Chapter 6: Jack; Shauran 18th, 344SR; 13:54

”Jack Eldritch? ” a young angel in familiar white robes asked.

”Yes, thats me, ” Jack replied.

”Your food for the next week, ” he handed Jack a strip of paper.

Jack turned towards him and took the white strip of paper.

”Thanks, ” Jack replied.

”Use it wisely, don be a pig, waste those five meals and you starve till the next one, ” the angel advised.

The guard walked off into the darkness of the mines towards the next slave who was busy mining I think I know that by now…

Jack put the ticket into his pocket and readied himself to mine once more.

How much longer will I do this.

He slammed the axe into the rock, rubble rolled onto the ground, Jack squatted down to analyze it, he sifted out the green crystals from rock and put them into a plastic bucket half full with logorite, he kept some of the smaller shards in his pocket.

”Having Arthur as the warden of Logos is much better, weve got an angel like this helping us out! ” the miners cheered from across the cave.

As if… Jack clenched his pickaxe and looked to the other side of the cave, an angel in white robes with his hood off helped those slaves mine. What the hell? Jack was surprised to see such a thing, he looked down at the green rocks and remembered that day all those years ago.

After Carol was executed by Alexander Rael, he was deemed unfit to be Warden due to his anger and outbursts. Arthur Pendragon secured himself as the Warden of Logos the moment he could. Slaves get to grow their hair, theirs better available healthcare and slaves aren immediately beaten… thats the only difference.

Jack swung his pickaxe down into the ground, Its not like Arthur didn do anything good… his goal is also the same as mine… I think, he raised it high up before striking down harder. The book… Jack remembered, he read it twice, but after the second time he was too frustrated to try to understand it.

The story of the angels and the demons encountering the being known as Ragnarok… and in his destructive power, he laid waste to the planet. Only after the angels and demons had been pushed back by the assault, they worked together and defeated Ragnarok.

Except none of that matters because the demons isolated themselves in the north… probably because the angels are all pricks… Jack swung his pickaxe again, rather than feel the pickaxe ricochet off of the wall it got stuck.

”Huh? ” Jack uttered in confusion.

He pulled the handle of the axe with some force and he stumbled backwards as it came out of the wall, he looked back to see a hole against the orange lit rock, he tried to look through it, but there was nothing but darkness.

Jack readied his pickaxe and swung , striking around the edge of the hole. What is this? he thought as the hole became larger. After several well placed swings, Jack had smashed open an entrance to an unexplored area of the cave.

He leaned his pickaxe against the side of the entrance, his palms felt cold after letting go. Jack picked up the lantern and entered the cramped cavern. His hands shook and rattled the lantern as he didn know what could be inside. The lantern reflected a green glint into Jacks eye, he panicked and shielded his face from the green light, but nothing happened. He slowly moved his arm down to see the source.

His heart skipped a beat and his jaw dropped, How is this… this can be real, Jack stood in front of an abundance of large logorite crystals decorated around the interior of the hidden cavern. The walls of the cave reflected a green light from the logorite as Jacks lantern shone over the stones. This is at least three quotas worth of logorite… Jack turned and peaked his head out of the entrance to the cavern, the number of people in the cave had decreased, Ever since Arthur became Warden we haven needed to work as long or as hard… one bucket of ore is enough to be done mining for the day… with this, we may not have to mine at all… Jack felt the smooth crystal, he pushed his hand against it and it didn budge at all, instead he put his lantern down and walked out of the cavern.

”Everyone! Suns going down! Head back to Logos and rest, ” the angel from earlier shouted, her voice echoed through the cave.

Jack didn listen, he peeked his head out of the hole and reached for his pickaxe he left outside and picked up the bucket of logorite. He put the bucket down and started to mine, he struck the smooth surface, the axe made a thud as it struck, cracks rippled through the interior, he raised the axe and struck again and the cracks divided the crystal into smaller broken shards all over the ground. Jack looked down and picked up a large chunk of logorite and analyzed the gems deep green allure, he hadn seen one this large, usually the chunks are about the size of a fingernail. He put the massive piece in the bucket and noticed it was already taking up most of the space inside,

”Wow… this is a lot of Logorite, ” a voice spoke from behind Jack.

He turned to see the young angel who had helped others stand by the entrance to the cavern with wide eyes as he observed the abundant amount of crystal. Jack panicked and got on his hands and knees.

