ROOSTVILLE: THE SERIES

Ep. 6: The Coming Of Sblade

(Premiered March 23rd, 2005 by the Blue Devil and taking place in 2017)

WARNING:

This story has semi-graphic violence, adult situations and language. Rated R.



People cheered their leader, their master, on. Many young girls envisioned being his bride; many young men, the husband of his daughter, Merilion. But the elders knew that behind his handsome face, their lord was a monster. They spoke his true name amongst themselves and no one else. If they tried to tell their children of his wickedness, they would just laugh and say, "Milord would never do something like that. You're crazy!"

The fact was this: they all believed him to be an angel of God, the bringer of His word. He could do no wrong and he could beat any evil, for he was Sblade, Keeper of the Light.

As mentioned, Sblade is incredibly handsome, with a perfect smile and a friend to his people. They believed him to be a messenger of God because he was immortal and an angel. He had pure silver eyes and wings. His sword healed the sick and his mercy had no bounds. He kept a barrier around his continent and told his people that it was "God's will for me to do so."

He had one daughter, Merilion, who was as pretty as Sblade was handsome. She was a kind and gentle soul but she had her limits and if they were met, she was a most dangerous foe. She had chestnut brown hair, human eyes and brown wings. She carried with her the weapons of her fallen mother, a woman named Elizabeth who had been killed by a horrible monster, a being who was feared across Sblade's lands and merely known as the Angel of Darkness.

Only Sblade did not fear him as he was the one who had banished him long ago when he had killed his wife. Merilion awaited the day when he returned so that she could kill him and make him pay for the crimes he had done. Now, the elders called Sblade by his true name and title but none of them spoke it aloud for it would mean a quick death in the night that would be blamed on their old age. But they knew his true name.

Word spread quickly throughout Sblade's lands that the horrible monster, the Angel of Darkness, had returned to the out lands. The Elders held meetings amongst themselves, seemingly unknown to Sblade. Their words were quick to one another as they spoke of the legend in this land, handed down by a man who died upon his utterance of it. The legend spoke of how the Angel of Darkness would rise up from the shadows and free the people under the rule of the Demon of Light. The final battle will be that of Kaiser Afiag, the Arch Angel of Darkness and Lord Sblade.



Sblade moved swiftly as he entered his castle, his silver wings draped around his body as a cloak. Merilion was out training as he sat down.

He barked out at the subjects in the room, "Be gone! I need peace." They left quickly and quietly as they saw the troubled look upon their master's face. Sblade suddenly rose up from his throne and walked swiftly over to the window where he could overlook everything that went on.

"Angel of Darkness... why hath thou chosen to appear now? Is it related to our Master's 'rebirth' into this world? Why... Where are you, Afiag? Where are you, brother?"

*****
In another kingdom on the same continent was where Afiag was at the moment. There came a cry of 'Afiag' but it was not of fear or hate, or even rage. It was of joy and happiness. Clad in his armor with his wings draped around him like a cape and Elizabeth following him, he looked at the beckoner as an old friend. The man wore dark red armor with gold trimmings on it, had shoulder length red hair, blood red eyes and red angel wings.

"Brother Afiag! It's been a long time," spoke his brother.

"Emperor Thol, the Warrior of Fire and my brother. It indeed has been a long time," Afiag said as the two clasped hand and claw and patted each other on the back as longtime friends would do. Thol then spotted Elizabeth and raised an eyebrow at Afiag who merely spoke three words. "The Blue Devil." He nodded, understanding.

"So, brother. Why is it that you have chosen to come back now?" he asked, to which Elizabeth also posed a question.

"Yes, Afiag. Why are we here?" A misty kind of look came about Afiag's eyes as the three walked towards Thol's castle.

"I'm here to find someone." Suddenly, a soldier ran up to Thol.

"Emperor Thol," began the messenger as he got on his knees. "Lord Sblade is mobilizing his troops. He threatens war if we do not hand over the Angel of Darkness!" Thol looked very troubled.

"Sblade... we had a deal, damn him." Afiag listened with no emotion and Elizabeth was doing the same until she heard the name, Sblade.

"Sblade..." her eyes widened. "Afiag, isn't he the one who-" she was cut off with a quick, gruff affirmative. She could almost see the pain in her lover's eyes and lowered her head as Thol started to speak.

"Let us not worry ourselves about such matters now, brother. I would like you to meet my son, Takeru." He led his two guests into his castle and introduced a youth who couldn't have been more than 15. Unlike his father, Takeru had long golden hair, gold eyes and carried with him a gold staff.

"Uncle Afiag, Aunt Elizabeth!" spoke the youth, kneeling. "Father has spoken many times of you." Takeru was looking pointedly at Afiag, as if to search his soul. Afiag's gaze was as cold as an iceberg and hard as rock as he slowly looked away.

"My people call him the Angel of Hope," said Thol when he and Afiag got to be to themselves. Elizabeth had stayed behind to talk with Takeru.

"Angel of Hope..." Afiag let out a heavy sigh at hearing that title and sat down, his wings wrapping around his body, much like Sblade's had and shook his head slowly. "You do remember the legend, don't you, Thol?"

"Yes, brother, I do. 'And from his Kingdom will come forth the Omni Angel of Hope and Light to kill the Darkness.'" It was Thol's turn to sigh. "Afiag, I should tell you. Sblade has a daughter with brown wings and human-like eyes." His voice awoke Afiag's senses as he bolted upward.

"I'll kill the bastard!" Afiag swore, clenching his fists together. Thol's hand came down on his shoulder.

"WE will kill the bastard. Sblade is now threatening my people. He must be stopped." So fierce were Thol's words that Afiag could only nod. "Come, let us feast."

*****

"Lord Sblade!" came the cry of one of his many subjects. He rose and wondered if Afiag could move that fast.

"What is it?" Sblade barked.

"We have an injured wanderer out here, sire!" A breath of relief.

