“The Destiny of the Warrior and a New Origin.
A new Step Ahead and Redemption.
The Past in the Past, Dark, Obscured.
The Present as a Portal to a different Future.”
- The Prophet of Truth
Alexis took a deep breath trying to distinguish between the mixture smells floating in the air. The silence surrounding him was absolute, too perfect, even taking into account the time and place.
Humidity, mold, melted wax, incense … an amalgam of sweet perfumes from different flowers, covering up an acre, decadent smell.
The Allegheny Cemetery was a net of narrow pathways surrounded by white tomb stones and elegant angelic statues. Here and there tall dark trees stood guard over what was left of those who had fallen into the slumber of eternal sleep, their contorted branches wavering lightly against the dark-gray sky.
The perfect place, he had to agree.
In there there wouldn’t be a lack of holes or shadows to be used as hiding places, and if it was rather quite during the day, that late at night there wasn’t a living soul in sight. Still, no place on Earth was as quiet as that cemetery. The absence of the smallest of noises was like an abnormal break on a continuous melody.
Inside him, however, beyond the surreal silence surrounding him, her heart kept beating. It had beat distressingly fast, for a few moments, but now it had gone back to a calmer, almost numb rhythm. Once more he tried to capture her thoughts, or at least a glimpse of what she saw and knew, but she remained closed to him and to the world, her mental defenses completely raised, which was a good sign on its own. It was another confirmation that she was still alive, conscious and strong enough to maintain her metal walls.
Alexis surrounded the statue of a praying angel, its gray stone face turned towards the dark night in a pleading posture, and dove into its shadow. He didn’t know where his adversaries were, or how many they would be, but he could easily find her blindfolded. It was as if part of her lived inside him and he couldn’t help wonder until when that effect would last. No that it were all that important, he forced himself to recall. If not that night, he’d end his existence the following one for sure.
His body automatically slid from shadow to shadow, a fast, fleeting image melting with the dark places that devoured shape and color, darker even than night itself. Heavily depending on his sense of smell and hearing abilities, he searched for almost undetectable waves, that change in the air density that pointed him towards the presence of others like him. Above all he needed to better understand the situation.
He knew he was unusually fast, even among others like him. Only Aaran had ever been able to beat him where speed was concerned. And so, even before he was completely present, his fingers were already around a young man’s throat who, panicking, didn’t even have the time to sound the alarm.
“Silence! Scream and I’ll make you swallow your tongue,” he threatened in a soft tone, empty of any emotion, and almost smiled in satisfaction as all color drained from his face. “Where’s Farran?” he demanded, wanting to get straight to business, and only then remembered that he wouldn’t get any answers if he kept squeezing the poor kid like that.
“Lord Farran isn’t in the country.” The young man stumbled nervously on his own words, and Alexis raised an eyebrow, watching him suspiciously.
“What do you mean, he’s not in the country? Who planned this farce, then?”
“Lord Cedrius is in command. We only follow his orders!” he argued in a useless attempt to save his own life and Alexis couldn’t help smiling ironically.
“Oh, well … that changes everything,” he replied, his self-confidence renewed, and before the other man could add anything else, he pressed the palm of his left hand against his chest. All he saw was a mix of terror and begging before what had once been a human form simply crumbled into a pile of black dust, lazily floating in the air until it fell at his feet. With a certain disgust he took a step back and dusted his boots. If part of him could understand, and even empathize, with beings like Farran and Cedrius that had just lived for far too long, youngsters like that one weren’t worthy of the slightest consideration. Because in the end all they wanted was to feel the rush behind the conquest, as they forced others to submit to their whims. They were completely empty of ideals or values. “It’s past time for a good cleansing, so that the dead may go back to their well deserved rest,” he muttered to himself and dove into another shadow.