Chapter 19:

Voice of an Angel

Face of Eternity : The Star and the Rose

We arrived on a main street close to the church. People were just wandering around, going about their daily business like it was a usual afternoon.

One swoop down of the Reaper was all it took to turn them into dust and bones.

It was terrible...the people weren’t even trying to defend themselves. Their lives just come to a swift end.

Only the screams of those who actually could see what was going on made the horrible sight real. If it weren’t for their terror, I would have thought this was just a nightmare.

“Get angry, Shrimp.” Indena knocked on my shoulder armour with her fist. “But don’t lose focus.”

“What do you mean?”

“Anger gives you strength. But let it go too far and you become an animal. Remember what we're here to do. We can’t save everyone, but we’ll avenge em'.”

I wanted to save everyone, but knowing I couldn’t just got me angrier. This anger was different from anything I’d felt before. I’d been upset when something didn’t go my way, but a lot of those things were simple compared to this.

This anger was like watching someone destroy something precious to me, right in front of my eyes. I felt like someone deserved punishment for such vile deeds.

Just when we were about to start moving, I saw a little sporadic twitches in the bones of all the victims.

The bones rolled around, then began to collect together to reform the structure of a person. The ashes on the ground turned hot like burning coal, then shot up into the chests of the skeletons.

“Oh hell no…” Indena’s eyes lit up bright, fire energy radiated off her like burst of flame in a volcano.

I was absolutely disgusted that the Reaper was reanimating the dead people’s skeletons to fight for him. Now I didn’t care about keeping my anger in check, I wanted the Reaper to pay for what he was doing to these lives.

“I wanna’ fight!” I shouted, and stomped my foot.

“Yeah, let’s do this!”

I activated my combat protocol, it was at 25% efficiency. I lost 5 percent just by activating it? Whatever. That would be enough to deal with the skeletons.

-IFF tags active-

-Reanimated Skeletons tagged; foe-

-Enemy count = (40)-

I tried to activate my mana cannon, but…

-Advisory! Mana Cannon currently not operational-

Dang it! How was I supposed to fight like this!?

Indena already lept in, cracking skulls and using her Stardust dagger to deal a finishing blow to all the attacking skeletons. When she did, the bones all dropped to the ground in piles

Instead of making a weapon, I spawned crystal in my palms and used it as a conduit to fire off Stardust energy.


I shot light at a skeleton, and it fell to the ground. The energy was powerful enough to char the bone, but I only hit the leg. It just got back up and raced after me.

With her dagger, Indena went in with a good stab to the chests.

But wait, something was happening!?

The whole skeleton began to glow bright blue. Rays of light radiated out of it like sunshine from a blue star.

The entire thing was glowing, sparkling until finally the light began to fade.

A woman stood in place of the skeleton. She fell to the ground and laid still. My bio scanners were telling me she was alive!

“We saved her!” I announced.

“Damn…how about that?” Indena prepared her dagger, holding it up and ready to stab at more skeletons. “Shrimp, shoot em’ with light! I’ll stab the chest.

With a little hope that we could help these people, I took aim and fired off more stardust.


A blast shot out and missed. Then I fired one more shot in a panic!


The shot grazed the skeleton's ribcage, and the skeleton cradled its sparkling wound.

Now I shot at it again, and this time finished it off. It was glowing again, and Indena came in with another stab!


This person transformed back into a human too!

So it seems like whenever I shot one with stardust, it somehow weakened the skeleton, making it possible for Indena to stab the chest and transform the person back to normal. But what about this made that possible?

I couldn't argue the results, so we kept up this same method for about 5 more people until…

What?! It didn’t work on one of them!

Indena tried to stab it in the chest, but it just kept attacking her. What was different about this one?

I tried to think about what I noticed with the other skeletons. If stabbing them in the chest saved them, it meant there must have been something about that spot that was special.

Now I think I get it. A quick scan of the remaining skeletons confirmed that there was something different in a few of them. The ones we’d been saving all had clouds of darkness in their rib cages. So we needed to destroy that to save the possessed person.

But this one didn’t have darkness in his ribs. So maybe he wasn’t able to change.

“Indena! Check the ribs!”

She knew what I was getting at. She also noticed the darkness in some of them.

So, what do we do about this skeleton? If he was a person, we had to somehow turn him back. But if our method wasn’t working…

He was very aggressive, clawing at Indena. On instinct she went for a swipe at his neck, cutting the head clean off.

“NO!” I screamed. “Don’t kill him!”

“Sorry!” She growled at her blunder. “I’d rather not get hit!”

The skull fell to the ground, bouncing up once and rolling away. I noticed that when it touched the pavement, a puff of shadow came out of the mouth. It was very similar to what was in the ribs of the others. Was this a new variant?

It gave me an idea. What if we attacked the head?

Once the skeleton retrieved its skull, I ordered Indena to strike its head.


“Yeah, give it a shot!”

She wasn’t sure exactly what to do, but she improvised and stabbed the inside of the demon's mouth.

