The sun of the Mortal World had not completed its transit across the skies; its light came up and across thick translucent veils into the Seventh Heaven, giving different colors to air and objects. Belial looked down through a pool of dark waters filled with bluish cold stars into the Planes below. The Heavens were his true home, an immaterial place where time and age did not affect the course of individual’s existence. Beneath the Seven Layers of Heaven and far below the skies laid the Mortal World; a place where beings were limited by materiality and rough, physical boundaries. Belial moved his raven-black hair out of his eyes in a slow, absent movement. He turned away from the pool and looked upon the road; he sensed the presence he was waiting for coming closer. Golden beams of light flashed through the thin mist as if the sun had changed its course and were emerging into the Seventh Heaven; the mist parted and a tall angelic silouhette appeared: the source of the golden light. The angel looked at Belial and a small, mischievous smile curled his lip. His eyes were bronze and gold; gold feathers graced his six wings, but his hair was of a deep, bluish black in high contrast with his pale complexion. Even for an angel, his appearance and poise were of astounding beauty; he wore the robes of the Order of Knowledge, but it was clear he was a different version of the scholar type, for in his fluid, graceful movements was the mark of the warrior. Lucifer dimmed his Light and walked up to Belial.
“When Azrael walked into the Hall of the Elders, this was stuck to the hem of her robe”, he said, showing Belial a black feather wrought with white. Belial blinked, a faint blush coming to his face; he immediately snatched the feather, which perfectly matched his own. Lucifer’s smile went more pronounced at his reaction. He walked down the road and Belial followed him with a frown.
“How did you get it?”, he asked. Lucifer shrugged the question off, still smiling.
“Why would it matter?”, Lucifer replied. “I suppose that since you are so persistant, the Dark One will like you someday”. Belial shifted his six black and white wings on his back uncomfortably. His own robes were different from Lucifer’s, for he belonged in the Order of Death and Destruction, led by Azrael. Belial’s eyes were silver moons beneath thick black eyelashes in his beautiful face, and his expression turned distant. Lucifer’s smile disappeared.
“I didn’t mean to bother you”, he said, watching his friend in concern. Belial still didn’t react to his apology. They were ‘almost’ brothers; they had been created next to each other, and they were their own first memory – they were close, and they tended to think they were already immune to each other, but as it usually happens with friends, they were somewhat wrong.
“Why did the Elders summon you?”, Belial asked. Lucifer bit his lip as his apology seemingly hadn’t been accepted.
“It was sort of an examination, I guess. They asked me questions, but most of their questions were for Raziel. One would have thought they’d hold an auction on me”, he jokingly said, still trying to make up for annoying Belial on purpose. Belial was infatuated with Azrael – go figure why. As far as it was known, Azrael was devoid of feelings for individuals and she was the embodiment of Fear. “They told me some things… but again, I only watched and listened most of the time. Raziel sent me back and stayed in the Council. I don’t know when he’ll be back”.
Raziel was an Elder and The Angel of Knowledge, Lucifer’s Mentor; a stern and analytic being, of formal cold manner and the ultimate perfectionist.
“What did they say?”, Belial asked as they walked down the road through the mist. Their other senses compensated the lack of visibility by far. Lucifer casted him a speculative look.
“Many things, but… You know Azrael is the Dark One because she’s the only angel entirely devoid of light…”
“They said I am the only angel devoid of darkness. Thus they called me The Lightbearer”. Lucifer seemed to be a little confused. “I am the Lightbearer”.
“Well, it’s not completely a surprise… but what does this mean?”
“I don’t know”.
“But it ought to mean something. The Elders gathered and summoned you to tell you this”.
Lucifer bit his lip.
“They half-ignored me most of the time anyway”.
“What did Raziel tell you?”
“Nothing. I did ask him… but you know how he can get. He said I’d find out in Time, or something. He barely spoke five words more, and he used them to send me away”.
Belial arched an eyebrow.
“I see… I guess we’ll have to wait and see”.
The mist parted. Belial and Lucifer took a long stair down to a small valley, where a river flowed across the grassy land to a cascade, which fell to another Plane, forming a Portal in the Element of Water. The landscape was strange and marvelous, for it was immaterial and mystic, and all objects were but the perfect absolute idea of their material embodiment in the Mortal Plane. Up in the Heavens, their substance could only be compared to that of dreams. Glass-like scattered trees and vast flowerbeds adorned the valley along the riverside. Beneath the grass, a soft radiance showed the course of the Sun in the Mortal Plane.
Not far from the river, a small number of angels were sitting in the shade of a tree busying themselves in singing and talking. In the shade of another tree, another group led by an angel of Knowledge talked to a white-haired angel who was seemingly cornered against the tree. Lucifer tilted his head with a frown and exchanged a glance with Belial. Both of them walked up to the group and stood aside. Gabael, the leader of the bullies, was playing wise-crack on the white haired angel while the others snickered; but upon Lucifer’s appearance, they looked at him and fell silent, for Lucifer was not smiling at all and Belial echoed his expression. Gabael turned upon the sudden silence and blinked. Lucifer was kind of a celebrity due to his superior intelligence and the fact that Raziel himself was his Mentor, precisely because of his intellect. His censoring look was quite eloquent. Belial on his part had a similar fame, in his own field.
“We were only joking”, Gabael muttered. Deciding a quick retreat was best to save his dignity, Gabael left and the others scattered, leaving Belial and Lucifer alone with the white-haired one.
Lucifer looked at the angel, who seemed ready to either lash out or make himself scarce. From his expression, Lucifer guessed it wasn’t the first time this happened. Lucifer frowned slightly. Wise-cracks. Did they really think it was an archievement to belittle others because they knew a few things more? They were a shame for the Order.
“I apologize for their behavior”, Lucifer said in his natural leadership manner. “Please, don’t judge my Order by them. I am…”
“You are the Angel of Light”, the white-haired angel interrupted Lucifer with half-closed eyes. Lucifer’s pupils widened slightly. Belial smiled slightly with a nod. Lucifer watched the still wary white-haired angel. How did this angel know…?
“Have we met?”, he asked. The angel shook his head. Lucifer blinked slowly. “Then you have advantage over us”.
The angel smiled, still hesitant but less distrustful than before.
“I am Beelzebub”.
“Beelzebub, then”. Lucifer nodded. “I am Lucifer, and this is Belial. Would you like to join us? We’re not going anywhere in special… Just taking a walk”.
Beelzebub’s face darkened again.
“The others think I’m stupid. Maybe they would think ill of you if you’re seen with me, and I see they respect you”.
Lucifer laughed and flashed one of his mischievous, charming smiles.
“And why would I give any importance to what they think? I have a mind of my own, and I am certainly not one to follow the tide”.
Beelzebub looked down for an instant.
“I am not one of subtle words”, he said. “But I thank you for your kindness..”.
“I’ve not done anything yet!”, Lucifer said, still smiling. “Please, join us, Beelzebub”.
After a little while, Beelzebub rose his eyes to look at them.
They continued on their way down the valley.
“Just don’t pay heed to Belial. He talks too much”.
Belial glared at Lucifer, for he actually hadn’t spoken in a long while, ever since they entered the valley; Beelzebub laughed, still shyly but slowly gaining confidence.
“Look who’s talking”, Belial muttered with a smile. Lucifer grinned. Belial wasn’t mad at him anymore and Beelzebub was an interesting character; he might seemingly not be a bright mind, but beneath the surface he revealed a glimpse of a higher perception. Despite the mysterious words of the Elders still weighed on Lucifer’s mind, there were no clouds in his day; at least, for now.