Episode One: Broken
Fires. Red hot and devastating. Tessar could feel it's heat radiating even from afar, licking and lapping at his skin almost as if they were beckoning to him, calling for him to leap into their fiery hold. He almost wanted to, after what he had seen, he wanted to jump into the fires. The blue color of his fearful eyes were misty with tears as he stretched his gaze over the ruins that were once his city, his home, the stone and steel foundations that had once held up the proud and stately buildings now razed and bent to the ground, swallowed by the mighty flames below.
The scent was revolting to the boy's senses; he could feel his stomach tighten and constrict. Burning flesh, blood, and vomit all rolled into one was enough to deplete the conscious and have it succumb to darkness waiting. He wished his would already go out and have the darkness take him into it's safe hold, taking him away, far far away from this horrible nightmare. The long awaiting tears at last trickled down his dirty cheeks, the silvery wet lines cleaning away whatever they could manage. He could still see the bodies burning in the dense flames, hear the screams of those who burned but were not dead. They were so close; he wondered why he couldn't see them. What a horrible thing to think, he thought to himself. He certainly didn't want to see them. His nausea grew. With a deep moan he fell against the bricks of a fallen wall, their warmed faces seeping through his olive green polyester jacket. The fur of the hood tickled his jaw.
Shale laid nearby. He could see him still, the glazed scarlet eyes still glued to him, holding on to the desperation that had once had them wet haunting in the still features. It wouldn't have been so bad if they weren't on him, chilling him to the soul. He hated himself for running away when Shale had called for him to stand by his side and fight, leaving his best friend -- his brother -- behind to die. The screams were disturbing, gargles and wheezes as the phantom toyed with him, taking what it wanted, relocating what limb it felt necessary to whatever place in Shale's body seemed most suitable. The wicked laughter still bounced around in his head. What was that thing, he began to wonder as he stared out into the burning destruction. It had moved so fast he didn't even get to catch a glimpse of it.
" There you are!" The voice was warm and light; Tessar could've mistaken it as a man of God. He peered up at the man who had spoken, almost relieved to find that he was not the only one who had survived. This man's face was almost as warm as his voice, the big blue eyes almost of an ethereal hue as they inspected Tessar's own features. His hair was golden if it dared be said, a rarity in this region, thick as it poured over his eyes in a field of bangs. He began to wonder about this character, the sudden rush of fear and mistrust flooding in. His smile was odd, disconcerting at the most, stretching thin as if in a snarl. Every part of Tessar was telling him to get away from this man and now, but despite his better knowledge, he stayed and returned a response.
" You were searching for me?" His voice cracked a bit , revealing his already evident fear. He could swear the man's eyes were laughing. Lit alive by the near fire, his features almost seemed demonic. He pulled himself up on the bricks, showing more and more of his sinewy build as he did and sat in a crouch, his white but still stained sneakers fitted nicely on the rubble. His skin was a pale, creamy color, just about glowing along with the fires behind them. But that was not what had caught Tessar's attention, no, it was the black, malevolent lines of ink that trailed themselves across his skin, running up wild-like from his collar bone to the lower contours of his body. A gasp got caught in his throat as a thought came to him. Were these devil runes? He was not sure, but from what he had already seen on the few devils who would from time to time walk the streets, he was almost positive they were. The man's eyes never left Tessar's wavering gaze.
" I got bored. Your friend was no fun at all." Came the simple response.
Tessar was shaken to the bone. This man couldn't have been the one who had brought this destruction...could he? Tessar didn't want to stick around and find out.
Get up and out! Get up and out, he continued to scream at himself, begging his legs to wake from their stupor and carry him away from here, away from the man before him. He began to tremble, and the man noticed this, his blue eyes filled with what could have been mirth.
"Something troubling you? You were happy to see me a minute ago." he announced, relaxing his elbows on his knees.
Get up!! GET UP!
