Gailsmith uses the last of his life force to lurch through a field of tall grass after a demanding duel with a cunning adversary. His body growing heavy, he falls to his knees. He catches himself by driving his rusty claymore into the ground as if its a pillar for his rotting soul. Gailsmiths eyes gaze into the crimson moon as the crimson moonlight falls onto everything below, casting a dreadful red tint onto a dreadful world. Blood drips through Gailsmiths armor, staining the ground more crimson than the crimson moon above. Gailsmith turns his arms with the last of his strength, his sword twisting into the ground like a key into a door of hope. A blue sigil on the claymore shines through the rust, contrasting with the hellish crimson moonlight. Blue astral energy flows out from the door of hopes orifice, the world itself shaking. A shake that would be felt across all the lands. And for those who know. The knowledgeable ones. They know that this was no earthquake.

”As I draw my final breath and cast a farewell to my comrades, the sovereign adopts his death sentence. ” Gailsmiths elderly voice says.

As the life leaves his body, his claymore as a pillar, a man walks up behind him. His golden armor radiates in the moonlight from above. He looks down on the man, a look of disgust on his face. His face holds perfection—the perfect face. Objectively, the most beautiful creature on earth. How could such a perfect face hold such contempt and negativity? He glares down at his ”adversary, ” and chuckles. The claymore feels weightless in his hand, him feeling no difference in weight between it and a feather. He drives the sword into the brittle and beaten corpse of his ”adversary. ” He lifts the sword out and repeatedly drives it back into the fresh corpse. Even after a dozen or so stabs, he is still dissatisfied with the act.

”Pitiful ant. ” He says.

Myleth mourns at his familys grave on a foggy night. Mother, Father, and brother. He stands there alone. He looks down at the makeshift gravemarkers for his family in disappointment, too poor to afford the luxury of tombstones. Even though he is a student, when he decides to show up, his pre-determined merchant job isn the most profitable. As in pre-determined, it refers to a job of the governments choosing. Myleth then looks to his left, studying a neighboring grave. He looks at the offerings left out, the usually hellish moonlight complementing the assortment of fruits. Myleth walks over to the fruit, picking up a strawberry. Even if for just that second, Myleth finds joy in taking something that isn his.

”Sharing is caring, ” Myleth says.

The thick blanket of fog grows thicker over the area, the makeshift tombstones becoming barely visible through the boundless sea of gray. He takes one last look at the graves before the fog grows too thick for one to see. His mood then drops back down, looking up into the sky. Myleths eyes gaze into the crimson moon as the crimson moonlight falls onto everything below, casting a dreadful red tint onto a dreadful world. He then thinks about the one who runs this government. The one who runs the machine. The man who manufactured this hell. His mind lingers on it with contempt, until it eventually begins to ache. He looks ahead once more, only one thing visible in the sea of gray. A golden glow radiating in the distance, illuminating through the fog. The glow slowly starts to draw near Myleth. As the glow grows closer, the headache glows stronger.

”A **ing…. No. What the hell are one of those doing here? What have I done to warrant punishment? ” Myleth thinks to himself as he stares at the glow. ”I haven done that much. There was the money I stole from the market on Tuesday. Also the gambling ring at school last week. Also the…yeah, I should get the hell out of here. ” Myleth thinks. Myleth turns around and starts walking away from the graveyard to avoid the confrontation. Myleth walks a few blocks away, the glow still following him through the fog. The streets are empty, even at night time. Hes alone with the sound of his feet as he trots along the stone-brick-laden road. As he trots, he bumps into a bulletin board. Just close enough to make out the contents of the papers on the board, he notices his face. ”Woah, I finally have a wanted poster! Thats kinda sick, Im gonna get all the chicks now… ” Myleth thinks to himself. Myleth further studies the contents of his poster, the contents being much more than gambling and petty theft.

The poster reads as follows:

Myleth West. Wanted for holding forbidden magic, stealing from the government, and suspected association with terrorist organizations.

”What the **! They definitely have the wrong guy! Ive done a lot, but terrorism? ” He thinks to himself. He begins to breathe heavily, almost losing his balance. As he tries to get a grasp of the situation, a hooded figure bolts to the street and grabs Myleth by the hand. Myleth doesn resist, anything being better than the glow in the fog. The glow that takes away those who
e disobedient. Those who rebel against the machine. The figure drags Myleth to a nearby abandoned apartment complex. A magic sigil on their black glove glows as the two phase through the front door of the complex like ghosts. They both stand in a compact lobby, looking to comfortably hold about six people. The walls are a weak-looking, broken-down wood. The floor isn much better off.

