Well hello everyone. It's been a bumpy ride but I've finally finished the story. So this episode, the seventh one, wraps up everything.
And I've thoroughly enjoyed writing this and receiving all those mails and feedbacks. Love my fans and everyone who has mailed me and allowed the story to come so far. This one's totally dedicated to you all. The story ends here but please do keep mailing in or just drop in a line from time to time. Love all you people out there!
Jason chewed on his cheese sandwich quietly. He was fuming inside. He hated getting up early, especially on Mondays. In fact, early mornings had been an overbearing decision in the selection of his courses and lectures. He never took any classes that took place before nine. And today, his 'new' girlfriend had called him at 7 in the morning, ordering to meet up at 7:30 in the canteen before her lecture. In the midst of his deep slumber he had rudely been awakened by Aditi's call, and had grudgingly accepted to come. Now it was 7:45 and the girl was not here. 'So this is the kind of stuff you have o bear with when you go out with a beautiful chick', Jason pondered over his realization.
All the bitterness and resentment on Jason's face vanished as he caught side of a skimpily dressed Aditi in high heels walking hurriedly in towards him. His face immediately assumed a nauseating sweet expression, smiling with all his 32 out.
"Hey Jason." Aditi greeted him as she swung a bag around and swished into a chair. Aditi had green eyes now, Jason realized. She always wore lenses that changed her eye color. First it was blue, then brown and now green. Jason was not even sure of the actual color of her eyes.
"I have a lecture in 10, so I have to make this quick," Aditi continued.
Jason raised his eye-brows wondering what 'this' meant. His mind was hyperventilating with paranoia. Was Aditi going to dump him here? A fine start to the week it would be. The girl was fast and shrewd, and he was barely being able to keep up with her. She always got her way. But still, he was madly besotted with her. They called girls like her 'man-eaters' didn't they?
"You've been shunning Aiden and rebuffing him ever since I told you he's gay, haven't you?"
Jason was thrown off for an instant. What was this new topic of discussion today?
Aditi gritted her teeth; even though Jason was extremely cheerful and friendly, he was bigoted in some matters. And he was slow at understanding things; sometimes too slow. Aditi spoke clearly and slowly this time.
"Ever since I made you aware of the fact that Aiden is not only gay but has a boyfriend, you've been totally snubbing him, not hanging out with him at all. Am I right?"
Jason kept his sandwich down on his plate. He had no clue as to how Aditi knew about such a thing but over the last few days he had realized that the girl's gossip network and reach for new happenings was far more effective than CNN and BBC combined.
Jason made a face. "But he's you know what."
"He's gay my dear. At least say the word."
Jason inhaled long and deep. This conversation was way too uncomfortable for him.
"Let me ask you this Jason; has Aiden ever made a move on you?"
"Had Aiden ever tried to kiss you, grabbed your ass, cupped your crotch - done anything 'gay' with you?"
"So then why are you so paranoid about him being gay? It's not like he wants to marry you or something."
Jason just stared at the girl with eyes that pleaded to change the topic. But since Aditi was on it now, he knew there was no way he was getting off the hook easy.
"Why are you snubbing your roommate, your good friend just on the account of his being gay? C'mon, which planet do you live on? Haven't you met gay people before?"
Jason just swallowed a lump in his throat. He hadn't actually or had simply turned a blond eye towards them before. He did no want to say anything, but he would have to hear Aditi till she felt she was through. There was no stopping her.
"I mean, he's probably been your friend for over two years and you can't even accept this part of him? Why are you being such a hypocrite?"
Jason finally opened his mouth. "Because he's a poof."
Aditi sighed. This was like trying to put toothpaste back into a tube.
"But that poof is still your friend you know. And you're letting him down. And he's probably hurt real bad that you can't accept him."
Jason had no answer to that. The girl was right. Through the past few meetings with him, he knew how that Aiden felt deep hurt because of him. He had felt disgust and discomfort. But Aiden had felt plain raw pain. Aiden's face and the expressions he wore had made it apparent to even him.
"He's your friend Jason, and a good one at that too. How can you lose him on something like this?"
Jason dropped his head low. He could barely hear Aditi anymore. All he could think of was Aiden's pained expression when he left him in the car that time. Aditi was making him confront things he had been averting since days. But now here it was, staring him right in the face.
"You can't go on like this you know. And I won't have a bigot for my boyfriend!"
Jason jerked up at the last statement. This was the first time Aditi had used the connotation boyfriend for him; even though it was in a negative aspect.
"Think it over Jason. But do all your thinking quick. You need to apologize to Aiden, and apologize fast. In fact, I want you done with your apology before I meet you in the lunch recess."
Jason opened his mouth to protest as Aditi shot up from the chair and collected her bags.
"And give Aiden a call soon."
