Zodiac Angels – Chapter Sophia [Prologue]

Chapter 00

“Ah! It’s this late already? Let’s just go to bed, sweetie,” a kind young lady with short dark brown hair said and stood up from the little girl’s bed, covered by a thick quilt depicting several pictures of cartoon cats on it.
“Awww! Mommy mommy! Tell me a story first!” the girl pleaded.
“But it’s already late and you have class tomorrow too. You should go to bed now,” the young mother argued.
“Please mommy, please! I’ll go to bed right away after you finish the story!” the girl pleaded some more.
Surrendering to the girl’s plea, the kind mother smiles and sits back down on her daughter’s bed.

“Well…Only one story, okay?”
“Yayyy!!! Bedtime story!” The girl jumped up and down on her bed excitedly. “What story is it gonna be!?”
“Let’s see…Have I told you…,” the mother paused for a while, thinking about what kind of story to tell to her daughter, “…Have I told you the [Tales of Star Ocean] yet?”
“Nuh uh?” The little girl shook her head.
“I see. Wanna hear that story?”
“Yes!!!” The girl replied eagerly and jumped up and down again.

Long ago before the beginning of time, the 13 Zodiac Angels united their powers to create the green planet called [Athenia] and its residents, the [Humans]. They created the plentiful nature and assigned the humans to look over this paradise.

But due to the greed and foolishness of humans, they waged war and battle against each other, fighting for the very resources and land they were created to protect.

The 13th Zodiac Angel, Ophiucus, grew tired of the humans’ incompetency and came to a conclusion that their kind needs to be put to extinction. The remaining 12 angels could not bear to see the destruction of the world they created. With a glimpse of hope for humanity remaining in them, they tried persuading Ophiucus to change her mind.

However, the negotiation was a failure, and the two parties got into conflict.

“Oh oh oh! So what happens next, mommy?”
The little girl with long brown hair asked her mother while anxiously bouncing on her bed. Her emerald-colored eyes are glittering in excitement.
“Wait. I’m not done telling the story yet,” the kind lady hushed the little girl.
“Oh. Okay!” The girl stopped bouncing and sat still, gazing at her mother in anticipation. Her hands were clenched into fists until they are almost shaking.

Even though she was out numbered, Ophiucus’s power alone was still much stronger than the other 12 angels combined. As a last resort, the 12 angels sealed Ophiucus within the Celestial Hall at the deepest part of the Star Ocean, at the cost of their immortal bodies. Their souls then wandered the cosmos and reincarnated in a human body, never losing their powers.

Ophiucus was sealed and peace returned to Athenia.

“……Sealed? What is sealing?” The little girl tilted her head questioningly.
“Hm…Well…It’s like being grounded,” the mother explained as simply as she can.
“…So…Angel of Ophiucus is grounded in this celly hall?” the girl asked.
“That’s right.”
“Alone…?”
“Mhm…” The mother nodded.
“…Hmmmmm.” The little girl frowned and crossed her arms, lost in thought.
“What’s the matter?” the young mother asked her child, patting her head.
“…Wouldn’t Ophiucus be lonely?” the girl asked with a worried face. The kind lady’s face was filled with surprise to hear her daughter’s question. “She’s all alone in the celly hall, right? No one agreed with her and she have no one to talk to or play with.”
“Hmmm…That’s probably the case,” the kind mother chuckled and patted the girl’s head again.
“And why do humans have to be foolish and selfish?” the girl asked some more.
“Well…That’s…really what I wanna know too,” the young mother sighed, looking out of the little girl’s bedroom’s window.

“Mommy?”
“Yes, sweetie?”
“If I grow up, can I become a Zodiac Angel?”
The mother’s eyes widened. Various emotions stir her mind, stopping her from making any immediate replies.
“Why, sweetie?” the mother asked her daughter after pausing for a while.
“Well. If I am a Zodiac Angel, I’ll be able to visit and play with Ophiucus, right? Then Ophiucus will not be lonely and she would no longer want to destroy the world!” The little girl jumps up and down a couple of times in excitement.
The kind mother was indeed not expecting this answer. In front of her is an innocent little angel with a genuinely pure intent to save the very goddess who wishes to destroy everything they’ve known.

“…If only this world has more people like you…,” the kind mother muttered. The little girl seemed to hear her mother’s words, but simply tilted her head questioningly because her mother’s thoughts were too complicated for a girl her age to understand.
“So…you want to be friends with Ophiucus?” the kind mother asked.
“Yup!” the girl replies with an innocent smile.
“Well then. If you wish really hard…and I mean, really hard, then it might just come true.” The kind mother gave her daughter an assuring smile.
“Wish really hard…?” the girl muttered and paused to think, “Oh oh!! Then if I wish to the stars in the sky every night, will it come true?”
“Sure. If you wish for something with all your heart, then it will be able to come true some day.”
“I see. Then I’ll wish to the stars every night!”
“Good. So go to bed after you’re done making your wish.” The kind mother kisses her daughter’s soft bouncy cheeks.
“Good night, mommy.” The girl gave her mother her innocent smile.
“Good night, Sophia.”
The kind mother then got up from her daughter’s bed and moved across the cedar wood floor for the exit. Closing the door behind her, she leans her back against the door and looks up to the hallway’s ceiling.
“…’So Ophiucus would not be lonely’, huh? I guess I was right to just leave the real ending of that story out. Right, Cliff?” The kind mother chuckled and walked away from her daughter’s bedroom.

In a dark bedroom lit only by the lights of the hallway behind the door and the stars on the night sky outside, the little girl knelt down on her bed next to the window. Her hands were folded against one another and her eyes are closed tightly. Quietly, the girl whispered her pure and genuine wish upon the stars with all her heart.

“I wish … to be a Zodiac Angel.”

However, her hatred and wrath have never once faded away from history. So Ophiucus made a vow that whenever Athenia is once again filled with chaos and hurled into great upheaval, she will descend from the Celestial Hall and put all existences to an end.

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