”What were you doing outside? Don you know they
e looking for you? ” a feminine voice asks. She takes off her hood. The hands owner is a dark-skinned woman in all black, looking to be nineteen with long curly hair as red as the crimson moon. A rose tattoo, the same color as her hair, stretches over her right eye. Below all of this lies a lip ring.

”I saw the glow before the wanted poster. They have the wrong guy. ” Myleth says. He begins to visually lose his cool. At the end of the day, he is just a kid. ”I mean, its all ludicrous. Im just seventeen. I don even know any terrori— ”

”Quiet down before someone hears us. Listen, Im sorry to tell you this, but the posters aren being falsely accused. Not entirely at least. You have been given forbidden magic. Whether you consider it a gift or curse, you need to use it to your advantage. Ive been in many situations like this. The worst thing you can do is panic. ” she says.

”Use it to our advantage? The hell is that supposed to mean? I don even know what magic you
e talking about. My sigil just lets me talk to animals, and last I checked that wasn entirely useful or forbidden. It was a hereditary sigil, and I haven killed anyone before. How would it be possible for me to obtain a sigil any other way? And aside from my sigil, the closest Ive ever met to a rebel were my parents and brother who were suspected of helping with supplies. ”

”Supplies? ”

”Laura and Janson West. They worked managing stock for the local warehouse. I don know if the allegations were true, but they were killed for it, along with my brother. ”

”Im sorry about that. They were helping us. They stayed loyal until the very end. ” she says.

”So you
e a terrorist? ” Myleth asks the woman.

”We prefer the term rebel, ” she says.

”So thats all they were. Brave rebels. Loyal soldiers, who died for a noble cause?! ”

”Your family weren the only ones who died that day! ” she shouts. ”Sorry. The rest of the rebellion is…the rest of the rebellion is gone. Im the sole survivor as far as I can tell. ”

Shock flashes across Myleths face. The womans eyes begin to water, but she quickly stops herself.

”Sorry. That was inconsiderate. I didn know. ”

”No, its fine. We don have the luxury of time to grieve over fallen comrades. That was a moment of weakness. Forgive me, leader. ”

”Leader? ” Myleth asks.

”Yes. Our leader, Gailsmith, had fallen in battle. I don know who killed him. Whether it was the sovereign or just a simple foot soldier who got lucky. The one who holds the sigil leads the rebellion. He once told me that he knew a spell that allowed him to pass on his sigil. He mustve spent his last moments doing it, because Ive tracked down the essence of his sigil to this location. To you. Im sure I wasn the only one who did. They
e coming to get you, Myleth. Not just the government. But all sorts of people who want to use the sigil for their own selfish devices. ” she says.

Myleth slowly backs away from the woman, taking a switchblade from his pocket.

”Its ok, Myleth. The thought has crossed my mind, but I would never kill an innocent child. ”

Myleth doesn know if its the genuineness in her voice, or the fact that someone is talking to him as if hes more than just your common thug, but he finds that he can trust her. He slowly lowers his guard, but still keeping the switchblade in hand.

”Why would he give me his abilities? There had to be someone more qualified than some high schooler. ” Myleth says.

”He told me he has no say. The inheritance is decided at random, so long as the person is morally similar to the original wielder. I knew Gailsmith well. You must be a great man. Im Crosith. I would be honored if you had me as your co-captain in the rebellion. ” She says.

Myleth begins to laugh, much to Crosiths offense.

”Is something wrong? ” she asks, her question drowned out by the laughter.

”You just lost all of your comrades and were lucky enough to walk away unscathed. In an all-out assault nonetheless. You think the second times a charm? ” he says, trying to suspend the laughter in his voice. A genuine smile stretches across his face. ”I mean. You can hurt him! Hes **ing — ”

Crosith launches her knee into his stomach. The impact is extremely painful. Its almost as if the leg isn made of flesh, but iron. Myleth falls to the ground, looking up at Crosith as he tries to catch his breath. Crosith then opens her cloak to Myleth. She slowly lifts the chainmail shirt that lies below the cloak, revealing a collection of scars across her torso.

