MoboReader> Fantasy > The Ones Who were Chosen

   Chapter 14 New World

The Ones Who were Chosen By Lady Lilium Characters: 35082

Updated: 2018-07-13 12:04


The days that followed were long and drawn out and empty. The sudden absence of the philosopher's stones left a gaping hole in the lives of the young guardians, and the elder guardians, the two of which had remained, were gone.

Having followed the philosopher's stones and the young guardians so closely and without rest for so many days, their absence, like the absence of the philosopher's stones, left a void.

After Ebony's death, Sian and her brother Kyle had gone away, returning to their own home in the town nearby, and Lucas became withdrawn. Like Diz who had suffered greatly, Lucas chose to spend most of his days now alone. He spoke little, and like Lauralie with Diz, Reuben found himself helpless, and unable to do anything to make him better.

Reuben spent most of his days of late wandering alone. Sometimes he would wander to the abandoned hotel on the edge of the town in the industrial estate, and remember the way things used to be. Lucas had warned him in the past that it was dangerous to go there alone, but after everything that had happened, Reuben doubted that there was much in this world that could frighten him. Not now.

He spent hours a day just sitting there inside the hotel, moving from one room to another. He would think of Drake, before his injury, before the day they had become friends with Venom, who had once been known as Jacob, and remember the days that they had had together. The day they had broken Drake out of collage and come to this place to practice their magic, trying their best to hide from Lauralie as she constantly sought them out. Back in the day before Lauralie had known the street dancing brothers, back in the day before Adrian and his family were killed, before Diz went silent. Back in the day when Drake was truly himself.

It seemed that Drake could not let go of what had happened to him. He left the town shortly after Ebony was killed, and moved to live with his girlfriend Eleanor, in the town next door, making Reuben feel even more that he was alone. Drake barely made contact with Reuben now. Venom too, had stayed away.

On one occasion, when Reuben was sitting in the old hotel, slumped against the wall, his mobile began to vibrate.

He pulled it out of his pocket, and answered it.

'I just needed someone to talk to.'

Reuben observed Sian closely. She would not look at him directly, but stared away towards the horizon from the harbour on which they stood.

'Things have been so strange lately' she continued, speaking to Reuben. 'I don't know what to feel anymore.'

She sighed, her shoulders sagged and she faced him at last.

'How is Lucas doing?'

'Not good' Reuben answered. 'I barely see him nowadays. He's become withdrawn; he barely speaks to me, and shuts himself away most of the time.'

'That's awful.'

Reuben nodded mournfully, trying not to show how much it hurt.

'He must have really cared about her' Sian went on.

'I guess he must have done' Reuben shrugged. 'I don't know when things changed.'

'I don't know where things went wrong' Sian corrected. She closed her eyes, tears falling quickly down her cheeks as she cried silently. 'He meant so much to me, but….I guess…it just wasn't meant to be.'

'Hey' Reuben smiled, moving closer to her and touching her shoulders.

She lifted her head up to him.

'Don't be sad' he told her confidently. 'Things will get better.'

'I hope they do' she whispered to him, her throat tight as he held her.

He smiled at her again, slowly and with warmth.

Sian lifted her hands between them, sending up before them a glowing pillar of light that sparkled and shone.

'It's so easy' she told him. 'Don't you think?'

'It is.'

'Have you been a guardian for long?'

'Yes' Reuben nodded. 'Lucas and I both.'

'He never told me.'

'He thought it best not to. He didn't know how he would have explained it.'

'Well now he doesn't have to.' She closed her hands together. 'I've been practicing my magic for a few days' she told him. 'There is a lot that I can do.'

She turned from him then, dancing her hands through the air and weaving over and over again great shapes of fire all around them.

'It's comes so naturally to me.'

'It does' Reuben agreed. 'Magic has been a part of me for so long now, I can't even imagine life without it.'

'I've noticed suddenly' Sian began changing the subject and casting her attention all around them, 'that since that day, I have not seen a single aberrant. Not one. I've not even heard a whisper, or any hint that they are still nearby.' She paused. 'I find that so strange.'

Reuben lifted his head, realising this for the first time. And he felt even more alone somehow.

'I feel there are still some things I can learn' Sian went on, glancing back at Reuben. 'Can you teach me?'

'Yes' he breathed, returning his attention to her. 'I can.'

She moved closer to him, leaning into him and wrapping her arms around him, resting her head against his chest.