With a loud scream Tessar hurled himself to his feet, the fear fueled adrenaline shooting him forward at an inhuman speed. On and on he went, farther with each stride, leaving the killer behind. He didn't know exactly where it was he was heading to the ground moved so fast, blurs of light and black differentiating the fire from the untouched soil. He was scared, the fear raging, rubbing out whatever sense of reason he had left. Each footfall felt heavy and unmanageable, tripping and stumbling over themselves, but he moved on.
Something heavy landed on his back, his dry throat croaking a yelp as his knees buckled and sent him crashing to the ground. The floor came up on him fast and hard, the bone of his cheek slammed brutally into the stone riddled earth.
His chest tightened as the weight was put on, his lungs with such a small given space protesting against the tight confines of his ribs, gasping and gulping for air. Get up get out!! GET UP!! there was nothing he wanted more, but the mass of whatever it was that had struck him stuck, obstructing his ability to move.
"Get off me!" He cried out, fairly certain it was fearsome man from which he had been running from. It would come as no surprise if he had caught up to him; perhaps he was a devil too... "Now don't be silly." Came the deriding laughter, unfurling fingers spreading out along his back. "Don't you think I know that if I do get off, you'll just get up and start running again?"
Alarmed by these ministrations Tessar whipped his head around, frenetically searching behind him, searching for any opportunity he could get to snatch even the simplest of glances of what he was doing. Thankfully, his efforts were not in vain. The man had mounted his knee on his lower back, elbows resting on the uprising thigh all while roving his insistent fingers athwart his shivering back, gliding farther and farther still until they laced with the belt holes of his black denims. Tessar sobbed.
" Stop it." He began to plead." Please."
The man tsked, the golden dapper eyebrows curling back in leisure. " Now." exclaimed the wicked man." If please worked on me, your friend most likely would still be alive, wouldn't he?" Tessar did not know why he was so afraid of this man. It was not like he didn't cross paths with his sort ever; he had his fair share of iniquitous peoples. Perhaps it was the sinister air that hovered about him, thick and dark, like a hidden sort of terror waiting to strike forth and claim his life for it's own. It shook Tessar to the core, reducing him to the state of a young child, timid and scared in its predicament. Another set of fingers rolled up right from the outset of his lower back's own current tight spot, zigging and zagging their way between his shoulder blades, in the most tedious of manners.
"You may not be as pretty as your little friend was, but you do strike my fancy none the less, I suppose." The man cooed, the golden head descending down to bury his face in the bay locks of Tessar's hair, nuzzling to where he managed to produce a small wail of apprehension from the frigid form beneath him. He grinned.
At this point Tessar had begun to squirm, hot tears of dismay rolling down his flushed cheeks. Now he knew at last what this man's aim was, and now that he did, he wished he hadn't. His stomach constricted and curled with each and every thought of what he held in store for him, sending his fear into a frenzy.
"Stop it! Let me go! Let me go!!" He continued to scream but to no avail, he had been tuned out. There was nothing more he could do other than lie there in silence. A sharp tugging came at his jacket's collar, finding itself quickly disposed of and tossed to the floor. Tessar felt vulnerable, exposed underneath the looming mass of the body above him, his insecurities bubbling up and settling in his chest. Each touch that was made was like fire to Tessar's skin, receiving a quick flinch and ebb away in what short distance that was rewarded to him. Again, the man tsked.
" If you would stop struggling it would be far easier." chided he, lying the full length of his body atop Tessar's. It felt all so very real to Tessar in that moment, the weight of an equally sized male fervently forcing itself on him, the cold, gritty soil digging into his bare flesh. He felt like crying, but no tears would come. He had ended his struggling as the man had told him to; he saw no reason now in fighting it. It was more than apparent that this being was far stronger than he was.
"I hate you...I hate you..." He managed to growl past grit teeth, the pain intensifying all the way into his ribs. He wanted to disappear; he tried to imagine he was somewhere else, but the already shaky image of peace would fade farther and faster with each pounding blow the man would make.
