This story is by Miguel Sta. Maria and was part of our 2017 Spring Writing Contest. You can find all the Spring Writing Contest stories here.
Glittering gold threads outlined her white gown; an attempt to give her a holy aura impression. Hmph! I’ll say. She looks like an extravagant candlestick! What a fashion disaster! Neither does that olive wreath decoration on her head, wings replacing leaves, help. Yet the people do not seem to mind. They applaud in her attempt of a patriotic image, the Lumos symbol.
“My people! Let us shine our beacon of hope! Let our warriors know that they are not alone in this war!”
Her voice echoed out of the diamond light projector. The image rippled slightly, and then suddenly the image was gone.
“Marco, stop playing with the diamond stem! Dahlia, get your hand out of the light stream!”
The thin light stream, along with multiple streams from various directions, stretched to a giant diamond.
On the neighboring balcony, their projected image is chaotically colored compared to here. There, a child then tips off its stem, and the object shatters like glass. I’m assuming they’re not wealthy.
Far off in the distance, a wave of green light drifts off to the sky, followed by blue and red lights. The family in the balcony form the Lumos symbol in their hands and different colors of light stream from each hand to the night sky. Admittedly, it does bring a sense of joy when spectating this beautiful display of their power. Seeing waves of different colors in a gentle light makes me almost envy that I am not one of them.
Hanging upside down on the ceiling, I watch them from outside. My mask slipped slightly off my face due to gravity, but I was able to secure it. My specially designed suit camouflaged with the surroundings.
“Let the world recognize the glory of the light! Show it with pride, my people! For you are showing the world, the truth!”
Roars of cheer echoed from the same far off distance and from the diamond.
“Remember that this light is not only for those who have succeeded in this campaign against the Solums, but also for those who have fallen in battle. Let us all take a moment of silence, to remember everyone who is not present in this assembly, but are instead off to war, for the glory of the truth! Let our prayers be heard! Do not be afraid to show the face of your hero!”
The family bowed down and drew palms towards the diamond, as if they were warming themselves on a fireplace. One by one, orbs of light appeared from each chanting and praying member. They floated, like bubbles, and rode the wind up to the sky. Funny, they almost look similar to how the Cosums produce stars. Whispers resonate from the orbs, then a face appears, and then what seemed to be a moment, a memory. Each one joined with the rest like a big constellation.
“And for the ones who still do not recognize the Light as the truth, let my voice be the reason for your enlightenment. We are the first born, the Lucids!”
The audience cheers and applauds.
“We, are the people that shed light to places where it is dark. We are the life source of many organisms that dwell in Mondal. We are the true element, the one and only one that should exist!”
Gee, if only my cards could fly more than a kilometer, I would have her head in my hands in seconds. Seeing the faces of shock would be delicious.
“But one day, it was corrupted, blasphemed, tampered, altered, and desecrated. Even after banishment of the sinners, they multiplied and made settlements of their own. They called themselves the Murks, people of Darkness, long ago, until the cycle of heresy repeated itself. Ardors, Mares, Ventums, and Brisks. They have lost the way, they have lost the truth. Such people are condemned to never be reincarnated to Etheria.”
Cries of boos echoed.
“People! Do not discourage them! We need to be the better example! We all want to see each other in our reincarnation! We all want the people of Mondal to be reunited as one, in the holy place. Am I not correct?”
“Then we must be welcome, once we put this war to an end! We must invite our brothers and sisters back home! Let us guide them back to the truth, in a way without any more violence! Remember, I am the light! You are the light! We, are the light!”
Hearing the crowd cheer to this bias ideology is just sickening. I see the beauty of their own power, and yet they refuse to see the beauty in mine, or in others. I’ve seen Quetzal, the capital city of the Solums. I’ve seen how they’ve carved stones into their own aesthetic, and how they’ve built structures deep within this planet without damaging it, how they have shown their love for this planet. Now, once they conquer it, all of it will be gone.
That’s why I’m here, to take out the heart of this ideology. Her head will be the greatest part of my collection.
The thin light beams have been snuffed out. I must make haste, else I’d be locked out of the gates.
With a flick of my hand, a joker card spins to the back of a distant building. By the snap of my fingers, I teleport to a different rooftop, grasping someone’s head by accident. I spin my body rapidly, and snap! Off with his head!
I’m sorry, I couldn’t help but giggle. That kill was just fabulous. A shame though, that this handsome face had to die. No matter, I used the mask to take it from him. I took note of the ultraviolet guard uniform and took his I.D. I flicked another card to him, and his corpse completely vanished.
