© Vlad Vas, 2023
Created with Ridero smart publishing system
Hundreds of centuries ago, long before the advent of humanity, in intergalactic space lived representatives of alien organisms, highly evolved unknown races with supernatural abilities akin to gods. With the speed of light they traveled through various stars in search of places with other forms of living inhabitants, from which they received the necessary charge of energy to maintain their vitality and to continue their kind, prolonging their endless existence in the immense and unexplored galaxies. Some of the species were Warriors of Light, others, on the contrary, were Warriors of Darkness.
The representatives of the Force of Light were in human forms, with angelic wings, in snow-white robes, with pretty faces, looking no older than thirty years of Earthling age. Their heads were covered with blond hair of a blond, near-golden hue. With shining eyes, the colors of emerald and sapphire, they bestowed upon those they met a sunny warmth and inner peace, bliss, and tranquility.
Angels radiated a bright, penetrating light, ennobling everything in their path. And wherever their feet stepped, everything around them immediately began to shine and blossom: the wretched became beautiful, the maimed became whole, the sick became healthy, and the sad became joyful and happy.
The dark ones, in turn, were also with human bodies, but of a larger size and with heads resembling wild, predatory animals and reptiles.
Between these species there have been regular clashes of interest and conflicts over survival, battles over the lives and energies of others since the beginning of the creation of everything in the universe.
The difference between them was that the Light Warriors derived their strength from showing love, kindness, striving for prosperity, peace, as well as compassion, mutual assistance, and even self-sacrifice. And they themselves tried in every possible way to maintain peace wherever they could.
And the Warriors of Darkness, diametrically opposite to the Light Forces, received their energies from negative aggregors, actions, feelings, emotions, destruction and suffering. And no matter what planets with living organisms they came to, with their little alien help the inhabitants instantly increased their bad, wretched qualities: weaknesses, phobias, resentments, envy, greed, betrayal, treachery were manifested.
After that these creatures weakened so much that only death from various diseases became for them the payback for all their sins, and subsequently the death of the planet with a complete plunge into darkness.
The Light Powers had no right to interfere physically and to engage in combat, to resort to violence. Being close by, in the status of «overseers», they sent them hints, gave them signs, as if insistently telling them: no matter what happens, one must always strive for good, for light, for finding the positive in the negative, to enjoy what one has, what is here and now: to rejoice in the environment, to protect it and dispose of resources with dignity, to strive for love both for your neighbor and for all other people, that everyone is free and that the choice is always left to them and everyone decides, does and receives from the universe and the world exactly what he desires, deserves, depending on his level of spiritual development and on the works to which he has devoted his life.
They only guided, but always left individuals free to act and choose. After all, any decision for another or imposition of one’s opinion is already violence, which in itself was contrary to the statutes and the essence of the Light Forces.
Tragically, however, in most cases the Dark Warriors were one step ahead of their opponents and filled the universe with all kinds of negative colors. Many of the inhabitants of the planets had more than enough bad, destructive thoughts, destructive habits, which made them slaves of temptation. With this, they, like a magnet, attracted the Warriors of Darkness, sending a signal into space, inviting them to their light. And upon their arrival on their planet their negative emotions were augmented, which then gave birth to yet darker thoughts and actions, even a desire to inflict disease or death, thus they unknowingly cultivated evil powers within themselves, leaving their children only degradation and suffering. And the evil grew with each next generation, for ignorance does not exempt them from responsibility. And the more negative things were sent to the universe, the stronger the Dark Warriors became, taking all the energy of the inhabitants and the planet as a whole, which caused the death of more than one civilization.
And such absorption by the Darkness and destruction of the living planets has been taking place for thousands of years, because all the inhabitants ended up being servants of the negative and could not resist the «good things» and temptations that destroyed their souls, with time they completely stopped doing good deeds, even elementary thank each other, lost the ability to love themselves and their neighbors, to care about the environment, to enjoy life.
After many centuries, the very young planet Earth and the humans on its surface became the next test object.
