|What Lies Beneath
Author: HorseCrazyAsian PM
Vangaard: the city in the sky. It's had an era of peace, but that's about to change. Follow one angel's struggle to save Vangaard and the world it swore to protect, Earth, from the impending darkness that threatens to conquer all.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 10 - Words: 31,259 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 03-11-13 - Published: 06-20-12 - id: 3034198
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: Hey guys! Yes... I'M ALIVE! xD I apologize for not writing or updating sooner, but luckily... I have returned with a lengthier chapter! HOORAAYYY! As always, story, characters, and plot and whole idea is by MOI! :3 Enjoy, and leave a comment below! Thanks!
Mangled feathers covered the street, tainted and stained with the blood of the demons and angels. Swords and weapons laid idle on the streets, their dull and abused blades still dripping with the blood of the enemy. Limp and cold hands laid beside them. Their fingers still curled as if the hilt still was within their grasp, a sense of dedication wavering off their lifeless and empty bodies.
The memory shattered in a metallic clang as two blades met, sending vibrations to each hand that held the weapon. Another clang rang out, but the scrape upon metal was drowned out by the sea of blood and war. All through out the chaotic and destroyed city, battle cries and howls of agony ripped through the afternoon air. The sun beat down on the backs of the enemies and allies, highlighting their bloodied and sweating bodies and shining off their scratched and dented armor.
I grunted as I blocked the heavy blow with my blade, the force of the strike knocked me back. I've grown weak. Tired. My spirit only functioning on the idea of my life being in danger. It's a powerful motivator, but not very uplifting.
I gritted my teeth, raising my sword above my head once again as another pounding blow was struck at me. However, the blow was enough to push me to the ground. I fell on my back, my dagger flying out of my hand. I laid there, trying to catch my breath for a moment. The wind had been knocked completely out of my lungs, and I was only left with the option to gasp for breath. I broke into a coughing fit, dust and polluted air irritating my parched throat.
Through my watering eyes, I watched my opponent approach. I could tell he was just as exhausted as I, but he wasn't out of breath. He grabbed me by the collar of my armor, lifting me off the ground. My body slid down the slightest bit, gravity trying to drag me down to the ground with it's invisible hands.
I met blood red eyes, filmed with a milky white. They glared back at me, the eyes so sickly and twisted, that it made my stomach churn. The corner of his mouth twitched, his brows slowly furrowing. I sucked in another lungful of air, coughing slightly as the particles danced in my airways, tainting my throat and leaving an uncomfortable itch behind.
The demon glared for a few more moments before smashing my whole body into the wall of a building. Once again, my breath escaped my lungs, and I found myself gasping, my eyes dilated in shock and strain. My body dropped to the ground with a thud, the hand no longer supporting my winged body. I scrambled to my feet, my eyes desperately searching the disarrayed ground for the familiar dagger. My fingers felt out of place with out the hilt to grasp. I felt as if a limb were missing on my body. I couldn't find it before the demon made his move. A hand flew out, armed with a long blade of a sword. I clumsily jumped back, tripping over a body and falling backwards until my elbows hit the ground. I hissed in pain, spreading out my wings and beating them repeatedly until I flew well above the demon's head. I would finish the fight later, but I needed to find my dagger first.
With my azure eyes and this height, I can see just how deranged and rampageous this battle is. It's like a giant shadow, spreading across the fallen city. Through the darkness, small patches of light fight to take control. Some do, but others disappear as the shadows swallow them whole.
I need to focus; my dagger must be found. I dive straight down, barely grazing the heads of some individuals too preoccupied with fighting to notice. I began to fear the worst. The blade seemed to have disappeared from sight, as if it never even existed.
It did. It did exist! And I needed to find it!
It was as if the weapon called me, for I felt the need to turn around. I did, and I saw the glint of the blade as it was raised to the sky, but by someone else's hand. My heart pounded in my chest and began to thud in my ears as I neared the one who held the Sacred Dagger. The pounding grew louder and faster. One more step... and then, it just stopped.