”Im sorry! Please don report this to Arthur! ” Jack begged.

Jacks eyes were shut tightly as he listened to his anxious breaths.

”Uh- do you need help mining all this? ” the young angel asked.

Jack looked up, Is he not mad I disobeyed an order? Or that I didn report all this logorite I found?

He had short white hair, his robes hung over an orange sash, his body hugged by a white vest. A scout? The angels arms seemed well toned despite his short stature. Jack noticed that he didn have a hat which covered his face like the other low ranking angels. He looked soft, there was an innocence in his eyes which made him appear childish.

”Yeah- some… help would… be nice? ” Jack awkwardly asked.

His spine shivered but the angel just nonchalantly walked forward, and got started mining immediately. His strike shattered the logorite into huge chunks and he readied to strike again. This kid is strong, he thought before he stood up and readied his pickaxe for another swing.

The rhythmic thuds of the two pickaxes echoed through the empty cave, Jack felt awkward, he wasn used to hospitality from the people who owned him. However he glanced over to the angel and watched him work diligently, Should I tell him I can mine the rest? No… no hes gonna report all of this to Arthur… it wouldn matter… I can use any of this now…

”I think we need more than one bucket… at least more than ten? ” the angel observed.

”Well.. we can mine all of this logorite but well probably have to wait until tomorrow to collect it, ” Jack picked up his lantern and walked towards the exit.

”You
e leaving? ” the angel asked.

”Yeah, im hungry, I might go get a bite to eat from the merchants and come back tomorrow, ” Jack replied.

Come on… you wanna go home right? Just leave the cave so I can collect this without you seeing… Jack thought to himself.

”Okay. Ill finish up here, ” the angel continued mining the logorite.

Huh? Jack turned around.

”Y-You
e staying? ” Jacks eyes went wide as he looked at the young angel mine.

”Yup, Ill get this done and leave, ” the angel said.

Jack let out a sigh and walked back in, he put his lantern down and began to mine once more.

”I thought you were done? ” the angel asked curiously.

Jack swung the pickaxe into the green crystal.

”Yeah… Id rather help you finish sooner so you can get out of here too, ” Jack admitted.

”You really don have to… Im doing this to get stronger, ” the angel replied.

Jack looked at the angels toned arms, Stronger? To do what exactly? To keep enslaving us? Jack thought to himself.

”Why do you wanna get stronger? ” Jack asked.

”Uh… ”

The angel rested his pickaxe down and put his hand on his chin as he looked up into thought. Jack tilted his head after waiting several seconds for an answer. What… what is he- Is he dense? Is that it? Whats up with this angel… hes way too different… Jack contemplated in confusion.

”I used to live in Helioss mountains but I was forced into the army. I want to go back, my mother and family are still there, ” the angel explained.

Helios has mountains?

”How will getting stronger get you there? Don you already live in Helios? ” Jack asked the already confused angel.

”Uhm, well if I can fix the issue the demons pose, there wouldn be a reason for me to be in the army. I think then I could go and see Theresia again, at least thats what I was told, ” the angel explained.

Jack looked down at the young angel Fix the issue the demons pose? You people are the issue…

”Don you just need an ability from the celestial to be strong? ” Jack asked.

A crack echoed through the cave as a large crystal of logorite rolled on the ground.

”I have one, but it doesn feel right to make it fight, ” he answered.

The angel lifted his hand and in his palm a yellow light manifested into a small golden rabbit with jet black eyes.

”I mean, look at him… he doesn seem like a fighter, ” the angel held the rabbit up under its arms.

Jack was shocked to see a spirit based ability this close, he walked forward and observed the rabbit, the angel set it down on two legs. The golden furred rabbit rubbed its eyes as if it had just woken up. He looked around and started to frolic around the room, keeping an eye on Jack all the while.

”Amazing! ” Jack uttered unintentionally.

He tried to approach the rabbit but it evaded him and ran to the other end of the cavern.

”Hes scared of most people, sorry. Return, ” the angel commanded.

Jack watched the rabbit dissipate into golden dust and return to Eos.

”Why are you mining after hours? ” the angel asked.

Jack gulped at the sudden question.

”Im… if I mine this now, people can just collect it for the next few weeks and have an easier shifts for a while, right? ” Jack made up a noble response.

He couldn tell the angel he intended to use this as a potential explosive.