The events unfolded in medieval times, during the Crusades and the emergence of chivalry, around the beginning of the 11th century AD.
Upon their arrival on Earth, the Dark Warriors took on a human form, which they did not have much trouble creating.
People were quite developed representatives of living organisms, as evidenced by the impressive size of buildings, royal castles and huts of villagers, located on the perimeter of large estates, people were economic activities, in the port stood merchant ships, the king held meetings and receptions, balls, at the court regularly held all kinds of entertainment, games and, of course, jousting tournaments.
Despite the scale and diversity of the population’s activities, the aliens managed to infiltrate all areas of humanity in order to learn their strengths and weaknesses, what they like most and what they are most attracted to, in order to understand where it would be easier to get the necessary energy, as well as other test subjects from other planets.
After a dozen days of being surrounded by humans, the Dark Warriors were able to summarize: this was clearly the tastiest planet. They had never seen so much sin, so much debauchery, so much weakness, so much so that they had the privilege of seeing it all on the first day after the invasion-so the chaos had begun and grown even before the invasion.
Despite the presence of fancy temples and churches, the development of knowledge and the dense spread of religion, all this appeared to work just the opposite and gave a powerful boost to negative energies from dirty deeds, for priests, monarchs, kings and rulers were constantly blatantly lying and using their power over the lower class people for their own selfish purposes, taking whatever they wanted from them. Controlling their minds through intimidation with rage, God’s punishment, execution, rape, and control of their destinies as they pleased.
In view of these circumstances, which could not but please and even delighted the Dark Warriors, they came to the conclusion that it would be supremely easy for them to destroy the Earth, that it could be done practically unhindered, in the shortest possible time and with minimal interference.
They could instantly get all the accumulated negative energies along with their black souls, which is exactly what they intended to do. On a pure, voluptuous night, all the strongest Dark Warriors gathered in one place, far away from dwellings and people, on a mountain, one of the highest points on the planet.
Lined up in a circle of fifty warriors, combining their strength, combining all their power to create an energy beam to pierce through the planet, deprive it of life, and pull out of the living shells of people their sinful souls, leaving their physical bodies to die in savage suffering, to see before they die how everything dear to them is dying around them.
Above their animal heads the energy of evil began to concentrate. The heavens seemed to split open, the water in the bodies of water began to boil, the clouds began to thicken into a coarse mass, and a strong wind rose up, sweeping away everything in its path, even the mountains began to crumble from the intense pressure. And out of the black clouds came a clot of darkness, remotely resembling a spear and a tornado in one phenomenon, which grew more unwieldy and frightening by the second.
After gaining an impressive form and strength, this spear was suddenly stopped by the energy of the Light Forces. They cast a kind of bright, yet transparent dome, like a glass vessel, which began to absorb the darkness. A snow-white explosive flash, like a powerful lightning, blinded all present, and then the Dark Ones suspended their deed, and the sky became clear and cloudless again, strewn with marvelous stars.
Twelve peace angels came down to earth. They were dressed in bright white togas, and from their bodies emanated, like living threads, light beams that resembled fire in their smooth movements over the bodies of their bearers. The five girls and seven young men had very attractive looks and athletic figures, and their beautiful faces shone with good-naturedness.
– How dare you have the audacity to interfere with us! – He was still squinting slightly and covering his eyes with his hand, coming to his senses after the sudden dazzle.
– We know that the inhabitants of this planet, the people, still have a little bit of good and light in their souls. We feel that maybe soon it will wake up and move to a new, higher level, as it once happened on our planet, so none of us should meddle in their destinies, and we all have to give them an opportunity to reveal and develop this light in themselves. – answered one of the angels, apparently the chief one.
– What light?! – The reptiloid smirked, with an ironic irony in his voice that could only indicate that nothing would ever make things better or save people. – There’s more light from an extinguished embers than from the actions or thoughts of men! You are too naive! They will destroy themselves and this planet. Not ten years from now there will be nothing sacred and no one left here alive! – He concluded with a laugh which the other Darkseekers mirrored with contemptuous grimaces.
