Black Winged Angel


"Hold them back! Hold them back at all costs!" the commanding angel shouted, barely heard above the tumultuous roar or the war. He joined the fray, his gleaming sword swinging up and down, slashing left and right, drawing demonic blood with each stroke. He flew up into the air and shook his head, the war looked to be hopeless, the demons kept coming no matter how many were killed and his army wouldn't be able to stand up to much anymore. He began to chant and waved his hands in a circular motion, he looked up and threw his fireball into the midst of a large scale melee, bowling back demons so that they ran around, screaming hysterically as they were consumed by the holy fire.

He looked again at the war taking place and again, shook his head. He landed and ordered his generals to hold them, "No matter what, don't let them take the castle! I have to send my family to another place!" He flew off, his loyalty for his family overwhelming his loyalty for his kingdom. As he ran towards the main gates, a demon jumped on his back, its claws dug into his back. He tripped forward and fell, several demons jumped over him and raced towards the castle, "NO!" He slashed back and cleaved the creature on his back and got up, he ran towards the castle, desperately shouting for his wife and children to get out. He halted at the entrance and sprinted up the wide marble stairs and across the richly carpeted hallway to the small room in which his family hid. The door was ajar, and as he reached it, he looked in and for a moment, everything seemed to freeze. He saw his family's corpses lying on the floor, their heads separate from their bodies. He fell to his knees, unable to move, unable to move his eyes even though he wished to, and unable to speak. Long minutes passed and he got up, he felt like he was waking up. His emotions went from sorrow to sadness... and then to a crimson rage that consumed his body and mind. He screamed, a long, wailing scream mixed with anger. He fell to his knees again, and then hands on the floor too, he vomited.

"Take the power... take your revenge!" a raspy voice, ethereal and soft, he looked up and saw a shadow, "wha...?"

"Come... take it..." this time the voice was more apparent, more commanding. His rage again rose, he stood up and looked at the shadow. "Why? Why do you want me to?"

"You want your revenge... and I want your soul... you have nothing to live for now! Your family is dead! Destroyed by those creatures out there... take the power of the infinite! All it will cost is your soul!" He hesitated, and then nodded, he touched the shadow. A pain such as no other shot through his body, making him curse loudly, it eased away and then, he felt something leaving him, a warmth leaving his body. He looked up again and saw the demons that had waged war on his kingdom for so long and shouted a battle cry, it came out at such a volume that he scared himself and gasped, he then realised what he now possessed, and grinned evilly.

Outside, the battle was at a climax, the blood of thousands spilled on the dusty landscape, the mutilated corpses of yet more on the ground. He flew out of the castle window and immediately fell to fighting with the opposition, fighting with reckless abandon, the pile of bodies piled up around him, his fury overwhelming, he cast spells of massive destruction so that even the other angels were sometimes hurt. From the distance, new demons appeared, crying lamentations and curses in unknown tongues. He looked at them for a few moments, and took flight, chanting, he finished and looked at the charging demons once more, and then snarled. He let loose the spell. The ground below the demons split open, wider and wider, until hellfire spouted out and licked at all standing precariously on the ledges, some fell in while others held on for dear life, their destructive tendencies lost in their instinct act of trying to survive. Then, huge pillars of fire spouted forth from the cracks in the earth, devouring the demons, drawing them into the hell from whence they came, and then the gaps in the earth closed again with an ear-shattering crash. The war was won, and the angels cheered heartily for their king, but he wasn't finished yet. Lost in his fury, he turned on his own army, throwing out fire and lightning till none lived, the few who managed to survive the initial blasts getting his sword in their backs.

He looked at the destruction that he had caused with grim satisfaction. Something inside him snapped and he gasped. What had he done? He looked around and a panic gripped him, "What!? What happened?" He realised, and slowly, he walked back to the castle, where the shadow stayed, waiting for him.

"So I take it you are happy?" the shadow whispered

"No, I wasn't thinking straight."

"Ah... well I am afraid there is nothing that I can do now." It laughed, a high pitched, evil laugh that rattled the air.

"NO! I want my soul back!"

