Rise of Glie Chapter 39
Previous: Rise of Glie Chapter 38: Eternity
FHD Remix: The Rise of Glie
Chapter 39: Old Wings
Bangou cautiously steps through the Garden. She suddenly sees it so much differently, takes an extra moment to admire the trees and smell the flowers. She kneels and brushes her wings softly through the grass. Too much sunshine is coming down through the open roof for her to notice the flickering of her halo, which has bothered her every night since that strange dream almost two weeks before.
Aware follows behind her, at several more paces than usual when they visit Washi.
"Ah, Feather Bangou, I see your Day of Flight is finally near," Washi intones as she approaches.
Bangou pauses for a tear, and wraps her arms around herself, gripping her shoulders as though cold.
"What's wrong, little sister," he asks.
"It is not my Day of Flight, Master, but yours," she explains slowly, "Master Shiden, Glie's first Communicator."
"How did you learn my name?" he gasps.
"The Saviour told me he had chosen me to succeed Shiden," she explains, "I found out who this Shiden was from Aware. Please, let me see your face this once."
Shiden reluctantly removes his mask and pulls back his hood, revealing the old Defender's ancient face and features.
Bangou kneels, "You have made yourself the least of all in Glie, and for that we are forever in your debt."
"That's not why the Saviour does this, Bangou, are you sure about this?" Shiden asks.
She looks up at him, but does not rise, "The Saviour showed me a battle. Two angels* with wings like ours, but large enough to fly, slew volunteers who emerged from hell through a portal they had to close. In their blood was the fuel that allowed a small cube filled with ancient souls to attack their unrepentant master, who wore the portal's power source on his back." She bows her head again. Her halo goes dark and slips from its place and falls into the grass, where it stands on edge, held up by the green blades just in front of her knees. "Even the darkest creatures of hell can be saved if they repent and give their lives to the Saviour for his purposes," she sobs, now looking at her dim halo.
Shiden collapses to his knees, hearing an account of the First Battle of Mars for the first time in thirty-three years. He lifts Bangou's head by her chin and looks into her eyes, "Then there is no doubt. You do know that the Saviour is not making you do this. You may still Fly, he will find another successor."
"I want to," she insists, "Master Shiden, I want to be a part of his plan to save those who are lost, to bring all to himself of those who might be willing to follow his way. I feel honored that he chose me for such a task. And this way," she smiles, "It'll be easier to train the twins in computer programming. Please," she grips his shoulder, "Make your way to the shrine before the work day ends. Fly tonight, and leave them thinking it was me."
"Okay," Shiden rises, "You're in for a bitch of a fortnight though. Aware will help you through it. God Bless. Oh-" suddenly he rises and runs back to his desk, rummaging through a particular drawer, "I'll be danged if I never remember this."
"What?" she gasps, still on her knees.
"This," he says, handing her a small wooden box with her name, "番号" on the lid, "not that it's much good to you now."
"What is it?" she asks.
"Open it and see," he says, "Each living haibane has a tag inside the wall that describes his precursor's life well enough that his name can be predicted. It isn't always the case, but a tag may change to reflect a different name with the same pronounciation. Yours changed two weeks ago, to Bangou meaning <<Forever>>."
"Thank you, Master Shiden," she says, rising again to her feet, leaving her halo in the grass, clutching her new nametag.
"Pray the Saviour guides you to tags that change, sister," Shiden says as he takes his Communicator mask off for the last time, "they can be tough to find."
She extends her right wing fully, then turns to look at it, reaching back with her hand to preen a couple feathers, "I'm going to miss them," she squeaks.
Shiden embraces her, "I'm going to miss you. All of you. See you in eternity."
"I will too," she sighs, returning the embrace, "but, not only do I hate long goodbyes, Stone Mill lets out in an hour. You'd better hurry on your way."
He does, leaving the rest of his uniform behind and donning a plain Toga garb.
She stoops to pick up the wooden wings. A tear drops on them, is absorbed instantly, leaving a spot slightly darker than the rest of the material, "So these are my new wings," she sobs.
[Author's note: * While featherwing beings and haibane are often called angels, but they are not the same as biblical angels, which are pure spirit beings that normally do not have a physical presence at all. Please don't get them confused. Also, these events are featured in FHD Remix Chapter 35 (Spoiler warning: please don't follow the link unless you've read Three Worlds In One before.)]
Next: Rise of Glie Chapter 40: New Wings