'I want us to be friends' she told him. 'So much has happened lately, and I'm so confused about everything. I need someone, another guardian, to help me cope. Someone that I can talk to.'

'I understand.'

Sian backed away from him.

'I should be going now. Will I see you again soon?'

'Whenever you want' Reuben said. 'I will always be here.'

'Good.' She made to turn away, hesitating for a moment. 'Tell Lucas…' she fell silent in thought. 'Tell him…that I still care about him, and I that want him to be happy, no matter what happens. Can you tell him that?'

'I will.'

Sian marched away without a backwards glance.

Sometime later, Reuben returned home.

Lauralie knocked on the door hesitantly, and waited nervously for a response.

She fidgeted on the spot, tucking her hair behind her ears and rubbing her sweating palms against her jeans. Several agonising seconds later, the door was opened by an old lady.

'H-hello' Lauralie stammered.

'What do you want?' the old lady croaked.

'Is Diz there?' Lauralie asked hastily, before her nerves failed her.

'And who are you?' the hunched grey lady demanded.

'I'm his…friend' she finished shortly.

The old lady narrowed her eyes; then snapped the door shut.

Lauralie was taken aback, unsure of if the door would open again. She contemplated leaving for a moment, but then the door opened again, and Diz stood before her.

'Diz!' she cried, resisting the urge to jump up and down, so joyous was she to see him.

'You know this girl?' the old lady asked from behind Diz.

He gave a half glance back at her, nodding silently. He stepped outside, closing the door behind him.

'Oh Diz' Lauralie realised. 'Your hair. It's turning white.'

She could see from where she stood, white roots were growing through Diz's light brown hair, and his blonde highlights she had loved so much were no longer visible.

'So' Lauralie went on, when Diz stared blankly at her, saying nothing. 'You're staying with your grandparents.'

He gave a nod.

'Your grandmother seems nice.'

He tilted his head at her.

'Diz' Lauralie began, bowing her head. 'Listen. I just had to come to see you. I couldn't stay away. I've been so worried about you. I wanted to see how you are.'

He didn't answer, only stared at her, with his light blue eyes piercing into her.

'Diz' she went on. '…I love you….with all my heart, with all my soul, my very being.' She drew a shuddered breath. A tear trickled down her cheek, but she ignored it. 'I feel like I was put on this earth to love you, if you left, my world would crumple, please, stay with me, it's hard I know, but let's keep at it. I know things will get better.'

Diz still said nothing. He had not smiled since that day, not even to her.

'I know you're sad right now' Lauralie went on, 'I know you miss your family, and your brother…I miss him too. But….things will get better, I'll be here for you, if there's anything you need.'

She reached towards him, and stroked his hair back lovingly, then drew away, sighing.

'I wish none of this had ever happened' she stammered. 'I'm sorry' she said turning away. 'I've got to go.'

She ran from the house, no longer able to face him. No longer able to compose herself.

A short time later she ran into two of her friends, Christina and Alice.

'Lauralie what's the matter?' Christina asked in shock.

'Nothing' she sobbed, wiping the tears from her eyes.

'This doesn't look like nothing' Alice scolded, taking a pack of tissues from her bag and handing it to her.

'Thank you' Lauralie whimpered sadly.

'I've never seen you so sad' Christina told her. 'Something terrible must have happened.'

'Oh' Lauralie cried. 'I wish I could tell you. I wish you could understand.'

'We understand you' her friends argued together.

'Why would you think any different?' Alice frowned sternly.

'You've become so distanced from all of us lately' Christina told her.

'Ever since you first saw the street dancing brothers' Alice realised. 'Is this about them?'

Lauralie could not hold it back anymore. She burst into tears, bawling and crying hysterically. Her friends utterly bewildered tried desperately to comfort her.

But she was inconsolable.

It was dark inside the apartment when Reuben returned. Although it was broad daylight outside, all the curtains in the living room where shut, and not a single ray of light was allowed to enter the apartment.

Reuben closed the door behind him, and cast his sights down upon Lucas as he lay on the sofa. He had been here like this for several days now, almost in the same position. He rose only when he absolutely had to. He had barely eaten, and hadn't drunk a single thing besides alcohol for longer than was healthy. Bottles now littered the floor around him, and day by day as the hours wore on, Lucas was becoming sicker for it.

