Under the dark gloomy sky, a young man void of emotions creeps across a narrow alley, avoiding the streaks of moonlight. His pitch-black eyes are set on a young girl walking alone. But rather than a person, he only sees the bluish light glowing inside her chest like a flame.
The young man can't ignore the tingling sensation inside him anymore as he waits for the young girl to get closer. The light inside the young girl's chest is reflecting on his dull eyes. The burning desire to turn off that annoying light becomes stronger each second that pass. He has to kill that girl in order for that light to disappear. He has to kill her in order to become stronger and have his revenge on this unfair world.
The young man clenches his fists, his face lacks any expressions. He takes a step forward, getting out from his hiding place and faces the young girl.
The young girl has shoulder-length hair that as dark as the sky, and is wearing a duffle coat. Her jade eyes widen as she stares at the young man's vacant expression, dishevelled shaggy brown hair, clenched fists and unblinking eyes. She stops dead on her track, trembling in fear.
"You, you are...," she utters in a trembling voice, clutching her leather purse.
She knows the young man, of course. He's her previous boyfriend whom she just broke up with a week ago. But looking at him now, the situation screams danger. She can feel it, the strange burning hatred on his empty expression. Her life is in danger.
The young girl starts to run, heart pounding inside her. The young man just stares at her - at the light inside her chest. It's growing smaller and smaller, and his eyes twitch, somehow annoyed at her attempt in escaping from him but his expression remains the same.
"Such a waste of time," he whispers.
Suddenly, he leaps into the air, jumping from roof to roof then lands in front of the young girl with a loud thud.
The young girl shrieks in fear, freezing on her spot, as she looks at him with horror reflected on her eyes. When she takes a step back, she trips on her feet and falls to the ground. The young man tilts his head, his vacant dark eyes are still on her.
Tears fall from the young girl's pleading eyes. "Ethan, please don't do this. You're not a bad guy. I thought you're fine with our break up, you said you respect my decision."
The young man just stares at her with an expressionless face. He doesn't know what the girl is talking about, and he doesn't care either. He's just a spirit occupying someone else's body and he has to kill to make that body his own and become stronger. Once he's strong enough to evolve, he can have his revenge easier.
"No one deserves to be happy. If I am in misery, you will have to join me," The young man utters in a monotonous voice, cold and dark like the night.
He then reaches out his hand and faces his palm to her. A dim light emerges from it, growing bigger and brighter until he becomes satisfied and shoots it to her.
The young girl freezes in horror as she stares at the light coming towards her. She doesn't know what's happening. Why is there a strange light coming from his hand? Where does it come from all of a sudden? But she does know that it's dangerous and she will die once it hits her.
"Answer my call, Raphael," A girl in black hooded cape whispers, gently touching her silver cross necklace as she runs across the dark alley toward the young girl and the young man.
Her necklace brightens and turns into a long flaming silver sword with trimmings of violet on the sides of the blade. A silver cross is emblazoned on the centre of the crossguard, shining through the darkness.
The young man turns his head as a new girl speeds toward him, then his eyes flicker to the bright red-orange light in her chest — like the flame itself. He clenches his fist. Her soul is different.
The girl in cape reaches them, stopping in front of the young girl on the ground before the deadly light hits her, blocking it with her flaming sword. She grips the purple coloured hilt and slashes the light into tiny particles, then fades.
The young man leaps away from her but she is quick and sharp. She leaps into the air, then charges into him. Her cape flutters in the cold wind like wings. Underneath her cape is a short peacoat and skirt.
Her sword is raised over her head as she prepares a deadly blow to the young man. The flame surrounding her blade is illuminating the dark place.
Horror strikes the young girl as she watches the girl in cape advances to Ethan with her flaming sword. Before she can drive the sword to the young man, the young girl on the ground cries out.
The girl in cape stops, her sword freezes in mid-air, then glances at the young girl.
"Please, don't hurt Ethan. He's not a bad guy," the young girl pleads as tears trickle down her face.
The moment the girl in cape averts her eyes from the young man, he takes that chance to shoot her with his light.
The girl in cape barely dodges the light. She lands on the ground near the young girl and clenches her teeth behind her dark hood, eyes glaring at the young man standing at a roof.
She then throws the young girl a sharp look. "What are you doing? Get away from here. The light coming from him is dangerous. Once you're hit by that, darkness will hunt you until death."
The young girl stares at her with fear and confusion written on her face. "W-What do you mean? But Ethan, what's happening to Ethan?"
