Cursed Hearts. Amy Blankenship

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Название Cursed Hearts
Автор произведения Amy Blankenship
Жанр Современная зарубежная литература
Издательство Современная зарубежная литература
Год выпуска 0
isbn 9788873042037

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      Cursed Hearts

      The Guardian Heart Crystal Series Book 8

      Amy Blankenship

      Copyright © 2010 Amy Blankenship

      English Edition Published by Amy Blankenship

      Second Edition Published by TekTime

      All rights reserved.

      Chapter 1 “Sacrifice”

      The guardian brothers gathered around the remains of the maiden statue. Even wounded and bloody, they were still a sight to behold. Their translucent wings spanned out behind them like the angels of legend, but the deadly weapons they’d just used to beat back the rain of demons told of their true nature. The guardians were more dangerous and lethal than the demons could ever hope to be.

      They are the protectors of The Heart of Time… the time portal that is the link between the demon world and all the human ones. Time and space separate the worlds so no one can cross without the use of the sacred portal. The guardians had never expected to turn their power against what they’d been born to protect.

      The winds of change had started three years ago when the maiden statue suddenly began to glow, revealing the fact that the human priestess had been reborn on the other side of The Heart of Time. Hyakuhei, once the most powerful guardian, now lord of the demons, had attacked, sending his demonic minions into a frenzy as they tried to get to the portal… trying to get to the priestess on the other side.

      The guardians knew why Hyakuhei had attacked with such passionate fury, but the dark guardian’s reason didn’t matter… they couldn’t allow it. Their intense war raged for three long years, never stopping, weakening both sides of the conflict… until today. Hyakuhei had released the most cunning of the demons, banding them together with the weaker ones to fight with a vengeance.

      Sending the army of evil to overrun the guardians in sheer number, Hyakuhei had spread his dark shadowy wings, calling forth his ultimate power to destabilize the barrier and escape into the human realm. It’d happened so fast that the guardians didn’t even know how many demons had slipped through the barrier with him and the only way to stop more from following had been to destroy The Heart of Time.

      Now the guardians were at a crossroads. Hyakuhei and the demons would be free to stalk the priestess within the human realm, because with the time portal destroyed… the guardians couldn’t reach her.

      â€œWe shouldn’t have done that,” Toya growled, glaring at the pile of rubble from where he knelt on the ground. Loss of blood had sapped his energy but not his anger. He’d sent all the power he could through the time portal an instant behind Hyakuhei. He only hoped he had wounded the demon lord in the process. “Hyakuhei will hunt her!”

      â€œShe’s just a baby. Three years old and powerless against them.” The sadness in Kamui's voice was thick as his eyes glittered with tears. He tried to wipe the evidence away but only succeeded in leaving a smear of blood across his cheek. “What if the demons find her before he does?”

      â€œShe won’t stand a chance against them.” Kotaro closed his ice blue eyes in denial. “She doesn’t have anyone there that can protect her from demons… or from Hyakuhei.”

      Shinbe’s amethyst wings vanished as he wrapped his arm around the gash across his ribs. He would heal, but it would do no good. “We may have stopped the rest of the demons from entering her world… but in truth, we have lost it all if he claims her.”

      Kyou was the only one still standing at his full height, but only because he chose to ignore his own wounds in light of the dilemma that they were now facing. “It is not over.” His voice was devoid of the anguish that plagued his brothers.

      â€œWhat are you talking about?” Toya hissed as he stumbled to his feet. “The time portal’s destroyed. We can’t save her.” His silver wings vanished in a flurry of feathers, making way for his anger.

      â€œThere is a way… but the price is high,” Kyou informed them.

      â€œThere is no price too high,” Kamui spoke what the others were thinking. His hands were now fisted at his sides and his eyes determined.

      Kyou’s long silver hair fluttered in the breeze as he turned his golden eyes to lock them with Kamui's. “Would you die for her?”

      â€œIf it would save her and her world,” was Kamui's instant reply as he took a step forward. “Then it would be but a small sacrifice.”

      â€œJust tell us what we have to do,” Toya demanded. “Our lives already belong to her… If it takes blood then we will bleed.”

      Kyou looked from one guardian to the next seeing they were all in agreement. “If we die in this realm, then we will appear in hers… but there is a cost for such an act. Our powers as guardians will be cut in half, and our wings are the price of payment because they will be the power that carries us across time and space.”

      â€œWill we be together?” Shinbe had the forethought to ask.

      â€œWe are brothers and that will never change. We will not be reborn… but slip through the veil of time as we are. To the mortals, we will appear only around the ages of seventeen to nineteen, but our immortality will keep us from aging. The power of the descent will give us a life as if we have always been there among them… near her. The priestess is innocent in the realm of humans… she will have no power until she comes of age.”

      Shinbe tightened his grip on his staff as he looked out at the bloody battlefield that surrounded them. “We’ve been attacked by powerful demons many times, and yet we live. Just how does a guardian go about getting himself killed?”

      The faintest hint of a smile possessed Kyou’s lips as he answered. “It takes a guardian to kill a guardian.”

      â€œIf we are going to do this, then we might as well make it a test of strength,” Kotaro insisted trying to push away the horror of killing one's brother.

      Shinbe nodded, understanding what Kotaro was trying to do. “We have always wondered who among us is the strongest.”

      Kamui's glittering eyes turned black and the ebony color quickly spread out across his wings as if eating the stardust that glittered there in multi-hued flecks. The instant Kamui came into his true power; it became a fight to the death.

      Within moments, Toya was the last one standing. He dropped to his knees from the pain of what he’d just done, and what he yet had to do. No one had thought about the truest sacrifice that was to be made.

      â€œTo be with you,” his voice was only a whisper as he kept the rest of his thoughts deep within him. Taking his twin daggers in a tight grip, he plunged them into his own heart. The last of his power activated the sacred daggers as the ice quickly spread out from his heart… followed by the flames.

      Chapter 2 “A Voice from the Past”

      15 years later…

      Kyoko paused in front of the office door not wanting to go in. She’d been at the all girls’ boarding school as far back as she could remember and being called to Mrs. Crap’s office had never been a good thing. It gave the words ‘Oh Crap’ a new meaning.

      â€œCome in Hogo.” Even muted from the other room, the female voice seemed harsh and unyielding, the kind that basically grated on people’s nerves.

      Kyoko flinched wondering how the hell the old lady even knew she was standing there. She took a second to glance around her, looking for the secret spy camera she had never found then shrugged and opened the door.

      Seeing that the head mistress was not alone in the office, Kyoko shifted from one foot to the other wondering what she’d done to get in trouble this time. Since the school was in the middle of nowhere and there were no males allowed on the premises, she’d never been in the