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Writer Zombitari
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  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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Chapter 1
Apr 15, 2018
16 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!OpXIepnUKB15RIAFXxKsposted on PENANA Author Note: I'm currently writing a blog dedicated to the writing process and I've offered to share the rough drafts of each chapter as I've written them. I'm sharing my work on here and a few other sites as well in hope to attract a little bit more attention.32Please respect copyright.PENANAxrfa3IJoQ0

With that in mind note that this is the first draft of the story and the revised finished copy (along with the final chapter- I'm a sneaky bugger, I know) will not appear online as I'm aiming to have it published by the end of this year.copyright protection28PENANA7ifnHqP6yc

At the beginning of each chapter I will have a list of issues I'm aware of and will be fixing during revision.copyright protection28PENANAenCc6RCtMm

To follow my blog and get to know the characters and see the planning stages (spoiler free) please check me out atcopyright protection28PENANA5NrXw2Duzn

sarcasticbanana.wordpress.com32Please respect copyright.PENANAWctrgFd5jH
rebeccaxgray.wixsite.com/beckygray32Please respect copyright.PENANA2Z6bwy7L6r
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Things that need to be worked on in this chapter during revise:32Please respect copyright.PENANAhESwOWfyk5
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– Dialogue.32Please respect copyright.PENANAygh2IxHVD0
– World, dock and airship descriptions32Please respect copyright.PENANADF0JQwiXip
– Airship names32Please respect copyright.PENANApz3h6Rdlpy
– Fill in some extra detail to help flow32Please respect copyright.PENANAqXPI0xgHtT
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***copyright protection28PENANAdaFTnKhZFL

The roar of distant thunder threatened of the rain that was to come, yet the daemon remained frozen in spot, exposed to the bitter chill of the elements. Before her stood an Angyal, one of the eight Hunters of Sin, a bounty chaser bred specifically for the purpose of killing her kind.32Please respect copyright.PENANAI7zJQpg9nz
But he had not killed her, quite the contrary.32Please respect copyright.PENANAyM8C4etiAT
He had just saved her life.32Please respect copyright.PENANAQ1RFJRd0zH
She didn’t understand, and perhaps she never would, but she had to ask the question on her mind- “Why?”32Please respect copyright.PENANAUhOt1FShOf
Angyal’s did not rescue daemons, it was unheard of.32Please respect copyright.PENANAQn2ZZ6etoO
“Why not?” The Angyal replied rather bluntly with a shrug. The silver stars on the shoulders of his ebony uniform glistened beneath the light of the street lamp above, affirming that this young man was indeed a harbinger of death for her kind.32Please respect copyright.PENANAmePdUz58zE
Or at least he was supposed to be.32Please respect copyright.PENANAPtWDWXiPf7
“You’re one of the Eight-”32Please respect copyright.PENANA55u74ueiXC
“Seven.” He corrected. “There’s only seven Sins. I’m just an extra body tossed onto this team because they didn’t know what else to do with me. I mean, if you really want to get technical it’s actually six, one of us was exiled like 50 years ago-” He bit his lip, he was doing that thing where he talked too much again. “Nevermind that, it’s a story for another time.” He smiled and waved off the subject.32Please respect copyright.PENANA7jRXxLwCU6
“I don’t understand.” She pressed, her expression one of great confusion.32Please respect copyright.PENANAhJAdnwbFmq
“You don’t have to.” He bowed his head slightly. “My name is Apostle Hirota, born to Ajah’s Dragon clan.” He straightened his stance and his brilliant blue eyes met hers. “My job on this earth is to hunt evil and deal them the justice which is deserved.” A smugness grew in his expression as he glanced towards the broken food stall where he had just moments before apprehended her pursuers, although rather clumsily. “Call me a wuss but I just prefer a less violent approach to slaughter.”32Please respect copyright.PENANANrwhzALNTI
“But I’m your bounty, not them! You said so yourself the first time we met.”32Please respect copyright.PENANAp12hYA3udX
“Yeah, about that.” The young Angyal pulled an empty vial from his pocket and apprehensively the daemon took a step back. “I have a pretty weird request.”32Please respect copyright.PENANABuGbI4ITJ4
“W-what’s that?” She stammered.32Please respect copyright.PENANAkwwQO5rATl
“You see, I did the detective thing, dug around into your situation after I received your bounty, asked around a lot, and found out that your case is one that I run in too a lot more often than you’d expect.”32Please respect copyright.PENANAijmlAkVDP8
Bewildered the Deamon girl cocked her head to the side, her eyes anxious.32Please respect copyright.PENANAArDhCllkf5
“Wrong place, wrong time, a bad set of circumstances made worse by some nasty people, all intensified by a lousy case of racism against your kind. If you ask me I’d say the crime you’re wanted for was nothing more than a simple misunderstanding and no punishment is warranted. Those crooks I caught in your place were the real criminals, and they’re off to prison to face justice at the hands of the law. Problem solved, everybody wins.”32Please respect copyright.PENANApzCWpr1Q1V
She perked up, mouth slightly agape in her absolute astonishment.32Please respect copyright.PENANAbkeyFOTBrJ
“Well, almost everybody.” He continued. “The thing is, my boss is kind of… weird? Alright, maybe old fashioned is a better term. Anyway, I need to prove that I killed my target by bringing back a vial of their blood, which is crazy I know, and you need to disappear so that none of this…” He cleared his throat. “…hero” business comes back to bite me in the butt. By not killing you by Angyal law I’m kind of committing treason.” He awkwardly scratched the back of his head, a nervous laugh in his tone. “I have a contact, he’s a demon named Engel, he was my first bounty actually. He’ll get you set up with a new identity and a new place to live, and I’ll make sure you get half of the reward money on your head when I claim it to help you with your new start.”32Please respect copyright.PENANAK1anjMJE7Y
The first of the rain began to sprinkle against the asphalt, darkening the pavement with each cold droplet. The deamon stood in silence another moment, as still as the grave before uttering that same first question. “Why?”32Please respect copyright.PENANAKxxntWOvNP
Again the Angyal replied “Why not” with a charming grin. He handed her the vial along with a knife, and though she was still cautious of any underlying ambitions he may have, she opted to trust him and cut her hand, draining the blood into the container.32Please respect copyright.PENANAqZ9ExPsqrT
“You’re a true Angel.”32Please respect copyright.PENANA9bVjze6iTe
“Nah. I’m just a little different.”copyright protection28PENANAbOuKzqqbXA

