The Vowing Ceremony
Everyone was dressed for the occasion. Even a beautiful gown was bought for Arialita, a light aqua blue dress, that hanged loose, unlike the other woman who’s dresses seemed to show off their curves and ‘puff’ out at the hips slightly, some more than others, as was the Victorian style that most of them wore.
Music was playing out of nowhere specific, and it echoed in the still empty hall; the people still gathered outside beneath the starry sky, taking delight in small talk amongst each other, the gardens surrounding the Angels’ Hall was a paradise in itself. A large pavilion stood at the center just a small ends away from the main entrance to the Angels’ Hall.
There one could see many people dancing to-and-thro, swaying gentle and gracefully. Most of the Guardians who were to give their Vows to the Elohim later that evening were all about seventeen mostly eighteen and nineteen, only a few were of the ages sixteen and only six fifteen year olds.
“Why are there so few fifteen year old Guardians?” Arialita asked Stein who stood with her at a corner inside the Hall looking out at the Pavilion.
“It is mostly due to the fact that earth has very few Guardians and there are terrible wars raging on in the other Realms and Worlds. There was one Demon that had went about killing countless new bourns and small children around the ages of two, mostly younger about sixteen years ago. It started about seventeen years ago and about thirteen years ago they caught and slayed the Demon. Most of the infants and children he had got to were Earthlings. So by the next Vowing Ceremony you’ll see, there will be even fewer Guardians than now.” Stein told her.
“Aria! Are you alright?” Stein took her by the shoulders, tears were streaming down her cheeks; her eyes seemed to be bleeding and a look of horror had come over her.
“I had a dream. That everyone was going to die… Die protecting… me…”
“Aria… No one will die. Caleb he’s a prophet, able to see all the possible futures not just the current ones. He would never lead anyone on a path that could mean death. Besides you underestimate yourself. Everyone protects you because they know you will protect them in turn!” Stein had gently rubbed the tears away with his thumbs as he used some of his magic to heal her eyes.
“There! All better! Now come, we don’t want to lose the best seats in the house; in just ten minutes the clock would strike twelve on all the worlds this only happens once every five Earth years, It is the one moment in time that everything is alive, mana flows freely, magic is at its strongest and even the Guardians’ vows are visible. When their Vows aren’t pure, when it isn’t from their heart, everyone will know. All Guardians; those still to Vow and those that already Vowed; even their Gifts are at its peak.” Stein explained.
“But enough of my explanations, I want you to listen to the music that the Elohim play when they open the Portal from their World to Weiss. For them it is just as great a celebration as it is to us, their music are from before the fall, maybe it’ll inspire you with the Verses you sing.” Stein turned her so that she faced staring at the center of the hall towards the night sky pouring in from above.
At first the sound was ethereal. Soft, gentle and luring, for a moment it sounded as if it was a song filled with sorrow, but when the Portal was open and the crowd came pouring in; and they could see through to the Elohim’s world the song changed to something even more beautiful to something that spoke of connection, rekindling and life itself.
When all twenty-eight Elohim of the council where present, stood in a circle – facing outwards- their wings keeping them a-lift just above the ground and even the twenty ninth Councilman, an Angel was all assembled the music had come to an end. Beyond them the Portal viewed a city made out of all the most precious gems one could think of, doors of silver, round windows of crystal, streets lined with pearls and roofs made of sapphire. Walls of diamonds. The sky was the perfect light aquamarine blue, and everywhere roses bushes, daisies, dandelions, lavender and more bloomed; even the smell of the fresh air came through with all the fragrances of every flower and tree that dotted the word beyond the Portal, that world of the Elohim. Only when Will spoke did Arialita notice Will standing right beside her and even Lightning and Snow had snuck in.
“The Lost… the last song I heard you sing four year ago…” Will gave her a look all forlorn.
“This is the first I’ve heard it… Though I don’t doubt your words.” She stole a glance at him, their eyes meeting only for a moment. She quickly tore herself from his gaze, but he held his eyes focused on her.
