The night passed and dawn brought in a new day. In the Oscar’s mansion, the days start early. Adriel’s aunt, Grace, got up early and prepared a nice breakfast. She had been quite worried the night before, and she was so glad someone had saved her niece’s life – or at least she thought they had faced some terrible danger on their way home. It wasn’t too far from the truth and Adriel wouldn’t give any details. ‘Poor child! She must have been so scared…’ the woman thought to herself. She directed the cook and servants to set the breakfast table. Grace Oscar was quite proud of her household skills.
Adriel felt a bit embarrassed. It wasn’t the first time Raphael had been to her house, but even after all this time Adriel still felt a bit nervous to be seen treated like a fragile child in front of someone who knew she was a warrior. Maybe he had some point of view about it Adriel couldn’t perceive. Adriel blushed. She couldn’t do anything about it anyway. “Good morning,” she greeted when Raphael and her uncle entered the breakfast room.
“Good morning.” Raphael greeted the Oscars solemnly. His shoulders still hurt. The sleep on the hard marble floor didn’t make things better. Sitting down on the chair of his allocated seat, Raphael looked at the Oscars. He waited for his hosts to start the breakfast. It didn’t seem polite to start eating by himself.
“Good morning,” greeted Sir Ethan. Lady Grace nodded at Raphael. “Good morning!,” she greeted. Adriel looked down, her face still red. Sir Ethan said the table blessing and his wife personally served the breakfast to everyone. She’d usually do that herself when she was happy. “Adriel dear, have some juice.” Grace smiled at her.
Adriel smiled a bit. “Thanks, aunt Grace,” she said. Adriel glanced over at Raphael. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yes, thank you.” Raphael replied blankly, “The floor is nice.” Raphael picked up the fork and knife and started cutting up his scrambled egg into little pieces before dipping it into the chili sauce nearby and popped it into his mouth. Raphael loved to eat spicy food, the hotter the better. He seemed to be immune to it. He moved on and attacked the ham and bacon next. His plate was near done at a mere two minutes.
Sir Ethan found those words somewhat strange, but he continued to eat as if he had heard nothing. Due to his military experience, he guessed the boy was somehow affected by the last night experience. Sir Ethan was proud of the boy. Probably he had stood a serious risk but he hadn’t abandoned Adriel and brought her home safe.
Grace blinked. ‘The floor’s nice?’ She wondered if he was alluding to the floor design in the room. “It’s Art Nouveau,” she explained with a smile, then went back to eat. ‘My goodness, the poor boy is in a starvation state. Adriel should invite him over for dinner.‘
Adriel was astonished. She knew Raphael better, and she realized he has slept on the floor… in that condition?! She watched him engulf the meal and barely remembered to eat herself. Adriel ate absently. She took a sip of juice. “Would you like some more ham?”
“Yes, more scrambled egg and bacon please.” Raphael replied to Adriel, too busy eating to be embarrassed at his own bad manners. He forgot to slow down. Raphael looked at Grace blankly when she described the floor’s design. He didn’t understand very much what she was saying but it sounded really knowledgeable, so he just smiled absent-mindedly. As he ate more and more, Raphael’s stamina and health seemed to go back to normal and his wounds seemed to feel better.
Adriel rose and served his meal by herself. She glanced over at him while she did – Raphael seemed to get back to health as he ate. She served the plate generously and poured more juice in his glass. “Here you go.”
Grace had her doubts Raphael’d be able to eat all Adriel served, but she said nothing. She had a loving look for her husband – Grace was the kind of woman that thinks that a good way to express love is to feed. Ethan, on his part, was a good eater. “Anyone want some tea?”
Raphael mumbled a thanks to Adriel and he started attacking his food again. In another two minutes, the plate was empty again. Raphael finally stopped eating, wiped his mouth with a piece of table-napkin and drank the orange juice on the table. “No thanks.” Raphael replied politely in response to the question on the tea. Putting down his glass of juice, he looked around, wondering if the Oscars needed him to help in anything. He was eager to help if they ask him to, for he was too shy to say he wanted to help.
