Awakening 1.2

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Hello and Goodbye

The air was still tense, eerily still, after the angel woman gave her command. My mouth was dry. I still couldn’t move. I couldn’t process what was going on. Our lives had been fairly normal up till now. We had never directly come across hallowed before, even while living in Ravensworth, a city that had one of the highest cape populations in the states.

Now, after somehow being able to avoid capes all that time, Tiffany and I found ourselves in the middle of an altercation between five of them.

This is insane!

Tiffany had gotten her bearings under control faster than I did.

“Valterian?” she asked, facing the angel leader. “Isn’t that like… Nexus?”

Hearing her calm voice caused me to ease up a bit. I glanced at her. “Valterian?” I asked.

“Yeah, you remember what we learned in history class? About the father of the Galaxia chick? He’s the only hero that’s not a hallowed, he came from a different planet or somethingI think it’s called…Valteria. He’s like an alien.”

Now that Tiffany mentioned it, I did recall Nexus being mentioned some point in Mr. Tate’s class. It must have been during our review on cape history. He was a popular hero, leader of the famous Omniversals. It was common knowledge that Nexus wasn’t from Earth but I wasn’t sure if we studied his place of origin in class. Tiffany must have learned that research on her own. She was a cape geek, even more so than I was.

The angel woman gave her a slight frown. “Although you are somewhat correct, Nexus and the other Valterians are not aliens in the way you think they are. Nexus isn’t the first or only Valterian to be on this planet either.”

So… were the group of angels also Valterians like the man lying on the ground?

“Now,” the angel woman said, breaking off her tangent. “It’s imperative that the two of you step away from that man. He’s a dangerous criminal wanted for acts of aggression against Arcadia and the Twelve Celestial Kingdoms— ”

Woah-whoa-whoa, What? Arcadia? The Twelve—muh-what?” Tiffany asked, voicing my questions for me. Confused as I was.

The angel woman made a sound of annoyance, surprised someone had the audacity to cut her off. I would have been annoyed too, cut off by a little brat who wouldn’t let me finish explaining something so important. “That’s none of your concern children.”

She turned to face her Arcadian subordinates. “Caphriel, Tartys—set up the transport barrier. Aleph, prepare to assist with barrier maintenance and stabilization.”

The Arcadian warriors gave quick acknowledgment of their leader’s command before they went to work.

“Please stand back,” Caphriel, the other female Arcadian said.

Tiffany and I backed away as the three other Arcadians approached. Caphriel and Tartys stood a few feet from the Valterian. Their bodies started to glow with a golden energy.

They erected a small transparent barrier around the body of the fallen Valterian while Aleph positioned himself closer to the glass bubble of energy. He touched the barrier with both arms extended. The barrier started to become less transparent; it was becoming solidified.

“Starting stabilization process,” Aleph said.

Before he could finish whatever he was doing, the atmosphere changed. The fallen Valterian’s eyes opened slightly. So he actually was alive. I almost doubted that, with the way he was bleeding and all.

The angel woman’s eyes widened, she noticed a little bit before I did. “Get back!” she yelled.

The fox Valterian crouched on all fours and let out a feral roar, his tails stretching and wreathing outward. The barrier shattered like glass, instantly. The force of his roar created a wind-like pressure—strong enough to blow us all backward. My head was spinning, my eardrums were being ripped apart.

My feet had left the ground. For a moment I was caught up in fear, wondering what happened. It was like we were caught in a freaking hurricane. I felt the blunt pain travel across my back as I hit the ground with a thud.

I was going to be feeling that in the morning.

I sat up, looking around for Tiffany. “Tiffany! Are you okay?”

I turned around to find her stirring a few feet away from me on the flat part of the asphalt. The fox guy was able to throw us out of the crater by just yelling? I stood up slowly and ran to my sister, favoring my left leg.

“…Mercy? What the hell is going on…?” she asked in a soft voice as I helped her up.