”Ah, I had a feeling you were a good person. Whats your name? ” the angel complimented.

Jack stopped and looked down at the green crystal, the words reminded him of what Carol told him, he shook his head No im not…

”Is something wrong? ” the angel asked.

”Oh, uh… my name is Jack, ” he stated.

”Jack? Jack Eldritch? ” the angel immediately replied.

Oh no! Jack felt his heart sink.

”People used to talk a lot about you in Helios, I never knew why though. ” he explained.

”Haha… ” Jack laughed awkwardly.

He tried to focus on swinging the pickaxe down on the last large chunk of Logorite. The crystal split in two from the strike and crumbled into smaller shards.

”Well, we broke up all of it, we can come and fill as many buckets as we can and people don need to work for the next few weeks… ” Jack wiped the warm sweat off his cold forehead.

He picked up the lantern and left the hidden cavern and the angel followed.

”You said you got forced into the army? ” Jack asked.

”Yeah… Theresia always told me to stay in the mountain or else Id get in trouble, I guess its my fault, ” the angel replied.

”No its not, ” Jack replied quickly.

I knew they were making us slaves… but the children are forced to fight? Unforgivable…

”Its not our fault we were forced into this war with the demons. I think… I think its just unfortunate circumstances, ” Jack told the young angel.

They reached a pathway upwards in the darkness, torches lit the stone carved path and trailed upwards towards the exit of the cave.

”Unfortunate circumstances? ” the angel looked puzzled as he thought about what Jack told him.

”Were you really doing anything wrong? No. No one should be forced to work for others, ” said Jack.

They got to the exit of the mines at the top of steep ramp, as he got to the end of the path he looked to the right to see the lower area of the cave they just came from. The hidden cavern was barely visible in the wide chasm, Jack turned to see the path extend further upwards in the opposite direction this time, torches lit the rest of the path to follow.

”Yeah, I think so too, ” the angel answered. ”I haven seen my family for over a year. ” he looked down.

”Over a year huh… Alexander Rael killed my parents that long ago… thats also around when I came to Logos, ” Jack replied.

”Oh… Im sorry to hear that, ” the angel apologized.

The two continued on in silence before Jack realized something.

”Oh, I forgot to ask, what was your name? ” Jack asked.

”Eos, ” the young boy stated.

”Eos. Cool name, ”

Jack didn realize it but he enjoyed the conversation, people in Logos weren used to making friendships, they never lasted long, especially around members of house Rael.

***

Jack and Eos eventually made it to the top of the mines, a large opening allowed the entrance to be half lit by the moon.

”Where were you before you came to Logos? ” Eos asked.

”Hmm, I grew up in Torovince, received full education by fourteen, graduated and then was initially transferred to Roccan. Stayed there for two years and mined there before I got transferred here, ” Jack recalled.

They walked away from the large entrance to the mines. Jack looked up at the dark blue sky outside the wide entrance to the mine, the lanterns shone against the ground, the light reflected off of the dark green foliage.

”How were those places? Ive only ever been to Helios, Logos, and this other place east of here. ” Eos asked.

Other place? East?

”Torovince sucks, the rich non-unified folk just live off the people while licking the boots of the hybrids. Roccan has a port with some nice scenery, but its just Logos without the farms to be honest. Although, going out to sea and catching fish doesn seem bad, if I didn end up here, thats where Id want to be, ” Jack explained. ”You said some other place east of here? ” Jack curiously asked, he had never heard about it.

”Yeah, should be on the side opposite from the path to Helios… I don think its a place though… but Ive seen some angels go there recently so I checked it out, ” the angel answered.

”The path to Helios? ” Jack scratched his head.

He recalled when he and Carol wandered into those parts as they searched for the object which crashed into the mountain.

”Yeah, its by the cliff side, ” Eos added.

Im pretty sure theres nothing there… nothing but forest…

”Since you
e an angel, you should be able to go to all sorts of places, like Andurill or Dorad. Id want to go to Welis, ” Jack mentioned.

”Well, maybe if you were a noble or higher class, Im just a low-class scout, ” the angel replied.

”Scout? Like the scouts who go to Pandora? Shouldn scouts be overseas? ” Jack said.

”I was kind of lucky, the day I got conscripted I was assigned to house pendragon, the same day Arthur became the warden of Logos. Before that house Pendragon and house Lightbringer dealt with the threat of the demons, now its just the Lightbringers. I still get scouting duties here though, ” Eos explained.