No thud pounded in my ear, not in my chest. I could not hear, nor care what was around me. All I could do, was stare in shock at the demon who grinned deviously at me, twirling the sacred blade in his clawed hand.
A grin was all what I needed, and apparently, the only thing the demon needed to give me as he took off running into the horde of crazed battle. I felt my fists clench, my knuckles turning a ghostly white, as did my face. My feet drummed on the ground as I chased the demon into the crowd, but my body was immediately swallowed up, the path ahead of me closing as the battle devoured it whole. I swore out loud, shoving the feuding figures next to me away just enough for me to spread my wings and escape into the open air above.
My chest rose and fell rapidly. My panicked breath hitched in my throat as I searched for the fleeing thief, hoping I didn't already lose him. The parting of the wall of demons across the street drew my attention and I caught a fleeting glimpse of the demon. I took after him, flying swiftly towards him. The wind blasted at my soaring body, my hair danced in the wind, fully revealing my pale face.
Beads of sweat rolled off my forehead as I quickened my pace with a few flaps of my outstretched wings. I was quickly gaining on my target, and he seemed to know this as he quickly veered off into the entrance of a building. I had no time to follow him in that way. Thinking quickly, I veered after him, crashing through a window and shielding myself from the shattering glass with both my arms that covered my face and chest. I rolled forward from the momentum, uncurling onto my feet and instantly sliding down the stair rails.
I jumped off the rails, reaching the bottom of the stairs. I could hear the hasty footfalls of the demon and I tore after him, my breathing falling in rhythm with my own rapid pace. I heard the slam of a door being thrown open and briefly saw the door close before I reached it to open it to allow myself to follow the retreating brute.
At last, I saw the demon sprinting down the alleyway. I ran after him, fury filling my veins, but not because he stole my weapon. The Sacred Dagger has the ability to do many things, and I had the feeling this demon knew that. He jumped on top of a dumpster, holding onto the gutters that ran up the wall and on to the roof. I picked up my pace, adrenaline pumping through me.
I was so close. Just a bit more.
The demon reached the roof, glancing behind himself and seeing no one there. He grinned in victory, slowing to a brisk walk. He took out the dagger and inspected it.
"A fine prize. He will be most pleased," the demon muttered under his breath, twirling the weapon around absentmindedly, proud of his accomplishment. Red eyes drifted off the blade to a growing shadow beside him. It expanded at a fast pace, forming a more detailed silhouette as it grew larger yet. The realization hit the demon too late as he glanced up just in time to see me land on the roof with a thud and tackle him to the ground.
I snatched the dagger from his claws, sheathing it in my scabbard skillfully, never taking my eyes off the imbecile. Though in his current dilemma, he continued to grin up at me foolishly.
"You look upset," he chided hatefully. I did not speak a word but kept a stony expression. "Oh, are you mad someone stole your toy?" he sneered, obviously looking for a reaction that I would not grant him. "You know, that blade is not a thing to be handled without care. If you were so careless as to lose it in the first place, perhaps it would be beneficial to everyone if you gave it to someone who would actually value the damn thing," a throaty laugh followed.
I whipped out my finally recovered dagger and held it to his throat, applying a small amount of pressure, but enough to draw blood.
"And who exactly is that?" I growl lowly, his insults haunting my mind. A finger was wagged in front of my face, followed by the clicking of his tongue.
"Now, why would I tell you that?"
I press the blade down against his throat with more pressure, causing him to gag as the blade dug into his neck.
"Do not tempt me, demon," I snapped. I had had enough of his useless comments, and frankly, I had had enough of dealing with these vermin.
He snickered despite the blade pressed against his neck.
"Though you are fun to tease, angel, I still do not see why we must keep you alive. Surely he could've done better. Perhaps someone who wasn't so..." I could see his eyes narrow slightly as he searched for the right word, his eyebrow raised slightly. "Unreasonable."
