WHAT IF? (SIDE STORY)

Side Story on how Angel’s Shadow lost one, but promised to protect the other.

ILLUSIONER FILE : ANGEL’S SHADOW

My body lurched forward to the sound of thunder crackling in the air. The blankets and pillows on my bed were scattered across the floor while the sheet below me was wet from sweat.

Another nightmare…

Rubbing my eyes, I got up and walked out of my room and into the small hallway leading to some stairs.

Colver and I just moved into a new house, thanks to Davemen. He helped by sending his men to go house scouting for us. I told him that our old place was fine… Well, it did have a few holes, a couple missing walls and doors, part of the roof was destroyed, but it kept us warm.

The place we are at now… Isn’t the best, but better than all of the problems that we had back in our old place. Close to the water and forest, while also close to the streets. Either way, I am still trying to find a way to say thanks to Davenmen.

I smiled as once I made my way down, I saw Cyril, Ashton, and Devyn chatting away in the front room talking about the last game of Last Hour Rush. The three were visiting as we just moved in and were sleeping over.

The holoscreen glowed, turning the room into an array of colors. I could smell the cigarette that Devyn was smoking as well.

“I thought I said no smoking past one in the morning?” I called out, getting a running start before launching myself over the couch top and onto the pillows in front of Cyril, “Pass me one.”

“No smoking past one.” Devyn mocked as he handed me one, “What are you doing up?”

“I could ask you all the same thing.” I retorted as I lit the cigarette and brought it to my lips, “So…?

“Birdie here doesn’t like thunder, so I thought some food was a good idea. So, I’m using your stove to make some pasta. Boiling water now.”

“Hold long ago was that now?” Cyril spoke up.

“About an ho-” In that instant Devyn got up and took off towards the kitchen.

“And you like him?” I harshly whispered towards Ashton, who in turn gave me a shy smile and a nervous laugh.

“Bloody hell! Better ask Davenmen for a new stovetop! Got caught on fire!”

“How does one fuck up boiling water for pasta? And even set fire to said water!” I shouted, getting up as I heard thunder cackle again and a loud thud from upstairs.

I turned to look at Ashton and Cyril before sighing and made my way back to the creaky stairwell.

Slowly walking up the stairs, I could hear whimpers coming from Colver’s room. His door was slightly open and Glacia, small albino fawn walked out and ran out towards me.

Shaking my head, I patted Glacia’s head before heading towards the room.

“Colver?” I called out, knocking on the door frame as I did, “Is everything alright?”

No answer.

Why do I bother asking?

“I’m gonna come in, okay?” Slowly, I walked in and saw Colver hiding under his bed.

Walking over, I crouched down and laid onto my stomach. Looking towards Colver, I gave him a soft smile, “Come on. You can sleep in my room, okay?”

As I helped him out, we walked out and over to my room.

“Was it the thunder,” I held up one finger, “or a nightmare,” I held up two, “or maybe both?” Three.

Three.

“Okay. Go get under the covers and I’ll grab a book to read.”

This was normal.

Soon after he got into the bed and I grabbed a book, he was already asleep.

Okay… That’s new, but fine.

I placed the book on the nightstand closest to him and leaned over to kiss his forehead. Glacia ran in and hopped onto my bed, plopping down next to Colver.

Sighing, I walked towards the porch. I leaned against the fence and slid down. My head turned to watch the streets and rain.

I could hear Ashton tell Devyn to not burn the water again and Devyn denying that it even caught on fire. While Cyril joked about Devyn being a hot head.

This is new. But this scenario is still the same.

This scenario happened for a month now and I don’t blame Colver… It’s been that long since Oliver’s death.

Oliver was sickly, but unlike Colver, that never stopped him from playing. He was sweet and social. Always said hi to everyone as we walked through the streets. Always gave some of his food to others and always had a smile on his face.

But, the sickness won and made him bedridden for weeks. And that was when the raid came… On their birthday too.

It was supposed to be small… No, they brought half their guards to catch one damn illusioner who was stupid enough to try to kill a councilman on live tv. He was a fool that caused the death of many innocent illusioners.

Apparently gang leaders were supposedly hiding the guy and thus they raided many houses.

And I remember most of this clearly as this was what prompted Davenmen to give us a new home.

I was out getting medicine when I heard of the raid. Colver and Oliver were back at our house with my A.I, Gentian Sage or G.S for short, watching them. Keeping me updated from time to time about their illness.

I didn’t think that we were going to be one of the first ones until shooting broke out. Despite me being streets away, I could hear the echo and took off running, praying that they haven’t entered the house yet.

Sounds of thunder echoed in the air as well despite the clear sky. I continued on. If I remember right, we had a bad drought with heavy heatwaves. Other than that I did remember my feet burning on the road when my sandals fell off.

Please please please ple-

“Oliver!” I screamed as soon as I saw his body lying in a small pool of blood. He was curled up, his back towards me, but Colver nowhere to be seen. But, what was seen were the damned guards.

