The red moon smiled devilishly on a small charred expanse of the field, its rays shining over the gray land. The chirping of the crickets felt more condescending accompanying it was a cold breeze that felt sharp. A small tent made of scrap cloth and charred wood stood in the middle of the cold land.
A small child entered the tent, carrying his bloodied brother, like a backpack. He wore a depressed and worried look on his face as he set his brother down on the ground. His sorry excuse for clothes was colored deeply with blood, grime, and dirt. His small feet were covered in blisters and cuts from all the traveling he had done, but he doesn’t seem to notice it. He lay his brother on his stomach and examined him all over. He cut a part of his ragged shirt, washed it, and cleaned his brother’s wounds.
His brother was in a worse state than he was, hissing and panting from the wounds decorated all around his body. His clothes had cuts and missing pieces, as well as dried blood, dirt, and grime. His porcelain cheeks had deep wounds, almost showing his bones, from a dull knife. The skin was unevenly cut, multiple times. His lower body parts were in no better situation. They were blue and black, lame and covered with weird black circles. They were turned and cracked at a weird angle, pulled, and almost severed. On his back was a large cut, and blood flowed heavily down onto the ground.
Zaganon, the boy’s brother, bit his lip when the cloth touched his open wound. Sweat dripped down his face, to his neck and chest. His breathing was deep and uneven. His eyes had started to blur, and the scene before him turned dark. He felt the cold touch of the cloth in his back, and his eyes darts open. He hissed, making the other’s hand flinch.
Arroth’s eyes opened wide, and he took the cloth away. “I’m sorry.” he pursed his lips, eyes focused on the stab wound on his brother’s shoulder.
“Nevermind that.” Zaganon laughed, trying to ease his brother’s tension. The cold water dripped down his opened wound, making him groan.
Earlier that day, Arroth and Zaganon went to steal food from a rich merchant, but many of the demons in the city knew of their ways and were prepared for their attacks. Arroth ended up in the hands of the merchant, who was holding a butcher’s knife, prepared to kill the boy.
“That’ll teach yah useless half bastards. NEVER MESS WITH THE DEMONS!” The merchant hacked down with the knife, but Zaganon had taken it upon himself to jump and save his little brother from experiencing that pain and ended up having his back cut open.
The demons threw hate at them; rocks and knives were also present. For children their age, they had already accumulated thousands of stab wounds and death threats. They would have died a hundred times before, but for some ungodly reason, they survived.
Arroth’s eyes misted as he gripped his brother’s arm tight, unswayed by the calming words. He took off his clothes and used them to wrap his brother’s chest and wounds - he didn’t mind the wounds on his body but seeing his brother with another set of wounds, his heart couldn’t help but ache. He lay beside his brother and watched the roof of their tent with shaky eyes. He lay on his side, not wanting to see more of his wounds. He felt the weight of the day on him, and he started to drift off.
Being half-demon and half-angel has made their lives incredibly difficult. The realm of the demons wasn’t a very kind place for two kids whose blood was stained with beings other than themselves, especially the angels.
Angels and demons had been enemies for thousands of years, and even after their kings had settled their difference, the embedded hatred between them had not faded. They were different for the sole purpose of balance, but because of this difference, they could never get along, much less accept the fact that something was born with the blood of their enemy flowing with their own.
The two didn’t know who their parents were, but rumors spread and murmurs went around. By the time they were old enough to understand, those murmurs had wafted near their home.
Their mother was an Angel, who had gone on an expedition in the Demon Realm, and ended up being kidnapped and raped by demons of different ranks. The demons laughed and mocked the angel and spread the word to their men, making fun of her for being unable to keep her purity.
When she found out that she was carrying the children of demons, she wasn’t able to show her face back in her kingdom. She stayed in the Demon realm until she was able to deliver her children, then left to go back to the work in the heavens. She left her children on some street, afraid that their existence would contaminate her name in every way.
