The Prophecy of Light - Part 1: Heaven and Hell
DE DE
Chapter 3 - The magic of light and darkness
"Dad! Look what I made," cried the little six years old daughter of Candidus* , a white wolf with dark blue eyes. He was wearing a worn-out shirt and brown leather pants, as well as a pair of brown leather shoes, where another seam had come loose. "It's beautiful," he replied after looking at the structure of sticks, strings and flowers that his daughter had made together there. It resembled a wind chime, only that it wouldn‘t make any noise in the wind. She smiled all over her face and was very proud of her work. "Tell Mum that I'll be finished here soon and then we can eat," Candidus now added. He had to replant the field so that there would be enough food for the coming months. He was almost finished with his work. Only the last seeds had to be planted. His little daughter ran off immediately to tell her mother the news. "I'll do that," she shouted to her father while she was still racing. Candidus lived with his wife, his six years old daughter and his three years old son in a small village called Civitas. The houses were built of clay, wood or straw. The streets were only made of earth, where again and again individual holes were made and had to be filled up. Almost every family had their own field. When Candidus finished his work, he went to one of their wooden water barrels and scooped water from it with a clay jug, pouring it over his hands to clean them with it. Then he dried them with a cloth and went into the house. Immediately his little son ran towards him and wanted to be lifted up. "Who have we here?" he asked him as he picked him up and tore him up into the air, "If it isn't my little darling." The little one smiled and laughed: "Dad! Dad, do it again!" Candidus paused and let the little one down to the ground again. Through the window he could see that two figures were approaching and even if they were slowly approaching he could already see their red eyes. He had often heard of the red-eyed creatures, the demons, but he had never seen them before. It was said that they came into the towns and villages at night and sucked the blood from the people. He looked softly at his little son and said, "Dad will be right back." Then he went outside. His wife went to the window and looked outside to see what was happening. Who were those people who came there? Candidus ran to the two demons, "Greetings, what can I do for you?" The two figures stopped before him: "From now on, the Prince of Darkness rules this world. Make no trouble and do as we told." Candidus immediately realized he could do nothing against them. Not just because they were demons, but because of their physical build. They were very muscular and well trained, while he was just a simple farmer. Nevertheless, he didn't really understand their concern: "Excuse me for asking, but who is this prince and what exactly does that mean? What about the village elder or our king?" One of the demons grabbed his collar and growled angrily: "You should just accept it, otherwise we'll take you down to hell and believe me, that's not a place you want to be." "'By all the gods, please let me go“, Candidus asked them afraid. From the village one could hear screams, which only made Candidus more aware that the situation was hopeless. The demon loosened the grip of Candidus and gave him a push so that he fell to the ground. Bright light rose in the sky for a short moment. Everyone below was forced to cover their eyes before it seemed to split. Winged light beings glided down, Gabriel's angels and sent out small light beings, just as big as a hand. At first, they appeared like spheres making their way down, but upon closer inspection, you could see that they were small beings. "'What is that?' cried one demon and looked up in perplexed. The first small light beings shot into the ground, took the earth as an element instead of the light and flew towards the demons. The force hit the first demon in the stomach, threw him back and threw him to the ground. The other one stumbled when one of the creatures hit him in the leg, two more in the shoulder and head, so that he also fell backwards hard to the ground: "Damn! Both of them picked themselves up quickly, but were attacked further. Candidus slowly stood up and sent a sincere thank you up to heaven: "Whoever you are, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I‘m in your debt." Even from the village you could see the little lights buzzing around and they weren‘t only there but in many places in the world to help ordinary mortals against the demons. Candidus didn't expect an answer, but another figure appeared before him out of bright light. When the light faded, a white bat in priestly garb stood before him, the archangel Gabriel. "If you want, you can pay your debt," Gabriel began to speak to him in a calm tone of voice, "and at the same time help your family, your friends, and many in this world. Like for a king, Candidus bowed gratefully: "What could I do? I‘m only a simple person." Gabriel looked for a moment at the two demons running toward the village. They were still being attacked by the little light beings that tried to beat them away. Then he turned his gaze back to Candidus: "I give you the magic of light and you will become one of my magicians. With this power you can fight, protect and heal, but you must never use it out of hate or greed. Do you agree?" Candidus nodded without thinking much about it: "I want to be able to help and defend my family. I want my children to grow up without fear, and the children of other families too." Gabriel raised his hand, causing an aura of light to appear around Candidus' entire body. It felt warm, full of love and bliss. Slowly it disappeared into Candidus' body and everything seemed perfectly normal. Astonished, Candidus looked down on himself: "How can I use this power and will you tell me your name?" "I am Gabriel, the Prince of Light. Feel the power within you, let the feeling be strengthened by beautiful thoughts and use it to protect. You‘ll see everything else then. I must go on, but you'll soon see that you're not alone." He disappeared in bright light, just as he had come. A light spring breeze reminded him of where he had stood before, as well as the last feather that had dissipated in the light. Since Candidus couldn‘t possibly stand alone against all the demons, Gabriel gave the magic of light to other people in Civitas and also in other villages and towns. Nevertheless, the demons were a great danger for them. Besides their magic, Demons had much sharper senses and physical strength. "Dad, this is beautiful," Candidus' daughter remarked. He sat on a wooden chair in front of his house and let a small glowing ball float: "You're right. I hope it can protect us too." It had been two days since he had received his powers. No one could say when the demons would return. He had communicated with some other inhabitants who also had an encounter with Gabriel. They had to learn quickly, otherwise all the magic wouldn‘t help them. Candidus had also made sure that observation posts were set up and alarms were sounded when the demons would return. They were