I still remembered when my father first took me to Paradisum City, the capital city of Nandanavana. Back then I believed it was the most beautiful place on this earth. The wonder that filled my eyes, I knew I would never see anything more magnificent in my entire life. A city build of gold and glass, how could you forget seeing something like that for the first time. However, that wasn’t the only reason why I never forgot that day.
There was a parade. I sat on my father’s shoulders so I could see it well. In the parade men and women with masks and dark clothing marched. The people cheered for them. I was awe struck, as I had only heard the stories. Those were the Nox Soldiers, also known as The Saviors of the Land. They ensured our happiness, kept our dreams alive, saved the ones that were lost in despair. The Nox Soldiers were the ones that made sure Paradisum City was truly a paradise.
After the parade my father took me aside, kneeling down before me as he rested his large hands on my shoulders. A huge grin was on my lips, my tiny body shaking with joy. My father seemed happy too, but for a different reason I came to realize.
“My son,” he said, his gruffy low voice sounding kind yet stern. “One day, when you’re all grown up, you will be a Savoir of the Land.”
“Really?” I said, my voice rising from excitement. How foolish I was back then, truly believed that was an honor.
“Yes.” He nodded his head, a smile that reached his eyes taking over his features. “My boy, you will defeat your demons, and once you’ve done that you’ll grow into a strong, fine young man who will never be broken, who will be a hero, and you will walk in front at a parade just like the one we just saw.”
Ah, that old man, he only did what he thought was right. He didn’t know, no one knew. Sometimes I wished I was still as ignorant as I was back then, but that’s beside the point. Anyway, as I grew my father told me a lot about the Nox Soldiers as he used to be one of them. It was how he met Mom, but also how he lost her. I never fully understood why Mom was taken, nor did I understand why my father was fine with it. They were happy, weren’t they? He used to tell me she was not thinking right, but she was being helped, and hopefully one day she would return to us. I stopped believing in that when I turned eight.
Another thing I remembered clearly was how proud my father was when I got accepted into the academy of Nox. Of course I had some privileges since my father was a loyal supporter of the government and an ex-Nox. Still, the happiness on his face when he’d dropped me off at the academy to not be seen for three full years, it was imprinted in my mind. It was what kept me going all those years. After all, it was the last time I saw him. I was nineteen when I finished the academy.
I started immediately, like most of us, and for two years it was the best part of my life. It was simple; we were given names, we were to collect these either un-pure or non-believing people and bring them back to the base where they were to be treated. Happiness was Paradisum City’s first priority, and so whomever was unhappy would be helped. Those were the lies they told us every day.
I was twentyone when I discovered what actually happened to them.