“Apparently, we’ve just found ourselves in the middle of a cape fight,” I said, glancing back at the Arcadian warriors readying their weapons at the fox Valterian.

“No kidding,” Tiffany said. She let out a whistle of admiration. “And that fox dude is packing.”

“Yeah—what…?” I asked, my question trailing off. Taking another look at the fox guy, I could feel my face start to heat up as I caught on to the double meaning of Tiffany’s words.

He was butt-naked and had no qualms about it, a cocky grin showing on his face. His wounds had stopped bleeding.

My eyes traveled downward toward his lower extremities.

He…was well endowed.

Tiffany laughed as she saw my mouth hanging open.

“He’s so big and cuddly, with those huge tails of his,” she said. “And gorgeous hair. A sexy body too. Just your type, right?”

Words were caught in my thought. “T-Tiff! Are you serious?”

Tiffany laughed again. “What? Am I lying?”

Really? At a time like this?”

I shook my head trying to focus and pay attention, attempting not to stare at the Valterian’s crotch. Yeah, he was pretty hot, but that was the last thing I cared about in this situation since both my sister and I could end up being killed!

“Why the hell haven’t we run away yet?” I asked Tiffany in a low voice. “We need to get out of here.”

Tiffany didn’t react. I didn’t know if it was because she was ignoring me or because she was too focused on naked-fox-guy swinging his business around.

The Valterian turned to face the angel leader. His smirk widened as he scoffed.

“You thought such a weak barrier could hold me, Shekhinah?”

Aleph tightened the grip on his twin blades. “His wounds have healed?”

Shekhinah held out her hand. Golden energy formed. She materialized an exotic looking lance. It was blood-red, with a small but lengthy blade at its tip. It was pretty as it was deadly.

“Do not be overwhelmed by fear, Aleph,” Shekhinah said. “He’s still damaged internally from all that fighting, no matter how much he tries to hide it. We can stop him. Take positions!”

Shekhinah took an attack stance. Her body in a form she must have perfected long ago. The other Arcadians followed suit. Caphriel, with a rapier in hand, stood by Shekhinah while Tartys and Aleph positioned themselves behind the Valterian.

I swallowed, rooted to where I stood. Things were about to get real.

“Hah—You’ve become quite ruthless Shekhinah, trying so hard to kill me. Did our break up scar you that badly? No?”

He gestured with his hands. “Or perhaps you’re desperate to prove that you haven’t betrayed your king? Hmm? Ace messenger of the Twelve Celestial Kingdoms—Loyal warrior of Kairanna?”

Well, that was a mouthful. The other Arcadians paused for a moment at his words. Their postures had changed slightly. It wasn’t too pronounced, I barely had time to notice before they hid their concern.

“The Valterian speaks lies,” Shekhinah said. “Do not listen to such nonsense. He is trying to break us apart. Poison our minds with deceit and doubt.”

The fox man tilted his head. “Is that really the case?”

“Yes!” Shekhinah hissed. “You are nothing but a liar, a manipulative scoundrel of the highest order—Kazuya, reprobate nine-tailed fox of the Fox clan! Even the Valterians saw fit to banish you!”

Kazuya shook his head, amused. “I see. Let me correct the faulty information that leaves you so clearly confused. I was not banished from Valteria, I simply left after a misunderstanding with Decimatus.”

Shekhinah gritted her teeth. “Misunderstanding is putting it lightly.”

Kazuya started to glow, a golden aura surrounding his body.

“Mmm,” he mumbled. His tails started to twist in the air. “You’re entitled to your opinion, my fair messenger. I must thank you for giving me enough time to replenish some of my vapor. It’s always a pleasure to reminisce.”

“What? Stop him!” Shekhinah ordered as Kazuya’s body started to shine a vibrant white, lighting up the night road even more.

“Woah…” I muttered, looking at the glowing nine-tailed fox.

“Yeah,” Tiffany agreed.

The Arcadians rushed to attack Kazuya but it was too late.

