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The League of the Young and Supernatural (11)
By
Jjazzymin

The League of the Young and Supernatural (11)

Ch. 11

Sakura

The drive back to Denjo’s hideout was odd, to say the least. We took several winding back roads, and once we entered a densely forested area, I gave up hope trying to figure out where I was being held captive. Ultimately, it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Once we dropped off this Aejin into the dungeon, I was free to go.

I had been instructed to keep watch over the knapsack that held the Aejin in place in the back seat, but the creature hadn’t moved much at all. My neck began to cramp from sitting in such an awkward position in the front seat, so I adjusted myself to sit forward. With the lack of proper sleep coupled with the warmth of the car, I could feel my inner balance tilting out of whack. Tiny sweat droplets began to tickle the top of my forehead. Without knowing how long I’d be stuck in this human transportation vehicle, I began to worry about my physical well being. Ice Angels could not withstand temperatures higher than 60°F for very long before they began to wither and grow sickly.

Nervously, I reached my hand forward to turn the air conditioning to its cold setting, but Denjo’s hand abruptly stopped mine in its tracks.

“What are you doing?” he asked in a demanding voice.

“I, uh…” I stuttered, feeling like I had just been reprimanded by an elder. “I wanted to turn on the cold air.”

There was a long moment of silence between the two of us before Denjo reached down and flipped the A/C to cold. I shrunk down in my seat and turned my head towards the window to avoid looking at him. This would all be over soon, and I didn’t need to grow acquainted with this angel, or whatever he was. I just needed to survive the next hour or so.

The cool air eventually reached my skin and shrouded around me. I could feel my wings absorbing the cold behind me. I hadn’t flown around excessively in our little battle to capture the Aejin, but apparently, my wings still needed some rejuvenation. I tried to compress them into my jacket to avoid distracting Denjo by their healing, but my attempt at being discreet failed. A large shockwave of light suddenly scattered from my wings, blinding the both of us for a few moments. Denjo pressed down on the brakes to avoid slamming into anything; meanwhile I managed to slam into the dashboard.

“What are you trying to do? Get us killed?” Denjo growled, clearly annoyed by my ice angelic quirks.

“It’s not my fault! When I restore energy, my wings involuntarily give off light… I apologize for the inconvenience. I meant to be discreet,” I explained.

“Well… give a warning in the future,” Denjo said after a long pause.

The rest of the trip was taken silently. I glanced back to the knapsack every now and then to check on the Aejin while Denjo drove. As I looked around the vehicle, I was intrigued by all of the different buttons there were to press. I wondered why there were so many. Humans had always seemed rather ignorant on the outside, but their technology was certainly fascinating. Maybe that’s why my mother loved humans. In her mind, all creatures had their strengths and weaknesses, just like us ice angels. According to her, there wasn’t a single life form out there that didn’t have some kind of vulnerability. Weaknesses made us real, and imperfect, and beautiful. Without them, we would be machine-like and heartless. Even though ice angels were cold on the exterior, our hearts were always warm and accepting - or at least they would try to be. That was the Cornarian way.

Hearts that stopped caring and loving would eventually freeze over and turn black. That’s what ice angels used to call the “black ice.” When someone was plagued with the black ice, they would lose their ability to feel, physically and emotionally. It was nearly impossible to fix these types of creatures, as they would have no will to want to change. They were ruthless and robotic and would stop at nothing to destroy anything in their path, even their own kind. All ice elements on their bodies grew callous and impenetrable. My mother warned me of these creatures, and told me stories of how these black ice angels could not burn, even in the hottest of flames. They had no weaknesses, and therefore deserved death. In my mother’s eyes, creatures who could not love were no creatures at all. That’s why she always reminded my brother and I to love everyone, and spread it around. Our warriors’ blood was too important, and if it were to freeze over, she would never forgive us.

As the car stuttered to a halt, I warped back to reality. We were finally back at the mansion-like hideout in the middle of nowhere. Denjo opened the back door and heaved the Aejin knapsack over his shoulder to carry it inside. I got out of the car and trailed behind him cautiously.

As the three of us stepped inside, Denjo motioned for me to follow him down into the spell lock dungeon where I had been released yesterday. He threw the Aejin down on the floor, which made me appreciate how gently he had placed me there when I was in that situation.

