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Two Vengeful Warriors
I watched as she fell before me. Pain and understanding in her eyes. I couldn’t believe it, couldn’t believe what I had just done. I had killed her. No, the demon within me had killed her. My 18-year old sister was now dead...because I couldn’t keep control of that damned inner demon. I heard a howl of pain and rage in the distance. He was coming. Atalan was coming for me and he would kill me once he saw what I had done.
“I’m so sorry Ileera.” I whispered as I closed her eyes and, with her own blood, put the seal of safe passage on her forehead. I ran away after that.
It was so dark. Too much darkness. How long had I been out? Days? Weeks? I couldn’t remember. I vaguely remember Arkane’s voice. He was calming me. Said it was okay. Said it wasn’t my fault that Ileera was gone.
“My beloved Arkane, I’m sorry but it will never be okay.” I wanted to tell him, “He’ll come after me. He wants me dead.”
The demon fought me. He wanted control again. He always did. He wanted me to completely disappear so that my body could be his. I fought back, fought hard.
This is my body! I yelled, You won’t control me anymore!
Guess again child, the demon said as he faded away.
I drifted back into silence. My eyes wouldn’t open. I tried relentlessly to open them, tossing and turning. I felt a pain in my right arm and used that. I held onto that pain to help me awaken. I had to get out of this darkness!
The pain was becoming unbearable but I held on. It didn’t come from my arm. It came from my heart. Flashes of Ileera’s death ran through my mind. I saw her pure innocent smile, those beautiful blue eyes of hers, that long sandy blond hair. All of it was covered by blood. Her blood. For my sister would never fight back against me. Which just added to the pain I was already feeling.
I could hear swords clashing now. I could feel movement somewhere near me. Something was happening. Was Arkane training with my brothers again? No, it didn’t feel like that. It felt like something very wrong was happening.
You are very right, the demon said.
What do you know, I growled at him.
He’s come for you child, the demon laughed. His laughter echoing inside my mind.
I grasped tighter to the pain now. I didn’t want my friends to die protecting me. I could feel myself starting to return now. I could feel my spirit and body merging together again.
“Atalan turn back.” I heard Arkane tell him.
“Step aside Arkane. She needs to pay for what she’s done.” Atalan growled, rage so vivid that I didn’t even need to open my eyes to know it was there.
“Haven’t you shed enough blood?” Arkane hissed at him.
I heard their weapons clash again and I struggled against the last threads of darkness. I pushed harder and harder. I had to get out. I had to stop them!
Let me out! I howled.
You won’t win so easily, the demon said in that same cocky voice of his.
I ignored the demon this time. I reached, grasped, and held tight to the one thing that could save me. A light. The light of my little sister Ileera.
I know I don’t deserve forgiveness but please, sister, help me awaken. Let me stop them! I pleaded to her.
She can’t help you. We killed her remember? the demon mocked me.
Guess again, I told him right before I opened my eyes.
I almost wished I hadn’t opened my eyes though. I watched as Arkane fell to his knees between me and Atalan. His huge black wings were tattered and bloody, his tan skin covered in blood, and it was all thanks to Atalan. I wrapped my arms around Arkane, not wanting to believe what I was seeing.
“I’m so sorry. I should’ve woken sooner.” I whispered as I felt tears fall.
“Forgive him, Dreda. He isn’t in control.” Arkane whispered to me gently.
“I will.” I whispered back as I kissed Arkane’s lips and closed his eyes. I laid him down gently and, with his own blood, placed the seal for safe passage on his forehead.
I got to me feet now and stared down the man that I knew would probably be the end of me. Atalan’s dark eyes were fixed on me as if I were prey. I sure as hell felt like I was. All I could see in his eyes were rage and bloodlust. He wasn’t himself.
“I don’t want to fight you Atalan.” I told him truthfully.
He raised his swords and I pulled out my scimitars. I should’ve known talking wouldn’t work. Not with Atalan like he was right now. This was proof that the demon had been right. I wouldn’t win easily and that’s because Atalan was one of my closest friends.
“Time to sleep evil angel.” Atalan told me through gritted teeth.
“I shall not rest easy my friend.” I whispered to him, wishing he would hear me.
Atalan took a swing at me and I just barely blocked it. I felt blood trickle down my cheek and knew that his sword had nicked me. That wasn’t good. I jumped back before he could hit me again. I watched him now, cautiously.
He slashed at my arm and I almost dropped one of my scimitars. There was more blood but I was used to it. I’ve been in fights before now. Not something I’m proud of either.
I kept blocking or dodging for as long as I could. I had to stay alive and let him live. I had to keep my friend alive. I lost my footing on something and hit the ground. When I saw what I had tripped over, I felt like screaming. It was my brothers, Aden and Avin. They were only 13. Barely older than boys and they were now dead.
I felt it, and almost welcomed it, as I slipped into darkness again. I could hear the demon laughing inside my head. I don’t know how long it lasted. I came out of the darkness right as a sword went through my stomach. I saw my huge black fiery wings as my scimitar went through his heart.
“No! I...I didn’t want this!” I shouted through tears.
His eyes became clear as I fell to my knees before him. His rage was gone. I pulled out my scimitar and then his sword.
“I’m sorry Atalan. I didn’t want any of this.” I whispered as more tears fell.
He said nothing as he stared. I closed my eyes unwillingly as I started to see a light. It was Ileera! How was this possible?
“How? Am I dead?” I asked her.
“Yes, but you are also home.” Ileera told me.
“I killed him Ileera. I don’t deserve to come back home. The Sacred Grounds are no place for the likes of me.” I told her as I tried to wrap my head around all of this.
“Dreda, angel of darkness, you belong in the heavens.” Ileera told me as as pulled me into a hug.
I saw Arkane in the distance. He held our daughter Imma. Then, a little later, I felt Ileera turn me around to face Atalan. I stepped behind her and she laughed. It felt like I was in some kind of weird world. I mean why else would everyone be happy about me here while I was so confused by it.
“These are Sacred Grounds.” Atalan said calmly, “I call a truce.”
I stepped over to him and held out my hand cautiously, “Then a truce it shall be.”
He took my hand and shook it. I felt as if we were kids again, for just a moment. We then rejoined the other heavenly angels in these beautiful Sacred Grounds.