Ahead, a few more guards are patrolling. More handsome men. Each time I flicked a card, a neck was sliced and I jumped from rooftop to rooftop unnoticed, hiding their corpses. Sometimes I missed, but I always like it up close and personal, especially with boys.
Finally, I was at the gate, just in time to see these wonderful people leave. A guard is below to break my fall.
“For my next trick, I shall do eight somersaults and eight spins before I land.” I whispered to myself.
Three, two, one, I jumped. The lights, the cheer, and the wind point my way. Splat goes the poor head of the guard. A card for you. I brush my shoulders, and my suit turns blue. I wear the face of my first victim.
“Guard!” I call to the Infrared guard maintaining an orderly exit amongst the audience.
“Sir!” He salutes.
“Which is the quickest way to the palace without going through this crowd?”
“There’s an entrance for authorized personnel only on the right wing, sir!”
“Thank you. Carry on!”
I leave him and rush to the right wing. Even with the checkpoint there, I was still able to slip past them.
The queen and the princess have been escorted back to the palace by a white holy guard. If I were here earlier this would’ve just flicked a card to her neck and made my way out. No matter, there are many other options. First, is to walk straight into the palace. However, only Holy guards are allowed inside, and orders for UVs and Infrareds are to patrol. Second, there’s breaking in, but that would cause too much noise. I “patrol” to the back to see if there are more options.
There! There’s an open window on the second floor, the queen’s quarters. A few trees would provide perfect cover. As expected, there are a few holy guards, two on both sides of the window, one on the far right. Flick! A card flies to the window while I rush behind the tree. The card comes to mind.
Instantly, I split kick the two guards and flick a headshot at the far guard. Easy. Something crashed however, startling me. A man in a tuxedo, the servant, dropped his tray of tea.
“Tsk tsk. How clumsy.”
He trembles and tries to run, but I got hold of his mouth before he had a chance to shout.
“Don’t worry, you’ll still be useful.”
I sliced his neck, put my mask on his face and watched it absorb every facial detail from his chin to forehead. I brushed off my UV colored suit into a tuxedo and picked up the tea set lying on the floor.
Walking along the halls decorated with paintings expensive décor, I turn a corner and spot the grand double doors. I walk over and knock gently.
“Your tea, your majesty.” I said as I shut the door and took in the king bed with the window overlooking the garden.
She paused, by the window, looking at me across the luxuriously furnished room. “Yes, my tea. Set it down by the table if you please.”
“As you wish, m’lady.” I set down the tray
“Thank you. Now sit down. We shall have… guests, with us any moment.”
Guests? What does she mean? Wait… in an instant, she projects a ray of light outside the window. She’s alerting them! Not for long. I flick a card aimed dead straight at her head, but she parries with her hand.
“My people call me your holiness, assassin. Now concede! Bow down before the light!”
She shines a blinding bright light towards me, bleaching my eyes. I throw a card, a red card towards her, and it exploded. She cried in pain as she fell back to the ground. The explosion also shattered the window. Footsteps flooded the hallway behind me, I’m too late.
I throw a card towards the window, and popped out an image of myself running towards the window. Before the doors fling, I twirl a card in front of me and I was instantly transparent.
“Your holiness!” A holy guard cried out.
“He jumped out of the window, posing as my butler. Find him!”
Most of the guards ran off, while some hurried over to assist the queen. I was just in here waiting patiently. If I break stealth and attack her, I’ll be captured.
“I have failed.” I thought to myself over and over as I ran. My eyes were wet with tears as the memories of my people and my loved ones flooded my head. The Solums will fall, their legacy will die.
I entered a dark room and took off my mask. Only moonlight shined here. I took off my mask, and wiped my real face of tears.
“Mr? Are you crying?”
The princess held a light orb on her hands like a candle. She’s not supposed to be awake. She gasped as I leapt to her, mouth on hand, and felt the sharpness of the card on her neck. She had that look, the look every one of my targets had before I slit their throats and took their heads. They all looked the same to me… But this, this was different. I looked straight into her eyes, and these eyes were those the same of those her age back at home. Joy, and heaven filled my emotions and these eyes knew not of the bitter reality of this world, but only of that world that each and every one has dreamed of being reincarnated in: Etheria.
Call me a fool, but I let her go and replaced my mask.
“You keep this secret, and I let you live. But just to be sure…”
I threw a card to her and it stuck to her arm.
“It detonates when you disclose a fact about this encounter. So choose your words carefully.”
The card blended to her skin so that it wasn’t obvious. I flicked a card to the window and waved goodbye to the sweet dear, before I vanished to the outside.