LRF Contest | The Influence of Regret

Too loud, too bright. It was all too much. Fireworks and laughter created waves of chaos in the night air. The fresh night air turned into a gassy pollution. The streets were crowded to the point of constant contact between citizens. He hated it. He hated it all. The Demacians locked him up for years. He was isolated and alone for years upon end before he broke free. His body felt comfort and peace in the familiarity of silence and darkness, yet these people destroyed it by creating such rowdy chaos on New Year's day. The people were oblivious of the injustice of politics. These people were not affected by the mage purge, these people were allowed to be happy and enjoy their lives because of their fortunate birth rite. But what of the less fortunate? What of the innocents that were executed? It simply was not fair and, as such, a hatred for these bright and happy celebrations grew rapidly within him. Anger would fill his veins and dread would bubble in his stomach as the New Year approached. The bright fireworks reminded him of Luxanna, the young light mage that he regretfully manipulated in his quest for freedom. “I wonder if that kid is doing alright…” He murmured to himself, sitting deep within an alleyway, far from the centre streets. His back flat against the concrete wall, his body half dipped into the shadows and half in the dulled light of the alleyway. Footsteps approached him from the darkness. Two women, young but not like Luxanna. Middle-aged working women he assumed. Assuming the two were simply walking by, he closed his eyes. Awareness of being watched was not rare in the world, the less he looked, the less likely they would pay any attention to him. However, his assumption was not the case. The sharp footsteps stopped by his knees, the echoing of the clicking heels stopping abruptly. Resigning to his fate, he opened his eyes and slowly tipped his chin upwards to face his guests. His lips pursed into a frown as he looked into the shadows. Glowing eyes, no pupils. Bright lights hovered around the silhouettes identifying their possession of magic. Suspicion rose in his stomach as his muscles tensed in anticipation. “Walk into the light”, he demanded. “I will not speak otherwise”. The women complied and remained silent as the man railed his eyes over their forms. Tinted skin, he noted. A wardrobe favourable to dark purples, pinks and blues. They looked like evil spirits. Bad omens. He breathed out sharply. “What do you want?”, he snapped, his deep voice resonating through the walls. “Your compliance”, the pink haired woman replied. She ran her glowing fingers over the length of her weapon, “We want to work with you”. He scoffed, “Why so?”. The purple haired woman turned towards the brighter end of the alley, her body half facing away from him, her eyes locked on the man leaning against the wall beside her. “Do you not hate the light? Would you prefer to live in this loud chaotic world filled with blinding nativity and tainted air? Would you not prefer the peace and comforting silence of darkness and freedom?” She questioned. “What are you proposing, woman? Freedom and peace is but a dream in itself, an impossible ideology.” “It is possible. It is our goal. Work with us, become a Lunar Wraith and suck the light out of this world. We will ensure our ideal darkness.” His senses heightened in paranoia and suspicion. “What of the innocents?” His mind ran through the possibilities. Luxanna would be safe in the peace, no longer required to work for such demented leaders. Revenge would be bestowed upon those who wronged those in poverty. Justice will reign over the self-centred rich. The darkness would provide comfort for the wronged, he knew the feeling personally. “Exception can be made under compliance”, said the gun wielder, amusement dancing in her voice. Adrenaline filled his body in excitement. If this worked, everything would be perfect, everything would be right. His lips slid into a smirk, his body sliding up the wall into a stand. Chains clinking against the concrete with every movement. However, his smirk momentarily pursed into a frown. The idea was too good to be true. How would he know that it was their true goal? That these ‘Lunar Wraiths’ could and would actually pull it off? Such a gamble would be ridiculous. “I fight for my freedom, I fight for my peace and I fight against the injustice upon my own.” He clarified. A deep feminine chuckle echoed through the walls as the gunwoman began moving towards the darkness once more, his eyes followed her every step. The winged woman stayed and raised a hand towards the man, hand open and ready to finalise the deal. He pulled his gaze from the fading figure and locked the other woman in eye contact. His eyes slid into slits of scepticism as he stared at her awaiting hand, the contract he was about to sign himself off to the devil with. “Alright.”, the woman walking away from him agreed, stopping mid-step to face him as he stood unmoving, muscles tingling with doubt. “Young Luxanna will be spared, the innocents of the magic purges will be spared. Is that all?” she sang. Something lodged itself in his throat, his eyes widening in horrification. He forced himself to swallow in disgust, the silent threat lingered heavily in his mind. Sweat dripped down his neck and his hand clenched in frustration. He turned to face the questioner. How powerful were these people? How many were there? He did not know, he could not tell. What he did know, was that they were a potentially lethal threat and he was not aware whether he could fight back against their cult and win in order to protect her. Join them, work for them, save his people, save Luxanna. Ignore their offer and Luxanna would suffer the consequences. He would not stand for that, she did not deserve it. _Well played ladies… Well played._ He sighed in resignation. Maybe, just maybe these people would be the ones to set those victims free. Show them his ideal world. There was only one correct choice. Pushing back any feelings of suspicion he had left, he let out another sharp breath and swiftly moved his hand into the stiff handshake, “Yes.”, he replied firmly. The woman beside him released his hand and walked towards the other woman, towards the darkness. She beckoned him to walk with her and fell into step alongside him. “I am Morgana.”, she spoke before gesturing towards the woman ahead of them, “and she is Caitlyn.” The man stopped walking for a moment, allowing the two to overtake him. He halted his movement to analyse the glowing figures that manoeuvred through the shadows ahead of him. The two in front of him paused simultaneously several moments later, bodies turning to half face him and both pairs of pupil-less eyes looking straight into his own.[/img] “Welcome, Lunar Wraith Sylas.” They spoke. “May the new year truly become one of good luck, fortune and peace within our darkness.” Resolve flooded his senses. He would work with these people, he would become strong. If they could not accomplish his goals… **_He_ would carry them to victory.**

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