“Okay, I helped you capture an Aejin. My portion of the task has been completed, correct?” I smirked before turning around and heading towards the staircase.

“Wait,” Denjo announced.

I stopped in my tracks and turned around to face him.

“What?”

“Help me interrogate this creature, and then you can go.”

“What? That wasn’t the deal! You said that I had to lure an Aejin to you, and that’s what I did. I even came all the way back with you to make sure it was securely transported back to your home. Why should I help you further than that? I have a job to get back to,” I irritably explained.

“I said I would explain everything to you when we got back to my place; about my background and species and such… If you manage to get any information out of this Aejin, I will explain to you who I am and why I am on Earth.”

I paused for a moment to contemplate if this was even worth the effort of interrogation. On one hand, I was slightly curious as to what the hell a “Dark Guardian Angel” was, and how he had these psychic-like abilities. But on the other hand, this angel was a manipulative creep, and I didn’t understand why he needed my help specifically to interrogate this creature. It was feeble and helpless at this point.

“You don’t have the skills to interrogate a beaten down Aejin yourself?” I asked in a mocking tone, hoping to stab at his ego.

“Of course I can interrogate this creature on my own,” he scoffed, “I just want to see what this LYS organization has taught its agents about interrogation tactics. Perhaps I could learn from you.”

“Sorry, but knowledge about your identity isn't worth reprimand action from my superiors,” I concluded before turning around once more.

“Maybe not, but I’m sure knowledge about this Aejin’s identity would be worth it,” Denjo retorted.

My fist clenched before I glanced back at him.

“Why do you want me to stick around so badly? Obviously getting information out of an Aejin would be beneficial to me, but where is the benefit for you? You have no reason to keep me around. You could obviously handle this situation on your own.”

Denjo looked away from me for a few seconds to ponder an acceptable answer.

“I've been on the Aejin hunt for years now, and I've managed to capture a few Aejins before. However, my interrogation tactics have not worked in the past and I… I end up killing the damn things out of rage,” he finally replied once his eyes reached mine again. “I was hoping that an LYS agent would be able to interrogate it with more patience than a rogue like myself.”

My eyes lowered in annoyance at his sympathy story. If he really wanted proper help, he could have asked for it differently. He could have made a request to the LYS for a one-time mission, or he could have gone in and left an anonymous note. But instead, he decided that kidnapping a top ranked member and bringing her to a mansion in the middle of nowhere was the best plan of action. So for that exact reason, he didn't deserve my sympathetic heart.

“If you're expecting me to feel bad for your incompetence, think again. We’ve all been wounded by Aejins, but it takes a strong heart to be patient with them, which you clearly lack,” I snapped. He didn't even flinch at my words as if he was just deflecting them, or simply not listening. “However, after all this trouble you've gotten me into, it would benefit me to at least try to interrogate this Aejin to make it up to my chief. So I will help you on a few conditions.”

“And what would those be?” he inquired.

“One: you give me information about who you are first, not before I interrogate this thing. Two: once the interrogation is over, I will leave immediately, and you will not contact me from that point on. And three: I will fly out of here by myself and not rat out your location so long as you never mention that this entire interaction between us ever happened. Do we have a deal?”

He gave a slick smirk before nodding his head solemnly.

“Of course,” Denjo replied before locking the Aejin behind bars. He rose up and tapped a purple diamond symbol on the wall, which then released a thick sheet of glass that gradually descended from the ceiling and fit into place directly in front of the dungeon cell bars. I could only assume that it was some sort of sound proof barrier that would protect us from the lurking ears of the Aejin.

“What would you like to know about my kind?” Denjo asked after the glass wall had been tightly secured.

“Uh… I'm not sure,” I stuttered, not expecting him to ask me any questions. “Where do you come from, I guess? I've heard of dark angels, and I’ve heard of Guardian Angels, but never ‘Dark Guardian Angels.’ Are you some sort of mixed blood hybrid?” I questioned, wondering if my assumptions were anywhere near correct.

“Heh.. no, I am not a hybrid. Dark Guardian Angels are a pure blood race, and we live on the planet Caelestis in the Allcarius galaxy.”

“So…” I halted my speech as I contemplated how to word my next question delicately.

