The Prophecy of Light - Part 1: Heaven and Hell
DE DE
Chapter 4 - The cawing of hope
Several weeks had passed since the first dark magician was created. In the meantime Satan had sent out demons to bring more mortals to hell for this purpose. Several hundred had come together, who were taught by the demons in the art of dark magic. The wishes of the mortals had been very different: From riches, health, immortality, to vengeance, women and country ranks. "Fresh air at last", Perniger said to himself, beating dust and ashes from his fur and clothing. Only a few hours would be given to him to strengthen and rest outside of hell, then he would go back to continue his training. Teleporting was one of the things he enjoyed most, besides accumulating and spending money. He had never seen so much of the world before, but now everything was open to him. Since he didn't know his way around well, it had happened to him several times, that he appeared in the middle of a lake, on a high mountain or even in the house of a stranger. In the meantime he had acquired a small bag that he wore on his trousers, where he stored his gold coins. Perniger stretched his body painfully and squinted his eyes a little: "They're slave drivers, but first get something to eat." He already knew his way around this area and ran straight to the town in front of him. The houses had some damage, probably from the fights with the demons. Nevertheless it was a cosy place where many people lived and there was a great inn. There he eating almost daily, drinking wine and filling his stomach with the most expensive food. Whistling merrily, he walked along the streets, passing stalls here and there. Although he could buy anything he wanted, he grabbed an apple and bit into it with relish: "That's the way I like it. Beautiful sunshine, I can have anything I want and no one can stop me." Cleverly Perniger turned the dagger in his hand and ignored the annoyed look of Falx, who was facing him: "You shouldn't play around with it, but hit the stone there. Perniger didn't really feel like it, because he had already known how to handle daggers and knives. Just because the dagger had now been created from dark magic, didn't mean it was of any use. A dagger was a dagger. Amused, Perniger threw to the stone, "Satisfied?" "You must throw with more force", Falx admonished him again, "If you allow the dagger to penetrate deep into the flesh, your opponent will be severely impaired or, at best, dead." "It is time to conquer the world of the living", Satan's gloomy voice resounded from the roof of his castle. Like many others, Falx hadn't even noticed that he had appeared up there. "Go and conquer the towns and villages", he commanded them, "and destroy the light magicians!" Little by little, the demons disappeared with the new dark magicians in black fire to carry out the lord's command. Perniger looked around as soon as they appeared outside the city. It was a quite considerable army, so it should be an easy task to conquer the city. "Surrender now or we'll destroy your homes, take all your wealth, and the demons will take your blood," he announced immediately, sure of his superiority. Annoyed, Falx looked at him: "We have to refresh your basic knowledge about demons. Not all demons drink blood." Many of the inhabitants hid in their houses and locked doors and windows. Instead of giving up, a larger group of men and women confronted them: "Get out! We won‘t leave our homes to you." Grumbling Metos looked at their opponents and then at Verentia: "Let the dark magicians fight first. Then we will see directly if it was worth the effort." Since Verentia never fought for herself anyway, if it wasn't worth the effort, she had no objection to Metos' suggestion: "Come on! Servants of Satan shows how powerful you are!" Some of the dark magicians ran straight away into the fight, making swords, daggers or knives of dark magic appear. Surprised, the light magicians could watched how black smoke formed weapons, sharp and dangerous. "Create a shield!" cried someone from the light magicians over the group. Almost at the same time, the light magicians stretched out their hands as if dark magicians wanted to fend off the attackers with their bare hands. But instead the dark magicians ran into an invisible wall, hit it with their weapons and got support from the magicians behind, who shot at the invisible obstacle with dark magic balls. Perniger even kicked the mysterious wall in front of him several times: "Cowards! Fight like real men!" In fact, there were only a few women among the light magicians. It just wasn't fitting for a woman to go into battle. The man was responsible for protecting the family, but not every woman could rely on a man at her side. So they preferred to fight for themselves. Gabriel had rewarded this courage with the light magic. "We use our heads", replied one of the women on Perniger's challenge, but didn't move an inch. "Sure... the head...", Perniger mumbled to himself as he hit his fist against the shield, "Well, than I will use my head.“ He took a few steps back and looked around. Not that he could see the shield, but the magicians behind it, and that gave him an idea. Wit a grin on his face, he ran past one light magicians after another until he finally reached the last one. This light magician stood to the left of one of the houses and eyed Perniger sceptically. "Don't look like that at me, I'm just going for a walk here", Perniger joked and followed the wall of the houses to the next street. There was no light magician standing there anymore who would block his way. For a test he reached out his hand and felt no resistance. Laughing loudly he called out to the other dark magicians: "Just run around them! They can't put up their walls everywhere!" "Looks like our little thief isn‘t only fighting with magic", Falx told the other two. Like all the other demons, the three had stayed out of the fight so far. "He's got quite a big mouth", Verentia replied, while the dark magicians split up and poured out in all directions. "Stand up to them", called a voice from the ranks of the light magicians again. The defence was dropped, the shield disintegrated while the light magicians tried to intercept their enemies. They had no weapons themselves and, to their knowledge, couldn‘t create any from their magic. Instead they attacked with light magic balls, blinded their enemies with pure light or even fought with their fists. "Work as a team", it called from the ranks of the light magicians again, „Concentrate more on ranged combat.