All Hope Lost
Warning! This story trailer contains violence, character death, and psychological manipulation that may be disturbing to some readers. Proceed with caution or skip this trailer, please!
In front of thousand eyes,
Faced with myriad lies,
I will not stop to rise,
to find my deeper ties.
Seraphina thought this time would be different, that she could fight the violence, the war, and even death. But after giving it her all, sacrificing so much for the better of their future, she ended up losing everything and falling lower than ever before.
The shoulders of the small girl shook in shock and devastation as her brilliant twinkling tears dropped to the ground with the luminosity of polished silver. Pain graced her elegant features with a frown unfitting for her gently rounded face. Her eyes were wide in disbelief while she clutched to the unresponsive redhead in her arms.
“Why... Why did you have to protect me…? Hyoko!!” She cried out in agony, her face displaying the incredible desperation she was feeling. The unbelievable pain in her chest only increased when she gazed down at one of her dearest friends while he took his last breaths in her arms.
“S-S….er...a..” Hyoko coughed out, his breathing ragged while his body shut down slowly. “I- I’m sorry… In the... e-end… I was not strong enough…” He whispered bitterly, his body shaking in her fragile arms. There were so many emotions, so many words left unspoken while he gazed into her brilliant blue eyes for the last time. Once more, he found himself lost in her crystalline pools that resembled gemstones. Even with time running out for him, his fascination for her ethereal beauty was endless.
After all this time, there was still so much he didn’t tell her. He had wanted to thank her for showing care and love to someone like him. For loving him despite his heritage and the shadow of his father he was living in. But no matter how much he tried to get these words past his lips, his body wasn’t listening to him anymore. He felt the grip of the icy hands of death luring him into nothingness. Nothing mattered anymore… He knew he was past the point of fighting, so the only thing he could do was to accept it.
Hyoko closed his eyes gently while Seraphina’s expression slipped to complete horror. ‘Forgive me, Sera… for not being able to protect the one who saved me… from myself…’ His thoughts grew silent as darkness took over his mind, his heart beating a final time before coming to a rest.
“N-No! Hyoko! H-Hyoko, please!!” Seraphina mumbled in horror, big tears dropping from her bright eyes as she started shaking in emotional pain. “Y-You… can’t be…. W-Wake up!” She shouted out only for a sob to interrupt her desperate outcry. “Please…. P-Please… I refuse… I refuse to believe this!” She screamed out desperately, her graceful body shivering while the redhead’s body slipped from hers and landed on the ground with a sickening thud.
“N-No…..no no no no no!!!” Tortured by reality, Seraphina clutched to her dress, her grip of desperation not letting go even when she felt her glass-like bones scream in strain.
“I-I can heal… T-That’s right… I-I will just heal him and everything will be fine…” She chanted to herself as she crawled closer to the redhead and removed the wooden ritual stake piercing his chest. Hot tears of raw fear streamed down her fair skin when she let her hands hover over his chest. Closing her eyes, she tried to focus on the flow of warm, comforting energy running through her veins. However… As soon as she tried to force it into the body of her dear friend and restore his cells and organs, only a feeling of ice-cold lifelessness rushed through her.
With a small gasp of utter defeat, Sera slumped back with empty eyes while the incredible pain of loss numbed her body. Her tears seemed never-ending while her small sobs of pure grief echoed through the thick, smokey air.
“That’s right. He has already left the world of the living… Or to say it in the way you don’t want to hear it… He’s dead.” A raspy taunting voice sounded from behind her, making the small angel tense up and look back with wide eyes. She stared at the lanky male in fright as her body tensed. The man’s usual mask was no longer covering his skeleton jaw and exposed the rotting flesh of his body that was breaking his skin apart in multiple patches.
“Don’t tell me you expected him to live through being impaled right through the heart?” Azrael laughed in a dark and dry way that sounded like sharp nails scratching over a chalkboard. “It’s a pity. I didn’t expect him to get in my way. After all… That piece of wood was meant to go through your chest, dear Sera~”
Seraphina gritted her teeth at his words, shaking more visibly in acute distress. Her fingers ripped through the soft fabric of her dress while she shut her eyes in pain. It hurt… It hurt so much. How was she supposed to accept this cruel reality? It was impossible. For so long, she had been waiting for this moment. The chance to stop the war between Good and Evil… And yet. She failed everyone with her foolish ideology.
Azrael grinned as he crooked his head to the side, his purple shaggy hair falling into his face, and covered his eerie red eyes for a moment. He took a slow step closer to the broken angel, his feet stirring up the thick layer of ashes on the ground. “Oh? What’s wrong, Sera? Not in the mood to lecture me anymore?” He asked her in that taunting way. “Don’t tell me you forgot? This is reality! Hahahahahahaha! Just look around you and face your reality, Sera! You caused this! You caused the destruction… The war… The countless soldiers that have fallen in battle! The death! It’s all your fault! There’s no one left for you to blame!” He screamed at her while his eyes shone with amusement and glee.
A low chuckle escaped his lips, only to grow to psychotic laughter that rumbled through his chest. ‘Finally… The time has come to pay you back for everything you took from me… Now… There’s nothing that can separate us again, my love!’ His amusement slowly died down to sheer glee and excitement while his eyes focused back on the defeated angel.
Seraphina slumped back, her fragile body shaking as she curled up in embryo position and covered her face with her bloodied hands. “No… I-I didn’t… I didn’t want this…” She sobbed out, her kind and accepting voice now silent and weak.