“You’ve changed… You barely seem the girl I knew then, until you speak, your voice is my reassurance; it still holds all the unknown wisdom it did then…”
(“And still also the tone that makes me fear you’re lost to me, maybe even forever…”) He finally broke his intense look and turned to face the Elohim to hear what they speak.
“Guardians! Tonight we are all gathered for the Vowing Ceremony, but know that there is another reason we are all assembled here tonight unlike all the previous times. Angel Alexandre will announce the reason after the Vows are made!” Elohim Feya declared and so the ceremony had commenced.
“Step forth Guardians of Lalein : Ashtyn, Alvin, Charles, Donavan, Elizabeth, Gwendolyn, Henry, Herold, Heather, Mira, Nicolaus, Oliver and Quinton. “ Malachy announced, and as he did a flaming halo appeared above the mentioned Guardians’ heads. The Guardians stepped up in to the center of the circle of Elohim, Lalein taking her place in the center of them as the Guardians about to make their Vows formed a circle of their own facing her in the center.
“I Vow on my soul to abide by your laws you set for me. To protect and defend against all that threatens that which is ever changing. Elohim Lalein, Milady who seeks truth and power in words spoken and of that that remains in silence; if my words do not please and least thee see no good in my Vow, render me speechless, but be it my Vow is pure grant me thy Gift to enlighten and light a path for others.” All of the Guardians had spoken their Vows at once, their voices echoed through the hall. As they spoke their voices moved the air around them, light reflected off of the moving air coloring the room silver and white, it was breath taking and awe inspiring. Their words were literally visible. When the display of reflecting playful lights died down Elohim Lalein, placed a kiss on each of their foreheads and whispered something in their ears. Soon they stepped out of the circle formed by the Elohim and joined the rest of the Guardians. Just as Malachy called for the others.
“Step forth Guardians of Nicia : Aaron, Brandon, Haward and Larissa.”
“I Vow on my soul to abide by your laws you set for me. To protect and defend against all that threatens that which is ever changing. Elohim Nicia, Milady who leads me to battle and expects no less from her disciples, a true example for all to follow; if my words do not please and least thee see no good in my Vow, render me powerless, but be it my Vow is pure grant me thy Gift to fight and guide others onto the righteous path.” They said their Vows in perfect harmony, and light played again against their spoken words. Nicia went to each rising her sword high over their heads before lowering it and again whispering something in their ears.
“She gives them their Gifts and their duties for now, though it might change later.” Stein Whispered in Arialita’s ear as the Guardians stepped out.
“Step forth Guardians of Chevalier : Donavan, Eric, Fredrick, Jacques, Kylie and Sigrid.”
“I Vow on my soul to abide by your laws you set for me. To protect and defend against all that threatens that which is ever changing. Elohim Chevalier, Milord who fights an endless battle, a battle of the sword as well as the mind, thee who takes pride in all thy do; if my words do not please and least thee see no good in my Vow, render me without shield and guard, but be it my Vow is pure grant me thy Gift to follow and defend others too on the path that is ahead.” The light died down rather quickly, and Chevalier placed his arm across his chest for before he whispered to each their own Gift and duty.
“Step forth Guardians of Pax : Donavan, Lorenzo and Mica. “ A flaming halo lit atop their heads, and to Arialita’s sight she could see Lorenzo ‘flinch’.
“I Vow on my soul to abide by your laws you set for me. To protect and defend against all that threatens that which is ever changing. Elohim Pax, Milord who believes in peace without the shedding of blood, who knows there to be good in all, thee who give refuge to those in need; if my words do not please and least thee see no good in my Vow, keep thy doors to thy home close to me, but be it my Vow is pure grant me thy Gift to learn and teach others the way of tranquility.” As soon as they began their Vows, the light from Lorenzo’s words were deathly black and seemed to take the light from the whole room, if not for the gentle silvery white light that came from the others’ words.
