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The Black and White Angel By Lady Lilium Characters: 5527

Updated: 2018-07-14 19:06

Ena was the first to set foot on the light grey paving of the street, moving forwards quickly so that the others behind her might follow, she gazed in awe at what was before her.

Reuben, Lilith and Jaspin stepped out of the carriage, carrying nothing with them but the clothes they wore. Together they spared the briefest moment to gaze in wonder at the city before them. There was a wide road before them heading in a perfectly straight line to a large building many miles away at the very centre of the city. Its heart. A public building of composite where there were several hotels, gardens, a large museum, libraries, aquariums and almost anything one could think they might need, save for permanent living quarters and general shops. The building itself was a very strange design, not square like the rest of the buildings in the city around it, but curved. From a distance one might have said that it looked like a great seashell, and that its true home was at the bottom of the ocean, not here where so many people thrived.

'Well' Jaspin sighed taking a step forwards as their carriage behind them moved on so that the next could come. 'Let's explore the capital and see what it has to offer us.'

The four strange characters moved forwards down the perfectly straight road, sticking very close together so as not to lose one another. It was very crowded here, and they were forced to walk at a gentle pace. As Jaspin glanced to the side, he saw the Lilith was already making the most of this opportunity, as her hand slipped in and out of several pockets like she was a ghost.

He couldn't help but smile at this, looking ahead again at the strange building before them.

Either side of them on the great road, were several long and narrow fountains curved at the edges. Constantly spewing up water, they went as far as the eye could see, reaching to the very heart of the city itself where the great seashell did lie. Even from this distance Jaspin could see it, though he knew the fountains did not stop there, but continued inside the very building itself.

'This is a wonderful place!' Ena exclaimed, looking all around her excitedly. 'I've never been to such a place before. I'm having the time of my life!'

Reuben glanced at her, giving her a curious look, before breaking into a smile himself.

'She's right' he said. 'Who knows how long we have left on this earth now.' He grabbed Lilith and Jaspin either side of him, hugging them tightly to him. 'Lets us make the most of what we have while we still can. Look' he said tilting his head up to the dark sky above them. 'The people here are not fazed by the clouds. Let us not be either.'

'Alright' Jaspin relented, shoving him away in an affectionate manner as Reuben still hu

ng onto Lilith. 'What should we do?'

'Masquerade' Lilith said. 'Painted faces on parade.' She pointed to the great curved building before them. 'They hold a great celebration there. I know. I've been before, but not for many years.' She glanced back, casting a mischievous smile towards the others. 'I want to be there while they celebrate.'

Reuben glanced down at her, then to Jaspin who folded his arms, then at last to Ena.

'Well?' he said. 'What do you think?'

Ena only clapped her hands excitedly, squealing in delight.

'That settles it then' Reuben smirked, letting go of Lilith. 'To the seashell!'

It took a long time to walk to the building at the heart of the capital, not just because of the distance, but also because of the crowd, as they were forced to move slowly through the mass.

But when they finally reached their destination, they saw that it was worth the effort to get there. The entrance was a single colossal hall, and was designed inside with the same rounded and swirling features as the outside, and the building for the most part was pure white.

Ena was the first out of the group to step into the hall, spreading her arms out wide and stepping forwards as fireworks were released inside the very building itself. Masked figures dressed in skin-tight, brightly coloured clothes danced all around them, some with beaked masks, others with great plumes at the heads. Each different, each unique, but all beautiful. They hung from the ceiling on great ribbons made of silk, walked on stilts and danced in the fountains themselves amongst the brightly coloured koi that swam around their ankles.

Everyone was happy, everyone was smiling or dancing or drinking or enjoying themselves in some way.

'It's as if nothing is wrong' Jaspin mumbled in awe at this. 'It's as if…everything is normal once again, as if the sickness never existed.'

'It doesn't here' Lilith told him. 'The capital is one of the healthiest places to live and be, with the best medical care, the best food and drink. There is nowhere on earth that is safer.'

Jaspin turned to her, wearing a strange expression.

Lilith smiled at him, extending a hand to him.

'May we dance?' she asked him politely.

Jaspin frowned at her, smirking in amusement before submitting.

'It would be an honour' he said, taking her hand, '…my lady.'

He kissed the back of her hand, bowing to her, as Lilith curtsied in return. They disappeared into the crowd, Lilith holding onto Jaspin's arm, and Jaspin leading her with his hand resting upon hers, like a gentleman. They soon became enveloped in the flurry of dancing bodies, moving along to the music played by the small orchestra clearly visible on the balcony directly above their heads.

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