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Seal of Azazel

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE: THE BEGINNING OF THE END

A grayish layer of clouds slowly crept into the night sky, slowly swallowing the stars one by one, covering the moon in claw-like rags. The temperature began to descend and the night became extremely cold, covered by a pale sky of clouds. A red lightning crossed the dome of the heavens and cracked like a gigantic whip, a deep, distant thunder announcing a storm. The air was still and the night, silent; however the clouds moved fast against the sky, which began to take a purple color that slowly evolved to a deep crimson.

Another lightning cracked and thunder roared, but the voice of the thunder sounded like a strangled cry – a howl from a hellish throat; a powerful curse from an inhabitant of the Abyss. The sound echoed on the roof of lady Essendre’s manor and danced in her halls, multiplying in the vaults and dying like a dark cackle in the multiple corridors of the mansion. In a vault beneath the house, a strange creature howled and hissed; the creature let out a blood-curdling scream and thunder cracked in response. A light drizzle began to fall. The creature flapped twelve mighty wings, producing a foul wind; behind it a Gate to Hell was open. The creature was a monstrous dragon of deep crimson scales, fire coming out of the very diamond-shaped scales of crimson; the eyes shone with a strange light. The dragon was an incarnation of Evil, and such Evil was Azazel.

Azazel rose his reptilian head towards the vault and howled again, fire swirling around his feet; in the horrendous bellowing a note of pain could be heard. The creature looked at one of the gates of access to the vault and saw a dark man of silver eyes looking at him.
“Finally!”, the dragon roared. “I sent demons and beasts to fetch you. I demand your services – I order to you!” Fire licked the dome ceiling. “I shall have my will!”

Silvanus felt the room chilling, despite the foul heat that arose from the gate to hell and the hellish flames that surrounded the Son of Lucifer. The chill was of a different sort, from another plane – Silvanus’s eyes widened slightly.
He dropped his human form and a Fallen rose in his place and went forth. Belial bit his lip and unwillingly took a bow to the Warlord of the Armies from the Abyss.
“I came as soon as I received your word”, he said. Lies. He didn’t want to come to his presence, for he had read the signs in the skies and now the stars were covered by Azazel’s nightmarish power. “Tell me Azazel Dragon, how can I be useful to you. What’s your… will now.”

The dragon seemed to fuse and vanish, and in its place a young Demon of strange, twisted beauty appeared. His long red robes flowed around him as he strode to Belial and rose his fist, opening pale, tainted fingers before Belial’s silver eyes.
“Look!”, he roared in a hoarse, growling voice. “It’s her blood!” My mother’s servant brought it to her as proof – the Angelic Host slew my wife!!! In the pale hand shone a hollow pendant, containing human blood. Azazel’s face showed hatred and pain beyond belief.
“I must have her back… You can do it for me! Give me Autumn back, Belial! I’ll send others to fetch her body… I order you, rise her for me!”

Belial’s brow twitched as Azazel’s blazing gaze pierced his eyes, his mental power reaching into him to compel him to obey; the archdemon forced a step back.

“It’s not as simple”, he said in discomfort. “Even if you have her body, it’s her soul what you need. I could host her in another body, but the soul is what matters the most.”

His silver gaze shimmered in the shadow.
“I see you made them look for it in Hell.”

“Yes”, Azazel replied in anger. “Fruitless search, though; they must be holding her soul – if you’d find Azrael you could make her give the soul back!”

Inside, Belial shook with anger. He hadn’t yet managed to do such a thing as to capture Azrael, and now…. Lucifer’s kid demanded him to take a soul from her Dark wings!
Belial reached out, touched the blood and smelled it from his fingers. The silver eyes watched closely Azazel’s demeanor: the Warlord kept on turning his wedding ring around his finger.
“Azazel Dragon”, he murmured in unpleasant surprise and discomfort, “Your mother’s informants are wrong… The woman is not dead. She’s alive.” At Azazel’s piercing, wide-eyed look, Belial nodded slowly.
“Autumn is not dead.”

