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It seemed his initial assumptions might not have been correct. They hadn’t left in the time of need, rather they had left before it? But then that left a serious hole in all of this. How did they all fall if it wasn’t for abandoning their people.

The angel stopped talking after he appeared to have struck a nerve. Perhaps he had gone too far. But this was a fallen angel, not some random person. He was- gone? Where’d he go? Rem heard the angel again and turned to face him, recoiling a little as he did.

Despite being a little repulsed by the dark form, Rem listened to his story, gaining a better understanding of what had happened and actually feeling a little sorry for him.

“So... you fell for fighting a demon? As backwards as that sounds, I suppose it makes sense if your motive was revenge rather than for good. But then... what? Because you fell for fighting a demon you suddenly decided they mustn’t be all that bad? Other angels fight them all the time without falling. It was simply the corruption in your motives that caused you to fall.”
 

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It appeared that being in a different dimension hadn't made standing by the ocean any easier. Ishvi shivered, and it wasn't from the cold. Should he speak about these things to someone so young? But if he didn't, who would? The other angel understood that falling was a very bad thing. Ishvi didn't have to convince him of that like he did with his therapist.

"You're right that my motivations were wrong. And a lot of actions will not cause an angel to fall - execution, killing in battle. Falling is.... not one moment. It doesn't happen all at once. But once you feel it starting..." Ishvi held his hands out, palms up in front of him, though he wasn't sure the boy could even see the scars. He remembered his duel, how his own daggers had begun to burn his hands at the end of it, how his tongue had been taken even though it was supposed to be to the death. The drowning feeling that had dogged him. He grimaced - sometimes he thought he could still taste the water.

"Maybe if I was stronger I could have pulled myself back up before it was complete. I'm not a full angel. That demon didn't kill me. It was a duel to the death and he won and he would not kill me...." Ishvi let his hands go back to his sides and stared at the water as if his eyes would burn a hole. "So life went on. And then I flew over the ocean at sunrise with a dagger... and I fell. Demons are - they're born at a disadvantage. But it's actions God will judge."
 

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Rem looked closer at Ishvi's hands, grimacing when he noticed the scars for the first time. It seemed his assumptions were more on point this time around, though he would have personally preferred his other theory.

The explanation of falling being a process rather than an instant was another interesting piece of info. The scars on his hands must’ve been caused by simply wielding his holy weapon while corrupting.

“The demon must’ve thought you’d suffer more by living than if they were to end your life then and there. I've heard of this happening in the past."

The part about flying over the ocean with a dagger didn't completely land with Rem. He didn't understand but he didn't want to question it either, so he left it be. He didn't let the part about demons being born at a disadvantage fly though.

"Demons aren't just born at a disadvantage, they're born irredeemable. A hiccup that must be corrected and nothing more. You of all people should understand that. I don't understand what could possibly make you talk like that. If anything you should be more annoyed about their existence than I."
 

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"It would've been permanent if he had. His high rank. I wouldn't have... come back from it." Ishvi frowned, not liking how his thoughts flowed downward. Maybe it was the place. He couldn't take his eyes away from the water. And the memories. The shadow demon, another halfbreed like him telling him he should take pride in his own status. A half demon saying they wouldn't be party to his own self-destruction, though they'd had no problem slaughtering his family.

"He warned me. It wasn't kindness, but even that demon could see I was falling. He told me..." Ishvi hesitated then shook his head. "It doesn't matter. Except that it was a warning. "

Finally managing to tear his gaze from the ocean, Ishvi looked at the young angel. "I was 16 when I washed up here. I lived here with the humans we were supposed to be protecting with our endless battles, though I'd never met one before, and there were aliens, and fae, and demons. How would you tell them apart? It is hard to deal with them, yes. But..." He wants to warn the boy and struggles for the words. How can he even talk to an angel like this? Ishvi's wings flutter, still clasped tightly around him.

"Your feelings are what will trip you up and leave you drowning. Think about it. You're an angel - everyone is flawed compared to you. Maybe demons are more flawed than humans. But if their birth means they can't be redeemed. If they can't crawl up somehow, if they were shown how to be good, what does that say about God? That's why I'm not angry with them. "

Again he looks at the water, whispers, "There has to be a way to come back after drowning."
 

Mint

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Rem never seemed to react to the explanation that the demon killing them would’ve been final or that the demon didn’t spare them out of kindness but rather because they could see them falling. None of that surprised him one bit.

Then came the matter of telling demons apart from the other species of the island. “That’s quite simple. My halo can sense the evil in anyone. I can check if anyone is a demon anytime I want.”

He began to frown as the fallen angel continued to speak about feelings tripping him up and then about how there had to be some way to come back from drowning and the mistakes of creating the demons in the first place. “When something drowns it dies, that is in the very nature of drowning, it is just a means of death. You have drowned and now that you’re a pitiful ghost of what was once a half angel, you wish to believe there’s a way of redeeming yourself. But there isn’t.”

“You’re right about the god who created demons not being perfect. Even they’ve made mistakes, everyone does. But they’ve been working to fix the mistake for ages now. That’s why angels like I exist. We are the cure.”
 

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"Oh. You can sense evil? Am I-" He stopped himself from finishing the question, not wanting to hear the confirmation. Ishvi already knew he was corrupted. And if this angel was only calling people demons who pinged as evil, then perhaps he had seen some who were innocent and simply mistaken them for something else. Living on the island would take care of the rest.

But that left him with no comfort. He looked down at his shadow black hands, too tired to shift them away. "I did die... here." Maybe that was why his control was so lacking. What if he'd only killed the angel half? "Maybe not all of me came back. I don't think... I don't... I knew when I started falling, but I can't say... the exact moment..." His thoughts whirling dangerously, Ishvi had to close his eyes and take a breath. He had the urge to cry, but that wouldn't solve anything even if he could.

"How? How do you cure it? I failed. If I had somehow remained dead..." He choked up a bit. This was all wrong. But this boy was still a full angel, even if he was younger. People, even kind people, would never be angels. They could help him feel better, but could they really make things right?
 

Mint

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He died at this beach? And then what he was resurrected somehow? Angels worked differently in different worlds, which must have been the reasoning behind that. Though that still didn’t explain how he died in the first place.

When asked to explain how they were the cure, he managed to feel a little sorry for the fallen one. They were a fallen angel, they had done this to them self and yet he felt sorry for them somehow.

“There is no cure for what you’ve become. But for demons it’s the same way spiders take care of the fly population or more accurately how a white blood cell wipes out a virus.”

He didn’t feel comfortable talking with this fallen angel any more, the sorrow and their form, he wasn’t used to this and he was beginning to have difficulty keeping his composure. He couldn’t feel sorry for someone like that. They were a traitor, he had to remember this.

“I shouldn’t stay here any longer. As I said earlier, it is best that I don’t discuss these matters with you. You are no longer an angel and are therefore no longer involved in our duties.”
 

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Ishvi nodded once briefly, "It was foolish of me to hope." His voice was flat and even, all the emotion of before smothered. His eyes remained closed. "I would suggest you not attempt being a spider on this island. It is too much for one angel. And illegal. Sometimes you have to choose between protecting the innocent and punishing the guilty."

The water suddenly seemed so loud, rushing in his ears. He turned away - it was probably all in his head. "I guess you're right. I already failed in both tasks. Left home so I didn't die in a real angel's place. Couldn't win a duel. And didn't remove myself properly." Ishvi's voice is cold, tired. "I will leave you to yourself. I shouldn't be here."

Without waiting for an answer, Ishvi flies up to blend into the night sky. He has too much to think about and can only bottle up his emotions for so long.
 

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