"Bring him in." What they, brought in a near death and crazed Neo Crucifer, Warrior of the Cross. Sblade's eyes opened wider when he laid eyes upon the fallen warrior. His Lord had told him about such a man but he was under the impression that Afiag had killed him. "This is a Warrior of God! Sblade called out as Neomumbled one name over and over again.

"Afiag... Afiag... Afiag..." Sblade's eyes closed to near slits upon hearing it. Afiag! So, he was still defying their Lord's word, was he? Striking against his own men. He would soon learn his place, though. No one fought against their Lord and Master and got away with it. He allowed his element, Light, to come forth and heal the fallen warrior. Every wound, both physical and mental, was fixed... along with something else which had been implanted.

"Tell the soldiers to arm themselves. The Angel of Darkness could be upon us at any time!" Sblade ordered, sending his men scurrying. Neo Crucifer sat up, groaning as he recognized his benefactor. He didn't know how, but he did.

"Lord Sblade! What is it that you would have me to do?" asked the Warrior of the Cross. His armor had been tainted with a blackish substance, unnoticeable to any eye but Sblade's. He smiled as he knew that the man known as William D. Fix was long since gone. All that remained was the loyal Neo Crucifer, Warrior of the Cross and Soldier of the Phantom Lord.

*****
Afiag walked from the room he and Thol had been conversing in. His eyes fell on Takeru, who was talking with Elizabeth. He could see hope in the young boy's eyes.

"Takeru," Afiag called out. "Come with me." Afiag turned around, watching the Angel of Hope following him. "So, tell me, Takeru, what is your element?" he asked.

"White Fire," answered the young boy. Afiag's gaze on him lingered for a few minutes and then he finally spoke.

"Show me." Takeru walked to a balcony and raised a fist. Afiag raised an eye brow as the young boy's hand was coated in a white light which quickly became flame, very deadly for those who don't know fire. Fire was red until it reached a certain temperature, at which point it became white hot. Afiag was surprised the castle hadn't exploded from the sheer power that the boy wielded in his hand until he realized something - the boy had complete control over it so why not what it burned and did not burn? The Angel of Hope then shot his fist forward and a stream of the white fire shot off into the sky.

"Can you do anything else with this fire of yours? Consume an enemy with it?" Afiag questioned.

"So far, I can only wield the White Flame in or around my body but my normal fires, I can do just about anything with." The boy then asked his own question. "What is your element, Uncle?"

Afiag's gaze darkened. "That matters not, as of now. The only thing that matters is that you become a strong warrior. That is what is important." The boy's gaze returned to the sky where he had launched his flame. His eyes seemed to pulsate with power. Afiag turned away and walked back to his lover, Elizabeth. She looked at him, concerned.

"Afiag... are you planning on going to kill Sblade?" she asked. He did not have to answer as his gaze said it all. It had increased in its usual ferocity. "Just don't get killed. We just got each other back! I do not wish for you to leave me this time." Afiag's gaze had softened as he hugged her, his wings wrapping around her body.

"I promise..." he sighed. "I will never die." With that, they kissed with all the ferocity that Afiag's eyes had ever radiated.

*****

"Neo Crucifer, come." Sblade was walking down into the courtyard of his castle. Here is where they trained their warriors. They knew of guns but scoffed at them, preferring to use their arrows. But these were not normal shafts. They paralyzed a body, cutting off all forms of movement, even all methods of attack, including those of beings such as Afiag or even Sblade himself. They took fighting poses as Sblade had ordered a duel to test Neo Crucifer's skill. They faced off, the Warrior of the Cross grasping his Cross Blade and the Soldier of the Phantom Lord, Sblade, holding nothing at all. They circled one another, looking for an opening until Neo sprung forward, his blade coming down, right where Sblade was standing. Or, at least where he had been standing. Sblade, having seen this attack coming, leaped backward, his wings propelling him into the air and blowing back Neo Crucifer. Neo also took to the air as well and started slashing again and again. Each strike Sblade dodged with extreme speed and skill until Crucifer brought his blade to cut him down the middle, only to have the warrior turn to the left. A bit too late as it was about to connect so all it hit was bright light. This light formed into two tendrils which flew past Neo Crucifer and behind him, wrapping themselves around one another and forming into Sblade again. Call this a checkerboard wrap.

"Very good! You would have inflicted a serious wound if I hadn't of moved. This concludes our duel. Now, I have someone I want you to hunt for me..." Sblade commented, flying toward his soldier.

*****
Afiag looked outside and noticed it was getting dark. A kind of irony was in this somewhere but he was not looking for it.

"I guess we will have to start our journey tomorrow, Thol," he grumbled. He did not like waiting.

"I've noticed. Come. I will show you and Elizabeth your room," spoke the Warrior of Fire, nodding as he started walking down the hallway. Afiag noticed the look on Elizabeth's face when he mentioned the journey. When they reached their quarters, Afiag closed the door.

"Afiag... I wish to come with you." The look in her eyes was pleading to him to let her come with them. But Afiag's gaze was all that she needed to know that she wouldn't be able to. This was his quest, his search. She looked down, disappointed. Afiag tenderly reached up and touched her face. He cursed his claws as he was never really able to get intimate with his lover. She looked him in the eye, his gaze softer now than it had been in centuries. He tried to smile softly but it was hard for him. His face had so long been set in an emotion of hate and rage, of sadness. He had almost forgotten how sweet his beloved smelled, how warm her breath was upon his flesh, how good her touch was to him,. He lowered his head to hers and they kissed. They broke their embrace as Elizabeth started toward the bed, stepping slowly backwards, motioning Afiag to follow. A sultry grin crossed her face as she saw him follow, a look of lust in his eyes. Elizabeth draped her arms around Afiag, to the clasps of his armor. There were two holes to allow his wings to come out. The clasps were there. She stepped back and still marveled at how, no matter how many wounds he took, he never did he have a scar, with the exception of his face. He had always had that scar. She traced it with her finger as she started to kiss his neck. Afiag undid Elizabeth's own breastplate and slowly took off her undershirt and worked his way down. He could only admire her sleek body as he took her into his arms, wings wrapping around their bodies as he carried her to their bed.