– If you think nothing can save them, and you are so sure of that, then let’s leave them alone for eleven earthly years and not interfere or help them, let them determine their own destiny. – the angel offered calmly.
– But what sense and interest do we have in this?
– And your interest will be such that together with the energy of the planet you will also receive all our powers. You have our word! – The angel offered, swearing.
– All right, my Bright Winged Brother! We agree to this! We can wait to see how this weak race perishes, just as the civilizations of the Titans, Atlanteans, and Hyperboreans perished, and with it your last hope for the rebirth of the seemingly rational, but so fallen and hungry for temptation, debauchery, and fratricide people! – Gloating, his opponent confirmed the bet, laughing again.
And thus a pact was made between them to give the inhabitants of this planet some time, eleven earthly years to be exact, for their inspection and supposed, in the opinion of the Dark Ones, healing.
This is the only reason why they agreed, because they were absolutely and unconditionally sure that even a century would not be enough time for people to improve and change for the better. On the contrary, during this time they will only further pollute their thoughts, their lives and their souls, or worse, they will eliminate themselves and destroy everything around them, thus doing all the dirty work for the Dark Ones, or even surpassing them in results.
* * *
Time went on, and year by year the time that was measured for people was diminishing. There was no light in the hearts and deeds of men, and only a few adults still had a glimmer of life and good deeds, and newborns who had not yet had time to drink the devil’s spoonful of tar. But in the rest, the Darkness progressed: drunkenness, debauchery, fornication, murder, despondency, lies, violence.
The space and conditions for the creation, development and expansion of Light and love were negligible, so everything gradually plunged into darkness and disease, which further exacerbated the problem.
The kingdoms and their rulers thought of nothing but their own gain, the multiplication of wealth, power and the pleasures they could gain by it. People shunned each other, became more withdrawn, greedy and jealous of those who could afford a little more. Even the pretty, pure-hearted children who had barely learned to speak became embittered, capricious, and simply unbearable.
The end of mankind was already near and most likely inevitable. Destruction was happening at a very rapid pace, and nothing seemed to be able to save the world anymore. In addition to the unstable state of affairs on a planet plunged into the abyss, solar activity had decreased, and common diseases, such as tuberculosis, had mutated, were spreading rapidly, were untreatable, and in most cases were lethal. Because of malnutrition and lack of minimal hygiene, the immune systems were too weak. «The Black Death, or plague, to which all were helpless, covered most of the continents. It consumed people and all life at an exorbitant rate and wiped out more people in a few years than in all the wars put together. Those who survived fled from their lands, came to other settlements, seized them, killed the men, raped the women, and then executed them and their offspring. They stayed in the captured settlements for as long as they had food reserves, and then moved on in search of new, clean, plague-free lands, rushing away from disease-stricken areas.
The Warriors of Light watched with tears in their eyes as people degraded and their world perished, but, alas, they could do nothing about it because they had taken a vow of neutrality. Everything was in the hands of the people, who made their own destinies and disposed of their own souls.
For what is on the outside is a reflection of what is on the inside. Hopes were bursting like soap bubbles, and there was little chance of restoring the Light in the minds and hearts of men. As a result, the angels’ doubts about people’s salvation only increased. Day by day the belief in the possibility of winning the fight to save another planet and save their own kind was melting away.
Through the autumn forest, dressed in tones of red and red with barely visible remnants of green, two riders walked leisurely on horseback, their black horses treading on fallen leaves, tossing them up behind them with their hoofed hooves.
They were brave, courageous warlords, quite accomplished knights. They were also brothers, which at first glance would not be obvious. They were both handsome, but very different from each other, both internally and externally.
