Chapter Four

He was once again dreaded opening his eyes. Would it be worse than before? What would she show him? A slight breeze blew silvery wisps of his hair into the air and a retched stench of decaying blood filled his nostrils. Nope...he truly did NOT want to open his eyes.

"It's not as bad as it seems." Lilith spoke. Abel lifted his right eyebrow in context. She laughed full heartedly. "I'm serious. Open your eyes." Abel grumbled lowly to himself before taking a peek. He knew this place too, another painful memory that he never wanted to revisit. Paris. He remembered, all too well, when he, along with his sibling, commanded the Returners against the Terrans. They had been undefeated up until then. They obliterated all that opposed them and slaughtered all prisoners. It was also apart of Abel's darkest times. He was in the mist of his deep depression and used his anger out on many that did not deserve it.

Unfortunately for the Nightlord siblings and those they commanded. Lilith was commanding the Terrans. The three had been in outright shock over the sight of her leading the humans, nor would they fight against her. Regardless of what side she fought on, they still loved her. In the end, they had lost the battle and the Terrans now had the upper hand, as Lilith was delivering technology to the Vatican. It was also the time when Cain started to distance himself from his siblings. Abel should have noticed it then. Perhaps he still could have saved Lilith from the gory fate that was coming.

"I was so nervous." She spoke. "I didn't know what would happen when you found me leading Vatican troops. I didn't want to fight you all, but I was prepared."

"Seth and I would never raise a hand to you." Abel announced. "Regardless of our different opinions, the fact still remained that we still loved you." Lilith smiled gently at him, before squeezing his shoulder slightly. "So what's the importance of this?"

"Isn't it obvious?" she asked. Abel shook his head no. "Think about it. How would this event be different if I had never existed?" Abel choked. It was that obvious.

"The Terrans probably would have lost." She nodded. "And then..."

"Then the world that you know now would never exist. Some people that you have come to cherish in your life would never have been born. Think about it, every little thing that you take for granted would be absolutely different." He let her words sink in deep. People he cherished never existed? One person crossed his mind and to think of a world without her would be quite unbearable. Perhaps he should have understood when Esther tried to console him. It was in her good nature to be a caring and quite considerate person. He would make it up to her somehow later...when he had parted from Lilith and returned.

They walked silently down the street. Not a single living soul ventured out of the badly damaged buildings. It was if death had truly sucked the life out of the entire town. Though it wasn't death that had done the dirty deed. Instead the guilt would lie in Abel's hands. He gulped at that knowledge. The stench of decaying tissue still penetrated his nostrils. They had to be getting closer to the source. He looked at Lilith for what course they should take. Was she really going to expose him to the sight of rotting death? As kind hearted as she was, Abel wouldn't put it past her to do it, after all, wasn't she teaching him a lesson? Pretty soon, he could make out the snarls of dogs and cawing of crows. His stomach started churning. He didn't want to see anymore.

"Will you calm down?" Lilith spoke clearly. "I won't take you to see them. Though I do think it would serve you some good, but even I do not want to be haunted by that sight either."

"Was this all my doing?" he asked very nervously. Lilith looked at the ground and simply nodded.

"Without me there to help defend the Terrans. You and Cain wiped them all out. No one stood a chance. This battle was the turning point in the war. Without me...you and Cain over turned the Vatican, murdered the Pope and most the clergy. Only a few survive and they are all in hiding. Mostly in the dark continent."

"So the smell...?"

"Mass Graves, hundreds of them. Perhaps even thousands. After the battles, you let the Methuselah run ramped through towns and cities. Feeding off the dead and the living. Raping the women and children and dumping the empty bodies in the massive pits, before searching for the next meal and entertainment." The thought of Lilith's words and the stagnant smell, made Abel heave.

"Surely I would never let anymore...assault a woman, let alone a child."

"Ah..."Lilith countered. "But you are thinking like you again. Think about what you would have been like without my guidance and understanding. Who do you think you have turned to if not for me?" Only person Abel could think of was Cain, but surely he...Abel disregarded that thought. Of course he would follow Cain.

"I should have at least stopped them from plundering the blood of the innocent."