Adriel finished her own meal and took her juice. Her aunt smiled at her and made sure her husband was satisfied before she left the table, bringing breakfast to an end. Grace called in the servants to remove the dishes. She noticed Raphael’s look as wanting to be helpful and she thought quickly. She’d better give him something to do so he’d feel useful and welcome.
“Would you please do something for me, Raphael?,” lady Grace asked with a kind smile. “Adriel will be going to our library this morning. Would you please walk her there? We’d be thankful if you do.” She glanced over at Ethan for support.
Sir Ethan nodded gravely. “Yes, of course.”
Grace had a triumphant smile. “Thanks!”
Adriel folded her napkin and rose. She felt lucky no one had yet asked about her bicycle, which she had left at Rishta’s. Maybe her uncle and aunt thought it had been stolen. She looked at Raphael. “I’ll get my purse,” she said with a nod. She went back to her chambers. Adriel brushed her teeth and retouched her hair, then went back downstairs to meet her family and Raphael. “I’m ready,” she shyly announced. Her aunt hugged her before they left.
“Have a nice day,” Grace wished them.
“Okay.” Raphael replied to Grace, happy that he would be help, though he didn’t show it on his face. He waited for Adriel to get her purse in the hall patiently and when she came out, Grace hugged Adriel and wished her a nice day. Seemed like they were ready to go. Raphael opened the door and walked out of it, waiting outside for Adriel.
Adriel walked outside and her aunt closed the door behind her. Adriel climbed down the porch steps with Raphael. When they are out of the fence, Adriel looked at him with concern. “How are your wounds? Have they healed by now?” The Library was a few streets away. It was still quite early and the sky was dark and cloudy; seemed like it was going to rain near noon.
“Yes, thanks.” Raphael replied wryly. Looking up at the sky, Raphael said, “I think it’s going to rain soon. Come on. Let’s go to the library quick.”
Adriel nodded. “Yes… it’s very dark.” She walked fast next to Raphael. “I’m glad you’re alright… Do you think we’ve got behind about the demons? We’ll need to get ready, like Azrael said.” They went across a couple crossroads and the library came into sight: an old gothic building; a former church.
* * * * * * * * * *
Angel left the mansion and headed for the Londoner library Aramis had been to, following his recalls about the streets. ‘Damn British weather; will it rain or not?’, he angrily thought. A thunder rolled in the skies. Angel was quite angry, but when he arrived to the library he was the politest man on Earth. The library was a former gothic church. He snickered when he entered the place. Angel introduced himself as Silvanus Niemeyer and explained to the librarian who attended him there had been a mistake and he was there to retrieve a book. The man was stubborn and somewhat stupid in Angel’s opinion, so he used some magic on him.
“We need to wait for Lady Adriel to give the authorization, milord. She’ll be here soon.”
‘Lady who?’ Angel had a wry smile. “I shall wait…” He disappeared among the open-public collections in what had been the left aisle of the church.
Raphael went ahead and opened the door for Adriel to enter. Once she did so, Raphael entered after her and shut the door quietly, walking in the large library with silence. Then he stopped short. A strange tinge of familiar and dangerous aura around. but it was kind of faint… Raphael hesitated for a while, and thought of asking Adriel to go home.
Adriel walked into the library as soon as Raphael opened the door for her. She sensed something, but what she sensed didn’t feel quite right. Adriel stopped in her tracks with a bad feeling.
“Lady Adriel! Be welcome,” one of the librarians greeted her. “Good morning, mister,” he greeted Raphael, too.
“Good morning, Lester. How have… things been this morning? Have you had any trouble?”
“Not at all,” the man beamed. “I got here before sunrise and nothing was out of place. Miriam and Hector must be about to get here.” Lester turned, then came back. “However, a lord arrived. He came here to retrieve a book; he says there was a mistake and that book shouldn’t have been included in his donation. He wants the book back, but I explained him we need your authorization, milady.”
Adriel blinked. “A lord?”
“He gave me his card.” Lester went to the nearest counter to fetch it. Adriel felt uneasy for some reason. She looked at Raphael as to see if he perceived something odd.
Raphael stood where he was and shut his eyes for a while, to concentrate on the aura he sensed earlier. Opening his eyes, he lost the aura. It seemed to be everywhere, yet masking itself away. Putting his hand on her shoulder, Raphael said softly, “Be wary. I sense evil in here.” Peeking at the card, he thought, ‘What is that now?’
