Tell me, d'Acosta, why do you still fight? How are you still alive?!
7 years ago
Daily, without a miss, as soon as the first ray of sun hit Javier's face the morning allergies would kick in as if part of a curse brought by his mother's bloodline. Everyone of his cousins, uncles, and aunts, except for his grandma & Great Aunt Eneida, suffered from them. He pertains them jokingly to being allergic to day in general although his grandmother is certain it is a little remnant of a backfiring hex against her mother's spiritual enemy.
"Enrique, breakfast's ready!"
Barely able to speak, Javier goes down to the kitchen to meet his grandmother cooking. "Ahh, goddamn, what hour is it? Ahhchu!"
"I told you not to curse your lord's name."
"Hmph, but you do it all the time."
"That's because I can! Anyway, I made some scrambled eggs like you asked. Now sit down in the table and watch some television if you want. That Chinese cartoon you watch about ninjas is on Channel 2."
Most of his friends would be dying to correct her 'unfathomable' mistake directly at the moment, but he knew better, after all, teaching a senile 78 year old woman the difference between Japan and China, not to include the fact it was not a cartoon, would be fruitless.
However, more fresh in his mind was the recent burial of his father the day before and the recital at the night which lasted up to 1 AM. He met countless people there as townsmen, colleagues, and even members of both of his extended families went to pay their respects. There was also Iris, as well her father, with whom he spent most of the night talking and clearing his head of the resentment he still keeps to this day. It burned within him as hot as the pit in which the fallen angel Lucifer is chained and imprisoned, blaming him for not doing enough to save his other son the day the riots began.
Even still, he promised to himself he would not cry for him after he was gone, the last words he spoke to his father as he closed his eyes, saw the man his son would become, and went into the Light of heaven's peaceful gates, being reunited with his beloved. But, even then, Javier felt cold that night, his sleep was uneven, underneath his bedsheets a cool breeze robed him of his warmth.
"So, who was the lady friend you spent all night yesterday, huh, Enrique?"
"What? You've met her before, Iris."
"That was Iris? My god she has grown up into a beautiful lady. Reminds me of myself when I was young."
Of course, seeing the plain white hair and the wrinkles on her face, Javier was appalled thinking of what Iris might turn when older. It was exaggerating though, his grandmother still keeps attending herself, going to beauties and caring of her beauty, even attaining some galant knights along the road with whom to share life's pleasures, but the thought remained ingrained within his skull.
"She came here 2 weeks ago."
"Did she? Wasn't she the one who was going with you to college? Then I must be mistaking her for someone else."
Going for the refrigerator to bring her grandson a root- beer she then retorted, "Who?"
"You know, short black hair, always with headphones on listening to dark metal, has the clothing look of 'a dying bat."
"Oh yes" She chuckled a bit as she was reminded of her punk look including boots and a jacket even though it was around 90 degrees in her house almost every day. "God do something about her music. Listening about the devil will only hasten his return."
Still taking part on eating his eggs, Javier looked at her and the cross glued to the wall, and the picture of Maria sitting in the table, and the framing of Saint Martha atop the tv, all disdainfully.
"You know, you're sometimes are a bit too fanatic."
"That's because you need all the allies you can get to help defend yourself from the enemies."
"Enemies, what kind of enemies can you have?"
"Ah boy, you'd be surprised of how many enemies this old lady has. Luckily I am more capable than them. Just ask your grandfather on why he chose me over Mrs. Lucia back in the day."
"Is this one of your Espiritista tales?"
"I would not practice it if it didn't work. My mother taught me that if you want to be powerful, you have to have the most powerful allies, be ready and capable of defending yourself, and knowing when to know and how to attack first. I won't go over the details, I know you mostly don't believe in any stuff, but let me tell you that I've seen your future and I know that you will be a powerful man."
"The lamp speaking again?"
"The lamp always knows better. The spirits spoke of you recently, a messenger borne on black wings. They spoke that one day you will finally face Ireul, and even though the wrath will be mighty your sword will protect you and you will stand victorious. However, they also warned me of your dark shroud, a shadow, and if left uncheck it might consume you.
You can take this as you will and I know Joel's passing is tough on you wether you admit it or not, but it will come one day when God will test you harder than before, and believe me when I say that day comes for all of us eventually, but when that day comes you have to stand stronger than life's wrath and continue on, but that's the beauty of the human spirit, it always finds the strength to endure one way or another.