Elizabeth awoke, aching something furious. She laughed to herself and looked over to see if Afiag lay with her. He did not. A look of confusion crossed her face and then she remembered what had happened before their little playtime. She gathered her clothes, which had been scattered about the room, put them on and left. She hoped she could catch him before he and Thol left.

Afiag approached Thol, already clad in his black armor like usual. Thol's eyes shown with a brightness that Afiag would have questioned if he didn't know how much noise he and Elizabeth made the night before. He smirked to himself. Maybe they had been a little too loud...

"Have a good night, Afiag?" Thol questioned, jokingly.

"A good night, yes. Good sleep, no." Afiag answered.

"Yes, you hardly sleep, do you brother? No matter what you do before hand." Thol spoke, grinning to himself. "Just be happy that my son already knows of sex. It would have been very uncomfortable to explain it to him now!" he laughed. Afiag merely smiled. Then, his face turned serious. He let out a deep sigh as he started walking down the corridor. It had been... enjoyable not to have to fight. If only for a night to have passion again. His eyes darkened as he remembered exactly why he and Elizabeth were here.

"Thol... when do we leave?" Afiag asked somberly.

"As soon as you want," he said, then looked up and saw Elizabeth coming toward them. He turned away and started walking, smirking. "You know where you can find me." Afiag turned to his lover, his gaze again softening. She looked happy. Maybe too happy. Afiag shook his head, his eyes lighting up.

"Afiag, why did you leave? We could have had another go-around..." she smiled sensually.

"I'm sorry, Elizabeth. I had to cheek on something. Besides," he spoke softly. "I figured you had had enough last night..." Her gaze into her lover's eyes intensified.

"Maybe..." she said, smiling impishly. Though they were fierce warriors, they were also fierce lovers.

*****

"Lord Sblade..." Neo Crucifer began, kneeling. "We have word that Afiag..." he paused at this name, almost seething with hatred. "Is moving upon our lands." Sblade's gaze revealed nothing of the anger, amusement or even a tiny bit of fear that crossed his mind upon hearing such words. He let out a deep sigh, his eyes wandering to the window. Suddenly, the gates to his chamber opened and Merilion walked forward with a quickened pace. Her eyes held great rage.

"Father! The Angel of Darkness has been reported to be in Emperor Thol's lands! I thought you had a deal with him?" she asked.

"We do have a deal, my dear. But apparently he does not abide by his word such as I do. Do not worry, dear daughter. I have mobilized the troops. We will strike down the blasted devil before he can even set foot on our lands!" Sblade proclaimed.

"I would like to lead these troops, father. May I?" she asked. Sblade's gaze shifted for a moment before he answered.

"Of course, my dear daughter. I will personally see to it that you are in the lead of the attack." Merilion looked pleased as she left her father's chambers.

Neo Crucifer then asked when she was gone, "I thought I was the one to attack Afiag?!"

"You will. Before they meet my troops, you will fight him and you will kill him. They will return once they realize that Afiag is not coming and you will be proclaimed a hero. I may even give you Thol's lands as a reward!" Sblade proclaimed with a mighty, commanding voice. Neo Crucifer bowed his head and took off to train some more. Sblade looked about him. He knew that both Merilion and Neo Crucifer would fail. And if Afiag hadn't changed (and it sounded like he hadn't), he would kill them both. He smiled to himself as he grabbed his sword. Its blade was as twisted as a lightning bolt and it glowed just as furiously. The Sword of Light. He also grabbed some of his special arrows and walked out to meet his people.

*****

As Afiag and Thol got ready to leave, Afiag approached Thol and spoke. "Let us go." Thol nodded. He was already wearing his battle armor which was blood red with gold lacing and diamonds fashioned into the chest. He also carried his own sword.

"Elizabeth will watch Takeru for you," Afiag said before he could address the issue. They started walking down a deserted street to the boarder that separated Thol's land from Sblade's. The Elders looked about and spoke in whispers.

"The Angel of Darkness comes," some would say. Others would speak of 'the Demon of Light's death.' Still others were worried about the supposed 'Angel of Hope and Light' that was to kill Afiag. They hoped that he didn't reveal himself now... There were not many of the Elders anymore, maybe ten or fifteen. Many died, due to 'old age'. That was the thing the Demon of Light was good at, foolery. He was a trickster, more or less. He could fool just about anyone. He was untouchable to normal beings as he could just turn into light and transport himself to another place. He could listen in on anything. Thus, they hid in darkened rooms. He could not hide in the dark and would illuminate the entire room. Plus, he did not care much for the elders. He knew they could do nothing.

*****
Afiag and Thol were flying in the air, scouting for Sblade's army. Thol had warned Afiag of the arrows that could paralyze even him. Afiag thought he saw something coming from behind so he warned Thol.

"I believe something is following us. Keep on your guard, brother." Thol nodded but when he looked behind them, he saw no one. That is when the Warrior of the Cross struck. A wave of pure holy energy crashed into Afiag and Thol from up beyond the clouds as Neo Crucifer floated down, the sunlight gleaming off his armor. Afiag looked up in anger and shock. Didn't he kill this thing already?

"Friend of yours, Afiag?" Thol asked, a hint of irritation in his voice. Neo Crucifer floated mere inches off the ground, his wings wrapped around his body and his head down. His Cross Blade dragged on the ground. Neo's head shot up and spoke in an inhuman voice.