“No… No no no no no!” I shoved my way past the guards and cradled Oliver in my arms, holding him tight, “You fucking murderers… Why kill a kid?”

“Tch.” One of the guards clicked his tongue, “That ain’t a kid. He’s a monster like you and every single fucking illusi-Ack!” He gagged as a shadow wrapped around his neck tightly and lifted him up. The others looked on, shocked.

Kill them…

“Monster? Us? No…” I spoke softly as I laid Oliver’s body on the ground. Slowly I got up, “The only monster I see are you all…”

They deserve it.

The guard was dropped to the ground, limp.

“You fucking bitch!” Another ran at me.

Quickly I dodged and appeared next to him. Using my shadows, I created Queen and King, my pistols, I shot him twice in the chest, once he turned to face me and twice right in the head. Jumping back, the pistols dispersed before the shadows formed again into Angel’s Sorrow, my scythe and chain.

The guards when to fight me. One by one, they went down.

One had the chain wrapped around his neck, choking him out before releasing him as he went limp before sending the blade into his chest.

Another got punched in the stomach which another was kicked in the chest. Angel’s Sorrow disappeared before I took out my daggers, Keys of Checkmate, and stabbed the two.

There was more than I first saw. One of them must have taken off to get back-up.

Normally, I would’ve done Checkmate Blackout, but I guess my anger, fear, and the voice took over when I felt my own blade slice the mark on my right shoulder and blood drip down to my fingertips.

Heh…

Baneful Reach was summoned and instead of being black like my other shadows and all the other times I used it, it was a blood red.

“You fucking monster! We’ll kill you for sure! Shoot at will!”

The bullets never even reached me.

Let’s show them something.

“You want to see a monster? Well look in the mirror.” I hissed, “Because…” Black angel wings formed onto my back, “I…” I lifted myself in the air, “am…” Baneful Reach now raised above my head, “not…” A crown of shadows floated above my head, “a damn…” I brought Baneful Reach down, fast, “monster!” Flying down, Baneful Reach sliced five in the stomach, two by their necks, three in their arms and legs, before a spiral of shadows followed after me, effectively hitting all of them.

I landed softly onto the ground when Cyril arrived and that was when the wave of realization hit.

What… Have… I… Done…

You mean we…

Tears were streaming down my face as he ran up to hold me.

“I… I… They didn’t…. But I-” I couldn’t even say anything in a complete sentence before breaking down into more tears.

“Sh…” His hold grew tighter as we slowly knelt to the ground, “Just rest…”

I remember waking up in my room and seeing Julio over me, to be what I assume to be waiting for me to wake up.

The faint sounds of the names, Luis, Kenta, and Kamryn echoed into my ears as Julio helped me sit up on my bed.

When the sudden memory of Oliver came to mind, I launched myself off the bed and was about to take off through the door when Julio grabbed me and pulled me into a hug.

“I’m sorry… He’s gone.”

I shoved myself away from him and screamed, “That’s not true! Why are you lying to me!”

Tears streamed down my face as I continued to scream at Julio. He just took it.

When Kamryn, Luis, and Kenta got to my room, they watched in silence as I started to weakly punch against Julio’s chest.

He grabbed my wrists and stared down at me. I think that Kamryn gave a hushed warning to Julio because he was never to rough with me or any other of our friends.

“Oliver. Is. Dead. And there’s nothing any of us can do about it! Cyril told us to come here because he would tell the others to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else. So just fucking deal with it.” His voice was stone cold and harsh, but it did make me stop.

“Julio…” Kenta whispered before walking towards us and hugging me as she led me to Kamryn, “You and Luis help the others take out the guards. Kamryn and I will be with her.”

The two walked off as Kenta and Kamryn led me down the hall.

“Colver is hurt, but he’s healing well.” Kenta started, “He just woke up from resting.”

“We thought that it would be better for you to see him first before Ol- him…” Kamryn added.

We were at the door and once it opened there Colver stood, waiting for me since he ran right towards me and started crying. He’s only two and a half… He shouldn’t go through this.

All I did was kneel down to his height before wrapping my arms around him.

“It’s just us now… And I will protect you.”

“That’s a promise…”

The loud echo of the grandfather clock woke me from my memories and a small face came into view.

“Oh. Hey bud.” I gave a dim smile, “I was just lost in thought, that’s all.”

Colver flashed me a frown, but as usual said nothing before walking back in then out of the room with a blanket, book, cookie tin, and three chocolate milks in hand with Cyril following.

Cryil nodded as he sat next to me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder.

I watched as Colver placed the cookie tin, chocolate milks, and book down. He sat down between Cyril and I, threw the blanket over us and reached over to grab the other things.

He handed me the book as he opened the cookie tin and placed it on his lap before handing Cyril and I the other chocolate milks.

Leaning against me, he took out a cookie to give to Cyril before grabbing one himself and nibbled on it while I opened the book and started to read.

“Once upon a time, there was a fox…”

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