I growled, feeling my anger rise.
"Unreasonable?" I pressed the blade down with more force an I could see the demon stiffen, his temperament becoming more serious and cold.
"Would stubborn be a better word?" the demon's tone chilled me to the bones. It was hate-filled, malicious yet dangerously soft. I gave no reply but glared straight into his crimson irises.
"Why did you take the dagger," I asked, my voice demanding, and not in the mood for more berating.
"I'm not quite sure," the demon chuckled darkly, inhaling sharply as my blade pressed down more, silently telling him that my patience grew thin. "Why must you kno-" his voice became strangulated and strained, cut off by another addition of pressure on his throat.
"I will ask the questions," I stated thickly, my fingers around the hilt ready to push down more if the he did not supply me with the answers I wanted to know. He seemed to acknowledge this, falling silent for a moment or two before he opened his mouth to speak. I released his neck a fraction, allowing him to speak more freely.
"Rikon," he grumbled hoarsely.
"Why!" I ordered gruffly, a guttural growl emanating from the back of my throat at the mention of that cursed name. The demon regained some of his determination and refused to answer me regardless of the growing weight on his neck.
"Answer me!" I shouted, burning into his ungiving eyes furiously.
I had to know... I must know!
"Now, why would I want to ruin the surprise?" He managed to choke out through his strained throat, grinning wickedly and laughing maniacally. I snarl, pressing down with all my might, ending the delirious voice that had, just moments ago, tormented my mind. The demon laid limp, blood seeping out of it's throat. His crimson eyes filmed over completely, the sickly white eyes staring blankly at the sky.
I felt horrible. There was a knot my stomach that only the demon's answer could've undone. Not knowing what they planned to do was literally breaking my apart. I had to know. I was so close to the answer.
Just a little more.
Alas, now I would not get an answer from him. There was only one other that definitely knew the answer to my troubles, but I certainly hoped I would never get to see him to even ask. I did not want to ever come face to face with Rikon once more. He was fearless, and intimidating. He was cunning and cold, and he knew so much more than I did now. That's what scared me most. I was involved in something dangerous. Something big. Yet, I had no hint to as what that might be.
I ran a hand through my dark brown locks, attempting to clear my mind of my paranoia. I needed to get back to the battle.
And I did; the battle had lasted the rest of the day before the remaining survivors of the enemy vanished into the shadows, leaving what was left of our army to recuperate and build a camp for that night. We relocated to the countryside in fear that the demons would return or the humans would.
I gazed into the starry sky, watching the millions of shimmering dots light up the sky alongside the half moon. The air became more chilly as the night grew ever stronger. A gentle breeze rustled the leaves of the trees on this plateau. They sounded like the pitter pat of pouring rain on the barren ground. The leaves reached out, as if trying to follow the wind into the never ending sky. It was a peaceful scene, I had to admit, and it was a nice change of atmosphere from death and war.
However, if there's anything I've learned from the past few weeks, it's nothing lasts forever.
Fenidon joined my relaxation, taking a seat beside me and offering me a cup of water which I gratefully took. He gave a groan as he plopped onto the ground, obviously strained and exhausted from the day's events.
"Beautiful, is it not," he murmured as if to himself. I nodded silently in agreement, tranced by the serene sight before me.
"Probably the most pleasant thing I've seen on this damned place," he grumbled, taking a sip of his water. I chuckled at his comment.
"You always look at the positive side of things," I replied sarcastically, though I did not look at him to see if he actually caught my friendly jeer. It appeared as he did though as a hearty laugh followed.
"I try my best," he let his laugh fade into a light chortle and eventually, silence again. I closed my eyes as another breeze passed through. It reminded me of Vansgaard, soaring through the sky freely, the wind surrounding my being. Though I was a decorated war hero, having fought my fair share of battles, I still missed my home in the sky. I felt so cramped and contained in this world. The skies were endless, yet this land ended somewhere.
