Before the Fall

Fanfiction of When the World Falls to Darkness by DragonSoulJess.

The fall has begun. alliances are being formed, and guardians are being rounded up. In a small outpost called Ryoko, a small number of guardians still fight for their freedom.

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13. Prisoner

 

    Miel woke tied to a tree.

    She blinked, trying to figure out how she’d gotten there. She carefully searched her memories. She had fought with Hylla, who had run off. She had followed Hylla at a distance, and witnessed her kill two humans. The sight had sickened Miel, and she had temporarily let her guard down. Long enough to- apparently- let a human sneak up behind her and knock her in the back of the head.

    She must have been out for a long time, because it was morning now. The sun was rising, peeking over the trees and shining directly in her eyes. She squinted, irritated. The human had probably planned that so she wouldn’t be able to see him. Or maybe he hadn’t. It was hard to tell, with humans.

    There were footsteps, and a human stepped in front of her. He was outlined in sun, which made it impossible to guess his features, but he must have been a sentry. He had a sword too, which he thrust under her chin, the point scraping lightly against her throat, where she could feel her pulse racing.

    Miel knew the humans hated angels almost as much as they hated guardians, but she’d never experienced their hatred directly. Now she was alarmingly aware of how easy it would be for the human to thrust his spear forwards and end her life.

    “An angel.” He actually sounded surprised. “Now what would an angel be doing here?” He eyed her. “I think I recognize you. You were that angel who was helping the guardians.”

    Miel didn’t bother to try and deny it. How many angels were there with golden wings around here? She knew Kylora had envied her beauty, but it was a nuisance. It always got her noticed when she’d rather stay hidden.

    “There are two races that I hate,” the human continued. “One is guardians. The other is angels. And an angel that works with guardians… well, you can imagine that’s the worst.” His voice was laced with vicious anger, and Miel’s pulse skyrocketed.

    “You were close to them,” he continued thoughtfully. “To two of them. The dragon, and the silver wolf. We got the dragon… but the wolf escaped. You might know where they’ve gone.” He withdrew the sword point. “Now play nice, little angel, and I might leave you, rather than ending your worthless little life right here and now.”

    Miel’s breathing was shallow. She waited, and the human studied her. All she could see were his eyes. They were dark and merciless.

    “Tell me, angel, where has the wolf guardian gone?”

    “Who are you, human?” she asked, her tone soft. She tried to keep her voice from shaking. “Who sent you to get this information from me?”

    “You don’t ask questions!” the human snapped. He hit her, and her head slammed back against the tree. She saw stars, and tasted blood in her mouth. She considered spitting it at the human, but that would only seal her fate. She had to be very very careful in this situation.

    “Where is the wolf?!” the human demanded again.

    “I don’t know!” Miel snapped.

    The human glared at her. “Tell the truth, angel.”

    “I don’t know!” Miel repeated.

    The human slashed the sword along the side of her face, and the cut burned painfully. She winced, and the human let out an angry hiss.

    “Tell the truth.”

    Miel strained against the ropes, but it was hopeless. Whoever this human was, he knew his way around ropes. She was hopelessly trapped. If this human decided to kill her, she was helpless. Her best bet was to stall for time, but how?

    “I’m telling the truth!” Miel whispered weakly. She had to appear like no threat, and maybe the human would let her go. “They were losing. For a while it looked like… like they were going to win.” She let her eyes slide away. “But then you humans came in and took over. So… I ran. I have no idea where the wolf went. We split when the guardians were defeated.”

    The human paused. Miel had been alone when he’d taken her out. She was sure that they hadn’t found Hylla, which was good.

    Hylla… she could still remember that low, animal growl that she had made. It had been terrifying. She had never seen a guardian so angry- so full of hated. Even Kylora hadn’t been that vicious against the humans. And yet Hylla slaughtered them mercilessly and enjoyed it. No good would come from someone who enjoyed dealing out death. That was why this war had kept going for so long, after all.

    “You’re a liar,” he decided. “All angels are miserable, lying scum.”

