It was a dark day in Boletaria. Just as the two men of faith were about to start the weekly mass, the scourge came...
"Apprentice James, can you please ready the talismans for today's sermon?" Saint Urbain called to his apprentice. Saint Urbain was a kind priest, always willing to help. He had brown hair chopped in a bowl shape about his head, and always had a gentle look to him.
"O-of course, your honorableness!" replied the young apprentice as he hurried off. James was a funny sort of boy. He had droopy eyes and a bulbous nose, and usually sported a dopey smile. And, of course, copied the same hairstyle as his master, Urbain. He also had a secret…
Just as Urbain had begun to light the candles, a loud banging and screams of terror rang through the temple. He spun around to see the massive wooden doors splintering; he rushed to the door and opened it quickly. A large crowed piled in. Everyone was talking at once.
"Your honorableness! You must hurry, secure the temple! There's chaos outside! T-they're after us...!"
"Protect the children!"
"Someone help, my wife has been injured!"
So many people, and only one Saint Urbain... He did his best to attend to everyone, but was utterly overwhelmed.
"Master Urbain! W-what's happening in here? Why are all these people...?" James sputtered.
Attending to the mass of frightened people, Urbain called out.
"James, close the doors, board the windows! I... Don't know! Just do what you can."
As the young apprentice was pushing the heavy doors shut, he caught a glimpse of the danger outside. A group of twelve red-eye knights in black armor were making their way towards the temple, and fast!
"Master! Please help m-" The knights crashed through the doors. James fell to the floor, unconscious.
The mass of people began to panic and chaos broke out.
James opened his eyes to see Saint Urbain standing over him, and... A woman?
"Ohhh... You... How... My, what has happened, your honorableness?" James sat up and glanced at the two faces before him.
"I'm so happy to see you're awake, James! The people were in a panic; it was a slaughterhouse..." Urbain looked grim. "I grabbed you, and took this woman to a safe place. The Lord must have been watching over us! For this woman had a Miracle Stone shard on her! We… Are the only survivors."
James took a good look at the woman. She had blonde hair tied back in a ponytail, blue eyes and looked like an ordinary, young girl. But he didn't like her one bit; he knew she was in Saint Urbain's favor now.
The woman smiled "Isn't it wonderful, James? We shall be safe here. Umbasa!"
For the first time, James noticed their surroundings. They were in a dimly lit, stone building. There were many candles and statues, illuminated symbols on the walls and stairs that seemed endless. It was a very calming place.
A woman dressed in black, with eyes occluded by wax was making her way towards the group. She spoke with a strong accent.
"Welcome travelers. This is the Nexus. You will be safe here." She gestured to a group of odd sculptures aligned in a circle. "These are the archstones, you may use them to travel to another node". And with that, she turned and walked away.
Saint Urbain smiled at the young blonde woman. Her face lit up, and her cheeks turned rosy. He then turned to James.
"Young Apprentice... You and I must help to cleanse the world of evil. Boletaria as we know it is no longer. It has been overrun with soul starved humans and demons. Will you assist me?"
James kneeled before Saint Urbain.
"Yes, your honorableness… I will be by your side."
Urbain and his apprentice stood before the fourth archstone.
"Are you ready to embark, my apprentice?" Urbain smiled at James and laid a gentle hand on his shoulder .
A light pink flushed across James' cheeks. "O-oh yes... Your honorableness..."
Finally, a chance to be alone with his beloved Urbain, and away from that scoundrel blonde girl.
Ever since they'd been in the Nexus, Urbain has spent nearly every moment with her; teaching her holy miracles, telling her stories, and sharing food with her. Now was James' only chance to make a move.
Soon, they had materialized in the new area. Urbain and James looked around. Before them was a vast sky; giant flying stingrays soared all around them. Behind them was a long hallway with a large stone door at the end.
Urbain gazed at the stingrays around them "Oh my...! What fascinating creatu-"
"Master, look out!" James leapt to push Urbain out of the way. A stingray had shot a long, ice spear at them; they were both nearly skewered!
They were on the ground near the stone hallway; James was on top of Urbain; his cheeks flushed a bright red.
"O-oh, your honorableness... I'm very sorry." James' body starting reacting, and he was hoping Urbain wouldn't notice.
James began to lift himself to his feet, but Urbain grabbed his arm and halted him. They stared into each others' eyes for what seemed like eternity.
"Y-Y-Y-Your honorableness...?" James was still beet red, his heart beat was accelerating.
Urbain looked away "James, thank you for saving me. Umbasa..." He tenderly started to push James off of him.
James wasn't about to lose his golden opportunity! He closed his eyes pressed his lips against Urbain's. Urbain wrapped his arms around James in a strong, warm embrace. Heat coursed through James' skin, and for a moment, he was in heaven. However...
Urbain sharply yanked James off of him, and gave him a stern look. James was utterly speechless.
"Young apprentice...! You know such acts are forbidden!"
James made a hopeful excuse "B-but your honorableness... We're not in the temple anymore!"
Urbain looked furious. "James... I dismiss you. You are no longer my apprentice. Go back to the Nexus and... W-well, just reflect on this incident."
Urbain turned away and continued down the corridor, leaving James shocked and broken. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he finally turned and returned to the Nexus.
He would always be in love with his master, even if it would be unrequited forever.
Many days had passed. Saint Urbain never returned to the Nexus. The blonde girl was all in a tizzy, kneeling and sobbing for her precious Urbain. James kept his distance from everyone. He was so ashamed for leaving his master alone that he did not eat or sleep.
Recently, a new warrior had shown up in the Nexus. He was immensely powerful; cleansing the world of demons one by one, despite his abnormal appearance. He had bright blue skin, orange hair and always had an enormous sword slung over his shoulder. James had just hatched a good idea...
As the powerful demon slayer was walking by, James approached him.
"I have sinned... I swore allegiance to Saint Urbain, but-"
The demon slayer rolled his eyes. He was tired of being everyone's errand boy.
"Just tell me where he is."
Sure enough, Urbain had been rescued! James was moved to tears. He was overjoyed! Though he knew his relationship with his former master would never heal.
Urbain had decided that he would stay in the Nexus to assist the demon slayers in any way he could. He had learned that he was no match for the evils outside the Nexus. It truly was a sanctuary.
As for the blonde girl, she never left his side; she worshipped Urbain more than God. They seemed very happy together. James dared not interfere again. And so, he stood by in the sidelines and watched his dear Urbain from afar; his heart never to mend.
And so, it stayed this way.
Mysterious characters had made their way to the Nexus one day. A woman dressed in black with a gold mask, and a man in all black armor, in a distinctive helmet with two tall spikes.
At the same time, inhabitants of the Nexus began to vanish one by one. What was going on? Although the new refugees kept to themselves, the priests never suspected them of the disappearances.
A few days later, James took a walk through the Nexus, hoping to relieve his heartache. As he meandered past a dark alley, a pair of hands jerked him in hard.
"W-what are you doing? Who are you?" James asked in a panic. He started to sweat profusely.
A cold metal hand enclosed his mouth. He saw the figure reach for a curved sickle glinting at his side. James struggled, but the figure's grip on him only became tighter. The sickle was brought to James' throat…
And he was never seen again.