It is said that the Chosen of Regeneration is born with a Cruxis crystal in hands. That is not entirely true. Since four thousand years ago, the church of Martel has been in charge of both marriages and births, in its relentless search of a perfect vessel for its Goddess. The parents of said chosen ones usually come to terms with that destiny, moved by their faith. However, the are occasions, exceptions within the norm, in which they struggle and fight until the very end. This is the Tale of one of them.
Frank entered home after a hard day seeding the orchard in Iselia, the oracle’s village. A small place, with barely half a dozen houses and twenty inhabitants at most. It was a lot bigger in the past, but the constant Desian attack’s had eventually undermined the number of both houses and people. When someone was taken to the human ranch, their relatives would usually keep their rooms as they were for a few months, even years sometimes but, eventually, they would face the truth: They would never see their loved ones again. Unless they themselves did not end at the farm as well, that is.
Thus, the amount of food required to fee the entire population decreased over time, to the point in which one person alone could take care of the matter. In fact, a different one was in charge of the task every day, with the exception of the mayor, who was busy visiting the human ranch to make sure he met the Desian demands. To try and make a non-aggression pact. Everyone in Iselia knew that was a constant humiliation for the mayor, who had no choice but to bow his head and comply. Frank was worried that the persistent wounding of the mayor’s pride would eventually turn him into a gray person, but that was beyond his control.
Frank greeted and kissed Nicolette, his wife, who had been bearing their child for some months. If the baby was a boy, his name would be Frank, just as his father. If the baby was a girl, her name would be Colette. Whispers from the outside crept into the house. Frank thought the Desians were back at it. A shiver ran down his spine as knuckles knocked on the door. He opened and was stunned. Who stood before them was not a Desian, but a man dressed in green, with blond hair long white wings. It was an angel.
—My name is Remiel. The child your wife is expecting is mine —he said.
—You mean that the baby…?
—It’s the next Chosen of Regeneration.
Remiel came back seven months later and took Nicolette to Martel’s temple. She did not once refuse, for she saw her child as symbol of hope, an horizon that outlined a better future. A future free of Desians and without human ranchs. Frank could not bring himself to refuse. Who would dare contradict the church of Martel, a symbol of prosperity? Nicolette began to walk behind Remiel, who flew close to the ground.
—Excuse me, but could we go a little slower? I can’t keep up.
—There’s no time left. I don’t want to have the baby midway —replied Remiel.
—I thought angels knew everything.
—Sometimes Martel’s wishes aren’t clear.
The two of them kept going towards the temple. The wild monsters fled in terror as soon as they made eye contact with the angel. Nicolette thought his sacred aura was what kept them away and wondered if her baby would ever wield such power.
Martel’s temple was a chapel that looked smaller than it actually was. Only priests, angels and the Chosen of Regeneration could enter. Anyone from outside the church was forbidden under regular conditions. There was a long staircase that Remiel flew over without issue. Nicolette climbed at her own pace, holding on to the handrail and, to Remiel’s surprise, without asking for help.
—We’re almost there —he said when Nicolette caught up to him.
Remiel guided her to a “teleporter.” Normally it would have led to the altar room, where the chosen received the oracle, but right then it was programmed to send them to Welgaia, a city filled with angels flying all over the place and under a blanket of stars. In Welgaia, doors opened of their own accord and something Nicolette could only describe as living carpets carried boxes, furniture or, in this case, visitors.
Remiel escorted her into a white room that smelled like disinfectant, a scent unrecognizable to Nicolette. In the center there was a green and blue capsule. Next to it there was a table with surgical instruments. Another two angels pushed Nicolette inside. The capsule began to rotate until achieving a horizontal position. Nicolette began to feel the pain from childbirth a few seconds later.
—Push! Push! —repeated one of the angels.
After much effort, blood, sweat and tears, Nicolette gave birth to a baby girl. A blonde-haired, blue-eyes girl. Colette. One of the angels took the newborn in his arms and handed her to Remiel.
—Lord Yggdrasill will be pleased. Good work.
Nicolette watched dumbfounded. Remiel left before she could say anything. Suddenly, a sensation invaded her body. A premonition or, rather, a bad feeling. The feeling of not seeing Colette again. Nicolette rose from the capsule, panting. The two angels blocked her way.
—Where are you taking my daughter?
—It’s no longer your daughter, lower life form —replied one of the “angels.”
Nicolette grabbed a scalpedl from the table and stabbed one of them in the face without hesitation. Blood gushed out of the angel’s cheek as he writhed in pain while holding his hand against his face. His companion tried to help him and Nicolette took advantage of the moment to chase after Remiel.
Dozens of angels gazed at her, astonished. The last time someone had offered resistance was so long ago that none of the inhabitants of Welgaia could remembered it. Only an angel wearing a black armor and helmet reacted.
—Don’t let her escape!
Nicolette ran, holding the scalpel with both hands. She was so tired that her eyesight was getting blurry. She ran alongside the conveyor belt, dodging the dark-armored angel and injuring a few others. Nicolette managed to advance to a moving platform that let into another “teleporter.” However, it activated before she could use it. Remiel appeared before here, once again. Colette was nowhere to be seen.
—Give me back my daughter!
—You have fulfilled your function, filthy human.
Nicolette attacked Remiel with the scalpel.He disappeared and reappeared, grabbing her by the wrist and forcing her to drop the weapon. The other angels caught up with them, surrounding the mother of the Chosen.
Two Desians pushed Nicolette towards Iselia’s human ranch. Nicolette felt to the ground and tried to stop the falling with her cuffed hands. She felt an indescribable pain throughout her body. One of the Desians forcibly lifted her by one arm. Nicolette answered with a headbutt that knocked him to the ground. The other Desian tried to restrain her by wrapping his arm around her neck. Nicolette bit his hand with all her might, tearing off a chunk and spitting it out a few feet away.
—You’ll pay for this!
—You already took the only thing I care about —Nicolette thought.
The doors of the human ranch opened to let Lod Forcystus out. He was a green-haired half-Elf with a cannon for an arm and a patch over his right eye. Forcystus surveyed the scene with deep disgust.
—I was wondering what was taking you so long and look what I found. Aren’t you ashamed that a mere human is giving you so much trouble?
—My thoughts exactly —Nicolette replied.
—I see your tongue is as dangerous as yourself. I’ll prepare a special punishment for you.
Frank kept counting the days since Remiel had taken Nicolette away. Was it normal for them to take so long? He did not know. He didn’t know anyone else who had been parent to a chosen one. As much as he tried to keep his mind busy by reading or cleaning the house, he couldn’t. He was engulfed on his own thoughts when someone knocked at the door, making his heart skip a beat. Frank rushed to the entrance, eager to see Nicolette. However, on the other side of the wooden door, there was only Remiel. He carried a girl with blue eyes and blond hair wrapped in a blanket.
—Your wife passed away after giving birth.
Frank took his little girl onto his arms and pressed her gently against his chest. Silent tears felt down his face.
—Colette —he whispered.
The baby spluttered. A smile appeared across her father’s face. Frank noticed that Colette was holding something in a clenched fist. Frank looked at Remiel searching for an answer.
—It’s the Cruxis crystal. She was born with it. I need to take it with me until the right time comes.
—Un-understood —Frank stammered.
Frank tried to open Colette’s hand, but she resisted with all the strength a baby was capable of. Careful not to hurt her, Frank opened his daughter’s hand and took the Cruxis crystal from her and give it to Remiel. As soon as the Cruxis crystal left her hand, Colette began to cry.