"Afiag... you will pay for your sins! And you... warrior who would follow in his wake, you will fall as well for thy Lord commands it!" Neo Crucifer raised his blade, then brought it crashing into the ground, sending golden energy chains to fly out, ensnaring them both. Afiag broke free of his bonds, as did Thol and both flew up into the air. Neo Crucifer followed them. Afiag sent a wave of Hell Fire to consume Neo Crucifer, who merely laughed and struck back, harder than ever, sending waves of energy at the two, keeping them both unbalanced. Thol propelled himself backwards out of range, dragging Afiag along with him. He sent a wave of his flames at Neo, who dodged the fire. Thol's eyes widened as his assumption proved correct. Neo Crucifer was immune to Afiag's hell flames but not NORMAL fire!

"Afiag! Keep him still. I'm sure I can incinerate him if you do!" Thol yelled to Afiag, who merely grunted in reply, flying straight into Neo Crucifer's Holy Shield, the irresistible force meeting the unmovable object. Afiag was blasted backwards, a surge of energy coming off the shield. Thol got behind the Warrior of the Cross as Afiag tried to smash his way through the shield, distracting Neo. Thol sent down a wave of fire, blasting him into the ground. Afiag rained down Hell Fire as Thol summoned tidal waves of fire, each slamming into the fallen form of Neo Crucifer. Thol slowly descended, his wings flapping slightly, to see if their attack worked. A black energy bolt came through the dust, blowing it away and striking him in the chest, sending him falling to the ground. What stood in the dust was a demonic Neo Crucifer. Half of his body was the normal, holy angel type warrior while the other half was twisted. The right half of his body was covered in twisted, black armor. Where the second half of the cross should be was half of an X, red in color. His shoulder armor was jagged and his angel wing had turned into a black, twisted dragon wing with spikes growing out of it and a black mist radiated. The other half still radiated pure white energy. This was Neo Crucifer the Bringer. His head lolled around as he started to slowly levitate upwards toward Afiag who was ready to do battle again. He flew at Neo, only to be stopped by a powerful blast of negative and positive energy, sending him flying backwards. Afiag shook his head, trying to clear his sight as the blast had made him temporarily blind and only able to see shadows.

"Now... you... die...!" Neo Crucifer yelled in a deranged voice, drawing his Cross Blade and flying full speed at Afiag, his sword pointing at his heart. Blood flew, splashing onto Neo Crucifer as he laughed insanely until he got a good look at who he had run through. It was Thol, the one who could harm him.

"****!" roared Neo as Thol, with a vicious smile on his face, unleashed his superheated flame, consuming the Bringer and blasting him into the distance. What was left holding the Cross Blade was his severed arm as it turned into ash. Afiag caught Thol before he could fall and looked down at his brother. Afiag yanked the Cross Blade out of his body and tossed it away as he flew down and placed his brother on the ground. Normally, Afiag and Thol's kind could survive a stab in the heart or being run through but not from a holy weapon that could fry their organs on contact.

Thol coughed up blood as he spoke in a whisper, "Get that bastard for me... Afiag... kill Sblade... Save your daughter..." His head fell back as his eyes lost their fiery light. Afiag closed the lids as a terrible rage consumed him.

"Sblade..." Afiag said in a hate-filled voice. He picked up the limp body and flew off to find a place to put his fallen brother.

*****

"OK, men! Today is the day we fight off the Angel of Darkness! We are the kingdom's last defense! When you see him, fill the skies with arrows and bring HIM DOWN!" roared Merilion, pacing back and forth, looking over the knights as they filled their quivers. She was clad in her silver armor that was encrusted in rubies. Her face was a mask of determination. Finally, she would avenge her mother...

"Lady Merilion! The skies are turning blacker as we speak!" yelled a frightened soldier. She looked up to see his claim to be true. This could only mean one thing...

"ARM YOURSELVES!" she ordered as she drew her own weapons. The twin blades once belonged to her mother, a powerful warrior in her own right. Apparently, the fiend wielded twin blades as well. Now she would kill him with the weapons of her mother and avenge her. Maybe then she could find a fellow warrior to claim as her mate. Sblade had been getting after her about that...

*****
Afiag caught the scent of something familiar... Merilion. He had found a place to lay Thol's body until his battle with Sblade was done. He seemed to lose himself as a memory overtook him. He was standing in a field but he was not alone...

"Daddy! Daddy, I'm doing it!" yelled a young girl, no more then eight years old. She had brown hawk-like wings and other than her wings, looked like a normal youngster. In her hand she had a small, blue flame.

"Daddy! I made fire!" she said. "Just like you, daddy! Maybe one day you'll teach me to fight, too!" The man standing before her was none other than Afiag.

He chuckled and said softly, almost cooing, "Yes, yes! One day, my dear little one. One day." His smile was warm and his eyes bright. His wings had a lighter color to them as well. This was a far cry from the cold, hard rage-filled Afiag we know today. Back then, very few knew him as the Angel of Darkness as his rage had not yet been truly awakened. But all things must come to an end, some things rather abruptly. Lightning crackled in the sky, striking down near Afiag and Merilion.

"Daddy!" Her voice was full of fear. Afiag looked around, getting ready for combat. That lightning was no force of nature! Suddenly, he felt a hand clamp down on his shoulder. He looked behind him to see a man with cold, dull gray eyes and wings. What amazed him most of all was that he looked a lot like him... He didn't have long to be surprised as he was suddenly thrown aside.

"I hath come for your daughter, Angel of Darkness!" roared the stranger. Afiag rose angrily and roared out his defiance.

"Like hell! You'll not touch a hair on my dear Merilion's head! Who the hell are you?!" The man looked oddly at Afiag, then laughed. If sickness had a sound, it would be this man's laugh.

"Why, Afiag! Don't you recognize your own flesh and blood? Your own brother?! I am Sblade, the Demon of Light, brother! And you are Shadon Afiaga, the Arch Angel of Darkness, named after our father, the first Shadon Afiaga, the Omega* Warrior of the Apocalypse!" Confusion crossed Afiag's eyes and face as he asked one more question.

"Why has not the Blue Devil told me of you? Or of my father? The Blue Devil is my ally and he would never betray me and he knows all! So why doesn't he know of you?!" Sblade laughed at this.

