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Seal of Azazel

CHAPTER SIXTEEN: A RELUCTANT LEADER

It was little work to put together a few things for a night or two at the Inn, and a little more trouble to carry the case down the stairs. The case was heavy, but she kept a pleasant smile on her face as if nothing were troubling her.
“Come with me, Sir.” She beckoned to Johnathon as she walked by, not wanting to leave him alone in or at the house. Goodness knows what kind of trouble he would get into without some sort of supervision. Anastasia would surely have a fit as well. They found Adriel waiting patiently outside, and it took only a few moments to get a carriage and be on their way to the Inn.

The Inn was small, but lavish and the room chosen was more like a miniature apartment space. She left the angel and the man in the sitting area to change into fresh clothing. A bath and sleep would have been more to her liking, but she wouldn’t leave the two to make any decisions without her knowledge.
As she reentered the sitting room, the angel seemed to be gone, only leaving the man behind. “She left? Or is she lurking, still?”

“Hard to say,” Johnathon said, stuffing his hands into his coat pockets. “I can’t feel her presence anymore, but she could just pop up all of a sudden again. It’s still quite a shock, though, running into something that powerful…” Johnathon mused to himself for a moment, and looked up at Autumn. “Do you need anything? Something to drink, maybe? Or would you rather just rest? If you need some sleep, I can wait outside.”

“Aren’t you tired?” Autumn asked curiously. She herself was exhausted and she couldn’t imagine anyone not being weary after such a night.

“Me? Oh, of course not,” Johnathon said, lying through his teeth. He was practically ready to drop dead asleep where we was standing. “After everything that’s happened tonight, I think it might be best for me to stand watch.”

In the corner, Adriel blinked. She wasn’t lurking! Well. She had gone invisible out of habit to watch and make sure all was going to be alright – according to the possibilities. She went forward and her outline showed in the air behind Johnathon.
“I’ll leave now”, she announced, making herself visible. “May you have a good rest…” Adriel still cast a suspicious look at the man but this time she was just being mischievous. She glowed with a soft inner light, her face of radiant beauty.
“I am Adriel, Angel of Death. I am also lady Adriel Oscar, and I’m related to sir Ethan Oscar, the philanthropist. You may find me at his main library in London. May the path of Light shine before you”.
Adriel vanished.

Johnathon resisted the urge to twitch as Adriel made her exit. The angels were all quite strange, and he still was sure if that was a hint of jesting or if she really was that ominous. The information about her… human life?… would be useful in the future.

Raphael had flew all the way from Rishta’s home to Autumn’s house and then to the inn, following Adriel’s scent. He was getting tired of the tracking game. When he got to the inn, he appeared visible in his angelic form with his hands on his hips.
“Now where’s Adriel? Tell me or I will slit your throats.” Raphael threatened impatiently. Impatience had made him irrational.

Another one? As much as Johnathon had been impressed earlier, these angels were starting to become a bit pushy. His high opinion of them was starting to crumble rather quickly.
“Is that all?” Johnathon asked, not hiding the anger in his voice. “Do you people ever knock? And you just march in here, and start making demands? Honestly…if this is what angels act like, it’s no wonder the demons rebelled against you.”

Off-color, and perhaps not the most intelligent thing to say, but at this point, Johnathon didn’t care. Anything that would make the Heavenly host simply bugger off would be acceptable enough to him. “And, to answer your abrupt question…the lady Adriel, who has a bit more sense than you to see that I am not the threat you all think I am, thank goodness, bid her farewells to us, and left for some library.”

“It’s no business of the mortals how we angels and demons behave.” Raphael bawled, “You are a suspicious man and I will not hesitate to kill you if I know you are up to some hanky-panky.” Raphael cast a cold glance at Jonathon and as he disappeared to follow after Adriel he snarled his last reply. “I will remember you.”

