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Omnia Vincit Amor

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The colour of the sky was a mystery since long ago: at first sight you could tell it was hoary, but taking a closer look resulted in noticing a bluish shade through the clouds which covered the sky so much it was impossible to discern its hue. Emil recalled the time when he was little and used to stare in awe at the shape of the clouds and the way they filtered sunlight, for hours and hours. Growing up, he learnt that that time was wasted: his brother often told him that wasn’t the real sky, but an illusion instead, something that concealed its true colour because of demons and corrupted humans. Finding out the real colour of the sky was why young Emil decided to follow in his older brother’s footsteps as Archangel, even if now his cause was a completely different one.

Said angel was diligently patrolling the surrounding area. He ran his left hand through his locks, in spite of some rebellious strands of hair which refused to stay put. Then, he pulled out a tissue and started to polish his gun, the weapon he used to wipe filthy demons clean out of existence. While he buffed it, the angel remembered when his brother’s best friend first gave it to him with a big grin fixed on his face, the present being his way of welcoming him in the team, not without first giving him a lecture about being cautious during his new job. He’d also said that gun was made by the best blacksmiths in the whole Angel Kingdom, but Emil wasn’t really sure about that, as Mathias had a thing for emphasizing everything he said. However, he was a really talented demon-slayer, so Emil respected him.

He didn’t even remember if there was a time when his brother Lukas and his peculiar friend Mathias were not together, for Emil had been seeing them together since he was able to walk. The three of them were as close as a family could possibly be and, despite his overprotective big brothers, Emil was able to pursue his own dream. There were different types of angels: seraphim and cherubim resided in the first sphere, being the most powerful as well as the purest. Dominions protected mount Solomon, which was the entrance to the Angel Kingdom. Archangels were the ones in charge of saving human souls from corruption, which led to their ban from the kingdom: they weren’t, in fact, pure enough to be allowed in, being subjected to the tarnished air of the human world. Lastly, angels were the youngest: when the time came, they could become Archangels if they possessed great combat skills, or rather Authorities if they preferred defensive artes. Everyone had their reasons. Emil did too.

The young archangel pricked up his ears: a noise had caught his attention, but he wasn’t really sure about its whereabouts. It sounded like a dog’s yelp, but Emil knew that few dogs still lived in this world, so few you could count them on the fingers of your hand. He held his gun firmly and started to breathe slower, closing his eyes, and that was when he heard that animal-like whimper again. He took a few steps towards the source of that sound: the aching being was probably in the forest. The angel hesitated before he went in as silently as he could, deciding not to use his wings: being that majestic, they could easily get in his way in such a dense forest. The more he drew near, the more he understood that it wasn’t a dog which was whining. It was a human. More precisely…

“...A child” a surprised Emil whispered, lowering his weapon. In front of him was a little girl who Emil guessed being not older than five: her right hand was tied to the lowest branch of an oak with a leather belt, her white dress was filthy and torn apart, her hair was a mess and her eyes were red and puffy from crying. With his advanced senses, Emil perceived her weak breath: that young human was barely alive. Emil frowned, how could someone do something like that to a defenseless child? The moment he had approached her, she looked at him frightened. That child seeing him meant that she was close to dying, and this made Emil grit his teeth in a motion of anger, but he did his best to look friendly. Well, as friendly as Emil could be, at least. “Don’t worry, I’m here now. I’m taking you home” he told her softly, careful not to scare her. The girl flinched; in that moment, a breeze ruffled Emil’s hair.

The sudden gust alarmed him. Emil quickly turned around, scanning the area with his anemone-coloured eyes. There was no way that wind was natural, Emil was no amateur. He held his gun again, when another breeze lifted his creamy silk blouse. Angered, Emil loaded his weapon, putting himself in front of the little girl to protect her from potential attacks. By hearing a rustle in the bushes, Emil lost his temper. “Show yourself!” he snapped without lowering his guard. A mischievous laugh came from behind the trees. That chuckle irritated Emil, it was the scornful one of those who walked in the shadows and relished on their neighbour’s misfortune: demons. His brother’s voice echoed in his head. Don’t feel any emotion. Nor excitement, nor fury. Free your soul and your mind from any feeling, be like the ice. Emil tried his best to do as he was told.