Arroth and Zaganon grew up in the demon realm, stealing food from the rich, killing imps to feed themselves. They were still young, yet they incited the anger in thousands of demons. Their hands had been stained multiple times with blood, and oftentimes they would end up beaten to the point where they almost met death.
When the two were only 5 years old, they managed to decapitate a city official who had wanted the two dead, they had managed to drown children who bullied and mocked their differences and tortured demons who stole from them.
Nevertheless, those demons were still far worst than the two.
In the middle of the night, Arroth woke up with a splitting headache. He looked at his brother and frowned. The wounds on his back had already healed, leaving only a scar. Arroth sighed and got up to leave the tent.
He walked over to a dead willow tree, staring at the bright moon with mixed feelings. Ever since he was born, the glow of the moon had felt overwhelming, it empowered him, but the other part of himself was destroying him. The angelic part of him felt weakened with so much yin energy in the air, and the red moon was the greatest kryptonite to this part of him.
Arroth had been cultivating his demon side for some time, but now he was experiencing a bottleneck. He sat cross-legged beside the willow tree, closed his eyes, and started to cultivate. He let the resentful energy of the moon surround him, entering his meridians and focusing on the three points in his body. The circulation has been going well when he felt the center of his forehead heat up. His body felt as if it was burning, and the ball of condensed energy exploded in his face.
He fell back into the willow tree, blood flowing down from his head. He sighed, standing up, but the old willow tree had cracked and fell backward. Arroth lost his balance, rolling down the hill with the tree. At the end of his slide, Arroth fell down a wide crack of land, hitting his head on the wall of dirt. His eyes became blurry, and he felt lightheaded.
“Is that him?” a soft and mellow voice of a young boy sounded from above the hole. Arroth lifted his head and saw a silver-haired angel standing beside a tall man whose eyes glowed the perfect tint of red. The man wore a fine three-piece that matched with the angel’s long white hair.
“Yes, sweetheart, that’s the guy.” The tall man replied to the boy’s query with a smile.
The boy jumped down and met Arroth’s eyes. “In the future, I will come to find you.” The boy said with a smile. And Arroth’s memory of the boy soon fades due time.
After hundreds of years, living as thieves and misfits in the kingdom, they found themselves sitting in a restaurant with the prince of the kingdom that had forsaken them - the angelic prince. They didn't know how this man had found them, but they felt that if they asked, they would be bombarded with information they could not fathom.
Araya was just like any other angel. He had a halo above his head, his eyes were grey as if empty, and he wore a white hanfu. His hair was a perfect shade of white that almost looked silvery, tied in a high ponytail, decorated with a Daoist crown. Araya invited the two to dine with him in a restaurant in his kingdom, providing the two with what they wanted to eat.
Zaganon hasn't seen many royalties in his lifetime. He had always thought that those people were just royal in name and that their hearts and minds were nothing but garbage. Yet sitting in front of the prince of the angels made his blood run cold. He could sense how powerful Araya was.
Arroth felt frightened the moment he saw Araya. He didn't like angels or demons, but this was the first time he felt fear. He clutches his brother's cuffs, eyes shaking as his head is turned down. He looked into his brother's eyes but found that he was staring at Araya as if he were the greatest thing to have existed.
“I want you to find a man for me,” Araya spoke, and, as if the winds brought flowers and the sky was celebrating, he glowed. Arroth felt even more frightened about this man. He looked strong and felt strong, and, on top of that, he had a face that was crafted meticulously by gods. “In exchange, I will make you citizens of my kingdom, with homes and a title.”
Arroth wanted to decline, but Zaganon pinched him. “We’d be happy to help,” Zaganon said, eyes smiling, and lips turning up into a crescent smile. “To work for the angels is the greatest achievement this lowly one will get.”
Arroth couldn’t stop his brother from accepting the job that he didn’t want. That angelic territory was something he has never played in and he feared that it would be too much for him to handle.