'DON'T!' Lucas cried suddenly in a panicked voice, alarming Reuben as he made his way towards the window, intending to open the curtains.

Reuben turned back to him silently.

'I don't want to see the light' Lucas whispered. 'It hurts my eyes.'

'What's happened to you?' Reuben asked. 'I've never seen you like this before.'

'……Regret…' Lucas mumbled, sitting back. 'I feel…' he croaked, his voice sounding as a rasp. 'Regret…' he finished. 'Ebony said that she loved me. I feel regret….that I did not tell her…that I loved her…'

'Surely she would have known' Reuben answered.

'The elder guardian…one of the ones that hunted her….he said that he played with her heart…that he made her love me.'

'And can you believe the word of such a man?'

Lucas didn't answer. He only stared vacantly upwards at the ceiling with a glazed expression. His black hair was greasy and unwashed, draped over his forehead and over his eyes.

'I don't know what to think anymore' Lucas told the room.

Reuben stayed a moment longer, unsure of what to do.

He moved back towards the front door, slipping through it and closing it after him, leaving Lucas to his grief and sorrow.

Reuben took his mobile from his pocket, and dialled a number.

'Reuben?' came Venom's worried voice on the other end of the line. 'What is it? Is everything alright?'

'Yeah everything's fine' Reuben answered quickly. 'Listen, I need a favour to ask. Can I stay with you for a few days? Lucas isn't doing well.'

'Sure' Venom replied. 'I'll meet you in town.'

'Thanks.'

It was many days later, that Lauralie was sitting alone in the park. With her knees up on the bench, she watched the large fountain before her raining water down in the pool below. The weeping willow above her swayed gently back and forth; the people walked by her along the gravel paths.

Lauralie sighed miserably. She reached into her pocket, pulling out a handful of seeds and throwing them at the ground for the hungry starlings and pigeons.

The birds picked eagerly for the seeds, fighting amongst each other. They scattered suddenly, and Lauralie looked up in surprise to see a figure approach her.

He stepped through the flock as they began to take wing, sitting beside her.

'Diz?' Lauralie asked tentatively.

He did not answer, but watched, as the birds returned to the ground to feed on the seeds once more.

Then, he reached into his own pocket, throwing out more seeds for them to eat.

A minute or so passed.

Once all the seeds he carried were gone, Diz reached into his other pocket. He brought out a single boiled sweet, and handed it to Lauralie.

Lauralie took it from him, and saw that is was orange like her hair.

The edges of her eyes crinkled in a smile, and she glanced up at him. Diz was looking back at her now.

He blinked several times, lips curling in a slight smile. Lauralie shuffled up to him, closing the gap on the bench between them. She didn't say anything, but leant into him, resting her head on his shoulder and holding him close, like she used to.

Reuben and Venom were wandering through the town together. They had been for the last few days trying to pick up the remnants of their old lives when they came across a figure that they did not expect. A person they thought they would never see again.

It was Siren, she was sitting on a wall, in a spot that suggested she had been waiting for them.

Reuben and Venom faltered at the sight of her, and Siren lifted her head towards them.

'Hello.'

'What are you doing here?' Reuben asked her. 'I thought the portals to the other world would be open now.'

'They are' Siren replied simply. 'I have been to the Ancient World, and come back.'

'Why?' Venom asked.

'I was looking for Indigo' Siren admitted. 'He is missing. I wanted to find one of you, to ask if you had seen him.'

The two exchanged a glance uncertainly.

'I've not see him' Venom said.

'Nor me' Reuben added.

'Oh' Siren sighed, 'I see.'

'I'm sure he's fine' Venom said dismissively. 'He is a guardian after all.'

'It's strange' Siren said, talking to her hands. 'The truth is…he never left this world, at least not as far as I understand. He said that he would be following me to the Ancient World shortly, but he never came, and I haven't seen him since. I was getting worried.'

'Where do you suppose he's gone?' Reuben asked her.

'I don't know.'

'You don't suppose the other elder guardians have anything to do with his disappearance do you?' Reuben asked her tentatively.

'You mean Lagoon? The one who began the hunt for the philosophers stones? No. I have a feeling that he left of his own free will.'

'What will happen now that he has them?' Venom asked, referring to Lagoon.

'I'd hate the think' Siren muttered under her breath. 'I'm sure we will find out…in days to come.'

