Era: Hello! This is the start/preview/prologue of my first fanfiction, Burn. Please review and enjoy!

Prologue: The Begging of the End

Daath was generally very quiet at night. From the city, the faint sounds of monsters howling would barely reach citizens' ears, making the threat feel further off than it actually was. The hustle and bustle of the city rose and died with the sun. Nobody was out at night, excluding a few stragglers, beggars, and questionable characters. Of course, the city had a few dim lights here and there, but it could (literally) barely hold a candle to the safety and security the daytime brought.

And this was the sort of night where the city seemed devoid of any sort of life.

And this was the sort of night that he loved, and hated, all at the same time.

When he could be alone.

He aimlessly wandered the streets. His short, fiery red hair swaying slightly with each step he took, a black mask firmly placed over his face. His black red-trimmed coat replaced his normal Oracle Knights uniform, but his sword unwavering at his back.

From a bystanders point of view, he looked about sixteen or seventeen, and carried himself in a way that was submissive, but still held great determination and energy. Almost in a child-like manor. His demeanor was soft and warm, but sad and troubled, as well.

There was much talk about him in the city. Nearly everyone had heard about the young and mysterious prodigy that came from nowhere nearly seven years ago and soared through the ranks of the Oracle Knights, but never once had he been seen without his mask. The boy frequently had stupid teenage boys or drunkards attack him to try and take his mask off him. It was all very annoying, but tolerable.

(Well, until about two years ago when the prodigy Sync overshadowed him, but that was beside the point.)

He never minded the rumors. He had much more pressing matters on his mind than trivial gossip.

Such as what to do about his future. Or more precisely, about the thousand's of people's futures of which he would soon have to destroy.

Van had always said that he was created to die. He was meant to be kindling for the Light of the Sacred Flame, so that his original could go on fulfill his destiny. He had already come to terms with it, but that still didn't mean he wanted an entire city to go with him. They had people who would mourn them, and be sad for their passing. He couldn't stand the thought of hurting so many people. It made him sick to his stomach.

He'd always followed Van. Van was his creator, his provider, and his protector. The man had (tried to) stamped principals and ideals into his head since his creation. (Not that most of them stuck. He had his own ideals that didn't come from Van.) Without Van, he wasn't sure if he could make it alone.

It felt like he was a small wall trying to protect its people from a tsunami. The grand tower of water stretched in all directions, looming threateningly above it, blocking the sun out with its shear mass. How could a small wall, such as himself, possible hope to protect people from something that huge? But he'd be damned if he didn't at least try. Akzeriuth was counting on him!

And it wasn't like his stupid original was going to do anything, either. Even if he knew about it, he'd still follow the score and bring destruction to himself and the city. There's no way he'd do anything to keep his country from its promised so called 'prosperity'. Yes, peace on the corpses of thousands of people should be very fulfilling.

He sighed. He picked up a stone lying on the ground. He tested it, tossing it up into the air a few times and letting it drop back into his hand. Then, he threw it at a nearby fountain with all his might. It made a satisfying splash that broke the prolonged silence.

"Are you trying to kill the fountain or what?" He jumped at the voice, turning to meet a blonde haired, blue eyed man, his face dripping with amusement.

"As if," he snapped back, pulling his mask off to reveal vibrant green eyes and a young, but handsome face.

The blonde man laughed. "You seem frustrated about something."

"Go away."

"Is it Luke?"

The red-haired boy flinched, glaring at the blonde man. He couldn't hid anything from his best friend, could he?

"You still hate him, right?"

The boy hesitated. "Not really. I've gotten over it."

The man shook his head. "You're a lot stronger than I am, you know that?"

"No," the red head looked away. "Just leave me alone."

"But you're an idiot. Idiots can't be left alone to their thoughts, otherwise they'll come up with all sorts of stupid ideas."

"Hey! I am not!" the boy protested.

"What's really bothering you?"

"Nothing. Leave me alone."

The blonde man sighed. His best friend rarely ever pushed him away. He was the sort of person that hated secrets. He couldn't keep one for the life of him, and he was a terrible liar. But at the same time, he hated burdening other people with his problems and getting them involved in his troubles. It was his way of protecting them. So, he pushed them away. It was the only way he really knew how to deal with things. And so, the only choice the man had was to stay by his best friend's side and make sure nothing happened himself. "Alright. Just don't get any funny ideas."

The boy watched as his best friend's silhouette as it was swallowed by the darkness of the night. It was about time he was heading back...

But he didn't want to go.

Today would mark the beginning of fulfilling the purpose of his creation. He would become the fuel the Sacred Flame required in order to shine. He would die so the the flame could shine on. He was weak, the flame was strong, so it would consume him.

Unfortunately, he had no choice in the matter.

His foot steps echoed through the hallway as he entered the Oracle Knights Headquarters. Van was waiting for him.

"Time to leave, replica Luke."

To be continued