The warm embrace of the sun that graced above, pierced through an open window, and crept inside the sleeping boy’s bedroom like clockwork.
The boy moved ever so slightly as he laid on top of the covers. Kira, skin white and figure average, was catching up on missed sleep. Unlike the other villagers outside, he stayed inside to recoup. Having this ability was a blessing, considering the tormented night prior.
Pure dread. Utter despair. A blood-soaked nightmare. These words best described an event that caused his pores to fill with sweat. It resulted in his once neat brown hair becoming a mess.
Kira, unaware that the morning had dawned or choosing to ignore it, was late. And as such, the sun had an answer for him, a way to slap him awake. Ablaze, the heat above turned up in intensity, wanting attention. If it possessed the ability to speak, it would shout, “Wake up, it's morning!"
Kira was disturbed by it as his eyelids opened to reveal a pair of beautiful, azure eyes, shining like a cloudless sky.
“I'm getting up!" He muttered under his breath, almost disparaging the sun. Telling it to tone down its shine.
Tiredness brought a yawn, and he covered his mouth with a hand, good manners taught from Setsuna. Yet, inside such a large house, his yawn passed through the silence, void of other voices and sounds except his own.
‘Setsuna and Kuro should be back soon,’ He thought, eyes blinking rapidly, ‘Know them, they’re probably checking the forest.’
Kuro looked around the room, catching green upon his desk from a leaf which had flown in through the wind.
Too big for one person, he thought. The other two individuals who lived with him departed regularly on secret missions, never disclosing their whereabouts to Kira. To protect him, they said. To keep him safe, they said.
Four weeks. That was how long they had been gone now but, thankfully, they were due back today.
Though Setsuna was the father of Kuro, Kira was adopted into the family as a newborn, never knowing his parents. He felt strange. A feeling that would never disappear. A sense of abandonment lingered in the air for Kira. Even as he knew he wasn’t alone, it was impossible to never feel that way from moment to moment.
Inside, Kira was facing the mental exhaustion of the blood-soaked nightmares that haunted his dreams. Compared to before, where nightmares weren’t uncommon to him, these were bloodcurdling. Yet he maintained the act that everything as fine.
“I’m fine. . .” Kira muttered.
He wouldn’t be kept down by such a thing. He stood with the intent of washing away his sweat, bare feet touching the floor, his athletic body walked to the wash. Once done, and now dressed in pants, Kira made his way and dried himself before beginning to dress into village clothing.
In the midst of pulling down his top, he paused.
Eyes fixated, Kira’s vision glued onto a painful remainder on his chest, a thing that had stayed there since as long ago as he could remember. A Jaggard scar left by the blade of a sword.
‘How could someone try and kill a baby?’ He thought. ‘Were they mad?’
Each day, he pondered these ludicrous questions, never able to let them die. In the end, he came to the conclusion that someone malicious, twisted in the head, was the cause.
Kira always felt grateful to Setsuna. As the man had said, that day, under the moonlit sky, Setsuna had not been able to sleep as he watched Kira struggle to breathe, vulnerable. Luckily, Kira survived, broken in places, but living nonetheless.
Used to his routine, Kira’s eyes darted besides his bed, noticing a one-handed sword resting against the frame. A gift he had received from the man that adopted him. Naturally, Kira took the weapon, following the few rules Setsuna left for him. The first of which was that Kira carried a weapon with himself at all times. The second, naturally, was to never leave the village unless accompanied by him.
Though Kira felt strange with the restrictions placed on him, he shook the doubts away. He could never doubt the man that gave him a home to live, and a heart filled with love.
Kira moved to the opposite side of the room and stood before a varnished, wooden desk. A gift also from Setsuna that the man had brought from his travels around the world. On top of its surface was a pile of ancient books and letters. Items to help with his memory loss.
He moved to a letter of grave importance--a stamp or crest engraved on it--causing him to smile. A girl he had supposedly saved was due to arrive today. Yet, he also frowned. No matter how hard he tried, Kira couldn’t remember her face. He couldn’t repair the broken mosaic of his mind. And, though he forgot, his eyes refused to let go of the memories eluding him as tears fell from his right eye.
“Dammit. . .”
Like Setsuna, he preferred to be known for having a calm mind. Yet, wanting to remember the individual so badly had brought the emotions to the surface.
Kira placed the letter back and ate breakfast before returning to the room, trekking immediately to the windows and confirming his suspicion as an old man’s ears twitched.
The village chief was a short, elderly man with a patch of white hair upon his head. The moment the light of the sun kisses his form, however, his near-baldness was highlighted. His black eyes shined above his white mustache.
Kira sighed at the man who was known for snooping about, enemy to young women, and a point of note for Setsuna.
“It’s rude to listen in on people you know?”
The chief face-planted into the wall, his face bruising red as he tended to the wound.