“ Perniger lurked in a side street, nestled against the wall, waiting for his next opponent. He liked the excitement, the thrill, that‘s why he like stealing. Quickly he jumped out of his hiding place, used the moment of surprise and thrust the dagger deep between the light magician‘s ribs. Painfully he collapsed, but he wasn‘t alone. His team partner shot Perniger directly with light magic balls, who was hit several times, somewhat taken by surprise. Staggering he tried to throw himself on the other light magician. In all the excitement he had forgotten that his dagger was still stuck in the other one's ribs and so he had to use his fists spontaneously for the attack. More hits pelted down on his body before Perniger fell to the ground, contracting painfully. It was clear, that he couldn‘t fight like that and decided to retreat, and disappearing in black smoke before the light magician's eyes. The light magician now bent down to his comrade: "Breathe calmly. I will heal you." Verentia looked thoughtfully at the prince's castle. Once again they had lost the battle. Although the demons had finally set fire to a few houses and eliminated a few light magicians, the angels had descended. No one could fight against light, so they had to retreated. "I have to cool my wounds", Perniger lamented, who rubbed over the aching spots, which affected almost his whole body, "If you're looking for me, I'll organize some water. "Do what you want", Falx commented casually and looked at Verentia questioningly, "Not everyone has come back yet. That doesn't necessarily mean anything." "I was really hoping they would be the solution to our problem, but now..." Out of the corner of his eye Falx still saw Perniger dissolving in black smoke and teleporting away: "We failed - ok - but this isn‘t the downfall of our people. Look around, we are still here. As long as we live, we will fight. After all, we are demons." "You're right", Verentia replied, "And I represent all the female demons in this fight. I can't give up, and I'm gonna make it." Smiling, Falx nodded to her, "That's how we know the Awesome. Always proud and ready to fight." The houses on the village square were ablaze. Some demons had simply appeared there with other normal people. In the first moment Candidus had thought that they were prisoners, leverage or the demons would use them as shields, but none of this was true. They used magic as well, but not light magic, but dark magic. The same magic that the demons used. Before they knew it, the dark magicians had attacked the inhabitants and the demons had set fire to the surrounding houses. Candidus had been at the market place at that time and wanted to exchange his harvest for other things, as was customary. Instead he found himself in a fight. The shields had quickly bypassed the attackers and attacked with swords, daggers and knives. Gabriel's angels came to the aid after a short time, but the fire didn‘t stop blazing. "Get more water," Candidus shouted to the other inhabitants who had no magic. He himself, as well as the other magicians still tried together with the angels to chase away the attackers. One small ball of light after the other dipped into an element and then attacked the demons and dark magicians permanently. Candidus attacked with light magic balls, always looking around for his fellow combatants and possible injured: "Don't let up. Gabriel protects us, his angels help us. We can do this." His strong belief in the abilities and Gabriel himself not only helped him, but also strengthened the other magicians. They had received the light to protect their loved ones and that's exactly what they would do. While the dark magicians mostly concentrated on close combat, the light magicians tried to stay away from them. If the dark magicians got too close to them, they produced concentrated light to blind them and gain distance again. Their luck was that the demons actually stayed in the background. However, the fire had almost got out of control. The angels sent down more light elves. For Candidus and the others, they were only small balls of light, which searched for their way to the enemy. A group of light elves immersed themselves in the flames and thus took on the element of fire. They attacked the dark magicians in a targeted manner, for the angels knew that demons couldn‘t burn. It would hurt them, but it wouldn't scare them away. The dark magicians, however, cried out when they came into contact with the fire elves or threw themselves panicky on the ground when their clothing caught fire. The heat of the fire bothered Candidus while he continued to attack the dark magicians. There were fewer. More and more simply disappeared in black smoke. The angels followed up once more with a new group of light elves, which dipped into the fire again. But not all light elves left the fire immediately, one seemed to be missing. The magicians, demons and villagers didn't even notice that. They were much too busy with the actual battle. A young wolf, about 20 years old, ran undressed from the flames of the burning house. He looked unharmed but confused. Candidus noticed him out of the corner of his eye: "Are you hurt?" Oddly enough, Candidus had never seen him there before, though everyone in the small village knew each other. Was he a homeless man who had been hiding in the village until then? There was no answer to Candidus' question. He couldn‘t care much about him either, because he still had to take care of his own defence and to push away the remaining attackers. The strange wolf started to move, patted his chest as if he was gasping for