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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29. Betrayals

 

    Ash volunteered to help cook, but the angel turned him down flat. “I won’t have a guardian getting his disgusting paws in my food,” she said sharply. “Sit down.”

    Ash sat next to Kylora, who shot him a glare. He blushed, staring at the ground. Hylla leaned against the doorframe, eyeing the room with a death stare. Miel had been placed in a comfortable looking chair, where she dozed fitfully.

    “So explain yourself to me, guardian,” the angel said finally, her back still to them.

    Hylla didn’t respond, but Kylora spoke in a soft voice.

    “My name is Kylora. Hylla over there is my sister. That’s Ash, my friend.”

    “Not your names. I want to know what you’re doing with my sister.”

    Kylora hesitated and sighed, glancing over at Miel’s unconscious form. “I owe her,” she said softly. “She saved my life. I was in a bad spot, and… well, she somehow nursed me back to health. After that she just… stayed with me, I guess. Taught me how to run and hide when I needed to, but also how to blend in. She always talked about how she wanted to convince people that guardians weren’t really our enemies. I always tried to warn her that she was blind, and it would just get her killed. She never listened to me. My sister’s a stubborn one.” She scowled at Kylora, her beautiful eyes reflecting light at strange angles like a tiny maze of mirrors. It was easy to get distracted just by looking at her. Kylora looked away, uncomfortable. Was she using magic? It was hard to tell.

    “I appreciate what she did,” Kylora said softly. “She saved me.”

    “She shouldn’t have,” The angel replied. “She just got herself involved in a war that she has no part of. She should have just stayed out of it.”

    “Miel is a good angel,” Kylora instantly felt a surge of defensiveness. “She’s the only person I’ve ever met who cares about our kind.”

    The angel frowned, and then turned and sat facing Kylora. “I want to talk to you alone,” she said finally. “You other two, go make sure the food doesn’t burn.”
    Hylla let out a quiet snarl. “We’re not your slaves, angel.”

    “I’m not going to ask a guardian for something. It’s not natural to your kind.”

    “Please, Hylla,” Ash implored. “Just let Kylora talk to her. It’ll be fine. Besides, I actually wanted to talk to you too. I know Kylora decently, but I don’t know much about you.”

    “Fine,” Hylla snarled. She allowed Ash to lead her away. Kylora found herself alone, with just that angel. There was an awkward silence for a bit, until finally the angel spoke.

    “Do you know why I hate your kind?”

    “You were taught to your entire life,” Kylora replied. “You were told that we were monsters. I don’t blame you for it. It’s not your fault that you don’t know.”

    “Actually, you’re wrong,” the angel replied. “I knew. I knew exactly what guardians were. Just weak, broken creatures. I was one of those that you fear once, you know. I tortured your kind. I could use my magic in ways that blades couldn’t. I broke their minds and made them obey us. Once, as a sign of gratitude, they gave me a young guardian. A weaker one, who broke quickly. She was so small. I had her help around the house. She did basic chores around the house. I figured she was tame enough. Then one night she transformed into her true form- a black panther with glowing eyes. I woke up to see her standing over me, claws covered in blood. She tried to strike at me, but I used magic to defend myself, throwing her back. I barely managed to get to Miel before the monster could rip her heart out. My parents weren’t so lucky. That creature destroyed everything for me. So that’s why I hate your kind. Even the ones of you that seem domestic are monsters too.”

    Kylora stared at her in disbelief. Her instinct was to flee. This angel was one of the ones who had tortured her kind. Who had broken them. She wanted to run. She rose to her feet, but almost instantly the angel thrust out her hand. Kylora fell backwards, hitting the ground. She was pinned there, unable to move. The angel walked forwards and stood over her.

    “I could snap your neck here and now,” she said quietly. “But that would hurt Miel. Clearly she cares about you.” She knelt next to Kylora, and too late Kylora saw there was a knife in her hands. She held it close to Kylora’s throat. “Does this scare you?”

    “Yes,” Kylora whispered. The knife in the angel’s hand reminded her of days of torture. Pain. Horrible, burning pain. Panic began to well inside of her. “Please, don’t. I swear, I won’t do anything. I won’t try anything. Just please don’t hurt me.”

    “Miel said you were a free one, but someone taught you how to beg,” she commented. “Who taught you?”

    “I wasn’t always free,” Kylora whispered. “They broke me once before.”
    “How long did it take them?”

    “Days.”

    The angel pressed the knife closer. “I can break one of your kind in minutes. Minutes. Don’t forget that. I don’t want you here. Tomorrow, you leave. If you’re lucky, you and I never meet again. If we do, you’d better hope my sister is there to save you, because she is a much better angel than I ever will be.”

    Kylora nodded weakly, and the angel let her up. “We need to eat,” she said shortly. “Get some food in your stomach. And while you’re here, you might as well make yourself useful. Keep that sister of yours under control. And I need someone to watch Miel while I get some sleep. Magic drains me. You try anything, I snap your neck, do you understand?”

    Kylora nodded silently. Even here, she was a lesser being. A subservient creature. Why had she expected anything different? She was with angels. She was lucky this one hadn’t tortured her or turned her over to others for the same yet. She watched the angel storm away, and watched as she unfurled those beautiful wings. For a moment as they stretched out she got a glimpse of ugly scars across her back. Then the wings folded again and they were gone. She stared in silence. We hurt her too. And she hurt us. She couldn’t help but wonder who this little guardian was. Probably dead now, or stuck as a slave somewhere else. It didn’t matter. That was always what happened to them. Just one horrible fate or another.

    From the other room, there was the sound of yelling. Ash was shoved back into the room by the angel, her eyes burning.

    “I didn’t say you could touch that!”

    “I’m sorry!” Ash yelped. “I just saw it and wanted to play it, that’s all!”

    In the angel’s hands she held a guitar, which she clutched nervously to her chest. “That was my mother’s,” she snarled. “You had no right to touch it. If you’re going to go stealing my things, then stay where I can see you!”

    Ash walked to Kylora’s side, head down. Hylla joined them, still scowling. The angel retreated into the other room and then emerged with four bowls of some kind of stew. She tossed three bowls at the feet of the three guardians. There were no utensils. The way a guardian was always fed. Like an animal.

    Hylla snarled, but Kylora put a hand on her sister’s shoulder, calming her. She picked up the soup and sipped at it. It was burning hot, but she drank it anyways, forcing it down her throat. Tears prickled at her eyes from the pain, but she ignored it. She met eyes with the angel and gave one stiff nod.

    A moment passed before Ash and Hylla joined her, each taking theirs. The angel sat across from them, watching in silence. Kylora was about to ask what was wrong, when a wave of dizziness suddenly overcame her. She looked up at the angel, the question dying on her lips when she saw the resolve in her eyes.

    “I said you were leaving tomorrow,” the angel growled softly. “And you are. You’re going where your kind belong. The prisons.”
    Hylla leapt up, trying to transform, but she crashed back to the ground, eyes sliding closed. Ash was already out. Kylora could feel her muscles turning to jelly.

    “But… why,” she whispered.

    “Your kind are monsters,” the angel replied. “You brought my sister back, but now I’m going to save her. From you.” Hylla and Ash were already unconscious. The angel walked over, grabbing Kylora’s chin and lifting it, drawing her in with those shining eyes of hers. “Go to sleep, guardian. Dream well before the nightmare returns.” With that, she let go of Kylora’s face and let her slip into darkness.

 
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