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   Chapter 116 No.116

The Black and White Angel By Lady Lilium Characters: 4955

Updated: 2018-07-14 12:06


Days later, and they reached a temple in the mountains.

'Have you been here before?' Klesa asked Reuben as they stopped to rest.

He looked up. The two had grown close to one another in the short time they had been together, and now shared a bond. 'Yes' Reuben answered. 'This is the home of the false earth maiden, the one known as Freya.'

'And we're here to rescue the black and white angel called Jaspin?'

'Yes' Reuben said again. 'He is in danger.'

He rose to his feet, looking away.

'Stay here' he said to Klesa. 'I'll be back soon. Don't follow me. It's too dangerous for you.'

He left her there, hidden in the rocks with a little food he had stolen from a nearby village. She waited obediently, and Reuben went forwards, venturing tentatively into the holy temple, searching for Jaspin.

He found him, in a dark hall trapped underground, with only a small square of light shining on him from above.

Jaspin was kneeling and chained. His wings, which he could not at this time withdraw as they were damaged, had been pulled of all of their flight feathers.

Jaspin spoke then, and Reuben heard Lilith's name.

He moved closer, and Jaspin tensed.

'Who's there?' Jaspin's voice trembled as he spoke.

Reuben reached forwards, pulling the blindfold from him.

Jaspin blinked, lifting his head to Reuben, gasping in shock as he recognised him.

'…Reuben?'

Reuben raised his hands, drawing his hood slowly back.

'Hello Jaspin' he grumbled. 'My old friend.'

***************************

'We found you shortly after that' Jaspin finished. 'The three of us went to the town to find you.'

'But the girl' Lilith said. 'Klesa. Where is she?'

'Perhaps Reuben's gone back for her?' Aski suggested.

'Yes' Jaspin nodded. 'Those were my thoughts also.'

'But…' Lilith grasped the fallen leaves on the earth beside her. 'Surely that was not the right thing to do. Not now, not when we are still being hunted.'

'The girl is completely alone' Jaspin explained simply. 'Without Reuben, she would not survive on her own. It's dangerous for a girl so young to be alone. He feared for her when we left her behind, I could see it in his heart. He thought about her often.'

'He cares deeply for this girl then?' Lilith mumbled glancing up.

'Yes' Jaspin bowed his head. 'They've only known each other for a short time, but disaster brings people together. Do you remember' he said, 'ages ago, Reuben spoke of his past. After he wa

s cast down from heaven, he was reborn to a human mother whom he lost when he was young. He grew up in an orphanage after that.'

'Yes' Lilith mumbled. 'I remember him saying something like that.'

'As do I' Aski grumbled.

'He told me' Jaspin went on. 'One of the children he became close to was a young girl with blonde hair. He loved her like a sister…but in the end she succumbed to the sickness, along with all the other children. Only Reuben survived.'

'How?' Lilith asked. 'How do some people survive while others die?'

She thought then of the people in her life she had known that had died because of the sickness. First there was her sister, Claret? Was that her name? She couldn't remember. Then there was her husband, Walter, and the boy he cared for. Had he died? She couldn't even remember… Where there others? Had Martin the huntsman died, the man who used to teach Ben?

Lilith let out a deep sigh, rubbing her forehead with a palm as a sudden wave of misery closed in around her.

What am I doing with my life?

'We don't know' Jaspin said in response to her question. 'No one really knows what the sickness is or how it works. It could come from the air, the food we eat, the water we drink…from the very earth itself…we don't know, we've no idea…and because of this it makes the sickness all the more dangerous. None of us are safe.'

'And angels can get is too?' Lilith asked tentatively, reluctant to hear the answer.

'Yes' Jaspin answered glumly. 'Even angels succumb to it'

'And you?' Lilith asked, raising her head. 'Could you get it too?'

'My body is stronger. My resistance to the sickness is stronger than yours of that of the other angels. But I am not immune. It would take me longer to get infected by it, and even longer to die from it…but…in the end…I would eventually die from it.'

Lilith turned away from him, burying her face in her arms to hide her grief.

'Come on' Aski spoke up, rising to his feet. 'We should get moving. It would be dangerous to stay for too long here.'

The three of them made their way onwards, heading in no particular direction, only away from the cliff behind them, away from the town as far as they could go.

Jaspin and Reuben were strong, but in Ena's body, Lilith could not keep up with them. Her long pale green hair had come loose from the bun Aski had tied it in, the plate scruffy and dishevelled. And her skin, her face and over her body was still terribly bruised.

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