“That went well…” Autumn mused, at least grateful the pair didn’t decide to cause a brawl in the middle of her room. It was late, past midnight, and any normal being should be in bed… Though, the more she thought about it, she hadn’t met a normal person all day long…
“It’s probably best that you go…” She moved to lead him to the door, but a sharp jolt of pain caused her to double over and grasp her side. It seemed as useful as Raziel’s spell was, it could only take so much abuse before wearing thin…

Oh, God…this is simply wonderful, Johnathon griped to himself. “I ask you…what else can go wrong tonight?” Catching Autumn as she fell, Johnathon carefully walked her over to the bed, and set her underneath the blankets. How a woman such as herself happened to be mixed up with powerful demons was a mystery, and a tragedy, as well. He’d make certain that, by the time this was all over, she would be able to live without fear of demonic attacks.

Johnathon stepped outside of Autumn’s room for a moment, and caught one of the bellhops as he came down the hallway. “I need a favor of you,” he said, handing the bellhop a few coins. “Go to the clinic near the park, and find a doctor that would be willing to make a house call this late at night. Tell him I’ll pay him whatever he asks, but that he should get here as soon as possible.” The porter nodded, and hurried off back down the hallway.

Well, that’s all I can do, at least until the doctor gets here. Johnathon stepped back into the room, and sat down in one of the chairs. I don’t think it’d hurt…if I took…a short…nap…

Kevin threw his cigarette into a small puddle and put it out with his foot as he continued walking down the street. He didn’t always smoke, just every once in a while when he had nothing better to do, and on this dark and foggy night, he really didn’t have anything better to do.
I should go to the Library. Check up on some books on Healing He thought to himself as he continued heading down the street alone. He sighed and put his hands in his pockets as though he was looking for something. Looking down at the ground he crossed the street and proceeded in the direction of the Library.

Lifting his head up, he looked and tried to see the evening sky through the slim fog that hung in mid-air. The sky was still a burgundy color on the horizon and it faded to black the more he lifted his head. As he walked his shoes made a clink clink sound against the ground; he stopped and looked around. Not a single soul was outside, not even a stray dog.
It’s too quiet. Reminds me of home when mother died. He once again hung his head and as he sighed yet again, he continued through the dark, gloomy streets of London.

Raphael was flying on his way to the Library when he spotted a mortal on the street. He quickly descended as his wings disappeared, in case the mortal saw him in his angelic form. The last thing he wanted was some stupid human getting all crazy over seeing an angel. Raphael ignored the young man as he walked past him and to the library. He was still feeling annoyed and he wanted Adriel’s accompany.

What the…., thought Kevin as he saw a person overtake him and walk in, what it seemed like, the same direction as he was heading. He could have sworn there was nobody behind him moments ago. He looked back again, and yet again saw no one behind him. As he turned around again, the person that appeared from behind was gone into the evening fog. Kevin shrugged and pulled out another cigarette from the inside of his jacket pocket; he put it in his mouth and paused. He patted himself down and a disappointing look overtook his face.
“Crap. I forgot my matches.” He said out loud and slowly resumed walking towards the library with the unlit cigarette in his parched lips.

The night was cold; chilling. A vast dark, gray cloud covered the skies above all London and the night sky was stormy and restless. It was little before closing now, and the library would open again at dawn. They closed as late as possible to allow night students to consult the library.
Inside the Library building, Adriel hugged herself and contemplated the stained glass windows of the library – a former gothic church. Adriel’s family ran this library and several others, as part of their philanthropist activities. Not all the librarians had left yet, and the library was still, with a heavy oppressive silence.

Adriel felt uneasy. Something was happening somewhere – something terrible and ominous – and Azrael had not come back yet. She needed to share her thoughts about this. Adriel looked at the bible passages pictured in the stained glass huge windows and her gaze lingered on a part of one of the stained glass windows that showed the story of Tobías and Raphael Archangel. Adriel let out a soft sigh and her full lips curled slightly in a mischievous yet innocent smile as she looked at Raphael’s image in colored glass.
“If he had that beatific smile in person, I’d think it’s not him”, she murmured.

