Liz, Kieran, and Ethan sit on the train that starts without delay. She catches her breath with difficulty and casts a final look through the window, leaving behind memories and tears. A cloud of black smoke rises from the roofs of the houses in their old village, covering the sky and the horizon, and flames rise from the tallest buildings.
- Are you okay? Kieran asks, his gaze filled with concern.
- Yes, don't worry.
She smiles timidly at him and snuggles against him.
- Do you think Mom is okay? she asks in a small voice.
- I'm convinced she is. Try to get some sleep, okay? We haven't arrived yet.
- But what if we arrive after curfew?
- I have a pass for the three of us, don't worry.
Lizzy rests her head against the window and holds her bag close. The train moves slowly and ventures into the lands. The countryside and nature gradually give way to houses and other roads, while the silhouette of the capital's towers appears on the horizon.
The sound of explosions resonates in her ears, and her heart tightens. No one really knows when the war began. It's just part of their daily life, impacting every aspect of it. The battles that began with their ancestors never stopped, and both sides have suffered greatly.
It all would have started between two powerful cities, Hélynedias and Lyssandre. Two cities built in honor of the Founders, the two Gods of the same name. Hélynedias, goddess of the sun, fire, life, day, whose ruined city is led by rebel groups and organizations. Lyssandre, god of the moon, night, dreams, death, whose city is governed by the Order and the Celestials. No one knows who attacked first, each side blaming the other for this fault.
The city of Hélynedias was decimated, but it never gave up. All men aged 17 to 30 are sent to the front lines, and few return. There are only a few exceptions to the rule, like him. Kieran fought for a year before joining the Order as a Guardian. Few men come back unscathed from the front lines, and many pay a high price. Kieran and Liz's father gave his life for the Order, and his loss affected their entire family. His son committed himself definitively a week later, and the rest of his family never really recovered. Poverty struck his family as it did all the inhabitants. War comes at a cost, and the population pays the price.
War doesn't come without sacrifice. Both cities will fight to the death, if necessary, to regain peace. Just like their soldiers, and just like Kieran himself.