breath, and suddenly a jet of fire shot out of his mouth, as one only knew it from demons. Candidus now took him as an enemy, of course, but the stranger seemed just as frightened and ran away. Candidus briefly considered following him, but decided not to abandon his comrades. Finally the last dark magician had disappeared in black smoke. Shortly afterwards the demons retreated as well, who instead went up in black flames. But the light magicians had no time to rest and started running to get more water. Some houses were already lost, but the neighbouring houses had to be protected. The angels above their heads made the light elves disappear, their task was done. The bright figures now rose higher into the sky again and finally disappeared. Bucket after bucket was brought up from the well. "Move faster!" "The flames just won't get any smaller." "We need more water!" "The fire is spreading to the fields!" Voices were ringing out from everywhere. Had they really won the battle? There would probably be nothing left of the village but ashes. Candidus looked to the sky. "Gabriel, please, if there's anything you can do, please help us." They would never be able to control the flames alone. Among all the smoke that was moving to the sky, other clouds seemed to form. A glimmer of hope germinated in Candidus: "Rain, please let it rain." In fact, lightning flashed between the clouds, thundered and thick drops of rain poured down on the village in a torrent of water. The villagers stopped, partially stretched out their arms and gratefully let the rain fall down on them. It was a true miracle. The fire went out, the smell of wet ashes was everywhere in the village. Many of the villagers who lived in the centre had lost everything in the flames. Slowly the rain began to stop and the villagers became aware of the loss and the full extent of the destruction. They were the remains of a battlefield. Candidus himself hadn‘t fallen, but his house stood further away from the village and was thus spared: "I can take in a few people until we have rebuilt the houses. I'm sure there's room for others." He looked around, some people nodded their heads in agreement: "If you don't have a place to sleep, you can stay with neighbours and friends. We'll manage." You could feel the relief of the now homeless that they wouldn't die miserable on the streets. Tired Candidus looked at his field. He had been lucky and nothing had happened to his family. Nevertheless he was worried, because the fights would surely not end so soon. His life as a farmer had always been enough for him, now he used magic. It still seemed a bit strange. Protecting with his arm, he held it in front of his eyes when a bright light appeared in front of him from which Gabriel appeared: "You did well today. It took Candidus a moment before he respectfully replied, "Your angels have helped us much. Without you, your magic, your angels... we'd all be dead. We're all eternally grateful to you." "You have strong faith", Gabriel remarked with a smile, "and the light magicians need a leader. I want to give you the crow magic." "I'm only a farmer, I don't know what this crow magic is. You should choose someone else. Someone in a higher position", Candidus protested somewhat startled at Gabriel's proposal. "It is a special magic“, Gabriel explained in a calm tone, "a stronger form of light magic. I have given this magic the form of a crow, as a symbol of the bond between life and death. In addition, the magic of light has many more possibilities than you have used so far. I think you are the right man to lead your people, the people of light magic." "I have no idea how to lead a people", he contradicted again and looked somewhat helplessly at Gabriel, "As much as I am honored by your offer.“ Smiling, Gabriel raised his hand and laid it on Candidus' chest: "I will help you, you aren‘t alone. Your faith is your greatest strength. Remember that." Then Candidus began to glow, stronger and stronger. He closed his eyes, but relaxed quickly as the light felt warm and friendly. The light disappeared into his body and a light grey crow symbol appeared above his left eye. It looked like a fur drawing, unusual but natural. Candidus looked at his hands and then indecisively at Gabriel, "It doesn't feel much different." "Your children shall have it too. Once you are gone, they must be able to defend themselves and lead their people", Gabriel gently explained to him, "Don't worry, they will master it better than you one day. They grow up with it and it will quickly become a normal part of their lives." Candidus turned to his house, "All right, I'll go get them. Wait here a minute." Quickly, he went into the house to take his daughter and son to Gabriel. Though the situation still overwhelmed him, he trusted Gabriel completely. For the good of his family, he would become the leader, for Gabriel saw in him. He had to put aside his doubts. Again Gabriel showed him how he conjured up a magic crow. It was like a ball of light magic, only it took the shape of a crow and was much more concentrated. So far Candidus has had considerable problems with this. Although you could detect a hint of wings as he focused the magic and tried to give it a shape, the construct needed to be put back together each time. "You mustn't tense up like this. Think about beautiful things, the people who are important to you, and let your strengthened positive feelings glide gently through your body. It's like a river and at the end of it, a beautiful lake is created", Gabriel patiently explained to him. With deep breaths, Candidus tried to relax himself and started a new attempt: "Let it flow." Concentrated, he tried to transform his deepest feelings into the magic flow. Instead of a crow, a bright light was created, which blinded the nearer surroundings like a short but very strong flash. "Take a break and practice for yourself later. When you've done it, I'll come back and show you how to steer it and get even bigger. But that should be enough for today", said Gabriel smiling, "You are doing really well, Candidus. Don't