Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.
Warnings: Anti-fundamentalist's god/religion and therefore prone to some preaching. Anyway, lots of profanity. And in need of some editing.
Special thanks to my beta, diluain! All mistakes are mine.
This was not supposed to happen.
…This was not supposed to happen!
Desperately, Amber squeezed her brother's cold hand, lacing her fingers around stiffened flesh. Rain wasn't what blinded her—tears were.
Wasn't this person perfect? Wasn't he strong? Wasn't he supposed to be able to do everything?
…Wasn't he invincible?
"It's all over," said the person standing behind her. "He's gone." There was no life in his voice.
Angrily, she snapped her head up, glaring at the one responsible for this. "…You! It's your fault!" she snarled. "If you had only…if you had only accepted your destiny! Why didn't you save him? Aren't you our Holy Guardian?"
There was a long pause before the young male replied tonelessly, "I couldn't save him. I can't save everyone, you know."
"Bullshit!" Amber wailed. "You are the Holy Guardian, the one chosen by God! You should be able to save everyone…And yet, you shoved your job onto my brother and killed him!" Her shoulders shook violently. "I thought you were better than that, Vince…why? Why did you let him die? I know my brother was a real bastard before…but you changed him, didn't you? You changed him…" Her voice grew thin, strained. "…He trusted you…"
Vincent watched her silently, his violet-blue eyes unreadable. It was difficult to tell whether the droplets of water on his cheeks were tears or rain.
"…But you betrayed him!" Amber continued with a roar. With great effort, she forced herself to stand, even though her knees were trembling. "You bastard! You really are the Angel of Death…no, the devil!" she screamed. Fire scorched behind those deep blue eyes, full of scorn and hatred. "Give him back…Give my brother Jase back!" When she received no answer, she collapsed to the ground again, sobbing uncontrollably. "This is a nightmare…this has to be a nightmare…!"
"…Sometimes, nightmares can become reality," Vincent replied silently.
Only the sound of rain remained, drowning out all other noises.
Four centuries ago, mankind opened Pandora's Box, the path to a Higher Dimension—the way to God's Realm. At the same time, they opened the way to controlling supernatural abilities—psychic abilities.
However, this angered God. To punish their blasphemy, God unsealed the gateway to Hell, freeing trapped demons. It was the Apocalypse, Armageddon, the end of Earth's status as a plane in-between, marking the beginning of the Great Shift to Hell. Consequently, the door to Heaven was lost, as humans became too preoccupied with fending off monstrous demons to reach God's Domain.
Naturally, the loudest, most successful survivor was the Church, which condemned the corruption of humanity and their foolishness. The Church rallied for a stronger faith, faith that pleaded mercy from God by worshipping him with fervor greater than ever. Thus, God forgave them, assigning a Holy Guardian to every religious institution—a Holy Guardian that resided in a Chosen human's spirit and merged with the Chosen Hero. The Holy Guardians protected humans from demons, having much greater psychic capacity.
As such, humans, who had averted their eyes from God, became devout believers once again as they had been in the ancient times. Nearly every community left on earth was a religious community, and of those communities, one became particularly famous: Heaven's Academy, the mysterious School of Hope; one of the last sanctuaries on Earth. Famous for its powerful Holy Guardians and outstanding students, Heaven's Academy became the most prestigious school known to the world…
"What a load of bullshit," Jason yawned as he exited great double doors, unable to listen to the Opening Ceremony speech any longer. Only the rich or the most faithful dumbasses could be granted admission in this city. The population was so tightly controlled, it wasn't even funny.
He stretched, flexing his muscles before shading his eyes as he stepped out under the sun.
As he wandered about, he grimaced at what he saw. What was so good about this boring-ass place? Gold-and-white buildings, empty streets, and extravagant gardens…false peace plagued the academy. No fun, no demons, no nothing. Just a bunch of rich, stuck-up idiots and blind, religious zealots. A bunch of cowards, they were.
"Ah! I found you!" rang a voice from behind; it was none other than his sister, Amber. She hurried to catch up with Jason, her plaid skirt fluttering in the wind. She quickly took a hold his elbow so he wouldn't walk way. "C'mon, Jase! Don't tell me you're planning to skip school again, are you?" Her cheeks were turning red from exerting too much strength, and yet she still could not stop her brother from moving forward. "Mom and dad will kill me! Can't you pity your baby sister for once?"
"Amber…" The frown on Jason's sharp face softened as he observed his sister, who was staring at him with puppy-dog eyes. "…Fine, I get it already," he sighed, scratching his hair as he shook his head with defeat.
"Good." Amber grinned, clinging closer to her brother's arm. As they made their way back to the auditorium, she spoke up again, "Do you know? There's a rumor that the Holy Guardian actually attends school!" Her eyes were lit with excitement. "I thought he abandoned this city! No one has seen the new Holy Guardian before. Do you think he really gave up on the Great Houses?"
