The World as We Know It
Jean watched helplessly as the monk cared for their pained queen--hours went by and five years of patience was finally relieved: a beautiful baby girl. Carmella and her guardian held their child as Jean and the monk kept others away. At last the two were called in to see the newborn daughter, the next in line for the Nightraven thrown.
“What shall we call her?” Carmella asked.
The question was directed to Jean and the monk who held the greatest happiness for their chance to name the Pureblood Princess. Both of the men looked to each other and stared deeply into child’s tiny eyes. He remembered a woman who bore similar eyes in his human travels to jungles of the southeast of the continent.
“How about Eona? One of its Hindu meanings to be family oriented and to be a person who wants to protect their loved ones.”
Carmella nuzzled her cheek closer to her child and the guard who Jean had never seen even crack a grin before began to tear with a smile as wide as the horizon.
“Its perfect...welcome to our family, my Eona.”
Their happiness was not long-lived for after Eona’s birth an unspeakable evil came to steal the child. Jean had done well in his acts as a spy, but a natural instinct beckoned him to return to the ‘fatherless’ family after whispers of that evil had come too close for comfort. Both Jean and the monk begged the queen to leave, to hide in some unknown region so the princess could grow up peacefully.
“No matter where I go, he will always follow--this was his world far before I was born into it; I cannot leave my people to suffer at his hand!”
Her mother had passed because of this man, this monster! So filled with grief at his betrayal and their family’s demises she could no longer bare the idea of eternity. Carmella had built her empire within the shadows, expanding as the roots that held up much of human governments and societies all for the sake of creating a future for the immortal Nation. He would not be the one to undo it all. If what the book said is true, then if another child was born of their blood then it would be over for humans and immortals alike--they could not be reborn. Carmella made a choice, she gave the child to her three most trusted men and by the monk’s counsel made way to the New World.
'I have come for the princess, my child.'
Carmella threw the masked villain back, engaging in their sole battle. Not this time, he may have taken her mother, but he would not her or Eona! Her daughter would break their curse, freeing the Nightravens from their tied fate to this man. Carmella was grabbed, pushed into a wall his fangs were embedded deeply in her jugular. The immortal was hit, his mask cracked and shattered with the attack as he was forced to draw back at the feeling of tingling sensations. Jean had kept this sword close to him, a trophy from a dead hunter that now served him as a double-edge.
“I told you to run!” Carmella coughed as she lowered onto the monk’s back.
“We did, how do you think we got here so fast?” The monk knew this was no time to laugh, but he could not help it with the moment. The blade constantly destroyed Jean’s repairing hand to the point where the pain became numb and he no longer felt it. This was no doubt were he would meet his end, but with a life as fulfilled as his this wasn’t so bad.
“The legendary immortal, ah!” The name had just come to mind, “The Pureblood King! Such a grand title is worthy of your power and cruelty!”
Jean evaded a spear-like rock and shattered the next with the hunter’s blade.
“I don’t think angering him--!”
The monk placed his hand over his queen’s mouth. It was working, distracting the immortal to give them the means to escape. Carmella was too weakened, too powerless to do anything...so long as he existed her daughter would only suffer more.
“Forgive me Hei.” She took into her his blood and threw Jean back while claiming the hunter’s blade. He squirmed fearfully, desperate to get away.
'Do not fear, Elder, I have always known.' Carmella smiled at Hei, her expression shocked him because it was unexpected. The men were helpless to do anything, rather than come back and saving their queen she was saving them.
“Jean...Hei...” She locked hands with the king and held him back, “Thank you for everything until now.”
The monk grabbed Jean, he wrapped his arms around his friend’s waist and leaped away--this would be goodbye. Jean struggled to gain freedom, he could not leave her, not alone; to die!
“Damn it let me go! Her majesty--we can’t leave her--I won’t!”
Hei bit his tongue. There was nothing he could say; he would not be forgiven, but he does not need forgiveness. The princess came first, Alucard would not stop, he would hunt her down to the end of the world and the way Jean is now--he would not understand. This secret must be kept at all costs, if they are to prevent the king from his goals then princess must be protected--the book has to be right for them to save this world.
Carmella tried to defy the Nightraven destiny, but what is written cannot be changed. Jean never forgave Hei and after that day he changed, he wanted to know everything to walk a different path than the previous queen; the one who would end the world of man or immortal, what kind of person would they be? From that day he cast the person he was, the man who could not save someone precious to him, becoming the spy known as Adam.