"Oh?" Came the panted reply, black claws digging into the flesh of Tessar's shoulder. The boy was growing dizzy; he thought he might faint.
"Wrath!!" The voice was like a beacon through the dark, heavy with authority, light with the feminine touch. Who was it now? Who had come now? Probably one of as he was called, Wrath's friends, coming to join in on his nightmarish escapades. Fortunately he did not have much time to mull this over in fading thoughts; the chaos was too much, and with whistling breathe conscious slipped away.
"Is the boy alright?"
"He should be fine. Wrath didn't do anything too traumatic to his insides; not many cuts or bruises either."
"Poor child. Must 'ave had one hell of a night."
" Shhh! Shut up; he might hear you!"
" He's asleep Kendra, he can't hear anything."
" yeah," came Kendra's sharp response," he could have woken up."
So many voices began to make Tessar's head spin all the more. Were it not for their conversation he would have forgotten about the night before. Groaning he sat up, a stiff hand to his bruised forehead, poking at the tender flesh.
"Eek! What did I tell you?!" Came a high screech, a wham of pain rushing to Tessar's head from the volume. Yet again he groaned, flopping back into the sanctity of the blankets below. Oh how it hurt! He could have sworn at least ten led pipes were beating him upside the head.
" Dammit Kendra stop your freakin' screaming. His head hurts him enough." The voice was male, aggressive, but not quite to the point of maturity. It was still young, but probably no older than seventeen at the most. Concluding that there was no point in making silly assumptions Tessar strained to see in the blinding lights of the room, dots of black and green colors dancing in his line of vision, distorting his sight and almost sending him into the darkness he had just crawled free from. There were at least four people in the room, two males and two females, all of youthful quality.
The one closest to him was one of the females, her form slender and elegant. The small black cocktail dress fit snuggly around her bosom, cut low and boldly revealing. She was well proportioned, her neck slender, holding the refined points of her jaw line just right, pleasing to the eye. Her waist was thin, her ribcage narrow, creating shapely curves to her form. The fishnet leggings seemed to run up forever before they disappeared into the skirts of her dress, continuing to rise up until they met her chest and shoulders, running on to end at her hands where they hung loosely as if they were sleeves. Tessar blushed when he found himself staring. Quickly he brought his gaze up to meet her golden eyes, which in turn only served to have him blush all the more. Her eyes were lovely. Wide and innocuous they watched him, reminding him of the great golden coins he and Shale would always find in his backyard.
Her lean fingers would then reach up to the claret tresses of her loose bun, twirling and twiddling in a flirtatious manner. Her smile was beautiful to see, chiefly because it was aimed towards him. He felt ridiculous, like a adolescent boy locked in a single room occupied only by this particular girl.
"Feeling better?" She must have been the one called Kendra; he remembered her voice.
With a stiff neck he nodded, swallowing down the lump that had formed in his throat. She must have been some sort of elf, judging by the delicate points of her ears. It was odd, he had not seen an elf around for quite a few years. To be honest, he thought they had gone extinct.
This response brightened her already bright features, her entire body perking up in such charm it was almost too much to bear. " That's good! Hungry yet? I'll bet you are. You've been out of it for days!"
Tessar was actually caught off guard on that one. With a confounded expression upon his face he scanned the room and the faces of the neighboring persons, his tone quizzical," So I've been sleeping for days."
"Yup. You were exhausted when you were found." It was a young man who spoke this time, the bottle in hand the main object of focus in his fidgeting. He was tall, possibly a bit taller than Tessar by a few inches or so, the black loose hair that sat atop his head adding on to his already intimidating way of being. What warm feeling Tessar had built up was shot down by the wintry purple hue of his eyes, narrow, almost as if they were trying to read Tessar's thoughts, chicken him of whatever he had planned to do if they were to ask questions, which he was sure they were.