“If he had a smile like that in person, I’d call him a girl and run before he beat me senseless.” Michael seemed to appear out of no where, standing behind Adriel, staring at the same stained glassed window with a bemused grin on his face. He managed to lurk in past one of the side doors, no doubt against library policy, but he preferred to sneak in at the most inopportune moments…
Besides, he saw Raphael going up the front steps and wanted to beat him in.
“Eh.. just thought I’d stop by an be a nuisance…”

“Honestly Michael, it’s none of your business if I’ve smiled like that before.” Raphael’s voice came out of nowhere as he stood behind the two angels with a grave expression. He looked at the colorful windows and a slight smile came to his lips. So similar to the one on the stained glass, only faint with sad memories. “Did any of you sense something going on tonight?” Raphael asked, ignoring Michael’s earlier teasing… for the moment.

After a few more minutes of walking, Kevin reached his destination. The library appeared from behind the foggy air and light could be seen shining through the windows. Kevin stood staring in awe for a few seconds, amazed by the size of the library. He then continued and walked up the stairs towards the entrance, he was almost certain he’d be the only one there at this time of evening.
Slowly he made his way through the big, worn out by time, doors. To his surprise, three more people were inside, talking in their own little clique. Kevin stood there studying them for a second, and noticed that one of them slightly resembled the man who overtook him on the road. He tried to think of something to say to them, just because he was starting to feel lonely, but he restrained himself, the people didn’t look like they wanted any outsiders barging into their conversation.
He walked across to the Magic section of the library, which he accidentally found very quick. It was towards the entrance and near the group of strangers. Although he didn’t mean to, he began listening to heir conversation, while pretending to look intently at some Healing book.

Raphael suddenly scowled, hearing the footsteps and the soft breathing of a mortal lurking nearby. He turned with a nasty expression on his face. “Who’s there?!” he demanded harshly.

Startled by the echoing question that was yelled out loud into Kevin’s direction, he quickly closed the book, slowly peered out from behind a book shelf he looked at the group of people. All of them were now staring at his nervous look. The one character that was closest to him looked furious, with an angry expression cast upon his face.
“Uhhh…… hi.” Kevin stupidly said. But at the same time he was scared for his dear life.
“Umm… I’m just looking up some Healer’s references here.” He nervously added trying to buy himself an alibi.

Doctors. It reminded Raphael of Uriel and Tabris. Uriel reminded him of his dead sister and Tabris reminded him of Rishta’s horrible experience. Seemed like anyone to do with healing and doctors were plain evil, especially with the likes of Uriel. Raphael wished he could waste her off.
“So you are a doctor or healer, huh?” Raphael said as he folded his arms across his chest, “No wonder you are eavesdropping on us. All doctors and healers have black hearts.”

Michael resisted the urge to roll his eyes, as Raphael practically accosted the human male. The archangel had a temper that could melt metal, but Michael kept his silence for the time being.

Still under her 6-year-old kid appearance, Azrael cast a glance at the stained glass window. She had skittered after Michael, silent as a little shadow. “Is that Raphael?”, she asked with a blink. Azrael peered from behind’s Michael’s leg at the human but she didn’t say anything else. Strange forces tugged at her mind, still faint and subtle, but disturbing. Azrael tilted her head and leaned on Michael’s leg like a child would, listening to this new disturbance within.

“I sense something…!” Adriel began to blurt out her worries at Raphael’s question when she noticed the human; Adriel stopped. She bit her lip.
“Oh… not all healers are bad…”, she faintly pointed out. The night was filled with strange anxieties. She noticed child Azrael resting her head on Michael’s leg and deep in thought. Adriel placed her hand on her chest.
“The night… is disturbing”. Or was it being disturbed?

Kevin sort of wished he never made his journey to the library that specific evening, but maybe it was fate.
“I… umm.. I’d like to apologize. I honestly didn’t mean to listen in on your conversation. Yes I’m just a plain Healer, and I recently arrived here in London.” He said as he fidgeted with the book nervously. “I truly didn’t mean to cause any trouble. I’ll leave now if you like me to; I’ve found what i was looking for anyway.” He held the book up in the air to show everyone he didn’t mean trouble at all.
There was uneasiness about in the air. Kevin felt like he wasn’t wanted there, and felt that he should leave. But another part of him wanted to stay and try to make friends with these people; he was feeling pretty lonely ever since he left home.

