Chapter 11: Corrival

Azrael, Angel of Death

Now

AZRAEL’S ANGELIC FORM FILLED with tension; his body stiffened, staying still like a cement statue unable to move or think. His eyes went wide, and his knuckles turned white. If he had reason to fear, now he did.

Lucifer! Why is he on earth, appearing now?

Azrael’s face lined with horror over what he saw: an army of demons, with Azazel and Lucifer standing side-by-side. Even though angels weren’t bound by human years, it still felt like eons since Azrael last saw Lucifer with his own two angelic eyes.

Lucifer had changed, becoming a darker creature than he remembered. The King of Hell’s raven hair flowed down his back, and one bang covered his right pupil. His two irises were a solid black, devoid of any color. His form was dressed in ebony colored clothes: a long- sleeved shirt, with chains hanging in the front, and pants to match. As Lucifer walked up to his army, Azrael could see his confident stride hadn’t been broken.

Azrael quickly darted his eyes to the mass of demons, watching them bow their heads to Lucifer. Lucifer smiled down at his army, with a wicked smirk etched on his lips. Lucifer then turned slightly. Next to Lucifer, Azrael saw grey puffs of smoke swirling besides Azazel.

Azrael narrowed his slits, keeping his fixated gaze on the mountain top. Besides Azazel, and behind Lucifer, another demon materialized, a demon Azrael recognized. Malphas.

Instead of speaking to his army, Lucifer spoke to the two demons by his side – Azazel and Malphas. With his angelic sight, Azrael could clearly see all three of them in the distance.

“Lucifer,” Azrael growled through gritted teeth. “Why have you come to earth, after all this time? And Malphas, what’s he doing here?” Azrael spoke to no one but himself, as he watched the scene unfold before him.

As he observed Lucifer speaking to Azazel and Malphas, he sensed a dark aura watching him. Azrael stepped back, thrown off guard by what he was seeing. Lucifer’s sharp dark eyes were upon him, staring, and studying his every movement.

When did he discover me? Azrael knew he didn’t have time to waste. Lucifer had found him, how? He didn’t know. I did not even see him move. Azrael took another step back, expanding his wings and fleeing from the scene. The sounds of cars speeding down the road rang through the forest; rubber skidding against payment and raved engines being pushed beyond their limit.

In haste he flew through the forest, dodging branches and other tree limbs in his path. I must warn heaven.

Noises from the two-lane highway echoed through the woods, growing louder with each passing second. Again, the activity of demons kept him from collecting souls. Azrael had a decision to make, either warn heaven of Lucifer’s arrival on earth or judge the soon recently departed?

His choice was clear. Azrael was about to flash before heaven’s gates until he felt a demonic presence trailing behind him. He glanced back. Grey smoke twisted around the trees and leaves, following his path.

Azrael straightened his wings, preparing to dive towards the ground to outrun the demon stalking him. Before he could maneuver, a ball of grey clouds darted past him with inhuman speed. Azrael flew back, flapping his feathers.

Standing before him on a giant, thick tree branch stood Malphas. A grin was extended across his face, like a child getting a new toy.

Azrael stayed in the skies, beating his wings against one another. He stared with a narrow gaze at the brunette haired demon, who had golden-green eyes and grey wings. Even though he hadn’t seen Malphas in what felt like forever, the demon hadn’t changed. He still had his boyish expression, with a smug smirk that reminded him of a naughty human boy up to no good.

Despite his facial features, Malphas had a lean, muscular body with a circular tattoo on his right cheek, descending down his neck. He was dressed in black pants, with a black leather jacket; however, he wasn’t wearing a shirt. Hanging from his waist wrapped up, was a long, silver chain.

Azrael knew there was no point in running; he couldn’t out fly a demon like Malphas. Malphas wasn’t a normal demon like the one he fought earlier; he was a high level, a general of his own legion.

“Malphas,” Azrael muttered under his breath, with a stoic expression on his face.