Like a panther lurking in the shadows, a silhouette emerged from darkness. Despite his presence being undetectable, few steps of the demon were enough to scare the little wildlife inhabiting the forest away. The little girl started to tremble, yet Emil was unperturbed, dismissing the shivers down his spine generated not from fear, but from anger. Moonlight revealed part of the creature’s face. Emil didn’t manage to observe him carefully because of the darkness, however it was better that way: Lukas always said that demonic charm could sometimes be so effective that it was able to lure its victim into the oblivion, forever. Even if that statement was to take with a grain of salt due to the hatred Lukas held towards Satan’s disciples, Emil wasn’t one to risk. Nevertheless, he made sure to look right into his opponent’s eyes, trying to intimidate him but also to show that he wasn’t scared of him. He couldn’t pinpoint the demon’s colours, still he noticed how his piercing eyes were almond-shaped. Tense atmosphere disappeared suddenly when the young devil broke into laughter, covering his mouth with his left hand. He bended over a little in the process, making his curved horns visible. Anyway, Emil was too irritated to notice.

“Sorry, sorry, but you should really see your face,” the laughing demon mocked waving his hands, “this wind trick An taught me truly is funny. Ah, but when you reassured the brat over there, did you, like, consider me as well? Cause I can’t believe you’d be so stupid to fall into a trap like this”. Emil pointed his gun at him, infuriated, but the demon raised his hands. “Woah, there, angel face, it’s not like I wanna fight. It’s a nuisance, you know? Actually, this whole thing was a trap, but since today I’m feeling lazy, luckily for you, hear me out: you get lost and I’ll take the bundle of joy over there, what do you sa—” he was interrupted by three firm shots in his direction, but he was able to avoid them. With hands in his pockets, the cheeky hooligan sighed. “Angels are all the same. You try to sort things out peacefully and they immediately resort to violence. And I even thought you were a special little angel. Guess I’ll, like, follow the original plan” he commented dramatically, making the same gesture he did before to lift the breeze. Confused at first, Emil jolted when he heard screaming behind him. Turning around, he saw the child holding her neck with her free hand, making choking sounds while an invisible grip pressed against her throat.

“Stop this immediately, you damn beast!” Emil ordered. The other one smirked. “Even if I, like, really fancy animals, I’d rather you call me by my name. And for your information, it’s Kaoru. Nice to meet you” he introduced himself without ceasing to torture the little girl. Emil looked daggers at him, knowing that ‘Kaoru’ couldn’t possibly be his true name, because someone who knew a demon’s true name became their master. During his studies, Emil once read that a long time ago, when demons were angels capable of love, revealed their true name to their soulmate. Not that Emil ever believed that. Regarding angels, only Seraphim and Cherubim were so powerful to own a true name. “I couldn’t care less” was in fact the stern reply from the young archangel, in the process of recharging his gun. He knew what Kaoru wanted to do: fight for the soul of the little girl. “You’re a rude angel face, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun” the other one calmly asserted, not moving a muscle. Emil shot him with three bullets filled with Holy Water. Afterwards, he observed the cloud of smoke generated from the impact. It was over.

Or so he thought. The smoke wasn’t generated by the impact, rather by the fact that they were evaporated — well, Kaoru vaporised them. At least now Emil knew that Kaoru was a fire demon. And yet, despite this great power, some Holy Water drops had landed on his left arm, which was being held by the other one in pain. Emil stepped forward triumphantly, but stopped in his tracks when he saw the cold gaze of who before was a playful demon. Emil gulped. “Not bad, angel face. Now you can go show off your first victory. Lemme give you a present to celebrate” Kaoru hissed, proceeding to touch the ground with his uninjured hand. Then he quickly flew away, disappearing as fast as he had appeared. “Come back, you coward!” Emil yelled, failing to notice the little flames Kaoru had created in the ground. The angel shook his head and calmly worked on the belt that trapped the girl who had passed out. He panicked when the flames now engulfed the entire forest. Coughing and mentally cursing Kaoru, Emil managed to free the child: picking her up, he soared towards the sky.

Looking at the view underneath, Emil grinned: yes, he’d definitely show off his victory.