Azazel’s eyes flashed. He shoved Belial aside by his shoulder and took the next corridor, his robes floating in a non-existent wind.
“Alive!”, he cried out in a mix of joy and bitter hatred. “I’ll make her come to me! She shall return to me…” The voice echoed in the corridor as the Demon left.

Belial’s eyes shone with outraged fury. He had been pushed to the wall, yet his wings reduced some the impact of the hit. Azazel’s might was nightmarish, even to the Archdemons. Belial clasped his hand on his forehead. What have I done?, he furiously asked himself. I shouldn’t have helped Lilith to bring him back… Blasted spawn of Lucifer believes he owns us all! Belial swept a look around, but no living or non-living soul was near at the moment. The archdemon shook his head. Enslave us… Let him be damned! I won’t be enslaved! Belial growled softly. I won’t be enslaved… He took another corridor and returned to the main Lady Essendre’s manor. Belial assumed his human form as Silvanus and took a polite bow at the woman who suddenly appeared out if an adjacent room.
//Greetings, Moloch.// Silvanus had an air of carefully held back anger.

Moloch sat in the darkened solar, accompanied only by the repetitive clicking of two metal knitting needles. Sullen anger pulsed in the room; even visible, to an extent- a dark, deep red at the very edges of peripheral vision, something more instinctively sensed than seen. The very nerve of the child; Summoning on MY Grounds… Lilith failed as a mother, never teaching her spawn the skills of rulership and diplomacy. The only diplomacy he knows is the steel gauntlet… If only I had taken full advantage of the time he was comatose…! A thread of yarn snapped and she hurled the throw at the wall in a tantrum, not caring if it took days for the servants to untangle the skeins. She didn’t intend to finish it.

Pacing to the window, she didn’t take the time to admire the glossy flickers of light the burgeoning storm created… It was a mage storm, a product of Azazel’s incompetence. Oh, yes, he was strong… And wasteful, with as much finesse as those bestial dragons he so admired. She whirled from the window as a roll of thunder pealed above like a brass gong. A crack appeared in the center of the transparent, bubbleless glass -an expensive investment-, spreading out slowly and then gaining in speed; sending shoots of hair thin cracks out like spider webs that grew into shining seams until the panels exploded, one by one, from the center out.

Now infected with purpose- catalyzed by the uncontrolled release of power- she strode out of the room, focused. She would speak with Belial about how to gain the upper hand in this situation with Azazel; force respect.
Moloch’s head snapped to the side as Belial appeared from a passageway.
“Greetings to you, as well. We take it as granted that His Infernal Majesty summoned you here?” The caustic sarcasm made her voice sharp and brittle; she made no effort to conceal her heated anger. That the Son of Lucifer was still on her Grounds made little difference to her. He could not challenge her while she remained tied to the energy there. “He must have his wings clipped. He needs to be taught.” She sensed fertile ground in Belial- discontent and seething resentment. She was not alone in this.

The outline of Silvanus’ body changed in the light of cracking lightning and the silver eyes shimmered in the shadow as he reassumed his demonic form, yet he kept his hands and feet from an angelic form. Anger rose up his throat and a slight headache tingled him. Belial’s eyes narrowed.
“Yes”, he said in a low and gentle, yet chilling voice in reply to Moloch all had told him. Summoned! It was kind of humiliating, put that way. Clip his wings? To sever them would be more satisfying. Belial frowned slightly and looked at Moloch. He took her beautiful hand in his hands and watched it for an instant with half closed eyes.

“We’ve flown a long way since we left the place where we came into existence”, he murmured, slowly letting her hand slip from his. “We’ve learned and invented many things. Not all work out right as we’ve planned… but one must be prepared for such possibilities.” Belial rose his eyes to look at her. His anger and resentment hadn’t yet cooled down, but his mind was already working fast. Belial did not trust anybody but he was fond of Moloch… even though he was fully aware she could betray him if she wanted to.

