Under the midnight sky, within the pitch black darkness, a bright violet aura surrounded Valentine like a protective barrier keeping the darkness from touching his body, as it illuminated the surroundings to a reasonable extent. Adorned in custom-made militaristic-esque clothes, he patrolled an eerie hollow small settlement without any light.
Reaching out his hand, he inspected a single falling speck of dust as it slowly landed on his hand, before it slowly disintegrated. Looking up at the midnight sky in vexation, Valentine took a few steps forward, as he carefully observed his surroundings, as his frustration kept increasing, that was until more specs of dust suddenly began appearing. His eyes widened in horror as he looked up at the midnight sky once more.
It was raining down dust.
Valentine rushed into a randomly chosen building, as he once again, carefully observed each room one by one, but all he found was dust. Rushing back out of the building, he screamed out within the darkness, "Please, if there is anyone out there, anyone at all, I don't care if you're a corrupted, please, just come out from the darkness, it's not safe!"
Valentine let out a deep sigh as he received no answer, yet he did not stop searching. He had already counted how many wooden houses there were here. Exactly a hundred. Taking his time to search every single room carefully and methodically, however, all he found was dust and blood, fresh blood. Yet no corpses.
After hours upon hours of searching, he had finally reached the hundredth house, he had long since taken off his overcoat, and was now only wearing his dress shirt. Wiping the sweat off his forehead, he pushed the door open as he, like every other house, searched it thoroughly, but to his surprise, he had finally found the first human since entering this decrepit settlement.
Within the master bedroom, the first house he had found which had one, he had found a young pale child shivering at the centre of the bed. Between two lumps of dust that seemed as if they were collected by him. The instant the young boy noticed the door creaking open, he quickly leapt off the bed, and scurried under it in order to hide.
Valentine of course, only needed his hearing in order to decipher where exactly he went. Valentine grabbed a chair close by, and put it down in front of the bed as he stretched his whole body before sitting down on the chair, "Ah, don't you just love good stretches?" Valentine wiped the sweat off his forehead using a napkin, before looking down at the glowing aquamarine eyes staring straight back at him.
"Not one to talk?" Valentine asked, as he tried making conversation, however failed utterly. Feeling slightly awkward, as it seemed as if he were talking to himself, Valentine instead knelt down in front of the bed, as he reached out his hand, "Trust in me when I tell you this, once you grab this hand, then you will be considered my friend, so, do you want to grab it?"
The young boy gazed up at Valentine's benevolent, almost sacred, smile, he could not believe that even within the darkness, there was light. Slowly yet cautiously, the boy came out of his hiding spot as he grasped onto the hand which was outreached to him.
Valentine let out a sigh of relief, before curiously asking, "Where are your parents?"
The young boy's eyes constricted
The young boy's eyes constricted as he fearfully glanced at the two piles of dust, his body shaking crazily once more as he began coughing, raising his hands his face could not help but contort in anguish, he could see blood.
Valentine looked at the young boy's hands in confusion, as he wondered just what exactly was making him breath so roughly. However, after glancing at the spot the young boy was gazing at, everything suddenly clicked in his mind as he abruptly wrapped his arms around the child, pulling him into his warm embrace.
Valentine gently whispered into his ear, "I'm here for you, just leave everything to me, there is no need to stay in this nightmare any longer, I will be your salvation."
Tears welled up in the young boy's eyes grasping Valentine's back with a strong grip as he returned the hug.
Within the thick darkness of night, only sobbing can be heard.
Within a pitch black room, a young boy's eyes abruptly opened as his aquamarine iris' glowed brightly. Footsteps can be heard coming outside of his room, as he carefully made his way out of his bed, before silently walking towards his door as he hid at the corner, where the door would open to.
The footsteps stopped right at the front of his door on the other side, as the unknown person slowly opened the door, letting the bright light from outside in. While the young boy was silently hiding behind the now opened door.
Valentine looked around the room in confusion as he lit the lamp on top of the bedside table, before admiring the painting hung atop the bed, which was the only personal object within the room that one can see. It was a painting of himself.
The sound of the door creaking closed caused Valentine to glance at the scene of a boy with an ice cold face carefully closing the door, before suspiciously observing the outside through the looking glass.
"Dimitri?" Valentine raised an eyebrow at his little friend's actions.
"Someone kept pacing in front of my door." Dimitri put his ears onto the door, as he closed his eyes to focus on hearing, "It was Julius, he comes from time to time, just pacing in front of my door during the night."
"Huh? Julius does that?" Valentine could not help but feel confused. Although he believed the child's words, he did not understand why Julius would pace.
"He comes here while still asleep, his eyes were closed. He talks in his sleep." Dimitri continued, "He's always having nightmares he says, when he is awake. But when he is asleep, he can dream."
Dimitri stopped trying to listen through the wall, before looking towards Valentine, "Julius tells me things, he always talks about his friend who is the best at playing the 'violin', Valentine, do you know what a 'violin' is?"
Valentine could not understand what Dimitri was talking about, but that did not matter, he was happy to see Dimitri talking more lately, "A violin is a musical instrument which uses a bow to produce sound by stroking or plucking strings with a bow, it's a lost art form, just like the piano."
A sparkle of interest started flickering within Dimitri's eyes, before walking towards his painting, and unhung it from the wall, "Are we going now Valentine? To this 'home' and 'family' you are always talking about?"
Valentine shook his head, "No, this it's not 'this home' or 'this family.'"
Dimitri's eyes sharpened slightly, as he asked out of confusion, "Then what is it?"
Valentine walked towards Dimitri as he caressed his cheeks, "It is our home, our family."