"But in the eyes of the Abel, who lives in this world, who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who should be punished?" Again, she was right. Who truly was innocent? Shame spread through his body, as he slumped his shoulders lower to the ground. He hated the fact that she was (like always) right, and he was already wishing he could take back his earlier words. Did he take everything in his world for granted? He worked hard, if not harder, than the rest of the clergy. He strived to never kill. He was trying to do well, even though he was terribly marked by his sins.

"Do you see how something can change without one person's life?" He nodded. "Think about it. How many Terrans died here that shouldn't have? Perhaps some of the people you call friends were never born. Did you ever think of that?" He gasped loudly.

"Like who?" Lilith sighed.

"Good friends, such as Noelle, Leon, William to start. Their ancestors died in this battle. They would cease to even exist, but that's only three...there are probably more." Abel could only think of two at the moment. Lady Caterina and Esther. His gut twitched. Did they not exist because of this battle? And what about his Methuselah friends, Asthe and Ion? What would happen to them?

"And the Empire?" he questioned.

"Is run by Cain, not Seth. I don't think I have to tell you how it is run." She didn't. Cain would be running like a military encampment. His friends would not be as caring and open about Terran/Methuselah relations. They would probably destroy on sight.

"Seth?"

"She over see parts on the Empire, under your twin's command of course.?

"And I?"

"You..."Lilith paused. Abel could only assume that she was choosing the next words carefully. "Let's just say, that if Cain in overseeing the Empire. You are more or less running the military."

"So all of this...?" He looked around once more at the abandoned streets.

"Was at your hand." He gulped. "And you thought your hands were stained now." She smiled. Not that it made Abel feel any better. "I know that this all a lot to taken in at once, but think about this and the vision on the Ark. How different life was. Does it make sense now?" He nodded. "Whether we end up as sinners or patrons. We are all born innocent. It is the falters in our lives that shift us on different paths of righteousness. The Abel in this world, thought negatively of the life he was given and with wrong misguided judgment, walked down a path that he'll never pull himself out of. He's going to burn. There is now other way around that. You on the other hand..." she turned and faced Abel. A soft smiled chiseled on her lips.

"You started to venture down the same road, but you faltered and believed that you had failed me. That you had let me down, but you didn't."

"I did..." He interrupted. "I let him...," he thought back to the white room covered in her blood.

"Abel." She held his hand tightly. "My death was what took you off the wrong path and set you back on the right one. You never failed me. On the contrary, you honor me by continuing my good work." He shivered from her words. He wanted to cry, but held firmly to his will power. He didn't want to shed a tear in her presence.

"But...even though you are now on the right path, you still carry the heavy chains you guilt. Those chains keep dragging you back towards the wrong path and what worries me is that you let this go on willing. All these years, you mourn over an act that you had no part of. I have accepted my death and I think it's high time that you did to. There will be no healing if you do not."

"But what if I'm not ready to let go?" Lilith sighed and hung her head low.

"Oh...Abel. I didn't want it to come to this."

"Come to what."

"There are still two more visions. I was hoping you would see enlightenment with only the first two, so I could save you the pain of seeing the next ones." Abel felt his blood leave his cheeks. For a second, he thought his heart had stopped too. There were still two more visions? What could be worse that what he had seen so far? He sighed heavily, as if trying to release any fear he still had clinging to him. He reached out for her hand. She took it hesitantly.

"I'm sorry Abel...please believe me when I say that I only show you this for your own good."

"I know." He mumbled waiting for what was to come. Pretty soon the warm pressure spread through his body. Bright lights danced in front of his tightly closed eyes.

"I'm so sorry Abel. Please forgive me." Lilith voiced again. He wondered what in god's good name could be so terrible to show him. What other crimes had he committed? He thought back to the time when Lilith was still alive. After the defeat in Paris, he wasn't as aggressive and it was a few months later that Lilith met her end. Was there something important there that he missed? Through the bright lights and heavy pressure, he was certain that he could hear a young girl's voice. She sounded very familiar.

"Mommy?" the young girl voiced very loud this time. She sounded frightened. Abel opened his eyes and looked at the girl. A loud gasped left his mouth before he could stop it.

"No!" He shouted, pulling his hand away from Lilith. "Not here. Anything but this."

"I'm sorry Abel...it's for your own good." Abel looked down at a very young Caterina and felt hot tears roll down his eyes. "I'm sorry."


Review Please.

Lil~Rahl (A division of Crusniks-R-Us)