“To clip his wings would be too generous”, he said with a small, dark smile. “I have a confidence for you.” Belial half closed his eyes, thoughtful.
“Long back when I accepted to become an archdemon, Lucifer promised me we’d never fall under the power of others. Freedom is something I treasure – my freedom. However somehow, freedom started to become a relative concept… ever since we were imprisoned in the Abyss. It changed under Azazel’s rule, and finally it’s morphed into slavery. I won’t have that, dear Moloch.” Belial smiled at her, a determined and dark, charming smile.

“I don’t feel like babysitting him anymore. I’ll reveal to you some things, so you can take them under your consideration and use them as you like, for I won’t deny it would not please me to… see you distressed.”
Belial’s black feathers moved in the cold air current filtering from the broken window.

Moloch’s form shivered for a half-instant when Belial took her hand; she blurred into her Fallen form, a more than three-dimensional shift that pulled the eyes and made them tear. Even in the absence of light, her pale-skinned form was visible- she did not emit energy in the form of true light- it was an unacceptable waste in energy. She was simply, totally visible in the black.
She listened silently, weighing Belial’s words. She knew of his fondness for her; she returned those feelings. But if it became necessity… Moloch understood that one would betray the other in an instant. It was nothing personal; just survival. She wondered if she had spoken too much; was this a test, from Azazel? Could he be that canny? The Fallen doubted it, but she could be mistaken. She had been, in the past.

Watching his eyes, Moloch examined him for any hint of dissembling, of trickery… She sensed hesitancy; but it could be true- his unsurely if she would accept his… Ideas, thoughts. But it could be more treachery. Feints within feints… She remembered a saying, from the days she was as a deity on Earth- a replacement for a deity that did not exist. Evil feeds upon itself… Thus will it never succeed. She didn’t believe herself to be evil; Azazel, however, was. His father… Hadn’t been. His mother… They were slaves to her creation. She should have kept her knees closed; that was what happened when angels bred.
“Speak your ideas, then, Belial. We must admit that we are of poor patience right now.” All that betrayed her tension now was the soft susurration of her breath, and the steadily increasing pulse of the red orb half-immersed in her chest.

Belial’s eyes shimmered as he made a conscious effort to trust enough to let aside his habit of subtle enigmas; he wanted to.
He tilted his head slightly as an idea took form in his mind. “I’m leaving”, he said. “That’s what I’ve just… told you. I refuse to be his slave – the power I have might serve me right and those who would still want to follow me, but even though I’m aware of the risks, I’ll still take this path.”

Belial made a pause.
“The Ritual you assisted me at is the only performance I’ve ever done of it, thus it is still through a testing phase. I used a human soul to bind Azazel to the body I made living; I won’t brood on techniscisms. What’s important is, the human soul was absorbed by Azazel in order to leave him control the body alone… but the man whose soul I used was that Autumn’s husband. His love for her was twisted but incredibly strong and intense… and it’s infected Azazel, to say it in a way.”
Belial frowned.

“Azazel’s convinced Autumn’s his wife and that he loves her, but those feelings don’t belong to him, but to the Baron Riktophen. It shouldn’t be that way… and I’ve found that it’s an artifact whose influence is causing the baron’s feelings to manifest in Azazel. If the artifact is removed, the boost in his emotion might drop, along with part of his power in this plane.” Belial bit his lip. “You might have noticed the only thing that belonged to the Baron and Azazel still keeps it’s his wedding ring. Sanctified at it is, the ring… got stuck in my spells, and it is the artifact that is as well Azazel’s weakness.”

Belial’s brow twitched slightly.
“I can’t remove it on my own, but now you know what to aim for, if the need comes to you. The power drop would be important – an archdemon could fight him upon it. Right now… he’s just a monster.” Belial straightened his back with a frown.
A small smile came to his lips and his eyes softened slightly.
“Farewell, then.”

