Under the night sky, castles and towers in the capital city of the Great North are strangely luminescent, glittering like the stars themselves, while the rest of the establishments are in the dark. Mayhem City is a combination of contradictions, the light and the dark, the rich and the poor, and the oppressor and the oppressed.
There are things in the air, gliding, flying; they are too huge to be birds. They look somehow human but not quite, given their horns and bat-like wings. In the outskirts of the city, one unfortunate human who dared to be out on the streets after the daylight has now become their prey. A group of those winged creatures drained his blood and left him on the ground to die.
Elysia seems to never her lesson; if anything, the lessons have made her numb and thick-skinned. Even though she was thrown into the dungeon nearly nine years ago, she is sneaking out of the palace grounds as usual. As being the place the king is residing, it is almost impossible to bypass these walls with guards in every corner of the grounds. Almost. Elysia has a trick in her sleeves.
She gazes at her reflection in the looking crystal on the wall, long raven hair, too pale skin, and the most she hates about herself are those things on her head and the black membranous wings on her back. Without them, she thinks she will look pleasant. It does not surprise her when her reflection disappears, neither is she when it appears again seconds later.
It is well into the night when she arrives at one of the darkest corners of the city, preventing anyone from recognizing her, though it might be unnecessary since the ordinary population of the city has rarely ever seen her. She flies low above the roofs. Over a deserted alley, she notices some square thing on the ground. She softly lands on the ground near the object. It is an old book; the papers have turned yellow. She picks it up carefully and flies away.
There should not humans at this hour on the streets because it is dangerous for them. She tries her best to avoid her fellow people who are searching for prey. They disgust her.
On the walls of a deserted building, someone has boldly scrawled graffiti in a black substance: “GO BACK TO HELL, DEMONS!” It has been hundreds of years that many kingdoms have been under the rule of her kind and yet, it seems humans’ hatred has never stopped for them.
It makes her recalls her father’s words: “We are the gods. They should feel honored for we are ruling them.” She can’t say she agrees with him, but it’s not as if he cares about her opinion or anyone’s opinion. In fact, she doesn’t think there is anyone who dares to disagree with him to his face.
It takes a while to fly over the high walls, the patrolling guards, and to successfully head towards her final destination. Upon entering her chambers through the high windows and folding her wings, she was dragged by her horn by someone.
Startled, she gives a quick sidelong glance to see the intruder. An angry female with somewhat similar features as Elysia but looks slightly older.
"Mother?” she whispers.
"Where have you been? Wandering around the city with no care? "
"Let me go!"
Her mother releases her ear and said in a whisper, "Have I not told you? You need to obey every rule and you must not make any mistake, no matter how small it is."
Seeing her mother's unusual anger, she mutters, "Yes."
"Why don't you understand your situation? No one else can know our secret." Her mother said in a tone so quiet that she almost did not hear.
"I am sorry. I won't do it again."
"Not just this, Elysia. You can't do anything that'd make you look suspicious. You can't afford to have a weakness." And then suddenly, in a normal tone, she continues, "It's time to take your medicine. You must take care of your health. I've been waiting for you."
It is common knowledge that Elysia was born with a rare disease that makes her slightly fragile. Normally, members of her kind have strength several times greater than humans, but hers is barely over one human.
Her mother turns and crosses the room, her red gown sweeping the carpeted floor. If anyone of her kind can look graceful, it is Sumerie, she believes. With nothing do to but wait, she considers her own boring but comfortable clothes, a black sleeveless shirt and black pants with knee-length boots.
Her mother hands her a goblet. She is familiar with the potion it holds: a disgusting liquid she can’t name. She still grimaces, even though she has been drinking this potion for as long as she could remember.
Finally, her mother leaves her to her peace. She wonders what kind of book she has picked up; it could be some sort of mysterious book that would lead her to great magic. Flinging herself onto the bed, she turns the book to a random page and reads:
“He picked me up with his powerful arms and walked over to the bedroom. I hid my face in his chest and said, ‘my lord’...”
Elysia instantly concludes that this is better than a spell book.
In the early morning, a loud bang on the door from her parlor interrupts Elysia's reading. Her fuzzy mind took several seconds to recognize where these noises were coming from.
The two chambers are connected. She hides the book under her mattress quickly. Whoever it is on the other side of the door must be very impatient, as the banging is louder by the second.
She crosses to the door. Evidently, whoever that is would not be a servant. A servant wouldn't dare to bang her doors. "Open the door, Elysia. It's important!" says a male voice through the door.
