ECHO OF TIME
Long ago, in a world stars away, there was an ancient civilization known as the Saints, holy people tasked with protecting the flow of Light. You see, it is from this planet – referred to in legend simply as the Sphere of Creation – from which Light flows into every other world in the universe and even further into time and space, linking together countless dimensions and realities via the Web of Cosmos. This delicate flow remained untainted for countless millennia, thanks to the incredible power of the great Sphere of Creation sages, valiant men who dedicated their entire lives to the upholding of the intricate fabric that balanced the Light and the Darkness.
Naďve were those who honestly believed the golden era would last forever. Abundance spawned greed; greed evolved into despair, suffering and violence. The emerging force brought about cosmic abruptions that like a silent assassin in the dead of night, slowly and meticulously began to spread into the Web of Cosmos. The Darkness, a natural power in the equation of life, was disturbed by the dangerous spread to the point of infuriation. The Darkness was infected by the souls of evil that became. Soon, an unrelentingly devastating force known as the Eternal Darkness came into being, destroying countless worlds across the Web of Cosmos, spreading closer into the center, the Sphere of Creation. The great sages failed to acknowledge the threat in time and paid the brutal consequences.
In the dead of night a legion of evil souls invaded the Sphere of Creation, leaving death in their path, slaughtering innocents without discrimination.
A young maiden carrying an unborn child, awoke to the horrifying sight of a dark specter, second before it could end her life. Then, to her complete shock, the tip of a sword emerged from the monster’s chest. The monster collapsed into the ground, revealing a small boy, greatly resembling the young maiden, who held open the palms of his trembling hands. The young maiden knelt as best she could and dearly held the small boy as her eyes filled with tears. A loud explosion interrupted the heartfelt moment, signaling a mother’s instinct. The young maiden grabbed the little boy from his tiny hands and fled her burning home.
Outside was a bloody invasion. The sages did the best they could to protect the Sphere of Creation and with their combined effort succeeded but at a terrible price, the death of thousands in a single night. The Eternal Darkness was hurled into the darkest and most forbidden depths of the Web of Cosmos, never to be seen again, or so they hoped. In the eve of destruction a prophecy was revealed: A girl born in that fateful night would be blessed with the power of Light to combat the Eternal Darkness’ inevitable return.
The great sages searched for the prophesized new-born after the wake of the assault and from the rubble a young maiden was pulled. The young mother lived only to deliver and name her baby girl, Seya. In her last breath, the dying mother reached for the sky as if it had taken something from her. “My…snnn,” she mumbled before falling into eternal sleep.
Seya was groomed by the holy sages to become The Princess of Light, the goddess whose burden it was to keep the balance they once did. Seya spent the entirety of her young life preparing for the day the Eternal Darkness returned and one day it did. A powerful avatar known as Raseo, bearer of the Eternal Darkness, invaded the Sphere of Creation much more thoroughly than before. He single handedly wasted the sages while his legions massacred the rest of the population – only Seya, Princess of Light, remained a thorn in his path.
Seya confronted Raseo in an even match that lasted an apparent eternity. Through her power, she created holy bindings that managed to suppress Raseo’s evil aura at the cost of their dual imprisonment. So long she maintained pure concentration, Raseo could not move. This lasted eons, bringing about another golden age until Raseo broke free in a moment of weakness. Raseo smashed Seya with an attack of dark energy so devastating it crushed her very essence into various pieces, leaving Seya as an empty vessel, a ghost. Fearing the worst, Seya managed to scatter her essence, key to her godly power, across the Web of Cosmos and managed to flee into a faraway dimension.
Upon her arrival at Earth, Seya searched for fabled young warriors destined to become the Guardians of Light, chosen by the Light to help Seya on her quest to restore her essence and bring balance to the universe. She found six kids and together they endured many hardships that forced them across dimensions and then endured the destruction of Earth and later Seya’s very demise at the hands of one of Raseo’s personal warriors.
During the battle of the Bridge, an unknown force rearranged reality and erased the memories of Seya. It has been three years since the Earth should have been destroyed. The Guardians of Light had but memory fragments of their journey across the skies.
