At a moonless night, Corvus walked to a serene lake in the woods and came up to an old man in cloak. She was here to hand a cloth bag to him.
“This is the person you want to kill. Take a look.” “No need. I trust you. And here is the next assassination list.” “Understood. I’ll see you next month, same time and same place.”
Corvus left after taking the list and rewards. As she came to a fork in the road, a burly man Crater was sitting on a boulder. He wore a kind smile to welcome her back. “Um?” Crater made a sound with his throat. “Everything is fine. Let’s buy something delicious for the little ones.”
Corvus and Crater were orphans under war. Both of them were treated ruthlessly since their childhood. However, Corvus was tough. She managed to survive in troubled times and protect other helpless orphans. At that time, she lent a helping hand to Crater, a mute, and invited him to join her team. Although they were driven out of the village because Crater had bitten a villager when going berserk, Corvus did not feel dejected, but made every effort to survive.
With Corvus’s mind and Crater’s strength, they gradually established a small union and undertook various commissions——from human leaders or demon plutocrats. The risk was high, but the rewards were generous, which could help them feed a large number of orphans.
After buying the food, they followed a hidden track back to their own hideout. However, something went wrong. The air was filled with a smell of blood and there was a torch light in a wooden house nearby. Corvus and Crater were feeling anxious; they dropped the food and rushed towards the house right away. The orphans were surrounded by men in black. One of them was choking a little girl to death, which provoked Corvus to anger.
“How dare you hurt our children...Unforgivable!” She jumped onto a tree branch, spread her wings and glided towards the little girl. She took out a dagger and cut the man’s artery with speed. Blood spilling out, the man was down immediately.
“You bitch, take this——Ahhhh!” As another man was about to stab Corvus in the back, someone grabbed him and lifted him up——Crater had stopped the enemy in time. His eyes were wide open, filling with bloodlust. He wiped the smile off his face and threw the man to a boulder nearby, who then lay down after his head hit the rock hard.
“Mon-monster! You two are monsters!” Scared by the power of Corvus and Crater, the other enemies drew their swords to fight back, but they were no match for the two of them. Soon, they were all dead. When the battle was over, the children, who huddled together like a flock of sheep, got up and ran towards Corvus and Crater. “Go save the others! They’re fighting with the enemies in the wooden house in order to let us escape,” the children said anxiously as they grabbed their clothes.
“We should hurry!” After the kids settled down, they split up to infiltrate into the house from above and the main door. Corvus and Crater killed all the enemies, but they were too late. Several boys were dead in exchange for the safety of the others. Corvus and Crater carried their bodies to a garden in front of the house. The children cried together; the elder ones remained silent, with their eyes brimmed with tears, mourning over the death.
“We wipe off any traces left whenever we go in and out. It’s impossible to track our hideout...Perhaps there is a betrayer among us?” Corvus pondered. At this moment, there were footsteps approaching. Both of them took out their own weapon for self defense. “Relax. I’m not your enemy. I just caught this sneaky man from the outside. Maybe you know him,” a girl, wearing a white hat and holding a staff, came out and said. Then, she pushed the old man down——Such man had been working for Corvus for a long time.
“...You betrayed us! Why!?” “Be-because you’ve stolen lots of business from many unions, so they decided to kill you. I don’t want to do it, but I have no choice!” “Our comrades died. They’re just teens...Do you think I’ll let you off because of your excuse? Impossible!” Corvus kneeled down and stabbed the old man in the chest. Although she killed him, it didn’t soothe her anger. She punched the ground and shouted, “why does everyone hurt us? We just want a shelter...If I have more power, the children wouldn’t have been…” “Ummm….” Crater crouched down and hugged Corvus tight to make her relieved. At this moment, the girl with a staff came up to them slowly with a grin. Although Corvus did not know her, she could feel the massive power coming from such girl.
“What if I can give your a shelter and the power you want?”
“Who are you?” “I’m Aether. As long as you can take down the Courts of Zodiacs, your wish will come true.” Corvus and Crater looked at each other, and glanced at the poor children. They made up their minds, took a crystal ball from Aether and swallowed it——
At this moonless night, the constellations of Corvus and Crater glittered in the sky.