By: Magenta Fox
Prologue: In Search of Truth
Warnings beforehand: This fic is bound to offend a LOT of people. "M/M and F/F and M/F pairings?!" If it none of that offends you, keep going. "It's Darc/Kharg?!" Can't you get past that, too? If you can, congratulations and I hope you enjoy my fic. If not, turn away now. Flames will not be tolerated when this was all laid out before you before the fic even started.
Things you need to know: This takes place a year later after the whole Lord of the Black Abyss fight. I have created a new continent that is small, so it is undiscovered and only rumored really. Deimos and humans live there as well. Lillia will not appear is this, save one occasion. I hate her with every ounce of my being and if she spent too much time in my fic, I'd most likely drop a piano on her.
The horde of colored angels gathered around the cold, steel platforms, chanting for public execution even though the judgment had already been passed. From the step to the left came their princess, her pale, purplish-pink face hidden by her light-brown hair, gloved hands bound by black cord behind her back tugging nervously at the deep purple silk of her gown. She was being pushed from behind by two enormous male angels, each colored blue like the water and holding spears in case she found a way to retaliate. Her violet eyes tried to hold back the tears that threatened to overtake her, for she didn't want to be there, facing punishment for something she didn't believe was wrong.
From the right came her less-than-defeated accomplice, a taller woman who struggled until they were forced to pick her up and carry her to the altar. Her arms were bound by the same blessed cord that promised to keep her magic at bay and her long, black claws away from the guards. The red material at her legs ruffled noisily as she kicked about furiously, screaming promises of death and where she'd put their weapons. Her crimson eyes burned with anger, surrounded by her dark-blue eyelids and the red linear markings that curved under them.
The two young women were thrown roughly against opposite sides of the steel altar and quickly bound to it by another cord around their necks. The second girl had calmed down by then, forced to face the reality of what was about to happen to them. She looked up at the other and narrowed her eyes. "Don't give them the satisfaction of your tears," she growled, her voice low and scratchy.
"I don't want to die," the other confessed, barely able to hold on to control of her voice.
"You won't. I won't let you."
The first set of guards pulled on the princess's pure, white angel wings, dousing the soft feathers in a strong-smelling liquid that made the women cough. Keyana soon found her massive bat wings being given the same treatment. Both tried to retract their wings out of reflex, but they were quickly pulled out to full span and coated. When the torches were finally removed from their golden stands, the crowd went wild with cheers as if a victory had been won for them. Two guards stood behind the prisoners, holy torches in hand and not an ounce of hesitation in their hearts.
"They won't get away with this, Lain," Keyana promised, staring right into those violet eyes in an attempt to shift her focus away from the heat she could feel mere inches from her wings.
Lain, on the other hand, wanted what she thought to be her last words to have more meaning. "I love you…"
Very few things in life were absolutely true. Almost any supposedly definite statement could be argued if a person with an "illogical" standpoint was raised in a different manner. No matter what, there would have to be someone somewhere that could feed the desires of a person or people, allowing them to live in a hazy world of acceptance that let them be who they were.
That life seemed blissful to Kharg at that moment. As he trekked through the Forest of the Hidden Ship he wrapped his arms around himself in an attempt to fight off the bitter night's chill. He would have loved to have gone during the day, but the outside of the Cave of Truth had become a tourist attraction for those seeking answers, even if entrance was forbidden due to the Spirit Servants that still haunted the place. The last thing he felt he needed was a group of admirers wondering why he was there.
'I should have know this wouldn't be a good idea,' he thought, his nerves getting the better of him. His footsteps slowed until they finally grew silent. 'I should turn back…'
He didn't even get the change to turn around before the light wind picked up, blowing against his back as if to push him forward. He glared at it as if it were a person before picking up his pace again, clutching himself even tighter as his teeth began to chatter. When the entrance was finally in sight, he breathed a sigh of relief and bolted for it, hoping the inside was any degree warmer than the forest.