A haughty laugh escaped Malphas lips, and he shook his head. “Azrael, I see you’re still cleaning up the garbage of humanity? His so-called unwanted children.” Malphas laughed again, this time Azrael knew it was at his expense. No angel wanted the job of judging and taking the dead, therefore, the reason for his creation.

Azrael tightened his jaw and squeezed his hands into a fist. As he looked at the demon before him, he wouldn’t let the words affect him.

“Malphas, why are you on earth? What is Lucifer’s plan?” Azrael’s voice was monotone, emotionless.

Malphas maneuvered on the tree branch, crossing his arms over his chest. “See, I can’t tell you that information, however, I can say I’m here to stop you. We can’t have you warning Uriel now, can we?” He smiled, with a mocking grin extending across his face.

Azrael braced himself for Malphas attack. I won’t be able to defeat him; I’m not strong enough against him. Unlike the archangels, Azrael knew his strength was no match for a head demon. If he wanted to warn heaven, he had to think fast, to free himself from Malphas’s sight.

Malphas golden-green eyes gleamed in the moonlight as if reading Azrael’s movements. Azrael flickered his gaze to the right and left. He leaped back, flapping his wings. He was about to dart into the air until he heard a loud bang echo through the woods.

The animals went wild: wolves howled, birds screeched in their packs, and deer flocked through the woods, stomping their feet on the ground.

Azrael’s eyes widened. He shifted his gaze back to Malphas, seeing a silver handgun pointed right at him. Malphas’s fingers were wrapped around the handle, with one finger putting pressure on the trigger.

“I wouldn’t move, Azrael,” Malphas’s warned, keeping his gaze on Azrael.

Azrael stared at Malphas. His expression was stoic, until his lips twisted into a slight smirk.

“A gun. I didn’t think you’d stoop so low to use such a human weapon,” Azrael taunted.

Malphas then shrugged his shoulders and lowered his gun, staring at it.

“Yes, but out of all the weapons Azazel taught humans to create, this is my favorite,” he shifted his gaze back to Azrael, “you see, this isn’t just any gun,” he pointed it back at Azrael, “the bullets in this gun- are, special.”

“Special?” Azrael repeated, trying to make sense of the demon’s words.

Malphas smiled deviously, like a madman lost in his own insanity. “These bullets are infused with Lucifer’s power – the first demon, meaning,” he said in a sing-song voice, “if an angel gets shot with them, they turn into a demon, well, not right away, of course. It’s a long, painful process.” He laughed, and widened his crazed golden-green eyes at Azrael.

Azrael frowned his brows; his body stiffed to Malphas’s words. He needed to run from Malphas, even if it involved fighting him.

Azrael braced himself; he stretched out his arm, opened his palm and summoned his spear.

Malphas whistled, and Azrael knew the demon was provoking him further.

Malphas then changed his expression. A serious gleam shone in his eyes, staring at Azrael. “Do you really want to fight me? Join us, Azrael, or do you want to continue serving him?” Malphas pointed a finger at Azrael, “Him! Who created you for the sole purpose of taking human life? Don’t you long to be free, to make your own choice?”

To Malphas’s words, Azrael stopped cold. Free from this responsibility. The words replayed in his mind, freedom. His thoughts twisted, bouncing between being free from the chain of his existence, or still serving him.

He felt like his own mind was betraying him, luring him into Lucifer’s web. Then again, was it his secret desire – to live without control?

Malphas gave Azrael a sly grin, and said, “Your thoughts give you away, Azrael.”

Azrael clenched his fist, hating that he was stuck under Malphas’s power. Suddenly, the crash of metal upon metal echoed in the woods, and the sound of tires screeching against pavement rang through the air. Malpahs quickly spun around and shook his head. “Humans,” he sighed.

The accident! Azrael snapped from his thoughts. Blazing red-orange fire shoot into the skies, coming from the highway. Using this time to his advantage he flew into the air, propelling himself forward with quick speed.

