THE ARCHIVE OF HIGHLY CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
Recorded By Eva Irinov
Rio Luz, the Master of Light, was slowly walking ahead. Alejandro Sombrio, the Master of Darkness, was right behind him carrying the divine beauty, Mia Riley, lying dead in his arms. I could not see Mia Riley’s face due to my master’s muscular body, yet I could see her wavy dark brown hair swaying side to side with each step. Her bare feet were as white as marble. Her skin must’ve been as cold as it seemed. Blood no longer dripped down from her lifeless body as it did before when we first started walking. I wished we weren’t so late. Unfortunately, the sword that was plunged into her delicate body was so large that I could see its hilt over my master’s head.
Walking in fearful silence, we didn’t even dare to breathe. No one could foresee what would happen in the next second. I did not wish her to die. She had always been kind to me, even though I was never really fond of her. Besides, it would be foolish to deny her beauty and grace.
We were moving slower than a turtle when we finally reached the stairway of the Temple of El Cristo De La Luz’s stairway descending to the cave of Divinity. As Rio hurried down the stairs, Goddess Freyja, who promised to help us, walked by gracefully. She left Alejandro behind and walked up to Rio.
You could almost touch the tension that Alejandro’s been radiating around him as he walked down the stairs. I could still hear Mia Riley’s sharp and agonizing scream in my ears as clear as a bell.
I heard Freyja murmuring something into Rio’s ears as he opened the door. If Rio had anything to do with this tragedy, as sure as I’m standing here, Alejandro would tear his world apart without blinking an eye. I wondered what Rio had planned for us.
When I walked in with Alejandro, the torches were already lit. The room was as bright as it was hot and moist. Just as Simon was about to step in, we heard Rio speak.
“I’ve tolerated everything you’ve done so far, Alejandro, even when you came in and slaughtered half of my men but not anymore. Only one follower from each side is allowed to come in with us,” he said.
“I’m in no condition to argue with you right now. You can have your way this time. You can bring Freyja, and I will take Eva with me.
I flinched when I heard my name. Even in such a dire situation like this, I was still honored to be considered equal to a Goddess. Alejandro gave me a side look.
“Eva, tell the others to wait outside for now. I don’t want anyone else to be here except you. There is no need for more bloodshed.”
I obeyed his orders. I closed the door on the people behind me, ignoring everyone, including Rio’s men, who kept glaring at me curiously. The thud of the huge gate echoed through the cave.
We were all alone except the four of us and a dead girl. Freyja gracefully pointed towards the golden platform with a lightning bolt engraving at the center of the room.
“Lay her down over there.”
Alejandro slowly walked towards the golden platform. In the light of the torches, golden reflections disturbed my eyes. Alejandro gently laid down Mia Riley on the platform, which reached up to his knees as if she was the most fragile being in the world. He kept looking at her face. I, on the other hand, had eyes for no one but my master. When I turned my gaze to Mia, I had to bit my lip to stop myself from screaming. I never thought I’d be able to cry again after losing my son and husband on the night of the accident when I was only 24 years old. I knew I was wrong when I felt the salty, bitter taste of my own tears on my lips.
Mia Riley looked like a shadow of her former self. Her skin was no longer perfectly tanned. I felt like we were looking at a completely different person. The person who was lying on that platform was an orphaned body, deprived of her soul.
Instead of her sweet red-tinted lips were white as a sheet. Her skin seemed calcified against her black nightgown. The brown eyes that were once shining with intelligence were now concealed behind white eyelids. Her graceful neck and shoulders that were no longer covered by her low-cut black nightgown were dry.
The area in which the sword pierced her skin was covered by a thick and burgundy layer. One of her legs was slightly curled, and her hands were stretched out on her sides. Her head was tilted left. Her beautiful brown locks usually looked like they were styled by a professional hair-dresser but now they were tainted with blood.
If she could see herself in the mirror right now, she’d pull her face like she always does, uneasily run her finger through her hair and then give up once she realizes she can’t fix it. When I saw the image of her so vivid before my eyes, I felt deeply sorry for her passing. She was so full of life.
Alejandro got down on his knees and carefully held up Mia’s chin, and turned her face to himself. “Da solo non mi basto stai con me.” He said in his native language, hoping that no one else would understand him, but I did.
I am not enough on my own, stay with me.