It was another successful hunt for Apostle, and another life spared the wrath of his people.copyright protection28PENANAARPNd2xBRL

***copyright protection28PENANAz5WeYkZfjF

The cold stormy night of rain turned into a crisp Autumn morning. The breeze was light, carrying with it a breath of autumn leaves that danced in front of the windows. As the sun drifted above the Eastern horizon Apostle’s eyes begrudgingly pried themselves open. He stretched his arms and legs with a yawn, and sat up from the makeshift bed he had fashioned out of the seats of the station terminal and his oversized travel bag.32Please respect copyright.PENANAhELO1eLQJy
It certainly wasn’t comfortable, but it had done the trick.32Please respect copyright.PENANAF9xPN5Fgv6
Groggily he watched the clock on the wall as it ticked, following the second hand for nearly two minutes before he rose to his feet and re-equipped himself.32Please respect copyright.PENANAaFi5ZSk6be
On his person he carried a knife or two, tucked away in various locations in his uniform, and on his hips he had holstered two energy-shot pistols, a non-lethal weapon, the only type of gun still allowed to be carried after the worldwide firearm ban 20 years ago. He patted his back pocket for his wallet, assuring himself that it and his Identification card had not mysteriously vanished (again), before collecting his bag and approaching the ticket counter.copyright protection28PENANA1utvf2VFdT