“Of course not, don’t mind Raphael… he swallowed a few scorpions a few years back and has been a little off ever since.” Michael smiled pleasantly at the man, and unconsciously pat the little Azrael on the head as she leaned on his leg.
The poor man looked intimidated, he didn’t blame him though. One look at Raphael and you could turn to stone. However… There was indeed something ominous going about. He could feel the hairs on his arms standing on end.

Kevin laughed nervously at the comment of the new person who spoke up. He felt like he needed to change the subject quickly, and he has a feeling of anticipation about him, but he didn’t know for what. Seemed like something bad is about to happen, or is happening as they speak.
“Do you any of you feel that also?” Kevin asked as if everyone knew what he was talking about. “I mean, this weird feeling like something horrible is about to happen or is currently happening.”
Immediately after saying that, Kevin felt like an idiot, it was probably a stupid feeling only he experienced, which was totally nothing important.

Adriel hugged herself as thunder rolled across the skies. She was growing uneasy, and the feeling reminded her – frightening enough – of battles and fearful days of unsteady peace. Adriel looked at the newcomer as he expressed his own worries; she bit her lip and looked at Raphael.
“The night’s disturbing”, she insisted. “I’d like to go seeing how the Baroness is, and also I wonder… if something else is going to happen or is happening right now”.
Adriel couldn’t help a blink when Michael patted child Azrael’s head as she leaned on his leg. A small smile appeared on her lips, but it didn’t show in her eyes.

Raphael snorted inwardly when he saw Michael patting Azrael’s head. Really! As if she was really a child! He looked at Adriel and said seriously, “I can sense danger… and the foulness of demons too… though I’m not really sure of its source. I will accompany you to look for the Baroness if you must go, for I’m worried about your safety.”
Raphael turned to Michael and Azrael and gave a sneer, “Wanna go along, Mr. Leader and Miss Kiddo?”

Miss Kiddo? Azrael blinked. She cast a sharp look at Raphael. “Watch your mouth, young one!”, she warned him. “I will follow. Something’s coming out of the Darkness and it’d not be wise to leave you alone by now”. The child pulled her little coat a bit and tossed her flicked her curls on her back.

Adriel blinked at Raphael and Azrael. I hope they won’t get into an argument again…, she thought. She had a shy smile for him, for she was quite unusually worried and it was nice to have him come along with her.
“Thank you”, she told Raphael, hoping to break the stare match between Azrael and Raphael.

“Not a kid?” Raphael teased, “Then you must be an old witch who can’t reach the age of puberty!” Raphael laughed, enjoying Azrael’s annoyance. He stepped to Adriel’s side as he smirked at Azrael.

Azrael was annoyed at this, but she suddenly snapped back into her cold self as she didn’t see the point of the teasing.
“Why would I worry about that?”, she asked with a blink.

Raphael blinked at Azrael and he shrugged.
“Looks like the old witch doesn’t get it at all. It’s okay. You are as clueless as ABC.” Raphael said as he whistled and looked about randomly.

Adriel blinked. “Erm… let’s leave it at that, please”, she asked them. “There are more important things to do”. She cast a reprimanding, yet mischievous look at Raphael.
“Please let there be peace”. She nodded at Azrael.

Kevin watched in amusement as the strangers had a small friendly argument between each other. But one of their comments caught his attention.
“Baroness? Is someone in trouble?” Kevin asked in hopes of being needed. He also wanted to interrupt the little fit that was going on.
Kevin couldn’t get his eyes off the child, although little she seemed more mature, and acted well above her age. This puzzled Kevin, but he didn’t even dare to ask. The character who was referred to as Raphael, was the one who didn’t like Kevin it seemed, but by the way others responded it didn’t seem like he got along well with anyone. This interested Kevin, he wanted to see if there’s a possible way Raphael and him could become friends, but he stood well out of his way, Raphael definitely seemed like a person you really don’t want to mess with.