By angelic social standards, different races of angels were considered higher ranked compared to others. Guardian Angels were considered the highest ranked class. They were the most powerful and respected angelic creations. Killing a Guardian Angel would result in immediate execution in most angelic societies. The next in line were pure blood angels. This broad category included any type of angel, as long as their bloodline had been reproduced over and over with complete purity. Even the smallest amount of mixed blood would taint an angel’s grace and bring them down into the mixed hybrid category. Mixed blood angels were considered disgraceful and mutant. Unless an angel could skillfully disguise their impurities, respect would be nearly impossible to earn.  

But the absolute lowest class of them all were dark angels. These angels were considered equivalent to demons, and treated like the dirt we walked on. If any angel were seen on the premises of a dark angel, it was their angelic duty to promptly eliminate said vermin. Dark angels disrespected the purity code - the standard that angelic beings must live a pure and transparent life. The purity code had many different guidelines to abide by, but the most important were the first three. Angels must never end the life of an innocent being. Angels must never mutate the bloodline of their own kin. And most importantly, Angels must own hearts of warmth and love other beings with such warmth. Dark Angels broke all of these rules. Their hearts were made of black ice, and they were crafted to destroy and harm for their own benefit.

“What social class do you belong to?” I finally asked after a long moment of pondering. He arched his eyebrow in a confused manner.

“I’m not sure I understand your question.”

I bit the inner part of my cheek as I tried to contemplate how I should reword my question.

“At least where I come from, Guardians are praised as the most pure beings, while dark angels are considered the dregs of society. You say that you are both of those things at once, yet you are pure blooded. I guess I don’t understand where your existence stands on the purity scale.”

“On Caelestis, we don’t use the purity code. In some dark angelic places, dark angels use the purity code as a goal to actively break. However, Caelestis disregards it. We understand that other societies will shun us for our actions as angels. Therefore we have our own code to live by: protect others with whatever means possible. Violence is accepted as well as mixed bloodlines and anger. But the Guardian in us should always keep our hearts from turning cold, which keeps us angelic.”

I blinked a few times with my lips slightly parted as I listened to him explain his own society. It was so foreign and strange to me. My mother always told me that there were angels out there that lived by their own rules, but I never thought that I would come face to face with one in my lifetime.

I then felt a lump begin to swell in the middle of my throat. Even though I no longer lived on Cornustar, I still felt a surge of guilt for being around an impure angel, and even helping him out. Was it my responsibility as a Cornarian to kill him for his impurities? Or was it my duty to respect him as a Guardian? His identity confused me, and since he didn’t live by the same standards that I did, I couldn’t know for certain what the right course of action was to take.

“How do you know about Aejins?” I asked, trying to pull my mind out of its whirlpool of confusion.

“Aejins attacked and infiltrated Caelestis four years ago. Our armies were not strong enough to wash them out, so we had to choose to flee the planet or fall victim to their army,” Denjo explained. “I… don’t really know if Caelestis is still intact at this point. It most likely has turned into an Aejin breeding ground.”

As soon as Denjo finished explaining his history, I felt my heart sink to my stomach. He had been through the exact same tragedy that I had gone through seven years ago, and it showed on his face. He had emotions that were just like mine, and here I was contemplating whether or not I should kill him for his wrong doings. I clenched my teeth together until my jaw began to ache. What was wrong with me? It took me a while before I finally responded to him.

“Did… do you have family on Caelestis?”

“Yes… My lichii and pelichii were still on the planet when I fled.”

I stared at him with a blank face, wondering what those words meant. I could only assume that he was speaking in his native language when referring to his family members.

“Oh,” Denjo stuttered before his face tinted a faint pink. “I suppose on Earth you would call them my… mother and grandmother?” he corrected himself, although he didn’t seem quite sure.

“I’m so sorry…” I mumbled, not really knowing how to respond properly. “Aejins are rather sickening creatures.”

“I feel like you speak from experience,” Denjo suggested.

“Ha, nice try Mr. Mysterious, but I’m not about to open up about who I am to you, even if you are a Guardian,” I stammered, feeling uncomfortable from his fake empathy. “Speaking of which… you are a proper Guardian, aren’t you?” I asked, trying to quickly change the subject.

“Define ‘proper.’”