Azrael’s head perked at her, his smile growing again as he approached her through the rubble and debris of the once so flourishing city. “You didn’t want this, huh? Then why did you come here? Why did you gather your friends and stepped in? Nein, nein.” He shook his head while drawing closer and closer to the horrified girl. “Tell me, Sera…. Why did you lead them to their death?~” He whispered, a sound similar to the harsh winter breeze rustling through dead trees.
“N-No… I-I didn’t… They…” She stuttered in complete shock as chills covered her exposed skin, feeling her mind crash into a million pieces.
“No, Sera. You brought them here. Don’t tell me you have forgotten…” He sighed, shaking his head like an owner of a disobedient puppy. “Your friends… They are all dead. There is no one left.”
Seraphina felt an ice-cold chill run through her body when these words left the man’s lips, new tears gathered in her eyes as she got yanked back to reality. Her body shook from the horror as she clenched her fists, her nails drilling into her skin until fresh blood started running down her fingers. Yet, her broken mind was stuck in the limbo of complete devastation. “N-No… Don’t…” She whispered out weakly, tears dropping from her pained eyes as she panted in strain.
Yet, it was too late to stop her mind from reliving what had happened. One by one… she had lost them all to leave behind the feeling of utter emptiness.
“I-I… P-Please… Just stop…” Seraphina cried out, her body shaking to a concerning point as she gripped her head while her heart felt like it shattered into a thousand little pieces.
Azrael tilted his head and stopped in front of her, his grin speaking of the glee and victory he was feeling. “Why should I stop, Sera? This is reality. It’s over… You lost everyone. There is no one left for you to be strong for.”
Sera shivered, sniffing as she looked up at the one man who had ruined her life. Was this really it? Was there...no other chance?
Azrael’s twisted smile seemed to grow when noticing her state, red eyes gleaming in the dark as he stretched out his hand for her to grab. “Give up, Sera. Join me and let us be together for eternity like it was meant to be in the beginning.”
Seraphina’s body shook more while she stared to the ground in defeat, whimpers of emotional pain leaving her lips. Her silver hair fell into her face and obscured her view while her broken mind had trouble progressing everything. But no matter how much she tried to think about it… She had no other choice anymore.
Slowly, she lifted her head to glance at the hand of Azrael with dull eyes that once had such an enchanting shine, her expression exhausted from the pain shaking every core of her body. There was no other option for her. After all… This was meant to be. Seraphina shut her eyes for a moment, not noticing the increasing glow of the crystal pendant of her necklace.
It was over. Once Sera realized that she felt like she was falling into the rabbit hole once more… Down to the darkness… To the mental pain and exhaustion…To him waiting there for her again. ‘The end. This is the end for me…’ Opening her eyes again, Seraphina blinked tiredly up to evil itself, feeling nothing aside from dull emptiness anymore. Slowly, she stretched out her shivering hand to surrender.
Just when their fingertips were about to touch, an odd shadow-like mist formed beneath them before suddenly shooting up into the sky with an incredible release of force, sending both of them stumbling back.
“W-What?” Sera cried out in shock before her eyes shot towards the man forming out of the shadows in front of her. Legs graced with black armor stood firmly planted between her and Azrael, the dark knight’s features hidden beneath his hood, yet his rage visibly vibrated through the air.
“You!” Azrael hissed darkly as he glared daggers at the Knight of Hell. Seraphina stared up to the dark knight in shock, her eyes wide in disbelief and confusion. “Y-You are..!!” She whispered as the knight glanced back to her, the faintest glint of green flashing within the shadows of his hood.
A soft gasp left the angel, her hands flying to her head as an incredibly sharp pain shot through her. New tears formed in her eyes while a loud ringing sounded through her head and blended out everything else. A flash obscured her view and forced something back to light that had been buried deep within her memory.
‘Vita...’ This single yet powerful word shot through her mind as her necklace rose into the air with a strong warm power erupting from the crystal. As soon as it was floating gently, a sudden crack went through the pendant and forced the memory to shine through. A bright yet faint picture flashed in front of Seraphina’s eyes, showing a beautiful woman with apricot hair leaning against a man with hair as black as the night and green eyes as stunning as emeralds, their fingers intertwined as a feeling of true love rose from that picture.
It was at that moment, Sera’s eyes opened again while she felt something shatter in her mind at the same time the crystal of her necklace broke into a million pieces. Light took over her eyes, the ground rumbling beneath them before an ear-piercing scream filled the air, a scream filled with so many emotions yet held such power that the remaining glass windows of the abandoned buildings shattered loudly. Brightness itself erupted from her form, filling the sky as a pillar of light shot through the clouds, parting the Heavens and piercing through Hell with the burning intensity of sacred power.
“I WON’T LET IT END LIKE THIS AGAIN! THIS TIME, IT’S YOU WHO IS GOING TO LOSE… MORTEM!”
“What… What’s going on??!!” Time himself rose to his feet at the chaos in front of him, his teeth gritted as he grabbed onto his chest in pain. “She… She’s doing it! I warned them! I warned them but they didn’t want to listen!!” He shouted in fury, light sweat trailing down his blue skin as he reached forward and ripped his shirt open. When his glittering eyes settled upon the world clock ebbed within his chest, he watched in horror how the hands of the clock were spinning disoriented. Pain shot through his entire body as he grabbed onto his head from the sheer dizziness overwhelming his sense. “Curse you… I will show you to mess with time! Just wait… You will pay for this… Seraphina!!”
TO BE CONTINUED…