“Looks like that hurt,” Kira said as he watched from above.
The chief glanced up.
“Yeah, it did!”
“Let me guess. . .” Kira muttered, “Setsuna put you up to this?”
The chief tried to defend himself.
“W-well. . .you see. . .I was. . .” In the end, without a way out, and with no proper excuse, responded with, “Yes. . .”
Kira chuckled at the deflated man.
“I’ll forgive you>’
The chief’s face elated. “I knew your kind heart would-”
“However,” Kira interrupted, “This is why people call you a creep and a pervert! Try to act normal!”
Yet, he deeply sighed, because telling the old man this wouldn’t make a difference.
No words left the chief’s mouth, only a nervous laughter.
With the matter sorted, the chief jumped down from the ledge of the house and Kira headed for the door.
‘My friend. . .I fear that this will be the last day Kira can live like this. I watched him while you were away, got to now the young man he became. I did this for you too, Setsuna, my old friend,’ The chief thought as he gazed at the sky above with sadness in his eyes.
Kira took a step outside and saw, in the distance under the glow of the sun’s light, a mass of villagers at the front entrance, waiting for someone’s arrival. With the guest imminent, it was only natural.
To his left, the chief stood patiently with arms placed behind his back, looking much more proper than a snooper.
Kira, sword attached to his waist, walked as the chief followed and spoke.
“Kira, do you remember the story of the bell?”
Kira tilted his head. “Only parts, mostly a haze.”
“Then let me tell you again.”
The chief coughed, remembering the young man’s lost memory, and began speaking.
‘Cold was the night inside the new village of Silva. Silence reigned, not a peep from anyone. Everyone slept soundly under the silver moon. Yet, that would change as it turned blood-red.”
The two walked side by side.
“A pure Darkgress of jet black. It’s sleek body pulsing with crimson red. Under orders from Lord Dark, it came to destroy us through the gap beneath a door, it came. It slid like a shadow to a child’s bedroom.”
The chief sighed. “With its claws, the monster tapped along the boy’s bed frame. The family watched in horror, pure despair, as the child’s flesh was peeled from his body. When the kid could no longer scream, broken, the Darkgress painted a bloody rose from his corpse. With a grin, it enjoyed the twisted, horrific game. It enjoyed playing with the lives of innocents as its malice danced undergo the crimson sky.”
At this point, Kira was rapt in attention and anticipation. Gruesomely so as his pace slowed.
“Later that night it came for its pleasure. The rainbow eyed God was lying in wait, and Silva became a battleground of blood as he saved the village with his Sacred Guardians. Just before they left, however, he stopped and turned before the forever grateful villagers. Lord Atem would not leave them unguarded and presented a gift. A heavenly divine bell forged in the heart of his home. A bell which created an invisible barrier, wings covering around the small village. Standing unshaken, it stopped all those with malice in their hearts, even a lower-tier Darkgress. Satisfied, Lord Atem left through a portal of prismatic colors, returning home.”
Upon arriving at the square, that same bell stood, encrusted with a rust that had shed its heavenly gold long ago. An ornament of a forgotten time. Looking at the thing, and doubtful, Kira raised a question.
“Chief, if this bell repels most creatures. . .” He said, though he doubted it, “Why haven’t the Sacred Guardians returned to fix it?”
The chief chuckled. “Sadly, only two people can repair this bell. Lord Atem, and a sacred blacksmith under orders. It has been a thousand years since tier last appearance.”
He addressed the bell with complete certainty, gazing at it with unwavering eyes.
“I think the cause of the recent plaguing us these past weeks must be because the bell has lost its shine, all its power. Setsuna believes that as well. . .”
As Kira pondered those words, they reached the front entrance of the village and, greeting the other villagers, waiting for the arrival of the newcomers.
Soon, two girls would grace all of Silva with their appearance, but importantly Kira.
In a realm outside the Sacred Guardian’s reach:
Surrounded in complete darkness, the only light source a black, crimson, flame, a young man sat on a black, golden, throne. His hand supported his tilted head as he looked down upon others. His blood-red eyes set ablaze a sea of darkness, the shadowy figure moved a white, king chess piece across his gloved hand.
In front of him, a young man knelt with the utmost respect.
“Your great despair, your divinity! What is it that you desire?”
His lord grinned. A grin of sheer enjoyment anticipating the future events set to occur.
“It's time for the game to begin. . .now then, Atem, let us see who wins. Your light, or my darkness. As my Darkgress dance and feast on pure despair, this world shall fear my return!”
He spoke with a desire holding the conviction of evil, a pleasure from the sins of the races soon to be consumed by his pets.
The loyal servant stood and reflected similar evil.
“As you command, Lord Dark!”
The shadow of darkness placed the chess piece upon the board before him, crimson flames of the night lighting ablaze.
'Plot by Lord Atem, Written by LotsChrono'