I have to signal the others. He kept flying, ignoring the curses coming from Malphas’s lips.

Below him were the green tops of trees, swaying in the wind. Malphas was behind him, tailing his every move. Azrael maneuvered to the side, dodging Malphas’s grey, dark energy being hurled at him. Both angel and demon were in a cat and mouse game, trying to outwit the other.

I can’t stay in the sky. Azrael dove down into the forest, flying past the branches and leaves. He kept going, until Malpahs flashed before him, with his gun pointed at his shoulder.

“I told you to join us, Azrael.” Malphas’s voice was monotone. He fired the gun. Azrael flew back, but the bullet was too fast. Piercing his angelic fleash, Azrael felt the dark aura seeping into his shoulder. He winced in pain, placing a hand on his wound.

Without wasting time, Azrael returned back into the skies. Due to the pain his shoulder, he felt hazy, flying wobbly and tilting his form. Quickly, he landed on the paved highway, seeing the two crashed cars in the distance. Black smoke rose into the skies, and the smell of iron and gasoline hit his nostrils.

His shoulder burned, pulsating with dark energy. As he stood on the highway, he lifted his hand to the heavens.

I-ha-ve-to warn-them

Azrael released his power, sending a spark of light through the sky. He widened his eyes. The once dark sky filled with bodies, circling the area. Demons descended to the earth, flying to the souls of the recently departed. In the distance, Azrael could see the soul of a young woman – about sixteen – wandering on the highway. She looked lost, confused. Her blonde locks were messy upon her face, and her blue eyes were lifeless. In front of her, a demon landed. The blonde girl stepped back, screaming in bloodcurdling fear.

Lana, Guardian Angel

Now

Lana’s eyes were still closed, and beneath her, she felt something soft, like slink on earth. Her mind was hazy, and she couldn’t recall her location.

Slowly she opened her eyes, wondering where she was. Around her was darkness, with only faint light shimmering in the black void. Sliver light flickered around her, like stars in the skies. She felt a strong pair of arms wrapped around her form, holding her tightly.

“Who’s there?” Lana whispered in a soft voice. She blinked her eyes, descending her body and almost failing; however, the pair of arms caught her, grasping her safely.

Even though her thoughts were muddled, Lana knew she was sinking.

“My wings,” she muttered, calling forth her wings, but something was missing. She kept signaling for her feathers to appear; however, she felt nothing.

Her back was empty, producing no desired results.

The pair of arms pulled her closer, tightening the grip around her spiritual body. She tried to squirm, to move, but she was immobile, locked in place as if she was a prisoner.

A soft moan escaped Lana’s lips, as she felt the arms keeping her close. Soon, whispers spoke around her, echoing in the dark void she was stuck in; eerie voices she could barely comprehend.

“Soon,” a deep, masculine voice said, speaking into her ear like velvet.

The word Soon repeated all around her; numerous tones speaking all at once, like a thousand voices reverberating through the room, fighting for a chance to be heard. As she stood limp, the voices got louder, echoing the same word in her ears.

What’s happening? She kept her gaze on the dark swirls before her, feeling pressure being applied to her angelic form. She gasped; the arms squeezed her tighter. Pain throbbed throughout her spiritual body, spreading within her.

She gasped again, and then winced. She opened her eyes wider, screaming out in pain.

With a jolt, Lana sat up, panting. She looked down at her white gown, trying to gain a sense of her surroundings. Everything was a haze to her, a foggy memory she tried hard to understand. She pressed a hand to her temple, trying to collect her thoughts. Her memories were like a puzzle – different pieces not fitting together.

She shifted her gaze to the ivory wall before her, when she realized where she was. She spun her head around, ranking her eyes around the room.

The lower sanctums. How did I get here? And why was I asleep? Angels don’t sleep. She thought to herself. She continued to look around the room, searching for any signs of other angels. She was alone, sitting on the bed lost in her own thoughts. As she sat staring at the ivory walls, she remembered the last time she was in the lower sanctums. Uriel had taken her, accusing her of being in cohorts with Lucifer.