“Ah, so sentimental,” said Rio.
He still dared to be sarcastic even in a dire situation like this. Instinctively, my hands went to my gun.
Alejandro stood up. Rage echoed in his voice.
“Goddess Freyja, you were the one who told me to bring her here. What am I supposed to do now?”
Her answer was unexpected.
“You are not going to do anything, Alejandro, Master of Darkness. Fate will decide everything on its own.”
“Can fate bring her back to life?”
“Maybe. If she is not supposed to wake up, then she shall not.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“It means that Alejandro that we all have to wait and see. If fate does not act quickly, then you may want to consider burying her as a Christian.”
Alejandro clenched his feet. I didn’t even want to think about this possibility. Alejandro fell for Mia within days, and Mia Riley was just as in love with him as he was in love with her. If all this was fate’s doing, then now was not the time to abandon them. If what Freyja said was right, then the same fate that made them fall for each other shouldn’t have torn them apart.
I wondered if trusting Freyja was a mistake. Maybe Mia was already gone. Also, why was Freyja helping us in the first place?
Every second was a pain in our chests. When the room started to fade away from the endless waiting in suffering, Freyja spoke again.
“This is it, Alejandro. Some of you should take the sword out. I believe that this is the end for her.”
She kneeled by Mia. “Mia Riley, the Divine Being who failed to fulfill her mission, let your unmatched beauty and intelligence aid you in underground and in heavens. Gaia, mother Goddess, accept her at your side!”
As Freyja kept on speaking, Alejandro’s eyes were focused on somewhere we couldn’t see. Even Rio’s face was crooked with pain. I wondered if he also loved Mia Riley for real. The answer to this question was going to be buried or cremated with Mia’s body.
Freyja put her left hand on the deceased’s pearl white forehead, and she put her right hand on Mia’s heart.
“May you find peace beside Mother Goddess, child.”
She stood up with a grace that could only belong to a Goddess and turned to Rio.
“Tell her your last words. Winds will carry them to her ears.”
I tried to muffle my sobbing with my hand. Freyja slowly backed away against the wall where the prophecy was written. When nobody else moved, I walked towards Mia Riley. Everything seemed blurry. I felt like gazing into nothingness.
“I’m sorry. I never would’ve wanted things to end up this way. I would be honored to be at your service. I would give my life for her without hesitation.”
My voice came out stronger and more emotionless than I intended as if I hadn’t been crying for minutes.
I stepped back and got back to my place. When I looked across the cave, I was surprised to see Rio Luz, The Master of Light, the relentless killer, standing there like a mere human being. He didn’t even bother to control his face. He walked towards the platform and watched her for a long time. When he finally started talking, his voice was muffled.
“I’m sorry, Mia, forgive me if I ever wronged you. Sometimes I can’t control myself. I was a stranger to the idea that someone could ever love me. But you… You were so full of love that I thought you might have a place in your heart, even for me. I wanted you to be the Mistress of Light and to live by my side forever. I’m still mad at you for abandoning me, and I can never forgive you for this. I’m sorry that I can’t find the courage in me to forgive you even in death.”
He slowly stepped away from the platform. This time, Mia’s true love Alejandro Sombrio stepped towards the platform. I wish fate wouldn’t have bound them over the prophecy. I wished their roads would have crossed as two simple mortals. This was a bad ending for everyone. I have witnessed people who have drifted away from each other, but they were different. They had to be different. There was nothing fair about this.
Alejandro slowly sat down beside the platform. He gently pushed a few strands of Riley’s hair back from her forehead. He touched her knotted curls. He caressed her fingers on her face as if he wanted to memorize every aspect of her.
“Mia, you left us, and I will never be able to follow you where you are. You know that we’ve been cursed with eternal life. I’m sorry… Forgive me for all of the horrible things I’ve done to you. I will find whoever did this to you. You can be sure of that.”
He leaned forward and sealed her parched lips with a kiss.
“I love you, my darling. Farewell.”
These words reminded me of my husband’s last words for me at the hospital. I was surely going to have nightmares for days, assuming that I will ever be able to sleep again after all that’s happened.
When we slowly stood up, something happened that startled us all. A red drop of tear rolled down Mia’s cheeks and dripped on the platform. All of us turned to Freyja in shock. Freyja whispered:
“What does this mean?”