worry so much about it." Nodding, but a bit bent, Candidus agreed with this: "Thank you for everything. I really can't say it enough." "Before I go now, Candidus", Gabriel began again, as if he had thought of something important, "I will let all the light magicians know that you are their leader and have been chosen by me. No one will question you. The people of the light magicians are supposed to be a people of protectors and keepers. I'm sure that's exactly what you will convey." Before Candidus could say anything back, Gabriel disappeared into the glare of the light and left nothing but a white feather which also disintegrated. "I'm supposed to take a break..." he sighed and went to his house, "How am I supposed to relax with all these things on my mind?" Several months had passed since Candidus had received the crow magic from Gabriel. With a lot of practice he could finally master it. The houses of the village had been rebuilt for the most part, but in the meantime they had suffered a few setbacks due to the attacks of demons and dark magicians. Candidus had started to divide the light magicians better, forming three groups. The two largest groups once consisted of the light magicians, who specialized in defence and thus tried to use the shield optimally. On the other hand, there was the group of magicians who went into direct close or long- range combat. These specialized in attacking magic, speed and strategy. Besides these two larger groups there was the group of healers. They concentrated on taking care of the injured and preventing or fighting diseases. This new division had already proved itself after a short time. Well distributed the light magicians even managed to protect most of the village with a huge shield. This way, the fights were fought in the outer area and the non-magicians could find safety inside the village. "Have you got everything?" Candidus reassured himself once again with his wife and children. After he had successfully made the village his safer place, he now wanted to move on to other villages and towns. He had the feeling that Gabriel expected something like this, so he could support the light magicians everywhere. On them, it finally depended whether they would be subjugated by the Prince of Darkness or hopefully go into a future that would bring peace to them all. "We can go," his wife reassured him, "I hope we don‘t regret this decision." "Gabriel will be with us", Candidus replied, then looked up at the sky, "He watches over us all." Full of dirt and ashes Perniger stood before the hole in the ground in which he hid his treasures. Over and over again he reached into his pocket and took out new pieces of gold, which he let fall down. He grinned happily: "If I keep this up, I'll soon need a bigger hole." Because of the many fights with the light magicians in the last months he had it more and more difficult to spend money in some places there, because they recognized him as a dark magician and attacked directly. Therefore he took more and more care to only go to places where he hadn‘t been attacked before. Again and again he looked around to see if someone would come into the forest and discover his hiding place. Finally, one could hear the jingling of the gold coins a little further. Perniger wouldn't shy away from killing the uninvited guest. "Once more", Perniger said to himself and reached into his pockets again to get out another load of gold coins. He dropped it into his treasure hole as well, before he reached for his shovel and filled it up with earth again, piece by piece. Surely he could have bought a house with it, could have lived well and still be in Satan's service, but Perniger was too afraid that he himself would be robbed. Therefore he preferred to continue to bury his treasure and to multiply it from time to time. Luckily, Damon's leg had healed well, but he had never doubted it either. Demons were quite resistant to it and their bodies healed well, mostly without leaving any permanent damage. Since Damon had no open wound, there was no scar. Just now Damon was on his way to Portunus, walking over a wide plain and didn't really know where he wanted to go. Dimicatio had returned to his so-called Shadow Gate. He didn‘t have to wait for his support. Most of the time Damon had been travelling in the desert on the continent of Fidius. Since he, like most demons, needed neither water nor food, t h e r e had been no hurry. If he was a blood demon, he would have had to hope for the blood of another demon or reach one of the few desert cities and villages of mortals as soon as possible. But Damon's ability was rebirth. He still knew nothing about the fact that Satan hadn‘t killed the demons, but only enslaved them. Damon stopped in amazement and looked to the village which wasn‘t far away from him. Wafts of smoke rose up and coloured the sky black. The sun was already low, which meant that Damon didn't immediately realize that the flames in the village were also pitch black and not reddish-orange. Nevertheless his fine demon nose had picked up the scent of another demon. He didn‘t believe that it was Dimicatio. His smell was also rather mild and light in contrast to most demons. This smell seemed heavy and had the strong adherence of ashes, which could come through the fire. Determined to pursue this, Damon ran towards the burning village. Maybe one more demon had survived, but what would it do in a village? A blood demon in search of food? Had he started the fire? Why? It didn't seem to make any sense. When he reached the village, he was presented with a questionable sight. Among the flames of the houses mortals were fighting, attacking the demons with bullets of light. On the other side the demons, who fought only half-heartedly, supported by other mortals who mastered dark magic. Damon no longer understood the world. He felt relief that demons were still alive, amazement at what was happening and horror at the magic that mortals could suddenly use. He vacillated between happiness over the surviving demons and despair over what he had done with his crazy idea.