Now finish those eggs before they get cold and you leave them. Also, get ready soon, I'm going to see Eneida and go to the supermarket to buy some milk, need a litter to make the coffee tomorrow, it barely left enough to make for today."
But within Javier's mind the whole speech sounded like the common spiritual talk she was prone to when something relevant in the family happened. She and her sister usually communicated with the spirits for all sorts of matters, trivial as 'talking with their late uncle Ernesto' to assessing wether or not to send a hex to their enemies, an all-encompassing title to all of those that somehow did a wrongdoing to either of them or their family.
Of course, for him, it was all nothing. Nothing in his life would make him believe in the power of astral communication, or that ogres are real and go flying through the windows to bless its followers, or that the embodiment of some universal axioms is ready to plunge chaos upon Earth, Mars, Thesia, Muspel, and any other corner of space where humans lived. No, for him all of that was figments of the human mind to make sense of a universe that even at the 24th century it still struggled to understand. For him, there was no use for gods, or shells, or any sort of pseudoscience, there was only the 'us', nothing more. Perhaps sentient life existed in another desolate corner of the big infinite cosmos, after all flora and fauna is commonly observed throughout inhabited space, but for all that matter only humans mattered within the realm of human life, nothing more...
I, unlike you, have a purpose. Unlike you I liberate, free their souls, offer them a chance to be reunited back into one without shackles set by your selfish god, give them eternal life. You however only bring them death, and then what? Oblivion. For what? Money? I find that cruel.
Now pinned to the ground, Javier saw as Jaeger lifted Garret of the floor through the neck and proceeded to pierced him through with his remaining sword and threw him into the wall as the latter gasped for air and coughed blood.
"Tell me, Garret, how does it feel to die?"
"Not... good." Garret thought of his newborns, and his wife, and the life he felt leeching out of his body as the blood continued to pour from his wound and reached his face.
But with the opportunity Jaeger presented in his genuine inquiry, Javier stabbed him through the abdomen, making him cry with the force of a demon having its flesh flayed by a all-consuming light casted down by the heavens, and as such he felt, loosing grasp of his last sword and calling down for the strength of his father to help him avenge his previous defeat at the hands of a fierce, but ultimately lowly, human that for the first time provided him with a emotion such as fear, for it was the first time in what could be described as its life, Jaeger was unsure of his power when in battle.
He was given a gift, a means to bring all to a end as he was created with that purpose in mind, to smite all that considered itself human and usher a era where nothing marked with the brand of sin had the right to exist, and for that purpose he was granted two swords that could erase all sense of vitality within the flesh. Those two swords where created in darkness, forged with a aberration and hunger for Light. That Light had to be destroyed. for it was weak and fragile and easily conquered. The fact it proved victorious over the primordial broth of shadows was a aberration, a mistake, and it had to be corrected as it was a aberration to the primal darkness that first dominated what is known as reality. That light was the spark that was granted to all of the selfish god's creation when it first released it. The swords were the cessation of that Light, of the soul.
The fact that the only mortal who was denied passage into the dark had not only disarmed him of those instruments of the void, but also bested him in his realm once before proved horrifying. What if there was a force stronger than the power of entropic chaos from which all things in the universe were created and systematically returned to simply by will? In the event such a force existed, and indeed he could see it within Javier's eyes and blade, then the outcome was cast and he was to cease. It was because of that hesitation the cry to the night was received, but not answered. Jaeger proved himself weak, the very embodiment of what his swords used to smite and therefore unworthy of their power and wrath. He left a vulnerability and the gap left by the strike let in light, thus he lost the privilege of being a vessel for darkness and its retribution.
As the two clashed, fist to sword, the fight became more evident as Javier regained the upper hand, blocking Jaeger's blows with his blade and pinning him further down. His might slipping and his wounds becoming more apparent as they stopped healing until in desperation he rushed a strike towards Javier with all his energy, only to be caught midway by the sharp edge and his left arm being ripped apart.
He fell down, defeated. In aguish, he dragged himself with his remaining hand to get away from the final blow. With what remained of his life he opened his eyes and saw the darkness he so much revered in the figure of a man who spoke, You have failed. Learn how to be strong again, my son, and you shall be given resurrection. Until then, we will find another way., and with those words the man returned to the darkness from which he came. As it close in front of him, Javier caught up to him and proceeded to unsheathe his dagger.
With those words, Javier trusted his knife upon the back of the skull of as the Jaeger saw all the dark gone, leaving him behind, empty. Finally, the answer he craved for eternity was finally given.