all just simple farmers and fighting had been alien to them until then. It still felt unreal to Candidus, even though he could produce the proof with his own hands. He made the glowing sphere disappear and smiled at his daughter as his gaze turned to the village. First one of the flames, which were meant to be a warning signal, lit up, than the other two followed. Candidus stood up: "Go into the house and stay there with your mother and your brother. I'll be back soon." The girl nodded slightly and squeezed her father's hand: "You‘re strong, Dad. I know you‘re." Then she went into the house, as her father had told her to. Candidus himself ran across his fields at a fast pace before he ran to reach the village in time. When Candidus ran between the houses to the market place, he already saw the demons shooting fireballs at the inhabitants. A group of five light magicians had joined forces to intercept the fireballs with magical shields, which proved to be more difficult than expected. Others shot at the demons with balls of light, which obviously hurt, but also made the demons even more angry. Candidus didn't hesitate and also shot with light balls at the attacking demons: "Get out of here! Let us live in peace!" One of the demons turned, growling, and stretched out his hand, and one of the houses began to burn. "Put the fire out!" You heard someone call out. The villagers without magic powers fetched water and tried to extinguish the fire with buckets or at least contain it so that it didn't spread to the nearby houses. Candidus himself continued to shoot at the demons with balls of light, now with more force. They had to disappear before anything else happened. Again and again he had to think about his family. If they didn‘t succeed, what would become of them!? His two children still had their whole life ahead of them, and that perhaps as subjects of demons and their ruler! He couldn‘t and wouldn‘t allow that. He would fight and he would win. One of the demons came dangerously close to him and already started to punch him when another magician protected him with a shield. Relieved, Candidus looked at his saviour and said, "Thank you." The other magician nodded at him. The fist of the demon had bounced off the magical shield. Growling, he struck again. Unsuccessfully. Candidus looked around. It couldn‘t go on like this. Although they managed to defend themselves moderately, they weren‘t strong enough to stand against the demons. His look went up to the sky: "Gabriel, we are very grateful. But we can‘t do it alone. Please, just a small miracle. Help us." The other magicians shook his head and continued to concentrate on the shield that kept the angry demon from them: "I don't think he will come. He gave us the powers and now we must see for ourselves." "I believe in him," Candidus said determinedly, "and I trust Gabriel. He is the Prince of Light and he will preserve the Light of Life." At first it was just a scattered glow, but then more and more lights came down from heaven - the angels - who sent their light elves hurtling to the ground at breakneck speed. Most of them plunged into the ground and took on the element of earth. It wasn‘t possible for mortals to actually see that a small figure was hidden within these spheres of light. Even when they accepted the element, the light mixed with the earth and only the reddish-brownish glow revealed that they had accepted the element of earth. As soon as they had touched the ground they hissed towards the demons and hit them with full force. To the demons it felt as if someone with incredible strength had thrown a stone at them. What didn't necessarily matter much to them, but the amount of attacking elves, still caused enough damage. Moreover, it was almost impossible for the demons to hit these small creatures. They tried to strike at them and attack with fireballs or dark magic balls. Only sporadically they succeeded. "Why don't you hit these little creatures", one of them called and immediately got the appropriate answer: "Why don't you aim better yourself?“ The magicians continued to support them, so that the demons were slowly pushed back. Away from the fighting, one of the light elves had gotten lost. Instead of penetrating the ground and taking the earth element, it had entered one of the wind chimes at the houses. The light spread out in the first moment before it disappeared completely. A child sat on the ground and looked about 5 years old. Her red, curly hair partly went into her face and her red glowing eyes had something bewitching, but also dangerous about them. Slowly the girl straightened up and looked in the direction from which the sounds came. For some reason she knew that what was happening there was dangerous. Her white, wafer-thin dress, which was more like a nightgown, slowly lost its last shine and turned grey. Instinctively she ran off with her bare feet, away from the fight, out of the village and away and away. She didn't know where she was and also didn't know that she was once a light elven. The whole hell shook when Satan, full of anger, rebuked his demons: "You are failures! Demons who can‘t compete with a few mortals! Such a simple task and you can't even do that!" "As if it were our fault. If Gabriel hadn‘t interfered with his light beings and given light magic to the mortals, it would have been a walk in the park. Clarify this with him", Verentia replied, "It seems to me that you don‘t agree. "Are you messing with me?" Satan yelled at her angrily, causing the other demons to distance themselves from Verentia. Only Falx and Metos remained at her side. "That would have no sense at all", Verentia explained, "after all, I've already lost to you. I just wanted to point out that the Lord of Light probably doesn't agree with your plan and that it won't be that easy to conquer the world." Satan snorted angrily. Like the last times he had stood on the roof of his castle and thus had all demons before him in view. Almost all of the demons had already returned and he didn‘t wait for positive news from the others. Gabriel stuck his nose into matters that didn‘t concern him. Why did he protect these useless mortals! Angered, he disappeared back into his throne room and settled down on his throne. He hadn't thought much about it yet, but his head already seemed to hurt. He had to think of something, the question was only of what? The sack fell to the ground clinking, before a dark figure followed it out of the window and picked it up again. It was one of the wealthier houses in the town of Locus, and Perniger* was well aware of this. The grey lynx with the black fur spots was very well known and the wealthy people had meanwhile offered a lot to catch this brazen thief. Their houses were partly built of clay and partly of stone, partly also of wood, and in contrast to the simple mud huts they already had something noble about them. Mostly merchants lived there, who financed their wealth by buying and selling, food and other goods. While the peasants often still paid with apples and potatoes, the first bronze coins and the feeling of wealth and power that came with them already existed among the merchants, druids and armies of estates. Perniger