”This tattoo on my eye. Its a magic tattoo. It alters my face to cover the scar. ” she says, a certain fragility and vulnerability in her voice. Myleth continues to look up to Crosith, simply at a loss of words. ”Myleth, you think you
e in this situation because you happened to get this sigil. Thats simply not true, Myleth. Ive lost many things in this vendetta. Much more than body parts. Some could say that I could quit this fight whenever and simply being alive today is a victory. But its not true. Ive lost too much to quit. Been put down for too long to just let him get away with it. You and I are the same, Myleth. Sigil or not, hes taken a lot from us. Hes beaten down on you for too long. Now, are you going to simply lie down and rot? Stay here until his machines find you or some asshole cuts your head clean off because its useful to them? Even if you get lucky, do you really want to spend the rest of your days as a thief in a system that hates you? Or are you going to do the smart thing, and fight? ” Myleth extends his hand out to Crosith, helping him up. Myleths headache returns as she grabs his hand. As she lifts, a sigil on her left glove glows. ”Dammit. One of them is nearby. ”

Crosith grabs him by the hand, the two phasing through a wall behind them. The two gaze into the room through a small hole in the wall. The front door is kicked down as a sense of dread befalls the room. A being stands in the doorway, obviously not human. Its skin is sculpted of an onyx-like texture, even its eyes sharing the same texture. The texture is hugged by a golden armor set, an even brighter golden aura radiating from it. The aura blinds Myleth for a few seconds. As his eyes manage to regain a sense of focus, he notices that it has a slightly visible white loincloth robe beneath the armor. And he didn notice it at first. Hell, he doesn know how he missed its most notable feature. Behind it were pure white, eagle-like wings. Wings whiter than anything Myleth had ever seen in his life. Not to mention that the aura covered these too.

”I ran into this one earlier. Its range of sensing life force is more hit or miss than most of them. You should be fine here. ” Crosith whispers. The being unsheathed its blade, unleashing hell on Myleths head from the overwhelming amount of pure energy that flows from the blade. The blade is crafted of a sort of steel, but the beings aura stretches onto the blade. The being takes slow, but loud, steps towards the wall that Myleth and Crosith hide behind. A blade bursts through the wall. The blade lay adjacent to Myleth and Crosith, the aura so close that it presses against them like a kiss of death. Crosith grins, infatuated with the adrenaline rush of rebellion. Shes staring down the barrel of the law, and she knows shell escape as she has many times before. She embraces the kiss. The being slides the blade out of the wall, trying again in another spot. The being misses, despite this attack being even closer. It tries again once more, failing to make contact with anything.

Crosith does a roll through the wall like a ghost. She pops up behind the being, unsheathing a dagger from her waist and stabbing the being in its lower back. The being takes a step forward, but the stun doesn even last a second. It unhesitantly takes the dagger out and flings it to the side like a paperclip, simultaneously using the other hand to sheathe its blade. It then turns around, backhanding Crosith in the mouth. The force of the smack is so great that her body ragdolls through the air. Blood flows from her mouth as a sigil glows on her lip ring. As the blood touches the lip ring, it solidifies into sharp shards. Crosiths body then comes back down, slamming through a table on the way. As she approaches the ground, a sigil on her boots glows red as bright as the beings aura. Crosith bounces off the ground as if it were a trampoline, the ground wobbling beneath her like one too. The wobble makes the being lose its balance. As she bounces off the ground, she does a flip onto a nearby wall. She bounces off the wall, launching herself at the being with incredible speed. On her way to the being, she manages to pick up a shard off the ground. Once she approaches the being, she swings the shard upwards, cutting the being across the chin. Once the shard makes contact, Crosith feels a force pushing into her stomach. More blood flows from her mouth, solidifying as it hits the ground. They kneel down on the ground, looking down on Crosith. They then pick her up by the neck with their left hand. Crosith can feel the beings hands crushing her neck as if her head were mere seconds from exploding.

Myleth watches from behind the wall. He contemplates what he should do in a moment like this. If he even can do anything in a moment like this. There isn a single animal nearby, and he doesn know how to call upon whatever power people are hunting him for. The headache grows to a peak, his mind feeling as if its going to break. Myleth is unable to recall if hes done a single noble thing in his life. In a world devoid of almost all joy and freedom, why would he even bother? He looks upon the beat-down body that lies on the other side of the wall. ”Shes my only shot at revenge. ” He thinks to himself. ”If she goes, Ill never be able to make him pay. Ill never be able to avenge them. Mom, Dad, Walter. ” Myleth thinks. His next thought hits him like a bullet, the strike more piercing than staring down the barrel of the laws gun. ”Do I want to **ing die here!? Die cowering in this corner!? Lie down and rot? Watch as my last chance to avenge them goes? I can betray them like that! Hes taken more than he deserves! ” he thinks. As his rage brews, the headache begins to fade away.

Crosith stares into its eyes, the empty eyes giving off the impression that the creature is soulless. Yet, she looks down at its lips. Its hard to tell from a distance, as the beings face is made of all of the same material, but its smiling. Its enjoying this. It was made to inflict this kind of pain on people, and enjoy doing so. That must be why the being has yet to use its sword and end this fight in seconds. Its playing with its food. The being cocks its right arm back, thrusting it forward and striking Crosith in the mouth. Without hesitation, as if it were an automated process, it strikes again in the exact same stiff way. The being continues to strike, waiting for the moment it senses that Crosiths life force has left her body. With each strike, blood flows from her mouth, solidifying and shattering as it contacts the ground.