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The Prophecy of Light - Part 1: Heaven and Hell
DE DE
Chapter 4 - The cawing of hope
Several weeks had passed since the first dark magician was created. In the meantime Satan had sent out demons to bring more mortals to hell for this purpose. Several hundred had come together, who were taught by the demons in the art of dark magic. The wishes of the mortals had been very different: From riches, health, immortality, to vengeance, women and country ranks. "Fresh air at last", Perniger said to himself, beating dust and ashes from fur and clothing. Only a few hours he always had time to strengthen and rest outside of hell, then he would go back to continue his training. Teleporting was one of the things he enjoyed most, besides accumulating and spending money. He had never seen so much of the world before, but now everything was open to him. Since he didn't know his way around that well, it had happened to him several times that he had appeared in the middle of a lake, on a high mountain or even in the house of a stranger. In the meantime he had acquired a small bag that he wore on his trousers, where he stored his gold coins. Perniger stretched painfully and pinched his eyes a little: "They're slave drivers, but first get something to eat." He already knew his way around this area and ran straight to the town in front of him. The houses had some damage, probably from the fights with the demons. Nevertheless it was a cosy place where many people lived and there was a great inn. By eating almost daily, drinking wine and filling his stomach with the most expensive food. Whistling merrily, he walked along the streets, passing stalls here and there. Although he could buy anything he wanted, he grabbed an apple and bit into it with relish: "That's the way I like it. Beautiful sunshine, I can have anything I want and no one can stop me." Cleverly Perniger turned the dagger in his hand and ignored the annoyed look of Falx, who was facing him: "You shouldn't play around with it, but hit the stone there. Perniger didn't really feel like it, because he had already known how to handle daggers and knives. Just because the dagger had now been created for dark magic, it didn't mean it was of any use. A dagger was a dagger. Amused, Perniger threw, "Satisfied?" "You must throw with more force", Falx admonished him again, "If you allow the dagger to penetrate deep into the flesh, your opponent is severely impaired or, at best, dead." "It is time to conquer the world of the living", Satan's gloomy voice resounded from the roof of his castle. Like many others, Falx hadn't even noticed that he had appeared up there. "Go and conquer the towns and villages", he commanded them, "and destroy the light magicians!" Little by little, the demons disappeared with the new dark magicians in black fire to carry out the lord's command. Perniger looked around as soon as they appeared outside the city. It was a quite considerable army, so it should be an easy task to conquer the city. "Surrender now or we'll destroy your home, take all your wealth, and your blood belongs to the demons," he announced immediately, sure of his superiority. Annoyed, Falx looked at him: "We have to refresh your basic knowledge about demons. Not all demons drink blood." Many of the inhabitants hid in their houses and locked doors and windows. Instead of giving up, a larger group of men and women confronted them: "Get out! We won‘t leave our home to you." Grumbling Metos looked at her opponents and then at Verentia: "Let the dark magicians fight first. Then we will see directly if it was worth the effort." Since Verentia never fought herself anyway, if it wasn't worth the effort, she had no objection to Metos' suggestion: "Come on! Servant of Satan shows how powerful you are!" Some of the dark magicians ran straight away, making swords, daggers or knives of dark magic appear. Surprised, the light magicians could watch how black smoke formed weapons, sharp and dangerous. "Shield!" cried someone from the light magicians over the group. Almost at the same time, the light magicians stretched out their hands as if they wanted to fend off the attackers with their bare hands. But instead they ran into an invisible wall, hit it with their weapons and got support from the magicians behind, who shot at the invisible obstacle with dark magic balls. Perniger even kicked the mysterious wall in front of him several times: "Cowards! Fight like real men!" In fact, there were only a few women among the light magicians. It just wasn't fitting for a woman to go into battle. The man was responsible for protecting the family, but not every woman could rely on a man at her side. So they preferred to fight for themselves. Gabriel had rewarded this courage with the light magic. "We use our heads", replied one of the women on Perniger's challenge, but didn't move an inch. "Sure... the head...", Perniger murmured to himself as he thundered his fist against the shield, "Why not? He took a few steps back and looked around. Not that he could see the shield, but the magicians behind it and that gave him an idea. Grinning, he ran past one light magicians after another until he finally reached the last one. This one stood to the left of one of the houses and eyed Perniger sceptically. "Don't look like that, I'm just going for a walk here", Perniger joked and followed the wall of the houses to the next street. There was no light magician standing there anymore who would block his way. For a test he reached out his hand and felt no resistance. Laughing loudly he called out to the other dark magicians: "Just run around them! They can't put up their walls everywhere!" "Looks like our little thief isn‘t only fighting with magic", Falx told the other two. Like all the other demons, the three had stayed out of the fight so far. "He's got quite a big mouth", Verentia replied, while the dark magicians split up and poured out in all directions. "Stand up to them", a voice from the ranks of the light magicians sounded again. The