didn‘t belong to these, but was nevertheless very rich. He stole from the wealthy people and not only to buy food from them. He kept almost all the coins and hoarded them well hidden in a forest. He had to dig out the box every time and then hide it again, but he was obsessed with increasing his treasure. Besides, the up scale people should feel what it was like to live in poverty. This time again he had taken all the money he could find. With quick steps he removed himself from the house, throwing the sack over his shoulder. Even satisfied he grinned and set off for the forest. He looked around from time to time to make sure nobody was following him. It would be a shame if someone found his hiding place and stole all the booty. A thief should really not let himself be robbed. Under Perniger's feet there was a crackling and rustling as he made his way through the forest beyond the beaten track. And each time he made sure he didn't take the same path all the time. After all, he didn't want to make a trail to his hiding place. That would be pretty stupid. Again and again he looked behind him and took a deep breath, the sack had quite a weight. Relieved, he dropped the sack when he arrived at the spot. He had hidden the spade in one of the bushes and brought it out again: "Almost done. That was a really good haul today." He grinned contentedly inside himself and looked at the spot where he had given away the chest: "Let's go." "Satan has been gone for a long time now," Metos noted, running up and down again while Verentia watched him. Falx sat on the floor and looked at the castle: "Does that bother you? As far as I'm concerned, he can stay away forever." "We can go and see," Verentia said casually, "the female demons have decided to stay in the castle with the children. That way they won't get into any fights here. According to them, Satan himself isn‘t supposed to walk through the castle." Metos looked at her in surprise: "What's the use of such a huge castle if he doesn't stay there?" "He does, but only in his throne room," she replied. "I'm curious. Let's have a look. There's no point in just waiting around to see if something happens." Agreeing, Falx rose: "All right. Maybe we can find out something that will help us. At the moment, I don't see how we can ever get out of this situation." "Sit out," said Verentia, also rising, "our time will come." Then she walked ahead to the bridge, which was the only one across the lava flow and into the castle. So far they had not walked this way once, but now it was time to take a closer look at the castle of the Prince of Darkness. Besides, all three of them were occupied with what Satan was doing all the time. Metos looked down into the lava as they crossed the bridge: "Is Damon still alive? The last thing I saw him do was run into a ravine with Dimicatio." What Verentia thought of Damon could be clearly heard in her growl. Finally he had led the group and called on them to destroy the light: "Hopefully he was eaten." "I don't think so," Falx noticed and followed them into the castle. They directly entered a large hall, which, apart from a few corridors, also had another large gate. With quick steps Verentia ran towards the gate, which was wide open and thus allowed a direct view inside. To her astonishment she couldn't see anything at all: "So either this room is black in black or I can't see as well in the dark as I thought. A snorting sound came from the darkness: "You better show some respect. While you're here, step inside and kneel down." Determined Verentia stepped into the throne room, there was probably no better way to find out what Satan will do next. A little reluctantly she knelt down and looked into this unfathomable darkness. There was really nothing to see. Strangely enough she could see well in the first half of the hall and then the darkness came, like a black wall. The other two followed her inside, kneeled down to her right and left and looked questioningly at Verentia. Clearing her throat, she turned to Satan, who must be there somewhere: "What's going to happen now?" A contemptuous snort was heard before Satan's voice rose: "Speak to me with "my prince". You are my subjects and you will show me respect." "Prince of Darkness", Falx was now heard to say, who had also turned his gaze searchingly into darkness, "Be so good as to enlighten us. If you no longer need us, we will leave." You could hear something scraping across stone, before Satan now turned much louder to the three: "Conquer the towns and villages as I have commanded you!" "You don't know what to do, do you?" Verentia replied knowingly and continued before Satan could reply again, "Do just like Gabriel. What he can do, you should be able to do too, right?" "Satan ordered them out, loud and angry. The three rose and walked quietly out of the throne room. No sooner had they left the throne room than Falx bumped into Verentia and said, "What was that about?" "That's logical," she replied immediately, "If Satan also equips mortals with magic, they will fight each other and we can get out of here. This is no place for female demons and children. Besides, surely you don't really mean to find your destiny here?" "Non vero"* , Falx snarled out his teeth, while Metos looked at him and said: "I guess that meant no?" Sighing, Verentia ran into one of the castle's corridors. "Hey, where are you going?" Falx shouted after her, but she didn't turn around or answer. The two decided to just follow her, because waiting in the hall directly in front of Satan's throne room didn't seem like a good choice either. In the corridors of the castle they lined up door to door. Here and there you could see some young demons running between the corridors, their mothers always nearby. Verentia hadn‘t planned to choose a room here as well. She was a warrior, not a worried mother. Still she wanted to get an idea of how the female demons lived with their children at the moment. It seemed almost peaceful if it wasn't for the stuffy air, the ashes, the dust and the worried and watchful looks of the female demons. "No one is training the young demons at the moment", Metos remarked, "no teacher to keep an eye on them. Even if we are trapped here, we don‘t have to let the next generation rot." "We should wait," Falx replied thoughtfully, "the female demons have already retreated to the castle. The demons will calm down and start to make the best of it, too. The children won‘t lack too much time for their education. I'm sure they will." "Let's just keep an eye on the female demons and the children. At least not more than necessary," Verentia added as she continued to look around, "Before we were here, Satan only had his hell demons. So this is how he arranged the castle for his prisoners?" Falx laughed: "Looks like it. A castle for demons. What nonsense." "You won't get me, you won't get me," cried a young demon who came running down the hall. A young demon girl ran after him: "This is not fair. Slow down a little." The boy grinned broadly: "Girls are just too slow. You'll never catch me." As the boy ran past them, Falx grabbed his arm: "Show a little respect. She may not be as fast, but it's your job to look after her later." The