Chapter 2: Meeting

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The drive took two hours. On the way to his people, James talked. A lot.

"Hey, mind if I ask why you ran away?"

Silence.

"Its okay if you don't wanna talk about it. Anyway, how have you managed to live on your own for so long. Have you learned to control your powers?"

Silence.

"Ah... that's  alright. You'll learn if you accept our suggestion." He scratched his head. "Ah, you don't have to, though. I was just saying that we have perks. I'm not trying to buy you, though......"

"I understand."

 Here I was, about to meet the very people I had always wanted to know. Wanted to exist. I continued to look out the window, but something told me to look up. James was staring at me. Again. It was beginning to become a habit. I was kinda getting used to his awkwardness. It was kind of...cute, in a very annoying way, of course. I was nervous. 

I had never been around someone like this before, let alone a whole race of unknown people. The Unseen. They worshiped a being called the Silver Phoenix, an Unseen who founded the Shadow Knights according to James' continuous babbling. So that's what they're called. They are referred to Shadow Knights because they slip through the knight, hunting down the ones that defy the world's order. However, many often became corrupt and misuse their power to turn against the Shadow Knights. Just like the fairy tales.

"Hey, Lucy, do you go to school?"

"No," I sighed.

"Well, do you want to? There's this really great school I go to. You'd love it. I'll ask my father if he could file the papers for you...."

We finally made it.

We seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees. James continued walking and disappeared in the treeline. I followed after him. There was this strange feeling, like wind pulling at me, and then everything around me changed.

 It was beautiful. There was no castle, no fortress. But it was beautiful. Fireflies fluttered about. Lights were strewn up in the branches of the ash trees. They shone like silver fire. It was a village, if that makes sense. It was quiet and peaceful. For now, at least. And I loved it.

"I'll take you to my father. He's the leader of the village."

"This place is so amazing!" I breathed, afraid that one touch,one look, would shatter the vision before me. He led me to the center of the village. No one was around, but you could see people peeking behind their windows. 

 An aging man greeted us at the door.  He looked like James, but I guessed that he took after his mother. Wait. He hasn't mentioned his mother. I didn't want to ask. The doors closed behind us.

James cleared his throat." I have brought Lucy Nevera, as you asked. We met by coincidence whenever I found her being attacked in the street by five Unseen. One of them got away. I don't believe they saw her face,  though.

His father raised his hand to silence him. "You have done very well, my son. We have been searching for a very long four years. We lost sight of her when she ran away from her home. And now she has come back to us."

He looked up at me with a smile in his eyes. And a smile in his voice. But then, he frowned. "Have you learned of the Silver Phoenix?"

"Only the basics," I replied.

"Well then, I must tell you something. Something you may feel you were better off not knowing." He took a deep breath and released  it with a sigh. "I will begin with a story of the Silver Phoenix and how her sacrifice came to create what we are now."

"Long ago, a child by the name of Reyna was born. She was granted powers of immortality and could live forever.  Her eyes were the purest silver and her wings were ashen.She met and fell in love with a human. After a while, she bore two children. A son and a daughter. Surprisingly, the daughter, who had inherited most of the demon blood, had not killed her younger brother. However, their lives came at a great cost. From every side of the world, demons arose to capture the children.  They wanted their immortal blood. Reyna became desperate. She fought them, breathing in a sliver of her immortality to as many as she could. It gave them her strength, but also...her memories. one by one, those with her immortality within them turned their backs towards her and faced the enemies, attacking them fervently. Reyna, exhausted, went back to her home to see her children. The fight had taken much out of her. She had no strength to heal her wounds. She collapsed and died before the sun set of the third day. The demons she had left behind followed in her footsteps, killing the demons who defied the order of the land. We have been here ever since, searching for the children her death left behind."

"Are you trying to say that I'm the child of the Silver Phoenix? And that I have a brother out there who may be just like me?"

"Yes. Your father, he put you up for adoption. He thought that if you were separated, you would less likely have been found. So he found two completely normal families and left you there to be cared for.  He thought their human smell would mask your demon blood. After that, he returned to us. We took him in, but he died of grief after a few long months. I am sorry to have been the one to tell you all of this after you have only just arrived."

"I want to join," I said quietly. I want to join and track down my brother. I want to join the Shadow Knights."

"Are you sure? There's no going back one you join. It's not that you can't. Your life will be forever changed."

"I want to join," I repeated. I was going to hold this resolve like my mother. 

I looked out the window. There was no sunset, but I could imagine it there. The sun dipping below the surface of the earth as colors of the rainbow appear in the sky. I could only imagine the beauty of it, though.

We drove back to town in silence. Well, mostly.

Tears swam in my vision as I listened to Jame's nervous chatter. All of a sudden, he stepped on the brakes. He threw open the door and wrapped his arms around me.

"Wh-what are you doing!?"

"I can't stand to see someone in pain. I'm sorry that I dragged you into all of this. I should have left you out of it. Its not your problem."

"But it is my problem. This war took away everything I could have ever wanted. Everything I could have ever loved."

I sobbed into his shirt. After a while, my tears finally turned into small hiccups. I looked up at James. He seemed so embarrassed as I clutched his arm. It must really hurt. I couldn't help but laugh at his expression. He looked down at me with a confused expression that turned into a lopsided grin. He ruffled my hair.

"Feeling better now?"

"Yes," I replied"

After that, we returned to my apartment.

I would definitely win this war and change my fate. I would find my own destiny. And my family. For once in my life, I finally had a reason to keep believing that I could be happy.




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