Michael watched the scene, amused for a few moments, but the Kevin person seemed to catch his interest the most. He was quick witted, and seemed to catch on to things pretty quick. If they weren’t careful, he was going to find out more than he could deal with.
“No, no…The Baroness Riktophen is just a little ill…” He replied to Kevin, then picked up the little Azrael in his arms, much to the surprised to everyone. “And stop picking on my sister. You know she just wants to be part of the adult conversations…” He gave a pointed look to Raphael as if to say ‘shut your mouth’. Raphael was letting on allot more than he needed to with his stupid banter…

Azrael blinked at being picked up. She wondered why people wouldn’t let her stay on her feet, but she quickly understood Michael’s reasons. Since she knew by now she did not act like the average Londoner child, she simply remained silent, eyeing Raphael and looking at Kevin with curiosity.
“Let us go seeing the Baroness”, she told Michael.

Kevin took a step towards the group as if about to ask whether he could come along, but he hesitated and reconsidered this decision. He thought he’d just stay to himself, he was obviously neither wanted or needed. “Well I hope she feels better.” Kevin replied with a shrug. There wasn’t much he could say at that point. However Kevin knew that there was more to these people than meets the eye, and he was almost sure that this Baroness was more than just a sick person.

For a moment Kevin studied the man who picked up his sister, or so that’s who he claimed she was. This man was considerably tall, and seemed younger than Kevin was. Come to think of it everyone looked younger than him, but even so, Kevin felt intimidated by all of them, and therefore barely spoke.

Raphael tapped his feet impatiently and he couldn’t wait any longer. “Still holing up here after deciding?!” he exclaimed, “I’m leaving first!” He walked towards the door as quickly as a ghost and slammed it behind him.

Michael narrowed his eyes after Raphael left out the library door, something out front wasn’t right, but he doubted they could leave to deal with it without the human getting suspicious and following too. He was too smart for his own good. His smile never left his face, however, as he gently set Azrael back on the ground. “I think our friend needs a good talking to.. why don’t you three wait here for a moment…” //Raphael is getting into trouble.. I don’t want the human involved.. try to keep him distracted, please…// He nodded to them all, ruffling Azrael’s hair, then leaving the library…

Samael Norse stalked down the empty streets of London on his way back to his personal apartments, a scowl carved into his face. Morris was such an arrogant bastard. Time and time again the pair had argued and battled it out over… to the point that even Samael himself couldn’t remember why it all started. But the audacity to insult him and his talents? That once grave mistake and now both of them had cause chaos on the London streets… Something had been let loose… something of so much power, it chilled Samael to even think of it. The entire mess was Johnathon Morris’s fault!

He pulled a small relic from his medical bag and held it up high in the air. Summoning his strength he pulled it into the relic… He would settle this once and for all.
“Beast Summon!”
A golden sigil projected from the relic hovering in the air for a few moments. The thunderous roar of a demon echoed in the wind as it’s head shoved through the sigil, followed by the rest of it’s scaly body. Long arms with sharp claws, legs like a dragon… This would more than do the trick of destroying his adversary. This would be the last time Morris cause trouble for himself!

“Beast… Destroy the man known as Johnathon Morris, and only Morris!”
The demon tilted it’s head to the side, as if listen, but turned around in the opposite direction. Samael scowled, holding his relic firmer trying to grasp a firmer control on the demon. “Obey me, beast!” The beast did nothing of the sort… yet perfectly ignored his orders and headed straight for the library. Samael blinked in surprised! He used a minor summon! The beast should be easily control! A cold feeling of anticipation washed over him as he watched the demon go… If the demon could resist his control… something larger than he had expected was amiss…

Raphael had just walked out of the library when a bad feeling came tugging at his mind again. His hairs stood on their ends and he felt uneasy. It had been a long time since he felt that way… Then he felt it again. It was a different feeling though. Hot… Raphael looked up, and he widened his eyes. A dragon! Raphael stiffened as he realized it was a demon… summoned straight from the Abyss! He withdrew his sword Strife and set up a shield. “Death is to you, evil bastard.” Raphael snarled at the beast as he took his battle stance.