boy growled angrily at Falx's reaction: "Absolutely not. I'll find a better female demon." In astonishment, Falx let go of the boy and let him run away. The girl stopped with them and smiled, "Thanks, but that's okay. He's always like that." She then ran in the opposite direction: "I know where to intercept him." A sigh was heard from Metos, who rubbed his forehead with two fingers: "If a teacher would take care of him, such a sentence would never come out of his mouth. We should talk to the others." Falx growled audibly, the bitterness was palpable: "This is all Satan's fault. If he is so damn powerful, why doesn't he move himself and take care of the conquest of the world. Let him and Gabriel smash each other's skulls in." "I don't know if that would be much better," Verentia added thoughtfully, "after all, we all live in this one world. We can only hope that Satan will lose interest in us and perhaps create his own magicians. New warriors for his insane plan." Falx looked thoughtfully at the castle, his arms crossed and he had been silent for a while: "I don't think Satan will implement your proposal any more, it's been more than a day now. "What a pity," Verentia replied curtly, "I would arranged for a few people. After all, than others are fighting this battle with Gabriel. He's probably too proud to accept a proposal from his prisoners." "Do you think Satan is hiding in the dark because he looks so strange?" Metos‘ thoughts wandered. "Even we couldn't see him, but dark magic is our element." The other two looked at him in wonder. "You are funny. As if we had nothing better to do", Verentia replied, "We don't stand a chance against him and apparently we can't influence him either. All we can do is wait." The eyes of the three met, while the voice of the Prince of Darkness rose in their heads: "Come immediately to the throne room." Verentia ran at once: "Let's hurry, perhaps he has accepted my proposal after all." "He still has no place in our heads," Falx hurried after her, while Metos rubbed his forehead with one hand before he followed them. Without looking back, Verentia crossed the bridge and entered the entrance hall of the castle. Falx ran beside her, who had a rather bad feeling: "We should be careful. I don't trust him." "Nobody does," she agreed with him and entered the throne room. Even though Satan was nowhere to be seen, the certainty gnawed at them that he was hidden somewhere in that darkness. None of them would even suspect an attack. Like the day before, Verentia knelt down. This wasn‘t out of respect or reverence, but simply to lull Satan to safety. They had to play this game in order to learn about Satan's trust and thus also his weaknesses. Falx did the same to Verentia, although he would have loved to eat Satan. Metos entered the room with a slight delay, too, looking for the darkness. Silently he took his place next to Falx and waited. "Prince?", Verentia began, "You asked for us?" A snorting sound could be heard in the darkness which was hard to categorize: "You had suggested that Gabriel do the same." She almost laughed quietly, but she suppressed it. To cross him now would be very unwise. "Yes, I did. Prince. He gave magic to mortals. Then you should be also able to do so", she suggested to him again, "correct me if I am wrong." "Bring me a mortal," commanded Satan, "but it must be someone who does it willingly." Eye-wringing, Falx looked at Verentia, who didn‘t return the look: "I don't think anyone would do it voluntarily. Still... from what I know, mortals get paid for their work. Do you have anything that you could pay them with?" Silence followed. The three of them waited to see if he would have any reaction. Carefully Metos pushed his comrade, who only shrugged his shoulders. Satan's gloomy voice rose again: "Offer him a wish. I will grant it." "A wish? All right. We bring you a mortal with a wish who wants to serve you," Verentia explained somewhat astonished and rose, "We will be back soon. The other two also rose and left the throne room together with her. Falx protectively held his arm in front of his eyes to escape the glaring sunlight: "It's daytime." The demons lost more and more of their sense of time, in the hell, it was always lit up in the same way, almost never. Fearful glances struck the three demons as they appeared of black fire in the middle of the city Locus. Verentia had to blink a few times to accustom her eyes to daylight: "I'd say we'd better look around first." Annoyed by the brightness, Metos looked to the ground: "I guess your plan didn't quite work out after all. Satan has agreed, but no one here will welcome us with open arms." "Wait," Verentia said confidently, "Demons have the lowest ranks and mortals have the lowest ranks. Only in a slightly different form." A grin flitted across Falx's face: "And what do the weaker ones want? Power! That's what a wish is for." The street became increasingly empty. Ordinary people literally crept into their houses, trying to close the doors as silently as possible. Nothing a demon's hearing wouldn't pick up. Sniffing, Metos turned around: "Do you think light magicians live here, too?" Laughing, Falx patted him on the back. "How do you think light smells?" "Satan stinks of ashes and death," he replied, "Or it's hell itself. Everything smells like ashes." "Come on", Verentia ordered them, "If this works, Satan has other beings to tyrannize." "I still believe that no one will do it voluntarily," Metos replied while putting his hands behind his head, "and even if they do, they aren‘t immortal." "But they could wish for it," Falx thought aloud, "perhaps Satan can." A rapturous grin spread over Verentia's lips: "Then let's propose this to them. It's worth a try." They turned into one of the side streets where Verentia hoped for the destitute or criminals. They would be most likely to be persuaded to do such a service for the Prince of Darkness. Luckily for her, Perniger was trying to sell a part of his jewellery loot to someone to get more money: "There's a real sapphire in the ring. I won't sell it for such a ridiculous price." "You've got a lot to say. How do I know that thing is real? It could just as well be a fake," replied his interlocutor, who himself didn‘t look very wealthy. Without much ado Verentia approached them: "I know where you can get something much more valuable than that.“ The two heads turned to her, while the other seemed almost fearful, Perniger showed a visible interest: "And what exactly was that? A diamond or gold?" "A wish," Falx joined in and pulled Perniger friendly by the shoulder, "It could be anything, perhaps even immortality." "Anything?" Perniger questioned again, "I know a wish, but what will it cost me? You don't do it for nothing." Verentia now concentrated entirely on Perniger, since the other one was more likely to faint soon: "Not us at all, because Satan sends us. The prince of darkness. He wants your services in return, that you fight for him, and in addition there are a few magical powers. Kind of like the light magicians Surely you've heard of them?" The thief put his ring back in his pocket, which made a slight tinkle: "I'm in, provided I get to keep any valuables I steal in the meantime." Patting him on the back, Falx confirmed this: "You can steal all your opponents' clothes for all I care. The Prince cares only that he can subdue mortals." "Take me to him," Perniger now demanded, "he can rule as long as I have my treasures." The three demons disappeared with Perniger in black flames and reappeared in hell right in front of the castle. Already after the first breaths Perniger began to cough heavily and looked around strained: "Someone should clean up here and why is it so hot here?