‘It is an unfathomable sea of darkness, without depth or size.
The ebony vastness that is the night sky is spangled with diamonds that glittered in delicate whites and yellows. Each star seems insignificant in the immeasurable black space.
And yet, one single star will change the course of history forever.’
Adraeda frowned at the inscription on the dusty brown parchment. She brushed back her obsidian black hair and blinked her mysterious pitch eyes while reading the words on the old scroll again and again.
“What does that even mean? Will a star strike Mysteria and plunge it into night forever, and leave us with only the light of the moon and stars to guide us? Would the sun not banish the Unholy eye of Silver and the nightbringer godlings? Fyerai has done such things before, so Ladlaye has said…” She mumbled to herself.
“Ah, but Ladlaye has been wrong before.” Came a smooth voice from above.
Adraeda glanced upwards and saw a tiny red demon. It had a cat-like face, with horns and sharp fangs, and its body was feline and slim. It had a row of small spikes along its back and a tail with an arrowhead flicking at the end. It was hanging upside down and peering at Adraeda with large, luminous amber eyes.
The girl laughed. “Oh, Strikal, get down… And do not speak so negatively about Ladlaye. He is wise and noble.”
The small cat-demon puffed out a ball of smoke, making Adraeda cough a little. He outstretched his four pairs of translucent wings and fluttered down from the beam, landing on the girl’s head. “Yes… Remember the time when he said you would be cured of those- um, scorch marks…” He grinned sheepishly. “He said they would be fine in a week. You were still moaning for months after that!” He laughed.
Adraeda huffed. “Fine, Strikal. Have it your way. Oh, and speaking of scorch marks, you still owe me for that…”
Strikal snorted as Adraeda reached out above her head to close her slender white fingers around the cat-demon, and narrowed his large amber eyes. “I do not!” He huffed, turning his head once he was on the desk and licking his sleek crimson fur down with his forked black tongue. “Anyway, it was your fault for trying to put sparkles on my horns two years before!”
The girl laughed. “Oh Strik, that was two years ago!”
“Well, so was that accident with the toaster.”
“Seriously? You remember that?!”
“Adra, I am a Felidiablo. Cat-demons do not forget things that easily. Like elephants. You know those things that went extinct fifty years ago? When all the tech was around? Before that massive war? When most things got destroyed? When-“
“All RIGHT, Strikal, I get it!” Adraeda snapped. She moved her gaze to a photograph on the wall with two smiling figures. “I remember.” Her eyes became forlorn and faraway, and Strikal looked guilty as he cleared his throat.
“Yes… Yes, indeed you do. Hey Adra, let’s go-“
“Leave me alone, Strikal. I want to be alone.”
The Felidiablo let his wiry whiskers droop as he slunk away, vanishing behind a table. The last thing visible of him was a long, snakelike, barbed tail that dragged on the floor, catching the wood and jerking him back every so often. Adraeda stifled a giggle, and Strikal poked his head back, ears perked up hopefully.
Adra sat, head bowed, quivering.
The demon sighed and fluttered away.
Only then, when her companion was gone, did Adraeda cry. She cried in remembrance, in hatred. She cried with the awakened grief of a daughter who had lost everything. She cried for the wrong that had been done, for the terrible loss she felt. Her eyes went a mysterious milky white as sparkling tears left trails down her cheeks.
And she cried all night, silently grieving for her parents who had died during the Great War.