That was it. Her decision was made and Jason was to follow accordingly. He grunted as Aditi strode off, her hips swaying. She was one hot babe. Guys were turning around as she passed by them. Someone even whistled and Jason turned a little blue with jealousy. He was mad after this girl. The olive honey baked complexion. The perfect figure and the great legs. There was no way he was going to lose her.
Jason eased back into the chair as he picked up his cheese sandwich and nibbled on it again. Aditi was right about him and Aiden, though he was having a tough time admitting it. He had been an asshole. He had no clue what the word bigot meant, but had not wanted to interrupt Aditi to ask that. But he was still being an asshole.
He squirmed once more as a thought of a naked Aiden doing things with Will crossed his mind. Yes, this matter surely made his stomach turn. Even to the point where it made him feel absolutely disgusted at times. Was it possible for him to relegate those feelings and let friendship occupy higher priority? It was the right thing to do wasn't it? After all, this was Aiden he was pondering about.
Aiden, who always paid the most attention to him when he was sick and would assure his worried mother over the phone that he would take care of her son. Aiden who always went swimming with him in the evening when no one else would give him company even though Jason knew he was not so fond of it. Aiden who scolded him for not coming to him sooner when he skidded and took a nasty fall with his cycle and nearly broke his arm; he had felt drowsy after he incident and gone to sleep immediately and Aiden on finding out hours later had rushed along with him to the hospital and insisted that the doctor at least put the slightly swollen arm in a sling. Jason felt sick at himself as he though about how he was abandoning that same Aiden.
The confused roommate brought a hand to his head as he felt his head hurt slightly. This was more thinking and contemplation than he had ever done in his life. He fished out his phone as he dialed the number for his now estranged roommate.
Aditi sashayed through the exit door of the canteen, feeling satisfied that she had brushed up Jason good. The sky rumbled and she glanced up at it. The weather was suddenly turning ominous. Thick black clouds were covering the sky fast. She wondered how she'd not noticed the sky before, when she left to meet Jason. She reckoned she had just been inattentive; it's not like this kind of weather could just suddenly materialize. She mumbled about not getting an umbrella if it suddenly started raining. That would ruin her hair.
She hurried to her lecture hall as streaks of lightning flashed across the sky.
The 'Hourglass of Retrogression' was a powerful artifact. It was a simple delicate glass flask, emblazoned with golden filigree that was owned neither by the Kingdom of Light nor by the Kingdom of Void - it was owned by both, conjointly. It was a superdominant artifact that could be used to turn back time on the material plane, but one that required both the kingdoms to assent to its use. Its activation required a drop of blood from both the Kingdom's guardians; Black and White.
It seemed to White, that soon that omnipotent artifact would have to be put to use, for tens of thousands of people were witnessing the mega battle that was taking place, a battle between entities with titan wings, as they clashed across the sky, one burning golden, the other immersed in a silver glow. White had even noticed TV camera's aimed towards the dueling duo as people strained to comprehend what was taking place. But he hardly had time to think of it at the time, for the toughest conflict he had ever participated was in progress.
Black charged howling towards his opponent, gaining speed as he nosedived downwards, twisting his wings at an angle that streamlined his motion while White flapped upwards, gaining velocity each time his wings stroked. The two swung there swords out at each other as the dark sky was bathed blinding white by lightning and thunder fulminated.
When the lightning subsided, the two winged beings were on opposite sides - opposite to the ones they had been on before; their backs facing each other after the impact had taken place and their swords had clashed, their wings slowly allowing them to drift apart. Black smiled on one side as White gritted his teeth on the other. He had managed to counter only one of the swords. The other had slashed across his wings; wings that appeared to comprise only of feathers but had muscled veins and tissue underneath it all. The pain was mind numbing.
Black's unharmed wings stretched out as he whirled around and he stretched out both of his hands and chanted; "Internecine Ability 3; Whirling Blackness." A swirling sphere of black and grey shadows materialized in front of his palm.
White immediately held his hand straightforward as he mouthed, "Ability of the Light 21, Flaming Shot", and a red ball of fire materialized before his arm. Black swung out his sword wielding hand, as he flung the destructive ball at White who aimed his own flaming shot at the offensive projectile. The two spheres collided in the space between them, leaving behind burning red embers and black flames.
Immediately the two rushed towards each other again as the sword clashing continued as if in a pre choreographed method. Screeching sounds were heard and lightning flashed each time their swords met.
White was realizing something was different about the Black he was fighting. Why was his enemy using such low spells in the middle of such a high level combat? And there was something wrong in his eyes too. Well, he would take advantage of that. He suddenly increased the pace of his sword movements, pushing back his adversary with quick rapid reckless strokes and swung around mightily till he got an opening. Immediately he raised one hand upright, still levitating in flight.