Moloch inhaled sharply. A weakness? In the prodigal son? Did Belial truly mistake and cause this, or was it a calculation? The creator of the Dark Arts had a shrewd mind. Double feint. Her flat red eyes glittered.
“Do you… understand what it is you suggest?” Treason? Would he kill the son? And the ring… Was it bound to Azazel’s power alone, or could anyone use it? She was hesitant, unsure, not willing to take a step and be a traitor… But at the same time, icy fire thrilled along her nerves- to trim his wings indeed!

But trim only. They needed him strong in power. His mind was what concerned Moloch. He was the child she had envied Lilith for having; at the same time, an object of her scorn and even pity. He would be more useful as a puppet.
“I cannot support you in this act, Belial. I will not forswear myself to Lucifer’s child.” Lilith she could care less about. It was the late Star of the Morning she had admired and revered. “I will wait until you are beyond my grounds before letting this be known.” Her eyes hardened, like bloodstone.

“You have breached your duty of honorable contract. All those who find you- let their hands be turned against you. All those who meet you- let their hearts be hard against you. All those who hail you- let their words be those of challenge. All those who aid you- let them find their ends in the hands of fate. This is the judgment; your wings sheared and your hands nailed to the rock of time.” She spoke the ritual words that had been trumpeted righteously to the Fallen; but her voice was different. Tired; grave; not without some trace of compassion, but at the same time, angered and betrayed. She turned her back to him; she would honor her promise to let him get beyond her bounds before telling of his duplicity.

My promise was to blasted Lucifer, not to his son!, Belial wanted to say, but he knew better. Moloch was actually helping him to an extent.
When she turned her back on him, he knew it was over. The ritual words were as hard as stone, like meant to be written on his tombstone. Belial took a bow and cast a last look on her as to fix her in his memory before turning and leaving. His footsteps echoed in the halls as he walked away.

Outside, the rain was going thicker. The storm rolled, but it seemed to be receding into Moloch’s grounds; Azazel was surely getting ready to cast other spells, gathering power. Belial cast a last look at Moloch’s house; despite his determination and that he did not hesitate, silent tears shimmered in his eyes. Why, he was not exactly sure. The rain cooled down his cheeks and he was for a moment relieved of a great burden but he knew there was a new one ready to take its place on his shoulders. Belial unfurled his great wings and flew into the night, gathering his wards to go unnoticed.

Moloch gripped all her power, sealing the energies away for her use and her use only- Azazel could uncover his own. She would need all she could battle.
She saw it now; there was no more time for hesitation. The last battle approached. She would have her victory.

//Lilith, Azazel, Beelzebub… This is what has happened…// She shot messages out to the other demons on this plane and began summoning her ‘entourage’ for the battle, tearing the human guises off of her insidious creations and using the pain to further expand her power. And that power would increase that night.

Tabris sat on the top of the tower clock bored out of his mind. His wings were kept and his eyes fixed on two buildings. One was burning with demonic aura while the other was filled with angelic warmth. But it was a warmth he didn’t want or like to touch, even to come in contact to.
Tabris touched his healed injury and his brows arched in jealousy. He remembered that Rishta didn’t need him and she already had both Michael and Raphael by her side. Two of the most powerful angels. What was he? He was not even a leader of the demonic forces. His eyes blazed in helpless anger and jealousy, he started to think of homicidal things.

Beelzebub landed behind Tabris and he kept his glowing transparent wings in annoyance. He hid it well from Tabris, however and smiled. It had been long since the two last met and it was their usual meeting. Beelzebub had found Tabris and made frequent contact with him. “You are early.” he spoke. Beelzebub stood there, waiting for Tabris’ respond.

Tabris tears his eyes away from Beelzebub as he stood up. He had difficulty looking at the Lord of Flies straight in the eye. He always has a weird flame burning in his eyes and Tabris always felt scorched.
“How could I afford to be late, when it’s Lord Beelzebub who wants me here?” Tabris said in irritable sarcasm.