Adriel took the card Lester gave her. Raphael was looking at it too as she held the card. Adriel nodded slowly. She looked at the card. “Silvanus A. Niemeyer,” Adriel read. “It also says Conde Blanco, the White Count, in Spanish.”
“The A is for Angel,” a dark, smiling voice said. A tall man stepped out of the left aisle shadows with a curious smile. “Silvanus Angel Niemeyer. That is my name.” Angel walked over to them, confidently. He looked relaxed and elegant, yet arrogant and with an air of primacy. “Lady Adriel, I suppose. Good morning.” He gave a polite bow. “And your friend is…?” He looked at Raphael with a strange smile. He was perfectly aware of who they truly were.
Raphael frowned as Angel appeared before them and introduced himself. He didn’t like the way Angel carried himself in – full of arrogance and presumably, cockiness. For a moment Raphael had the name ‘Belial’ running around in his mind but Angel seemed a little bit different… Raphael just wasn’t sure how different he was and in what way he was different. For all Raphael cared, he remembered Belial really irritated him allot in the past. Raphael wasn’t too sure now though. He looked at Angel and gave him a sharp glance. “My name is Ralph.” Raphael said simply.
Adriel was surprised. She strongly felt she knew this one. Was it Belial? He seemed to be, but strangely. She wasn’t sure if this man was Belial or not, but sure he was… a fallen angel, a demon. His name – Angel – was so presumptuous. She nodded back out of politeness.
Lester was watching them. “Lord Niemayer is here to retrieve this book, milady.” He handed her a piece of paper with the book’s name and the code they had already assigned to it.
Adriel bit her lip. “You… have donated books to us, according to this notes, milord.” She felt uneasy about that. “You want to get back one of these, is that correct?”
“Yes, that is correct.” Angel nodded at Raphael with a slight smirk. Angel gloated in the realization that they were not sure about identifying him. They didn’t know.
Angel blinked at the list, yet his face remained impassible. How many books had Aramis donated? And for the sake of all that’s dark, why? “May I have that note? I’ll mark for you which book I need.”
Adriel hesitated. “You are so kind, milord. If you tell me the book’s name, I’ll locate it for you.” Adriel didn’t feel like handling him the list.
Angel smiled. Little brat. “You’re are ever so kind, milady.” He bowed lightly. “I wouldn’t want cause you any trouble, looking through the list. May I insist.” He had a charming smile and raised his hand as to receive the paper.
Raphael didn’t like the smirk Angel was giving him. He stared at Angel and said nothing. He decided to stay with Adriel in the library for however long she wanted to stay, in case Angel attacked her. He decided to do this because he sensed that Angel was a Fallen One, though he was not fully sure he was Belial. Oh, he looked and talked like him, but there was something different. The look Angel has on his face, Raphael didn’t like it either, for some reason. He stepped ahead and blocked Adriel with himself. “Stop being so pushy, alright?” Raphael said in a cold voice, “It’s so clear she doesn’t want to show you the list. The list is private. So now will you please step away, give the book’s name? We will look for the book.”
Angel narrowed his eyes and straightened his back. Raphael was as rude as usual. A doorknob had better manners than the Head General of the angels. “Very well,” he softly said, his silver eyes blazing beneath his thick, black eyelashes. “The book’s name is The Damascus Document, by Zadokite.” Angel suddenly smiled. “It’s an antique of certain value.”
Adriel bit her lip. She was glad Raphael had interfered, because out of manners Angel was forcing her to give the list. Lester was horrified at the way Raphael had spoken to lord Niemeyer and had a hard look for him. Adriel was looking for the entry in the list. “The Damascus Document… it’s been already classified and put away. It’s in a separate collection.” Adriel turned and headed for the right aisle, which had been turned into a separate collection room with tall bookcases in solid oak wood, with shelves on both sides and portable hand stairs to reach the higher shelves. A solid wall separated this collection room from the main library space. Adriel knocked on the door and the door opened. “Good morning, Alice.”
“Good morning, lady Adriel!,” the woman greeted her, opening the door so they could enter.