“To you Lorenzo my Gift is null, but I dare not close the doors to safety not even for you, you will be stripped of any Gifts you still had as Born Guardian without Vows as your Vow to me was stripped of truth. Leave now this hollowed place.”
“Please! No! I… I truly do have truth in my words to be a Guardian, it is just I cannot follow the way of peace… Not anymore…
“Stop!” Arialita’s voice echoed in the deathly silence just as Lorenzo turned after Pax finished his sentencing on Lorenzo.
“Girl, you dare not intervene with the judgement of the Elohim!” Malachy spoke up, frightening Arialita just a bit.
“He really does deserve to be a Guardian. He’s just afraid… afraid he’ll fail… His great grandfather was just murdered and he had to find it out by Guardian everyone believed was dead all these years. Mr. Ermin apparently went to save my own blood parents, so I feel I must intervene. If Pax does not see him worthy, why not have him Vow under another of you, surely one of you must have…”
“We do not let Guardians be Guardians so that they can go run after revenge!” Malachy bellowed.
“He won’t go seeking Revenge, but he’ll not be able to go forgiving any being who seeks harm, he’ll rather seek justice…”
“Hush now Malachy. The girl, look at her.” Kala went up to Arialita and brought her to the very front, she had her hands gently placed on the petite girl’s shoulders.
“Kala, my dearest… I cannot dismiss the fact that she suggest we go against all we have set as laws in selecting the Guardians.”
“But look at her… She’s not just some girl.” Kala lowered herself to be level with the girl as she looked up to her husband.
The first thing that went through his mind then was how Arialita’s eyes reminded him of John’s, determined, wise, strong and loving yet longing, but her longing he sensed was far greater… He could feel her going ahead, and him already racing after her, to stop her from wherever it was she was heading to.
“Very well. Is there any of the council who wishes to have him try his Vows again under you?” Malachy asked. Feya then stepped forward, literally. She had taken her position on the ground instead of in the air.
“You only need to say the first part, and before you do know that you must not fight for the sake of revenge, but to protect others from enduring the same sorrow I know you feel and also that the Gift I might then bestow upon you is one that I want to give only to someone who will at least give others the benefit of the doubt and not just ignore their cries because they are Elorhim, Demon or the like.”
“I Vow on my soul to abide by your laws you set for me. To protect and defend against all that threatens that which is ever changing.” The light of his words where sharper than all the others before him.
“To you I Gift the Gift that will lead you to find true happiness and bless every time you help a soul, remember that though Darklings are soulless they’re souls do exist; Just not with them, in them… I give to you the strength, speed and skill to protect and defend, for you to abide by my law that you will not judge without true cause! And to remember even then it is not for you to judge what is good and what is evil.” Arialita’s shoulders slacked as soon as that was over. Kala gave her a slight hug and whispered into her ears, gaining a look of surprise and confusion from Arialita.
“What do you mean I’m the only one who’ll be able to save everyone?” You’ll know when the time comes.
“Let us commence then on with the Vows. Step forth Guardians of Aoide : Raymond, Simon, Sheila, Tamrin and Victor.
“I Vow on my soul to abide by your laws you set for me. To protect and defend against all that threatens that which is ever changing. Elohim Aoide, Milady who is a gift of the arts herself, who knows there’s no power greater than that of hearing, seeing and feeling, thee who can reflect any soul back through thy own; if my words do not please and least thee see no good in my Vow, keep me from my own soul so that I can never truly be, but be it my Vow is pure grant me thy Gift of Gifts of the soul.” There was still only a handful of Guardians left to give their Vows. To Arialita the saddest was that they could not choose to who they wish to give their Vows, but rather it was the Elohim that chose who would receive their Gifts if they succeed in their Vows.
“Step forth Guardians of Blaze : Annette, Amity, Baron, Darius, Ester, Marius, Neil, Orion and Paul.