Beelzebub smiled as he said nothing to the sarcasm that did not go unnoticed. He walked silently up to Tabris’ side, balancing himself on the tiled roof.
“Say…” Beelzebub started slow, “Can you see what’s over there?” Beelzebub smiled as he pointed his finger to a certain spot in the manor. “I see your mind… Tabris… You might be smart, but you are not one of the smartest among us, and definitely not of the intelligent league even in the time of the angelic hosts’ old days.” Beelzebub said almost mockingly, “But… can’t you see something which is already so clear to you? You have been rejected. Give up, Tabris, and follow the true path for enlightenment.”

Tabris scowled but he kept his expression to himself. No point making himself an enemy of Beelzebub’s, especially when he was so near to the Lord of the Flies. The demon Lord could break him into two pieces in seconds. However, Tabris could not resist looking at the place where Beelzebub pointed at and he froze. He felt cold. Tabris turned and saw Beelzebub smiling at him. But it was a cruel smile.
“If you hurt her in anyway I will not let you off…” Tabris growled as he got up and glared at Beelzebub, “Even if it means paying with my life…”

Beelzebub laughed at Tabris’ words. “Indeed! The child knows his own limits after all!” Beelzebub looked straight into Tabris’ eyes in amusement. “But I’m afraid your lady need not your protection, for she has Raziel, Gabriel, Raphael and even Michael with her.” Beelzebub shook his head and smirked, “Tsk tsk tsk. Lucky girl, isn’t she? Surrounded by so many high-ranked angels, even the likes of Michael!” Beelzebub stepped forward and smiled, “But what are you, Tabris? Consider your own identity… What are you… and what are you compared to them? Trying to vie with them? In your next life, perhaps!”
Beelzebub laughed as he pushed Tabris away.

Tabris’ lips quivered with anger and humiliation. Beelzebub was right. He didn’t hold a rank high enough to impress anyone. Yet Tabris was full of confidence, and in himself. He had beaten Uriel before after all, and twice. Tabris clutched his fists and his eyes were glaring at Beelzebub.
“You just watch, Lord Beelzebub…” Tabris muttered in controlled anger, “I will do something that you and even Lord Azazel can’t do! I will kill those wretched angels in Farishta Manor! When I do, I believe my rank will no longer be as now!” Tabris spread his wings and took off into the sky towards the manor, “You just wait for my results!”

Beelzebub sneered as he watched Tabris fly off. Silly demon. Tabris used to be smart. But his intelligence had been polluted by a thing called love. Beelzebub remembered how he got rid of his love and had since little problems in accomplishing his missions. That was, if he meant to do them. Suddenly, a voice came over Beelzebub’s mind, sending him messages. He heard it all and was bemused. Belial. Interesting. As far as Beelzebub was concerned, he didn’t care a bit for Belial, Moloch or even Azazel. However, like Belial, his promise was only to Lucifer, the Morning Star. The brat Azazel, had more than twice shown his elders including Beelzebub disregard and that was no good. Beelzebub grinned. His wings appeared at will and Beelzebub flew off, towards Moloch’s house.

At the very peak of the manor of the kind Lady Essendre was a two-story observation tower, with all of the sides glassed with expensively imported clear leaded glass plate. A very nice, very large investment- the Lady had deep coffers and eccentric tastes. Its roof was also copper-plated; something many looked askance at, wondering if her ambition rivaled her sense. But somehow, no one ever got around to mentioning it to anyone else; thus, the situation never changed. And if anyone noticed any strange lights, or how often storms gathered nearby, no one said anything either.

Inside the observation tower, a large, translucent pillar of crystal pierced through the stone floors, which, oddly enough, were covered in slate. The pillar went through the very roof of the tower, a small, invisible cap that only shone when sunlight glanced directly off of its sharply faceted peak. The column of crystal itself went down through the very foundation of the manor, down to the bedrock, and into the fiery mantle of the earth. It was the physical anchor of a powerful demoness’s node- one that had been freshly rekeyed, only moments before, to its mistress. Who was quite upset indeed.

