I'll never forget the day I was goofing off at that food stall. I believe I had an apple in my hand, and like usual, I was flirting with some girl. It always came naturally to me—getting girls, that is.
This wasn't my first time at the local market, either. It was the best place to see new faces, and some fresh blood.
But I was shocked at what I found on this day. The most beautiful girl—scratch that, the most beautiful anything, I'd ever seen in my life. Her long, white hair gracefully blew in the gentle breeze; her eyes were large and crystal blue. My life stood in place, and time stopped. For the first time ever, I felt nervous about approaching this person. I didn't think varothan could have white hair, but she was clearly a varothan nonetheless.
Usually, it'd take everything to shut me up, but this was something else.
“Pull yourself together, Vivan. You can do this.” I gave myself a little pep talk and proceeded to move forward, completely ignoring the girl I had been speaking with. She must have found me so odd. It wouldn't have been the first time though. Upon taking that step forward, I noticed three thugs approaching the varothan girl.
One spoke loudly, so that everyone in the area could hear him, “Hey, pretty lady. Why don't you spend some time with us?” The man smiled, showing his missing teeth and fang. The two other guys he was with laughed, and seemed thrilled.
The girl spoke, her voice graceful as a breeze, “Please, let me go. I have flowers if you want one.” She pulled a flower from her basket and attempted to hand it to the man.
“I don't want some silly flowers. I want you.” The man creepily pulled her in close. I couldn't just watch this happen. Without thinking a moment further, my hand was on this man's shoulder. I said with no hesitation, “Let go of her, or you're going to regret it.”
In hindsight, I wish I had said something more clever, but I don't always choose to say these things, they just come out. The thug seemed disgruntled. He turned with a menacing expression and spoke the words, “You'd best get going, little man, or me and my friends are going to have to kill your ass.” He pulled a dagger from a sheath.
Within a moment of his threat, I managed to take the knife from him and cut him from the belly button up to his collar, not leaving any fatal damage, but causing a tinge of blood to peek through the newly formed crimson crack on his chest. He staggered backward, giving me just enough time to punch him in the throat. His friends tried attacking me next, but I ducked under their advances. The two buffoons wound up hitting one another instead.
“Come with me,” I said with a smile to the beautiful lady. She smiled and said, “Sure.”
We ran for a few minutes—we really didn't need to, though, I just loved having an excuse to hold her hand. It was as soft as I'd imagine a cloud being. I'm not going to lie, I was so in love. If you'd ever told me before that you believed in love at first sight, I would have laughed at you, but now, no way in hell.
“So, what's your name?” the girl said. I was stunned as she spoke to me. I froze and didn't say a word.
She spoke again, “Come on, tell me your name, silly.”
“Oh, yeah, my bad. My name is Vivan.”
“Well hello, Vivan, it's a pleasure to meet you. And your last name?”
“My last name?” I was puzzled. No one had ever really asked me for my last name before. “I... actually don't know my last name. I'm an orphan and have never known my family, so I just go by Vivan.” I could tell that hearing this news made her a bit sad, so I tried lightening the mood. “Well, what about your last name? I want to know yours, since you asked me for mine,” I said.
She smiled, “My name is Eve. As for my last name, I don't know mine either.”
“What! You don't know yours either?”
“No, I can't say I do.”
I thought this was quite interesting. Maybe she grew up in a similar situation to mine? I didn't know. What I did know, however, was that I didn't want to press her for any information she was uncomfortable sharing. Without wanting to waste any time, I spoke again.
“So, Eve, first of all, I love your name. It's incredibly beautiful and I've never met a varothan with such a name.” Eve look flattered. “Second of all, I'd like to show you something I think you'll absolutely love.”
Looking back at this moment, Eve seemed to have had something weighing on her, but I was too blinded at the time to see it. She smiled and simply said, “Sure!”
I took her to the peaks, my favorite spot to relax and get out of my head. This was the spot where the twin moons shined down the light of the angels, cascading over the otherwise dark sea. The light glimmered on its surface. Eve smiled, the light reflecting in her eyes.
Amazed, she spoke, “I've never seen anything like this.” Her expression was childlike, pure and entirely happy. This was truly a sight to behold, made only better by the presence of her.
I'd usually go in for a kiss at this moment, but whether it was because of her astounding beauty or this being the one time I was truly fearful of messing up, I just decided to let this moment sink in. After an hour of talking passed, she told me she had to return home. She thanked me for everything and gave me the best hug I'd ever receieved.
Before I could think to say anything else, she was gone, and I had forgotten to get any information on where she resided.
“Great. How am I supposed to find her again?” I thought to myself. I spent the next few weeks going to the same market over and over agan, but with no luck. I hadn't ever really felt like something was missing before... but now, I felt incomplete. I just couldn't stop thinking about her.
Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, I did manage to find her again. It was a cold night, one on which barely anyone was at the market. I was just about to leave until I heard a soothing voice, paralyzing me and my heart.
I turned to face her again. Eve.
“Eve! It's you!” Without even thinking, I dashed up the stairs she was standing atop of. I picked her up and spun her around, then set her back down directly in front of me.
“I missed you,” I told her.