defence was dropped, the shield disintegrated while the light magicians tried to intercept their enemies. They had no weapons themselves and, to their knowledge, couldn‘t create any from their magic. Instead they attacked with light magic orbs, blinded their enemies with pure light or even fought with their fists. "Work as a team", it sounded again from the ranks of the light magicians", concentrate more on ranged combat. Perniger lurked in a side street, nestled against the wall, waiting for his next opponent. He liked the excitement, the thrill, there was something like stealing. Quickly he jumped out of his hiding place, used the moment of surprise and thrust the dagger deep between the light magician‘s ribs. Painfully he collapsed, but he wasn‘t alone. His team partner shot Perniger directly with light magic orbs, who was hit several times, somewhat taken by surprise. Staggering he tried to throw himself on the other light magician. In all the excitement he had forgotten that his dagger was still stuck in the other one's ribs and so he had to use his fists spontaneously for the attack. More hits pelted down on his body before Perniger fell to the ground, contracting painfully and finally disappearing in black smoke before the light magician's eyes. He now bent down to his comrade: "Breathe calmly. I will heal you." Verentia looked thoughtfully at the prince's castle. Once again they had lost the battle. Although the demons had finally set fire to a few houses and eliminated a few light magicians, the angels had descended. No one could fight against light, so they had retreated. "I have to cool my wounds", Perniger lamented, who rubbed himself over the aching spots, which affected almost his whole body, "If you're looking for me, I'll organize some water. "Do what you want", Falx commented casually and looked at Verentia questioningly, "Not everyone has come back yet. That doesn't necessarily mean anything." "I had so hoped it would be the solution to our problem, but now..." Out of the corner of his eye Falx still saw Perniger dissolving in black smoke and disappearing: "We failed - ok - but this isn‘t the downfall of our people. Look around, we are still here. As long as we live, we will fight. After all, we are demons." "You're right", Verentia replied, "And I represent all the demons in this fight. I can't give up, and I'm gonna make it." Smiling, Falx nodded to her, "That's how we know the Awesome. Always proud and ready to fight." The houses on the village square were ablaze. Some demons had simply appeared there with other normal people. In the first moment Candidus had thought that they were prisoners, leverage or the demons would use them as shields, but none of this was true. They used magic as well, but not light magic, but dark magic. The same magic that the demons used. Before they knew it, the dark magicians had attacked the inhabitants and the demons had set fire to the surrounding houses. Candidus had been at the market place at that time and wanted to exchange his harvest for other things, as was customary. Instead he found himself in a fight. The shields had quickly bypassed the attackers and attacked with swords, daggers and knives. Gabriel's angels came to the aid after a short time, but the fire didn‘t stop blazing. "Get more water," Candidus shouted to the other inhabitants who had no magic. He himself, as well as the other magicians still tried together with the angels to chase away the attackers. One small ball of light after the other dipped into an element and then attacked the demons and dark magicians permanently. Candidus attacked with light magic orbs, always looking around for his fellow combatants and possible injured: "Don't let up. Gabriel protects us, his angels help us. We can do this." His strong belief in the abilities and Gabriel himself not only helped him, but also strengthened the other magicians. They had received the light to protect their loved ones and that's exactly what they would do. While the dark magicians mostly concentrated on close combat, the light magicians tried to stay away from them. If the dark magicians got too close to them, they produced concentrated light to blind them and gain distance again. Their luck was that the demons actually stayed in the background. However, the fire had almost got out of control. The angels sent down more light elves. For Candidus and the others, they were only small balls of light, which searched for their way to the enemy. A group of light elves immersed themselves in the flames and thus took on the element of fire. They attacked the dark magicians in a targeted manner, for the angels knew that demons couldn‘t burn. It would hurt them, but it wouldn't scare them away. The dark magicians, however, cried out when they came into contact with the fire elves or threw themselves panicky on the ground when their clothing caught fire. The heat of the fire bothered Candidus while he continued to attack the dark magicians. There were fewer. More and more simply disappeared in black smoke. The angels followed up once more with a new group of light elves, which dipped into the fire again. But not all light elves left the fire immediately, one seemed to be missing. The magicians, demons and villagers didn't even notice that. They were much too busy with the actual battle. A young wolf, about 20 years old, ran undressed from the flames of the burning house. He looked unharmed but confused. Candidus noticed him out of the corner of his eye: "Are you hurt?" Oddly enough, Candidus had never seen him there before, though everyone in the small village knew each other. Was he a homeless man who had been hiding in the village until then? There was no answer to Candidus' question. He couldn‘t care much about him either, because he still had to take care of his own defence and to push away the remaining attackers. The strange wolf started to move, patted his chest as if he was gasping for breath, and suddenly a jet of fire shot out of his mouth, as one only knew it from demons. Candidus now took him