"Ability of the Light 74; Lightning bolt." Clearly visible waves of white colored energy dissipated from his hand as much higher up in the clouds static charge accumulated sparkling with the same color as on the white angel's hands, but on a much larger scale. White brought down his hand swiftly, guiding lightning from the skies to strike his opponent as a blinding flash obscured his view for a second.
Had he got him? Had he struck down his opponent? It had been a powerful spell. White felt movement behind as he swirled around to find Black inches behind him, with his sword striking out. He jerked backwards with all the momentum his wings could muster, barely missing the blow. So Black had used a teleport ability at the last moment? This 'different' Black was far more furtive and savage than the one he had fought before. White would have to be careful.
The adversaries sparred with a few more swings and separated once more. White breathed heavily. He was using up too much energy but his opponent seemed hardly enervated. He watched as Black brought both his sword wielding palms together and joined them in a finger lock.
"Internecine Ability 98; Million Scattering Brutal Shadows." White's eyes grew wide in surprise; this was a drastically high level spell.
He watched helplessly as the massive dark angel's form became hazy and slowly started disintegrating into tens of thousands of pieces. Pieces that would act as millions of blades and attack the enemy from every possible direction. Black had temporarily broken himself down to these Scattering blades that could cut up an enemy into zillions of tiny shreds in seconds.
White quickly held his hand perpendicular to his body for defense. "Guardian Ability 7, Golden Sphere."
Instantly a golden translucent bubble sphere surrounded White, encasing him in safety. But White knew even this force field would not be able to sustain continuous attacks from the brutal shadowed scattering blades. And playing extreme defense at a time like this was not a very smart thing to do.
White watched from inside the force field as hundreds of tiny black blades - the dissembled form of Black himself; hurled themselves with force and momentum onto the spherical enclave. He gritted his teeth as the particle blades began colliding, each attempting to slice the sphere or at least crack it; and there were a countless number of them. White would not be able to maintain his force field much longer.
He gripped the hilt of his sword tighter as he called upon his inner energies and burst into golden flames. The powers of the flames of the Helos Saber would hardly protect him from these ruthless shadowy blades, but would at least offer some resistance. His body was refulgent in golden flames and not a moment too soon. The golden sphere collapsed as the blades swarmed in and rushed onto him.
White let out a blood curdling scream as the blades tore across every possible millimeter of his body, shredding bits of meat, feather and cloth alike. The innumerable particulate blades formed a spate of destructive projectiles, totally encasing his form as it plummeted downwards from the sky. His body crashed into the rooftop of a building, cracking the roof floor where it landed.
White painfully opened his eyes. Black had reformed himself from the blades and was motionless in his co ordinates in the sky far far above. White understood that he was recuperating himself from the effects of the immensely powerful internecine spell he had just used. But he was still up in the sky? This was definitely not the ordinary Black; the dark angel should have been groveling on the ground with pain after using such a 'mutually destructive' ability.
White tried to budge but his body would not let him. Every modicum of his frame had been sliced, thousands of deep cuts and thousands of superficial ones. The pain was overbearing. His face, his torso, his legs, arms, shoulders, back; all were covered in blood. Blood that was even blurring his vision. His wings were torn and ragged once again. Most of the cloth fabric on him had been reduced to shreds. Would he die here? Would this mark the end of a Perpetual? Would this bloody mess and pain be his death? And then he once again remembered Aiden. That's what he was fighting for here; the Alchemist who was a boy that he had sworn to protect. He did not know where the boy was right now, but it was good if he was away from the battle.
White felt strength surge within his body as thoughts of Aiden overwhelmed him. He would fight for the boy, and he would not die till he had eliminated all possible forces that worked against the boy. He heaved himself up, shuddering, trembling with throbbing and shooting pains and weakness, but he would do this for Aiden. It had started to rain heavily now, and water droplets that fell on his body trickled down after turning red in color, dissolving his blood. But White felt energies flowing back into his body as his resolve got more and more determined. He shrieked Aiden's name out loud and then clasped his palms as he held them above his head. If Black was using his full power in this battle then so would he.
"Ability of the Light 99; Heaven's God; Flaming phoenix."
As those words left his mouth, yellow and orange flames of fire started whirling around his body. A swirling mass of flames that got larger and larger with each passing second; flames that formed a whirling tornado of hot energies that were slowly taking a gigantic form Flames that spread across for hundreds of feet making everything around for miles glow red in color. The flames were getting hotter as more and more energies imploded onto a critical point. The critical point would serve as the eye of the phoenix.
Fire swirled into the sky like the sun's solar prominences as steadily they took on the form a giant bird; a bird of fire that constantly burned itself out; a bird whose entire body was composed of fames that burned at more than a thousand degrees; a bird with a dozen tales of fire that extended to hundreds of feet; a bird more than 500 meters in length and even greater wingspan; this bird was heaven's god - the flaming phoenix; summoned by White to fight his battle.