“ No need to ask when he noticed the lava flow behind him: "It's okay, I..." Gently Verentia gave him a little push towards the entrance: "This way. The prince doesn't like to wait." The darkness everywhere irritated Perniger as well, but besides the ashes, dust and heat, it was rather incidental: "Take it easy." As soon as he entered the entrance hall, Verentia took the lead to the throne room: "Surely you want to negotiate the best. He shouldn't be kept waiting." Perniger followed her somewhat hesitantly, he couldn't go back anyway. The other two Demons were close on his heels, so he slowly got the feeling of being t r a p p e d . A lump spread in his throat when he entered the throne room right after Verentia. Elegantly she knelt down: "Prince, we have brought you someone who would gladly accept the offer of the wish against his services." Irritated, Perniger looked into the darkness, which reflected nothing but blackness. Falx as well as Metos now took their place next to Verentia to show their submissiveness. "Speak your name," Satan urged him, "and your desire." The lord's gloomy voice sent a cold shiver down his spine: "Me? Perniger, I was told I could wish for anything. My wish is to have infinite riches." Again the voice rose from the darkness: "I give you infinite riches and dark magic, in exchange, you'll be my servant for the rest of your life. Agreed?" "Agreed," Perniger exclaimed immediately, he could hardly believe his luck. He was prepared to work for as much money as he wanted. A black aura suddenly surrounded Perniger before it seemed to disappear into his body. In amazement he looked down at himself: „Was that it? Where are my riches?" A snort could be heard in the darkness: "Reach into your pockets and repeat it." Reluctantly, Perniger put his hand into his pocket, which filled with coins as if from nowhere. When he pulled out the hand with the coins, he had lots of gold in it. Overjoyed, he wanted to put the coins into the other pocket, but couldn't do it. Immediately the other pocket was full of coins, too, as soon as he tried to put his hand in: "That's incredible." "Make him fit for battle", Satan ordered the three demons present, "I need a strong army."

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The Prophecy of Light - Part 1: Heaven and Hell
DE DE

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Chapter 3 - The magic of light and darkness
"Dad! Look what I made," cried the little six years old daughter of Candidus* , a white wolf with dark blue eyes. He was wearing a worn-out shirt and brown leather pants, as well as a pair of brown leather shoes, where another seam had come loose. "It's beautiful," he replied after looking at the structure of sticks, strings and flowers that his daughter had made together there. It resembled a wind chime, only that it wouldn‘t make any noise in the wind. She smiled all over her face and was very proud of her work. "Tell Mum that I'll be finished here soon and then we can eat," Candidus now added. He had to replant the field so that there would be enough food for the coming months. He was almost finished with his work. Only the last seeds had to be planted. His little daughter ran off immediately to tell her mother the news. "I'll do that," she shouted to her father while she was still racing. Candidus lived with his wife, his six years old daughter and his three years old son in a small village called Civitas. The houses were built of clay, wood or straw. The streets were only made of earth, where again and again individual holes were made and had to be filled up. Almost every family had their own field. When Candidus finished his work, he went to one of their wooden water barrels and scooped water from it with a clay jug, pouring it over his hands to clean them with it. Then he dried them with a cloth and went into the house. Immediately his little son ran towards him and wanted to be lifted up. "Who have we here?" he asked him as he picked him up and tore him up into the air, "If it isn't my little darling." The little one smiled and laughed: "Dad! Dad, do it again!" Candidus paused and let the little one down to the ground again. Through the window he could see that two figures were approaching and even if they were slowly approaching he could already see their red eyes. He had often heard of the red-eyed creatures, the Demons, but he had never seen them before. It was said that they came into the towns and villages at night and sucked the blood from the people. He looked softly at his little son and said, "Dad will be right back." Then he went outside. His wife went to the window and looked outside to see what was happening. Who were those people who came there? Candidus ran to the two demons, "Greetings, what can I do for you?" The two figures stopped before him: "From now on, the Prince of Darkness rules this world. Make no trouble and do as we told." Candidus immediately realized he could do nothing against them. Not just because they were demons, but because of their physical build. They were very muscular and well trained, while he was just a simple farmer. Nevertheless, he didn't really understand their concern: "Excuse me for asking, but who is this prince and what exactly does that mean? What about the village elder or our king?" One of the demons grabbed his collar and growled angrily: "You should just accept it, otherwise we'll take you down to hell and believe me, that's not a place you want to be." "'By all the gods, please let me go“, Candidus asked them afraid. From the village one could hear screams, which only made Candidus more aware that the situation was hopeless. The Demon loosened the grip of Candidus and gave him a push so that he fell to the ground. Bright light rose in the sky for a short moment. Everyone below was forced to cover their eyes before it seemed to split. Winged light beings glided down, Gabriel's angels and sent out small light beings, just as big as a hand. At first, they appeared like spheres making their way down, but upon closer inspection, you could see that they were small beings. "'What is that?' cried one demon and looked up in perplexed. The first small light beings shot into the ground, took the earth as an element instead of the light and flew towards the demons. The force hit the first demon in the stomach, threw him back and threw him to the ground. The other one stumbled when one of the creatures hit him in the leg, two more in the shoulder and head, so that he also fell backwards hard to the ground: "Damn! Both of them picked themselves up quickly, but were attacked further. Candidus slowly stood up and sent a sincere thank you up to heaven: "Whoever you are, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I‘m in your debt." Even from the village you could see the little lights buzzing around and they weren‘t only there but in many places in the world to help ordinary mortals against the demons. Candidus didn't expect an answer, but another figure appeared before him out of bright light. When the light faded, a white bat in priestly garb stood before him, the archangel Gabriel. "If you want, you can pay your debt," Gabriel began to speak to him in a calm tone of voice, "and at the same time help your family, your friends, and many in this world. Like for a king, Candidus bowed gratefully: "What could I do? I‘m only a simple person." Gabriel looked for a moment at the two demons running toward the village. They were still being attacked by the little light beings that tried to beat them away. Then he turned his gaze back to Candidus: "I give you the magic of light and you will become one of my magicians. With this power you can fight, protect and heal, but you must never use it out of hate or greed. Do you agree?" Candidus nodded without thinking much about it: "I want to be able to help and defend my family. I want my children to grow up without fear, and the children of other families too." Gabriel raised his hand, causing an aura of light to appear around Candidus' entire body. It felt warm, full of love and bliss. Slowly it disappeared into Candidus' body and everything seemed perfectly normal. Astonished, Candidus looked down on himself: "How can I use this power and will you tell me your name?" "I am Gabriel, the Prince of Light. Feel the power within you, let the feeling be strengthened by beautiful thoughts and use it to protect. You‘ll see everything else then. I must go on, but you'll soon see that you're not alone." He disappeared in bright light, just as he had come. A light spring breeze reminded him of where he had stood before, as well as the last feather that had dissipated in the light. Since Candidus couldn‘t possibly stand alone against all the demons, Gabriel gave the magic of light to other people in Civitas and also in other villages and towns. Nevertheless, the demons were a great danger for them. Besides their magic, Demons had much sharper senses and physical strength. "Dad, this is beautiful," Candidus' daughter remarked. He sat on a wooden chair in front of his house and let a small glowing ball float: "You're right. I hope it can protect us too." It had been two days since he had received his powers. No one could say when the demons would return. He had communicated with some other inhabitants who also had an encounter with Gabriel. They had to learn quickly, otherwise all the magic wouldn‘t help them. Candidus had also made sure that observation posts were set up and alarms were sounded when the demons would return. They were all just simple farmers and fighting had been alien to them until then. It still felt unreal to Candidus, even though he could produce the proof with his own hands. He made the glowing sphere disappear and smiled at his daughter as his gaze turned to the village. First one of the flames, which were meant to be a warning signal, lit up, than the other two followed. Candidus stood up: "Go into the house and stay there with your mother and your brother. I'll be back soon." The girl nodded slightly and squeezed her father's hand: "You‘re strong, Dad. I know you‘re." Then she went into the house, as her father had told her to. Candidus himself ran across his fields at a fast pace before he ran to reach the village in time. When Candidus ran between the houses to the market place, he already saw the demons shooting fireballs at the inhabitants. A group of five light magicians had joined forces to intercept the fireballs with magical shields, which proved to be more difficult than expected. Others shot at the demons with balls of light, which obviously hurt, but also made the demons even more angry. Candidus didn't hesitate and also shot with light balls at the attacking demons: "Get out of here! Let us live in peace!" One of the demons turned, growling, and stretched out his hand, and one of the houses began to burn. "Put the fire out!" You heard someone call out. The villagers without magic powers fetched water and tried to extinguish the fire with buckets or at least contain it so that it didn't spread to the nearby houses. Candidus himself continued to shoot at the demons with balls of light, now with more force. They had to disappear before anything else happened. Again and again he had to think about his family. If they didn‘t succeed, what would become of them!? His two children still had their whole life ahead of them, and that perhaps as subjects of demons and their ruler! He couldn‘t and wouldn‘t allow that. He would fight and he would win. One of the demons came dangerously close to him and already started to punch him when another magician protected him with a shield. Relieved, Candidus looked at his saviour and said, "Thank you." The other magician nodded at him. The fist of the demon had bounced off the magical shield. Growling, he struck again. Unsuccessfully. Candidus looked around. It couldn‘t go on like this. Although they managed to defend themselves moderately, they weren‘t strong enough to stand against the demons. His look went up to the sky: "Gabriel, we are very grateful. But we can‘t do it alone. Please, just a small miracle. Help us." The other magicians shook his head and continued to concentrate on the shield that kept the angry demon from them: "I don't think he will come. He gave us the powers and now we must see for ourselves." "I believe in him," Candidus said determinedly, "and I trust Gabriel. He is the Prince of Light and he will preserve the Light of Life." At first it was just a scattered glow, but then more and more lights came down from heaven - the angels - who sent their light elves hurtling to the ground at breakneck speed. Most of them plunged into the ground and took on the element of earth. It wasn‘t possible for mortals to actually see that a small figure was hidden within these spheres of light. Even when they accepted the element, the light mixed with the earth and only the reddish-brownish glow revealed that they had accepted the element of earth. As soon as they had touched the ground they hissed towards the demons and hit them with full force. To the demons it felt as if someone with incredible strength had thrown a stone at them. What didn't necessarily matter much to them, but the amount of attacking elves, still caused enough damage. Moreover, it was almost impossible for the demons to hit these small creatures. They tried to strike at them and attack with fireballs or dark magic balls. Only sporadically they succeeded. "Why don't you hit these little creatures", one of them called and immediately got the appropriate answer: "Why don't you aim better yourself?