"Your ally?! Foolish." Sblade laughed, shaking his head. Then, with a mere glance, Afiag was thrown backwards by a powerful whip made of light. Afiag stopped 'falling' backwards by grabbing the ground, digging in his claws. When he looked back, he could see nothing of Sblade or his daughter.

He let out a ferocious roar and yelled out, "Merilion! MERILION!!!" Afiag remembered storming past Vortack, one of his most faithful soldiers, and into the Chamber of the Blue Devil. There, he slammed the doors open and yelled out, "Why didn't you tell me I had a brother?!" The Blue Devil looked up from where he stood over a prisoner and strode over to Afiag. He was in his default form, just a basic humanoid shape with no face and a twisted V shaped visor. His voice was calm.

"Because your father asked me never to tell you. And I always keep my word... But things happen for all the wrong reasons. I notice that your little Merilion is missing... Must I ask, dear ally?"

Afiag's voice was full of rage as he practically bellowed out, "SBLADE TOOK HER FROM ME!" The Blue Devil's visor glowed a little brighter upon hearing the news.

"I must tell you, Afiag... Sblade was not your only brother. You other siblings... I will tell you their names. You will decide what to do afterwards." He then spoke names that Afiag would remember for a long time. "Empress Shiabrah, Queen of Ice. Emperor Thol, Warrior of Fire; Lady Monitha, Daughter of Earth and King Arious, Wielder of the Wind. Each of them are masters of the elements and each of them rule their own lands. The most deadly of them all is Lord Sblade, Demon of Light." Afiag turned to leave, his eyes darkening and his wings seeming to turn blacker. The Blue Devil's visor started to glow again, softer than before. Sblade would lay low for a while...

And so began a quest that would end in the deaths of all of Afiag's siblings, all but one thus far, by his hand. Thol was the only one Afiag admired, the only one he could call a friend. But now... Afiag's gaze intensified in its ferocity as Sblade will pay. And he will be the only one left of his family, with the exception of Merilion. He sensed something coming up ahead. The smell was familiar... Afiag's eyes narrowed as he recognized it. It was his daughter... he sped up.

"OK, MEN! THIS IS IT. NOW WE PROVE TO LORD SBLADE THAT THE ANGEL OF DARKNESS IS NOTHING BEFORE HIS ARMY!" Merilion yelled out. Her eyesight was like a hawk's, spotting Afiag miles away. Her grip on the twin blade's handle tightened. Today would be the day. "LET THE ARROWS FLY!" she screamed as the sky was completely filled with them, all flying toward Afiag. And all were incinerated in a wave of heat and flame. He landed with a large boom!, right in front of Merilion. A wall of fire, powerful enough to incinerate anything that was idiotic enough to touch it, arose around them, cutting them off. Merilion charged, yelling at the top of her lungs, spinning around and trying to slash Afiag who merely parried and blocked every blow she could lay down. She sped up her attack and Afiag just as easily matched her blow for blow. Merilion's face crossed with confusion and fear but mostly, anger. This monster would NOT best her! She would kill him! SHE WOULD DESTROY HIM! Then Afiag landed a glancing blow to her chest, sending her sprawling backwards. His gaze was as cool and unemotional as a statue's. Merilion leapt up, bringing his blades down upon Afiag's shoulders. Or at least that was the intended target but her hands were caught before she could land the blow. She struggled to get free, then gave up.

"Alright... go ahead and kill me! KILL ME LIKE YOU KILLED MY MOTHER!" She let out a fierce shriek. Afiag's cold voice came through and what he said struck her harder than anything.

"You are correct... I did kill your mother. But... I didn't want to. I didn't wish to," he sighed deeply. "The Blue Devil made me. He possessed your mother and it was either I kill her or she kill me. I had to kill her. But I will tell you this. Sblade is NOT your father. Do you hear me, child? Sblade is NOT YOUR FATHER." And to further his point, he showed her some of the images of his past. Of the death of Elizabeth and when Sblade took her away. It showed her as a little girl, screaming and fighting against Sblade. Tears started to run down Merilion's face as she slumped down onto her knees, sobbing.

"The original owner of your weapons... resides in Lord Thol's castle. She is alive now, this I tell you." Afiag turned to leave when her voice cut through the air.

"Are you him... Are you my father?!" she asked, almost painfully. Afiag sighed deeply.

"Nay, child. Your father died a long time ago." He looked away, slowly tearing his eyes away from his daughter as he took to the air. Some of the soldiers approached, slowly. None of them knew what had happened and most were afraid. They had a very good reason to be... Afiag paid them no mind as most were too frightened to do anything.

*****
Sblade knew. Sblade knew his soldiers had failed. He knew he had to fight himself now and so he would. He left his chambers, looking up at the sky and took to the air, flying to meet Afiag. He remembered what happened after Afiag left the Blue Devil's chambers... he remembered it very well.

Sblade walked out of the shadows toward the Phantom Lord. His lord. The Blue Devil took the form of a tall, thinly built humanoid creature. The shape had an exoskeleton which was slick and black and had deep blue eyes tinted with green. His head had an almond shape to it and his fingers were long and spidery. Then he caught sight of the 'playmate' his lord had chosen. She, for he could tell it was a female, looked to be the same species as the Blue Devil's form.

"Sblade, my ally. I see you just now noticed my little playmate..." he said, pointing, leisurely at his captive. She seemed asleep. "I'm am performing an experiment with this one... You see, when we invaded her planet, I sensed something odd about her, how her father fought with all his might to stop me but he died effortlessly." The Blue Devil seemed to pause, his blue eyes glowing. "So I decided to test something. You see, I've probed this one's mind and found that she wields a great power, unseen by us and herself so I'm going to unleash it. As of now, she will not awaken because she is reliving her life but it is not the same. This time, her father is abusive and when she turns eight, he will take her by force. This will continue until her power awakens and each year she gets older, the worse her father will treat her and abuse her. He will violate her until she is nothing more than a shell of hate, of anger. Until she unleashes her beasts and kills him. Then she will join me by choice and I will gain a new ally." Sblade did not question his Lord's motives but he had to know something.