Now that Azazel must draw from his own resources here, I can redirect my sources into the core… All of the household’s generating energies were being drawn to the softly pulsating stone, but for those being engaged in transformation of her once-human servants into hellish fiends… A ingenuous plan she had developed that involved twisting the very energies and souls of those she owned and marked, black seeds in their hearts and minds. The process itself was quite painful during the actual change- which generated more power for the node.

Moloch was of course in her demonic form; from what she had gathered in experimentation, it not only amplified latent ability, but focused it and harnessed external energies as well. While some of that information, she reflected, was rather redundant, it hadn’t truly been proven before, either. Her dark crimson wings were folded tightly at her back, obscuring where her armor opened up to reveal a small port-wine marking in the form of a flame. The gray-white glow of the node stone made the golden power sigils of her armor and the golden sheen on her wings seem silvery and slippery as mercury, as the signs of power slipped around her armor and rearranged themselves to accommodate the energy she was linking herself to.

An insidious sensation crept into her mind; recognizing the feeling, Moloch scowled. She was about to have a visitor; and not one she much liked, either. Thankful that she had locked the energies away from any other but herself, she opened the two window-doors on the west side of the tower. Little fool, that Beelzebub… How anyone can stand the bastard is beyond my ken. She stood a few feet back from the open windows, her wings now open and her heartstone pulsing softly scarlet.

Beelzebub hurried along his way as he flew invisible in the sky, not wanting the hostess to wait too long for him. Eccentric Moloch, weird and creepy woman. She was one of those Beelzebub would love to shame but yet have little chance to. She was a little too smart to fool by with trickery. Beelzebub got up to the high tower’s window panel and opened the window with sheer force and a little bit of a magic. Otherwise it would have crushed to the floor with a loud smashing sound and Moloch’s face would have been lovable. Beelzebub slipped down to the floor silently and went behind Moloch. He wasn’t sure if she had detected him near or not. Beelzebub opened his arms and gave Moloch a brief hug from the back before letting go and skipping aside, laughing. “Hello, Moloch. Long time no see… You have been well, I believe?” Beelzebub asked as he winked at Moloch with a sly smile.

The twin windows Moloch had opened and those Beelzebub had came to a slow, creaking close as she turned to ‘greet’ Beelzebub. She had sensed him; let him think he had won something over her- he would be easier to deal with. He was canny, but not too intelligent… Much like that lesser demon he enjoyed torturing so. The female Fallen couldn’t remember its name, but that it started with a ‘t’.

She schooled her expression into something rather annoyed; which wasn’t too difficult- that was exactly how she felt. Moloch despised the imbecile- how he had ever reached his position was beyond her. Fool. But she wouldn’t underestimate him; he was a Fallen as well, and thus had a certain amount of power.
“Greetings to you as well, Beelzebub. You haven’t changed much, we see.” She allowed her gaze to slip languidly from his head to the floor and back, as if weighing what she saw for future use… or interest. She knew exactly his tastes- but if she ever captured him, he would not be the one indulging.

In another of his unexpected, abrupt mood changes, Azazel found himself in an excellent mood. The news – Autumn lived – had considerably affected the course of his thoughts. Azazel gathered his energies and prepared a place for a special summoning session. Azazel was used to take whatever he needed from others and on that behavior basis, he disposed on Moloch’s resources to prepare and carry out his own dark purposes. His twisted smile widened when he noticed Moloch had withdrawn her power resource from him, like a woman puts a cookie jar out of the reach of a child. Azazel snickered with dark mirth as he happily added some final touches to the ritual he was planning for the night. In the end, he thought, he’d own everything anyway. Maybe Moloch hadn’t realized it, but the Warlord would rule above All, including their households and powers. After all, he was the top of the chain of Power. He was the most powerful of all Demons – He’d be Almighty. No one would dare to stand in his way – ever.