Richard, the older brother, aged thirty-two, was tall and powerful, with a very attractive and good-natured appearance: brown eyes radiating confidence, brilliance and warmth, a disposing smile, and black, long hair that fell freely over his shoulders. In communication he was very easy, open, caring to others and sincere. But in battle he was known as a resolute, fearless warrior, always the first to rush to the attack. But he himself never unleashed a war, but only confronted the invaders, as he fought for peace on earth with all his heart. He was dressed in a walking outfit: a thick shirt, camisole, long pants, black boots, black cloak, a sword tied to his belt, and a hunting bow behind his back.
Jeffrey was barely twenty-four years old, of medium height but also of sturdy athletic build. His face, hard and strong, and the rather cold gray-green eyes were rather intimidating. But despite this, it was still a face with very handsome, manly features. His long brown hair fell slightly below his shoulders, and part of it covered his right cheek, which had been damaged in his first big fight about seven years ago. Having an analytical mind, he was distrustful and often grouchy, sometimes even rude and harsh in his utterances, secretive, able to keep his true feelings to himself, silent, listening more and trying to talk mostly about business. He was very agile and easily evaded attacks of attackers, rarely tested the strength of his armor, including due to his already at that time of great experience, so he was considered one of the best warriors of the kingdom. He was also an excellent archer with a crossbow, which he parted with except during sleep. The knight was dressed in much the same way as his older brother, the only difference was a cloak of dark brown color with a hood over his head and slightly covering his eyes.
– I love the smell of freshly fallen leaves, the silent singing of the wind, and the light, invigorating chill! – The older of the knights said, chest full of air with evident pleasure.
– I, too, am quite fond of it, and also of those marvelous colors of the leaves that have not yet begun to decay,» answered Geoffrey, barely smiling. – But come on, Richard, you should talk about beautiful things with the ladies of the kingdom! We are, in fact, on the hunt, and we have other aims. We’ve been walking for three hours without seeing much but a couple of squirrels,» he said, slightly annoyed at his last sentence.
– Exactly, dear brother, so that the three hours are not wasted, learn to appreciate every moment and enjoy what Mother Nature gives us,» the first replied, picking a maple leaf from the tree and smiling while breathing in its fragrance.
– The battle the day before yesterday did not go unnoticed after all, alas, my friend, but you have gone mad! – The other said gravely, but chuckled at the end.
– Thank you! Perhaps you are right! – laughing uncontrollably, Richard replied, which infected the joker, and their laughter melded into a single echo in the deep woods. Suddenly the laughter was interrupted by the crunch of a branch.
– Quiet! Did you hear that?! – Geoffrey asked sharply, but almost in a whisper, taking off his hood, to which Richard answered in the affirmative with a nod. – You can tell by the sound that the beast is at least a hundred pounds, perhaps a moose, a big boar, or even a small bear,» Jeffrey continued, preparing his crossbow. – The noise came from the east; let’s split up and try to trap the prey.
Richard said nothing again, only shook his head, and they rode off in different directions. On the right side, where Richard rode, there was nothing to be seen. He jumped off his horse, drew his sword, and rode on unhurriedly, listening to every detail.
Geoffrey, on the other side of the forest, remained on horseback, but also kept his ears open. He stopped his horse and at that moment he heard another branch crunch from a thick part of the forest, the knight immediately headed in that direction. As he rode a little closer, he saw someone’s silhouette rushing through the bushes, just barely catching the brownish color of the object, but still not being able to see it fully.
Then he stopped and took aim at the end of the bush, expecting his prey to come running out of the thicket right at him any minute. His expectation was not in vain, for in a few seconds the branches and leaves were shaking, and he was ready to shoot the first thing that came out, but suddenly he saw his brother a little to the right of that spot, giving him a sign with his hand not to shoot. He didn’t quite understand why Richard was asking for it, but he put the crossbow away nonetheless and climbed down silently from his horse.
Richard put his sword away and began quietly creeping up behind the unknown man.
– Sweet lady, you are not lost… – Before he could finish his question, the «beast», who turned out to be a beautiful girl, pounced on him with a dagger in his hand with the savage cry of a hunted, desperate animal struggling for its life. Richard staggered backward, caught his foot on the mighty root of the tree, and fell. She jumped after him and wanted to pierce his chest in the heart area, but Richard freely, even in that position, knocked the stabbing weapon out of her hands. The girl jumped up from the knight as easily and quickly as she settled on him, then sprinted away with inhuman speed.