“I missed you too, Vivan,” she replied. I was shocked. Everything about this was so unconventional. Everything was so off from how traditional dating would go, yet things couldn't have felt more right. We must have looked into each other's eyes for a minute, but it felt like an eternity, and I would have gladly surrendered my life to continue looking into those eyes.
Eve broke the silence. “Vivan.” She paused, before continuing, “Will you please show me where you stay?”
I was so confused by her, but I was also enthralled. I replied, “Sure,” in my un-snarkiest possible tone.
We headed back to my place. I was living in a one room shack, basically. It was nothing special—quite the opposite, in fact. I only had a bed, a table, some supplies, and two windows.
“So, why did you want to come here?” I asked her.
“I feel so empty without you,” she told me. I was surprised she was so forward. For some guys, talking like that would turn them away so fast; otherwise, they would take advantage of a girl like this. Regardless, I felt the same way, and I told her so. We locked eyes yet again and kissed.
After this had gone on for a time, I took my shirt off, and Eve could then see there were some cuts on me. She touched my chest with her hand and glided it across, completely healing all wounds—even scars. I was amazed.
“Wow. I've been to some of the best seraphs, but I've never seen healing like that before.”
The rest of the night I remember in vivid detail, but I'm going to skip over that for you, or else it'd make this story a fifty page novel.
As we fell asleep next to each other, the last words she said to me were,
“Thank you, Vivan. Thank you for everything, and for being my everything.”
When I awoke, she was gone, and I was hurt. I had no idea how she could have left without waking me up.
I ran outside, “Eve!” I shouted like a moron, as if she was just going to be standing right outside. God, how I wished that were the case.
I spent the next few days putting my skills to the test. I managed to find out that she resided inside Ravnos's Castle. This was puzzling to me. “Could she be related to the king?” I wondered.
I snuck my way inside the castle, knowing that if I were caught, Ravnos would have me killed. Not only that, but Ravnos wasn't the nicest of kings. He'd probably have me fed to genetically mutated lykanthropes, or used as target practice for the squires and knights. None of it mattered. I had to get to the bottom of this.
As I crept my way through the tunnels, I heard a grizzled older man's voice say, “Eve is ready. Be sure to bring the necessary materials to the laboratory, and don't be late.”
“The laboratory,” I thought. Despite being terrible with directions, I managed to wind up at the laboratory, whether it have been through sheer luck, dumb coincidence, or cruel misfortune.
I peeked around the corner and saw Eve in a cylindrical chamber with some sort of clear casing. Crystal shards were covering her body, leaving only the shoulders and up exposed.
“What is this scientist doing?” I thought to myself. I went to go for a throwing dagger to aim at the scientist, but I felt a hand grab me. It was a captain of the Blood Crown.
“I wouldn't do that if I were you,” he said. He then locked my arm in place and forced me to move out from around the corner, in the presence of both Eve and the scientist.
“Let go of me!” I exclaimed. Eve seemed shocked at seeing me.
“Vivan! Why are you here? I don't want you to see me like this!” she told me.
“Eve, it's going to be okay. I'm going to get you out of there and we'll leave, together!”
The scientist opened his dumb mouth and said, “Oh, you must be a friend of hers.” His tongue danced through his gnarled teeth, and he spoke the frightening words, “You see, Eve is my precious daughter.”
I was baffled. He used this moment to continue speaking,
“Eve is my creation. I birthed her from an origin shard, the rarest and purest form of an ethereal shard. She's currently undergoing the process she was granted life for.”
I was confused, and felt so many emotions rushing forward, but I didn't care. I didn't care if Eve was artificial, or made from a shard, or whatever the hell this guy was saying.
I shouted at him, still buckled under the weight of the captain, “Listen here, doctor! Give her to me. She doesn't want this. I'll give you anything. I'll be your soldier. I'll fight for you. Kill for you. Anything!” I pleaded, with sorrow in my voice.
Eve cried porcelain tears.
The scientist's smile persisted, “I'm afraid you don't have anything worth a fraction of what Eve is worth to me. Once she's encased in this crystal, she'll begin to give birth to a new form—a better form.”
I gritted my fangs when I heard that bit, but I continued listening.
“Once Eve emerges, she won't be the same lifeform you know now. She'll be the most powerful being known to all mortals, and we'll have her under the king's control. He'll be able to take over all of Transel. He'll have the power to create new worlds, and destroy anyone who opposes him, regardless of time or dimension!”
“That's impossible!” I cried out.
The scientist sneered. “Oh, far from it. There's so much you have yet to learn, and never will learn. Kill him, Vexus.”
The captain drew his sword and said, “Gladly.” He struck the sword down at me, but I narrowly dodged the attack. I swiftly moved to the chamber that held Eve and struck it with my sword. It had no effect. The chamber was completely reinforced.
“Please, Vivan, leave, and survive,” Eve said, tears streaming down her face.
I gazed sorrowfully back at her and placed my hand on the glass. She did the same.
“I love you,” I said.
“I love you, too,” she replied.
I had to get out quickly. I was able to get beyond the clutches of Vexus and his troops, but Ravnos was now surely seeking to kill me.
I couldn't go back home. Instead, I went straight to an acquaintance of mine, who I knew had a relic called a wanderer. Upon using it, I was sent to Grimholt in Yedritch, of all places—and that's how I became the first varothan to join the Iron Guard.