Synopsis: Apostle Hirota was born different from the other Angyal's, his skin marked with the silhouette of a dragon coiling around his forearm. Considered a "Bad Omen" and an Agent of Chaos by his own people in order to keep him subservient he was raised to be a Demon hunter for his Lord, one of the Seven deadly Hunters of Sin.
When one of his bounties is revealed to be a member of the Seven, Apostle is introduced to the corruption within the ranks of the Angyalic race and a conspiracy begins to unfold. Along with his new allies, lead by an exiled Hunter and protecting the rightful heir to the Angyalic empire, they must seek out the source of light needed to illuminate the darkness that threatens to swallow the entire world.
A/N: The following chapters are a first draft that will often contain an asterisk in spots to remind myself of sections that need attention in some way or another when I start work on the second draft. This is the first book I've written with the intention of publication so I wanted to upload the first few rough chapters in order to gain some constructive criticism before moving forward with the editing process.
The night was quiet, calm but for the pacing anxiety of a lone Angyal who waited in the courtyard, just outside the golden adorned Dragon Gates of *Seishin Castle. He shivered, not against the bitter chill of the air but due to shattered nerves that had him wringing his hands against the tattered hilt of his sword, for inside the castle walls waged a debate detrimental to his brother's fate.
The Arkainen rulers of the six kingdoms had gathered from all parts of the world in regard of the concern Lord Aries held for the suspicious dragon-shaped mark the infant had been born with. He suspected it a sign of great evil, but Envy knew this to be a result of nothing more than senseless superstition. The Hirota's came from a long line of heroes and noble men and women. They had served Aries honourably since his rule had begun. Why would theirs suddenly be the first family in all Angyal history to birth evil? It was unfathomable.
But would the council understand this, or would they too allow an unfounded fear of the unknown rule over their judgment?
Envy pulled his phone from his pocket, flipping it open and raising it high in the air to attract a weak signal so he could check his messages for the third time that hour. In desperation he had reached out to an old mentor for help days before, hoping to involve a rational voice into the debacle. But he had received no response. Predictable, perhaps, as this particular Angyal was not welcome in these parts. Regardless, Envy grasped onto hope, onto that slight possibility that his teacher - no - his friend, would aide him in this most futile situation.
To his great relief his prayers would be answered.
"You know it unwise to expect a response from me, your phone is much too heavily monitored."
Envy peered from his mobile device, audibly releasing a breath he did not know he had been holding as he met with the silver-eyed gaze of his ally. "Wrath, you came!"
"Of course." The older Angyal replied impassively. "I couldn't very well allow Aries to extinguish our people's light before it ever got the chance to shine."
As was often the case, this reply confused Envy. But Wrath was a very wise man with experience and knowledge of the world that Envy could not yet even fathom. All of Wrath's words, though at times cryptic, had meaning, and for this reason Envy understood that Wrath's interest in his baby brother was beyond a simple favour to a friend. Which meant the child's odds of an unwarranted and possibly cruel punishment had been greatly reduced.
"They've been in there nearly an hour. They've probably reached a decision, and I doubt it's a good one." Envy informed, anxiety driving the haste with which he spoke as he gazed over to the five story keep where the council were gathered. Outside, just out of their line of sight, stood twelve armed soldiers, the personal body guards of the Arkainen. In that moment Envy worried that Wrath would be unable to force his way inside without being noticed. For most entry would be entirely impossible.
But Wrath Katayama was not like most. His reply was one of utmost confidence and assurance. "Calm your nerves, Envy. No harm will come to your brother so long as I am here. But be wary. My intrusion of the council will quickly come back to you. They'll know you reached out and brought me here."
"I'll accept the consequences for my actions." Envy boldly replied, an unwavering courage in his eyes.
Wrath nodded his head and in an instant he had vanished, the only indication of him having been present the audible "poof" of the air which resounded as a result of his teleport. Envy turned his gaze eagerly to the door. His left hand white knuckled as he clutched the hilt of his katana just a little bit tighter, looking to draw comfort from the weapon which had never failed him in battle.
The nameless infant who was yet only days old was silent in his distraught mother's embrace. She and her husband sat, kneeling on the floor opposite the twelve Angyal leaders who had just reached a decision about the fate of the child.
"His power needs to be quelled. He will be stripped of his wings and will live out his life raised with humans." The middle most Arkainen dictated, his voice echoing through the dark, nearly empty chamber.