Alejandro’s loud voice filled the cave. Freyja turned to him with an expressionless look on her face.
“This means that destiny decided to take action, Alejandro, Master of Darkness. Mother Goddess Gaia did not accept her into the ground. She sent her back to us. Mia Riley is cursed.”
At first, I couldn’t grasp the meaning of these words, and judging by the look on their faces, neither did Alejandro or Rio. They kept looking at Freyja for further explanation.
“Mother Goddess presented her and you with a second chance. If she manages to wake up, her wounds will still need to be tended. If you can heal her, she will be back to life. However, the Goddess is as jealous as she is merciful. She rejected the Divine Being. Mia is now a part of eternity. A damned, just like you are.”
These words filled me with the hope that I have not felt for a long time. Freyja might’ve said that Mia was cursed, but I thought of it more as a blessing. Mia was going to stay 20 forever and get to be with Alejandro for the rest of eternity if she could survive her massive wounds, of course. The only thing that could save her from eternity was The Curse Destroyer.
The hope I felt moments ago left its place to a growing sorrow as the only sign so far that Mia had a shot at living was the bloody teardrop. She kept lying on the platform lifelessly.
“Freyja!” Alejandro clenched her teeth.
“The Mother Goddess sent her sign. It’s your turn now. We have to do something.”
“Something like what?”
“What do you mean?”
“Gaia spared her blood. Now, it’s your turn to offer yours.”
Alejandro nodded. He stepped towards the platform without hesitation. He held on to the massive hilt of the sword that pierced Mia Riley and took it out of her in one swift movement. If he hesitated for more than a split second, I don’t think he’d be able to do it.
The wound looked horrifying. If I haven’t seen even worse injuries before, I would’ve gagged like a normal person. Her chance of survival was close to nothing, but with incredibly good care, she might have a shot at surviving this. But first, she had to be resurrected.
The sword was almost entirely drenched in blood. The slight air circulation in the cave carried the metallic smell of the blood to me. I was used to the smell of blood, considering that I had to kill people on a daily basis, even if it’s for a good cause. Maybe this was my way of taking revenge from life. Somebody had to do it.
Alejandro held the blood-covered sword near his own arm. I could see his blue veins under the light of the torches that were reflected on the sword. First, he glanced at Mia, who still laid lifelessly, then he cut his own arm without thinking for another second. He let his blood drip on the dirt ground. Apparently, he thought that the blood was not enough because he cut his wrist open this time. The blood gushed from his wrist.
“You can take all of my blood as long as you give her back to me.”
He turned his back in a swift movement and took Freyja by the arm. Without she could object, he cut her arm in a long, thin line. Freyja grimaced in pain. Apparently, even Goddesses could experience pain. She didn’t make a sound.
Alejandro walked over to Rio as fast as he could. He knew that he didn’t have a second to lose. He had to complete the blood circle.
As if he already knew Alejandro’s intention, Rio willingly offered his own arm to Alejandro. Alejandro could’ve seized the opportunity, but he couldn’t think of anything else but Mia. He quickly sliced Rio’s arm so that his blood could wet the ground.
After the blood circle was complete, Alejandro put the sword beneath the magnificent solid gold throne.
“Mother Goddess Gaia, the Goddess of Earth! I presented you with one of your children’s blood, the Goddess of Fertility, and the blood of the Masters of Darkness and Light. Please save the Divine Being from the limbo that she stuck in and send her back to us in return.”
He turned to Freyja to get his words confirmed.
Seconds and minutes passed after one another. Nothing was happening. There wasn’t so much of a sound or a movement or even a breath. Alejandro got down on his knees beside her and put his head on his knees as if he couldn’t bear to look at her. His pain was unbearable.
I felt crushed by terrible disappointment. I let out a breath that I didn’t even know I was holding. But then we heard a very weak breathing sound. At first, I thought my mind was playing games with me, but I could swear that Mia started breathing again. I wasn’t the only one who noticed the sound of her breathing. Rio also moved closer to the platform. Alejandro looked at Mia with growing hope. Even Freyja seemed relieved.
Alejandro sat beside her and held Mia’s hands between his. A couple more minutes passed by. We heard another weak breathing sound, and before we knew it, we could see her chest going up and down. She was breathing even though it was barely visible.
It was a one in a million miracle.
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