“ The magicians continued to support them, so that the demons were slowly pushed back. Away from the fighting, one of the light elves had gotten lost. Instead of penetrating the ground and taking the earth element, it had entered one of the wind chimes at the houses. The light spread out in the first moment before it disappeared completely. A child sat on the ground and looked about 5 years old. Her red, curly hair partly went into her face and her red glowing eyes had something bewitching, but also dangerous about them. Slowly the girl straightened up and looked in the direction from which the sounds came. For some reason she knew that what was happening there was dangerous. Her white, wafer-thin dress, which was more like a nightgown, slowly lost its last shine and turned grey. Instinctively she ran off with her bare feet, away from the fight, out of the village and away and away. She didn't know where she was and also didn't know that she was once a light elven. The whole hell shook when Satan, full of anger, rebuked his demons: "You are failures! Demons who can‘t compete with a few mortals! Such a simple task and you can't even do that!" "As if it were our fault. If Gabriel hadn‘t interfered with his light beings and given light magic to the mortals, it would have been a walk in the park. Clarify this with him", Verentia replied, "It seems to me that you don‘t agree. "Are you messing with me?" Satan yelled at her angrily, causing the other demons to distance themselves from Verentia. Only Falx and Metos remained at her side. "That would have no sense at all", Verentia explained, "after all, I've already lost to you. I just wanted to point out that the Lord of Light probably doesn't agree with your plan and that it won't be that easy to conquer the world." Satan snorted angrily. Like the last times he had stood on the roof of his castle and thus had all demons before him in view. Almost all of the demons had already returned and he didn‘t wait for positive news from the others. Gabriel stuck his nose into matters that didn‘t concern him. Why did he protect these useless mortals! Angered, he disappeared back into his throne room and settled down on his throne. He hadn't thought much about it yet, but his head already seemed to hurt. He had to think of something, the question was only of what? The sack fell to the ground clinking, before a dark figure followed it out of the window and picked it up again. It was one of the wealthier houses in the town of Locus, and Perniger* was well aware of this. The grey lynx with the black fur spots was very well known and the wealthy people had meanwhile offered a lot to catch this brazen thief. Their houses were partly built of clay and partly of stone, partly also of wood, and in contrast to the simple mud huts they already had something noble about them. Mostly merchants lived there, who financed their wealth by buying and selling, food and other goods. While the peasants often still paid with apples and potatoes, the first bronze coins and the feeling of wealth and power that came with them already existed among the merchants, druids and armies of estates. Perniger didn‘t belong to these, but was nevertheless very rich. He stole from the wealthy people and not only to buy food from them. He kept almost all the coins and hoarded them well hidden in a forest. He had to dig out the box every time and then hide it again, but he was obsessed with increasing his treasure. Besides, the up scale people should feel what it was like to live in poverty. This time again he had taken all the money he could find. With quick steps he removed himself from the house, throwing the sack over his shoulder. Even satisfied he grinned and set off for the forest. He looked around from time to time to make sure nobody was following him. It would be a shame if someone found his hiding place and stole all the booty. A thief should really not let himself be robbed. Under Perniger's feet there was a crackling and rustling as he made his way through the forest beyond the beaten track. And each time he made sure he didn't take the same path all the time. After all, he didn't want to make a trail to his hiding place. That would be pretty stupid. Again and again he looked behind him and took a deep breath, the sack had quite a weight. Relieved, he dropped the sack when he arrived at the spot. He had hidden the spade in one of the bushes and brought it out again: "Almost done. That was a really good haul today." He grinned contentedly inside himself and looked at the spot where he had given away the chest: "Let's go." "Satan has been gone for a long time now," Metos noted, running up and down again while Verentia watched him. Falx sat on the floor and looked at the castle: "Does that bother you? As far as I'm concerned, he can stay away forever." "We can go and see," Verentia said casually, "the female demons have decided to stay in the castle with the children. That way they won't get into any fights here. According to them, Satan himself isn‘t supposed to walk through the castle." Metos looked at her in surprise: "What's the use of such a huge castle if he doesn't stay there?" "He does, but only in his throne room," she replied. "I'm curious. Let's have a look. There's no point in just waiting around to see if something happens." Agreeing, Falx rose: "All right. Maybe we can find out something that will help us. At the moment, I don't see how we can ever get out of this situation." "Sit out," said Verentia, also rising, "our time will come." Then she walked ahead to the bridge, which was the only one across the lava flow and into the castle. So far they had not walked this way once, but now it was time to take a closer look at the castle of the Prince of Darkness. Besides, all three of them were occupied with what Satan was doing all the time. Metos looked down into the lava as they crossed the bridge: "Is Damon still alive? The last thing I saw him do was run into a ravine with Dimicatio." What Verentia thought of Damon could be clearly heard in her growl. Finally he had led the group and called on them to destroy the light: "Hopefully he was eaten." "I don't think so," Falx noticed and followed them into the castle. They directly entered a large hall, which, apart from a few corridors, also had another large gate. With quick steps Verentia ran towards the gate, which was wide open and thus allowed a direct view inside. To her astonishment she couldn't see anything at all: "So either this room is black in black or I can't see as well in the dark as I thought. A snorting sound came from the darkness: "You better show some respect. While you're here, step inside and kneel down." Determined Verentia stepped into the throne room, there was probably no better way to find out what Satan will do next. A little reluctantly she knelt down and looked into this unfathomable darkness. There was really nothing to see. Strangely enough she could see well in the first half of the hall and then the darkness came, like a black wall. The other two followed her inside, kneeled down to her right and left and looked questioningly at Verentia. Clearing her throat, she turned to Satan, who must be there somewhere: "What's going to happen now?" A contemptuous snort was heard before Satan's voice rose: "Speak to me with "my prince". You are my subjects and you will show me respect." "Prince of Darkness", Falx was now heard to say, who had also turned his gaze searchingly into darkness, "Be so good as to enlighten us. If you no longer need us, we