as an enemy, of course, but the stranger seemed just as frightened and ran away. Candidus briefly considered following him, but decided not to abandon his comrades. Finally the last dark magician had disappeared in black smoke. Shortly afterwards the demons retreated as well, who instead went up in black flames. But the light magicians had no time to rest and started running to get more water. Some houses were already lost, but the neighbouring houses had to be protected. The angels above their heads made the light elves disappear, their task was done. The bright figures now rose higher into the sky again and finally disappeared. Bucket after bucket was brought up from the well. "Move faster!" "The flames just won't get any smaller." "We need more water!" "The fire is spreading to the fields!" Voices were ringing out from everywhere. Had they really won the battle? There would probably be nothing left of the village but ashes. Candidus looked to the sky. "Gabriel, please, if there's anything you can do, please help us." They would never be able to control the flames alone. Among all the smoke that was moving to the sky, other clouds seemed to form. A glimmer of hope germinated in Candidus: "Rain, please let it rain." In fact, lightning flashed between the clouds, thundered and thick drops of rain poured down on the village in a torrent of water. The villagers stopped, partially stretched out their arms and gratefully let the rain fall down on them. It was a true miracle. The fire went out, the smell of wet ashes was everywhere in the village. Many of the villagers who lived in the centre had lost everything in the flames. Slowly the rain began to stop and the villagers became aware of the loss and the full extent of the destruction. They were the remains of a battlefield. Candidus himself hadn‘t fallen, but his house stood further away from the village and was thus spared: "I can take in a few people until we have rebuilt the houses. I'm sure there's room for others." He looked around, some people nodded their heads in agreement: "If you don't have a place to sleep, you can stay with neighbours and friends. We'll manage." You could feel the relief of the now homeless that they wouldn't die miserable on the streets. Tired Candidus looked at his field. He had been lucky and nothing had happened to his family. Nevertheless he was worried, because the fights would surely not end so soon. His life as a farmer had always been enough for him, now he used magic. It still seemed a bit strange. Protecting with his arm, he held it in front of his eyes when a bright light appeared in front of him from which Gabriel appeared: "You did well today. It took Candidus a moment before he respectfully replied, "Your angels have helped us much. Without you, your magic, your angels... we'd all be dead. We're all eternally grateful to you." "You have strong faith", Gabriel remarked with a smile, "and the light magicians need a leader. I want to give you the crow magic." "I'm only a farmer, I don't know what this crow magic is. You should choose someone else. Someone in a higher position", Candidus protested somewhat startled at Gabriel's proposal. "It is a special magic“, Gabriel explained in a calm tone, "a stronger form of light magic. I have given this magic the form of a crow, as a symbol of the bond between life and death. In addition, the magic of light has many more possibilities than you have used so far. I think you are the right man to lead your people, the people of light magic." "I have no idea how to lead a people", he contradicted again and looked somewhat helplessly at Gabriel, "As much as I am honored by your offer.“ Smiling, Gabriel raised his hand and laid it on Candidus' chest: "I will help you, you aren‘t alone. Your faith is your greatest strength. Remember that." Then Candidus began to glow, stronger and stronger. He closed his eyes, but relaxed quickly as the light felt warm and friendly. The light disappeared into his body and a light grey crow symbol appeared above his left eye. It looked like a fur drawing, unusual but natural. Candidus looked at his hands and then indecisively at Gabriel, "It doesn't feel much different." "Your children shall have it too. Once you are gone, they must be able to defend themselves and lead their people", Gabriel gently explained to him, "Don't worry, they will master it better than you one day. They grow up with it and it will quickly become a normal part of their lives." Candidus turned to his house, "All right, I'll go get them. Wait here a minute." Quickly, he went into the house to take his daughter and son to Gabriel. Though the situation still overwhelmed him, he trusted Gabriel completely. For the good of his family, he would become the leader, for Gabriel saw in him. He had to put aside his doubts. Again Gabriel showed him how he conjured up a magic crow. It was like a ball of light magic, only it took the shape of a crow and was much more concentrated. So far Candidus has had considerable problems with this. Although you could detect a hint of wings as he focused the magic and tried to give it a shape, the construct needed to be put back together each time. "You mustn't tense up like this. Think about beautiful things, the people who are important to you, and let your strengthened positive feelings glide gently through your body. It's like a river and at the end of it, a beautiful lake is created", Gabriel patiently explained to him. With deep breaths, Candidus tried to relax himself and started a new attempt: "Let it flow." Concentrated, he tried to transform his deepest feelings into the magic flow. Instead of a crow, a bright light was created, which blinded the nearer surroundings like a short but very strong flash. "Take a break and practice for yourself later. When you've done it, I'll come back and show you how to steer it and get even bigger. But that should be enough for today", said Gabriel smiling, "You are doing really well, Candidus. Don't worry so much about it." Nodding, but a bit bent, Candidus agreed with this: "Thank