Surprisingly, the cave was a lot warmer, both physically and spiritually, and Kharg felt a more at ease once he was inside. It still wasn't enough to unwind the knots in his stomach, but it was a start. As he approached the stone doorway to the main chamber, he suddenly felt unbearably wrong, like his mere presence there was defiling the sacred memory of his parents. He grasped for the mark on his arm, but quickly pulled away as if he'd been stung or burned. Everything on, around and in Kharg reminded him of what was troubling him so much, what could make him leave Yewbell without a word and recharged Big Owl just to get to where he was then. His life was a constant reminder of how much he didn't understand about his own heart.
"Are you a Chosen One?"
Kharg drew his sword, prepared to fend off the mythical monsters the voices of the spirits' usually sent after those who wished to enter. "Yes."
"You are… a Wind Child. You may enter."
"What?" Kharg responded, eyes widening slightly as the stone doorway began to rise to allow him access to the Hope Spirit's cavern. When he didn't receive a response, the only option he was left with was going forward, as much as his heart felt it couldn't handle any answer it was given once inside.
Much to the boy's surprise, the Spirit of Hope was already waiting for him, floating about its shimmering pool, a knowing smile gracing its cherubic face. It had been a little over a year since he'd visited this place for the first time, the goal of killing the man he thought killed his mother taking over his mind until it almost blinded him. He could have laughed at how ironic fate was, looking back on how he first came here to kill his brother, and though the reasons were altered, it was still his brother who brought him back here. Only this time, he was alone, confused, and completely lost.
"You have returned alone and with a troubled heart," the spirit noticed, gesturing for him to step closer. "Come, I am glad you came."
"Why was I let in so easily?" Kharg asked, taking a few step closer. "Why not test me?"
"You've already been tested. No sense in testing you twice," it explained, looking down at the boy with a suddenly serious expression. "I don't have time to waste with sending servants after you. I need your help."
"I could say the same to you…"
The spirit continued on as if it had ignored him completely. "I need your help to save the world from destruction again."
"But the humans and Deimos are working toward peace," he argued.
"I do not speak of your lands. I speak of lands your feet have not marked with your footprints. In a far-off land, a small continent by the name of Soluna, a great, dark evil threatens to destroy everything there. If this were to reach across the oceans that protect you, it could lead to a war like no other."
"Soluna?! You mean it's real? I thought it was a place my mother made up."
"It's often mentioned in stories as 'The Land Were Angels and Demons Wage War,'" the Spirit of Hope explained. "In reality, it can be found in the ocean between Epistia and Aldrow."
"But what can I do to stop a war? I'm nobody there. And what about Yewbell and everywhere else? I can just leave when we're all on such shaky ground."
"If you cannot stop this evil from spreading, you will have no ground to stand on."
Kharg reached up for his birthmark again, but didn't even get his fingertips to it before his made the hand into a fist at his side. "It's that big of a threat, huh?"
"Take the other Chosen One with you and go see for yourself."
His nails dug into his palm as he tightened his fist in reaction to the order, thinking of how much he dreaded the times when Darc invaded his thoughts and how much he doubted he could handle the trip alone. The dirty, iniquitous feeling crept through him again. 'It's your brother,' he had to keep telling himself, repeating the simple statement like some soothing mantra. "Why… him?"
"He is the other chosen one; your other half."
Kharg closed his eyes and winced at the term, shaking his head at the notion. Then again, wasn't that what he was dealing with? Wasn't it the feeling of incompletion that was driving him there, even if fate was pushing him in a whole new direction? Even so, he disliked the idea of going alone. "Just him?"
"It's better that way," the Spirit reasoned. "If you go with a large group you may complicate matters you know nothing about. Your heart carries thoughts of him that you do not understand. Solitude to face your fears, that's what you need."
"But can't you tell me something, anything to help me understand?!" Kharg asked, almost pleading as he noticed the Spirit of Hope descending back into the waters.
"In love there is no truth," it replied, shaking its bell-staff as a wave goodbye, "Only knowing."
Kharg grasped onto the edge of the pool as the shadow finally dematerialized, his futile shouting echoing off the vacant stone walls that surrounded him. "What does that mean? Knowing what? Come back!" His wide eyes stayed fixed on that iridescent surface for an unknown amount of time before he fell down to his knees, his fingers still gripping the edge. He pressed his forehead between his whitening knuckles and tried to hold everything in, tried to tie it down and suppress it with every ounce of energy in him. He tried… but failed.