will leave." You could hear something scraping across stone, before Satan now turned much louder to the three: "Conquer the towns and villages as I have commanded you!" "You don't know what to do, do you?" Verentia replied knowingly and continued before Satan could reply again, "Do just like Gabriel. What he can do, you should be able to do too, right?" "Satan ordered them out, loud and angry. The three rose and walked quietly out of the throne room. No sooner had they left the throne room than Falx bumped into Verentia and said, "What was that about?" "That's logical," she replied immediately, "If Satan also equips mortals with magic, they will fight each other and we can get out of here. This is no place for female demons and children. Besides, surely you don't really mean to find your destiny here?" "Non vero"* , Falx snarled out his teeth, while Metos looked at him and said: "I guess that meant no?" Sighing, Verentia ran into one of the castle's corridors. "Hey, where are you going?" Falx shouted after her, but she didn't turn around or answer. The two decided to just follow her, because waiting in the hall directly in front of Satan's throne room didn't seem like a good choice either. In the corridors of the castle they lined up door to door. Here and there you could see some young demons running between the corridors, their mothers always nearby. Verentia hadn‘t planned to choose a room here as well. She was a warrior, not a worried mother. Still she wanted to get an idea of how the female demons lived with their children at the moment. It seemed almost peaceful if it wasn't for the stuffy air, the ashes, the dust and the worried and watchful looks of the female demons. "No one is training the young demons at the moment", Metos remarked, "no teacher to keep an eye on them. Even if we are trapped here, we don‘t have to let the next generation rot." "We should wait," Falx replied thoughtfully, "the female demons have already retreated to the castle. The demons will calm down and start to make the best of it, too. The children won‘t lack too much time for their education. I'm sure they will." "Let's just keep an eye on the female demons and the children. At least not more than necessary," Verentia added as she continued to look around, "Before we were here, Satan only had his hell demons. So this is how he arranged the castle for his prisoners?" Falx laughed: "Looks like it. A castle for demons. What nonsense." "You won't get me, you won't get me," cried a young demon who came running down the hall. A young demon girl ran after him: "This is not fair. Slow down a little." The boy grinned broadly: "Girls are just too slow. You'll never catch me." As the boy ran past them, Falx grabbed his arm: "Show a little respect. She may not be as fast, but it's your job to look after her later." The boy growled angrily at Falx's reaction: "Absolutely not. I'll find a better female demon." In astonishment, Falx let go of the boy and let him run away. The girl stopped with them and smiled, "Thanks, but that's okay. He's always like that." She then ran in the opposite direction: "I know where to intercept him." A sigh was heard from Metos, who rubbed his forehead with two fingers: "If a teacher would take care of him, such a sentence would never come out of his mouth. We should talk to the others." Falx growled audibly, the bitterness was palpable: "This is all Satan's fault. If he is so damn powerful, why doesn't he move himself and take care of the conquest of the world. Let him and Gabriel smash each other's skulls in." "I don't know if that would be much better," Verentia added thoughtfully, "after all, we all live in this one world. We can only hope that Satan will lose interest in us and perhaps create his own magicians. New warriors for his insane plan." Falx looked thoughtfully at the castle, his arms crossed and he had been silent for a while: "I don't think Satan will implement your proposal any more, it's been more than a day now. "What a pity," Verentia replied curtly, "I would arranged for a few people. After all, than others are fighting this battle with Gabriel. He's probably too proud to accept a proposal from his prisoners." "Do you think Satan is hiding in the dark because he looks so strange?" Metos‘ thoughts wandered. "Even we couldn't see him, but dark magic is our element." The other two looked at him in wonder. "You are funny. As if we had nothing better to do", Verentia replied, "We don't stand a chance against him and apparently we can't influence him either. All we can do is wait." The eyes of the three met, while the voice of the Prince of Darkness rose in their heads: "Come immediately to the throne room." Verentia ran at once: "Let's hurry, perhaps he has accepted my proposal after all." "He still has no place in our heads," Falx hurried after her, while Metos rubbed his forehead with one hand before he followed them. Without looking back, Verentia crossed the bridge and entered the entrance hall of the castle. Falx ran beside her, who had a rather bad feeling: "We should be careful. I don't trust him." "Nobody does," she agreed with him and entered the throne room. Even though Satan was nowhere to be seen, the certainty gnawed at them that he was hidden somewhere in that darkness. None of them would even suspect an attack. Like the day before, Verentia knelt down. This wasn‘t out of respect or reverence, but simply to lull Satan to safety. They had to play this game in order to learn about Satan's trust and thus also his weaknesses. Falx did the same to Verentia, although he would have loved to eat Satan. Metos entered the room with a slight delay, too, looking for the darkness. Silently he took his place next to Falx and waited. "Prince?", Verentia began, "You asked for us?" A snorting sound could be heard in the darkness which was hard to categorize: "You had suggested that Gabriel do the same." She almost laughed quietly, but she suppressed it. To cross him now would be very unwise. "Yes, I did. Prince. He gave magic to mortals. Then you should be also able to do so", she suggested to him again, "correct me if I am wrong." "Bring me a mortal," commanded Satan, "but it must be someone who does it willingly." Eye-wringing, Falx looked at Verentia, who didn‘t return the look: "I don't think anyone would do it voluntarily. Still... from what I know, mortals get paid for their work. Do you have anything that you could pay them with?" Silence followed. The three of them waited to see if he would have any reaction. Carefully Metos pushed his comrade, who only shrugged his shoulders. Satan's gloomy voice rose again: "Offer him a wish. I will grant it." "A wish? All right. We bring you a mortal with a wish who wants to serve you," Verentia explained somewhat astonished and rose, "We will be back soon. The other two also rose and left the throne room together with her. Falx protectively held his arm in front of his eyes to escape the glaring sunlight: "It's daytime." The demons lost more and more of their sense of time, in the hell, it was always lit up in the same way, almost never. Fearful glances struck the three demons as they appeared of black fire in the middle of the city Locus. Verentia had