    “I’m not a liar!” Miel snapped. Her temper rarely surged, but she had always been honest. She hated being told she was a liar. And honestly, she was terrified. She knew the human would cut her throat without a second thought. Even if she told the human where Hylla was, he would probably kill her anyways. The only reason he hadn’t killed her yet was because he was convinced that she was lying, and he was trying to get the truth out of her. The only way she could live was to stall for time. Humans only let others live when they could be useful.

    “I’ll be the judge of that,” the human replied coldly. “Tell me where that wolf is, angel!”

    “She’s gone!” Miel replied. The hatred in the human’s eyes terrified her. It reminded her of the hate in Hylla’s eyes after she’d killed the two sentries. “I don’t know where she went, and asking me again and again won’t do you any good, because I don’t know!”

    “I could kill you,” the human said quietly, digging the blade deeper into the flesh of her throat. She felt a sharp sting, and a bead of blood welled around the tip of the sword. She pulled back against the tree, heart racing with panic. Her mind raced as well, trying to find a way out of this situation. She had no idea. She wasn’t a fighter, and the human wouldn’t care about anything she said. She was at a complete disadvantage here. A disadvantage that could lead to her getting killed, if she wasn’t careful.

    The human kept going, his voice cold. “I could slice this blade across your throat, angel, and you would die. Do you want that?”

    “No,” Miel whispered.

    “Say it louder,” the human ordered.

    “Don’t kill me,” Miel said, raising her voice a bit. Inside, she was screaming. Haven’t you killed enough? Haven’t you spilled enough innocent blood already? Kylora, and other guardians like her- taking their lives and their freedom away… Haven’t you done enough?! What will killing me gain you? There’s no point to hatred. It will get us nowhere. But everyone hates, and everyone kills, and so the war goes on and on and never will end…

    “Give me a reason why I shouldn’t,” the human growled. “I saw you out there, fighting alongside the guardians. You’re a traitor. Angels and guardians should know their place. You haven’t learned yours. Someone needs to teach it to you.”

    Miel tried to pull back, to draw herself away from that sword blade, but she couldn’t. Another couple inches forwards, and that blade would go through her throat, and she would die. A couple inches lower, and the human would stab out her heart. She was no coward, but she didn’t want to die. Not now. She had to convince Hylla to stop. She had to bring the younger girl back from the monster she was becoming. And Kylora… she had to save Kylora before it was too late. There was too much happening! She couldn’t die now!

    “What difference will it make?” Miel whispered. “One more body on the ground. Just a little more innocent blood spilled. And what will it change? The war won’t end. The guardians won’t just give up. And you won’t find the wolf guardian that you’re searching for. You kill me, and it’s murder. I know you humans have laws concerning that. Do they count killing someone who’s tied up, unable to defend herself, as murder?”

    “Not if they’re an angel,” he snapped. “Your kind are just as bad as guardians. Freaks. Monsters. Abominations that don’t deserve to exist alongside the Alpha races.”

    He pressed the sword a little further forwards. Miel tensed. Any second now, he would thrust forwards, and she would die. But there had to be a reason that he hadn’t killed her yet. If he wanted her dead, she would be dead.

    She took a deep breath, and forced herself to look the human in his dark eyes. The sun burned at her, but she ignored it. “You haven’t killed me yet,” she murmured. “Even though I told you I knew nothing. You also haven’t cut me free.” she paused, and then cocked her head slightly. “You don’t have the authority to kill me, do you? You’re just a sentry. If your general finds out you killed me when I might know something, then it’ll be on you.” She knew she’d struck a nerve. The human hesitated, eyes narrowing. For one horrible second, she thought she was wrong. She had misjudged his reaction, and he was about to kill her. But then he drew back the sword, studying her.

    “Our general has left. Something about delivering his new guardian to his estates. He broke that dragon friend of yours. And when he comes back, he’ll do the same to you.” The human paused. “I can’t kill you yet. But don’t think you’ve won anything yet, little angel. Our general will be returning soon, and he’s not a kind man.”

    He paused, studying her. “I can’t have you trying to run as soon as I turn my back.”

    Before Miel could protest that there was no way she could run off, considering she was tied up, the human hit her over the head with the hilt of his sword. Before she could even process his words, she sank away into oblivion.

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