The words I write come to life in my mind. I witness the light of everything yet the dark remains. Without darkens we would never know what light is. But the magnificent stories I see within tell of overcoming the darkness in human hearts. Through wandering eyes is how a story of another world begins upon our own.
Dew falls from the leaves of trees like teardrops as I race with my men towards another battlefield. Mud kicks up with every step our horses take covering the tree trunks and scaring away small animals. The sky clouds over to block the Sun. Our eyes keep focus on the billowing smoke in the distance.
My hands shake with fear and I readjust them for what feels like the hundredth time. The other men hold their heads downcast knowing death awaits some of us. A lieutenant studies the map of the land noticing that the land is different. Fear is a part of what we do for the Royal Protectorate.
The Royal Protectorate has many branches. Some branches are nobler than others but they make a single tree. Documents say the organization exists in opposition of tyranny. Us soldiers don’t think in as grand of notions as our superiors because we have one thing worth fighting for, our homes.
A few months ago a special unit was made to subdue alchemists in the nation of Dragacia. Alchemists are people born with a connection to something known as the Mists. The truth behind their origins is well hidden. I could care less about the alchemists because people are people and there are both good and bad people. Our superiors decided they are too dangerous and unpredictable.
Give humans more power and their true nature emerges. Their sinful nature will destroy everything we have made. We must control them, study them, and decide the best action. A speech given by the commander of the Royal Protectorate. Words and allegations condemned people from living their lives. My unit feels uncertain about the way this is being dealt with.
We can’t bear to talk about it. Our missions are more important than dividing the public. I have seen an alchemist go berserk only because of persecution and for that one event they’re judged. What of our cruel words that push them towards the ledge? But the Royal Protectorate swears the monsters are them. Only my unit knows where the real monsters exist.
Centuries ago when the human empire collapsed something was created. A weapon created to shatter the connection alchemists have to the Mists. The connection is in every human but that was a theory until the weapon detonated on their city. Technology that could magnify the energy in the connection, compress it, and release it. They created a bomb.
A third of the Earth was swallowed by the explosion. Mist radiation followed the air currents. The radiation wasn’t lethal but it changed the ecosystem rapidly. No records written from that event until three centuries ago meaning we lost a millennium.
People have tales explaining why. I don’t buy into any of them. My men and I fight abominations made from mist radiation. I think for a millennium humanity fought these things. Their numbers dwindle but they wander near towns like starving wolves. We took upon the task of eradicating them but we have no clue how many there are or if they can breed.
I close my eyes trying to think. Something huge knocks me off my horse. My eyes open and I stare at the clouds above wondering why I can never rest. I unsheathe my blade to stab the ground for balance. A beast made of shadows stands before me and in the shadows I could see faces drowning. One of men lays under a foot of the beast and the cracking of his bones echoes inside my head.
“Men we came here to wipe this creature from existence. If we don’t it’ll kill more than just us. See the souls captured in its shadows? Death is only the start of the pain it’ll inflict. The three alchemists need to stand behind me. I’ll give you time to cleanse the wound but if I survive tell me what these truly are.” I rally my soldiers the best I can.
“That’s a big if General Niteblade! But this won’t be easy like the last few. It is thriving off of dark emotions of the victims to create a shield. And we have no idea how to destroy that.” shouts one of the alchemists.
“Well fuck what am I supposed to do?” the lumbering beast darts at us but I raise my swords just in time to deflect the blow.
“Improvise!” screams everyone even the lieutenant.