The dragon roared hotly, spitting waves of his fiery breath down at Raphael. Michael took the moment to step out of the library just as Raphael ducked one of the blasts and rolled across the ground. He crossed his arms as he watched Raphael attack the dragon once more. “I think I bet on the dragon!” Michael called out, almost smugly. He walked down to the bottom of the steps, not seeming to make any move to help…

“Shutup!” Raphael growled angrily. Was Michael really an angel, much less the leader of all archangels? He was beginning to think that Michael had sold himself to the darkness. His wings sprouted and he flew upwards with Strife’s tip pointing up vertically, gathering a meteor-like force. Raphael roared as he punched his dagger-hand up and the power was unleashed on the dragon… Only to be intercepted by it’s fiery breath. Raphael flew to the side, using his fastest speed and stabbed Strife in to the scaly skin of the dragon. Infiltrating his earthly power into his sword he tore through the dragon painfully…

The deep thunderous roar of the dragon sounded, much like the roll of the clouds during a storm, as pieces of his flesh were slashed away by Raphael. With an angry growl, it swiped it’s massive claws down, catching Raphael in the swing and slamming him against the steps of the Library.

Michael stood, outwardly calm, though his insides were churning with hesitation and anticipation. He held his hand out, his sword quickly forming in his hand. He turn just slightly to the right, holding the sword up, waiting for the beast to draw near… The dragon circled once or twice, knowing an attack was coming, but Michael made no move, as he stood frozen to his spot, sword perfectly straight.
Becoming impatient, the beast lunged for Michael, only to have his sword embedded deep within it’s skull. It staggered back, clawing feverishly at it’s head, the sword still stuck between it’s eyes.
“Raphael! Your sword…”

Raphael flew on top of the dragon and landed on it’s scaly back. He knelt down and pierced Strife into the dragon’s head, aiming for the brain. He screamed as a fire burned in his heart and he stabbed it again and again, blasting the dragon’s head with power!

Screeching the beast flung it’s head from side to side with great force, making it difficult for Raphael to continue to drive his sword in to it’s thick skull. The more Raphael struck the mighty beasts head, the more it seemed to weaken… Pools of blood drained from it, making the beast seem to shrink smaller and smaller as if melting away…

Finally all that was left of the dragon demon was a puddle of black liquid, Michael’s sword stuck in the ground at it’s center, and Raphael standing along side it.
Michael grinned, his usual lazy smile and snatched his sword up from the ground. A quick twist of his wrist sent it into whatever place it remained while not in use. He shoved his hands in to his pockets, rocking back and forth on his heels. “Not so bad… I guess you’re not hopeless after all…”

Raphael glared at Michael. “So you would stand there watching me being slaughtered?!” Raphael bawled, waving his arms about angrily, “I am beginning to doubt whether you are an angel or not!”

Michael raised a curious eyebrow, not necessarily disclaiming the accusation. It was what he wanted after all. To be throw off his pedestal as leader, and someone more worthy to take his place. But he finally sighed in at least a momentary defeat… “I wasn’t waiting for you to be slaughtered. I was assessing the situation. Looking for a weak point… “

“Yeah, and if you would call that accidental stab as a successful lookout for weakness, lemme tell you it’s lame!” Raphael scowled as he went back to the library, leaving Michael in the coldness of the morning alone.

Kevin heard thundering and roaring outside the Library doors. He looked at the two people that stayed behind, as if waiting for an explanation.
“Is everything alright out there? Did I upset him that much?” Kevin asked jokingly.

Adriel regarded Kevin with a warm smile.
“Oh, everything is alright”, she reassured Kevin. ” Must be one of those cleaning carriages; they pick up the garbage before dawn. Did you find an interesting book? I can help you find the books you need; I work here and my family runs this place… And don’t worry about Raphael; he is not angry at you in particular. He has… had some problems lately”. Adriel walked over to him and picked Kevin’s book from his hands. “I see you’re a healer, but are you carrying special studies? I’ll check similar books for you, if you follow me”. Adriel led him down one of the aisles.
“Little one, come with us”, she called Azrael.