Hearing the voice, Elysia exactly knows who that is. He apparently thinks this is his place and he can go in and out whenever he wants. None of the servants and guards here wouldn't dare to prevent him from anything he wanted.
She highly doubts whatever it is would be important, as he said. She can already feel the impending doom. With a heavy sigh, she reaches to the decision that she will brace whatever it was coming.
She was so eager to read the book that she got little sleep last night. As soon as she wakes up, she continues reading the book. Feeling sleepless, she is already annoyed even before seeing him.
She finds Kannax at the door, just as she expected. Born from a different mother, he is older than Elysia by almost a century, and yet he looks in his early twenties; her kind doesn’t age as much as humans do. Those who don’t know well about him are often deceived by his charming appearance.
"I brought your breakfast for you, little sister," he said with a half-smirk.
Whenever she sees Kannax, he has the uncanny ability to sound every sentence coming out of his mouth evil. Despite being disgusted by how he can possibly pronounce 'little sister' nastily, she decides against commenting on that.
Distracted, she notices in late that he is not alone. There is a young girl. A human girl. Looks younger than her by a few years. She is cowering behind him, looking frightened.
He enters her parlor without her invitation, dragging the girl by her hair.
“Stop,” Elysia snaps.
“What? Are you sympathizing with a human?”
“I am not. You ruining my morning with an ugly scene is all.”
He settles himself in a chair like his own place and tosses the girl to the floor.
"I am not hungry," Elysia answers his earlier question.
"I've already had my breakfast." Even while uttering the words she is realizing what a stupid lie it is. Her appearance should be obvious to anyone that she just came out of bed.
“Ahh—is that so? I heard an interesting rumor about you recently. You want to know?"
Ignoring her reply, he continues, "Some say you don't drink human blood. That is absurd, isn’t it? I mean, only scavengers drink animal blood."
How did he find out about that? She wears her best calm-and-collected face.
"What a joke. Who told you that?"
"Does it matter who told me?"
Kannax is trying to corner her, she knows that. She will not hurt this girl, not to mention human blood tastes like ashes. Yes, she has tried once she was a child.
The girl is sitting on the floor, leaning against one leg of the chair Kanna is occupying as if she has no longer her own free will. Her pallor looks unhealthy and bloodless. Just how much blood has he drained from this girl? It is so undignified that this innocent human is living her life as a blood slave. Elysia has never quite understood her anger towards her own race’s treatment of defenseless races.
"I don't have time for this. I have somewhere to go.”
It is her way of dismissing him, but he looks interested. "Oh? Where?"
She utters a random place. “House of Dreams” And she instantly regrets that. She could not imagine why that horrible place crossed her mind. She hasn’t been thinking about that or anything. In this entire city, it is probably the last place she would want to go.
He seals her fate by replying, "I am coming with you then. I could use a new slave."
It can easily be the busiest quarter in the city, with the main bazaar and the biggest auction house in the entire kingdom. Shoppers are walking, flying, some in chains, on the streets occupied by innumerable establishments. When a royal entourage comes flying towards the auction house, everyone in the quarters halt to give them a curious glance and continues whatever they were doing a moment before, except the ones who look perfectly human and in chains—they bow down on the ground. Even though they look beaten down with fresh scars on their bodies, their burning anger is visible, through their white knuckles and their eyes, targeting not only the ones who are holding their chains but the ones surrounded by many royal guards, who are heading towards the tallest building in this quarter. A tall black cylindrical tower is a stark contrast with the clear sky and the other buildings. The entourage lands on the rooftop. Down the carpet stairs, this floor is
Two days ago… Pain. That was the first thing that came into his mind of total blankness.What was happening to him? That was the first question that he asked himself. He could feel the earth underneath his back in immense pain. He tried to open his eyes. Blurry and unfocused, he was blinded by the brightness just as he grasped the vagueness of trees and the sky beyond them. The next time when he opened his eyes, he found himself in another place, iron bars in front of him. He couldn’t move an inch except for his head. His hands and legs were spread eagle, manacled, and chained to the hard surface behind him. He could not tell how much time had passed but could be an hour when the iron door opened and someone came in. The creature standing before him instantly disgusted him, and he didn't know why. The one standing before him had black horns and bat wings. Demon, the word came into him out of nowhere. "What are you?" ask