Eos explained his scouting duties as Jack continued to walk forward through the murky woods as he thought about what he said, That day… a branch cracked as Jack stepped through the dense foliage. How much longer am I gonna do this…, he looked down at the path hed walked over countless times, to the right the dark brown tree was missing half of its branches.

”Jack, ” Eos called.

How much longer am I gonna do this…mining over and over again… every day…

”Jack? ” Eos repeated.

Nothings changed… theres nothing my life is even worth other than as a slave…

”Jack? ” He tried again.

”Sorry! I got lost in… thought, what kind of work do scouts get here in Logos? ” Jack apologized.

Eos didn think much of it and continued to ramble.

They neared the edge of the forest, Eos continued forward while going on about his daily duties. The path stretched all the way towards the town, fences surrounded the fields of crops, in the center of the brown buildings orange and yellow light seeped out of the town, people in the distance looked like ants as they went about their evening. Nothings changed. Jack repeated to himself, his body felt the familiar chill of hopeless despair.

Eos and Jack had reached the town, lanterns illuminated the dark night, towards the center of the town crowds of people could be heard as they conversed about their day.

”No! Let go! Stop! Stop it! ” A woman cried.

Jack and Eos stood a short distance away from the scene, a group of newly imported non-unified waited for instruction.

This seasons new slaves… huh… isn that… Lydia?

Jack looked to the left down the path and saw the lady who lived across from his house, she ran forward but was stopped by two angels. Another angel put two non-unified babies into the back of a caravan. She had a kid? When? Jack pondered.

Lydia was one of the farmers for Logos. She was older than Jack but shorter, her eyes were blue and her long blonde hair was tied back. Her clothes we
e covered in dirt, and she appeared bruised in some places. Did she put up a fight? Jack wondered, part of him felt like walking away as he remembered what Lydia said to him after he was attacked at the end of his first week.

The woman slipped through the angels, and ran forward to the wagon, they tried to stop her but tore the sleeve of her white shirt. She grabbed the back of the caravan the children were kept in.

”Please! Give her back! ” she sobbed heavily.

The angels tore her off the caravan.

The reins we
e connected to two horses, held by an angel who wore white robes with green details An angel from house Rael? The angel let go of the reins.

”Damn maggots! ” the angel groaned.

She grabbed an iron staff and stepped off the caravan. Jack was surprised to notice the angels voice, something sounded familiar.

”Ugh… No one can bear to tolerate your lack of respect and dignity, ” the female angel complained.

”You should be grateful we
e giving them a much more fulfilling life, ” she raised the iron staff to smack the woman.

Jack then remembered clearly, Thats the same bitch who hit me… she got promoted? Of course the prick would go to the whole house of pricks…

The angel swung the staff down and the metal struck with a loud thud. Jack turned to where Eos once was only to see no one.

Everyone was shocked to see the young white haired angel block the staff with his arm. Holy shit… Eos held his stance and grasped the staff.

”You low class scum! What do you think you
e doing! ” the angel shouted.

She tried to pull the staff away but couldn , Eos just looked slightly embarrassed as she grunted angrily.

”Can you stop? ” Eos asked, ”Y-you shouldn be attacking the people who work for house Pendragon, ” Eos instructed her with an awkward smile.

”You dare command someone of higher- ” the door of the wagon opened and she stopped.

A blonde angel who wore a half buttoned white shirt poked his head out, he rubbed his hand through his messy blonde hair, and then let out an audible yawn. Jack recognized his clothing and the insignia of a green fist over his chest, Thats a lieutenant of Alexander Rael… what is he doing here?

”Hey, can we hurry up and get- ” Lector started to ask but she immediately complied and took reins of the stone horses.

”My apologies Lieutenant Lector, ” she apologized quickly.

”Thats more like it, alright Im going back to bed now. ” the angel turned to go back into the wagon but glanced at Jack before he got in.

Jack looked away to avoid eye contact, Why is that Lector guy looking at me…

Jack looked back and noticed Lector still gazed at him with squinted eyes. Hes still looking at me… Jack took a deep breath as his vision wandered to the right as if they never locked eyes in the first place. Jack heard the door to the wagon close and the horses hooves pressed into the dirt as it began to walk, they turned down the path Eos and Jack came from and went on their way towards the mines.

”Are you okay? ” Eos asked the woman on the ground.

