The smell of smoke… The sound of burning fire… The brightness of a large flame… To wake up to such things, it makes your heart race…
What’s going on? Where is everyone? Why is there smoke everywhere? Such thoughts rush through the mind, making one incapable of rational thinking…
It was the middle of the night. A fire broke out in the shrine, and everyone was missing from their beds. Raleigh was only 16 at the time, and the smell of smoke woke him up. He got dressed as fast as he could and rushed out of the dormitory, but managed to find no one outside. He kept calling out names of friends, of thoes he called family, but no one responded. In an attempt to find everyone, he ran to the building which was on fire. If he remembered correctly, a possessed man was brought in there yesterday. Apon entering the place, what he found was… Horrifying. Thoes he knew, thoes he loved, everywhere, motionless, dead… Raleigh couldn’t believe what he saw, he didn’t want to believe it, and ran back outside, however no matter how much he tried to deny what he saw, he knew it was reality… Then he heard a voice…
“Raleigh! Raleigh, help me!”
He turned around, seeing one of his friends in the doorway, begging him for help. But… It wasn’t normal… He… He had a hole… Through his chest… Raleigh began to scream. It was as if the other person didn’t even realize what had happened to him. Until he looked down. He realized… And that was the end of him… A black sludge sprouted from his wound and latched itself onto his torsoe, making him move in ways that did not seem normal for a human. Raleigh could only watch as his friend was possessed by a demon, by something that he was trained to defeat and never fall prey to. But all he could do is watch as he friend was now running twards him with the intent to kill…
“Yael… No… This… This can’t be happening…”
Raleigh couldn’t believe it… He closed his eyes and ran as fast as he could. He ran all the way back to the dormitory and to his room, hiding under his bed, covering his ears.
“It’s just a dream… A bad dream…”
He kept on trying to find an exit, something to show him this isn’t real. But that’s when he heard a scream.
It was Yume. Another orphan of the shrine. She was barely 8 years old and had not learn how to protect herself from demons, and Raleigh knew that. However, it still took him a few moments before he got out from under the bed and ran back outside.
“Where is she, where is she… Yume!”
He called out to her, hoping she’d respond and tell him where she was. But what he got in return was another scream. It was good enough, so Raleigh rushed to where he heard the sound coming from. He found her, cornered by yet another of his possessed friends. However, it seemed this one stayed sane.
“Urgh… R-Raleigh… I need you to… Stop me… Kill me… I’m already too far gone to be saved anymore…”
Raleigh froze for a moment. K-Kill him..? Just the thought itself was maddening for Raleigh. But he had to save Yume… He looked down, and attempted to empty himself of all emotion. Finaly, he formed his blade, a katana, made out of his own soul, and began walking twards what was once his friend…
“I… I am sorry… Lucas…”
He began to walk a bit faster… And a bit faster… Then he began to run… Run all the way to him, and would stab him… Yet this was not yet enough. And Raleigh knew that. So in one fluid motion, he pulled the sword out of his friends body and cut off his head, which went rolling across the ground.
“I am… So sorry…”
Raleigh then picked up Yume, who was crying and covering her face with her hands, and carried her back to the dorm. During the time he was away, another of the orphans of the shrine returned. His name was Jericho. He was 11 years old.
“Ray! The priests! They, they..!”
Raleigh placed Yume onto a bed and walked back to the door.
“I know, Jericho… They’re possessed…”
There was in emotion in Raleighs voice, which frightened Jericho.
“W-What are we going to do Ray? Without the priests, we’re doomed…”
Jericho only knew a few spells to keep demons away, but didn’t know how to fight them. Raleigh gripped the handle of his Katana and started walking back outside.
“Where are you going? Ray!”
“I’m going to do what I was raised to do… I’m going to preform an exorcism…”
Jericho went silent. He knew… He knew that Raleigh wasn’t capable of preforming a normal exorcism, the only one he knew how to do would either kill the possessed, or cripple them.
“Y-You can’t do that, Ray!”
Raleigh didn’t listen to his pleas. Instead, he placed down a few talismants and trapped his two siblings in the dorm. Then, his first real job began…
From midnight to morning, he would battle and slay any of his former friends who were possessed. It was tiring battle, but Raleigh had something that he needed to protect behind him, and would let no demonic being pass. When the first ray of dawn shined, the battle ended, with the shrine full of cut up corpses, and Raleigh standing in the center, covered in blood. He returned to his two siblings, but when he did, he was not greeted… Both of his younger siblings were crying, trowing things at him, saying they hate him. He somewhat knew that this would be what would become of their relationship, but he didn’t want to lose them aswell…
Raleigh then took them to an old lady the shrine once helped and asked her to take care of them. Ofcourse the lady agreed, and Raleigh then took off on his own, travelling around the world, looking for a way to redeem himself…