Brightness filled my vision.

Then all I could see was white.

Pure white.

My body had disappeared and I had found myself in a void of light. I felt like I was floating on thin air. An out of body experience. Like I was a ghost. Pretty freaky.

Within a moment the sensation passed.

Tiffany and I found ourselves lying on the cold grass in a tangled mess. Confused, we fought each other off for a couple of seconds – not realizing what just happened.

“Hey! Calm down it’s me!” Tiffany said after I gave her a good shove.

“Yeah, I know,” I replied with a smirk.

“You little bitch,” Tiffany said, enunciating each syllable slowly – grabbing hold of me like she thought I was irresistible. I pushed her off. We could play around later.

“Where are we?” I asked, looking around.

We stood the middle of a large field next to a walkway with park benches along the side. A bunch of trees were on both sides of the clearing. It was kind of hard to see since there was hardly any light but I could tell we were in a park of some sort.

“Maybe we’re in North Park?” Tiffany asked, glancing my way for confirmation.

“….Probably? How did we get here?”

“I don’t know. What makes you think I know?”

“I’m just asking, Tiff.”

“Well, I’m just not knowing the answer, Ems.”

I rolled my eyes. “Shut up.”

“That fox guy,” Tiffany said, “He must have done something. He was shining so brightly.”

I nodded. “And then we ended up here.”

I could hear the sound rustling of grass behind us. Tiffany and I turned around at once. Kazuya—the fox guy from before was following us, some of his tails trailing on the ground.

“My, my,” he said as he approached us. “I must really be on my last legs if I couldn’t concentrate well enough to bring only myself.”

Kazuya sighed. “Shekhinah, you really are quite tenacious.”

“W-what did you do to us?” I asked.

Kazuya focused his attention on me, his feral eyes looking me up and down. A chill ran down my spine. I was shaking. This guy was dangerous.

“Simple teleportation, my dear. I accidentally took you along for the ride. Nothing for you to worry your little cute head over.”

Teleportation?

“Wow,” Tiffany said after some silence. “So you’re a cape. Why are those angel people after you? They messed you up pretty good.”

Kazuya frowned. Yikes. Tiffany should have known better than to offend the crazy fox guy. “Do not compare me to humans, brat. Those four little cubs couldn’t harm me if their lives depended on it.”

Kazuya glanced upward toward the sky. “I had a small bout with the previous Valterian King and then ran into Corinath, that frustrating man.”

“Corinath?” I asked.

“The one who leads Arcadia,” he replied.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Kazuya was probably a very strong cape. I wasn’t sure if I actually believed the whole Valterian-alien thing but after seeing Kazuya here? This whole situation? Nothing was too outlandish anymore.

My mind was teeming with questions. Who were those guys? Who was Kazuya? Why haven’t we heard anything about them before now? Why wouldn’t Kazuya put on some damn pants?

Before Tiffany and I could say anything else. Kazuya looked pointedly toward his left, off in the distance.

“The Arcadians will be here soon,” he said.

“You mean those angel people from before?” Tiffany asked.

Kazuya ignored her. “No matter how much I would like to pretend, I don’t have enough strength to take them on right now. I pretty much used all of it getting us here.”

“Then, what are we going to do?” I asked, worried.

Kazuya looked at us thoughtfully. “Well, nothing my dear. I moved locations to simply buy time after all.”

“Buy time? How’s that going to work?”

“Well you see,” Kazuya said, “The Arcadians will come here and probably kill us all. Me and you by association.”

Kill us?

“B-but—” I stuttered.

“But we didn’t do anything!” Tiffany exclaimed.

“Ah, I know,” Kazuya said. “It’s truly unfortunate, but that’s how things are when it comes to them. They are rigid and bound by rules. Anyone who goes against the Arcadian kingdoms is treated like a heretic to be purged.”

Kazuya had moved closer to us. I had a bad feeling.