The phoenix screeched in a high pitched tone, its scream shattering window panes and glasses for miles across as it lurched towards Black. Thousands watched dumbstruck as the gigantic fiery bird sailed through the air towards the dark Seraph.
The Empress was incensed. Her cute chubby face was absolutely livid with anger. She had been wasting too much time in this virtual world of the darned angel Frigeria. She needed to get back to the real material plane fast; reach there, finish off the Alchemist and then help her guardian Black to eradicate White. She knew for sure that her guardian would not lose to White this time; not while the stone of Subjugation was embedded within him. The stone made him more resistant to damage and made him a fighting machine.
But for now she had to get out of this damn virtual world. A world which was barely a hemispherical dome with a radius of about half a mile. Topographically, the whole area resembled the one where she had initially tried to teleport from when she tried to appear right next to Black and White and the Alchemist boy. But otherwise this world was swarming with humans that were nothing but illusions; young boys playing with dogs in a park as an old couple sat on a park bench watching them. Sharply dressed suited men and women scurrying about to get to work. A hot dog vendor shouting as he advertised his wares; very city picturesque. But the little girl was getting annoyed.
She knew that getting out of such a 'maze' involved solving clues and riddles and conundrums. But she had had enough. Her eyes turned as red as hot charcoal as two figures in front of her caught fire and screamed as they ran amuck. A few moments later everyone had either caught fire or had turned to ashes; the old couple, the hot dog vendor, the boys and suited men and women, even the dogs. And an angry little girl was turning everything into gutted ruins and cinders. She was getting out of this labyrinth one way or another.
Aiden frantically raced up the steps of the town's clock tower. He had been frantically trying to find a way to get closer to the two winged beasts that were his friends. He knew not what he would do if he got closer to them, but he was determined to get to them somehow. He had raced about for very long in the town trying to follow the two clashing angels as they fought in the town's skies. But their fight path had been highly erratic and they covered astounding distances in a few seconds.
Then he got the bright idea of getting to some high structure. He realized now it was a stupid thing to try, but he had to do something. So here he was, clambering the steps of the public clock tower, striding the steps two at a time. He had already climbed eight floors. There were still 6 more to go. And the flights of steps were huge. Each flight had adjacent open windows and he could see unbelievable sights of battle unfurling in front of his very eyes. A gigantic fiery bird? Were Will and Scott capable of using something like that? So all this time they could do things like that? Where the hell was he all this time?
Aiden's phone buzzed in his pocket as he grumbled and fished it out. Tinka had been calling incessantly earlier and Aiden had finally answered her call to tell her he would talk later. She was still messaging him. But looking at the display Aiden froze. He wiped the sweat off his brow with the back of his hand as he paused a few seconds to catch his breath. Then he picked up Jason's call.
"Hello?" Aiden inquired, very aware of how his voice was sounding.
No answer from the other side. Aiden waited a few more seconds before he spoke again.
"Jason, are you there?"
Suddenly Jason's voice broke out from the other side. "Hey wazzup! How's the makeover dude?"
And for a few moments Aiden forgot everything else around him. This was Jason. This was how Jason was trying to make up to him. And this was his roommate straining to say he had accepted him. His hear felt warm and light.
"Yeah, fine. How are you."
"Perfect." Jason replied.
The line went silent as both searched for something to say.
"So err, you have a lecture now right? At 8?" Jason inquired.
"Yeah, but I'm skipping that."
"Seriously? That's hardly like you. Where are you?"
Aiden paused as he once again noticed a colossal flaming red bird soaring through the sky. "Err Jason, you might want to take a look outside."
"Why what's..." there was silence on the other end for a few seconds before Jason's voice cracked loudly through Aiden's receiving end. "Holy Crap!"
"Yeah." Aiden muttered from the other side.
"What the fuck is that?"
"Will tell you later. Gotta go for now," Aiden quickly spoke into the phone.
"Uh huh." Jason managed to mumble form the other side.
"And Jason "
"Thanks for calling. It means a lot to me."
"Yeeaah." Jason drawled softly from the other side. Apparently his eyes were still fixated on the fantatic sight he had just seen.
"Later then." Aiden stated quickly and promptly cut the phone. He had important matters to attend to now. Or was he just making a fool of himself?
Aiden continued his ascent up the long flights of steps. 3 minutes of strenuous efforts later, he finally made it to the terrace alongside the town clock. He stood dismayed as he saw the massive shoal of people who had gathered there and were watching the skies. Some dumbstruck, some in awe, some in shock and other with cameras and cellular phones aimed towards the skies.
Well, what the hell was he going to do now anyway? He noticed the time in the tower clock. It was 8:02 AM. He smiled as he thought to himself that he couldn't go back now - he had already missed his lecture.
He waded through the sea of people straining their necks, looking up and aww-ing disbelievingly as they took in the fantastical sights unfurling before them.
