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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10. Parting

 

“Hylla.”

    Someone was shaking Hylla’s shoulder. She shuddered, trying to pull away. Her mind was muddled and confused. Maybe it was Kylora. Kylora had caught her spying, and was going to punish her. Or worse, she was just going to give her that betrayed look that would make her feel worse than being punched…

    “Hylla, wake up!”

    The voice spoke again, and it definitely wasn’t Kylora’s. It was too soft, and too smooth.

    If gold could speak, that’s what its voice would be…

    “Hylla! Come on!”

    Hylla’s eyes flew open. Miel was leaning over her, expression worried. “Come on, Hylla. We have to get moving. The humans are closing in. We need to keep escaping.”

    Hylla blinked, confused. She was in a small cave. For a moment she had no idea what she was doing there. Then she remembered. The combat. Kylora. The humans overrunning the guardians. Miel had saved her life, and now they were alone. She also remembered their earlier conversation, and she set her face stubbornly.

    “I’m not running anymore.”

    “Hylla-”

    “No, Miel, just hear me out. We just have to be sneaky and clever. We have to hit the humans when they’re not expecting it, and we can send them packing! We’ll kill their leaders, their commanders, anyone who dares to come after us. Hylla’s blood boiled at the thought. Humans had made her life a living hell ever since she was born. It was time to strike back at them, and prove she could do something useful.

    Miel, of course, didn’t seem as convinced.

    “Hylla, you’re just one guardian. They’ll spot you. There are a hundred things that could go wrong. It’s too dangerous.”

    “This whole campaign was dangerous,” Hylla replied. “We knew that from the start. Now we have to be willing to take a risk in order to do some good. We have to be brave. That’s what-”

    “That’s what Kylora would do?” Miel interrupted. Hylla stopped short. She rarely saw Miel angry, but now the angel’s eyes blazed with a determined fire. “Listen to me, Hylla. Without interrupting this time. You keep using Kylora as a role model, but that’s not what you should do. Kylora was crazy, Hylla. Her time with the humans broke her mind. She’s daring and brave, yes, but she’s reckless to the point of being suicidal. She charged into a losing battle with humans. Why did she do that? She told them she wanted to make them fear and remember her, but the simple truth is that she was running into her own death! That’s why she wanted to send you away. So she could die knowing you were safe. Kylora isn’t the one you should be taking your calls from. I know you think you’re invincible, but that’s how she thought, and it’s not true! You don’t know what the humans do because you never experienced it, but Kylora has. They broke her. They nearly killed her. When I found her, she was half dead, and barely conscious. I saved her life. And now she’s giving me a chance to save yours. I am not going to let you throw yourself into danger just because you want to follow in her footsteps! I know you think that you can do anything, but the truth is that you’re not strong enough!”

    Hylla froze, staring at Miel’s angry face. Her heart began to race, and she felt her face burning. Tears prickled at the corners of her eyes, and she clenched her fists. She felt, just for a moment, trapped and helpless. She had no idea what to do, no idea how to respond. The only way she kept herself going was by thinking, what would Kylora do? Now Miel was telling her that Kylora was crazy. Or worse, that she’d wanted to die in the first place. That couldn’t be right. Her sister would never willingly run towards her own death.

    Her eyes narrowed, and her fear and misery channeled itself into a bolt of white hot anger.

    “Never say that about my sister,” she hissed. “Never say that about her! Yes, the time with the humans hurt her, but she was not crazy! She didn’t want to die, she just wanted to help people! She was brave and selfless and a better guardian than any of us will ever be! She wanted her life to mean something, not be wasted. And she is not dead. I’m not going to be stupid and reckless, but I’m not going to run away!” Hot tears began to slip down her face. Now it was Miel’s turn to look alarmed. “You’re her best friend, Miel! How can you talk about her like that?! How can you just tell me to run away and forget her? You know what? I don’t need you! Kylora never needed anybody, and neither do I! I’ll fight on my own! That’s how our kind always worked anyways, isn’t it. You can go back to your kind if you want, but I’m not going! I can’t go anywhere. So I’m going to do some good. I don’t care what you do, but I’m not just going to keep running and wait for the humans to hunt us down! I’ll give them a reason to fear us!”

    Miel reached out, gold eyes wide with panic. Hylla didn’t care. Her emotions had harded into a ball of solid fury.

    “Hylla, wait, it’s too dangerous-”

    I DON’T CARE!” Hylla screamed, clapping her hands over her ears like a small child. “I don’t care how dangerous it is!” She transformed, shifting into the form of a wolf. She felt stronger, braver, and more confident. She would strike out, and show Miel what a true guardian could do! She turned, and bolted from the cave, leaving Miel alone staring after her.

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