Then the news arrived. Belial had turned against his roots? Azazel burst out laughing; the demon assisting him cringed in a corner. The echoes of his evil laughter full of disdain and venom rang in the vault above and bolted against the halls stone walls. Azazel grinned as he changed his plans slightly. He perceived Moloch’s trace and Beelzebub’s. The Lord of the Flies had finally arrived – he better have a good excuse for going missing for so long.

Azazel laid a soft kiss on the locket filled with Autumn’s blood, then placed it on the altar he had prepared. The Son of the Devil sent his breath upon a brazier on a tripod; the coals burned with a green flame, which slowly turned blue, then black. Azazel performed a short ritual upon the altar; the demon who assisted him held an incensory by a chain, balancing it as a pendulum three times before the altar every time Azazel finished a phrase of his incantations. The blood in the locket seemed to liquefy again and boil; Azazel pronounced strange words and his pale hands drew sigils of his own power. The gold of the locket shone darkly in the black and green phosphorescence from the burning coals and the horrible grin reflected in Azazel’s bronze eyes. Once completed the ritual, Azazel stayed there in silence for a few seconds, smiling to himself.

The ritual was targeted to Autumn, to lure her back to Azazel. One of the Warlord’s greatest powers was Temptation; Azazel designed his spell to make Autumn desire to go back to Riktophen Manor, to fetch her camera equipment and personal things without telling about her plans to the Heavenly Host, for the angels wouldn’t let her do such a thing if warned. Then Azazel’s messenger would fetch her at Riktophen Manor and she’d willingly go back to Azazel, as the spell would grow heavier on her soul as time passed. Azazel bit his lip in delight upon anticipating the moment his wife would be back in his arms. Failure wouldn’t be allowed – he’d send Beelzebub to fetch her at Riktophen Manor when lovely Autumn would leave the Heavenly Host to go back to he accursed place.

Meanwhile, he could take care of… other things. His teacher was very wrong if he thought Azazel would let him leave his side like that. The time would be propitious to use Summoning spells Belial himself had taught Azazel. His power cannot be compared to mine, Azazel thought in satisfaction – he could be accused of many things, but having a low self-confidence as a warlock wasn’t one of them. How did Moloch find out Belial’s treachery and why hadn’t she put her forces after him? After all, Moloch had showed him a nice view of the things before and after the Fall, before Azazel was born, and Azazel had seen in the memories she showed him Belial was or had been important to her. Azazel sent a servant to prepare the vault where he had open a Hellgate to be the scenery of his next summoning; a terrible one. Azazel smirked.
“I’ll show you you’ve taught me well… dear teacher”, he muttered.

Azazel faded and vanished; next second he appeared in the shadows of the threshold to Moloch’s tower chamber. Azazel did not enter, though; he watched them with a strange, twisted smile from the shadow – he didn’t announce his presence with any magicks or even his aura. He could’ve been as well himself as a trick of the light.

Beelzebub noticed the Son of Lucifer in the thick shadows with a start, which he concealed beneath a sly smile that tried to be friendly. The archdemon had interpreted Moloch’s looking at him from head to toes as a sign of desire from the demoness’ part and he was already planning his next ‘move’, but the Son of the Devil’s presence ruined his plans.
“Hello, Azazel”, he greeted with fake enthusiasm. “I’m glad to see you well. The Armies are gathering at a steady rate; I’ve been busy… looking after my duties.”

“I see”, Azazel said with irony, never leaving the shadow nor stepping into the threshold. “I missed you”, he said with a strange smile, his voice seeping venom and sarcasm. “You see, when I required assistance, only Belial and Moloch were available – I was wondering what could have stopped you from being around, as dutiful and responsible as you are”. Azazel’s voice was full of disdain and poison concealed beneath fake benevolence. “I hear Belial left, which is too bad. I… hate when my dear friends leave like this. Do not be sad though; I shall have him back very soon. It’s amazing someone could refuse your hospitality like this, Moloch; I thought he was closer to you.” His gaze fell on the demoness with a fake innocent grin.