White smiled satisfactorily even in his torn-down condition. Summoning the giant phoenix had been a good decision, even though it took unimaginable amounts of his energy to do it. But he could take a small respite as Black continued to engage the phoenix in combat. In fact Black could only dodge the giant bird as it screeched and lurched for him every time. It was as if a giant hawk was trying to capture a tiny gadfly. The rain that fell on the giant bird's form or anywhere near was sizzling and evaporating
Black was having a tough time. Heaven's god, the flaming phoenix was humongous, but was nowhere as fast and swift as he was. The fiery bird squawked and tried to follow his trajectory, but his maneuverability was too high; he was literally flying circles around the red flaming bird. But the flames were piping hot and were searing his skin. He would have to go on the offensive and start attacking the phoenix now. Then he could move onwards with his nemesis White.
The giant bird screeched an ear piercing scream as it plunged towards him but Black swiftly dodged it. "Ambulatory Ability 7; Shimmer Teleport" he chanted and slowly faded away from the present dimensions as he appeared directly behind the creature, being careful to avoid the trajectory of it's blazing wings and tail. He held out his arms once more to chant a powerful internecine spell.
"Internecine Ability 57; Ineluctable Disintegra " Black withdrew with a plunge as the Helos Saber swung out at him, ghastly severing his left arm. The bloody form of the Keeper of the Light was soaring above him with a determined expression. He had not allowed him to complete his spell.
White swung his sword, his teeth gnashed as he dove inwards towards the dark Seraph, striking the Blades of Alacrity with powerful blows. Black countered them and dived towards White only to be cut off by the flaming phoenix returning towards him once more. Black recoiled his trajectory avoiding the gigantic creature, realizing that this had now become a two-to-one battle. He would have to balance it out.
The fallen angel clasped his palms in a seal formation and held them above the centre of his chest. He called forth the ancient energies that lay embedded within him.
"Ability of the Shadows 99; Hell's avatar, Angel of Death."
Static energy appeared around Black and a pillar of black light dropped down from the sky. The beam hit the ground hard as the Earth shuddered and cracked, before the entire ground split open in an earthquake with its epicenter where the black beam had hit the ground. Buildings crumpled and fell as the ground cracked further and further apart and dust and smoke shrouded the entire area. A low rumbling noise shook the surroundings and a giant form emerged as the dust settled - the angel of death - a giant black pterodactyl shaped winged creature with dimensions comparable to the flaming phoenix itself. It's beak was more than 50 meters long and had shining white criss-cross gartered markings on it Throughout the length of it's entire body were engravings that looked like they had been done in icy crystals. Even its eyes were as ice crystals, shining and cold. The giant bird let out a swirling breath of frost before it took to the air and soared towards its enemy, the flaming phoenix.
The two birds crashed high in the atmosphere as the black pterodactyl locked it's claws on the fiery phoenix. The blazing phoenix screeched and attacked the black angel of death with its own claws and fiery breath as the two massive creatures became a gigantic conglomeration of orange and black monsters that tumbled and somersaulted in the air before they crashed heavily onto the ground far below, the impact shaking the earth for miles, as tall buildings were instantly reduced to rubble and ruins.
The monstrous creatures disentangled themselves before hurling themselves at one another again, rolling along the earth, leaving a trail of blazing and freezing carnage in their wake. Clawing, shoving, biting, each avatar struggled to get the better of the other and win this battle for their respective masters. Parks, buildings, ponds, streets; everything was reduced to debris as the lumbering creatures tumbled over them. Finally the phoenix broke free of the grasp of the darker bird and took to the air while the later chased after it.
Aiden watched stupefied from atop the clock tower. The giant monsters had come as close to about 200 meters from the tourist tower he was on, before they leapt to the air. And even from that distance he had felt the forceful thrust of the hot and chilled air that blasted around him, leaving him stunned. All around him people screamed and ran as they panicked and tried to get off the roof.
A stampede ensued as people trampled on fallen others and all rushed towards the only exit from the roof. A minute later, the massive tower terrace lay bare, completely devoid of human presence; all having been frightened out of their skins, having desire to live and having fled from there. Devoid except for a lone boy standing silently as he watched the epic scale war unfold before him, Aiden stood there with sadness in his eyes; was all this happening because of him?
Aiden looked up to the sky, his mind filled with feelings as diverse as awe, sadness and confusion. Two enormous birds were combating each other in the skies as rain poured down, their forms left an eerie orange red glow for miles. Below on the ground was widespread destruction as buildings and structures toppled over like a pack of cards. Hundreds of people were dying below and Scott and Will were fighting up there somewhere. And HE was the root cause for all this. Lightning flashed making his form a scary silhouette as the lone boy stood transfixed on the roof beside the clock tower.