'So who exactly is this Lagoon?' Venom asked her. 'And why does he want the stones so badly?'

'I know it's hard to believe' Siren began, 'but he used to be a good friend of ours, years ago. He was once Shire's lover.'

'Your mother?' Reuben raised an eyebrow.

'Yes' Siren nodded. 'But thankfully he's not my father.' She paused. 'Lagoon. It was the name he adopted once he became a guardian. He hasn't been a guardian for that long, yet his ambitions have become great.' She played absentmindedly with her blue hair as she spoke, twirling it between her fingers. 'He was even good to me…back in the day. But one day my mother left him. She didn't like the way he thought, the way he always sought power. Since that day he's been our enemy, seeking, always seeking more power, with his brilliant mind.'

'That's why he won't fight' Venom realised. 'Why he doesn't want to face you, why he always sent those creatures to do his bidding.'

'A theory shared by Indigo' Siren shrugged. 'He claims it was Lagoon's broken heart that turned him into the monster he's become. But we will never know for sure.'

'So why did you come back here?' Venom asked her. 'It can't just be to ask us where Indigo is. Why did you come all this way?'

'You're a smart one' she teased, tapping the end of her nose. 'The truth is' she spoke, sliding off the wall, 'I wanted to show you something.' She moved away from them, indicating for them to follow. 'Come with me' she said, 'and I will give you possibility.'

Lucas opened the curtains, seeing a glowing golden sunrise outside and beyond. The sky was gloriously bright like a honey glaze, and for the briefest of moments, Lucas felt a trickle of his old self, returning to him. A memory came to him.

'Lucas. You're up early.'

Lucas spotted Ebony behind him. She was dressed in her typical blacks, winking at him with her hazel eyes. Sitting upon her shoulder, was Pokie, glaring at him as usual.

'Reuben's not up yet' Lucas told her.

'Oh?' she said teasingly.

A sly smirk crossed his face. He strode up to her, taking her in his arms and kissing her deeply.

She broke away from him, giggling shyly and hunching her shoulders, cheeks blushing.

'Oh Lucas' she said touching her fingertips to her mouth. 'You're so daring. Are you sure your brother doesn't know?'

'If he did, he would have said so by now' Lucas reassured her.

She giggled again, poking the end of his nose, before kissing him again. He winced suddenly as she touched his waist.

'Sorry!' she worried. 'Does it still hurt?'

'A little' Lucas smiled awkwardly, placing a gentle hand on his own waist where the bandage still was. 'The aberrant did a good job, but he didn't have enough magic to fully h

eal me. It's still a little tender.'

'I'm sorry' she said again.

'Don't worry about it' Lucas said relaxing.

She beamed at him. 'I'm so glad we met. How did I ever go so lucky?'

She pulled him towards her, walking backwards. She stumbled suddenly, her wrist jerked backwards as something caught her, tying her arm to the leg of the coffee table.

'What's this?' she exclaimed.

It looked like a piece of scrap metal sitting on the floor, shaped like a burnt piece of paper that had curled and scrunched up in a fire. From it came many thin wires that bound her in place to the coffee table.

'Sorry' Lucas fumbled, quickly rushing to untie her. 'It must have dropped out my pocket. I haven't had a chance to properly test it yet.'

'You carry those things around with you?' she asked sceptically, straightening up and rubbing her wrist where it had caught her. She watched as Lucas returned the device to his pocket.

'Hey' he waved a finger at her. 'You never know when you might need them.'

Lucas' expression turned serious then.

'Reuben's coming.'

Ebony gasped, she hurried to pick up a magazine, seating herself in a recline position on the sofa, as if she'd been there for ages, Pokie sat on her lap. Lucas wandered over towards the kitchen, and began to cook breakfast, just as Reuben entered the room.

'Morning' Ebony said casually without looking up, flicking through the magazine.

Lucas returned to the living room, holding a pan of eggs he was about to cook. 'How does your arm feel today?' he asked his brother.

Reuben lifted his cast that went up past his elbow. 'It feels good' Reuben said. 'Hopefully I can have it off soon.'

Ebony and Lucas shot a sly glance to each other; Reuben was completely oblivious to anything going on.

Lucas' mobile began to buzz then, and Lucas read the text. It was from Sian.

When are you coming to see me?

Lucas began to text a response.

I told you, we're finished. What does it have to take for you to get this?

The response came quickly.