Five years ago…The setting sun was no longer able to light up Mayhem City’s darkest corners, which filled with things, and lives, or the lack of life that no one deemed useful. A scrawny figure was walking slowly on a narrow lane. Barefooted, the dress too worn out and torn around the edges, the girl looked 15 at most.In her hands were two apples. She was embracing them with her trembling hands as if some stolen treasure. Around the corner of the lane were two shadows, one of them had curvy horns and huge wings. At first glance, they were embracing each other but at the closer look, the winged shape was gripping too tight the other one who was struggling in vain.At the sudden sight of it, the girl threw herself against the nearest wall, making herself even smaller than she already was. The struggling one made one last movement before he stilled completely. At last, the hunter took off into the air, dropping his prey to the ground
One hour ago… He saw the sunlight for the first time since he has gotten conscious chained to the wall. The demons pulled him at his hardest by the chains; although it would not make any difference to him, they never stop trying. He was aware of that everyone was staring at him as if some kind of exotic creature. There was something different about him, other than just his apparent features. A bustling place, a cobbled street with stalls and shops everywhere in his line of sight, with demons busy coming and going and also humans; the difference was most of the humans were in chains like him. Some were being either whipped or beaten. What a disgusting place this was. The voice coming from his right interrupted his trail of thoughts. “Don’t be so happy yet,” taunts the demon, “We will be waiting for you, pretty boy, when she doesn’t want you anymore.” The other two demons howl as if this was some kind of
She hands him the keys before going back to her seat. “I think you might need some shirt,” she mumbles out more to say something than anything else. “Do I?” is his response, removing the rest of the manacles and chains. “I don’t think you have told me your name,” Elysia inquires, now with a good distance between them. He lounges back on his chair, still shirtless. He really needs a shirt, she can’t help thinking. “What is yours?” Elysia is caught off guard by his question. “What?” “Your name, sweetheart,” he answers reprimandingly, “You should say your name first. It’s the courtesy, isn’t it?” Her temper rises, “Don’t call me sweetheart!” Who is he to reprimand her and to call her sweetheart, no matter how attractive he is? This guy doesn’t understand the situation he is in. She was thinking to secretly free him, if possible—it is a great risk to do so, probably dangerous, becaus
The castle stands tall, proud and foreboding, like a mountain, at the center of the complex of gardens, surrounded by rectangular towers and smaller buildings in a different part of the palace grounds, similar to the king is being bowed down by his subjects. “I have one question, my son,” says the king from his throne on the dais, fixing his sitting posture. The cavernous room is empty except for three, the king, his son, and his newest consort already exiting the room, her glittering sheer gown sweeping and reflecting on the smooth inky floor in her wake. “Anything, sir,” responds Kannax standing at the foot of the dais. “I heard about a rebel movement that was happening under my nose. Why didn’t you report that to me?” The king drops his hands on the arms of the throne, which looks to be cut out of one huge stone, raw and bland like other decorations in the room and the room itself. With a controlled voice, the prince replies slowly, “Rebel movement
On a normal day, if she happens to wake up early in the morning, she goes to the dining room to have a human breakfast and then walks in the garden before she has the normal breakfast. But today is different. In her white nightgown and her messy hair spreading over her shoulders, she heads to the open window that looks over the garden. The cool morning breeze brushes her thin cloth, chilling her; she hugs herself with her black wings.Knockings come from the closed door of her parlor.“May I come in, your highness?” asks Clara from the other side of the door.“Come in.” There must be someone nearby, given how she is addressing.Clara enters the room with a tray, pushing the door open. On the tray are a steaming crystal cup, a dish of sweet pastries, other items including a blood bottle, and an extra item, which is a folded paper. The announcement.“Why is this only for me? Have you had your breakfast?
“I thought I’d take all of this with me to the grave. I intended to never tell you, Elysia, but it seems I can’t avoid this.”Within the few seconds’ break of her mother talking, the chamber is so quiet that the breathing sounds are so loud to Elysia’s ears.“He was from the Ikcendas.” The consort looks away.“From the East?”“As our kingdom and the East had a friendly relationship during those years, our two kingdoms exchanged diplomatic gifts and messages regularly. Children only know humans with magical abilities live in the East, but it is not strictly true. There are ordinary humans, humans with magical powers, and lastly the ones more than humans: they are the royal family and some highest nobles.”“Aside from being an ambassador, he was a distant relative of the royal family. Your father and I, it was love at first sight, but still, we kept our distance during his visits for more than a hundred years. We did nothing more than having friendly