you for everything. I really can't say it enough." "Before I go now, Candidus", Gabriel began again, as if he had thought of something important, "I will let all the light magicians know that you are their leader and have been chosen by me. No one will question you. The people of the light magicians are supposed to be a people of protectors and keepers. I'm sure that's exactly what you will convey." Before Candidus could say anything back, Gabriel disappeared into the glare of the light and left nothing but a white feather which also disintegrated. "I'm supposed to take a break..." he sighed and went to his house, "How am I supposed to relax with all these things on my mind?" Several months had passed since Candidus had received the crow magic from Gabriel. With a lot of practice he could finally master it. The houses of the village had been rebuilt for the most part, but in the meantime they had suffered a few setbacks due to the attacks of demons and dark magicians. Candidus had started to divide the light magicians better, forming three groups. The two largest groups once consisted of the light magicians, who specialized in defence and thus tried to use the shield optimally. On the other hand, there was the group of magicians who went into direct close or long-range combat. These specialized in attacking magic, speed and strategy. Besides these two larger groups there was the group of healers. They concentrated on taking care of the injured and preventing or fighting diseases. This new division had already proved itself after a short time. Well distributed the light magicians even managed to protect most of the village with a huge shield. This way, the fights were fought in the outer area and the non-magicians could find safety inside the village. "Have you got everything?" Candidus reassured himself once again with his wife and children. After he had successfully made the village his safer place, he now wanted to move on to other villages and towns. He had the feeling that Gabriel expected something like this, so he could support the light magicians everywhere. On them, it finally depended whether they would be subjugated by the Prince of Darkness or hopefully go into a future that would bring peace to them all. "We can go," his wife reassured him, "I hope we don‘t regret this decision." "Gabriel will be with us", Candidus replied, then looked up at the sky, "He watches over us all." Full of dirt and ashes Perniger stood before the hole in the ground in which he hid his treasures. Over and over again he reached into his pocket and took out new pieces of gold, which he let fall down. He grinned happily: "If I keep this up, I'll soon need a bigger hole." Because of the many fights with the light magicians in the last months he had it more and more difficult to spend money in some places there, because they recognized him as a dark magician and attacked directly. Therefore he took more and more care to only go to places where he hadn‘t been attacked before. Again and again he looked around to see if someone would come into the forest and discover his hiding place. Finally, one could hear the jingling of the gold coins a little further. Perniger wouldn't shy away from killing the uninvited guest. "Once more", Perniger said to himself and reached into his pockets again to get out another load of gold coins. He dropped it into his treasure hole as well, before he reached for his shovel and filled it up with earth again, piece by piece. Surely he could have bought a house with it, could have lived well and still be in Satan's service, but Perniger was too afraid that he himself would be robbed. Therefore he preferred to continue to bury his treasure and to multiply it from time to time. Luckily, Damon's leg had healed well, but he had never doubted it either. Demons were quite resistant to it and their bodies healed well, mostly without leaving any permanent damage. Since Damon had no open wound, there was no scar. Just now Damon was on his way to Portunus, walking over a wide plain and didn't really know where he wanted to go. Dimicatio had returned to his so-called Shadow Gate. He didn‘t have to wait for his support. Most of the time Damon had been travelling in the desert on the continent of Fidius. Since he, like most demons, needed neither water nor food, there had been no hurry. If he was a blood demon, he would have had to hope for the blood of another demon or reach one of the few desert cities and villages of mortals as soon as possible. But Damon's ability was rebirth. He still knew nothing about the fact that Satan hadn‘t killed the demons, but only enslaved them. Damon stopped in amazement and looked to the village which wasn‘t far away from him. Wafts of smoke rose up and coloured the sky black. The sun was already low, which meant that Damon didn't immediately realize that the flames in the village were also pitch black and not reddish-orange. Nevertheless his fine demon nose had picked up the scent of another demon. He didn‘t believe that it was Dimicatio. His smell was also rather mild and light in contrast to most demons. This smell seemed heavy and had the strong adherence of ashes, which could come through the fire. Determined to pursue this, Damon ran towards the burning village. Maybe one more demon had survived, but what would it do in a village? A blood demon in search of food? Had he started the fire? Why? It didn't seem to make any sense. When he reached the village, he was presented with a questionable sight. Among the flames of the houses mortals were fighting, attacking the demons with bullets of light. O n the other side the demons, who fought only half-heartedly, supported by other mortals who mastered dark magic. Damon no longer understood the world. He felt relief that demons were still alive, amazement at what was happening and horror at the magic that mortals could suddenly use. He vacillated between happiness over the surviving demons and despair over what he had done with his crazy idea.
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