Demons Saving Angels
In a world far from here, one known to a small group of adventurers, someone was staying awake.
In that world, full of strange beings, a small island floated on the back of a very, very large Zaratan Turtle. And on that island was a small tropical village by the name of Silverion. Darkness covered the land, but it was nothing unusual, considering the late past-midnight hour. Most buildings were quiet, dark with missing light.
The hospital retained light, however, if only a little.
Because she had to stay awake. Good luck falling asleep when your sole hate-friend is in danger.
Only one light was on by this point; the rest of the hospital had been dimmed low. Kichuna stood by the medical bed, and kept an eye on the large tiger-man that laid flinching, helpless by her. He had been brought in by his wife in a panic, and she had done everything she could to cure him.
It was only enough to stop him from trying to claw out his own brain, but not enough to bring back his mind.
“The fuck did you do to yourself, Dimitri…” The woman’s voice is rough, raspy, as if she were perpetually on the edge of getting over a cold, herself. The tiger’s wife had been since sent off to rest, if allowed to stay in the hospital itself. It took a while to convince her that he would be alright.
Though, Kichuna herself has no idea if he was going to be or not.
“His enchanted necklace heals physical wounds, so it can’t be something like a cut or wound… He’s resistant to poisons, can’t be that…” She recites under her breath in a frustrated hiss. “Mindshields to protect him from outside sources, nothing, but…”
She trails her fingers over the gold circlet she had placed on him; one of her own enchanted artifacts, to help bring one’s mind back. All this has done, however, is stop him from trying to claw out his own skull, and left him blank-eyed and speaking in another dialect entirely. Almost like some kind of incantation…
“…At least figured out how to stop the pain, for now.” She mumbled, her ears swiveling back. “I need help…”
She squints her eyes shut in trying to think. “Who the fuck would even know this kind of shit? Mage, incantations, stupid— I need Sai.”
Sakura grips the wheel in the navigation room. Defiant’s systems were set to follow the last known marks of the ever-moving island, but she still felt the compulsion to drive manually. It helped keep her calm.
“…So, you saying it’s been three years since you saw the island, or just …?” Sakura asks Teren, her gaze set ahead. Even as they flew over tropical oceans, she felt cold. Something felt wrong.
“I think I see it ahead!”
The sky had blackened by the scars it had been given, darkening the island below. The red grass - dyed from the blood that had been spilled upon it - stretched upward, thirsting desperately for light of the sun in vain.
The surrounding rubble represented what had previously been a small town. ‘The Island of Adventurers’, it was once called. Now the tavern lays in ruins, with the limbs of it’s last patrons reaching out with their final cries for help echoing from every stone and every breeze. The library, once filled with centuries of knowledge, now an empty hall of ashes with no letter left unburned. The bath house, where the natives went to relax after their long journeys, was left as a blood stained fountain. Each and every once of the houses and homes were crushed and demolished. Systematically and thoroughly.
Between each of these once glorious buildings lay the blood stained bodies of the natives, the very visage of fear permanently imprinted on each and every face. A field of swords, axes, arrows, bows, staffs, wands, and fire arms littered the ground around their decaying owners. Mortal and demon, fighter and mage, native and visitor. There was no discretion. All were killed equally.
This once proud island had turned into a mass graveyard.
The dying wind carried with it one last thing - the sound of metal striking metal. A white tiger, his clothes and fur stained with the blood of his friends and much of his own, struggled to stare down his opponent through sweat and tears. It was hard enough fighting his body’s own urge to roll his eyes back and die, let alone continue his laborious breathing. He was wounded, tired, and out of energy, and had been for the past seven days.
The one that stood across from him let his snow white hair blow in the wind as he stared down the tiger. “You’re delaying the inevitable. Aside from the turtle we stand upon, you are the last. Give up. You’ve lost.”
The tiger defiantly gripped his heirloom sword tighter, “N…never. I…promised. I guard the island…with my…life…” He brought the sword over his head and charged with no finesse, no style, but with a shout and all the desperation and talent of a child with a wooden sword.
The other deflected the strike with little effort, sending the tiger flying. The tiger rolled twice before halting on his side. His sword fell from his grip, no longer having the strength to hold it. His muscles screamed and ached, a feeling that echoed in the tiger’s mind. The urge to break was too much.
Foot steps, soft against the blood stained soil, gradually came closer until the tiger felt a sharp pain around his neck. To tired to even struggle, the tiger hung limply as he was slowly lifted from the ground by the throat until his feet dangled like his tail. “If that is how you want it. Then so be it. You’re not long for the afterlife, anyway.”
The tiger was familiar with the sensation of being stabbed with a sword before, but never so deep and never far enough to have an exit wound. For the first time, he screamed in pain. The other left it there, knowing full well what would happen next. The tiger’s magical necklace - used for regenerating his wounds - had started closing the wounds around the sword, leaving it imbedded within the tiger. “Your fur will make a nice rug in my den. Any last requests?”
The man’s head rolled off as two blades manifested in the tiger’s hands, aimed at the other’s neck. Seconds later, without the head to direct the body and command weight placement, the headless body fell toward the tiger it held. With no energy left, he had no choice but to let the body fall onto him. He went sword first into the ground, with the pressure of the sword breaking recently healed flesh and organs. He gave another scream and tried to remove the sword, but it was too much. With tear filled eyes, he lifted his chin to look at the horizon, “Ad…miral…the…the isla…nd…s…safe. Trin…I…,” He held onto his final breath, not wanting to release it without saying his final words, but the choice was not his. Life left his ocean blue eyes as his head rolled to a relaxed position. His chest expelled the last of it’s air as the last spark of the island was extinguished.
Dimitri’s promise had finally been fulfilled.