White was battling his darker enemy with all his might. His muscles were ripped and were giving away as blood still oozed and trickled out of every pore of his body. The mighty swords were clashing against each other as White took note of the mayhem and destruction occurring below. He prayed silently that Aiden was safe.
White realized that sleight of swords would achieve him nothing. Black had been fighting tirelessly whereas he on the other hand was weakened form the beginning. He would have to resort to something else. He waited for a break in their fighting and upon finding one immediately raised the Helos Saber upwards as he voiced, "Ability of the Light 98; Holy Storm."
Chains of lightening accumulate higher above the fighting forms as the sky glowed with massive static charges lurking behind dark clouds. Static charges rife with lethal energies that now White could unleash. He brought down his hands as a massive bolt of white lightning struck down towards Black who barely managed to avoid it. White concentrated more of his powers and brought down one beam of lightning after another, Black flitting about trying to escape the bolts of massive energy.
"Got him!" White yelled as the dark Seraph took a direct hit and plummeted towards the ground, his body and wings in fumes. But White was not done yet. He mustered his remaining spell power and hit the crashing form of Black with all the remaining static charge behind the clouds. One, two seven more direct shots later the great white angel was left out of breath as Black's form crashed onto the ground beneath.
White swooped down and landed next to his un-stirring enemy.
The smell of burning flesh was rife in the air as White observed Black's burning body lying face down on the ground. Had he finally defeated his foe? 'No!' he voiced in his mind as he heard Black mumbling something. "Ability of the Shadows 97; Shadow Morasses."
Instantly everywhere around White shadows deformed and rose of the ground as they burgeoned with engulfing profiles and leapt towards him. White swiftly took to the air as the shadows followed suit. But they would only rise to a certain height.
White was shocked. His opponent had managed to use such a powerful spell in that condition? If he got struck by those shadows once, it would most likely be over for him. Black was indeed a redoubtable opponent.
The soaring white angel watched as the shadows surging upwards followed him and then stopped as they reached their maximum stretching limit. He waited to catch sight of his opponent as the dark forms receded. The darkness slowly vanished but Black was nowhere to be seen.
White panicked. Where was Black? Had he stealthily taken leave from the battle to kill Aiden first? Immediately he concentrated to search for the boy's presence.
The humongous creatures of hell and heaven continued their aggressive tussle not far away.
There are moments when great things happen. And there are those in which a lot of important things happen but only some remain etched in memory. As streaks of lightning flashed across the sky and thunder bellowed rumbling low and deep, some of those moments were about to 'happen'. Important events that would change the course of history and even more important ones that hardly any would remember.
Aiden squinted his eyes as he looked towards the skies. He had caught sight of the two winged angels in the skies earlier - a fleeting glance of a few seconds till the rain and his vision deterred him from seeing them anymore. And now the boy stood, mouth agape, staring frantically into the skies before him, trying to catch sight of the people he loved, as large droplets of rain pattered down on his face making him blink several times. But all he could see were two gigantic creatures of ice and fire contesting in the skies above, and those were not the two angels.
Lightning flashed blindingly and Aiden felt a movement behind him. He whirled around to find a Dark silver angel, bleeding from several lacerations as his skin burned and smoke fumed from his body. His wings were chipped and cut at places but stood high above the timid boy.
"Will!" Aiden cried out but any thing else he had to say got caught in his throat as the dark Seraph lifted a sword in the air with an intent to kill. Black stepped forward, his sword raised high as fear instilled itself into the eyes of the young Alchemist.
Aiden stood paralyzed as the sword swung forward and shut his eyes. So this was how he would die? He waited for the inevitable.
Aiden stood there his body pulled tightly into himself. Was he dead? No. Certainly not. He had felt no pain of a sword slicing through his body. In fact he had not felt anything at all. Only the raindrops stinging his skin. He opened his eyes apprehensively. There in front of him was the dark angel, Will. His sword hung low in his hand as he stared at Aiden with confusion plastered all over his face. Confusion, question and fear.
"Why?" Will asked with pain on his face.
Aiden could not make sure because of the rain, but he knew there were tears streaming down the elder man's cheeks. And Aiden understood immediately. Aiden knew Will was bleeding his heart out. He wanted to know why he was trying to kill the person he loved. Will's eyes were steadily turning milky white.
"It's me Will." Aiden stated softly and Will bowed his head low in shame. But Aiden could see that his eyes were once again turning green. The 'Stone of Subjugation' that lay embedded within his heart had cracked but had not broken. It had not completely unharnessed itself before, and this time it released the powers of subjugation mixed with insanity full force. And it's depravity made it's way through Black's veins.
Will lifted his head and screamed. A scream of pain, of anguish and of hurt. And then he raised his sword to kill the boy once and for all.
This time Aiden had no fear in his eyes. He smiled sadly as the sword struck down.
