With or Without Heroes

Chapter 1: Durga's Protectorate

Tired, blue eyes stared out at the darkness around him. Mile struggled in vain to get out of his harsh, metal bonds. His hair was soaked in blood and his back seemed to scream in agony with each futile attempt he made.

"Avin. I need you, I can't do this alone." He whispered before passing out, body slumped against the wall.

Avin's eyes opened wide in pain as he shot up from his bed. The brown haired boy clutched his head as he felt the remembrance of a strong blow that had been dealt to him earlier.

"Finally awake, then?" Said a course voice, and Avin couldn't help but flinch at it.

The young man lowered his hands from his head, and once his vision fully cleared, he glances over at Madram. Avin's face soured as he glared up at the taller man.

"Why'd you attack Sage Gawaine? He-"

"He and that stupid organization let Dominique die! Even Octum would have kept her alive!" Madram said his usually calm exterior broken and raw.

Avin shook his head and quickly up from the small couch he had been laying on.

"No one wanted her to get hurt, right? And it would have been bad if…" Avin's voice deflated, he knew he wouldn't want anything to happen to Eimelle. Let it be Octum's group or Bardus. Just because his sister could hear Durga it didn't mean that he, that he wanted her to deal with any of this.

"You can't defend them, can you? You are in the same position as me. There can't be anyone else who knows our pain. To loose a loved one because she was cursed as Durga's daughter." Madram pushed his voice strong in Avin's ears.

"It just.. isn't fair." Avin whispered, "I lost Eimelle, and got Mile… he's probably dead because he became my friend. I got my best friend killed." Avin choked out, feeling despair about the situation that was plaguing his life.

"After I lost Dominique I was inconsolable, somewhat like you." Madram said in a quieter voice than earlier. Avin slowly raised his head, as eyes full of sorrow regarded him.

"I turned that pain into anger, and it left me without anyone to care about." He started. He shook his head, "Never mind. It means nothing to you."

"So I still don't get what this has to do with me." Avin gritted out. He sat properly on the couch and regarded the man with something akin to anger.

"I'll show you the way to enter Cathedral. Without the secret treasures of Bardus. Even though I don't like it there's a special sword Dominique used to talk about. With it, the sword of power, nearly anyone could fight the power if it is to save Durga from destruction."

"Sword of Power? From Durga, then? I could save Emille with it!" Avin shouted, his eyes lighting for a moment as he though it out.

"Would you really help me gain it?"

"Yes, the protector of Durga is always wielded such a weapon. Sword of Power comes from the earth. A chasm south of Cathedral would be the best place to look for it." Madram said.

"But remember; only one who lets go of both light and darkness can wield it, otherwise the effects might destroy you."