"When do you think this war will end?" I asked suddenly, my voice quiet, afraid to disrupt this peaceful place. Fenidon turned to me, a look of puzzlement across his features. I was a little confused myself as to why I asked such a question, but I needed to hear that it would end soon. My spirit was diminished. I needed something to go on.
"Soon," he answered, looking off into the distance. "Very soon."
I nodded my head, trying to agree, but no matter how I looked at things, I couldn't shake the nagging feeling that I was just lying to myself. That Fenidon was lying to me. I didn't say anything, afraid I'd break his spirit, too, by questioning his faith. I held back my tongue, instead watching the grass sway lazily.
"Hey, Baleon," Fenidon whispered, a faint smile gracing his lips. I looked up at him, curiosity spreading over me.
"What do you think of me and Niri?" Fenidon grinned subconsciously, not being able to help himself at the mention of his beloved's name. I chuckled. I should've known by the way he was smiling so brightly.
"What about you and her?"
"I-I was thinking... when this war is over. I'd ask her to marry me," Fenidon whispered, grinning widely, absolutely filled with joy and glee. I smiled, reassuring my friend that I approved.
"I was wondering when you were going to ask her that. I'm not quite sure why you didn't ask her before," I chortled softly. Fenidon smiled lightly back at me, something about what I said making his eyes dull slightly.
"I just never found the right time," he paused, trying to explain it to me. "When I found out that I would be in this war, and possibly never return, I knew I had to confess to her about my feelings. It keeps me fighting, knowing that when I get back, she'll be there waiting for me."
I listened, smiling the whole time, though it was just to cover my true feelings. I was truly happy for him, yet, I didn't think I was the happiest I could be. I have never understood love. I never needed it. I never yearned for it. I never experienced it. I have had many confess they liked me, even loved me, yet... I could never find the feelings to reciprocate. I have never felt anything for anyone before, and doubt I ever will. My duty in life is not to find love, but to protect my homeland and this world below it. I have given my whole being into this cause, and I intend to continue doing so, until my life is lost.
"What about you, Baleon? Huh? There has to be someone up there that's caught your eye," Fenidon jabbed me playfully in the shoulder with his elbow encouragingly, watching my intently with growing curiosity. I let my smile fade a little, letting out a forced chuckle.
"No. There isn't," I replied honestly, realizing that talking about love makes me uncomfortable and want to just run away and hide from the whole idea completely. Fenidon gave a sigh, his smile growing.
"You can tell me. I won't tell," he pressed on, turning his head to the side so his ear was facing me. I shook my head, letting my smile grow at his persistence. I pushed his head away from me lightly.
"Honestly, I don't like anyone," I tell him again, much to his dismay.
"Alright, alright. I get it," he sighed in defeat, crossing his arms. I groan in slight frustration, putting a hand to my forehead.
"You're impossible," I snort.
"If you don't want to tell me, I understand," Fenidon shrugged, playing with a blade of grass absentmindedly.
"There's nothing to tell,"
"Really, Baleon. I've seen you with girls all the time!"
"And I haven't liked any of them. They were just friends,"
"Friends? I hardly believe that,"
"Fine. Admirers better?"
"I guess," Fenidon laughed, his eyes still showing his disbelief and suspicion.
"How can I prove to you that I don't like anyone?" I frown, growing increasingly uncomfortable with this subject. Fenidon tapped his chin, narrowing his eyes in deep thought. I awaited his response intently, watching the gears turn in his head.
"Fine. If there really isn't a near missus in the future," he began, my eyes hardly blinking. "Then...swear on your purity that you do not like anyone," Fenidon smirked. I gave a sigh, shaking my head.
"I swear on my wings that I do not like anyone," I repeated almost in boredom. "Now, can we please change the subject?"
"Alright, alright. I believe you, sheesh."
I chuckle, going back to looking at the night fallen plateau. That's where the conversation ended. I spent a couple of hours after that just watching the scene before me calm me and fill me with more will to keep going before I retired for the night.