There was no way he was staying behind! Assuming he was to go along, Angel followed Adriel. After all, he had to identify the book. He cast a cold glance at Raphael and followed Adriel. “Good morning,” he greeted the librarian who opened the door for them.
Raphael shot Angel a hard stare back and he followed just behind Adriel. He didn’t trust him. ‘Belial’ after Tabris. What a coincidence. Raphael wondered if it was some sort of conspiracy. Raphael was just beside Angel’s side and he eyed Angel carefully, not letting him have any chance to strike without being noticed.
Adriel could feel the tension behind her, heavy as lead. She smiled back at Alice, trying to look relaxed. She entered the collection room, followed by Raphael and Angel.
“Alice, we’re here to retrieve a book. This is Raphael as you might remember, and this is lord Niemeyer. He’s here to retrieve The Damascus Document… He needs it back.”
Alice nodded. “That’s a quite valuable book! It’s an antique… but it’s well-preserved. We put it in the shelves of books about Mesopotamia, for the moment – it’s the kind of books one has to keep under lock! It’s nice to see you again, lord Niemeyer! Thanks again for the books!”
A shadow passed by Angel’s forehead, but it lasted less than a second. So she had spoken to Aramis! He smiled at the librarian. “I’m glad you’ve found my humble books suitable,” he gently said. “Which one did you like best?”
Alice’s eyes twinkled. “I loved the poetry book by Adamantius. It was the ‘lighter’ of the four, since the others are more on history. But that book you’re taking back…” Alice smiled a bit. “It’s a peculiar work.”
“Did you find it so different from the others?” Angel asked.
“Yes, milord!” Alice sighed. “But my favorite is Adamantius’s.”
Angel smiled to himself. The information eased some anxiety he had. “I’m glad you liked it,” he said.
Alice smiled. ‘How handsome he is! But he looks somehow different…’ The librarian nodded. “Lady Adriel, I’ll go back to my work.”
Adriel nodded. “Yes. Thanks Alice.” Adriel wanted to get Alice as far as possible from Angel. Two more librarians were working somewhere in this collection room – she could sense them. Adriel exchanged a glance with Raphael. “This way,” she said, leading them to the bookcases area. The bookcases were high, even though the tall stone vaults were way higher above; the bookcases were solidly built in oak and had shelves on both sides; they had brass signs with the master codes for each section. Adriel led them to the back of the room, where the Mesopotamia books were. Their steps echoed in the vault above. Adriel found the book and retrieved it from the shelf. It was old and… dark. The book itself had a dark air to it. With some reluctance, she handed it to Angel.
“Thank you,” Angel said with a sly smile, taking the book back. He made the heavy tome levitate and turn in the air next to his hand, then made it become smaller and placed it in his pocket. Angel cast a mocking look at Raphael, who had been clearly keeping guard on him. He hadn’t had the intention of attacking, but since he was expected to… He couldn’t disappoint his hosts.
“Is this the part when I kill you?,” he gently asked. He assumed his angelic form – it seemed fit to look like former angel in a former church – and summoned the Staff of Simara. In the very moment he assumed the angelic form, he perceived Aramis had assumed it, too and was fighting someone else. That fool… The space was too tight to spread out his six wings, but Angel didn’t care. He pointed at Adriel and Raphael with the staff and released an arc or energy towards them – nothing too serious but enough for a painful fright.
Raphael had kind of expected the attack so he was able to evade the blast totally. He pushed Adriel to the floor as well, to get out of the blast’s way. Raphael glared hard at Angel for his deed and he summoned his dagger out from mid-air then slashed a heavy blast attack towards Angel.
With a mocking smile, Angel received the blast with the extreme of the Staff of Simara, which amplified the blast and returned it. His black robes beneath his silver armor moved as if the wind was blowing about him. Angel moved his hand and put out a ghastly flame that had appeared on a nearby shelf as he released the counter bolt.
Adriel fell on the cold marble floor with Raphael on her; she sensed then saw the arc of energy coming for them but Raphael helped dodging it. Adriel was worried about fighting Angel here. When he assumed the angelic form, she realized he is Belial. Why or how much he had changed, it was a mystery – but it is him. “It’s Belial!,” she exclaimed, assuming her angelic form even though she couldn’t move freely.
