• ~In the beginning~

    1,000 years ago.

    So, in the end, they'd taken him in. Personally, Vires didn't see why the elders had taken pity on the fallen angel. He and a group of people that had agreed mused that perhaps the village had given him sanctuary because the gods wouldn't...and from now on nobody else ever would. Oh well.

    Vires wasn't particularly angry at Aries for his part in the end result that was his cruel fate. He was, however, wary of the gods of Asgard looking at their village unfavorably for this. Not like they could reach the Sprite dimension of Yumira at the moment, but Vires was ever fearful that they'd find a way to get in just to punish them for harboring the traitor. To hell with the people who said he was being paranoid, why were the Yumil - his own people - taking such a foolhardy risk?

    And, what's more, why was he one of those assigned to taking care of the fallen angel during his recovery? His mind swirling with dark thoughts, Vires entered the designated house and nodded at the witch already tending to Aries. She nodded at him and patted the patient on his head affectionately before leaving. Vires watched her leave the room before scowling. 'Hmph, I wonder if they'll still think he's so darlingly handsome when his mind returns.'

    Taking his seat next to the incoherent Aries, Vires stared into the blank eyes of the fallen angel. Those eyes were the most unsettling thing he'd ever seen in his life. Unmoving, unseeing, never blinking. They stared into space as if in contemplation, yet there was nothing thoughtful in that frozen expression. "Oy. Move or something," he commanded dully. Aries didn't respond in any way. Hell, he didn't even seem to be breathing. Vires waited a few moments, knowing that the angel would adhere to his hourly schedule of rambling. Sure enough, there it was.

    "Heavy...I can't breathe...why?" he mumbled over and over again, rearranging the words or replacing them with similar ones but never saying anything different. Vires sighed and looked away. It was always so damn depressing looking after this kid. Especially since he seemed so innocent. Well, the elders seemed to think he was, anyway. Of what sin he had committed, Vires still had no idea. It must have been terrible indeed, though, for Grim Angel Aries to have his wings torn off, powers drained, and his body wrapped in chains so thick that no living Sprite or human could ever lift it without magical assistance. Even worse, he'd been banished away from the realm of the gods. But the most horrible thing of all was that he was cursed by the cruel gods of Asgard to live eternal life in this exile - no one was foolish enough to envy Aries for such a pitiful immortal existence.

    "What did you do?" Vires wondered aloud, pitying the boy yet again despite himself. Aries grew quiet again and seemed to continue staring into space, as if asleep. Vires sighed and continued to monitor the fool. At least he wasn't on the shift that involved cleaning the body.
    After some time had passed, Vires realized he was nearing the end of his watch. Not a moment too soon, really. It had been some time since Aries had last rambled on about his tortures, and he really didn't want to stick around for it.

    "...But why? ...Fight...? The demons...did nothing..." came the nonsensical voice from the bed. Vires gritted his teeth and exited as soon as he could, allowing the fairy Sprite to take over. He walked briskly back to his hut, entering just as his grandfather was settling down on his chair.

    "Ah...you must have been relieved early today. How is the boy?" asked the old man. Part of the reason why Vires had ended up watching Aries in the first place was because of his grandfather - one of the elders. "The same," he answered. There was a nod and Vires began walking back to his room before he was stopped.

    "Pitiful, isn't it?" the elder murmured. Vires looked back and nodded at the obvious assertation. The old man sighed. "Such a kind boy...yet such a cruel fate." Vires rolled his eyes. Aries had just been exiled when he had stumbled through the forest in the world that led to the Yumira's parallel dimension - the home of Vires's people, rather. He'd probably still had enough of his mind to relate his story and beg for help. How could the kind people of his village turn down such a pitiful sight? And even after all this time, the elders still wouldn't speak of the sin Aries had committed. They had insisted that it was not their place to say.
    Vires sighed yet again. "I just don't understand...if the Grim Angel is so kind, then why was he punished so horribly?"

    There was a pause from the old man. Then: "Because a Grim Angel is one who is created by the gods to do their bidding - all of blood and war - no matter what their feelings. In that sense, Aries defied them - he turned out not to be a Grim Angel."

    Vires turned back around, absorbed the information, then walked out. Did that mean that...Aries' sin was a refusal to fight? Was that why an eternal punishment so cruel had been forced on him?