Azrael would have nodded at Michael, but he ruffled her hair right then, then left. Azrael guessed her polished hairdo was completely gone by now. That brought Belial to her mind, but she didn’t know exactly why.
Azrael skittered behind Adriel, eyeing the human. She perceived the energies battling outside, and the dark that had fallen on the world like a thick blanket. A creature formed from the darkness, Azrael knew. Perverted darkness roamed the world; the moment had most likely arrived. How? Who unleashed this doom? Azrael’s night sky gaze turned inwardly.
//Raziel//, she mentally called. //Raziel, the dark from Before roams the world.//

Kevin’s book was taken away as he stood there motionless. He wasn’t sure what was happening; it sure as hell didn’t sound like a cleaning truck. As the woman walked down the isle, Kevin didn’t follow her. His eyes were fixed on the door, he was pondering to go out there to have himself a look, and it was obvious enough this woman was left to distract him.
Kevin took a step towards the door, but it would be rude not to follow the female, and so he did. As he walked he tried to think of an excuse to go outside, but it was all pointless, for some reason he couldn’t think at all in this situation. “Thanks.” He said looking at the woman and smiled “What is your name? I don’t think we’ve been properly introduced. And how about you..?” He put his hand on the child’s shoulder.

“I am Lady Adriel Oscar”, she said with a smile. She noticed Kevin’s maneuvers – the man was too smart for his own good. Adriel blinked at the idea that he was putting his hand on the shoulder of the archangel of Death and Destruction; quite a shock if he knew that!
“Our little one is Azrael”, she gently said. “She is a little shy and doesn’t talk much”.
Adriel led Kevin across the medical section and as away from the door as possible to a certain bookcase.
“These are more recent, see… You’ve not told me your name yet”. Adriel smiled.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you both.” He smiled softly. “I’m Kevin Smith. Heh.. yes I know its a typical last name.” He looked her directly in the eyes while speaking it sort of assured the person he spoke with and made it comfortable to speak with. “And who are the two outside? If you don’t mind introducing them for me. Doesn’t seem like they wanted to.” Kevin picked up a random book, ruffled through it, and placed it back to where it was.

“Sorry if I act weird, kind of shy perhaps. I haven’t been around people much lately, kind of on my own ever since I came to London.”
He pointed to an enormous series of books. “I’ve read all of these. Learned many things, but I still don’t think I’m very skillful.” He sighed and looked at the ground as if he dropped something, looked up and smiled a fake smile as if to show that nothing was wrong.

Azrael watched the man with her cold night sky eyes. He said he was shy but Azrael thought he actually talked a lot. The child slipped off from his hand and looked around for a seat. Michael and Raphael were still outside… Azrael put her little hands on her cheeks: her fingers were cold. This strange feeling was calling for her attention, and Raziel seemed to be soundly asleep. Azrael began to get impatient. She wanted to go out and see what had caused this disturbance in the dark of the night; she ought to wait for the two to return, but she’d rather leave at once. Azrael looked at Kevin with an unnerving stare.
“Healers can’t learn all in books. Have you had any practice?”, she asked.

Kevin was surprised to hear a child ask such a question, and he looked at her with wide eyes. Just as he suspected she’s much more mature than she appears.
“I had practice as a Healer in my village where I came from.” Kevin answered looking down at Azrael. Kevin couldn’t hold back the question any longer. “How old are you?” He refrained from using the term ‘little girl’ because he was sure that it would offend her, and he was sure she wasn’t that little.

Azrael blinked, for she had never considered such a thing. She didn’t age any, after all – and what rule would she use to measure the time she had lived? Azrael tilted her head, looking up at him.
“I don’t know”, she replied.

Adriel bit her lip slightly.
“She’s six, Mr. Smith”, she explained to Kevin. “She is a curious child, but she is tired now… Truly, she shouldn’t be up at this hour”. Adriel picked Azrael up. “Poor child, she’s got stuck in the Library with us till closing time…”
She rocked her a bit.
//He’ll get suspicious… Michael and Raphael will return shortly…//

“Please just call me Kevin. Heh. I’m not old enough or well respected enough to be called Mister.” He chuckled and looked at the child who looked like she was pondering something very big at the moment. “Besides I hate the way ‘Mr. Smith’ sounds.”
Kevin just thought of something “What are you guys doing this late at the Library anyway?” He looked around. “And what about the other two, are they coming back?” He really wanted to meet them. Although one of them seemed edgy, he didn’t seem to have a cold heart at all. And the other one just seemed nice all around. Just then he realized he was talking too many nosey questions.