Without Seya and her legendary Guardians, Raseo acted unchecked conquering many worlds across the Web of Cosmos, bringing despair to the hearts of many civilizations. Not a single obstacle in Raseo's path yet Earth remained untouched. In fact, Earth had seen the induction of two more young warriors into the Guardians of Light. Three years, a world restored and a forgotten Goddess ... Nothing was as it seemed, how could it?
A dozen floors between him and the ground, with a sorrowful yet thoughtful expression, Hunter sat on the ledge of an apartment complex rooftop overlooking the entire downtown district of the well-lit New Arc City. For the past few moths, this old beat-up building was home or something fairly close to it. It didn't matter. After coming back from deployment, Hunter wandered the streets in search of answers to the fragmented questions that haunted his mind. It was almost as if his memories were locked and the key thrown to be forever lost in the depths of the ocean. He desperately searched for those memories like a diver in search of treasure. Lately, he found himself lost in thought trying to make sense of the hollow in his mind. Three years ago ... Something happened ... But what?
"Do you plan to sulk the entire evening ... young man?" A short, old gentleman wearing glasses - as he could barely see - approached Hunter, slowly dragging his feet across the rough rooftop. Hunter turned his head to the side, acknowledging his elder's presence. "I do not sulk old man," he responded.
The old man had offered Hunter a place to live after the latter saved him from a very suspicious assault one night. The old man suffered from the wear of age and his memory did not do him well but he'd always remember that night like if it were yesterday. It was late at night, he had just closed his diner and was well on his way home when a group of thugs verbally assaulted him and would have killed him if it were not for the young man with his hands in the pockets of his hoodie that watched from across the dark, deserted street. The boy's expression as he lifted his hood was remarkably cold. From the shadows that graced the wall he leaned against, the young man pulled out an unusually large case that matched almost his own height and within seconds he was using it to, one by one, defeat the old man's attackers. Shaking, the old man adjusted his glasses to better see the dark angel that stood before him. The boy introduced himself as Hunter and the rest is just history.
The old man never and to this day hasn't questioned Hunter on the contents of the case he now keeps safely stored next to his bed. He trusts him and even employed him at his diner, where Hunter washes dishes and takes out the trash. He doesn't mind.
"Boy, within months you've mastered all that has taken me a lifetime to learn in the Way, why do you insist on limiting yourself to my humble home?"
Hunter paused, he wasn't sure how to answer. He couldn't answer because he didn't know himself what it was he searched for but he was content here. "I had a friend once, I can't remember his name or his face but I know him ... Do you know what it's like to live with fragments of memories you will never complete?"
"Age has not been kind to me. I, too, have lost memories precious to me. I will never remember because I can't. Hunter, you hold great power. I've witnessed your might. You aren't human Hunter, I know that much. You and only you will find the answers you so desperately search for but you lack initiative."
"Old man, I grow tired of you riddles ... What exactly are you getting at?"
"The Lantern Festival, Hunter. I hear Ayes will be there."
"Ayes? The mayor's daughter?"
"You're delirious, old man."
The old man stood next to Hunter with his hands behind his back. It was several minutes before he turned and headed back toward the stair way. He chuckled as he exited the rooftop and said, "That may be, kid. That may be."
Ayes, hu? The old man knows something that he's not telling me. I've a feeling I'll need my case.
Hunter retrieved his case from inside the apartment and headed back to the rooftop. Holding tightly to the case handle, he stood on the ledge and looked down before leaping into the streets.
Hunter turned to the apartment complex lobby entrance. It was the old man. "You forgot something," he said, "your jacket, boy, you'll catch a cold in that muscle shirt."
Hunter simply shook his head in disbelief. "I'll put on the damned jacket because I want to not because I'll catch a cold."
"Suit yourself. Boy, try and smile once in a while. You never know who you will meet, like that red head who comes by the diner once in a while ..."
"Red head? The hell are you talking about old man? I don't have time for this."
((OOC: Further instructions on the DT.))