Chapter 21:

High Commander Unefet: The Beginning of the End

Setting Sun Story: Beta

West Gate of Baustas - 6:00 PM

Movement has stopped.

By all means, Baustas should have crumbled beneath our fingers.

Everything was calculated, from the potency of the Chaos aura, to the population of the city.

Without the use of spies, we could only rely on the guidance of the Researchers, they launched everything, entirely behind the back of the Queen.

I know she'll forgive us for denying her orders when she sees Lumina's capabilities.

Alas, it'll take just a little more.

The High Commander was never meant to see battle today. Having barked his orders out this morning, he prepared for a swift trip home.

But word came back, informing him that the West End was being pushed back due to a lack of troops, while the South and East remained intact.

Unefet knows well the possibilities of Baustas' Deacons. There's a certain power that lies here, within the red aura.

He prepares now, standing at the gates of the West End, with an executioner's great-sword.

The thick and squared tip of the straight-blade points skyward, as High Commander Unefet looks into the gem of blue Light encrusted in its gray hilt.

"Forgive us, Queen Ciel. Lumina will see a clear blue sky once again."

With a knife, he chips away the adornment in his blade, cutting out the beautiful crystal, and taking it in his hand.

It shines bright against the red world, held to the sky between his finger and thumb.

"I do this for you..."

He swallows the Light crystal whole, its blue glow lighting the veins of his neck as his throat pushes it down into his core.

What follows is a transformation unlike the grunts and killers of his subordination.

His skin begins to emit a bright white, as his insides, not shifting nor disassembling, fade into pure energy.

A rebirth. Perhaps some kind of ascension, albeit temporary.

What light isn't held in the orbit of the awakening fetus, expands outward, in a fleeting image of six dazzling wings, barely apparent as they cascade down to nothingness.

From the aura of the unborn silhouette, a cage of metal, of solidified blood, turned the light gray of stone, builds out of the air.

Three rings of this make, all spinning furiously, etched in pattern on their outer edges to point eyes to the world.

An intangible form. An Old Angel Monstrosity takes to the sky, in a blinding ball of white, its eye-draining emission seeming to flash behind the motion of its protective rings.

West End Residential District - Erin - 6:02 PM

The exhaustion weighing on his face, and the loss of staggering force coming from his attacks, Erin's blade comes down, lodging into the chest armor of an enemy soldier.

Planting his foot on the foe, he rips it out, stepping back as his allies continue down the street ahead of him.

"Can you keep going?" Jun asks, running up to his side and putting a hand on his shoulder.

Her face is stained in dirt and blood.

"What a first day," Erin responds, letting out a tired breath as he regains his stature.

"Everything seems to be in order here, we should head back to the central square and see where we can help next," he continues.

Jun nods next to him, and the two turn away from the push through the district, the enemy forces dwindling.

Suddenly, Jun stops.

Before her, crushed flat, is her house.

"Sure lost a lot today," she coughs out. "I never kept a lot but... seeing this is just..."

"C'mon, lets make sure we don't lose any more, okay-?" Erin is cut off before he can finish calling out to Jun.

Down the road, the intense sound of heavy and pure energy belts out, mixing with sudden screams and the breaking of stone.

They both turn, finding a white light in the sky, beaming down from an eye momentarily stationary, a giant, thick beam of Light Aether.

The sight is perplexing, unnerving. A chill echoes down Erin's spine as he stares, frozen at the sky's ray.

It hurts his brain to see it, as if he's immediately scarred seeing some side to life that one should never witness.

The beam travels along the road, splattering, crushing, and splitting the Baustian soldiers into a storm of limbs and red mist.

Erin grabs at Jun's arm, still unable to fully understand this moment.

The attacking layer of the Old Angel Monstrosity, the outermost ring, turns one etching, the first eye seemingly fully expelled of its Aether.

After an eerie moment of silence, the stone glyph moves, blinking before another beam carves out.

"J-Jun, run. G-go... move!" Erin screams, pulling her as he runs down the road.

Their first priority is to get out of its line of sight, ducking behind a tall house before moving on.

The being spares no wood, no stone, and no steel, ripping through the foundation of the building, its blue ray blowing holes in the New Bloods' defenses.

They pick up the pace, the razing laser at their feet.

The strike lets up as they barrel through the front door of a home bordering the West Lake.

The Old Angel rotates another eye, and blindly fires into the house.

Inside, Erin and Jun are hiding behind either side of a sofa.

"What the fuck is that? What... is that!?" Erin yells over to his partner.

"Quiet. It stopped," Jun whispers back, peaking her head over the couch back to the Western windows.

She wraps her fingers over the leather, ever carefully.

Jun's jolted, before leaping to the side in reaction, as the beam explodes straight through the interior, cutting the couch in two.

It shoots straight through, opening a path out of the house's back wall.

They both give a glance of relief, and nod in unspoken agreement before sliding through the hole the airborne atrocity left.

Into the city's center they retreat, where they will find the last stand of Baustas' main forces, and the Chosen One, ready to play the Savior's trump card.