but forgiving Child of God while he was pinned on a cross, to the cloth of St. Veronica that carried that same Son's countenance after being wiped with it.
"Rome asks for forgiveness of the Ancient past. Conquest comes not from bloodshed or hegemony, but the wealth of the Message, Christ who is ahead of our lives as the spirit of virtue." A man with a very gentle voice said.
The group finally reached the altar; a boy and a middle-aged man, prostrated before an elderly man who wore a white, majestic cassock. Standing by his side was slightly younger man in a black cassock, and both were flanked by two Swiss Guards. In addition to his red ankle-length robe, the elder wore a camauro, which is a round wool hat with an ermine trim, and a red mozzetta cape underneath the cassock. He looked as regal as a king before the two. The boy and man bowed their heads to the only ever descendant of the first Apostle of Jesus, The Pope.
"Your Holiness, I hold no grudge. How Earth has progressed up until now is impressive, but evil deeds still occur. But no matter what, continue following the welfare of Light." The one to reply to the Pope's words was the boy. Even though he had the voice of a preteen, he had an eloquent cadence that made him seem far older than he appeared.
"Thank you palatinus. I called you here to alleviate the hidden chaos of Rome. You seem to be familiar with such an incident." Said the Pope.
The boy raised his head to look up at the elderly figure, "Yes," He merely said, and then the Pope began to explain,
"As a former Cardinal, I had heard of your name through the Roman Curia. But this is my first time meeting you. You are known as the 'silver stalwart boy' and were in the service of a few of the previous Popes."
The boy grabbed the visor of his flat cap and slid it off his head to reveal a unique sight. As if he grew old way before his time or as if not a drop of chemical matter touched him, the boy's short hair was pristine white. It was completely devoid of color.
"This is a symbol of the one who gave me life. It is also one of the reasons why I have my name." Said the boy.
"Palatinus of Light, Airgid Calmagasur, tell me. The power of the devil truly manifests in a form familiar in tales?" The Pope asked.
"Devils hide in the shadows, abducting the weak in order use them. No matter the change in Faiths, the devil is still the same. In this case, the devil takes the form of flesh-eating monsters." Airgid explained.
The Pope nodded his head, "Go on."
"Long ago, a wicked giant known as Balor of Eye was defeated by a hero of Ireland. He died when the hero gouged out his only eye with a spear. It was said that the eye was so powerful that it could hypnotize an entire tribe of semi-divine beings. That eye fell and melted into the Earth's soil, spawning demons across the planet." Airgid paused to catch his breath, and discerned the shocked faces of both The Pope and his consultant in the black cassock.
He continued, "Where I'm from, we simply call the monsters 'The Plague of Balor's Eye'. They can take simple monstrous forms like with claws and teeth, but they can also take possession of the human body."
For the knowledgeable, Balor of the Eye was a god from the ancient Celts's pantheon. In these days, the conversion of Christianity pervaded Europe, and it was unheard of to see a follower of a Celtic entity existing in current time. However, today's Pope was regarded for being a forgiving and acceptable person, and he treated Airgid well despite the gap in religions.
Good and evil were all the same, and there was evil hiding deep within the holy city of Rome.
"I have been fighting the Plague in my home of Ireland too. They are merciless and do nothing but prey upon the weak. Even in death, this is Balor's retaliation." Airgid said.
"Young Palatinus, I ask no more but to save us with your service. Suppress this evil." The Pope asserted his order, softly placing his crinkly hand onto Airgid's head of white hair. The boy bowed down his head again and there was a moment's silence between the two. Airgid took that time to contemplate his next words, which took the form of a question,
"Your Holiness, you don't think that I slander what you stand for?" After asking, Airgid felt the Pope rub his head with slow left and right strokes. Like a devoted father to his son, it felt affectionate. That, and the Pope's next words, confirmed the link between the two holy entities.
"In my youth, I read a story about a giant named Ferumbras." The Pope began. Curious, Airgid raised his head to look up to the elder.
"He and his father were thieves and faced against the knights of King Charlemagne, but Ferumbras was defeated. He had a change of heart; he joined the King and became a Christian. In other words, no matter what, all faces on Earth can commit to good." The Pope said, "Despite your heritage, you are for humankind. Brothers, sisters, love and loyalty, you care deeply for that. I can tell in your eyes that you carry a steadfast bosom. Still, I am surprised. It is like you are indeed close to a God"
Airgid smiled, "I'm not a God at all, His Holiness, but just a messenger. I am the same as you. I'll do what I can to see it so that humankind attaches to good."
Both Airgid and the middle-aged man by his side, who remained quiet through most of the conversation but introduced himself as Airgid's "follower" William Lucan, stood up and gave the Pope and his consult a few final words, "May not evil prevail."