Raphael still didn’t open his wings. There would be a terrible lack of space. Raphael thought. If he was to invoke his full powers here, the library would collapse and the people would die, assuming there was an earthquake. So he pointed his dagger at Angel, a sizzling sound was heard. A glow emitted from the tip of the blade and it shot off a beam towards Angel.
The space among the bookcases was too tight! Angel used the Staff to deflect some of the blast, but he couldn’t move as fast as to avoid a spark that left a red mark on his shoulder. Angel growled and rose his hand to strike them a decent energy blast – not like the playful one from earlier. Then he sensed someone coming. Angel blinked as a small child popped her head from the next corner. “Mommi!” Angel raised an eyebrow and seemingly assumed his human form as if nothing had happened, for the mother was coming, too.
Adriel blinked at the child. She immediately assumed her human form a she perceived Belial had; the mother was coming fast! “Lady Adriel!” It was Rose, the second librarian, who saw the hem of Adriel’s dress from the other aisle of the collection room. The woman rushed to help and blinked at seeing Raphael and Adriel on the floor while Angel stood not far away.
“Milady!” The woman was horrified at the sight. “Why are you…?”
Adriel forced a smile. “I tripped and fell. Help me up… Raphael.”
The kid pointed at them. “Angels, mommi… but he angel bad!” She was pointing out at Angel.
Raphael pulled Adriel up and looked at Angel with an ugly stare before glancing at the child. Walking over to the child, Raphael ruffled her hair and says, “Well, we did nothing, child.” Looking at both Angel (not forgetting to give another glare) and Adriel, Raphael asked, “We are not doing anything but talking here, isn’t it?”
Angel laughed in a condescending way. “Children. They have such a lively imagination these days!,” he said with a charming smile. “Of course, we’ve just been talking here. Are you alright, Adriel? It’s been so kind on Raphael’s part to help you… I’m sorry I couldn’t reach you as fast!” His silver eyes blazed in response to Raphael’s glare. “We have many things to talk about; specially in a place like this.”
Rose smiled in embarrassment. “Please, excuse us. Rosie is only a little kid; she’s always seeing things.”
“Angels, mommi!,” little Rosie insisted.
“Hush!” Rose said in a low voice. “Milady, are you alright?”
“Yes, I am fine. Thank you, Rose.”
Rose took her child’s hand and pulled her away with her. “Excuse us… Morning, milord’s.” The mother and child left quickly.
The annoying humans were gone. Angel smiled to himself as he spread out his wings once more, assuming his angelic form back. “Where were we?,” he asked, holding the Staff with both hands and hitting Raphael’s shoulder with it, sending him right to the next aisle of the collection room. Angel threw a bolt at Adriel’s chest.
Blood streamed down from Raphael’s injured shoulder as he struggled to stand up. Gripping his dagger tightly, Raphael moved the dagger in front of him. Anger consumed him and he forget himself for a moment. He slapped his full-blast powers into the dagger which was unleashed towards Angel with a slash using his remaining arm that still could move.
Angel held the Staff up to form a shield and deflect the dagger, but it was too late. The dagger pierced through the first stage of the shield forming and went right through one of Angel’s wings. Angel bit his lip not to howl in pain and turned the Staff of Simara towards Raphael, sending a bolt to his wounded shoulder. Angel shifted his balance, pain ripping through his wing now stained with blood. Away in the park, pain echoed into Aramis.
Adriel fell hard to the ground, but on the way changed to her angelic form. Her wings padded her fall some, but the pain in her chest was unbearable. Adriel gasped for air and Raphael’s attack flashed before her eyes. She saw blood shimmering in Angel’s wing and when he rose his Staff to send another bolt at Raphael, Adriel rose the Blade of Life in the shape of a long sword. The blade split Angel’s bolt in two, deflecting it some. Adriel coughed, feeling the world going blurry around her.
Raphael deflected the remaining power off by casting a shield over himself after being hit on the shoulder again. That despicable fellow, Raphael thought. Raphael summoned his dagger back and blast a beam towards Angel’s wings. The fight last night did him good. Tabris had taught Raphael one thing: Aim for the wings.
