The long grass slowly ebbed like a green ocean before me. I sat upright, examining the landscape, content in the comfort of home. It had been a long time since I had sat quietly on a field in peace rather than war. I examined the scars on my hands, the stories of battle worn into my flesh. I clenched my fists as the thoughts came rushing in. The horror of war, the death and destruction, filled my brain and anger took over. Rage built in me, a rage I couldnt control. I saw the faces of my friends and family fall before me, bloody mannequins that I once had a name, now simply a statistic of war. A tear slowly etches its way down my face.
My hand caressed the hilt of my blade, seeking to find this new peace I am to accept. War is over, the dead now heroes in stories; the living revered as survivors. I am just another scarred soldier with too many ghosts haunting me. My eyes clench shut as I feel the scars in my blade. My body, my weapon, my mind all scarred. I listen to the sound of my sword sliding out of its sheath. I stand quickly, my blade in hand ready for battle.
The calm grass continues to flow around me, trying to calm my damaged mind. I see dead soldiers who arent there, invading forces that dont exist. I strike quickly at the grass, green and yellow strands flying into the air then floating off on the back of the wind. I see myself surrounded, soldier everywhere, closing in on me. I strike again, a man falls to the ground. I spin and slice. Two heads that dont exist tumble from their imaginary bodies. Blood fills the air, but I know its just grass. Visions of crimson blood are replaced by the reality of green grass. The ground rumbles underneath me. This is reality, not fantasy.
A loud crack fills the air and half the sky goes red. The green grass around me starts to wilt suddenly and the smell of sulfurous gas infects the once calm scene. Overhead I see a legion of Angels streaking forward. Their harmonic battle cry ignites my most primal instinct. I look forward on the horizon, to where the blue of Bants skyline is interrupted by a blood red cloud. The ground shakes again and I am knocked from my feet. As I fall back, I see another larger group of seraphs streaking by. I flip up, back on my feet in seconds, whistling at the group of winged soldiers.
Two angels break off from their company and dive quickly toward me. I ready myself as they swoop down, their strong grip grasping my shoulders, lifting me high into the air. I feel my stomach drop out as we climb higher and higher, streaking quickly toward the other angels. From up here, the grass looks even more serene, like a great green and yellow ocean sprawled out below me. After a moment of calm, I lift my head to look forward, to where we are heading. Off to the north, contrasted against the darkening sky is a gleaming ivory castle. It is a monument to the glory of the angels who sacrificed themselves to free our people. As we got closer and closer, I could see fires ravaging the grounds around the castle. Armies of angels converged there, and ground forces seemed to be forming below.
When we got close enough, I could see what was happening. Another army, some unknown black force surrounded the grounds around the monument. I clenched my drawn sword tighter and closed my eyes. The two angels went into a dive, the charred ground now expanding below me. We swooped low and their hands released me. I dropped to the ground, in the middle of a group of beasts. They were shorter than men with thick grey skin. They had large, clumsy weapons, and barbaric looking clothing. They looked like some sort of ape, but more evolved, like some combination of man and beast. They charged at me, their clunky swords swinging wildly in the air. I strike quickly, my blade cutting through the thick necks of several monsters, their thick grey-green blood staining the worn sigils on my armor.
Suddenly more appear and I strike again and again. The fury of battle consumes my mind and I act on my own murderous instinct. Like watching from a distance, I see myself killing beast after beats, their thick fingers falling limp around their weapons as they fall to the ground. Their numbers are great, but their skill is limited. They act like they have never seen a human before. There is an air of nervousness in their clunky primitive movements. They pose no challenge, and soon stop their relentless assault on me. My sword trembles with battle, that familiar harmonic twinge I feel after a victory. Overhead I see the angels converging, a sign that they also have succeeded in stopping the assaulting forces.
I kneel, the hilt of my sword resting forcefully against my forehead as I pray. I pray to victory and the glory of battle. I pray to the angels that oversee our peace. I pray to every single exalted sigil decorating my armor. In secret, I pray that the battle never ends. Perhaps someone does listen to prayers.
Another loud crack rocks the sky and the angels disperse. A see of winged soldier fly off in assault groupings, signs that something big is coming. I hold my sword up, whistling again. A single seraph drops down, lifting me quickly into the air. I look, but what I see doesnt seem real. Collapsing down from what appears to be a fiery tear in the sky is a beast of unseen proportions. At first I think it is a large group of wurms tumbling down, but soon I come to realize the awful truth. It is a single beast, a hydra with the heads of a large wurm. A squadron of angels fly toward the closest head, their charmed arrows flinging forth like an enchanted metallic rain. They strike the beast; it lets out a thunderous roar. The head falls limp, hitting the ground. I watch as another head moves with incredible speed, snatching two or three angels out of the air. I hear their awful screams, a noise no one should ever hear.
Another group flies in raining death down on the beasts head. I point my blade forward, indicated my desire to strike. The angel carrying me moves instantly, diving toward a head. From behind us, another heads strike, grasping the wings of my transport, knocking her into an out of control spin. She lets go of me, my heavy body plummeting toward the beasts mouth. I point my sword and accept my fate. Its mouth gnashes, its bloody saliva spewing forth. I see the mouth open one last time then snap quickly shut. I crash hard in between its eyes, my blade breaking through the tough skin. My feet do not find any solid surface and I grip to the sword with my life. My body spins, my hands barely able to hold on.
I scream out as my feet finally find something to stand on. My tiny body scrambles over the rough rock-like flesh of the beasts head to find some sort of balance. I find it, climbing slowly to the brow of the eyeless head. I pull my sword from the monster and run upward, closer to the top of its head. Up here its so wide I find no trouble in keeping balance. I look up and see angels swooping down, their swords drawn. I leap with all my might as they crash into the beast, their blades tearing through its flesh like melted butter. I join in the fray, hacking my human made weapon, trying to bring this head down.
An angel falls; its limp, bloody body crashing next to me, knocking me off my feet. My sword falls from my hand, tumbling down the head of the hydra, falling quickly to the ground, some 400 feet below. I am weaponless, searching quickly for an answer. I see the blade still grasped in the fallen body of the angel. I pried the holy blade form its hand, knowing full well the blasphemy of touching an angelic blade. It ignites in my hand, burning my scarred flesh, but I persist, striking down. Blood sprays forth, the blade moving almost on its own. Inspiration fills me suddenly, my mind now fully connected with the blade.
It is said that the glory of battle is poured into every sword crafted by angelic blacksmiths. I feel that glory of battle suddenly, calm overcomes me. I leap far into the air, the head moving out from under me. I start to fall; I see the blur of the hard lashing around me. My sword strikes forth, finding the underside of the beasts jaw. I hang, my hands easily gripping the blade, not slipping or falling. I pull downwards and let gravity take control. The blade slides through the tough skin, falling slowly to the ground. A torrent of blood spills over me, the head now falls limp, taking me with it. I swing around, pulling myself to the other side of the beasts neck, the sword breaking free on my will. I leap into the air; an angel swings down and rescues me from the fatal fall.
The sky is now white and red with angels and blood. Soon their might consumes the gigantic hydra. One group completely flays the flesh from the head of the beast, a giant bloody skull tumbling from its shattered neck. I Rush from the falling hydra, toward the sacred castle. I see it crumble, shattering under the weight of one of the heads. I fall to my knees, the victory and failure wrapped in one moment. As the ivory walls crumble, the reality of the times. Its unknown what this means, but the rift is open. Monsters have entered Bant. Another tear streaks my bloody face. My prayers, unfortunately, must have been answered.