For centuries he searched for the child of prophecy and for the mysterious volume one of the original twins. He did not know what to expect, who to expect, and left his mind open to the unknown; never would he fear or resent it. Nearly four centuries after Carmella’s passing and Eona’s rise to the crown rumors of a nameless shadow reached his ear. Now Adam had learned of Syndicate’s unsanctioned experiments; the king told him to ignore the who factor and to focus on ‘what’.
As Doctor Addy had disappeared so had every inch of her work and even the bard could not seem to locate so much as a thread leading to her, that is until the good doctor made a sudden appearance, with none-other than her former colleague. Adam himself cared little about the politics of the Senate meeting, rather what interested him was the woman that stood close to Doctor Addy, a human nonetheless. Something about the air around her was familiar: her presence was warm and welcoming exactly like Eona’s and her mother’s--a trait only ‘Nightraven’s’ had. She watched her expression change, as the king’s wife leaned closer with the same unpleasant smirk she wears when things go her way.
Adam was never much of a fighter, rather he made a point not to be; a spy must be unseen and unknown; fighting is unnecessary. Their attack on the Senate was designed to force the Queen and a small amount of her guard into a corner. As planned they had done so, but to Adam’s surprise the human woman made way to the same place the fight took place. He noticed another peculiar trait about her, as he watched from out-of-sight: an ominous shadow followed close behind, none aside from himself could see it. It was his gift, his sight as a human followed his change into a vampire and evolved as he had. Adam referred this sight to be ‘true-nature’: the ability to see the absolute truth of one’s heart; judging a person was made easy with what he saw.
For the first time, Adam felt fear within his body; a skeleton had taken a hold of him wrapping its barren fingers around his neck. That evil, the capacity for it...it surpassed the creature within the mountain. As to be expected of any who stand against Alucard the woman died, another to fulfill the fate of any who protect a Nightraven. Adam would have left had that shadow not erupted and spread throughout the entire room.
The woman had actually become a Ghoul, surprising considering its extremely rare for one to become that--they were humans whose vampire instinct goes out of control before the initial turning could begin; a sign that they were humans who already had vampire blood within them. Becoming a Ghoul should actually be impossible, that’s why there have only been three in history and only one had been fully turned by Alucard--a vampire named Triss he believed.
Adam never showed his loyalty to any, everyone pegged him for a double agent offering his services to the highest bidder. Naturally this led him to make ties with the Association and just as he was to lead them to a Syndicate slave trader they were interrupted. Adam had never cared about dying, he had already the day Hei took him from Carmella’s side.
This was to be karma’s way of repaying his actions throughout his life; he would not go down a coward nonetheless. Ah... Adam was in disbelief at the shadow’s beautiful wingspan, and its single glowing eye, A reaper... Kira spoke as a human, not an arrogant Pureblood as all had made her out to be, but since their last encounter there was no doubt that her shadow had grown. Only one eye had changed? The more he talked to her the more he realized that she could be the child of prophecy, yet half of its words did not reflect her at all. Her shadow...its reaper was thick with black and yet its wings...they were lighter, even slightly they were a phenomena he never come across. Kira Nightraven: half-human, half-vampire; the one who could bring calamity on an entire world.
Adam wanted to know what choice she would make and ultimately who she would stand beside. A person of two worlds making a single choice--cruel does not come close. She fought to keep those worlds separate both in battle and within herself, as any Nightraven she fought against her fate. He had hope...a small amount, but more than he had in the last four hundred years. Kira was trying to save everyone, human and vampire alike she treasured both in her heart; an immortal body with a very human heart.
All those she was near were affected by her light and darkness: the Pureblood King mellowed in his attitude; Catherine came to know fear; Eona...a baby Adam had the pleasure of watching grow up she achieved happiness. The bard thought that Kira could arrive at a different answer than what Hei had to the book’s words therefore he led the woman straight to it. Adam felt somewhat under-minded that Kira was able to read the traditional language better than him. Nonetheless the both learned much from the book including the chance to see her expression when learning that she could be the child of prophecy.
All she wanted was to protect Eona, things like prophecy did not make her hesitate. Kira arrived at a very different answer and it was one possibility Adam had not thought of: how does one erase the past? You can’t, what had she meant by those words, but you can erase the ones who are caught in it. Those who would not move on, they were the ones who threatened the future. Adam looked thru the book and noticed pages had been torn out, deliberately, but what was he trying to hide; what was he afraid of? Continuing to follow Kira’s path Adam looked back once to see if he had chosen correctly and by the time he faced to see Kira’s back again it was not there.