Myleth bursts through the weak wall, broken wood flying throughout the room. Crosith attempts to shout something, but the grip on her throat doesn allow her to. Myleth leans down to pick up Crosiths discarded dagger. He slouches as he lifts himself back up, not once breaking eye contact with the barrel of the law. As the two make eye contact, the being takes its sword out with its free hand. It kisses Crosiths wrist with its blade. It slowly slides the blade up her arm and to its lips, kissing the bloody tip of the blade. It then drops Crosith to the ground as if its done playing with her. It has a new, fresh toy to break.

”Run. ” Crosith manages to let out in a weak voice.

”I refuse to die in cowardice, ” Myleth says, a smile on his face. Crosith manages to chuckle, Myleths words reminding her of Hailsmith. Her chuckle then turns into a cough.

Myleth bolts toward the being, its blade swinging up towards Myleths chest. The twos blades meet, Myleth using every ounce of his strength to hold the deadly blade away from his chest. Myleths blade travels up the beings blade creating sparks. These sparks fly up and clash with the ceiling fan above, lighting up the room. Myleth manages to drive his blade up the beings sword. Sparks dance as Myleth drives Crosiths dagger into the beings eyes. Pitch black blood flows from the barrel of the gun. The beings scream is disturbing. As if it wasn designed to scream in the first place. Unable to see or comprehend the pain its in, the being drops its sword and covers its eyes.

”Really. This is what stands in our way. Im disappointed, almost. ” Myleth says, smugly. Without too much delay, Myleth goes in to finish the being off. He swings his dagger at the beings throat, the being punches Myleth in the stomach before he can make contact. Myleth goes ragdolling through the room, breaking through a wall. He lands outside, his head ringing and mouth full of blood. Crosith attempts to lift herself up, but the being kicks her in the stomach. Myleth picks up his blade and stands up.

”Use your sigil! Use it and kill this fu— ”

The being stomps on Crosiths neck before another word can escape her mouth. Crosith attempts to channel his energy into the dagger, his attempt failing. He has yet to use the sigil after all. Not having the luxury of the time to ponder Crosiths advice, Myleth rushes back into the apartment. He swings his dagger at the beings right wing. The dagger gets close, but the being senses the attack and evades it. The smile on the beings face grows as proud as ever. Myleth, left completely open, is punched in the stomach. The exact spot on the stomach where the last punch landed. Myleth is sent flying from the impact. He attempts to use his feet to stop the slide, but he trips and falls on his back. His body slides against the hard wooden floor, the friction causing a burning sensation on the parts of his skin that were exposed.

Myleth gets back up as he coughs up blood, the being senses his stubbornness.

”Why do you refuse to stand down? ” the being asks.

Myleth spits blood onto the floor. He looks down at Crosiths body. A blue sigil glows through the blood on Myleths dagger. Blue astral energy flows from the sigil, dancing around the room as a mild earthquake starts. A man appears behind Myleth, a cold look on his face. The man wears all-black invulnerable armor, broken chains attached to the wrists that float in the air. Theres long black hair that flows from his head, almost as black as the invulnerable armor he wears. His hair doesn conform to the laws of gravity, it simply flows like theres wind pressing against it. All of these things are wrapped in a crimson red aura. Below this hair lies raven-like wings. Crosith looks at the man, a tear flowing from her eye.

The man looks into justices blind eyes, pointing its invulnerable claymore at the angel. The warrior hovers to the being at an inhuman speed, swinging its heavy red sword across the beings face. Before the being can register that the man is moving, the mans blade slides through the center portion of its face. A tremendous amount of pain rushes through the beings brain to the point of nearly exploding. The beings blood sprays out, blending in with the mans armor. The beings aura fades away as it falls to the ground, its garments stained by its own blood. Its face kisses the ground, the being spending its last moments drowning in its own blood.

The man fades away into thin air as Myleths sigil stops glowing. Myleth, feeling drained from the summoning, falls to a knee. The sigil on Crosiths right glove goes haywire.

”We need to get out of here, ” she says in a weak voice.

In his ivory tower, the one with a face of perfection stares down on the world. The almighty one stands in a room made of complete gold, the windows all stained glass depictions of his glory. He stands before a large window behind his throne. The window shows the earth itself. He looks down upon his creations with cold eyes.

”Pitiful ants. ” God says.

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