"Well I am afraid that I simply cannot give it back!" it mocked. He was now simply too mad to take no for an answer and charged at the shadow, knocking it back, and making it take a humanoid form except red all over, with no gender, despite its masculine appearance. He lunged again and again, his mad fury reflected in the strength of his blows. The shadow staggered back with an amazed look on his face, "H... HOW! How is it possible?" It snarled, and then shook its head.

"Give it BACK!" The red figure spat on the ground,

"Fine, have it back... or at least what is left of it." It disappeared, a stream of light began to circle the angel and floated into him. He smiled, a grim, humourless smile.

A voice resounded in his mind, "But know this, you only have half of your soul back, the other half is lost forever and you will always have an extreme evil inside of you. As for the powers I granted you, keep them, they will haunt you instead of serving you, it looks like I have the final laugh..." the same high pitched laugh and then in a mocking tone, "farewell and fare you well!" The same laugh, getting softer and softer until it completely left his mind. He collapsed. Exhaustion both physical and mental overwhelming him.

* * *

He awoke... but who was he? He did not know anymore, not even his name. He got up, and looked around and caught a reflection of himself in the mirror. "What?" He looked again and saw that his wings, once the most brilliant pearly white, with soft, long feathers, were now black, a beautiful and deep black, his feathers looking like dagger blades. He flew out of the castle, without simple identity or inner peace. Memories of what he had done stayed with him… but his past did not.

With sword in hand and inner turmoil, he swore to fight the evil that plagued the land until his final breath. From now on, he would be called... the Black Winged Angel. Flying out towards the horizon, he took one last look at his once beautiful kingdom and without a second thought, set it on fire; a pyre to those who he would now leave behind forever.

Chapter I

The skies turned to a deep shade of grey, darkening in the horizon into the blackness of the impending night. The air turned heavy and humid, the sure signs of a storm, and sure enough, minutes later, a single thunderclap ripped the sky apart as thousands of thick droplets of water started to fall, hitting the thick, frozen late October ground.

A single shadow swept through the sky, startling low flying birds as he moved with an inhuman speed, his lips were parted in a scream that shook the land and sky with its piercing volume. He stopped and slowed down, swooping down and landing on one knee, his long, black hair covering his face, his features completely hidden. He stood up and with a single quick motion of his head, swept his back where it fell into long straight line. He didn't remember anything, not his name, his age, or even his past. He gasped for air, then turned his head up and screamed, long and loud again before finally relaxing himself on the ground. His eyes turned from the black pits that they were, into his normal brown colour. His features contorted in rage. He drew his sword and ran towards a nearby tree, slashing at the bark with his sharp blade, turning the tree into pulp and blocks of wood. He then flipped back and screamed a simple word, holding his hand outwards at it, making it explode into a fireball. His anger slightly diminished, he finally relaxed, and looked around. He felt like he was waking up for the first time, noticing his surroundings for the first time in months. He shook his head, the memories of what had happened still haunting him, most of his anger vented on the land around him so that he wouldn't hurt others.

At least I'm still thinking straight... He walked towards the horizon for several minutes, not really knowing what he was doing or where he was going. All he knew was that he needed to do something... anything. He stopped and looked around him again. As a way of relieving himself of what little was left of his anger, he simply obliterated a portion of the ground around him into oblivion. Satiated, he began to think clearly for the first time in years.

Well... what's done is done, but how I can accept that is beyond me. What did he say again? Only half my soul... If that means what I think it does, then I have but a portion of it.

He began to laugh, but it did not have the slightest hint of humour in it.

Well, my life is completely screwed... nothing to do, nothing to say. Heh... well at least I'm still alive. Now let's see, what should I do now?

He probed outwards for any signs of life and found, to his amusement, a small village a few hundred fathoms away, and promptly took flight for it. A few brief moments and a few flaps of his wings, and he was there. Scanning the place, he saw a small, humble village, but there was something, wrong... missing.