But her escape did not last long. For when she began to deliberately loop between the trees, getting lost behind them, the same circumstance played against her. As she squeezed between the two trunks, she ran into an obstacle: an arrow from Geoffrey’s crossbow, fired and flown just inches from her, struck one of the trees very richly and firmly, blocking her path. The arrow blocked her path at abdominal level, and she crashed into it, and then collapsed to the ground, crouching in unbearable pain and labored breathing, hugging herself with her thin arms, but not even crying out, only letting out a low moan.
– Did you shoot her? – I heard Richard’s agitated voice, rising to his feet and heading at a brisk pace toward the lying girl.
– Calm down, Richie! Just a little scare,» he said ironically, also hurrying toward his downed prey.
– So much for hunting,“ Richard went on, „you could have been more delicate and respectfully asked the girl to stick around. Your methods are primitive!
– Yes, but most importantly – effective! It worked, didn’t it! – Jeffrey answered, drawing his sword as a precaution, for he was almost at his destination, and besides, who knows what else the sudden stranger might do. – Are you alive? – he asked with indifference in his voice, stopping two meters away from her.
– Are you all right, pretty lady? – Richard, the true connoisseur of women, asked her when he arrived. She sprang to her feet, still clutching her stomach, and leaned her back against a tree.
She was of such extraordinary beauty that both brothers were speechless for a few moments at the sight of her. The black-haired beauty was young, about twenty years old, with very feminine, delicate features, with beautiful mysterious green eyes from which it was impossible to take your eyes off, they radiated a magical energy that strongly attracted and disarmed… However, now her eyes also held anxiety, it was obvious that the girl was very frightened and at this moment was in confusion because of the unknown people standing in front of her. She was dressed in a burgundy floor-length dress with long sleeves, made of expensive material, which already indicated that she was not a commoner, as well as a cloak with a hood in a color approaching brown, and a tone lighter boots.
– Please excuse us, young lady, we didn’t mean to hurt you or hurt or scare you, it was just so sudden,» Richard began the conversation. – Please don’t be afraid of us.
– Who are you, where did you come from, and why did you attack him? – Jeffrey asked the stranger coldly, pointing to his brother.
– My name is Adelaide. I am the daughter of Prince Nicklot, lord of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, a region in northern Germany. My men and I were on our way to my companions in France to discuss our concerns about the outbreak of the epidemic and the cure for the plague, about security in our regions, and to ask for help on mutually beneficial terms,» she answered even more excitedly, but with less fear in her voice, realizing that since she had been interviewed and asked questions, they were not going to kill her yet. – But on the way we were attacked by about fifty warriors and destroyed, apparently, all who were with me. I managed to escape into the woods. And I attacked you out of fear, defending myself, because I thought you were one of them.
– Self-defense is good! – Richard spoke again, softly and good-naturedly. – I am Richard, and this is my younger brother Geoffrey. We have come to visit King Philip the Second Augustus of France, a good friend and ally of our father Henry the Second, King of England. We also came here to settle some matters from the same area, in view of the increasing danger from immigrants, Viking invaders and the rapid spread of disease. And so a few days ago we joined with French troops in a battle with the foreigners, driving them out of the king’s eastern possessions. It may well have been the same invaders who attacked you, my dear lady,» he added gently, even flirtatiously, with a twinkle in his eye and a smile, but only with the right side of his mouth.
– So I was going where you were going,» she said quietly.
– Apparently so. You’re lucky we have the day off, that’s why we wandered so far from the castle and decided to go hunting,» Geoffrey said again with his usual unemotional look.
– Yes, thank you very much! But you could have killed me! – she answered, raising her voice a little.
– You could have… But I was aiming for the tree,» he said in the same tone, to which she only stared intensely into his eyes, trying her best to show her great dislike.