“But enough about Belial. I want you to do something for me, Beelzebub… if you want to, of course. Since you have such a tight agenda, I guess we should be grateful you’ve found some minutes to spare with us.” Azazel had a dark, malevolent smile – his eyes blazed like unholy fire in the shadow.

Beelzebub gritted his teeth. He knew he could not refuse… He wondered what had Azazel reserved for Belial and definitely, the Lord of the Flies didn’t envy him.
“What can I do for you?”, he asked with a pleasant smile, yet his eyes told a whole different story. Azazel gave back the most kind and pleased smile that could have ever shown on a man’s face, yet it was of course fake.

“My dear wife will be at Riktophen Manor soon. She should go alone, but feel free to get rid of anyone who’d dare to accompany her. Fetch her and bring her here.” Azazel grinned. “I’m sure you’ll have no problems.”
His eyes flashed a warning. Don’t fail to me or else… Azazel turned his wedding ring around his finger.

Beelzebub took a bow to Azazel.
“It won’t be a problem”, he dryly said, yet he was still smiling. “I shall bring her here soon… so I’ll see you later, Azazel and Moloch.” He gave the archdemoness and lustful grin before leaving, using one of the tower windows.

Azazel’s smile faded. He turned his wedding ring around his finger once again, watching Moloch with a thoughtful air.

Moloch gave Beelzebub a hate-filled glare as he flew out of her tower; the scum! To presume she had any sort of interest in the likes of him… The fool wouldn’t last an hour under her hands. She turned to Lucifer’s son. “What would you have us do, Azazel?” Her flat, featureless crimson eyes shimmered briefly; something within her felt horribly empty… With Belial’s betrayal.
He had been the closest thing she had had to a friend in all of her many centuries. Her only confidant; if only in a shallow sort of sense, plot within plot… But for only for him were her angelic sensibilities. There was no innocence; but there was sincerity. And he refused her… Something withered and died; the empty place slowly filled with poisonous hatred. “What would you have us do?” She repeated.

Azazel had a strange smile, both darkly evil and childishly mischievous as Moloch insisted, asking what he’d have her do. He still did not walk into the room – he could smell Moloch’s magicks and almost hear their subtle hisses. He wanted his summoning to be perfect – he did not need external influences taint the careful ablutions he had carried out.

Azazel’s eyes blazed like infernal carbuncles. He had to admit he had inherited Lucifer’s touch to read into the souls and the hearts of the beings. The things Moloch had showed him about her past and the ones involved in it danced in his head like phantoms. He wondered how and why Moloch came to know about Belial’s betrayal first.
“The Armies will be in London tonight”, he said with a blood-curdling smile. “I still get some time for minus details. I shall bring Belial back to common sense; I am sure you’d have some opportune ideas to make him feel welcome.” Azazel’s smile still lingered on his lips as he emphasized the last word. “After all, you are a kind hostess.” His eyes blazed in the dark.
“I shall have him to be an example on how unwise it is to turn away from our side.”

Moloch turned away from Azazel’s horrid visage, inwardly cringing. She had made a possibly fatal mistake showing the son of Lucifer her past. It would be her last, she knew in her heart.
“Yes, we are an adept hostess… I will ready myself to strike against the Host.” She wondered if he would ever leave, or if he would insist on haunting her outside of the tower.

Azazel tilted his head with a dark half smile when the archdemoness broke eye contact with him. He had struck the right nerve; Azazel knew that well. “Very well”, he slowly said, his eyes blazing carbuncles. “Get yourself ready… I shall let you know when my dear teacher returns; we’ll need your services. If you’d excuse me, I have work to do…” Azazel shook with evil laughter and turned around, walking into the shadows of the corridor. The echoes of his footsteps suddenly ceased as he transported himself away with a spell. Even after he was gone, a trace of his evil power lingered as a subtle warning.

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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