Dimitri could not help but stiffen due to his sudden touch as his aquamarine iris' began flickering, but in the end Dimitri closed his eyes as he allowed his body to relax, hugging Valentine, "Father..."
Within a curious spacious hall filled with purple banners of a rising sun, lines of purplish-black sculpted knights adorned in steel-plated armour stood between the pillars, as a grand purple carpet reached all the way at the end of the hall towards an ancient gigantic gate, which was on an elevated surface, compared to where the entrance was. A few meters in front of that gate was an intricate throne.
What was so curious about this spacious hall, was that the gigantic gate was hollow, without doors. As it lead to nowhere. Yet this very same gate had suddenly given off a bright violet glow as inscriptions that were engraved on the gate suddenly lit up. Within the centre of this gate was a small dark-violet swirling darkness, as it constantly expanded until it filled the previously hollow gate.
Running out from the swirling dark-violet darkness, Heathcliff whose pure white tight-fitting robes had been stained blood red, bellowed a single name across the hallway, "Raphael!" Within his arms was a frail bloodied Julius whose whole right-arm was a mangled mess, as blood continued to drip down from his arm. While his left, had been hugging an injured golden wolf
Without needing to wait a second longer, a bright light suddenly flashed within the centre of the room as it illuminated the surroundings. From within the light, illusory angelic wings were fluttering from behind Raphael's back as he slowly levitated down to the surface. The illusory wings on his back slowly began to disappear the closer he reached the surface.
"This better be important Heath-" Raphael who had only just arrived, left his mouth agape in shock as he couldn't understand what he was just staring at.
Heathcliff fell on his left knee. He had exerted all of his strength to run at an insane pace, for a whole hour. He could no longer feel his legs, to him, they felt numb. Heathcliff panted heavily as he looked up at Raphael's shocked face, "I don't understand what's wrong with his arm, it just-"
The sudden sound of crackling that came from Julius' right arm had halted Heathcliff's words, as his tears started swelling in his eyes once more, as he begged, his voice hoarse, "I don't understand what is happening Raphael, the medicine is not working, none of the bishops were able to do anything... Please tell me you can save him?"
Raphael slowly walked towards Julius, as he kneeled in front of him. Grabbing his hand as he felt the whole arm carefully, as he calmly assessed it, "There is an uncountable amount of bone shards within his arm, his veins and arteries have been severed and mangled, and his muscles have been torn to shreds-"
Heathcliff furiously glared at Raphael, as he shouted out in accusation, "Stop stalling time! I understand you hate him Raphael, but he's my father! He cannot die here, he simply cannot!"
Raphael gave a snide smirk, as he explained himself, "I can save him, however, I can only keep his body healthy, whatever is damaging his body, won't stop until who knows how long. He will live, but he will be under unimaginable pain and stress-"
Julius, who had been unconscious this whole time suddenly awoke, as he looked cluelessly around the room, "Francis?"
"Father?" Heathcliff was unsure what he should be doing, he did not want to move his father's body any longer, fearing it would give him even more pain.
Julius rested his gaze on Raphael, as his eyes lit up, "Raph? Good thing you're here, I have a gift for Francis, a companion!" Julius gleefully held the bloodied golden dog up towards Raphael, as his own arm started to bleed once more as the wounds opened up.
Raphael watched the scene silently, he was speechless. He had never seen Julius act like this before, nor were their relationship as close as he was acting it to be. Yet, Raphael could not help but wonder, Why does he know Francis?
Heathcliff shook his head as he took the wolf from his father's arms, before curiously asking, "Who's Francis?"
Julius thought for a moment, as he gleefully answered, "The most talented violinist in Lairesse! The musician with long silky golden hair worth more than pure gold, aquamarine iris' more precious than any gem, and able to produce a heavenly sound which none have ever heard before. A man with a heart of gold." Julius abruptly stood up as he stared at the space right beside the throne before grinning, "He is the Pope of Symphony!"
Just as the words left his mouth, Julius' eyes suddenly turned white before slowly falling backwards, backwards into the arms of Raphael. He could not help but feel bewildered, as he looked down at the face of a mass murderer, a vicious old man who slaughtered thousands of innocents.
He has always hated the Pope of Destruction for the pain and suffering he had given him. He had thought Julius was only but a madman who craved power, yet he started questioning himself. As the words Julius had spoken reminded him of a distant memory.
Raphael looked towards Heathcliff who was lost in thought, as he solemnly warned him, "Do not tell a soul about the words Medici had spoken, do you understand?"
Heathcliff, who was confused, simply nodded, as he watched Raphael's back getting further and further away from him with his father in his arms. Gazing brokenly at stream of blood running down his father's arm, the pain within his heart kept getting stronger.
Within a pitch-black perfectly square room, each corner had a floating white crystal which illuminated the surroundings and at the centre, was a much larger, more intricately crafted glowing crystal. Raphael stood directly in front of the large white crystal which was on an elevated floor as he faced Julius' body which was floating mid-air.
Raphael hummed softly, as he made a few revolutions around the large white crystal. With each passing second, the five crystals of light began glowing much brighter, before streams of light began emanating off the crystals as they formed threads.
Eloquently making fluid gestures with his right-hand, the threads of light began swirling around it, as a maestro's baton made of light began forming within his hand, his thumb gripping it between two fingers.
Raphael continued making fluid gestures using his right-hand, and now his left, as if conducting an orchestral symphony. The bright threads of light now slowly wrapping around Julius' whole body as it formed a cocoon.
A light-hearted smile appeared on Raphael's mouth as he mumbled, "If only Francis was here..."