    That's when he began to truly pity Aries.
    Years passed. Aries finally recovered his mind, but still stayed in that same house. The Yumira continued to shelter him, though some doubted if they should keep him in their care forever. This did not seem to be the fallen angel's intention, however, as he could be seen struggling to walk in his chains throughout the village. Vires couldn't help but think he was somewhat just trying to stir up sympathy, although a part of him realized it was because Aries planned to leave this place. In all this time, Vires had never even spoken to the fallen angel, yet continued to watch and occasionally show up at his house (as per his grandfather's request) to check if he was keeled over under the weight of his chains or something. He would always leave promptly after receiving a curt nod, though.

    However, one day, Aries spoke to him directly. "One of your people's books...speak of rituals and other things. One interests me...may I speak to an elder of your village?" Surprised, Vires regarded him for a moment with a searching glance, as if trying to read the fallen angel's mind and figure out what he was after. Still, he conducted Aries directly to his grandfather, noticing that the angel seemed to be taking an extra effort in keeping his back straight under the heavy Chains of Conviction.

    Rather than taking him to his grandfather, Vires took him to the village chief's to save some time. The chief seemed surprised to see Aries pay him a visit, but welcomed him all the same. Vires excused himself and walked out.

    Sometime later, all the Sprites in Yumira had heard the news - Aries had requested to learn the Power of Words, which basically meant he would be infused with an influx of knowledge. Many of them did not understand why an immortal being would want such a thing. The Chains of Conviction would never leave his body unless broken by a power no mortal possessed, and such knowledge would likely be of no use since not even the Yumira knew of ways to free Aries from his torment. Still, the elders complied. Within days, Aries had completed the ritual under watch of several witches. The price of the ritual was one of his eyes - in a sense, he was giving up something permanent for something rather unneeded.

    While no one had understood the reasoning, Aries (when he was no longer writhing from the pain of having his eye gouged while in a state of consciousness) thanked them all for their aid and began to make preparations to leave. This came as a surprise to some, especially since he'd taken part in that gruesome magical ritual of theirs. They got the impression that he'd done it to join their village or something.

    Vires, however, didn't think so. He thought Aries was planning something. The fallen angel was polite and gentle enough to be sure (despite the hole where his left eye had been), but there was something hidden in his mind that he wanted no one to see. When he spoke, it was always in a timid and humble tone, yet it seemed like under that laid something dark - something that hadn't been there before. As a Grim Angel, he'd been more a saint than an agent of the gods. But now, it didn't seem like he was either. It was difficult to explain, yet it seemed most could feel it from him.

    A week after gaining the Power of Words, Aries spoke to one of the witches that checked on him. He requested a large blank tome and several of their spellbooks. The Sprite was confused as to why, but Aries insisted that it would help him leave Yumira faster. And so, after asking permission, the witch and several fairies had brought them to him. Almost immediately, Aries settled into a special chair that could support his weight and set about working. Apparently, he was copying the magical runes, incantations, and other random notes from the assorted books inside of the giant volume. It soon became apparent that Aries was making a spellbook out of their archives. The elders turned a blind eye to this and let him go about his work. Day and night, Aries worked without pause. He filled page after page until it finally seemed that he'd filled the entire thing.

    He emerged from the hut with his chains levitating around his body, the obvious effect of this magic being that his body was now lighter. The book was now chained to his waist, and he'd also gathered many different magical items from around the dimension as the research books had told him. All in all, it looked like he was ready for war. Carrying himself both urgently and confidently, he made his way to the elders and suddenly excused himself from the village. Vires was among those who watched him leave the dimension.

    Shaking his head, Vires turned to his grandfather and asked him just what they had done by allowing the Grim Angel access to their magics and history. The old man had paused as was his usual response and then spoke.

    "We've given him the tools to hasten his cruel fate, Vires," said the elder sadly, turning and slowly walking back home. He stopped and looked up at the beautiful blue sky above. "Such a kind boy..." he murmured.

    Vires disagreed. Whatever Aries had once been, he was no longer. Now existed a spirit of vengeance.

    The whole affair was indeed...pitiful.

    Key terms:

    Yumira - In a parallel dimension of the main world lies a village filled with creatures and humans known as the Yumil. They are also called Sprites.

    Sprites - A universal term for a joint group of humans and non-humans. Faries, witches, elves, etc.

    Grim Angel - Servant of the gods. They carry weapons known as Diviners with incredible power. Unfortunately, their life spans are short (excluding Aries).

    Aries - The former name of Nessiah, who exists in the events far in the future. He seeks revenge on the gods for his exile and must find a way to break his Chains of Conviction before he can do so.