"Hmph. Why would I care about some self-righteous bastard?" Jason asked, unimpressed. "He probably thinks he's some hero just because he has superior demon slaying abilities. We Blackwells can hunt demons just as well; this place would not have been called mankind's safest sanctuary if not for us."
Amber nodded thoughtfully. "We probably don't even need the Holy Guardian now. The Six Great Houses—or at least, us Blackwells—we can handle the demons just fine."
The Opening Ceremony was excruciatingly long and boring, especially when it was time for the Cardinal's endless preaching. Jiggling his leg, Jason became sick of people sneaking looks at him and whispering about him. Every fucking Opening Ceremony, he had to suffer this sort of shit. Did they think he wouldn't notice?
"Is that him? The strongest Blackwell…"
"Really? I heard he's a blasphemous delinquent… Aren't the Blackwells all blasphemous? Why can they stay in this city?"
"Shh! You're new here so you don't know…but if you piss Jason Blackwell off, you're dead meat!"
Jason smirked at that warning. Damn right the squirt was dead meat. Then, someone caught his eye. It was a black-haired boy with unhealthily pale skin, a boy who was about his age. Strange. Jason had never seen the kid before, and he should have, since the boy was very eye-catching. Even if the boy weren't good-looking, he had a particular air about him. Average humans would not have been able to feel 'the vibe', but Jason could, since the blood of the first Holy Guardian ran in his veins. The feeling of that black-haired boy…it was abnormal.
He kicked the chair in front of him, the one that belonged to Tony Fisher, the president of the news club. Tony almost jumped out of his chair.
"Hey, who's that guy?" Jason demanded, tilting his head at the direction of the black-haired boy.
Tony gathered himself. "Oh, him? He's Vincent Champion. He's often absent from school because of sickness and was home schooled up until eighth grade, but apparently he got better. I'm surprised you don't know who he is, though. He lives in the Church, you see. He's the soloist in the choir. He's also pretty famous amongst the girls."
"Why the hell are you surprised?" Jason hissed, his glare forcing Tony to fall back with a cringe. "I'm not a girl and I don't go to church."
"O…oh…Well, Vincent is a very…a very, very nice guy…so…" Tony stuttered, gulping. He nervously pushed his glasses back up the bridge of his freckled nose, sweat trickling down his temples.
"So?" Jason sneered mockingly, grabbing a hold of Tony's collar and pulling the pathetic kid closer.
"Erm…he's not really healthy…" Tony pleaded weakly.
"Oh, don't worry. I'm only going to give him a warm 'welcome', you know. Like the one I gave you…wasn't it nice and gentle?"
"Y…yes…" squeaked the redhead, near tears.
Smirking, Jason let go of Tony's shirt and leaned back, spending the rest of his time devising a perfect 'welcome' for Vincent Champion. He almost forgot about 'welcoming' the squirt that had spoken badly of him before. "Who's that brunet moron?" he asked again, poking Tony's back with the tip of his leather shoe.
"That kid? He's Steven Young, the son of the new priest, Kevin Young."
"Hn…" Jason hummed, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. Tony was really useful.
Finally, the Opening Ceremony ended. Instead of heading to his class, however, Jason ordered his minions to bring Steven to the deserted restroom.
Everyone made way for him as he walked past them, heading for the remote building with his hands in his pockets, as though he owned the school. Well, his family pretty much owned the school, anyway. Girls sighed when they saw him, boys cringed when he passed through…same old, same old. No dude dared to look at him a second time. Well, no straight dude, that was.
Kicking open the door to the deserted restroom, Jason was slightly disappointed that it was still maintained very well, without even a speck of dust. It was only natural for it to look as good as new, because the academy was managed on a huge-ass budget. The only reason it had become deserted was because Jason had made the place his personal 'playing ground'. As he leaned against a sink, his mind wandered back to that dark-haired boy, Vincent. Why did that kid have such a peculiar vibe?
…Whatever. Since pondering about it still wouldn't answer any questions, Jason decided to focus on how to 'welcome' Steven.
When the geeky brunet was finally brought in, he was practically about to wet his pants, his scrawny knees wobbling like crazy.
Jason smirked at the pathetic sight, getting off the sink as he slowly walked towards the sniveling boy. "Hi, Steve," he greeted, his voice low and teasing. "I'm quite hurt about what you said about me during the Opening Ceremony, you know? To think, someone would speak so badly of my family in public…you'd think the students here would have some basic manners."
"I…I'm terribly sorry!" the shrimpy kid whimpered desperately. "Please don't drag my family into this…"
"Well, I'm actually very nice, so I'm just going to give you a warning, Stevie," Jason assured him with a malicious laugh. "But the next time you say shit about the Blackwell Family, I'll personally file a request for deportation." He leaned closer, smirking. "And you know how high the chances of that request passing are."
"Y…yes. Th…thank you," Steven stammered. When Jason's minions let go of the geek, he collapsed like a feeble doll, still shivering with fear.