Angel narrowed his eyes and quickly closed his wings as he sensed another bolt coming. The wounded wing he couldn’t close properly, but he bent down, dodging the bolt. Angel murmured a spell and the marble floor beneath Raphael seemed to melt, becoming soft beneath him. Angel aimed another bolt at Raphael’s shoulder and a second one to his feet.
Raphael finally opened his wings and he flew upwards before flying to another side, off to where Angel’s attack went to. Books and papers flew everywhere. Raphael closed his wings as soon as he dodged out of the way. He gathered his strength at his good arm and aimed several times at Angel, which shot off beams at several directions. Raphael skipped next to Adriel and asked while keeping an eye on Angel’s movements, “Are you alright?”
Angel pressed his hands together and cast a spell: a black sphere surrounded him, shielding him from most of the energy from Raphael’s attack, for his wound had worn him down some. After doing this, Angel suddenly rose and the Staff off Simara changed into a spear: he rose it ready to pierce Raphael and Adriel together like meat on a skewer, now that Raphael was imprudently trying to help Adriel and stood right next to her. A ball of energy formed in his hand, spreading into a shield.
Adriel tried to sit up, painfully. “Watch out Raphael…!” She tried to rise, but right then the kid returned at the sound of falling books.
Adriel gasped. “Rosie…” She changed to human form and tried to get up to shield the kid with her body.
Raphael stepped over quickly and the bookcase crushed onto Raphael’s shoulders. Raphael stifled his groans and tried to let the weight be on him for as long as possible, until Adriel and the kid got out of the way. “Get away quickly…!” Raphael huffed as he struggled to keep the bookcase upright. His shoulders, especially his injured shoulder, hurt seriously and he was forced to stoop down.
Angel blinked as the bookcase tipped and began to fall on them. He simply moved aside as Raphael rushed to stop the bookcase fall to save the kid and Adriel. Angel smiled to himself. The kid was pointing at him again; Angel changed to human form and a mocking smile slid on his lips. “I always knew you were nothing but a beast of burden,” he told Raphael in sarcasm, “but I never knew how right I was. Easy, we don’t want the kid to be crushed, do we?” He turned the Staff into a cane and threatened to hit Raphael’s side to make him lose balance. Angel laughed softly. “I’ve had enough fun for the morning in the library. I got my book, so I’ll leave.”
Adriel managed to get up; she picked up Rosie and moved out of danger with her, to the side opposite to where Angel was. Rosie frowned at Angel. “Meanie!”
Adriel glared at Angel. “If you dare to attack him now, I’ll make you regret it,” she said, despite her chest still hurt from the direct blast he had delivered her. Rosie stuck her tongue out at Angel.
Rose and Alice rushed in, followed by Lester who came in for the noise. “Lady Adriel!” Lester rushed to Raphael’s aid, putting his shoulders to work. Lester pushed along with Raphael, getting the bookcase back in its right position. Many books had fallen from the shelves, making the bookcase lighter and relatively easier to get back in upright position.
Raphael gave a sigh as the heavy case was lifted from his shoulders. Great. It is messed up again. Fallen angels and demons, what the heck. Raphael went to one side and sat down on a chair, resting. But his blue eyes never left Angel. He sat there, staring at Angel with his cold expression.
Angel just stood there, but he turned his head to see Raphael as the archangel sat on a chair – Angel’s mocking smile said it all.
“Milord! Are you alright?,” Alice asked in concern.
Angel smiled a little. “Yes, I am fine.” The bibliothecarians were relieved. Angel smiled within. He was a lord – no one expected him to push a bookcase! “You ought to thank this young man here. He certainly has been of help.” Angel motioned to Raphael with deference, and the humans nodded in approval – all but Rosie.
“Bad angel!,” she said, pouting. Rose picked up her child from Adriel’s arms. “Excuse her, milord… She’s just a little child.”
“Only children say how they really feel,” Angel replied with a charming smile. “She shouldn’t be reprimanded for it.” He nodded at Raphael. “Till some other time,” he said with a smile. “ladies, gentleman. Farewell.” He bowed politely to Adriel. “I know the way out. Don’t bother leaving the place,” he gently said, then walked out the room.
Adriel bit her lip. “Oh I may not let you part alone; I shall accompany you to the door, lord Niemayer!” She followed him. Adriel wanted to make sure he was really leaving for good!