Lana sighed, thinking of how long ago that was, but still, curiosity was eating away at her. She wondered why she was here, alone with no one else around. Slowly she lifted her body from the bed, and exited the room. The hallways of the lower sanctums were dark, with only a shed of light illuminating the pathways.

“Where is everyone?” She kept walking, feeling worry consuming her. Where are Erela and Serafim? This isn’t like them.

Lana couldn’t feel another angel’s presence, and that added to her worries. In heaven, angels could always sense each other, because they were always around. Something was off, not right.

Lana stopped, trying to gather her wits about her. The lower sanctums reminded her of a maze, a maze you could get lost forever in. Without sensing the other angels, it was hard for her to navigate the long, winding corridors.

What is wrong with me? Lana spun around, flickering her gaze to both sides of the hallway, trying to decide what direction to go. As she was trying to make a decision, she heard footsteps echoing behind her, slowly getting louder.

“Who’s there?!” She called out, hoping someone had finally come to her.

She quickly turned around and started running in the direction of the noise. Lana turned the corner, with her lips curling into a smile.

She kept running, until she stopped cold, seeing Raziel standing before her.

As he stared at her, his lips twisted into a slight smirk. His grey eyes stayed fixated on her form, and Lana could feel an ominous presence spewing from him.

“Raziel,” she said, barely audible.

Raziel took one step forward, dropping his arms to the side. “Lana, there you are. I’ve been waiting for you to wake up.” A smile spread across his lips. He picked up his pace, strolling over to Lana.

Lana took a step back, confused over Raziel’s actions. As she stared at him, images of before entered her mind: begging Raziel to help her, the demon, and Erela trying to save her.

The demon! It came out of my viewer pool. And Raziel, he let it happen.

Lana backed away again, thinking of what she should do. Did Raziel distrust her like the others? She didn’t know. However, she knew he allowed the demon to attack her. Raziel kept walking, but Lana quickly spun around and started sprinting down the hall.

She called for her wings like before, but still, nothing appeared. Where are my wings?! Fear coursed through her, she was scared, and confused over what was happening.

“Lana?!” Raziel’s angry voice echoed through the halls, calling to her. His booming voice roared in her ears. Behind her, she heard the sound of wings flapping against one another. Quickly she looked back, seeing Raziel flying towards her at intense speed.

Why is he chasing me? She continued running. Suddenly, the sanctum shook, throwing her off balance. She descended to the floor, landing with a thud.

Lana groaned. Slowly she lifted her body with her arms, scanning her eyes around the area.

“What was that?”

Before she could rise up, she felt a strong grip grab her arm, and haul her up. Raziel stood behind her and pushed her against the wall. Lana’s body smacked the ivory wall. She stared at Raziel in confusion and panic.

Raziel punched the wall beside her head, and gripped her shoulder with his other hand, digging his nails in her angelic skin. Lana winced, scrunching her face in pain.

Quickly she shifted her gaze to Raziel, glaring at him.

“What are you doing? Let me go!” She squirmed, twisting her body and attempting to grab his arm.

A haughty laugh spewed from Raziel’s throat; he quickly wrapped his digits around Lana’s wrist, pinning her against the wall. The sanctum shook again, violently. The sound of thunder crackled from the outside, making Lana panic.

“It’s time,” Raziel said, loud enough for only Lana to hear. Raziel’ hues bore into Lana’s eyes, meeting her fuming gaze. “For you to return where you belong, by Lucifer’s side.”

A/N: What did you think about this chapter? What do you think Raziel means when he says, “By Lucifer’s side?”

Is anyone ready to see Lucifer in action yet?

Who do you ship in this story?

What do you think of Malphas?

What do you think Lucifer is planning?

How will Uriel react to Raziel hurting Lana?

Please comment! Also, I may or may not take down this chapter for more editing. 

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