The girl in cape snorts. "Ethan? That is an outcast. A lost spirit possessed him and is now taking over his body. Once he taints enough souls, the spirit inside him will completely take over that person's body. Once that happens, Ethan can never go to Elysium."
Elysium is another dimension, the abode of the God of light Azarios, divine beings and saved souls. No living persons ever saw that place unless they die and become a spirit. But only those souls that aren't contaminated with darkness can enter that place. And those souls who enter that place can be reincarnated.
The young girl stands up. "Then how do we save Ethan? How do we get that spirit out from inside him?"
The girl in cape frowns. "That's what I'm trying to do but you're interrupting me."
"But you're going to kill him with your sword!"
The girl in cape grips the purple hilt and fixes her eyes at her flaming sword. The fire surrounding the blade is called the holy flame. It is designed for her weapon against outcasts that's why it's not harming her.
"It's my Blessing, Raphael. It's a sword blessed by the angel to fight beings from Underworld, a divine weapon yielded by disciples. It won't harm a human being."
The young girl's eyebrows furrow. "So you're a disciple that fights those spirits?"
The eyes of the girl in cape flicker to the young man who has his palm out, preparing his attack.
"No, not yet. Not officially, at least." The girl in cape answers before charging to the young man.
"So if you want this human to be saved, let me do my job and get out from here!" She barks.
The young girl runs and hides behind a wall, watching the girl in cape advances to Ethan.
Suddenly, the young girl feels a heavy hand on her shoulder, making her freeze in horror.
"You okay?" Someone asks in a hoarse voice, clearly belonging to a male. She holds her breath.
The girl in cape slashes her sword across the young man but he quickly dodges before the flaming sword touches him. But then the girl is quicker. She shifts her sword in a short second and the flaming blade grazes the young man's hip. Even though there's no damage to the physical body, he still screams in excruciating burning pain and falls to the ground. A flickering dark light slips from Ethan and hovers over his unconscious body.
The bluish light in the shape of a flame inside someone's chest is what known as the soul of a human, and they are invisible to the eyes of human beings. And as an Elysian — someone with a special soul chosen by the angels to be Azarios's warriors — the girl in cape's soul is different from that of a normal human. Their souls are like the flame itself. On the other hand, the dark one that comes out from the young man is a lost spirit. Vengeful spirits that possess people and weapon of the Great Wizard.
The girl in cape stares at the lost spirit below and grips the hilt of her sword with both hands, placing the blade to her face as she closes her eyes.
"Raphael, pour thyself with Absideon and destroy the darkness thy blade touches. Purify the tainted soul and send it to the Elysium," she whispers in a form of a prayer and the bright orange flame around the blade of her sword turns blue.
She opens her eyes then jumps down, heading for the lost spirit. The hood falls from her head, revealing her long wavy dark purple hair that flutters in the wind. She raises her sword and drives the blade to the lost spirit.
"Raphael, now! Flame of purification!"
The blue flame on her sword expands and envelopes the lost spirit, cleansing the darkness that is covering it. The shadow surrounding the spirit slowly fades away.
The girl in cape lands on her feet and stares at the now purified spirit hovering in front of her — a white soul.
"You may now rest in peace," she whispers and the spirit disappears into thin air.
The flaming sword dematerializes from her hand and her necklace reappears on her neck. The silver cross pendant hanging on the silver chain winks into the night.
She heaves a sigh and a smooth sound of footsteps makes her turn her head.
A tall guy with sandy hair emerges from a dark corner with the young girl beside him. He's wearing a long black coat with purple trimmings, dark pants and dark leather boots. A silver cross lined with violet embroidered on one side of his chest. The buttons are also silver, and they are glinting as he walks in the dark alley.
The girl in cape already guesses that he's a member of Nirvana Order with the uniform he's wearing. There's a small glint of light that comes from his right ear — a piece of silver cross earring.
"So you finished that one, eh? Tough girl," the sandy-haired guy says.
He plasters a warm smile on his face as he looks at the girl in cape, studying her features. She has a fair complexion that mostly covers by her black cape. Her hair is rare, it's dark purple which he has never seen from anyone before. She also has a pair of gray upturned eyes that match her high arch eyebrows. She's actually pretty if only she can change that grim expression she wears on her face.
The girl in cape narrows her eyes when she notices that the young girl from before is supporting the guy.
"You're hurt," She frowns. She has a deep voice that perfectly matches her grim expression.