“Errmm… I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get so nosey all of a sudden. I think I’ll just leave now. It was great meeting you all. Hopefully I’ll see you around. Bye.”
Kevin smiled and began walking, head down, towards the exit.

Adriel held Azrael against her, carrying her with one arm and using the other to hold her against her shoulder and skipped after Kevin, without making a noise.
“Won’t you be taking out any books?”, she asked, despite she perceived the fight outside was over; but she still guessed the guys were not done arguing among themselves for they hadn’t returned inside the building.

Raphael came back to the library and slammed the door shut LOUD, as if trying to tell the whole world he was there. The sound echoed in the library and the people around stared at him as if he was some creep. Raphael ignored the stares and soft mumblings of complaints as he went straight to where his angelic senses led him to – where Adriel, Azrael and the mortal were.
Raphael came up from behind them. “Hey, are we still sticking around here?”

“I don’t really see anything that interests me too much. To be perfectly honest I just came by because I had nothing else to do. I hoped to find something, but unfortunately I didn’t.”
He was about to say something but the loud BANG of the door startled him and he jumped in surprise. He heard the male voice behind him. Kevin turned around and faced him. “Oh no I was just on my way out. What happened outside? I heard loud noises and it sure wasn’t a storm.” He looked at him, but he knew he wasn’t going to receive a reply. He didn’t like Kevin too much, but apparently he didn’t like any one.

“We’ll I bid you all a good night.” Kevin walked around the man standing in front of him and turned around and shot a smile at the little girl and Adriel. “I hope to see you sometime in the future, and you too.” He looked at the guy, and slowly began heading for the door.

Adriel smiled and nodded at Kevin. “Good night! I hope you’ll find something of interest in your next visit, Kevin”, she told him before he left.
Adriel looked at Raphael, not surprised by his manner but she didn’t eye him this time.
“How did it go?”, she asked him. “We’d better leave at once; I have a bad feeling”.

Azrael pulled Adriel’s hand from her head and turned to look the way they were moving when Raphael slammed the door, then waved goodbye at Kevin with her little hand. She didn’t smile but watched him go with curiosity. Azrael nodded in approval to Adriel’s suggestion to leave at once.

Kevin hesitantly walked down between the bookshelves. He held onto the door handle and paused in hopes of someone calling him back. But no one did. So he slowly opened the door and walked out.

“Put me down, Adriel”. Once back on her feet, Azrael went behind a bookcase and turned invisible to human eyes, assuming as well her angelic form.
“Time’s running while we chatter. There are things to be done”.
Invisible to human eyes, Azrael passed through the doors and made a signal to Michael, who was trying to keep Kevin busy. She took flight into the morning sky; the sky was pale before dawn and the air was chilling. Azrael coolly watched the demonic creatures roam about below.
The Darkness from Before, she thought, following the baroness’s soul energy angels of Death could detect. As she flew, she strongly perceived the ominous force next to her. Azrael narrowed her eyes and kept on flying.

Adriel hugged herself and nodded at Azrael’s words. She sent a mental note to the librarians to make them believe they had seen her go home earlier and went invisible, assuming her angelic form.
“I’ll follow Azrael”, she told Raphael before leaving. Adriel rushed out, invisible to human eyes and took flight, following Azrael.

Raphael sighed as he made himself invisible to human eyes and took flight as well. He had a bad feeling that he would have to take fight again later. That would make FOUR fights in a single day. When will the mess ever end? I might even die before the Gathering gets completed.

By BroodingDarkness

Before the birth of man there were the angels. The purpose of the Angelic Host was to keep the balance and guide man through it’s evolution… but many did not agree. This stand became known as The Fall and those that apposed the Host were known as the Fallen.

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