"My Lord," he said, bowing. "I do not understand why you allow Afiag to live... It would be much easier if I could kill him." The Blue Devil suddenly changed again, back into one of his favorite forms, a Shogun in armor.

"You will know in time, my ally, you will know in time." The Blue Devil then turned back to the girl who would know nothing more than pain and suffering for the rest of her days.

Sblade snapped out of it. Why did he come to think of that now? It didn't matter as he caught sight of Afiag and landed, waiting for the Angel of Darkness to join him. When he did, he started toward his brother.

"Hello, brother," Sblade said venomously, spitting out the word. Afiag's eyes never left his as the two started walking around one another. "Are you ready to finally bow before our Lord and Master's word? Or will you continue to defy him?" Sblade asked.

"I will not only defy him, I WILL KILL HIM! But first, you die!" Afiag roared.

"Really though, Afiag. It's not MY fault that Neo Crucifer killed Thol, you know... I never told him to kill anyone. Besides, we both know what happened last time we fought, don't we, brother?" Sblade asked, mockingly. Last time the two had fought was the first time they had met. And the first time Afiag learned that he was not an only child. It had not only ended badly for Afiag but he lost his daughter to Sblade that day, over 2000 years ago, give or take a century. But Afiag had improved since then and had been waiting to find Sblade to repay him.

Afiag paced around Sblade, his wings unfolding from his back, his claws clenching as he got ready. Sblade jumped backwards, getting ready for the attack and dropping his arrows. Afiag flew in, hoping to land the first blow as Sblade grabbed his claws tightly and slammed him into the ground. Afiag just pulled Sblade down with him, not letting go. Then, with a mighty flap, both were propelled off the ground and into the sky as lightning flashed in the background.

This was not a battle of good and evil because neither could be placed in such categories. Sblade was a leader who made sure his people were safe who just happened to listen to the Phantom Lord. He healed strangers every day, possibly saving lives. But his title was that of the Demon of Light for his evil streak was both long and wide and he would strike down those who opposed his Lord's word. In contrast, Afiag killed countless beings, beyond the numbers of trillions, destroying whole races and entire planets. And he did so mercilessly. He even raped a few women but no more than a few if even that many. He had no reason to since he had Elizabeth, after all. But there were times when his insane rage would fade into something... tamer. A true brooding warrior, reflecting on all of his sins. And when you have killed as many as he has, you tend to brood a lot. There were days when not even Elizabeth could get more than a grunt or two out of him. But he never once asked for forgiveness. He knew that he would not receive it, nor did he want it. He was an warrior who had his own code of honor. His soldiers respected him, honored him and would follow his word any day, which is how he set free the entire universe and protected it. But again, neither could be classified as Good or Evil as neither was either devil or god. They were in the grayest area that could be made by mortals. This was merely a battle of brothers, of warriors as the two returned to the ground. Sblade dropped one of the arrows he had brought with him when he landed but he didn't even notice it.

(CUE MUSIC! Yes, that’s right! This is more or less a test but I hope that it works! - Blue Devil)

Broken… Yeah, you’ve been living on the edge of a broken dream…

Afiag stared down Sblade as hellish flames consumed his form and then launched himself at the Demon of Light. Sblade dodged out of the way and flew up into the sky.

Nothing… Yeah, that’s the only thing you’ll take away from me…

He came swooping down, slamming into Afiag and sending him to the ground as he brought his fists down.

I’m never gonna stop!

Afiag uppercut him in the gut and slammed his elbow down into Sblade's back.

Ain’t never gonna drop!

Ain’t no different than it was before!

Afiag grabbed him by the leg and threw him into the sky. Sblade stopped himself in midair and saw Afiag flying full force at him.

So take some good advice!

You better stop and think twice!

He retaliated, pulling up suddenly and bringing his foot down into Afiag's back.

‘Fore you take that first step out that door!

Afiag blocked the attack with a powerful punch, sending them both across the sky.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

He straightened and with his fists together, hit Sblade as he was still trying to get his balance, sending him hurtling into the earth.

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

He flew down into the dust and smoke, pistoning out his fist towards the thrashing Demon of Light who whirled away from the blow and with another savage cry, delivered a cracking kick to Afiag's chest, sending him tumbling across the crater he had made.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

Sblade flew after Afiag as he began summoning balls of terrible light in his hands. Afiag flipped over as they began exploding all around him and leapt up through the explosions as hellfire blazed into being on his claw.

You have your chance to walk away, live to see another day…

He fired a powerful blast at Sblade, whose body swirled into a spiraling line of light, avoiding the attack as he corkscrewed through the air and reformed a dozen feet away.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

His face reformed as Afiag appeared in front of him, summoning his Hell Fire again. Sblade's eyes widened as the point blank attack blasted him back into the crater, rock and smoke exploding up from where he impacted.

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

You’re gonna get knocked down…

Afiag landed on the ground as with a blast of light, Sblade exploded up from where he had been thrown. He charged forward, flames consuming his claws as he glared murderously at Sblade.

Suffering…

Afiag slashed out his hand and giant crescents of Hell Fire, deadly daggers of flame, flew out from his fingers, slicing towards Sblade, their edges carving into the ground as they flew towards their target, eager to slice him into chunks of so much cooked meat.

Yeah, that’s the only thing left for you…

Sblade leapt into the air and began to spin as his body twisted and distorted itself around the slashing blades, his limbs making impossible contortions as parts of his body went from solid matter to light for a second as he dodged all the white fire blades and flew right into the fire whip, the white line of flame wrapping around him as he twirled out from his last dodge.

Nothing…

Sblade yelled in surprise.