The young man's build was strong, very much like the one that had been called Wrath, lean but strapping none the less. He guessed he knew now what exactly the phrase strapping young lad meant. Then he saw the tattoos. With heart in mouth he stared, following their curving lines as they snaked up his arm and chest, writhing practically in their fleshy prison, disappearing into the silken impounds of his black vest. They looked almost exactly like the runes that bejeweled the flesh of Wrath; he was anxious to ask about them. Something in the man's eyes told him to hold those questions for later...
"What's your name, kid?" he asked. More like demanded. The question threw Tessar off for a moment before it finally clicked, and he replied," Tessar."
The young man gave him an acknowledging nod, saying then," I'm Galan Takiyana. This is Kendra," He motioned to the elf in the cocktail dress," Wedas," motioning then to a young boy, Tessar took the time to look the child over. He was a cute kid, probably no older than ten or twelve at the most; the red of his hair reminded him of tomato soup. As he continued to eye the boy, he began to wonder if his assumption of his sex was correct. He wore a black shirt, the neck of it tight at his throat, making it appear lean and slender like that of a female's. a simple silver chained necklace was at his neck, reaching no farther than the length of his collar bones. The boy's blue jeans were obviously too long for his legs, the sleeves rolled up thick. A plaid miniskirt was thrown on top of the jeans, red, and similar to that of a school girl's, an odd choice of dress for a boy of his age he figured. Amethyst eyes returned the awkward stare, the dimple's at his cheeks beginning to bud with the twisted mouth. He looked like he wanted to say something, but kept silent," and Potenta."
The last introduction was probably the most relieving. Tessar was beginning to grow weary; he needed sleep, and a lot of it. Keeping his eyes open was strain enough! Potenta was a strong looking woman, her eyes sharp and assertive, yet somehow gentle. Perhaps it was their jade green texture? Tessar liked them.
"How ya doin'?" She asked. She must have been of Jamaican descent; it was thick in her voice. Her hair, a deep and almost endless black, was short, boy cut at best. It went well with the black cargo pants and leather vest. Straps, one at her bosom and the other at her stomach, were thick, held fast to her by silver buckles. There was something written on the leaden straps, too small for him to make out. From the distance he was from her, they appeared to be Hell writings.
Why would she need hell writings on her clothing? he thought curiously. He received no Devil scent from her, in fact, there was nothing hellion about her! She was just any other human.
"Hey! Boy! I'm talkin' to ya." The biting tone snapped Tessar to attention, his cerulean eyes meeting hers. "Huh?"
"I said, How ya doin'?" Potenta restated, folding the bronze arms across her chest in an haughty manner. " Do ya need anyt'ing? Wata? Food?"
"Oh. No, I'm fine." Tessar mumbled, rubbing the back of his head. It was still a bit sore... " I would like a few questions answered though."
" Fire away." Galan declared, reallocating his shoulders against the wall.
Tessar's eyes fell away to his lap, watching as his toes rolled over each other in his anxiety. "Who...who was that man? From that night. What did he want?" He, after a small amount of time questioned. No one seemed to want to answer that question. What was it about last night that had all of these people spooked? Was this Wrath really that much of an issue; a fear? He searched their ill at ease faces, their eyes wandering, darting away, almost as if they did not want to meet his dogged gaze.
" Oh brodder!" Potenta hissed." Someone needs ta tell de boy whot happened."
" It's nothing that concerns him." Galan retorted, setting his bottle down on the nearby window sill. " He doesn't know anything about what happened to him. It's best to keep it that way."
" It does too concern him!" an outraged Kendra shot back. " Wrath destroyed his home and took his innocence from him! It has everything to do with him!"
" Don't be so naive Kendra." Galan snorted. " He barely knows a thing. Do you think it would do him any good to know?"
"Know what?" Tessar queried, looking between Kendra and Galan. He was officially lost. Apparently, something far more complicated lied behind what happened to him and his city... No one seemed to hear his question.