The guy furrows his eyebrows. "You have a strong accent. Foreigner, ain't you?" Then he waves his hand.
"Anyways, I'm okay. Just hit my leg while chasing an outcast from the other block."
"No, he's clearly not okay. He's been wincing in pain while we watch you fight." The young girl says then her eyes flicker towards the unconscious man lying on the ground. "How's Ethan?"
"He's now okay," The girl in cape responds quietly.
"Now you sit," She orders to the sandy-haired guy.
His almond-shaped golden eyes stare at her quizzically. "I'm sorry?"
"I'm going to treat that wound of yours and I don't wanna waste my energy holding you up. And clearly, that girl needs to check that unconscious guy," The girl in cape snaps at the same time the young girl releases the guy and runs toward Ethan who is lying unconscious on the ground.
The sandy-haired guy falls to the ground and lets out a wince. The girl in cape just sighs and kneels before him, gently putting her hand on his bleeding leg. A warm glow of light pours out from her palm, and the guy stares dumbfounded. His wound starts closing without without feeling any pain other than the warm sensation coming from her palm and spending through his body.
"You can really heal?" He asks in amazement.
The girl doesn't say anything until she fully heals his wound, then she stands up. The guy stares at his once bleeding leg through the hole of his dark pants and a bright smile spreads across his face as he stands up, and faces the girl.
"Damn, you really can heal. Are you an Aragon? I haven't seen you before. And judging from your strong accent, you're clearly from the south. What Branch are you from?"
"Not an Aragon. I came here to be one," The girl answers shortly, ignoring the last question and the guy's smile widens.
"So you just finished your apprenticeship? Congrats! We can't wait to have you in the Order. So who's the Apostle who trained you by the way?"
The girl in cape comes from a far place called Uriel. After three days of journey, she arrived here in Panacea, a country in Mikael and where the Order is located. Since she just finished her training with an Apostle, she is sent here to be branded as an Aragon and be called an official disciple of Azarios.
The girl shoots him an annoyed look. "You ask too much."
The guy lets out a soft laugh. "Cold girl. I'm Raiden Oliver Kara by the way. And you are?"
The girl purses her lips. "Raia Allen."
"No surname?" Raiden furrow his eyebrows.
She glowers at him. "No, and please shut up now. That girl needs our help."
They walk through the dark alley toward the young girl who is kneeling before the unconscious body of Ethan. Tears are falling from her eyes as she shakes the young man.
She looks up at them. "Why won't he wake up? I thought he's already okay."
Raiden puts a hand on her back. "He will, after a day or two. And don't worry, he's fine now. Physically, at least."
The young girl's brows deepen. "What do you mean?"
Raia steps closer to them, still wearing her grim expression. "I already told you that he's been possessed by a lost spirit, right? The reason he's been a target is the darkness clothing his mind and heart. A person in despair will become a vessel for the lost spirits. Their negative emotions attract those beings from Underworld. The lost spirits are people who died with great hatred in their hearts, cursing themselves and this world for their unfortunate fates. Since their souls are covered with darkness, impure souls can't have an access to Elysium. Thanos, the God of Darkness will send them back to this world to cause havoc. They are a weapon to help the Great Wizard in destroying humanity, the powerful human being who made a contract with the Darkness. Because they want to destroy every single drop of purity Azarios is protecting."
Raiden nods. "Once they successfully possess someone, that person and the spirit will become an Outcast. And a disciple's job is to separate them from their chosen vessel and free them from their despair. And with our Blessing, we will destroy that darkness that surrounds their spirits so they can claim their freedom and have an access to the Elysium. That way, their souls can still be reincarnated in this world."
Tears escape from the young girl's eyes. "It's my fault. It's my fault the reason Ethan is in despair. I broke up with him and thought he's already okay with it. Yet I didn't know he has been depressed because of my selfishness."
Raiden's expression softens. "It's no one's fault. If there's someone to blame, it's the Great Wizard. He aims to put an end to humanity by siding with the Darkness. That's why we exist, disciples who are chosen by the angels to bear the mark of Azarios and be his holy warriors. Bringing an end to that scenario is an Aragon's job. We will do everything in our might to bring back the peace and purity in this world that Azarios is protecting. We protect the humans that Azarios loves so much."
Their hair is blown by the cold wind that passes them, and Raia looks up at the dark sky. She touches the cross pendant with her hand as she whispers, her deep voice carries on the still air.
"We exist to destroy the darkness that corrupts human souls."