Angel smirked when Adriel caught up with him. He appeared relaxed, but his wound stiffened his shoulder some, even under human form. “I might become one of your library patrons. It’s an interesting place to visit, so… I might donate more books,” he teasingly said. He pulled the massive wooden door open.
Aramis flew swiftly to the library. He landed in a nearby alley and assumed his human form; he hurriedly walked to the library where he had donated the books; the angels statues on the building facade seemed to watch him as he began climbing the front steps. The door opened. Angel was coming out, and he was not alone. Aramis’s face was a bit red from the rush, his eyes wide in anxiety. Angel cast a cold glance at him and Aramis silently took in a deep breath. ‘He’s angry at me’, Aramis thought. He looked at the girl beside Angel and recognized one of the Angels of Death. ‘Adriel!’
Adriel’s jaw was set, her lips pursed in discontentment. “What you teach is not something I’d recommend to humans to learn, Necromancer,” she replied as they stood in the library threshold. “So spare us from your patronage.” Angel’s gaze was not on her anymore. Adriel blinked and looked over the direction his gaze followed. Adriel was shocked. A man… no, an angel climbed up the stairs to meet them, but it was Belial, too! Adriel stared in shock. Her angelic senses perceived the auras were just the same as were the faces, the bodies: it was like looking into a mirror! When the other angel reached their level and stood there, Adriel realized they together formed the whole of Belial, but still they are now two but one. A cold shiver ran down Adriel’s spine for it was the creepiest feeling she had had in ages. Adriel placed her hand on her chest in horror.
“What happened to you?”, she asked with a gasp. Adriel was sure this was some abomination he had plotted. However, now that she gave a second look, they had some differences, not physical but of other sort. Adriel wasn’t sure which differences those were, but she still was shocked and horrified.
Angel laughed at Adriel’s reaction. He had a sly smile. “Let’s say… I’ve taken my inner dialog outside,” he softly explained. “If you are confused, you may call me Angel. He is Aramis. I’m sure you know what his name means, so see we’re even.” Angel had a malevolent, mocking smile. “He is my dear brother.”
Aramis swallowed. He looked blankly at Adriel and past her through the door. He perceived Raphael was inside, and he knew every detail of the fight by now. Angel was really angry – Aramis bowed politely at the shocked Adriel without really knowing what to say.
A small, soft sound echoed in the splayed archs of the main doorway, like the flapping of small wings. A little hand took grip of a fold in Adriel’s skirt; a cold, unmoving gaze fell on Angel and Aramis. It was Azrael. Again, she had taken the appearance of a little child, not older than six years old in human years. Her appearance was deceiving, for it was nothing but an illusion; Azrael had followed Aramis and now arrived to possible aid of Adriel, who would have many difficulties to stand these two if they attacked her alone.
Angel blinked at the kid. Children are becoming a pest of the worst sort, he thought with irony. “Greetings, Dark One,” he told Azrael with a snicker. “Hadn’t seen you since the Black Death.” Angel frowned, for he perceived Aramis mood changed upon Azrael’s arrival. He was staring at the archangel with a soft yet filled with pain expression in his eyes, yet his face remained expressionless. Some demon he was! However, Angel knew he could blame no one but himself, as Belial. He decided to take Aramis out of there and quick.
“Unfortunately, we’re leaving now,” Angel announced. “So, see you.” He walked over to Aramis and stared hard into his eyes. //You owe me some explanations//, he spoke into his mind, then began climbing down the stairs. Aramis bit his lip. He cast a last look at Azrael, turned and followed Angel. Angel didn’t bother to look back at him or at the other angels to see if they were going to attack them, but it was highly unlikely, since the sidewalk was swarming with humans. Angel looked over the crowd as spotted a taxi carriage pulled by one horse. He whistled, despite his lord like appearance. The carriage stopped next to him and Angel himself opened the door. He cast a hard glance at Aramis, who was trying to look back without being noticed.
“Entra“(1) Angel said in a harsh tone. Aramis bit his lip and got in the carriage. Angel told the address to the driver and got in, closing the door behind him. The carriage left the scene and into the London traffic.
(1) Get in.