*This drove the distressed parents to their feet, but despite his mouth opening to voice his protest, the child's father remained in abashed silence. His warrior instincts fought to defend his family but his rationale from his many years served as a soldier warned him of the danger in doing so. For the decision was finalized by Lord Aries himself, leader of not only the Eastern Asian realm of Angyal's but ruler of all their kind. With or without the assistance of the council, his word was law.
*The baby's mother, however, was not so willing to give him up. She held to him tightly and threats birthed by her rage danced upon the tip of her tongue. But before she could utter a sound a resounding "poof" echoed through the chamber and the infant was plucked suddenly from her grasp. A moment of unbroken quiet passed before the intruder revealed himself from out of the shadows, the newborn cradled in his arms.
The men and women of the council rose swiftly to their feet, and in Aries expression there was a fury derived by a deep abhorrence for this interloper.
Wrath, his eyes fixated on the mark of the dragon spiralling around the length of the baby's right forearm, broke the silence. "I vehemently disagree with your verdict."
"You are not welcome here!" Aries seethed, a fury burning in his dark eyes.
Ignoring this, Wrath continued on. "For better or worse, be this mark Chaos or Light, you know this child's power will be far beyond that of any other." The interluding Angyal lifted his chin and peered upon his offended audience. While there was anger in the eyes of all the Arkainen Council members it was terror which governed their reluctance to stop this show. Wrath was not welcome here because he was feared. His strength and intellect was matched by few and his unique powers were matched by none. The Council knew he could kill them all long before the call for security ever reached the ears of the soldiers guarding the chamber and given his history of unpredictability and disobedience they knew that in this moment their defiance could lead to their death. So begrudgingly they listened to what he had to say.
"It seems to me that with my retirement, or exile, whatever you wish to call it, you've had an empty slot in your Seven Hunter's of Sin for, oh my, nearly six decades now. Don't you think it time to fill the gap? I've a marvellous candidate for the position right here in my arms."
"The child is much too dangerous to risk allowing his power to grow." Aries argued.
"So am I and yet I remained as your loyal dog for over a century." Wrath disputed. "Train the child to be another of your thoughtless specialized soldiers and even the Demon Lords will not stand a chance against you."
While Wrath's insolence appalled the majority of the Arkainen, Aries' rage had quelled in exchange for consideration. Slowly he slunk back into his knees, chin in hands as he contemplated this idea. It seemed wise, but he knew Wrath to be a trickster and wondered why his interest was enough to risk returning to the village under the threat of death.
"While I appreciate such an idea, my concern stems from the thought of it having been uttered from your lips. I know you, Wrath Katayama. You are a selfish man. What is in this for you to take such a risk?"
Wrath offered the Lords an underhanded grin. "Good Karma." He replied simply. "I've been such a naughty boy for so very long." Constructed by magic, one feather at a time Wrath's wings appeared against his back, the charcoal appendages a deep contrast against the snowy white wings of the infant he held. "However, should your minds remain unaltered by my proposal I may just have to take this little Apostle of the Star and mould him into an Agent of Chaos."
It was Aries, and Aries alone, who understood the meaning behind Wrath's words. His eyes lowered and focused on the reed-woven mats beneath him. The room was lively with aggressive chatter, most directed at himself. But Aries was concentrated on Wrath's cryptic threat. He looked to his antagonist, considering his options. With his unnatural teleportation ability Wrath was an escape artist, and much too clever to be caught in this situation. Aries hands were tied for reasons he could not explain to his fellow Arkainen, for he and Wrath knew something which they did not.
"You are never to have contact with this boy as he grows." Aries relinquished. "You will not reach out to him or his brother or attempt to seek out either, under the penalty of death. He will be warned of you and your ways, I will insure he is raised to see you as an enemy."
"This I can adhere to." Wrath agreed with a victorious smile. He crossed the distance between himself and the parents and gently returned the infant to his trembling mother. "I've never been particularly fond of children anyway." As soon as he had arrived, Wrath again vanished, causing a commotion to stir amidst the bodies in the chamber.
"Lord Aries, you are not truly foolish enough to consider this an option, are you? Surely that scoundrel is up to something!" Voiced the American Lord, Leo as he thundered his fist angrily against the floor.
"I think it is very likely Wrath was summoned here by the Hirota's eldest son." Accusingly Aries glanced to the family who were waiting anxiously to be sent home. "Whether he had an ulterior motive or not he was right, we desperately need a seventh Hunter. That child will grow to be strong enough for the title. We will watch him close as he grows, begin his training young." He waved a hand, dismissing the Hirota family. They bowed and thanked their Lord for his kindness and when they had departed he continued on. "When the time comes we will use him and the others to be rid of Wrath Katayama once and for all. He's broken the rules of his exile, the penalty for which is death."