Thirty-years ago - Ahe’ey
On her fourteenth birthday, Sky chased Gabriel through the woods with her sword in hand. Her body had blossomed during the four years she had lived in the forest with the Ange’el. Sky's curves of fertility softened a muscular frame capable of defying and destroying any creature that stood in her way. She climbed, jumped and ran with the ease and ability of a demigoddess. Her feet barely touched the ground as she followed her cousin up the mountain. He stopped, turned around, and used his foot to roll a large boulder in her direction. She jumped to one side, rolling from the ground straight to her feet. He ran toward her, striking from above with his sword as she defended the blow using a fallen branch. He rotated around himself, pulling the sword away from the branch to strike her close to her neck. He chopped off one of her copper braids and stopped the blade just as it kissed his cousin’s skin.
Gabriel laughed as he kneeled to pick up the fallen braid. As the Ange’el stood up, Sky gripped the hilt of her sword with both of her hands and thrust the blade upwards towards his neck. He jumped back. Sky threw her sword to the side, jumped toward him, spun around and used the impact of her full body to hit him in the face with her elbow. As he fell to the ground, she placed her knee on his chest.
“I surrender mighty warrior,” he said laughing, pulling her body toward him and wrapping his arms around her. He hugged her tightly as she lay down, placing her head on his shoulder. The Ange’el looked at the sky as he touched his throbbing jaw. Sky saw his cyan eyes turn dark as clouds moved to cover the sun. She lifted her hand from his chest to touch his face as he abruptly jumped to his feet.
“Let’s go swimming at the lake.” There was no warmth in his voice. He started walking fast. Sky got up, confused by his reaction and followed a few metres behind him. Gabriel looked back to find her and saw four large Hu’urei approach her from behind.
“Sky, behind you.” He held the grip of his sword, took one step toward the girl and stopped.
She unsheathed her sword and turned to face the Hu'urei that ran toward her.
“A royal womb. This one is mine,” said one of the men as he jumped toward her with his sword above his head. Sky rolled on the ground and planted her dagger in his gut as another Hu’urei jumped in her direction and pierced her thigh with his sword. She screamed in agony and for a second looked back in search of Gabriel. He stood motionless away from her. What are you doing? She thought.
“Don’t kill the Yi’ingo; she can’t bear our offspring if she is dead,” shouted Iblis.
Sky stood up, keeping her weight on her good leg. Like her mother before her, she faced men who were three times her size and towered over her. The scars on their faces showcased their rank in society; their bodies did not regenerate as well as the children of the royal bloodline. They lacked the perfection and the beauty of those who carried pure genes.
Where are you? Sky thought, waiting for her cousin to jump to her rescue, but as she looked back once again, he was gone. Biting her lip to contain the pain in her leg, she jumped between two of the men, using her small size and flexibility. The Hu'urei turned to face her. She curled her body, rolled to a standing position and jumped high. The Yi'ingo swung her sword from left to right and decapitated the man. She trembled with the adrenaline that rushed through her body. It was the first time she had killed a human being.
Gabriel, where are you? Tears flooded her eyes as she faced the final Hu’urei, the largest of them all. The enraged man looked at the dead bodies of his companions. He locked his teeth so tight that the veins in his neck promised to burst at any moment. The man that lay on the ground bleeding from an open wound in his gut screeched like a pig. The high pitched noise was unbearable.
Sky looked up to face her opponent and locked eyes with him. She recognised him as the leader of the group that had kidnapped her mother and sister. She looked at Iblis and jumped to the left to bury her sword in the heart of the man that lay on the floor. She killed him instantly. Then she dipped her hand in his wound and licked the blood. Again, she sank her hand into the blood and used four fingers to paint lines on her face. Sky's defiant eyes locked on her enemy. Iblis took a few steps backwards, shaken by the fearlessness and savagery of the girl. He sheathed his sword and ran in the opposite direction, away from her.
Sky scanned the forest looking for other signs of danger. She found none. The Yi’ingo grabbed her stomach and threw up. Her body trembled, and her mind raced. Falling to her knees, she lay on the ground between the corpses of the three dead Hu’urei. The young woman burst into tears, shaken by the experience. She felt abandoned and betrayed by the only person in the world she relied on.
Sky and Gabriel never spoke about the Hu’urei attack. On that day, Sky's grandmother, Amalia, the Queen, took Sky back to Yi’ingo. A year later, the young woman became their military leader and commander, leading them into battle against the Hu’urei.
On the same day that Sky left Ange'el, Gabriel’s parents, Viviane and Marcus, sent him to New York City. The young Ange'el emerged from the Bethesda Fountain on the night of the last full moon in 1984.