“Well, maybe not proper by the purity code, but proper in the sense that you were assigned a soul to protect as your purpose. That kind of proper,” I reiterated.

“Caelestic Guardians are proper, then.”

“Then why are you out here in the middle of nowhere on Earth? Shouldn’t you be out protecting a lost soul instead of hunting down Aejins?” I asked.

“Well…” Denjo started his sentence but paused for a long while. “That’s enough about me. We should get to interrogating this creature.”

“What? You said you would tell me about who you are and why you’re on Earth, and I still have questions.”

“And I did, in fact, satisfy your request. I am a Dark Guardian Angel from the planet Caelestis. Four years ago we were infiltrated by Aejins. Therefore I have ended up on this planet,” he restated.

“That doesn’t explain why you specifically came to this planet, though,” I pointed out.

“I thought information about my identity wasn’t worth reprimand action from your superiors?” Denjo smirked.

I paused for a second and lowered my eyebrows in annoyance. I despised that he was turning this around on me. He knew I was empathizing with him for his past, and now that I was intrigued, he pulled away. It was infuriating.

I turned my head away from him to face the sack holding the Aejin hostage on the other side of the glass when I realized that the sack had actually dissolved. Black particles were splattered across the glass wall trying to burn through it. My eyes widened in panic since I didn’t know what to do.

“I-it’s reverted back to its particle state!” I exclaimed, not knowing what else to say.

Denjo glanced over to see what I was talking about and took a defensive step backward.

“What do we do?” I asked frantically. Opening the glass barrier would only let it escape, but we couldn’t attack it on this side of the wall.

Denjo quickly rushed over to the side panel and pressed on a teal colored rhombus symbol. I watched as the dungeon suddenly froze over with black ice. The particles slowed to a stop before crumbling onto the ground. Was that it? Was that really all it took to control Aejin particles?

“It should die within the next three minutes.”

“What? You can’t kill it! We need to interrogate it!” I yelled.

“We can always find another one,” Denjo said matter-of-factly.

“You’re just falling into the same patterns from before! What’s to say that the next Aejin won’t do the exact same thing? Keep it alive!” I demanded.

Hesitantly, Denjo pressed on a neutral black button that reverted the dungeon back to its homeostasis. The particles remained frozen on the floor, but a few of them were still wiggling around. I sighed in relief knowing that it hadn’t died just yet. If I had gone to chief one more time without anything to give him on these genocidal monsters, I’d be out on the streets. I glanced back over to Denjo, who seemed distraught with the situation.

“Who knows how long it will take to evolve back into its full form again… This is useless. We can’t get any information out of some burning particles,” Denjo growled.

I wanted to reassure him that this would all work out eventually, but he was right. An Aejin in particle form was worthless and could not communicate in any language. Without it taking form, neither of us could interrogate it. I couldn’t report to the chief with any new information either, which was really all I was worried about.

“Maybe…” I paused my sentence as I glanced over at the particles. They began to shimmer a bright blue color before they all clumped together in the center of the dungeon. The blue faded to a teal color as the being took form. My bottom lip quivered at the sight of this vicious monstrosity. It stretched itself to stand just under six feet tall and spread out a set of its own white wings. Its hair flopped down and hung raggedly like a blonde mop on the top of its head. My eyes widened at the finished product this thing had morphed into.

“You bitch,” I swore under my breath. Trying to keep my calm was nearly impossible at this point. All I could see was Azaiah smirking back at me with the most devilish, sickening grin.

“Who is that?” Denjo asked, clearly confused by the situation.

“It’s not important. Let me in there before it dissipates,” I snapped.

Denjo didn’t ask any further questions. He simply placed his hand on my shoulder and teleported the both of us to the other side of the dungeon glass wall. I pushed off the ground and swung my right foot towards Azaiah’s face the moment I had stabilized myself. He swiftly dodged my foot and swung at me with his fist. I grabbed ahold of it and twisted his wrist to defend myself.

Due to this thing not actually being an angel, he didn’t yelp out in pain, but I could tell that I had decently inconvenienced him. With his other hand free, he decided to take a jab at my stomach, which then freed him from my grasp. I growled angrily and flung my human-made jacket off from my shoulders. My ice wings fanned out to their full capacity as a threatening challenge. This thing wasn’t getting off easy.