Jason faked a sigh. "Oh, I'm hurt." He looked imploringly at Ethan, his best friend and cousin. "Did you feel any sincerity in his words?"
"Nope," Ethan replied.
Steven's brown eyes widened with horror. "P…please!" he choked, his voice cracking. "I'm really grateful!"
Crossing his arms, Jason pretended to think. "Hm…how about licking my shoes to show me that you really mean it?" he asked, cocking his head to one side.
"U…understood!" Steven crawled to lick Jason's shoes, but instead he was kicked in the face. He screamed with pain, blood spilling out of his nose and mouth.
"Oops, sorry. My foot slipped," Jason apologized with a smirk. His followers snickered, enjoying the sight of Steven crying and whimpering like a pathetic loser.
Suddenly, a cold presence made Jason turn his head sharply to the restroom entrance. It was that black-haired kid, Vincent Champion. Strange for him to stumble here on his first day of school. "What are you guys doing?" Vincent asked innocently, looking confused. His attention was soon caught by the curled up, trembling figure on the floor. "What's he doing on the floor?" He started to walk towards Steven, too stupid to read the mood.
None of Jason's followers stopped Vincent from walking past them—they were waiting for Jason to make a decision, and Jason was, well, somewhat distracted by his admiration for the boy's looks. However, before Vincent could squat down and examine Steven, Jason interrupted with a drawl, "Hey, you." Slowly, Vincent turned around, his eyes connecting with Jason's. A chill immediately ran down Jason's spine, even though Vincent's smile was far from intimidating. "Don't bother about that moron on the floor. He deserved what he got," Jason continued, trying not to look like he was affected by that simple eye contact.
"What do you mean?" Vincent asked softly, tilting his head. "Did you hurt him? What did he do?"
"You…" Jason growled, his expression darkening. "Do you know who I am?"
"Nope. Never seen you before," Vincent replied with a smile.
Vincent's candid, outright naïveté sent Jason into a temporary shock. Flabbergasted, he realized that he really had no right to expect Vincent to know who he was. After all, Jason never went to church. Coughing awkwardly, Jason cleared his throat. "I am Jason Blackwell." He made sure to emphasize his surname.
"Hm…Blackwell, huh?" Vincent commented with a low hum. Somehow, Jason couldn't help but stare at those soft, red lips.
However, he quickly snapped out of his daze. "If you know who the Blackwells are, then get the fuck out of here," he snarled, punching a fist into the wall, which cracked immediately upon impact. "Unless you want to end up like this ungrateful moron on the floor."
"You mean Steven? But he's my friend."
"Vince…" coughed Steven. "Vince, just get out of here like Blackwell said."
A smirk curled Jason's lips. "Oh yeah…I forgot…since we've never met before, I should give you a 'warm welcome' too, just like the one I gave your idiotic little friend on the floor." Jason used telekinesis to throw a punch into Vincent's stomach. The nosy kid immediately lost his balance and fell to the floor, coughing from the shock.
"Vince!" Steven screeched.
"Oh shut up, you fuckin' pansy," Jason snapped, nodding to his followers so they'd silence the weakling. Pathetic wails were soon muffled.
"So, Vinnie-boy," Jason continued with a smirk, pulling the boy up by his striped tie. Damn, up close the dude was even better looking, but Jason couldn't really afford to lose his rhythm by admiring the guy's features. "Let me enlighten you about how things go about in this school, which you missed out on all of your pitiful life: I am the law here. I make the rules. When I say something, when I 'take care' of someone, you shut the hell up, capisce? Playing hero will do you no good, pretty boy." He let go, calmly watching Vincent gasp for air.
Immediately, Vincent was answered with pain that should be excruciating. Electricity was the Blackwells' forte, after all. "Man, you don't seem to learn." Jason scratched his hair. "Didn't I just make it clear not to question me?"
"But…I don't understand why you're doing this…" Vincent continued stubbornly. "Aren't you Blackwells supposed to protect the weak along with the Holy Guardian?"
"In exchange, they should all bow down to us. Even the Holy Guardians couldn't have protected Heaven's City as well if we Blackwells did not exist." Seeing how Vincent soon became consumed in his own thoughts, Jason continued with a sneer, "What? Are you going to say that God will punish me?"
"God doesn't care," Vincent replied, his voice surprisingly cold. "…But still, what you are doing is wrong," he added, the prior iciness in his voice nowhere to be found.
For some reason, Jason was beginning to find Vincent amusing. It wasn't just because the dark-haired boy was good-looking—it was because of that irritating, yet intriguing vibe he gave off. Though, of course…Jason was unable to ignore the kid's good looks, it really was his weakness. "Hn…" He helped the pretty boy off the floor, somewhat surprised at how lean the guy's muscles were. "You're strange. Just take that dumb friend of yours and get out of my sight." With that said, Jason headed for his class, followed by Ethan and the gang.
Vincent Champion…eh. Well, hopefully he'd make Jason's boring academy days more interesting.