Ruth was finally able to get back to the reef she was restoring before the chaos erupted. It seemed like it has been years since she has been to this reef. It appeared to be in the same state as before. It was still in need of nourishing, but it was nothing she couldn’t heal. It was a huge relief to get back to business as usual.
Ruth could finally clear her mind. Her entire world has changed since she mended the coral last. This was the first time Ruth was able to decompress since learning of the darkness. She and the other angels have been training to protect earth from the darkness’s evasion.
Before the incident at Lao-Yaina, a volcano controlled by Bezaleel, an evil servant of the dark, Ruth never seen any magic in this world other than that of the angels and their leader, Ki the Great Protector.
She and the other angels have been training for an inevitable war. It was a war Ruth never thought possible. What could rival the power of the angels? Surely, it was a power that did not originated from this world.
She did not know when she would have to fight, but Ruth felt like she could never truly be ready for combat despite the training Heracles will continue to give them. It is true, Ruth fought directly with Bezaleel, the First Dark One, long ago, but she had fought defensively, trying to protect the other angels. In that instance, Ruth had gotten lucky to use the one weakness to the dark ones power.
That weakness is fire. Heracles is teaching the angels how to use their control over fire to attack the darkness. Ruth was assured that a pillar of an orange-yellow fire would not work again.
The First Dark One had only begun to learn of his powers, and as a result he was weak. The minions of the darkness are sure to be too strong to be contained. More would be required next time. Traps would not be enough.
Heracles had already taught the angels an arsenal of fire-based attacks. All of these attacks involved creating a super hot blue flame. It is a fire with temperatures hotter than the surface of the sun. The high temperatures made the fire tricky to conjure and even harder to control.
The angels had all looked to Ruth to set an example because as the First Angel, she was more powerful than the others. The truth was she was one of the least successful. Ruth’s heart was not in the fight. She could not will the flames to create harm the way Heracles does.
Ki made him into an angel. His purpose was to protect the world by means of war. He was by far the most aggressive angel. Ruth did not like Heracles’ personality, but Ruth would never speak up against Ki’s decision.
Jacob showed a considerable amount of control over the hot flame. He was able to master the fire even more quickly than Heracles. Jacob’s skill came to no surprise. After all, he was the Second Angel to Ki and with that came extra strengths.
Ruth let her mind linger on Jacob for a while. The two of them have been through so much together in the past several thousand years. Still they continue to grow closer to each other. It was only before their training that Jacob kissed Ruth for the very first time.
Their relationship has never been romantic. It was different being an angel. They simply never thought of each other in that way, but Ruth was sure things would be different if they were human.
The last time Ruth visited this reef, she could never dream of a reason why she would give up protecting Earth to finish out her life as human. Now, the world was much more complicated. If the darkness was ever vanquished completely, Ruth wondered if she would still continue her sacred duties.
A part of her wanted to always be a protector of life, but a different part of her was warned down by immortality. Jacob had suggested that after the darkness was gone that the two of them should become human once more.
Ruth liked the idea of finishing her life with Jacob. He was her closest friend. Her existence would mean very little if Jacob weren’t there to share it with her. Her relationship with Jacob would be more romantic.
Ruth’s body was frozen at an age suitable for reproduction, although as angels, they are unable to create life. Ruth and Jacob could start a family together. Ruth wondered if Jacob would want that. In his past human life he grew old and gray before becoming immortal all to be with his family.
Would Jacob want another family? He had such a difficult time leaving them in the first place. Ruth had seen the longing in his eyes when he looked upon families even today. Yes, she thought, he would want another family. Ruth found that she wanted one too.
Ruth felt resolved. If the time ever came, after peace has fallen over this world, and if Jacob asked her to join him in death, Ruth would take his offer. Ruth would cease to be an angel, start a new family with Jacob, and they would leave this world together.
Ruth turned her attention to her reef. The color was returning to the corals. She used her powers to re-grow what was lost. The hundreds of fish that swam around her would be able to live off of this reef for a long time to come.
Ruth smiled as she looked down at her work. The sight was most beautiful, almost surreal. Dozens of different types of fish swam lazily through the renewed reef. Some were in school moving in spiraling circles. Others were picking food off the reef wherever they could find it.
There were so many colors among the fish and corals. The multiple colors went well with the turquoise blue of the ocean. Beyond the reef, Ruth could see a pod of dolphins resting as beams of light shot through the water from the midday sun.
It would be hard to leave the world she knew and loved. She would miss tending to all living things. Every living creature had its own beauty. Ruth cherished each and every one of them.
It would be a long time before Ruth would choose to leave this world. Until that day, Ruth made a vow to herself to enjoy life at its fullest.