“They definitely wouldn’t let you live after you heard all that you did tonight,” Kazuya said. “And that’s a real shame since you both have so much vapor for human beings. Enough spirit energy that I could use it to fight them off.”

Kazuya’s eyes narrowed, his lips twisted into a wicked grin as he barred his teeth. “Perhaps I should do you girls a favor. Instead of having a wasted death, why don’t I eat you alive?”

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Awakening 1.1

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Two Girls, An Angel, and The Fox

I laid down on the bed with a thud, my mind in a daze. My head hurt, my brain was fuzzy and I couldn’t really think.

Did I throw up?

Broken images appeared in my mind. Images of young children playing together in an open field next to a giant castle. I was there with them in that clearing, running around—my long reddish-brown hair swaying in the wind, as happy as I could be.

A memory?

No that couldn’t be right. I must have been dreaming.

There were many of us, children that lived at the castle. The castle of the Dragon King. It was in the land of three suns. A world that had seven moons. A magical place full of mythical creatures, anthropomorphic beings, and even people.

Among those that had lived in the castle, my twin and I only had a few close friends. But they were the best in the world. There were nine of us, some children of royalty and some of the servants. Some were girls, some were boys. We’d practically spend every waking moment together.

The two older kids of the group—A girl that had teeth like a vampire and a boy with angel wings, would often watch us, at the request of the adults. To make sure we didn’t get into too much trouble.

I couldn’t remember their names, but I thought of them fondly.

Nothing could take the happiness that we shared away from us.

The lands outside were rampant with war and corruption, but we were kept safe by those castle walls.

More vivid images assaulted my mind. I could remember watching a child being dragged off to the dungeon with his family by guards for execution. His parents were convicted of treason. The King’s daughter, the princess, and I were distraught. But there was nothing we could do.

I remembered seeing people being slaughtered in the capital streets as enemy militia tried to lay siege to the castle. The fallout was terrible for both sides. Many dead bodies littered the city streets. Civilians were even caught in the crossfire.

After witnessing that, I wished for something to change. I wished for a better world. A place where people didn’t have to fight and die, like nothing. A place where people could always get their needs taken care of so war and destruction could be avoided.

I made a promise to my sister after that day.

I told Tiffany I’d do whatever I could to create that place.

That utopia.

The strange images left my mind, fading out slowly. I started to forget about the vivid memory-like dreams.

Coming to, I found myself back on the bed in a small room. I opened my eyes. My vision was still blurry and I couldn’t feel my face. A teenage boy hovered over top of me. He was holding down my arms above my head.

What was going on?

I knew who he was. Timothy. My ex-boyfriend. I looked around the small room glancing at the wall filled with movie and band posters. We were in his room.

I remembered.

He was throwing a house party at night after the school football game. His parents weren’t home for the weekend, so he’d have the huge house all to himself. Tiffany, her boyfriend Terra Eatos, and I decided to stop by on a whim. Somehow I had gotten myself into this mess.

I must have been drinking like an idiot.

Timothy leaned downward, his body pressing against mine. He smelled nice. His lips around my neck felt pleasant. But… something wasn’t right.

“What happened?” I asked in a slurred voice.

Timothy ignored my questions as he continued to feel me up.

A spark of fear started to travel down my spine. I shifted my body attempting to roll away from him. “Stop it,” I said, more urgently.

Timothy’s grip tightened holding me in place.

“Relax.”

I made a groan in complaint.

The smile on his face changed to a dissatisfied frown.

“Come on Mercy,” he urged. “You still like me don’t you?”

I was confused by his question. My head was still fuzzy. Didn’t he break up with me? I closed my eyes. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter was that I still had feelings for him.

“Y-yes,” I said, the words escaping my lips before I could hold them back.

Timothy smirked, pleased with my answer.

He proceeded to move his face downward in an attempt to kiss me. He immediately stopped as the door to his room was busted open. Tiffany quickly walked in with an angry expression on her face. Terra was not far behind.