Where are all the people? He mused, even as he saw the slight movement in the corner of his eye. What the... He immediately drew his sword, years of training showing as it came out in a split second, and without thinking, he brought it down, stopping when he saw what it was. He saw a young girl of around sixteen. Obviously she has hoped to ambush him, but had failed, and now she stood in front of him, defiant, but with a hint of fear in her pretty blue eyes. He relaxed a little, ready for anything, and his eyes darted to the houses where several small holes had been made. Crossbows... The thought ran through him even as several noises signalled the release of the bolts. The girl ducked instinctively, and he moved, dodging two and slicing through another two. He weaved in and out of the barrage of missiles being shot at him, and finally, he brought his arms up to his sides and made a downwards slashing motion, erecting a wall of fire around him in a dome shape, the remaining bolts flying through it appeared on his side burnt pieces of wood and ash. He went into a fighting stance, holding his sword in both hands, legs wide on the ground for balance, he ran through his options even as several people charged out of the houses, screaming and waving their simple weapons; mostly plowshares, scythes, axes or whatever was handy. He shook his head, these people were afraid of something, and the way they are, they were prepared for an attack. They may be well organised, but they were only peasants, waving their plowshares around uselessly. He backed up slightly towards the outside of the village and as the onslaught began, he parried blows without thinking, deflected every slash, every shot that threatened to decapitate him. He did not, however, fight back, only knock some out with the handle of his sword. The attack weakened, some retreating, some out cold on the cold, hard ground, and some continued to fight, slashing blindly, all the while, he was passive, deflecting blows and then knocking them out. When the last of them lay on the ground, gently breathing, he sheathed his sword and held his arms in front of him, hands pointed slightly down, a universal sign of peace.

If I'm lucky, I won't have to KILL any of them... just hope they listen and don't do anything stupid.

"Alright, you've had your fun. Can I talk now?" His accent coming in southern, with the distinct tone of a fighter mingled in. Several doors opened, obviously the women stayed in whilst the men did the fighting, if you can call it that... The girl that had tried to ambush him earlier walked out, her mother calling for her to get back in, but being too afraid to go outside the sanctuary of her house, could only look on as she walked towards him.
"I am Kalise." She spoke clearly, and with a pleasant voice, "Tell me, who are you and why have you come to this place?" it was more of a demand than a question, one of which he mused over for a while, all the while staring into her eyes so that she shifted uncomfortably.

"My name... I can't tell you that one 'cos I don't really know... as to why I have come." He adopted a slightly amused expression, and actually smiled, "I don't know that one either, but I suppose I just thought it would be nice to have some company?" her eyes broke away from his gaze and she looked at his body, wandering towards his wings.

"You are an angel, correct?"

"Uh-huh." Heh, this girl's stubborn, I can see it from the way she talks... this could be interesting.

"But your wings are black?" A statement more than a question, and one at which his smile faded, and he lowered his eyes, then brought them back up and tilted his head slightly.

"The day grows dark and a storm thickens. Methinks that you should get your... men indoors before they catch a cold." But she stood her ground, an expression of half pity at the look in his eyes, but still defiant. She stood for long moments, and then looked around him to the pile of unconscious sprawled across the ground.

"You did not kill them, only knock them out, and yet, you could have taken on all of them and killed them all without any problems, is this just a ploy to employ our trust? Or are you serious in that you do not wish to harm us?"

"I never said anything about not harming anyone. I simply want a bed for the night and some food," he paused, "I've been through a lot recently." She nodded and turned round, her back turned to him, he moved, fast and silent, grabbing her by the neck, holding his sword at her throat, and a scream from her mother echoed in the dusk. He shook his head, "You're too trusting you know?" he laughed softly, "lucky for you, I really don't want to hurt anyone, but remember, never turn your back on anyone," he paused momentarily to turn around and knock out a brawny man who had decided to get up and try to attack, "or it could be the last thing you ever do." He let go of her, walking towards the centre of the village to where a pile of wood was set up inside a circle of small boulders. The villagers looked on in silent fear, some moving back and forth, dragging the bodies of the still out cold, and moaning men inside. He looked around with a superior amusement, and raised his hands, the wood bursting into a pyrotechnic display of colours and heat, "gather around everyone, do not fear, I wish to harm none of you," another wave of his hands and a great dome began to span out across the village, blocking out the rain and wind. Many men awoke, anger in their faces, the women hushing them and telling them what had happened. They all walked towards the fire and sat down, babies who cried were hushed at once, no one daring to even utter a single noise.

These people are too afraid of something... this could work to my advantage.

He sighed and started to speak, "I will now tell you all a story, it is a story of suffering and death, or war, and of how a good person, out of the stupidity of his thirst for revenge, lost everything." The flames danced, spelling out figures, angels in a furious battle against demons...