I don't belive you. Your upto something

Lucas heaved a sigh, closing the mobile and putting it back into his pocket.

'Lucas?' Ebony's voice was uncertain. 'Is everything alright?'

'Everything's fine' he told her. 'There's nothing to worry about.'

Lucas watched the golden sunrise, opening the curtains further as a thought slowly dawned on him.

'Ebony would have come to love you in time, had I not played with her heart.'

'He was lying' Lucas spoke aloud, remembering Lagoon's last words to him. 'You didn't know of her by that time.'

He realised suddenly that he was alone in the apartment, realised that he had not seen Reuben for many days now.

Lucas opened the window, calling forth his wings, intending to search for him by air. He felt out of balance suddenly. Glancing over his shoulder, he remembered why.

His right wing, now only a stump at the joint had healed well. But he would not be able to fly again, not like this. Lucas felt sadness as he realised this.

His wings withdrew into his back, and Lucas headed for the door instead.

He would have to find his brother on foot.

Far away, in the neighbouring town, was a man, or to be more precise, a guardian. Walking with purpose, he strode beside the rails at the edge of the harbour. The wind whipped his black rooted, fiery red hair, and he scanned his surroundings with his pea-green eyes.

In the great river beside him, small ferries channelled people from one side of the river to the other, and the old navy ships with their huge masts rocked gently in the rippling waters.

Indigo passed a statue of an old man leaning forwards on a rope, ringing a bell that was on top of the rope. Sitting at the foot of the statue upon its steps, was a young man with one arm. Drake watched as Indigo marched on, sparing him only a brief glance. Drake did not care why he was there; he had left that life of violence behind. He ignored him, speaking again to his girlfriend Eleanor who sat by his side, trying to forget the trauma of his past.

He would never go back.

Indigo kept searching, until he found what he was looking for, a young man, by the name of Kyle.

'I have come to know you. I have been watching you for a while now, and I have chosen you.'

'Chosen me?' Kyle responded, seeing Indigo for the first time. 'Chosen me for what?'

'You're a fighter' Indigo continued, 'you're strong…never mind' he waved away. 'I will give you a choice. Do you want to discover a whole new world of possibility and power, and to be just like your sister? Do you want to become strong, and do great things? And if you say yes to me now, remember your life will be changed forever. You can never go back.'

Kyle didn't even hesitate. His answer came quickly, and with surety.

'Yes' he told Indigo. 'I want to change. I want to become better than what I am. I want to go where my sister goes. I care for her very much.'

A slow gleam passed over Indigo, and he felt elated, bowing his head at the young man.

'You are so much like your sister' he told him. 'I know I am making the right choice. 'One day, you will travel to the Ancient World, and inherit my name.'

Indigo touched Kyle at the chest.

Kyle felt a shooting sensation through his body, like an electric shock, then a great pain. And then, a sudden feeling of power and liberation, as his body felt strong, felt truly alive like it never had before.

'Goodbye Kyle' Indigo said slipping away from him. 'We will not meet again.'

Indigo would leave his old life he had lived in the Ancient World behind him. He would spend the rest of his days travelling in the Modern World, as a normal man. Siren nor anyone else would ever know what had happened to him. His disappearance would remain a mystery forever. He could not go back to the way things had been, not ever. He could not forgive himself, nor get rid of the guilt. The guilt he felt every day, for failing to save both Crystal and Ebony. He felt no longer worthy to call himself a guardian, and so, he called himself Vagrant.

'What is this?' Venom asked.

'A doorway' Siren cast her hands out towards the portal before her, 'to the Ancient World. It's open for you. You only have to step through. Let me lead you to places unknown.'

'Are we really ready for this?' Reuben voiced his concerns. 'I couldn't leave my brother behind.'

'You don't have you' came another voice.

Siren, Venom and Reuben glanced around, seeing Lucas standing there. In the days he had been away, his black hair had grown longer, and now hung across and face and over his forehead, shading his blue eyes.

'Lucas?' his brother asked. 'How did you find us?'

'Lucky guess' he shrugged.

Lucas observed the open portal before them, its white light shining brightly, even in the midday sun.

'I want to leave this place' Lucas said, 'and travel to places new. I want to explore other worlds, just like I dreamed of when I was young.'

'Just like we dreamed of' Reuben corrected, moving to stand beside his brother. 'There's nothing left for us here' he continued. 'Perhaps it's time for both of us to move on.'