“Good morning Sir, how did you sleep?” Greeted the woman at the inormation booth.32Please respect copyright.PENANAksS6gUk1K4
“I can honestly say I’ve slept worse.” Apostle replied, working out a kink in his neck as he offered up his passport. “Would you thank the security guard again for me when you see him next for letting me inside so late?”32Please respect copyright.PENANAAqe8g2dViJ
“Of course, but it’s no issue, really.” The woman assured. “With all you Hunters do for the world letting you in from the cold and the rain is the very least we could do in return.”32Please respect copyright.PENANA2solyodSuo
He bowed his head. “Well I appreciate it all the same.”32Please respect copyright.PENANA6OQZV7Uf8F
The employee began typing away at her computer keyboard, but when something caught her interest she paused and glanced over to him. “If you don’t mind me asking-” She tapped a finger beneath her right eye, mirroring the spot where an Angyalic symbol was branded on Apostle’s face. “I’ve never seen that mark before. Are you not one of the seven?”32Please respect copyright.PENANAkJ5yRlA5hT
“Kind of. I’m the infamous eighth.” Apostle bragged, head held high.32Please respect copyright.PENANAOkldFTBTM5
“So what would the eighth sin be, I wonder?”32Please respect copyright.PENANAhTU8TPfN5o
“Not a sin, but a bad omen, or so they say.” He tapped the mark on his cheek. “That’s what this means, but not what it represents. ”32Please respect copyright.PENANAsp8yYZUy4b
“Oh?”32Please respect copyright.PENANAsTwN6bHH4u
“It means my targets are about to have a really bad day.”32Please respect copyright.PENANANmnHvgxL4C
“Oh Goodness.” She chortled and returned her attention to the monitor, a wide smile on her face. “So where will you be traveling today, Mr. Hirota?”32Please respect copyright.PENANA9x2i60h0zm
A relieved sigh escaped Apostle’s lips. “Back home for some long overdue rest. I’d like a ride to Nippon.”32Please respect copyright.PENANAc1gIPmTx3Y
“Hmm.” She pondered with a few clicks of the mouse. “We have a passenger airship flying out today. It would drop you off in Ch’in and you could transfer,  but if you don’t mind sharing a bunk with a few crewman there’s a cargo ship leaving shortly heading straight for Nippon. I’m sure the captain of the Finch wouldn’t mind an extra body on board.” She handed back the Angyal’s passport. “It’s docked on the fourth bridge, I can ask a member of our security team to escort you if you’d like.”32Please respect copyright.PENANA1RloyQF6BJ
“It’s alright, but thank you. I’m pretty familiar with the Finch.”copyright protection28PENANAgOL5CY7azZ

Though the job of Bounty Hunting came with many hardships there were a lot of perks with bearing the Orochos name. Travel was often made much easier when Apostle donned his uniform, giving him priority passage through the skies and oftentimes skipping him right passed the long wait times of customs and check-ins when boarding an airship. A quick flash of his Identification card to a security guard granted him V.I.P access through the terminal and within moments he was traversing down the docks, eyes on the lookout for the old ship that he had come to know all too well.copyright protection28PENANAW94Sn3cmiw

When finally he spotted the tiny nautical cargo ship a short, stout man with a scraggly beard and an empty eye socket met him with delight.32Please respect copyright.PENANAILhL3nMlnl
“You again!?” The captain of the Finch roared, his lips coiling into a grin as he crossed the distance between them.32Please respect copyright.PENANAIznYiclcJp
Feigning confusion, Apostle glanced over his shoulder, then turned back to face the captain. He pointed to himself and asked “Who, me?”32Please respect copyright.PENANAaKgv9PmOVY
“Oh don’t give me that, ya smug little bastard.” The man cackled, offering Apostle a hard smack on the back in greeting. “I ‘spose you want a ride on my ship again?”32Please respect copyright.PENANAyEJPpNcb9A
“If it’s not too much trouble.”32Please respect copyright.PENANAxRaUQs7bEQ
“What if it is? That bottomless pit of a stomach you’ve got is gonna starve my crew to death one’a these days.”32Please respect copyright.PENANAAPBQlKFIyA
“Hey, hey hey! Wait a minute!” Apostle held out his hands in protest. “If I remember right I offered to pay you for extra food last time you dropped me off home, but you kept refusing to take it!” The Angyal’s expression was smug, arms folded across his chest.32Please respect copyright.PENANAG7eqWEd9Qm
“Me? Refuse money? Nonsense!” Boomed the Captain.32Please respect copyright.PENANAJndUh4mpf1
“Alright, then here-” The Angyal pulled his wallet out of his pocket but the man gestured him to put it away.32Please respect copyright.PENANAfPRRGcBlUa
“No, no. Your money’s no good here. I don’t want it.”32Please respect copyright.PENANAWBhb1ePenF
“My case and point.” Apostle tucked the money back into his pocket.32Please respect copyright.PENANAB73P1lToK8
“I told you, you’ve got a lifetime of flyin’ on me. So long as this old bird keeps flyin’ that is. Least I can do for you after saving my ass from those pirates. Now go help the boys load up the ship and get your skinny ass on board. We’re taking off in a few minutes.”copyright protection28PENANA1k1uPhwLWK