Denjo then proceeded to step in and throw out an attack of his own. I nearly kicked him in the shoulder as he skids in front of me and shot Azaiah in the chest with some sort of dark plasma. Azaiah flung backward as a hole burned through his chest. The plasma sizzled obnoxiously as it clung to his insides. Black blood was spewing out of the wound, and it appeared as if he could not control it. I watched as he tried to cover himself up with hand crafted particles, but to no avail. The particles simply dissipated at the touch of this burning substance.

“What did you do?” I asked in a concerned voice. I wanted to injure him, sure, but this looked cruel.

Denjo didn’t answer me. He knocked Azaiah down and pinned his neck to the dungeon floor. The creature made an angry attempt at kicking Denjo away, but his efforts were useless. Denjo’s left hand began to glow a deep crimson color as he hovered it above Azaiah’s face.

“Where are the rest of you?” Denjo demanded.

“I could… ask you… the same thing,” Azaiah choked. His comment only made Denjo tighten his grasp.

I shivered at the sound of its voice. It sounded just like the real Azaiah, and it almost made me wish I was in Denjo’s place strangling the life out of him.

“Answer me, and I will spare your life,” Denjo said.

“Nonsense…” he began, “I’m going to die… here… either way.”

Denjo clearly did not like that answer, as he then proceeded to singe Azaiah’s neck with his plasma covered hand. Azaiah struggled to release himself from Denjo’s grasp, but that only made Denjo clamp down harder. The plasma burned deep enough to expose blood, which then caused him to revert back to his particle state. However, in the process of devolving, the plasma burned away his particles as he lost his form. Frustrated, the Aejin pulled itself back together as a survival tactic.

“If you revert, my dark energy will sear your particles, and you will cease to exist. Now tell me where your kind is, and I will release you from this agony.”

Azaiah grunted in pain, which was out of character for the Aejin species. I watched as the creature coughed up blood and spat it in Denjo’s face. Denjo instinctively released him from his grasp to wipe his eyes, giving Azaiah the perfect opportunity to spring out from underneath him. I shot a beam of ice directly into his face the moment he reached my line of fire. My ice-shrouded Denjo’s plasma on his face, causing it to freeze over and harden before crumbling away.

“Thanks, S,” Azaiah snarkily remarked. My eyes flashed with anger as those two words left his mouth. I flung myself forward to bash his skull in but was abruptly halted by Denjo stepping in the way.

“It’s not who you think it is. This is an Aejin. Don’t let it get inside your head,” Denjo reminded me.

I grumbled and stepped around him. Even though he was right, I still wanted to use this opportunity to release my pent up anger upon him. The Aejin and I simultaneously crafted our own weapons from our hand magic. I challenged the Aejin’s black dagger with an elegant, icy sword. The Aejin hunched down and lunged towards my lower torso in an attempt to knock me down. However, I managed to block his attack with my blade and swiftly slide out of the way.

In the split second Azaiah was facing away from me, I raised my sword and struck him in the back with it. He collapsed onto the dungeon floor, splattering black ink across the room as he hit the pavement. I rose my arm up to protect my eyes from being doused with Aejin blood. Azaiah groaned as he lied face down, acting like a helpless victim. I rolled my eyes and pressed my foot down on top of the wound that I had just sliced open on his back.

“Leave it,” Denjo said as he placed a hand on my shoulder. I flinched and instinctively pulled away from his touch, to which Denjo leaned forward and placed his hand on my shoulder once again more gently. He then teleported the both of us back to the other side of the glass barrier before letting go.

“Evidently, this creature has no reason to give us information. It’s willing to die to protect its kind. Therefore, if we ‘let it escape,’ we can trace it to the location we are seeking,” he explained.

I narrowed my eyes in annoyance. Denjo was absolutely correct, but this plan would involve spending more time in his presence, and it did not follow the agreement we had made just ten minutes ago. However, it did give me a huge Aejin lead, which is what the chief ultimately wanted. So I took a deep breath and gave Denjo a nod.

“Alright, let’s do that then.”

“Really? Even though it would involve another public interaction with an angel like me?” Denjo asked smugly.

“This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind, but if it gets us closer to eliminating these mind controlling bastards, then so be it.”

 

 

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