She stood in front of him, a human body was cradled in her arms, but whose body it was had only been known by her words. Her shadow...had become darker than black, its wings had become skeletal, losing all sense of life and chained down they could hardly move now. Adam was frozen in place. The One-Eyed Reaper an SSS ranked immortal had shut off her sense of emotion. He followed her nonetheless and soon Triss joined and after was Hei, in this small band Kira, no...the One-Eyed Reaper, announced her ambition.
“...they were necessary, that fact cannot be changed. In order to protect humans the original hunters were those who stood true to their beliefs.”
She sat in a chair behind the fire, as the rest of them kept a safe distance. Now she was as a black hole, consuming all light and life--a person who had lost everything.
“The hunters of today are shadows of their former selves, revenge-thirsty humans who lump together the few with the many. In order to end this cycle of hate and revenge, on either side they must be put to an end.”
None of them knew how far Kira would take it, she wasn’t talking about extermination it was genocide. The function of the group was to locate every association member; buildings; homes; everything. Kira would disappear for a few days and the news showed it all--the One-Eyed Reaper made her intentions known and to stay out of her way. The more people she killed, the more her shadow cracked--she was breaking from the inside. Adam was the only one who followed her after the attack in Spain, she had plenty of time before human authorities arrived to clean up her work so she sat atop of all the ruin.
He waited a while before speaking, observing, careful to remain unbiased, to remain by her side. It was raining and the steam from her body continued even after she put her flames out--Adam saw burns on her body that were much slower to heal than wounds inflicted by AVWs. Among the rubble his foot would kick a limp or body more often than he would like, but the closer he got the more of an expression he hoped to see. Kira’s face was burrowed in her arms as she sat on a beam, though he could not see he had the feeling that she was crying.
“When you said the Association must be put to an end I didn’t think you take it this far.” He stepped on a blackened skull and felt his foot easily crumble its frame.
Kira looked up, any evidence of the chance of her crying was washed away instantly making it difficult to confirm. Her eyes told him: steady, far-seeing, without hope and yet burned with life.
“Its necessary...” She chuckled, “If you don’t have any family then there are none left to avenge you.”
Adam could not seem to judge her; her methods, ideology, as ‘evil’ as others would see them...she wasn’t wrong logically speaking. What about emotionally? Her shadow was breaking, in its hollowed chest it was an abyss of nothingness while her eyes continued to shine bright.
“I’ve never told anyone before, but I have a gift!”
He didn’t care about a prophecy, or about her plans he wanted to save ‘Kira’!
“I can see people’s nature, they take shape of their heart’s true nature and that’s how I judge people.” Kira glances at him with her single crimson eye:
'Then tell me...my friend...' Her voice deepened, becoming tainted with her nature that corrupts her, 'What does my nature show you?!'
Her flames breathed again, erasing everything within a fifty yard radius that was unnecessary. The reaper puffed its chest out, the chains that held down her wings jingled as it opened its mouth meaning to scream into the sky. Lines of white streamed from the red sockets, the black skeleton continued to cracked; a large gash snapped above and below her right eye canceled out the blue that was human. What Adam sees...is a true demon. A necessary evil, a necessary villain, the Reaper would accomplish her goals by any means necessary, taking on the world’s hate by becoming the face of evil itself.
“Its a lie...” She stares at her palms, “Whatever the book may say is a lie. A form of control and attachment from the past that we have become chained to follow--altered to alter one's interpretation of the original meaning.”
She extended her arms out to either side, “I want to break those chains Adam, freeing us from the lies created by the our forerunners.”
She had gone mad, “If I do that then there will be no ‘two worlds’ there will only be one.” Kira chuckles, “It will be a revolution.”
It was was a long time from then before they had their final meeting. Adam had lost sight of her, she moved fast, eradicating one branch after the next before a new leaf could sprout. When at last he saw her, she spoke very little, in fact the air around her had shifted significantly. Her aura had not changed, but it was different as to how it flowed thru the air--rather than a pressure pushing down it was as if the light was swallowed in a vortex. The Book of the Moon was held up in her hand then thrown to Adam.
“I entrust that to you.” Her smile was non-existent, rather her expression held complacency, but of what? “Seeing as it has as it is false.” Kira stood and walked towards Adam who continued to be un-moving. “Please listen to me...”