Heart of Mine
A fine mist fell from the overcast sky. Though wet most of the day, it seemed fit for a funeral, and made it easy to hide one's tears. Waiting under a nearby tree, she listened as a minister spoke words above her mentor’s closed casket. Unknown faces in a crowd looked through her, fearful of getting close enough to see the secret life of a Death-Seeker. Marked and hunted by Evil, even as she sought to hunt them down. Shunned by the human race as being less than an animal.
"Death takes us all one day," her mentor had told her as a child. "It is how the soul is prepared before hand which leads the way." Death had become her only companion. "Seekers live a fine line between shadow and reality, Mel, safeguarding the lives of those who despise us and protecting us from Evil's minions who hate us more."
As she watched the last of the great Seekers laid to rest-- her mentor, father, and friend— her tears hidden beneath the covering of her cape, Melissa's mind raged for vengeance. She had felt the presence of the enemy-- the Demon-Knight who had destroyed her teacher's body, ravaged his soul, to be locked away and devoured at its leisure.
The horses pulling the carriages moved uneasy. So near, yet with those gathered it would remain unseen within its human host. She knew the demon would be present to gloat over its victory, the gained power of the captured soul of a Seeker-- to its own undoing.
Melissa remained in the shadows, could smell the caustic odor of the demon in the crowd. She watched each face for signs, listened as the minister’s words drew to a close and those who’d gathered began to move slowly towards the carriages.
Silent beneath the trees, the wind rippled through her dark cloak as the storm came on-- a shadow within a gray curtain of rain. As the mourners went by on their way back to the city, Melissa waited until she was the last to remain. Her and the Demon-Knight whom she’d hunted that past year.
"You might as well come out, Young Lady," the minister's voice cut through the sodden air, like wind through an empty tomb. "I knew you were here before I arrived. A pity you could not witness his last moments, as he begged for mercy at my hands."
"Lies!" A hand ready on the hilt of her weapon, waiting for the demon to strike. "Argus would never ask mercy from the minion of Chaos, especially when taken in his sleep by a coward."
"Come, heart of mine," the minister's words mocked, echoed Argus’ name for his beloved student. "Join your teacher in my feast."
The demon turned, blackened flesh like scaled armor as his human form was cast aside, claws reaching in a lightning movement. A cruel knife came from its side, hoping to catch the young Seeker off guard. Melissa's golden sword flashed like sunlight as she stepped into the open before her teacher's grave. The Knight’s power, though strong, was no match for the Levite-trained Demon-hunter. As her shining blade cut through, she called on the greater power of her living God.
Writhed in agony as the power that formed creation ripped through its body, the Demon-Knight struck out one last time, and she buried her sanctified weapon further into its chest. Screams rent the night as it fell to its knees, too weak to do more than swat the air in front of its face.
"By the Holy power of Christ, I cast you to the Pit from whence you came." Melissa drove the cross formed hilt of her Seeker's blade deep in the darkened form before her. "Tell your master his day comes."
The demon-shade reformed in the air above its twisted body like smoke, then vanished. Deprived of the unholy spirit giving strength, its physical form began to crumble at the Seeker's feet. Within the dust, a spark was seen, and she cautiously stirred the ashes with the point of her sword.
Her tears were filled with joy, as she reached down to pick up a small white stone. In her heart, Melissa could feel her mentor comforting her one last time. Slow and with reverence, she placed the gem on a tombstone, and spoke a prayer of release, crushing it to powder that blown in the wind.
"I commend this soul into Thy hand, Father. Be merciful unto Your servant."
Note: In honor of Maxx.. Long live the BoB..
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