Eureka! The skeleton changed back into a human.

“This is so messed up.” She tossed the man to the sidewalk. “Let’s mop up the rest of these guys!”

The enemy count kept climbing as new reinforcement entered the field, but with our strategy, we were able to save almost all of the humans from their curse.

There were a lot of bones still littered around from before we started saving people. Those bones were collecting back together, but forming things that didn’t quite look like a human skeleton. Some of them didn’t have skulls, some were walking on hands, and others just looked like figurines put together with random parts.

We tried our strategy on those too…

Oh my God. It did not work right.

The bodies were restored, but in horrible ways. Ways that would haunt me for the rest of my life.

The masses of arms and flesh were falling all over themselves…it was grotesque and appalling. The ones with heads were screaming in agony.

I…oh no…did we mess up?

Indena couldn’t bear the sight any longer. She sent out the flames of hell to consume these abominations. They were charred to ash.

“We ruined those people…” I shivered. “Oh no, what do we do?”

“Nothing. We didn’t start this! It’s not our damn fault.”

Just when things were looking up, we screwed it up so badly. Dang it! I thought we had a chance here to save everyone. I guess that dream is dead.

In the terror of it all, I couldn’t tell how many people had amassed together to create those things. They were all gone now, but I tried to repress the pain.

“We gotta’ go.” Indena tugged on me.


I turned to see that the civilians that followed us were collecting the saved people up, wrapping their bare bodies in new clothes and carrying them around. I’m glad they were taking care of them too. At least we saved a lot of people, there was some relief in that.

“We know more now. Let’s take this screw up and learn from it.” Indena said. “But I don’t blame us, we didn’t start this mess. We sure as hell are gonna finish it though.”

As much of a failure as I was right now, she was right. This wasn't our mess, but cleaning it was our job.

Just then, as we were about to race off, I felt the terrible presence of the Reaper looming over the street.

He was hovering there, high above the intersection, holding his arms out as if to express himself.

There was a mob of people under him, even a few guards holding long rifles. What were they doing? I saw they all had the curse affinity next to their names.

There was a skeleton person near them, and the guards fired their rifles at it!

“NO!” I screamed. “Those are people!”

“Shut up!” A person up front of the crowd roared. “Be silent, you fool!”

“The hell?” Indena uttered.

What was this about?

“Can’t you see what’s happening?" The person shouted. "Look at what you’ve done to our city!”

What was that woman talking about? Why did she make it sound like I did this?

Wait…I recognized her. She was the older nun who was at the church!

“We know what you are, you evil devil, posing as the Eighth angel!”

She was calling me a devil? That’s a first. Honestly, I didn’t look anything like a devil. They had red horns, spiked tails, and they were red. What part of me looked like that?

“I’m not a devil!” I shouted back.

“Lies! Snakes gather in your soot coloured hair, your skin is cold, your face is like that of a hyena!”

What on earth was she seeing? I mean, the snake part was right, but soot coloured hair? Cold skin? Hyena face?

“Oy! Can it, Chastity Belt!” Indena called out to the old nun. “She ain’t a devil, so quiet it with that!”

The nun reaffirmed her stance and everyone in the crowd seemed to agree with her view.

We’d seen people who were unaware of any problems around them, now we’d seen people who were seeing things that weren’t true. It must have been the Reaper’s curse.

“Guys! Just look up! It’s the demon above you! He’s causing this!”

“More lies! There’s nothing above us but the justice of heaven! We saw how you were stabbing and killing those innocent lives, burning them to nothing!”

These people didn’t realize they were being manipulated into thinking I was causing this chaos. They didn’t see that the people had been turned to skeletons and were being puppeteered by the demon himself…

“We’ll protect our home from you.” They raised up their pitchforks and guns. “Let’s slay them both! Slay all those who follow that devil! Save our city!”

“Save our city!”

“Save our city!”


As the first bullet fired, it completely missed. A blur rushed across the street just as it shot, then…

…the mob of people were falling down!?

I was just barely able to see a blur blast past my vision, something just attacked them. Could it have been another demon?

More of the mob were attacked by these blurs. I couldn’t tell if those wounds were fatal, but there definitely was blood!

Someone was proudly perched at the top of a building next to us. The familiar silhouette reminded me of how the crazy inquisitor carried himself. Then I realized, it was that very man. I saw his nametag and everything.

Danial the Inquisitor.

Now I see! The inquisitors were attacking the people. I had to stop them before they killed anyone. I just hoped I wasn’t too late!

“NO! Stoooop!” I screamed at the top of my lungs.

The head inquisitor held up his hand, and all the inquisitors stopped attacking.

It didn’t look like anyone was dead, I think…at least I wanted to believe that, but there were plenty of wounded people and guards all over the ground.

“Now, why would you ask me to stop attacking the enemy? These apostates and demons are getting what’s coming to them!” Daniel argued.

Did he think those people were demons? Did that mean he was being affected by the Reaper too?

“These vile ones will not hinder you any longer, Eighth Star of Heaven.”

