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•Thirty One•

Lots has changed in the past week. For one, there are more Recruiters. I'm still the boss, of course. As for Hayden... That's gonna be fun. Ghost and Spirit restored him. Zoe gets to see him today. After I take him back down here.

Ghost and I head to Earth to meet Spirit and Michael. They're going to take me to Hayden.

"Take a couple Recruiters. You might need them," Spirit, the Overworld's guardian, chuckles.

"As if. I prefer to work alone," I smirk.

"Alright then. You ready?" Spirit reaches his hand out for mine.

"Yeah." Ignoring Spirit, I grab Michael's hand. Spirit can corrupt me. I don't know if I can trust him yet. Technically Michael can too, he's just earned my trust. I don't even have my special outfit on. Just my usual black shirt, dark pants, leather jacket, and earrings. I got new ones from a corpse. They're fake gauges, and they look like huge spikes going through my ear.

Spirit teleports us to the Overworld, leaving Ghost waiting for us on Earth. If he were to go to the wrong world... He wouldn't come back. He'd be trapped.

When the brightness of the world doesn't blind me as much, I open my eyes more. We're at the tree Michael took me to.

"This way," Spirit starts walking. I follow, Michael close behind. Out of nowhere, I get a massive headache.

"Michael, I... I don't feel so..."

War. Bloody war. Angels fighting demons fighting Midworldians. Spirit shot, Ghost injured, Michael fighting, Zoe and Hybrid at a cannon. Jess shoots me. I can't control my own actions. I stumble, but she only hit my arm. I stab a few other demons, hit a few with my bat. Ghost raises his hand, holding a white handkerchief.

Spirit yells, "Hold your fire!"

I lower my bat, out of breath. Michael comes up behind me.

"Sibling. Help me with Spirit," he grabs my shoulder.

"I have a name, you know."

"I know."

"So use it."

"You sure you don't belong in the Underworld?" Michael chuckles.

"Ew. Of course I am. Ghost is old and wrinkly and his minion, Hybrid, is like his poodle. No way I'm a part of that."

"Oh, whatever. Hurry up. I don't want Spirit bleeding out."

We run to the King of the Overworld and I make his blood retreat to his body before closing the wound.

"Are you okay, Spirit?" I ask him.

"Yeah. Thanks, Alex."

My head hurts. I slowly move my fingers to feel the cold grass and the soft fabric of Michael's jeans. He runs his fingers through my hair carefully, as if I'll break with one wrong motion. Whatever's happening... Whatever peaceful realm I've entered... I don't want to leave.

"Are you okay?" I hear a soft, soothing voice. I look up to see Michael smiling down on me. I only nod, still out of it.

It's night now. The stars are shining, crickets chirping. I finally sit up after a few minutes. Michael braided a section of my hair. Am I high? I feel high.

"What happened?" I rub the sleepiness out of my eyes.

"Spirit and I were walking with you and you just fainted. I don't know why. You seem healthy."

"Tell me the truth, Michael."

"What do you mean? I did."

"I mean, are you my brother?"

"So it was a flashback. What do you remember?"

"We were in this... war. Against the Underworld. Ghost surrendered. You called me your sibling. And that's just about it. Why were we fighting?"

"We were fighting over you."

"Why me?"

"You were corrupted more than once, Raven. The first time, or the one you remember, when we took you back, and right after that war. You were Spirit's favorite, so he wanted you back. I was sent to bring you home. Ghost didn't like that, so he started a war with us."

"Why were the Midworldians there, then? I was never involved with them. Was I?"

"No, but Karma sided with Ghost and led her army against us. Our mind controller turned some of their army against Ghost, which is ultimately why he surrendered. He was outnumbered. Eventually, he came up with a better plan. Stealth. While you were sleeping one night, Jess picked you up. I convinced Spirit that it was better to wait and see what would happen. It worked out alright, I guess. No more of our angels were Forgotten, and you survived. Mostly."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"A part of you died. You used to love helping others, being out in nature, and caring for plants. You were so kind. This was your favorite spot. The river running not too far away, the birds singing, soft grass. You came here to write in your journal."

"Incoming call from Ghost," my chip blares.

"Hold on. Ghost is calling," I apologize.

"Where are you? It shouldn't take that long," Ghost barks.

"I passed out. Thanks for asking."

"What happened?"

"I don't know. It's almost like I just told you."

"I mean why did you pass out?"

"I just had a flashback, apparently. I'll call you back when I have Hayden."

"Fine. Bye, Raven."

He hangs up.

"You've always been sassy, haven't you?" Michael laughs.

"Yup. And I love it. So, what's my journal about?" I wiggle my eyebrows, curious.

"No one knows. You burned it."

Excuse me?

"Makes sense, actually."

Well, shoot. Now I'll never know what I was really like before my corruption.

"You ready to go?" Michael puts a finger under my chin.

"I'd actually rather stay here with you," I shy away.

"Come here." He reaches an arm out towards me, like he wants a hug. I get closer, and he pulls me into his side. I just cuddle up to him for a while, hearing the soft beating of his angel heart, skipping a beat every so often. It scares me at first, since I'm not used to hearing anything beating, but then I remember that angels get a new one when they die. It helps the healers. I start to drift off to the sound of Michael's heart. Why is it so soothing? I don't know if it's true, but I think I...


Hahaha! Cliffhanger! Raven fell asleep, in case you're confused. Uh... leave a review if you would like, and I hope you've enjoyed it so far! As always, stay safe and happy reading!
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