Considering how eager Apostle was to return home, choosing a cargo ship over one of the newer, significantly faster passenger ships was a much slower route of travel. Even with a transfer in Ch’in he could have saved himself a day or two, but the Angyal much preferred the tiny wooden rig to the metal behemoth. The gruff crew with their even gruffer stories, the open deck, the leg room, and the freedom to roam made for a much more comfortable travel arrangement.copyright protection28PENANAEdzqicoqmY

The Hunter leaned against the railing on the deck of the airship, the gusts of cold wind ruffling his long, heavy coat, lifting back the sleeves enough to reveal the unusual birthmark wrapped around his right forearm. He caught sight of the dragon shadow from the corner of his eye and pulled back his sleeve, admiring it with contemplation.copyright protection28PENANAqi7vbvyoRR

All Angyal’s were born with a mark representative of their power. The Vintiri had the black and white circle of balance. Morcoe wore the spiral of spirituality, Ruescathe the cross of healing, the Maj-ik were blessed with the eye of knowledge, the Arkainen rulers bore the symbol of their respectful Zodiac, and the Orochos had the sinful mark of the Star…copyright protection28PENANAVTbWo1dVMa

But Apostle was born with a black dragon wrapped around his arm, a birthmark that had reportedly never before been seen. It was said to be evil, a sign of the God of Chaos…32Please respect copyright.PENANAq0YhREus0p
A Bad Omen.32Please respect copyright.PENANACW0U818Xgw
It had made Apostle an outcast in his childhood and out of the desperation and fear of the Arkainen leaders he had been categorized with the Orochos, the Hunters of Sin. Named after the seven deadly sins, Wrath, Gluttony, Sloth, Pride, Envy, Lust, and Greed were trained from a young age to hunt “evil” in repentance for the crimes of their ancestors. They spent the entirety of their lives sacrificing their own purity, staining their white wings black with murderous deeds, to keep their race safe from daemon kind. When they died, which almost always occurred when they were still much too young, a new Angyal was born with the mark of the star and was raised to take the place of the deceased sin, eternally continuing the cycle.copyright protection28PENANAGrnfRGsg7O

This had never sat well with Apostle however. Murder was not an act he was willing to commit, no matter the cost to himself. His brother had raised him to follow and act on the instinct lead by his heart, and that instinct was to protect those in need. He couldn’t kill.32Please respect copyright.PENANADRDHHF2A3M
He wouldn’t.copyright protection28PENANAfx7n2jSBHK

As a test of courage a Hunter was tasked with slaying a dragon and returning home with a Heart Scale, which was said to be the strongest substance on Gaia. If they succeeded they would be allowed to start taking bounties. If they failed, well…32Please respect copyright.PENANAJuMHLDmf6m
They wouldn’t be returning home lest someone find whatever parts of them might remain.32Please respect copyright.PENANAFJjFDrHMpY
It was no different for Apostle despite the circumstance by which he became a Hunter, but when he faced the mighty winged beast he found it impossible to raise his sword. Instead he dropped it to the ground without have swung it a single time, and held out his arms to show he meant no harm.32Please respect copyright.PENANAj3QXKxCN7G
Some might have called it a foolish decision, but rather than kill the dragon Apostle simply asked for a scale.32Please respect copyright.PENANAAQamyW0Uc7
And a scale he received.copyright protection28PENANAsCEEz2FNXr

It perplexed the Arkainen rulers time and time again how Apostle succeeded in every bounty he was assigned. He was not a particularly skilled fighter, in fact he was quite clumsy and known to be moderately lazy. But, the Angyal returned victorious from each and every hunt, with all the bumps and bruises to show for his efforts, as well as the required vial of blood to present to Aries, Supreme Lord of the Light and ruler of all the Angyal people.copyright protection28PENANAYDTmTK2l1a

The day would come, Apostle knew, when he would be outed. He was still young so the fact that his white wings yet bore no sign of taint could be attributed to his age.32Please respect copyright.PENANAgRQAxu2ehr
Though it wouldn’t be long now before it was brought into question. Aries would discover the truth, it was only a matter of time.copyright protection28PENANAagHiDKBwmj

Time that was approaching much faster then Apostle could have ever anticipated.copyright protection28PENANAgPWUtwX9jU

***copyright protection28PENANABixuErfHMg

Clear sailing found Apostle in his home Country within three days. A day long bus ride saw him as far as the mountains that surrounded the valley where the village of Paradise was hidden away, and from there the journey was by foot and wing.copyright protection28PENANARXxzfbkRHH

