Tseng could hear the fading sound of echoing footsteps on the floor below him. A matter of mere minutes earlier, six people had stood in this room and watched him as he slowly started to bleed to death, now they were all gone, exploring the lower levels of the golden temple which would serve as his death bed.
He couldn't blame them for not reaching out a helping hand to him, he had after all treated them badly during the course of the last few days, and despite his helplessness he was still their enemy.
Closing his eyes, he tilted his head back against the pillar he was using to support himself and laughed with morbid amusement. The moment of jollity was short lived as the increased stress caused blood to gush forth from the the deep wound cut into the side of his chest. The shirt he had been using as a bandage was now bloody, sodden and useless, not providing enough pressure to cease his life from pooling on the heavy stone block beneath him.
The situation he found himself in was amusing to him despite its severity. He had become known as 'the consummate professional', a title he had even come to take some measure of pride in. And now for the first time years he had put a dent in that image, and it seemed like the world had instantly risen up to punish him for it.
"It was only one dinner, what's the big deal?" He said to nobody in particular.
The air was cold on his bare chest, and the navy blue jacket draped over his shoulders did little to shield him from the outside environment rushing at him through the temple entrance. Under normal circumstances the breeze would have been cool and gentle, but now it seemed as if it were only hastening the numbness spreading through his body.
Tseng opened his eyes and watched the sun as it appeared like a slit on the horizon. A new day was about to deliver itself to the world, just as it seemed to be setting on his heart. His right arm remained firmly in place around the soaking bandage doing what little it could to stymie the flow of blood across the temple floor. But he raised his free hand and spread his fingers out wide, watching the first rays of morning light filter through them in radiant beams.
He couldn't remember the last time he had done something like that, it seemed that he had spent so much time doing his job, and doing it well, that he had taken no pleasure in his personal life or in the world around him. At this late hour it felt unfair that he would suddenly take an interest in trivial things like the behaviour of sunlight and dinner with a woman.
Tseng put his free hand on the ground and tried to push himself to his feet. He had risen about a foot off the floor before his legs gave way, and he slumped back down against the pillar. Unable to even take himself outside to enjoy the sun for the last time.
"I wonder if they'll find me?" He said, watching the growing ball of orange haze outside. The longer he watched, the harder it became to maintain his concentration, and his eyes fluttered as his body tried to shut itself down. Tseng didn't care to look down at how much blood he had lost, it seemed like a futile gesture at this point, and his vision was groggy and blurred, he couldn't see it even if he wanted to.
He could hear shouting from below, he couldn't remember who it was, but he could remember that someone else had been here. But whatever this place was, it's identity was lost in the fog creeping over his mind.
The shouting continued and drew nearer, Tseng squinted and looked into the light, too bright now for him to focus on but he could see a figure moving toward him. Golden hair and clear, amber eyes, the figure approached him with outstretched arms, the sun's rays filtered around it on either side, extending majestically, like wings shining with a holy light.
The figure was almost upon him now the light surrounded him and it seemed that the golden strands of light were all that he could see.
"An Angel..." He said, "You must be an Angel."
And then, his eyes fell closed.