“Who’s the vile one, you phyco?!” Indena shouted. “Those are people too!”

He looked at Indena with a frown of contempt. Squinting at her, as if to say she was his next prey.

“So spake the godless Family of Sai witch!”

Did he say Indena was part of the Family of Sai? Janus from last year was part of them too…

Their goal was to shroud the whole planet in eternal darkness. Did Indena want that too?

“So what? You got a problem with me?” Indena barked back at him.

“For the sake of the Archangel, I held my blade from you. But now, oh! I hear a voice from Heaven! It tells me I must slay the one of fire and evil!”

There was a whisper in the air…it was like the sound of a snake hissing. Samael wasn’t acting up, he was too scared to make a sound. So Daniel wasn't just hearing things.

“Yes, even the Archangel has fallen…hasn’t she…by defending the evil one…They’re all evil!”

This was terrible. Now the inquisitors were going to attack us too?!

I wasn’t sure if Indena would make it out of that fight, but she’d definitely take a few of them out with her. However this was going to play out, it would be a nasty bloodbath.

This would only get worse if it didn’t stop now! But, how was I supposed to stop this from happening!?

I didn’t know what to do!

I was shivering so much and crying. Nobody needed to die here if we all just listened.

It felt like the whole world was crumbling down around me, like the sky was falling and the lack of air was suffocating.

With every breath came a horde of unrest, clawing at my throat.

What was I supposed to do here? Everyone was going to die!


A calm voice entered my mind. heart. When it spoke, my heart felt warm, even began to glow.


Love…” Here goes nothing. I raised my voice and shouted as loud as I could, “Everyone! Don't hate each other! Put down your weapons and Love one another, even your enemies! to others what you want them to do to you!”

I didn’t know what I was saying, but I was saying it. I might not have repeated those words exactly, but something was happening.

Light started to sparkle around all the people, even Indena and the mob. The curse affinity was now gone, and everyone who was still plagued by darkness here was cured.

“…” Indena couldn’t look at me. She was just tearing up. “Wha…what was that...?”

What did I say that got her so teary eyed? Were my words truly poetic? I gazed up at the head inquisitor, and even he was just sitting up there, staring down at me with grief. Not a flamboyant weeping, but something close to Indena’s crying.

They both looked so ashamed.

The other inquisitors were on the ground, weeping even more than those two. Some of them had taken to using healing magic on the wounded people.

Good grief, literally. What did I just do to them? I checked my systems…but I hadn’t even used a power of any kind.

My crystal heart wasn’t beating like normal, it was just glowing white. That white glow also passed down my mana arteries. My hair and the skin of my hands and face were glowing too.

A halo hovered just above my head, the kind I saw last year when I saved Anima from that evil darkness in her body.

The Reaper wasn’t here anymore, he must have left. I still felt his presence, so he was around. But nobody was under his curse anymore.

The head inquisitor leapt down and went over to us, then he bowed down deeply. The other inquisitors scrambled over and did the same.

“Forgive me. I did not realize I was acting so wickedly to you.”

He didn’t say that to me, he said it to Indena.

“You…you’re apologizing?” She looked dumbstruck.

“These new commandments from the archangel have shown me how wrong I was. It is not evil that should defeat evil, but sympathy and love.”

She looked even more confused than ever.

“What the hell did you just do to us?” She asked me, taking a deep breath, and folding her arms.

"I don't know, but just do what I told you." I said.

She protested, but I just kept glaring at her.

“I…” she started tearing up again. “I can’t…”

I just kept staring at her, waiting for her to change her mind.

“Oh whatever.” She said, in the grumpiest and insincere tone. Then she turned to Daniel. "I'll let this crap go. But if you or any of your piss-ant Deula try to hurt her again, I'll destroy you."

Somehow, I felt satisfied and disappointed by her response, but that was enough.

The white glow from my body was fading. Now it was its normal blue and the normal pulse beats were back.

“Shrimp, that angel crap you just pulled, it scares me. You know that?” Indena turned away.

“To be honest, I don’t even know what I did.” I sighed. If I could figure out how to do that again, I’d be able to stop some pretty gnarly conflicts.

"Voice of an Angel," Indena said, quietly. "That's what we'll call it."

Probably the most fitting name, I'd say.

“Mr. Daniel, can you please help the people you guys just hurt? And the people here too?" I gestured to the survivors behind us.

“Of course, Archangel Yalda.”

He didn’t have that crazy tone in his voice, and I could see his movements were much less flamboyant.

With my order, the inquisitors continued to heal and protect people. Even the Head inquisitor started casting a healing spell. Luckily, many of the wounded looked like they were recovering. That was good. But others…well, they didn’t look so lucky.

I’d have ordered the inquisitors to evacuate the church if they didn’t need to heal people, but everyone has a role to play here, and mine was heading to the cathedral.

“Come on, Shrimp. The Reaper's still out there, so let's get to the church and help those people."

Mario Nakano 64
Taylor J
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