'I will meet you on the other side then' Siren beamed at them, before stepping through the portal herself.

Venom followed swiftly after. Reuben and Lucas held back.

'Are you alright?' Reuben asked his brother. 'You seem….different.'

'So do you' Lucas retorted. 'So much has happened to us lately. It's impossible for it not to have changed us.'

'What's that you've got there?' Reuben asked, as he noticed his brother pat something in his pocket.

Lucas first was careful to make sure that nobody in the streets were paying attention to him, he then reached for the item, bringing it out for his brother to see.

It was a jagged stone, shining brightly in the sunlight, a shade of pretty pink.

'What's that?' Reuben asked.

'It's a philosopher's stone' Lucas answered. 'The last memory I have of Ebony.'

'What? But how? I thought the elder guardians took both of them?'

'So did I' Lucas agreed. 'I don't understand it myself. I think perhaps Ebony performed a spell before she died. That she created another. The one they took is a fake.'

'How do you know?' Reuben asked.

Lucas shrugged.

'I just know' he said. 'This is the real one.'

The brothers stood side by side before the portal. A dragonfly darted above their heads as they prepared to step through.

'Are you ready?' Lucas asked his brother teasingly.

'Are you?' Reuben joked back.

Lucas smirked at him, and side by side, they crossed the threshold.

Lucas was blinded by the white light, then everything went dark, and his stomach lurched. He felt the sensation of being on a rollercoaster, travelling faster and faster. His stomach was so tight that it became almost unbearable. His eyes watered, and he saw white flashes shooting past him that might have been stars. But soon enough his feet touched ground again, and he stumbled forwards.

Lucas gathered himself, straightening up. He opened his eyes and gasped.

They were in a place completely new, no longer surrounded by concrete and bricks. Around them now were huge open plains of grassland. Large sections of woodlands grew in the distance, and even further away were giant mountains that towered over the rest of this world. The air felt fresh and clean, and Lucas smelt the scent of sea air nearby, noticing at the same time that the sun was in a different position in the sky, noticing also that it was warmer here.

Before them, built against the coastline on the edge of the grasslands, was a great city made of stone. From where they stood, Lucas could see many turrets and towers of varying shape and height lifting from the buildings, and dotted here and there were banners and flags.

Reuben cried out in surprise beside him. Glancing over to him, Lucas could see Reuben staring at his hands in bewilderment. Great markings had appeared on his flesh, tribal markings that covered the back of his hands and were growing slowly up his forearms. Lucas lifted his own hands, to see that the same was happening to him

'Your full powers have been brought alive' Siren replied calmly, 'by coming here. This is a magical world, unlike the one you've come from.'

Venom stared in amazement at the transformation, suddenly voicing a thought.

'What about Lauralie and the others?'

'The others are free to follow you' Siren said to him, 'when they're ready.'

Lucas sensed something then. Closing his eyes tight shut he saw a brief but vivid image flash through his mind.

Another world. A third world.

It was cold, the grass was frosted and the clouds were dark. There were no birds here, and the rivers and the seas were frozen. And somewhere off in the distance, set at the base of a rocky cliff, was a temple of pure white.

Lucas grimaced, his brow creased as he felt a great presence from within the temple itself, a presence that reached out to him.

'Father….?'

Epilogue

Many years later in the Ancient World

People were screaming, fleeing in a blind panic from the soldiers who were sparing no-one. The city was in complete chaos, the cries of the dead and dying were too much to bear; some of the soldiers even took their own lives out of despair of what was being done. Women and children lay dead in the streets along with the men, young and old.

No-one was spared.

The man tripped and stumbled forwards as an explosion went off near him, falling hard he cut his chin badly as debris rained down on him. Turning over he fumbled to push the remains of the broken house off him. The wall had collapsed, and the wooden beams that once held up the rooms had fallen on him, and it took him a great effort to break free again.

There was a whirring in his ears, his head was swimming and his hearing was as if he was underwater. The sound of murder was deafening to only a serious of echoing moans and slices in his head. Blood now paved the streets.

The man froze as he was caught in someone's eyes. The body of the child not yet reached ten lay splayed on the ground near his mother. Eyes open yet unseeing, and wide, as if he knew the man was there. But he was dead.

The man panicked, his fear rising again. He crawled up the mountain of the crumbled house, debris and dust falling from his clothes like snow.