Tiffany rocked the same low braided pigtail look I did, but wore a darker outfit compared to me, composed of a black off-shoulder tee and low cut pixie shorts. Terra wore a tight hoodie with jeans. Terra looked very feminine and his long brown hair did nothing to alleviate that fact. He was often mistaken for a girl before people heard him speak.

Timothy quickly stood up and backed away as my sister ran to me.

“What the fuck are you doing!?” she shouted, giving Timothy a glare that could kill.

“I was just—” Timothy started, trying to explain himself while approaching us.

“Terra!” she said.

Terra immediately moved to intercept Timothy, grabbing his arm to hold him back.

Timothy tsked. “Are you fucking serious?” he asked in a loud voice, clearly annoyed.

“Back off, and stop moving,” Terra said, holding a struggling Timothy from moving away. “This? What you’re doing here? It’s not cool.”

Timothy rolled his eyes, his lips widened into a smirk. “We were just having a little fun,” he said offhandedly.

Tiffany frowned and made a sound akin to a snarl. “Bullshit! You tried to fucking rape my sister!”

Timothy shook his head in exasperation. His body seemed tenser than a moment before. Terra still didn’t let him go, his silverish eyes were trained on him.

“What the hell are you even talking about? She agreed to come up here with me and one thing led to another,” Timothy said. “We wouldn’t even be in this position if she didn’t want it.”

“She’s fucking drunk, you fuckhead,” Tiffany said. “She’s practically passed out here!”

Tiffany shook her head. “I should have expected this from a fuckboy like you. I don’t know what Mercy sees in you.”

“Look alright, I’ll back off. We’re all pretty buzzed. A bad judgment call. I wasn’t thinking clearly.”

“No shit, rapist,” Tiffany muttered with a glare.

Oh fuck off, Tiffany,” Timothy said, his calm facade cracking. “Always starting some bullshit.”

“Believe me, I’m finishing it too.”

Timothy laughed. It didn’t sound nice. He glanced at Terra still keeping him away from us. Timothy finally shrugged off Terra’s hand. Terra must’ve loosened his grip.

“What?” Timothy asked. “You gonna fight me too, pretty boy?”

Terra gave him a look then shook his head. “Nah,” he said quietly.

Timothy chuckled. “Wow. Not gonna fight your girlfriend’s battles for once? I’m surprised. You’re not as whipped as I thought.”

Terra scoffed. “Anyone of us could kick your ass. Even Mercy when she gets better.”

Timothy frowned and gave him a sour look. “I’m sure,” he said dryly.

He shouldered past Terra, walking to the doorway of his room. Loud music could be heard blasting from downstairs as he creaked open the door. “You can let Mercy rest in my bed. I need to get back to the party before those guys run out of control. See you guys downstairs,” he paused. “Or not.”

He left.

Terra watched him go. A hard fist connected with his shoulder.

Terra flinched away from Tiffany after she hit him.

“Why didn’t you punch him?” she asked.

One side of Terra’s lips quirked upward. “I thought you were gonna do it.”

“Yeah, I would have if you did. We could have beaten him up together. It would be a good bonding experience for our relationship.”

Terra laughed.

There was a moment of silence as that look glanced at me in a pitiful semi-conscious state.

“I want to kill him,” Tiffany murmured. “I wanna fuck him up.”

“Things might end up pretty badly if we did do that to him,” Terra said. “Especially, in his own home.”

“Yeah. I know. I’m just venting.”

I stirred. Tiffany and Terra automatically focused their attention on me.

“…You guys,” I muttered.

“Hey there, Ems,” Tiffany said softly, cupping the side of my face with a warm hand. “How do you feel?”

oOo

We had left the party earlier, none of us wanting to spend more time at Timothy’s place. Terra had gone home, while Tiffany insisted we walk home alone since our house was pretty close by. We had to figure out a way to sneak in the house without our parents noticing. No big deal, right?