It was White again to the rescue. Only this time he had stopped Black's sword with his body. The sword had sliced through his shoulder and collar bone and lay embedded in his chest, just above his heart.
"I told you that you're not leaving a single scar on him." The bloodied white angel gritted through clenched teeth before he heaved Black backwards and the jagged sword withdrew from his body, pulling out chunks of flesh as obscene amounts of blood splashed onto the wet floor below and turned all the accumulating water a deep crimson.
"Then you die first!" Black growled as he raised his dual blades and swung maniacally at White.
White barely countered and dodged the blows. He had reached his limit, having over drained himself and his energies several times over. His sword played lightly with the two savage blades of his opponent before it flew out his hand and he stumbled backwards landing with a splash on the ground, barely sitting upright in his pain.
"Yes Witenhoem, you were right", the pyrrhic victor bellowed. "This ends today!"
"NO WIIIIILLL!" Aiden screamed from behind.
And then it happened. A critical time in our story had begun. One that would shape things for centuries to come. One that would end our story.
Black stopped short with his sword inches above White as the Stone of Subjugation shattered within his heart. The 'impossible to surmount' stone had been defeated and that was the first moment that Black looked down at his enemy confused, totally free from the evil powers of subjugation that the Empress had impressed upon him.
That was the exact moment that Empress Woe appeared on the material plane, back from the virtual world of Frigeria after apparently having slain her foe. And she immediately realized that the stone had been destroyed and no longer was her guardian totally under her control.
And a couple of seconds later, while Black still looked with confused eyes towards his enemy and tried to make sense of his position, White jerked up and pulled at one of his opponents blades and thrust the same into Black's chest, and through the darker angel's heart.
Aiden stood stunned. The little girl covered her mouth with a hand. White pushed himself back as he dark Seraph fell to the ground, his face with a confused expression as he tried to search for Aiden. White had finally finished his foe.
Everyone stood still for a period of time. A period that none present would be able to specify exactly. Aiden was the first to move. He walked quietly towards the slain body of his lover. The same lover that had tried to kill him. The man he loved. The boy walked over and fell on his knees looking mournfully into the dead face of his lover as a sword thrust out obscenely from the centre of his chest. Will was dead.
"Aiden?" White questioned softly as he looked to the face of the person he loved. And even though it was raining, White could see that the boy shed no tears. Aiden never cried.
And then one of those moments took place. Aiden's body suddenly started radiating with a yellow glow. A glow that was soft to start with and steadily turned blinding. Aiden's silhouette stood up as the ground beneath him started to sizzle and pop before it melted. His eyes had turned an aberrant shade of red. White and the Empress watched with their mouths agape. The Alchemist had just realized his powers.
And within those seconds Aiden understood the nature of everything around him. His body gradually stopped glowing yellow and turned back to normal as he looked all around. He could see clearly now. The rain, the clouds, the structures, the life entities; and he understood everything about them. What they were composed of, how they functioned, how they were made and how they could be destroyed. He was an alchemist that understood the molecular structure of things, understanding them at the nucleus level. But Aiden could see far more than the sub atomic units. He could see the forces of life and light that flowed through everything - the 'lifetrons'. What we humans would call the forces of 'magic' for lack of a better word. And Aiden could compose and disassemble anything as he understood them.
Aiden lifted a hand upwards and the rain stopped. The dark thunder clouds receded slowly and the sun shone through.
He waved towards the two avatars of Hell and Heaven that were still engaged in battle and both the creatures writhed and shrieked before their molecular structures and animating forces broke down to dust.
He turned towards the Keeper of the Light and gently moved a hand over his chest and instantly all off White's wounds were healed as the skin hissed and even the feathers on his wings fledged from nowhere.
This was the power of the Alchemist - Infinite. Almost infinite.
"No, you will die here!" a little girl shrieked from behind as she fired a speeding black comet of fire and atomic power towards the young boy. The boy held a hand and dismantled the fiery black sphere in mid air, before it reached anywhere near him. Breaking it down to the most basic of atoms. He instantly changed the chemical composition of those elements and reformed a new sphere, shining bright blue in fumes and hurled it towards the Empress. All happened within the fraction of seconds and the little girl took the direct impact and fell to the floor stunned, unable to contemplate what had happened.
Aiden looked at the evil Empress. So she had been the cause of all of this. Instantly he concentrated as he understood the structure that composed this Perpetual. Her chemical composition, her life forces, her animating veins and soul. He held out his hand and clenched his fist as the little girl got up unsteadily and winced and trembled with pain.
In the next instant her body exploded leaving behind dust and fumes.
The Alchemist had just obliterated one of the most powerful Perpetuals.
Aiden stepped back as White stared at him his mouth still agape and his eyes wide with wonder. What limitless kind of power did the Alchemist possess? Having been miraculously healed by the alchemist, he could no longer feel pain and all his wounds had disappeared. There was no longer a single scratch on his body.