" Yes, I do." Kendra haughtily replied, fitting her hands on her hips. Was that a tail sprouting from her behind?
" Alright." Galan exclaimed. " Convince me. Change my mind. Why should the boy know?" Tessar was getting a bit irritated with being called boy. He was probably older than any of these people!
" He was violated by him, his home was destroyed, and his friend was killed! Vhon took nearly everything from him!"
As the three bickered Tessar sat there, lost and confused with each statement they would make. Who was Vhon? Could he be Wrath? Why would someone need two names? A tap on his shoulder brought Tessar back from his thoughts, looking up to see Wedas seated beside him.
" Just ignore them." Wedas told him, his eyes lazily half lidded. " They always over dramatize things."
A bead of sweat formed on Tessar's brow. "Right."
" You want to know who that man was, right?" Wedas questioned, crossing his legs over the bed.
" You sure? Once you know, there's no going back."
Tessar felt like he was on some sort of corny old movie set. What a cliche statement...
"Yeah. Who was he? What did he want?"
" He wanted blood." Wedas replied, the amethyst eyes locking with Tessar's. " A devil's blood. Your blood."
Tessar's eyes expanded in size. " Why my blood?"What a chilling thought! He had never met this man, this Wrath or Vhon-whatever he was called. What did he have against him? What did Tessar ever do to have provoked his bloodlust? It didn't make sense! " He killed Shale. He got Devil's blood."
"Shale, if your memories were right, was only a half-breed. He needed a pure blood devil. A pureblood devil-"
"Hold up. My memories? What are you talking about?"
He knew Wedas was trying to help him, but the fact of the matter was that he was only growing more and more confused. " Your aura when irritated presents memories of one who has died, or has effected you life in a traumatic technique. Quite frankly it's a rare genetic inheritance; one in a million. There are probably only a handful of devils who have this ability." Wedas explained, a small fist knocking against his head.
" Ok." Was all Tessar could say. He couldn't believe what a large vocabulary this boy had. " You're like, really smart aren't you?"
A smug smirk came to Wedas' lips as his head canted lightly left, an supercilious eyebrow quirked. " No, I'm not a super genius, but I like to think everybody thinks I am."
" I see.I didn't even say that..." Another bead of sweat. " About my blood...?"
seriousness intact Wedas hunched his shoulders. He even looked like he was having some difficulty telling Tessar this.
" The man who attacked you...He was a Sin."
"A...Sin?" Tessar queried.
Wedas nodded. " He's the Sin known as Wrath. You probably want to know why Kendra called him Vhon, huh?"
"Yeah. Why would he need two names?"Tessar's interest was fully aroused now, leaning forward in his anticipation.
" Vhon is his cover up name. You see," Wedas said, situating himself atop Tessar's bed sheets. Tessar could tell this was going to take a while, " I don't know the full story about the Seven Deadly Sins and all, I only know what Galan's told me. Apparently the Seven Deadly Sins were created not long after Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell. Wrath, Lust, Sloth, Gluttony, Envy, Greed, each of these Sins were created to guard the doors for these specific sins in Hell. It took a couple million years for them to go insane in the feeling of entrapment, an long for the freedom of the living world. This could never be; Satan and God anticipated this. They then created the Seven Angels of God, a similar force to counter the Sins. Faith, Love, Pity, Hope, Peace, Sympathy, Charity. When the Sins finally did break free of their Hell bonds, the angels were right there to battle them back. Apparently the battle got too heated, and the Sins fell into a sort of hibernation. And as you can guess, this was not good. When a hellion or angel falls into a sort of slumber, their strengths build up to unbelievable heights. So they decided to lock them away, hide them from the world forever. To each separate corner of Hell they were hidden, never to see the light of day again. But someone's come now and waken up Wrath, spoke his name, and claimed him as his own."
"So, if I got any of this right, if one was to speak a Sin's name once they found them, that Sin would be forced to obey their every word?" Tessar slowly questioned. It was hard to follow along with the story.