He reached a courtyard. The scene of his death.

'Here he is! We've got another one!'

The man spun round. The soldiers were all heavily armoured and wore helmets so that nobody could see their faces, the faces of the men who had done all these terrible things, following only their commands.

They began to advance on him, drawing closer together as they did in a half-circle, backing him against the wall. The man quickly searched himself, and drew out a broken knife, the blade he remembered had snapped earlier in a fight.

He gave a choked sob, throwing the thing to the ground. Dripping with sweat, he was beaten, bruised, bloodied, and now he was cornered too.

'That's it!' he cried, voice breaking, lifting his hands to show himself defenceless. 'You've won!'

One of the soldiers moved nearer with his sword raised.

'I did not think the king would resort to such measures…' the man whispered to himself.

He took an item out of his pocket, now it was the only thing he carried.

The stone, small enough to fit in the palm of his hand, was completely clear like glass. Once it had been bright pink.

'The magic…has failed me…'

The soldier swung his weapon. The man, completely defenceless crumpled, falling forwards and bleeding out. The stone fell from his hand and skidded across the floor, it shattered into many tiny pieces under the foot of one of the soldiers as they surrounded him.

Sword arms now relaxed they loomed over him like ghosts, watching him die. The man's fingers twitched; and he stared up at the philosophers stone, shattered and swimming in his own seeping blood.

It took him seconds to die.

He changed form suddenly, from the man he was impersonating and to the man he truly was. His hair turned white, streaked with blue, and his eyes returned to their original shining colour of yellow.

'Lagoon' one of the soldiers spoke, 'we've got you…at last.'

'Call off the attack' the General ordered, 'inform the soldiers that we have him.'

'It's too late sir' a third soldier answered. 'The city is gone, there must be only a handful of people left, they will be dead soon.'

The soldiers bowed their head to the dead guardian at their feet, never removing their helmets.

'Lagoon' the General spoke. 'You have caused enough death and destruction in your life. Today was your final act. No more will you live to harm.'

'Flight? What's wrong?'

The guardian sat at the table, holding his furrowed brow in both hands.

'The voices' he groaned. 'I can hear them screaming….souls….many people are dying.'

The guardian Indigo, once known as Kyle approached him, placing a hand on Flight's shoulder. 'There is nothing you can do to help them.'

'I feel my time is coming soon' the guardian Flight answered lifting his head. 'I feel I am not long for this world.'

Flight brushed his blue hair out of his face, and fiddled with his blue feather earring. Something he always did when he worried.

'Come friend' Indigo said to him. 'We have work to do.'

Flight rose from his seat, lifting the sword from the table and pushing it into his belt. He walked with Indigo out of the room.

In the third world

'Lucas stop this! You are not yourself.'

'It's mine' Lucas shot back. 'I will have it for myself.'

Reuben didn't answer; he simply looked past the end of the sword at his brother.

'Don't do this.'

Lucas lowered the sword; he twirled it once and stuck it in the holder on his back.

'Do not try to follow me, if you pursue this…'

'Are you going to hurt me…?' Reuben asked tentatively.

Lucas shot a glare back at his brother, a snarl curling the edge of his lips.

'Just stay out of this!'

He took off, soaring through the sky. His damaged wing he had repaired. The piece that had been torn off was now replaced with metal.

'Lucas…' Reuben sighed after his brother, heart drowning in sadness. 'You really have changed.'

'He will never been the same again.'

Reuben bowed his head, his attention drifting towards the female that had spoken.

She had naked red skin, like freshly spilt blood, and was at least a head taller than him, with bright red hair that reached the bottom of her back.

An aberrant.

'The Red Messenger' Reuben said as he recognised her. 'I've heard of you.'

'My name is Fay' she introduced turning to him. 'And I will play my part.'

They looked together towards the horizon, and at the shrinking dot that was Lucas.

'A new story is beginning' the aberrant Fay said to Reuben. 'I can't wait to see how it ends.'

She strode away from him then, stepping through the frosty grass and towards the portal that led back into the Ancient World. Reuben spared one last glance briefly towards the white temple which sat at the base of a rocky cliff, before turning his back.

Lucas, my brother he thought. I hope the messenger is wrong about you…I hope you have not truly changed.

He walked away, following the red aberrant through the portal, and back to his home.

Back to the Ancient World.

The story continues in Angel of Stone

142 | Page

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