“I Vow on my soul to abide by your laws you set for me. To protect and defend against all that threatens that which is ever changing. Elohim Blaze, Milord, the very embodiment of bravery, thou who do not fear nor doubt thou actions;if my words do not please and least thee see no good in my Vow, leave me to cower in thy glory, but be it my Vow is pure grant me thy Gift to calm others and gives others the strength they need.” When the last step out of the Circle all the Vows done the light that was given off by the words of the Vows still seemed to hung in the air taking the form of glittering small stars floating about the room.
“Angel Alexandre, please announce your purpose for having the whole council gathered here this evening.”
“Four years ago a family lost their daughter; stolen she was, but believed to have perished in Hell Fire that very dreadful night. She has been brought back to us by these by a handful of people after her Guardian, Sylph had after so long finally found her. Though only a few of you know the prophesies, there is another reason she exists, to prove once again that there can be good in this world. She has brought Darklings back to the light, reuniting them with their souls in death so that they could be reborn as Elohim.” To this all of the council assembled seemed surprised.
“We Angels are unable to see her, but knew she was still alive when we saw the death of Darklings and the birth of them as Elohim. Years ago we thought that if she was not protected by us, her powers, would be used for evil. And a man by the name Gordon had tried his hand at using her, but her pure soul kept her from truly harming all that is ever changing. The people who brought her home seek an audience with the council, but what we have to tell and answer and what they have to ask and say is important to all and so I have decided…”
“Well, well, well… It seems Master was right. The girl was here after all. You all gather here sprouting lies to each other about being righteous, true and good while you slaughter those that has only ever meant to bring about peace to the worlds. You ripped our Worlds from the true dimension just for your selfish acts, stripping me away from my mother! I’ll be sure to purify you all!” A sickly man had drawn everyone’s attention to him. His skin seemed to boil and eyes were gruesome.
“Gordon…” Alexandre said under his breath, only Malachy could hear the fear that underlined even an Angels’ voice.
Before anyone could act Demons were blocking the entryways and all possible exits.
“Kill…” Was Gordon’s only command before the Demons started shredding apart the older Guardians at the back.
“Arialita!” Kala screamed out to her.
“Stop!” Arialita pleaded over the noise and for just a second it seemed as if time had stopped. Arialita had noticed trying to gather her wits about her, her gift already filling her with power, power that overwhelmed her and brought her to her knees. She clasped her hands together in prayer…
“Emmetity” with just that one word, time came to a complete standstill, all for except the Council, space continued to warp shifting them, the Council and the Demons along with her and Gordon to another place. The look of complete fear for her from everyone except Kala, made the still young girl cry, why were they afraid of her?
“Arialita… It’s alright! They just don’t understand how one being as yourself has more power than them, as I… But I can see more than they could ever, just keep holding that link you made with the flow of time and space, we’ll do the rest.” With that Nicia was the first to take lead in slaying the Demons, Malachy sparing only a second glance back at the girl…
I knew.. I always knew that she had more power than the Prophesies Kala had gave reason to believe. How the Angels could allow her existence is still beyond me. At least she wasn’t swayed to the wrong side…
Arialita stood there her tears still threatening to fall! She could hear everyone’s thought: ‘she’s a monster’, ‘she’s worse than these Demon’, ‘why does she possess this much power?’…
Please… Take me somewhere far away… I don’t want to be a burden to anyone… please…
She could see the last of the Demons disappearing from sight, she could barely make out Kala trying to get her attention as she looked pass Kala to Pax who was already healing the injured as time started to move as… As Gordon came running towards her…
“Aria don’t! Don’t…”
Sweet darkness… Sweet calming darkness… I can’t… I can’t keep this up for much longer, time’s not meant to be stopped… it is after all the source…
The Angels’ Hall came back into view, time started moving again, Gordon still in his advance to stop Arialita…
“Monster!” She could hear everyone’s thoughts. Through dazed sight she looked towards the Vampires, the horror in their looks, aimed at her…
“Monster!” She could understand why they would think so, she wasn’t as them at all…
“Monster!” She could feel her grip on her conscience loosen.
(Am I the Monster?)