Yeah, that’s the only thing you’re ever gonna do…

Afiag grinned as he prepared to contract the whip and both crush and burn Sblade. Then he started spinning and Afiag roared out when he was yanked upward as Sblade did his impression of a yo-yo and wound the fiery 'string' around him, pulling Afiag to him. As he drew close, still unsure what to do, he let out a bellow and light which exploded from around him, dissipating the flame encircling him even as he completed his final twirl and slammed his fist across Afiag's face, sending him shooting across the sky.

I’m never gonna stop!

Sblade blasted after Afiag as he recovered and looked at Sblade with blazing eyes as he flew at him... Suddenly, as he was getting close, he interrupted his straight line path, stopping for a brief moment to alter his path about thirty degrees, flying around Afiag in a tight arc and before he knew it, Sblade had made a circle and was now above him.

Ain’t never gonna drop!

Afiag whirled around, trying to catch Sblade as he hurled an arcing flame blast at him, but by then, Sblade was long gone from his previous position, the flame blast missing him as he shot down at a severe angle and slammed his foot into Afiag's face. He flew across the crater and crashed into the edge of it. A section of the mountain range crumbled onto the Angel of Darkness.

Ain’t no different than it was before…

Sblade flew down before the pile of debris as Afiag blasted it off him with an enraged bellow. No sooner was he free than he was lancing at Sblade, slashing and clawing at his face but every time he threw a blow, Sblade was somewhere else. He flew backwards, rapidly dodging those claws.

So take some good advice!

You better stop and think twice!

And then laser tendrils erupted from Sblade's back, arcing up and down at insane speed as deadly blades appeared on the ends of them as Sblade tried to scorpion-impale Afiag to the ground.

‘Fore you take that first step out that door!

The points slammed into the ground as Afiag leapt up to avoid them, the twin appendages forming a V shape to stab him as he dodged into the open space, putting him parallel with Sblade's shocked face again.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

Afiag flipped backwards, his wings slamming together, his legs smashing across Sblade's face. He flew up into the sky like a bullet.

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

Afiag completed his flip and blasted up after Sblade who recovered fast and faced towards Afiag. Sblade looked into Afiag's still blazing rage-filled eyes and snapped out his arms so they extended like Mr. Fantastic's, his glowing hands lancing down towards the Angel of Darkness as he flew up towards the Demon of Light.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

With a last second spiral dodge, Afiag zipped around theattack and flew true, ramming both his fists into Sblade's torso.

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

Sblade had the wind knocked out of him as he was doubled by the blow. His mouth opened and blood came out even as he continued to fly up a bit with Afiag still pressing up against him, his fists grinding into his body.

You had your chance to walk away, live to see another day…

Snarling, Afiag started to pound Sblade's stomach with his fists as his long extended arms of light whipped into nothing to get rid of the excess length. Afiag grabbed at Sblade with his claws who then turned into light, flying up through Afiag, his continued pressure now making sense as he went right through him, his grasping claws missing him as he reappeared above. His fist clenching, Afiag turned around.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

Sblade's downward punch rang through the air and sent him back into the ground again. Dust exploded more than a hundred feet into the air from the impact.

You’re gonna get knocked down…

As it settled, Sblade flew back down to the impact site. He said nothing and his face betrayed nothing. Fire blew away the dust as Afiag reappeared once more. His anger remained but now it was marred by something: Surprise. Sblade cocked his head, looking at the Angel of Darkness.

You’re gonna get knocked down…

And now you’ve crossed that line, you must be out of your mind…

"Are you ready to bow before the Blue Devil, our Lord and Master?"

No... Afiag glared in murderous rage at Sblade. And then he answered. "Hell, no!" and with another bellow, he flew up and at the Demon of Light, going towards him at an upward arc as if he planned to stop and fire down upon him except Sblade took off at the same arc, putting the two on a collision course.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

They slammed together, furiously exchanging punches, kicks, slashes and anything they could think of as each one fired off and dodged blows, the irresistible force once again meeting the unmovable object.

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

Sblade finally landed an upward roundhouse kick and as Afiag was thrown back, he snapped out an arm and fired three quick balls of light at him.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

Afiag recovered and as the light blasts closed in, he lashed out his left arm, knocking one away then with the other, knocking away the second. He then he flipped backwards and kicked the third blast back at Sblade. The ball of light flew back into the Demon of Light, its essence being reabsorbed into him but he was still surprised by Afiag's ultra-quick counterattack which allowed him to complete his flip, his hands now charged with hellfire to get off a twin handed stream at Sblade. It struck him and exploded.

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

Tendrils of light lanced out from the explosion, stabbing at Afiag. He whirled and dodged to avoid them, realizing too late they weren't an attack but a feint as the light appendages combined behind him and reformed into Sblade as he did another 'checkerboard warp'. Now it was Afiag's turn to turn around.

You had your chance to walk away, live to see another day…

Sblade slammed into Afiag, his hand grabbing his throat, intense energy scorching the skin as the two barreled down into the crater again. They struck the dirt and rock with another powerful impact, throwing up another cloud of dust.

If you wanna step up (step up)…

They flew from the cloud, once again furiously exchanging blows as Afiag ducked, dodged, blocked and flew away from multiple appendages of light, his right hand again exploding with white fire as he punched at him. Sblade leapt to the side as the punch struck the ground and exploded. He was already onto his next move as Afiag also darted to the side and Sblade slashed out his leg at his lower body. But Afiag was still a step ahead of him as he leapt forward and up over the Demon of Light's kick and his form, spinning in mid-air to face him as one of his hands ignited with a hellish flame.

You’re gonna get knocked down! (Knocked down!)

The blast blew Sblade across the crater, although this time he kept his standing position as he slid back along the rocky ground like he was skating on ice. After several dozen feet, he stopped, strands of smoke whisping off him as his expression alternated between insane rage and utter disbelief.

How could he deify their Lord's word and get away with it?!

You’re gonna get knocked down…

Afiag flew at Sblade and as his eyes flashed in fury, he thrust out a hand and fired off another gigantic blast of white light, enveloping Afiag and flying on to blast another chunk of the landscape into the side of the crater.