Wedas nodded."The thing that raises our alarm is how it was done. It would take one of a great magnitude of strengths to break a Hell seal written by Satan himself, and speak Wrath's name. We can't trace him, no one knows how it happened without anyone knowing. It's...vexing; troubling..."
"That still doesn't explain why he came after me or why he needed my blood." Tessar blurted. This was becoming hard to believe. If this was such an enormous deal, why hadn't he ever heard about it with his other Devil companions? No one seemed to know about it except these people.
" Devil blood is a perfect revitalizing substance to the Sins. Sure, they get a little boost from humans and other sort of beings, but not nearly as much as they do from Devil blood. But still, he had bled the devil's of your city dry, far past the point of satisfaction. Why he persisted on going after you is curious."
Tessar near jumped from the bed and to his feet, his fear growing to the point where it left him shivering. " Curious?! It's not curious! It's creepy, especially after hearing all of this crap!"
"It's not crap. And sit back down, you'll only exhaust yourself." Wedas replied, patting the bedspread beside him. " I can understand that you're a bit shaken by all of this, but that's no reason to become irrational. Just sit down, please."
"No!" Tessar objected." This guy killed my best friend, and destroyed my home for the hell of it! How do expect me to just sit down and wait for him to do something like this again?! He deserves to die!"
"Alright; that's enough!" Wedas barked, his once calm, effeminate features hardening into something twisted and contorted, frightening in fact. " I know you're hurting right now and that you've been through a lot. But if you intend on extracting revenge, I suggest you sit the fuck down, and get some sleep!!"
Tessar silenced quick. He knew that the boy was right; he needed to calm down, get some sleep. He felt a bit foolish from his outburst, and not wanting to embarrass himself further, he settled himself on the bed. Wedas' face softened. " There."
The others who had been squabbling this entire time had come to a dead silence, their focus removed from themselves to resituate on Tessar and Wedas. It had been a long time since they had heard Wedas raise his voice, he was normally such a cheerful character. The newcomer must have really pushed him to his limit.
Wedas hopped down from the bed, flat palms smoothing out his skirt. It almost seemed as if nothing had happened, that he had never lost his temper, his smile returning warm the air. The entire room seemed a bit brighter now.
"Don't feel bad about it." He whispered to Tessar, giving him a quick playful wink. "Alright, everyone out. Tessar needs his rest. We have a big day tomorrow."
"Huh?" Galan said. " What do you mean by big day? What's happening tomorrow?"
As he pushed Galan from behind towards the door, Wedas beamed, giggling, " You'll have to wait and see!"
The click of the shut door was almost unsettling to Tessar, leaving him in the dark wake of the room alone. He didn't feel safe here, despite the fact that he had been saved by these people. A question came into mind. Who was it that saved him that night? None of these people sounded like her, they didn't have the same strength as she did in voice. It sent chills up his back. So many questions still roved his mind, spinning and spinning until he grew dizzy. So many questions... he sighed. Worrying over them now would do him no good. He needed rest, and staying up all night worrying over the past events and future events to come would not help. He shut his eyes, waiting for sleep to come and claim him. He hoped his dreams would be pleasant ones.
Wrath: Bwuahahahaha! The end of the chapter!! You all must now suffer in the waiting for the next one, fools!!
Tessar: Uh, stupid? Yeah, um...the author's writing another one right now.
Galan: Yeah. Duh.
Wrath: Awe! Why didn't you guys tell me?pouts now i feel stupid.
Galan: Really? You didn't feel stupid when you were talking to that rubber duckie? Or when you flipped out and thought gremlins were trying to take your sweater.
Author: hah. That was funny as hell.
Wrath: Hey! That isn't fair! She wrote it! I couldn't do anything to stop it.
Author: That's right. you all are basically my puppets. damce puppets; DANCE!!
hope you guys enjoyed chapter one of my manga. wew. chapter two's gonna be a doozy...