His homeland was cold, snow covered for most of the year, but its beauty far outweighed the frigid temperatures.32Please respect copyright.PENANAcAv2xfza3H
It was a land of magic, revealed by the blue azalea’s that peaked out from beneath the blanket of white, the purple hydrangea bushes, and the pink blossoms of the silver barked sakura trees which all defied nature to bloom in the midst of the snow.copyright protection28PENANAaYw7T0DQ9X

The village itself was small, home to only a few hundred Angyal’s. It was one of the four sacred cities, protected by light and hidden to those who did not possess the blood of their people. Deamon, Dragon, Witch, nor Human could enter these lands.copyright protection28PENANAKKfieTKuBw

The houses were quaint, built for families of two or three, and the shops were few and far between. Their food was farmed by a town through the mountains, though it was not unusual to spot a locally owned chicken or goat loose in the village.32Please respect copyright.PENANAQDy106X109
Technology, though not forbidden, had very little impact on their world outside of civilization and aside from the hunters and Lord Aries himself few even owned so much as a telephone.copyright protection28PENANAKtui2KtnBa

The entire village was built around a perfectly round pool of still water that emitted a faint blue light. Legend told of a God of the Stars who fell from the sky and landed in that very spot.32Please respect copyright.PENANA8h0ZSxtUML
Hoshi, they called him.32Please respect copyright.PENANAlZlR2T7C3a
Of course, that was just a myth that held no truth, a bedtime story for children.32Please respect copyright.PENANAjUNRVNYSPY
Or so their people had been lead to believe.copyright protection28PENANA4M9AT2AwTJ

A bridge had been built over the pool of water and at its end was Apostle’s current destination, the palace, home to the leader of the Angyalic race. All Apostle had left to do now was hand in the vial of blood and he would be free to rest in his own bed until the next bounty.copyright protection28PENANAuDuJWIDGce

He climbed the palace stairs and relinquished his weapons to the men who stood guard at the door. They searched him before allowing him entry and he traversed the hallway until he came upon the only room he was allowed access to.copyright protection28PENANAdXIHfKrJ73

He waited there a few moments as a guard left to fetch the Lord, still and silent, face to the door of the room and hands held behind his back. As Aries entered the Hunter bowed deeply, eyes to the ground as he offered the vial of blood. He did not straighten again until the Lord had accepted the proof of his “kill”.32Please respect copyright.PENANA2Xg2W8Aq2n
Their eyes met for a moment, soft, bright blue contrasting against stern, deep ebony.copyright protection28PENANAUcP3MJ6nfZ

Aries was impossibly old, hundreds of years beyond the lifespan of their species, but he appeared to be no older than his sixties. Against his back his wings were exposed, as white and pure as Apostle’s own, though his soul was not as gentle. He spoke with authority and looked down on all of his subjects as the lesser beings he believed them to be.copyright protection28PENANA7KCBtzk7gx

“Another job well done.” Congratulated the Lord as he accepted the container and tucked it away in his robe. “But I’m afraid I cannot allow you the luxury of a much deserved rest.” Frustration was clearly etched on the elder’s face. “Your next target is Wrath Katayama. He is your highest priority and wanted dead.”32Please respect copyright.PENANAcomxform0u
At the name Apostle nearly chocked on his breath. He remained stoic, but the shock visible in his eyes deceived his calm demeanor.32Please respect copyright.PENANAwkokck8acX
“The details of his crime are classified.”32Please respect copyright.PENANA9eUphRySiB
Apostle’s head fell to face the floor for the briefest of moments in hope that Aries might not catch his brow knit in an annoyance he could not hide.32Please respect copyright.PENANAguZC2f1tC2
He was tired of the secrecy, but he did not dare question the Lord.32Please respect copyright.PENANAY9nntzHCKU
“Six of the seven remaining Hunters will seek and convene on his location. Greed, Lust, Sloth, Pride, Gluttony, and yourself”32Please respect copyright.PENANAzT9ujqmSjE
Worry expressed itself in Apostle’s face next.32Please respect copyright.PENANAtz9tcbIeFl
What about Envy? Why wasn’t his brother part of this mission?32Please respect copyright.PENANAhEuE2XeKAY
But that question would not be answered by Aries. With little else uttered from the Lord aside from mission details, Apostle was dismissed to return home long enough to sleep and pack for the journey ahead.copyright protection28PENANAmtv4bLODuW

A journey he did not yet know would change his life forever.copyright protection28PENANAGo9wsWfyjv

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