You’re gonna get knocked down…

Afiag's hellish form emerged from the end of the blast, his body losing its shield of fire as he lashed out and slammed his fist into Sblade's gut. He stopped, spun around and slashed out his leg, knocking him off his feet and onto the ground before he knew what was happening. Afiag leapt up and spun twice in the air before slamming down, knee first, crushing Sblade's chest under the bludgeoning blow.

You’re gonna get knocked down…

Sblade's Light Form, which he had transformed into quickly, lacking bones to break or muscles to bruise, actually acted more like a very firm Jell-O that flattened out from Afiag's blow, one that rang through his whole body as he gasped and then vanished into a fierce light that instantly flowed upward and reformed into Sblade's shape, his body once again solid like he had been when they had first started this war. His right arm then melted into his gigantic sword of light, the two becoming one as he reared back with a scream and stabbed it out at Afiag who leapt up to avoid it and as he did, slashed out his left leg.

You’re gonna get knocked down…

The limb slammed into the side of Sblade's head and even as he began to react to the blow, Afiag snaked his right leg over his head and slammed it against the other side of his skull, his ankles clamped together. Sblade's eyes widened and his mouth opened as he started to bellow out his rage. He yanked as hard as he could, pulling the Demon of Light off his feet.

You’re gonna GET! KNOCKED! DOWN!

As Afiag fell down, he pulled Sblade with him. Afiag slammed him against the ground with his legs, head first. Sblade turned into light and escaped Afiag's grip, turning solid and launching himself at him, his sword still drawn. Afiag had pulled his Hell Blade out as well and the two blades clashed in a gigantic explosion of power that erupted up from them, consuming both warriors in brilliant energy.

(Song done. Thank you, Drowning Pool!)

"BOW BEFORE OUR LORD'S WORD!" Sblade ordered as he flew back at Afiag, the explosion having blasted them away from one another.

"LIKE HELL!" Afiag roared defiantly as the Sword of Light clashed with the Hell Blade again, energy coming forth from them as the two put their weight on their blades, neither gaining any leeway. Then Afiag spotted it. How it survived after all this, he didn't care. Nor did he ask as he let one arm drop from his sword, Sblade forcing him to his knees as the Light started to overtake the Hell Fire until Sblade yelled out in shock at the arrow in his arm. Electric energy coursed through Sblade's body, making him not only drop but throw his sword away as he spasmed on the ground until Afiag grabbed the back of his neck. Dropping his Hell Blade, he brought his claws up and ripped into the skin of Sblade's face, making him yell out in pain. He couldn't turn into light and Sblade's thoughts raced until he felt something intrude in his stomach and come out of his back. Afiag had shoved his arm through his stomach and then slammed Sblade into the ground behind them. He slowly got up again, only to be sent back to down by a clawed hand which grabbed his face.

"Blue Devil... I have failed you!" Sblade cried out before his lower jaw was ripped from his head, blood pouring from his face as Afiag then proceeded to rip off his arm and slammed it against Sblade's already ruined face, breaking his nose. Afiag tossed the severed limb away and with one quick kick, broke Sblade's leg at the knee cap, making him fall over, face first.

For reasons that Sblade must have hated, he was not dead, nor was he unconscious. He could feel every single blow to his body and must have thanked whoever was in charge for what happened next. Maybe finally showing mercy, Afiag brought his leg up and crushed his skull, killing him finally. Afiag then proceeded to rip apart Sblade's dead body with a crazed look in his eye as blood sprayed out all over him. Finally, Afiag incinerated the remains. He then grabbed the Light Blade and flew off to pick up Thol's body.

*****

"Father, father?! FATHER!!" Takeru cried out in pain and anguish as Afiag laid the slain Emperor Thol, Warrior of Fire, before him. Afiag's eyes and face betrayed no emotion as he stared coldly at the boy. Takeru suddenly bolted up and started yelling. But there was only a hint of sadness this time. Mostly, there was anger.

"YOU DID THIS TO HIM! YOU KILLED MY FATHER, MY ONLY FAMILY!" Takeru roared out as he leapt at Afiag, his fist glowing white. He never made it as with one quick motion, Afiag knocked out the new, young emperor. Afiag's gaze hardened as he looked down at the young ruler.

"Afiag... you didn't. You wouldn't have..." came Elizabeth's voice with traces of uncertainty.

"No. I did not kill Thol. But the boy must think that I did," was Afiag's reply.

"But, father... Now he will hate you forever! He will try to kill you now!" Merilion's voice came forth. After talking with her mother, she understood what Afiag meant about her father 'dying' that day but she still considered him her father. Afiag paid it no mind.

"It matters not that one more hates me." Afiag let out a heavy sigh as he laid Sblade's sword down next to the unconscious ruler, then abruptly turned away as his wings unfolded. "Let us be off. We have a long way to travel and not much sunlight to guide us. We have to get back to Roostville." It wasn't as much a request as it was an order. Elizabeth nodded and as she was a master of wind, floated next to her lover. Merilion, taking one last glance at Takeru's form, joined her parents.

*****
Afiag muttered something to himself. 'And from his Kingdom will come forth the Omni Angel of Hope and Light to kill the Darkness.'

"Fine, then. You want war, well then, war it is." He flew ahead of his family toward Roostville. He knew what horrors the future would hold but he did not care. He would face them and he would win. Like always, he would win.

"Mother..." Merilion asked Elizabeth. "Why... what has happened to him to make him this way?" Elizabeth glanced at her daughter with the weary gaze of a traveler who just wished to go home.

"He, my daughter, has seen things and done things most beings could not comprehend. I fear he has grown cold as the years go by and when he was forced to kill me..." she looked away, a tear coming from her eye. Merilion looked at her father with pity. She, nor Elizabeth, had any idea how much pain Afiag would be forced to feel before it was all said and done. They had no idea but they hoped for a brighter future as a family.


*Final.

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