Lydia just watched the wagon roll away with the newborn children, tears streamed down her face. Her fingers curled into a fist, they grasped at the mud.

”Do you need a hand? ” Eos reached forward but she slapped his hand away.

”I don want your help! Give me back my daughter! ” she roared.

Tears poured down her face, several of the townsfolk went to comfort her. She lifted her hand with dirt in her fist and whipped it at Eos.

”Monster! ” she cried.

Eos shielded his eyes from the dirt, Jack walked towards Eos and pulled him away by the arm as she continued to wail, Eos continued to look at the woman, his mouth hung slightly open in confusion as Jack pulled him away.

”Why did you let her slap you? ” Jack asked.

Eos looked up at him confused.

”I mean, you stopped that staff really fast. Pretty sure that slap was a lot slower, ” Jack explained.

Eos looked at the crowds of people all laughing and enjoying their meals under the black night sky, as if they were never slaves to begin with.

”I wasn expecting her too… I just wanted to help, ” Eos replied.

Among the crowds of cheering non-unified, there were several parties of people who glared at the angel with intense hatred.

”Im new here, but… I get the feeling they hate me. A lot of the people… ” Eos observed the crowd.

Jack looked at him for a moment before he looked up at the grey clouds against the black sky. I hate a lot of angels.

”Its not that they hate you, they just hate angels in general, ” Jack tried to reassure him in an attempt to lighten the mood.

Eos tilted his head, he looked even more confused.

”That still means they hate me? ” Eos looked down.

”Well, I wouldn exactly say you… uh, ” Jack didn know what he could say.

”You shouldn take it so personally, you
e more than just an angel! ” said Jack.

”I don get it? ” Eos scratched his head.

Jack was about to try and explain once more, until a crowd of men began to cheer.

Jack and Eos glanced at the crowd as they moved towards the western side of the town. The sound of large marching steps against the dirt, coming from the direction people were headed.

”Oh, I almost forgot the council meeting is tomorrow morning! ” Eos recalled.

Council meeting?.

”Sorry Jack, Ill talk to you tomorrow I have to go! I forgot I have a report to send! ” Eos ran towards the crowd in a rush.

Jack walked towards the crowd, curious to see what everyone else was focused on.

”Its the queen! ”, ”Where is she? ”, ”Shes a beauty! ”, ”Its the chieftains of the Hirian clans! ” the people in the crowd all shouted.

They showed admiration and pride for a large party of people on the backs of horses. They wore clothes Jack didn recognize, burly soldiers clad in black armor, all of them with a green robe covering one half of their body.

No big deal… Jack turned and walked away from the commotion, he wasn interested. Not until he heard the crowd scream even louder in excitement. Jack glanced back to see a massive beast with brown fur that was taller than the houses. The beasts head had large horns curling downwards on each side of its face, its legs we
e twice the size of the house. Its legs armored with bright silver plates, above it sat a woman.

Her legs crossed on a throne, she had long straight black hair that reached past her shoulders and cold blue eyes. Shes gorgeous… Jack thought as he saw her, she wore pristine white silks which wrapped around her body but exposed her shoulders. She had two marks going down her face, Is that a tattoo?

Her dignified eyes glanced at the crowd and the men roared once more in excitement.

Idiots… Jack turned and walked away from the crowd, the people eventually followed the Hirian troops towards the north part of the town as they made their way towards Helios. As soon as Jack turned the corner he turned and noticed no one else was on the path, he sprinted towards the rubble and debris of Carols destroyed house.

He carefully stepped over the broken and charred wood, he tried to step over a part of the rubble but it gave out and the debris crashed into a large hole which was once Carols basement.

Jack fell into the basement and his back fell on a pile of the debris, he felt an impact but his body wasn hurt anywhere. Jack pushed himself up and the floor under his hand shifted slightly, Careful! he slowly stood up and walked gently onto the stable ground of what was once a basement.

He walked over to some rubble which had been positioned in the corner, he lifted a plank to see a single glass device with a tank attached, and a small pile of logorite. Jack pulled the logorite out of his pockets and added them to the pile.

As Jack stood up to leave, a thought came back to his head, Wait… Jack stopped and looked up at the Celestial as it towered majestically over the town.

Those angels from house Rael went toward Helios as well… Jack turned south and looked towards the direction of Torovince, Aren newborn children supposed to go to Torovince?

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