I rubbed my forehead with a hand as we walked down the empty sidewalk. It still hurt. I still had a throbbing headache. My sister had gently explained what happened. Thoughts of Timothy and my relationship with him came to the forefront of my mind.

Did he still have feelings for me? I thought he was trying to get with Ashley. It seemed like it from how he was flirting with her at the party, how he looked at me from across the room to make sure I could see him.

What he did—trying to force himself on me while I was out of it… I had felt violated.

It was stupid to let myself be so vulnerable around him, especially since I knew I hadn’t gotten over him. It was stupid for us to go to the house party in the first place.

“You alright?” Tiffany asks, pulling me out of my depressive thoughts.

I paused for a moment before shaking my head. “I’m fine.”

We continue to walk down the dark neighborhood street. “I hope Mom and Dad haven’t figured out we’ve been out the whole night.”

“You worry too much.”

“Really? You know how they’re always up late.”

“We’ll sneak in the same way we got out, through the basement cellar door. We can wait for them to go to sleep if they’re still bumbling around the living room.”

“And if they wake up while we’re going upstairs?”

Tiffany sighed in exasperation. “Don’t worry about it. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

“If you say so—”

My voice stopped abruptly as I saw a light flashing in the air. I gasped. A comet, bright and golden traveled through the air at an incomprehensible speed. Heading straight for us.

Before the ball of flame hit the ground, Tiffany had sense enough to pull me out of the way. We both hit the deck, trying to shield ourselves from the explosion as the fiery ball collided with the earth.

Silence.

I opened my eyes then looked at my sister lying on the grass next to me.

“Tiff—Are you alright!?” I asked, worried.

Tiffany got up sat up slowly, and I inwardly let out a sigh of relief. She wasn’t hurt.

“The fuck was that?” she asked, glancing at me before looking at the huge crater that appeared in the middle of the sidewalk.

I shook my head. I had no idea what happened.

Tiffany stood up and cautiously began the approach the crater full of white smoke, her low knee boots clacking against the pavement. I wanted to tell her to stay back, to tell her it was dangerous. But I knew Tiffany wouldn’t listen and curiosity had gotten the best of me as well. She always had a habit of dragging me along with her.

Our eyes widened as we stood on the edge of the hole in the ground. I recoiled backward in shock, while Tiffany stood still in amazement.

Someone was in there!

In the center of the crater was the naked body of a man, unconscious. A person with nine tails extruding from his lower back and fox-like ears on his head. His face was covered by his hair. Hair extravagantly long and thick that led all the way down his backside reaching his tails. He was bleeding profusely, but I couldn’t tell from where.

“…What the hell?” I whispered.

“Yeah.” Tiffany murmured in agreement.

Whoever this guy was—was he a hallowed? He wasn’t a normal human, that was for sure.

“Ems!”

Tiffany nudged my arm and pointed for me to look upward. I did as she directed, my eyes squinting at four balls of light heading our direction. The balls of light swiftly flew toward us as they grew in size.

It was then when I could see them clearly that I realized they were also capes like the fox-man laying on the ground by our feet. Hallowed that had actively used their powers in public.

The four glowing figures paused a few feet above us, floating in the air. They looked like angelic knights, two men, and two women. They each wore beautiful golden and silver armor. Three of them had pairs of metal protected golden wings and knight-like helmets. The one in front who I assumed was the leader had a pair of three wings and had two horns extending from her helmet on both sides. Her armor was completely golden. Futuristic visors had covered each of their faces.

Both Tiffany and I looked at them in awe.

The leader floated toward us. The visor around her face disappeared, her mask and helmet disintegrated into thin air—revealing inhuman golden eyes and long blonde hair.

“Step away from the Valterian,” the angel woman commanded.

I heard her and I was sure Tiffany did as well, but we couldn’t move. Our bodies were frozen with fear. I could feel the sweat roll down my neck as I faced the angel woman’s stern, judging gaze of contempt.

What in the world had we gotten ourselves into?

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