Aiden turned around and stepped back, falling to his knees beside the corpse of the dark angel. The cadaver of the one he loved. He sighed deeply. This was not within his limitless power.
And within those moments, Aiden understood everything else there was to understand. He had already understood everything material and spiritual that ran things around everywhere. Now he understood everything emotional.
White got up unsteadily and immediately embraced Aiden, holding the boy tightly in his arms. He had something to say to Aiden.
Aiden in those moments remembered everything he had gone through in life.
He remembered Steve who had been such a good friend and had supported him through the roughest of times in his own caring manner. Steve who he played tennis with and who he had never been able to beat.
He remembered Jason and how after going through severe trauma, his roommate had finally accepted him entirely. Jason, who always made a fool of himself around girls and loved playing any kind of sport.
He remembered Tinka and how she had been the most amazing friend he could possibly ever possess, sticking through his side through all the hard times. Tinka who always laughed and played pranks on him to get back.
He remembered Dominic, the person who he had loved for so long and had been terrified to face when it came to matters of his sexuality; even Dominic had readily accepted him as more than a friend. Dominic who worked hard and always tried to keep everyone happy.
He remembered Scott, who stepped down from the stars, literally, and offered him friendship and guidance that kept him afloat. Scott, who would protect Aiden with his own life.
And lastly he remembered Will. Will who had given him more love in a week than most people experience in several lifetimes. Will that had comforted him and told him that he would always stand by his side. The handsome man with deep green eyes who's smile could light up Aiden's entire day. And Aiden had had him in his life.
What more could he ask for? He had lived his life replete.
"I Love you, Aiden." Scott spoke softly as Aiden felt his soft white wings gently caressing his skin. Aiden looked up to the taller angel's face and smiled sadly.
"No. It is not me you love." And with that Aiden dived into his mind as White recoiled. An unconditional dive that was unstoppable. Aiden searched amongst his memories till he found what he was looking for. An isolated corner locked away, far into the subconscious. A hidden treasure of memories that Aiden reached out and unlocked.
Immediately White gasped as a deluge of memories and emotions overwhelmed him and he reeled under their blow. Memories of a forbidden love. Memories of true love. Memories of years of love. Memories of Black and White and the passion of their love. Memories of the heartbreak. Memories of his fiercely intense love for the person he had just killed.
Tears left White's eyes as he looked down in horror at the fallen angel. And in a confused state he hugged Aiden, weeping his heart out.
And within those moments Aiden's body started to glow once more. Glowing white, getting brighter and brighter with each passing second. White broke the embrace and looked at the boy questioningly.
"What are you doing Aiden?" He glanced down as slowly the fallen body of his long lost love started disappearing. White screamed as he realized what the Alchemist was doing.
"No! No! Stop! Don't do this!" White hugged the boy as if that would stop him from vanishing before his eyes. But even the mighty Keeper of the Light was powerless against the Alchemist.
"Aiden. Stop!" he pulled back his head and stared into Aiden's glowing face, begging him to stop. There were no tears in Aiden's eyes. Aiden never cried.
"Tell Will I loved him." Aiden stated calmly as his face got brighter and brighter. "And that he gave me more love than I had ever dreamed of."
White screamed as the boys form was effulgent in blinding light and he hugged the iridescent form fiercely. Not letting go, swaying softly with it.
And slowly Aiden's body disappeared as the light dissipated.
The glow subsided as White was left hugging Black in his arms. The Alchemist had wiped out his own existence. Wiped it out to resurrect Black, or Will, as he'd better known him. He had sacrificed his own life, for resurrecting a Perpetual was not within his normal scope of powers.
And all that was left in White's arms was Black himself, with the fondest memories of his mighty white angel lover.
White sobbed and broke down into the arms of his reunited love. Black held him tightly and stroked his back soothingly, stroking the petals that were his wings. Slowly White withdrew and looked into the greenest of eyes. This was the love he had lost. One he had regained. One he had been reunited with. Black stroked White's face with his fingers, gently wiping away the tears and leaned his face ahead as he met White for a soft kiss.
Frigeria flapped her wings and landed on the terrace beside the two and watched what was happening before her with wonder. She had escaped from Empress Woe unharmed.
The two male angels stood kissing on the terrace, holding each other tightly. Their wings were draping down onto the floor below. And both knew not, how many hundreds of years it would be before an Alchemist would return to the material plane. Maybe 500 years, maybe 800, maybe a millennium. But both knew that while an Alchemist could possibly return to the material plane, a young boy called Aiden would not. A young boy who had stolen both their hearts. A boy with the will of fire and a heart bigger than the largest ocean.
And in those moments, two Perpetuals kissed softly on the terrace beside the giant clock, as a love lost for more than 800 years was found again.