– All right, come on, take it easy,» Richard said during the heated pause. – Give me your hand and get on your horse and ride to the place where you were attacked and see if any of your companions are still alive.
– Okay, but the attackers were, as I said, about fifty people,» said Adelaide warily.
– Thank you for your concern, but we’ll take a look from the outside first! – he replied. – We are not suicidal! – he added with a chuckle, and they set off on horseback. Geoffrey rode behind, and Adelaide rode with Richard, hugging him from behind.
– Show us which way to go! – Jeffrey’s voice sounded a few seconds later.
– Let’s go! – Adelaide answered. – Follow us, there’s a big burnt oak tree about ten minutes away, and that’s where it happened,» she said, then turned to Richard.
– As far as I remember, yes!» he answered smiling. – But do not worry, in general, he is very kind at heart, as well as a fair and honest man, just outside dry and angry, and the time is such that he is not up to fun yet.
– Yes, I understand. These are indeed harsh times,» Adelaide said with sympathy and regret in her voice. – We came here for help, because recently our kingdom was attacked by evil warriors, the castle was besieged for three days. Fortunately, our troops were able to fight back, but unfortunately, many of the defenders are now worm food, the same fate befell those who were with me today.
We were warned of the danger approaching from the northern countries and that war, darkness and plague had already engulfed the Scandinavian countries, the Iberian states. Only a small portion of the central lands are holding on,» she continued the story. – There were practically no means of survival there, that’s why this kind of games began – migrations in search of easy profits in other states, everyone became by himself and for himself, and animal instincts prevail over any laws of morality and morality.
Our whole army was at a religious feast, a church service, when the raid took place, so we were taken by surprise and suffered a large number of casualties – soldiers and innocent civilian victims. I would like to believe that things will get better soon, that the Vikings will not return, that we will unite with friendly neighbors and coexist peacefully as before… Although who knows what’s going on at home now, maybe it’s just at this very moment that new attacks on my father’s castle follow and things are still much more tragic… – She ended with tears rolling from her eyes, and there was anxiety and genuine concern in her trembling voice.
– I am sure that everything will work out and be fine, just like before, in peacetime, and maybe even better! The main thing is to believe and strive for it! – Richard said encouragingly, when suddenly Jeffrey’s whistle was heard.
They turned around, Geoffrey signaling for them to stop and wait for him while he climbed a low mountain next to a stunted ancient oak tree, which he also indicated with a silent gesture, and surveyed the present surroundings. To which they nodded in unison and obeyed their instructions without question.
Geoffrey tied the reins to a tree and headed up the hill on foot. Slowly retracing his steps, picking up his crossbow and keeping his finger on the trigger, he prepared himself for the shot and for all sorts of unfavorable scenarios when encountering his enemies.
When he got to the top, he found a safe place behind a massive rock where he had a clear view of the battlefield, and there he made himself comfortable. But after a while he put the crossbow away, making sure he didn’t need it, since there were no living people down there and the dead couldn’t do anything to him anymore.
Before his eyes opened a terrible picture: carriages and dead horses, pierced by lit arrows, were ablaze, German soldiers and women who were on their way to Philip II were beheaded and hung from branches by one leg, and all their upper body parts, that is, their heads with open mouths and eyes, in which fear was still reflected, were placed on spears stuck in the ground.
One of the heads Jeff saw belonged to a young girl. Apparently it was a maid, and at that very moment her eye was pecking out a raven sitting on top of her. The sight made the knight insanely ill, so he hurried back, for he could see no more of this decomposing creature. Richard and Adelaide dismounted and went to a secluded spot so as not to be seen by outsiders.
– It’s too quiet in this forest,“ Richard said, looking around, „I don’t like it…
– And you’re right not to like it,» Jeffrey’s voice was heard. – I haven’t seen so much cruelty and inhumanity in a long time, though, to be precise, I’ve never seen such a mess before… – He made a wry smile on his face as he continued. – We have no business there. We have to get out of here, as soon as possible.