A/N: Long chapter everyone, but we’re finally getting the main story, enjoy!
This is dedicated to skalya, for encouraging me to write this story and leaving such wonderful comments.
Chapter 6: Shadow
Uriel, Commander in Heaven’s Army
URIEL STOOD AT THE edge of the drifting mountain with Azrael. Both angels stayed silent as they looked at the pure white clouds in the distance. In truth, Uriel wasn’t thrilled about his meeting with the archangels. Reporting the results of the battles on earth would only further his resolve to strike Lucifer down without their consent. Unfortunately, duty called, and his responsibilities were never complete.
He could hear the faint sounds of conversation behind him; Yushiro was speaking to Lana and Erela. Would Lana long for his affection? He knew she would, but she understood his position. Words didn’t need to be exchanged between them.
Behind him, the echo of conversation died down and he waited to hear Lana’s voice but she did not utter a word. As he squeezed his hand into a fist, he recalled the events on earth that happened after Lucifer fell. I will win this game, Lucifer. God has entrusted me to his army, and with these soldiers, I will kill every demon that follows you, he thought, squeezing his clenched fist even tighter. If he were human, red crimson would have dripped from his hands by now. From the corner of his pupil, he saw Azrael glance at him, and then heard him groan. Uriel could feel the tension between him and Azrael, which was more normal than rare.
Yushiro then strolled next Uriel, with a sly grin adorning his lips.
“Not going to say goodbye to your beloved?” Yushiro asked sarcastically, extending the smile on his lips.
Uriel turned towards Yushiro, with a serious gleam showing in his eyes. “No, now let’s go. I can feel Michael and Gabriel waiting for me,” Uriel said with haste, and then flashed away.
After he teleported, he reappeared at the entrance to The Hall of Creation, where his fellow archangels waited impatiently for him. In a flash, Azrael appeared beside him, standing with an empty cold stare in his eyes. To Uriel, Azrael resembled walking death. When Azrael was first created, Uriel remembered how his eyes shined with a heavenly glow like the rest of their kind, but over the years – more like centuries – his eyes slowly became lifeless, dead. In a way, Uriel also changed; he felt rage growing steadily within him. His original task was to keep order in heaven with the other archangels, handling issues while father was away. However, once Lucifer had turned against God and vowed to take over heaven and earth, Uriel was annotated Commander of God’s army.
Uriel brushed away the thoughts of Azrael; he wanted to concrete on his upcoming meeting.
Uriel waited a few moments for Yushiro, but when his captain didn’t surface, he asked, “Did he not follow behind you?”
Azrael glanced at Uriel, and then turned to face him.
“Yushiro said he prefers what humans call, ‘The old Fashioned Way’.” Azrael voice was monotone, lacking any emotion.
Uriel shook his head, wondering out of all the angels in heaven why he made Yushiro his captain.
Suddenly, appearing next to Uriel was Bellatrix and Raziel.
“Lord Uriel,” Bellatrix called softly to him, causing him to spin towards her.
“Bellatrix, Raziel, by whose order are you here?” Uriel questioned, confused.
“Yushiro summoned us here, he said it was important.” Bellatrix stared at Uriel, keeping her shimmering milk chocolate eyes on his muscular form.
A groan erupted from Raziel’s throat. From the sound, Uriel sensed Raziel’s annoyance.
Raziel, Uriel thought, giving Raziel a sharp glare. When this meeting is adjourned, I’ll remove him as lieutenant. Bellatrix will take his place by my side, Uriel decided. Over the past few years, Uriel had grown tired of Raziel’s insolence: he questioned Uriel’s judgment and tried to surpass him on the battlefield.
The sooner Bellatrix could take Raziel’s place, the better. Although now was not the time to tell Raziel of his demotion.
“It seems we’re all here, how lovely. It’s so rare for all of us army leaders get together, it should be oh so much fun,” Yushiro’s voice was playful and taunting like he was making a joke. Like a delicate swan, he landed on the crystal floor, standing firm next to his Commander.
With nostrils flaring, Raziel pushed passed Bellatrix and forced his way in front of Yushiro.
“Why did you call us here?! Archangel Territory is only for those who were created in the Hall of Creation.” Raziel’s voice roared in anger.
Listening to Raziel complain and question Yushiro’s decisions further irritated Uriel. Before Uriel could speak, he saw Yushiro glance at him, signaling with his eyes he would handle it.
Despite his wishes , Uriel withdrew his desire to yank the lieutenant into submission. He flared his nostrils, growled slightly, and turned his back to those under his Commander.
“Uriel,” he heard his name being called – a soft feminine voice – reminding him of Lana. The voice belonged to Bellatrix, not Lana, and he knew that.
Azrael walked side-by-side with the Commander, staying silent.
Uriel sensed Azrael attempting to read his thoughts, but before the angel of death could get any information, Uriel pushed his aura out. Azrael stopped for a moment, panting.
Uriel scowled. “Stay out of my thoughts, Azrael. Your ability was given to you in order to judge human souls, nothing else. Read my thoughts again, and you’ll be left more than just panting,” Uriel warned, in a voice cold like ice.
Azrael looked up at Uriel with indifferent eyes – Uriel couldn’t tell what he was thinking – as he was half slumped over and held his chest.
I’ve had enough for today. Uriel kept walking, leaving Azrael behind to gather himself. As he kept walking, he reached the stairway and continued until the archway came into view. At the top of the stairs were two giant columns on each side. Each column had an iconic design at the base and top. Like the other buildings in heaven, The Hall of Creation was similar to earth’s roman architecture, however, inside there were notable differences.
Before Uriel passed through the archway, Yushiro landed besides him, keeping quiet.
“I take it you handled Raziel?” Uriel’s voice was cold.
“Yes,” Yushiro shrugged, “Your lowly lieutenant must feel he’d be a better Commander than you.” Yushiro glanced at Uriel, but Uriel didn’t speak.
“My time is limited, and foolishness is not something I care to speak about.” Uriel continued his course into The Hall of Creation, ignoring Yushiro’s sounds of defeat.
Once Uriel entered the hall, Yushiro proceeded behind him. Both angels walked through the long passageway until they reached the main room. On the ceiling was an oculus opening, letting God’s light shine down on the pool of water in the center.
The pool of water was deep, glistening from the light above. Pass the hole of liquid in the floor, were two double white doors in the back. There was a giant lock on the door, preventing anyone from entering.
Uriel had only been in the room once – when he was originally created with the other archangels and stood before god. Since that time, only Michael and Gabriel visited the inner room, mostly to inform God of their progress and receive advice on matters of importance.
The Hall of Creation was where the original angels were created, including Lucifer himself. Knowing that Lucifer was once loved by God – chosen to be the first – made Lucifer’s betrayal even worse.
“You’ve finally arrived,” Uriel heard a familiar voice.
Appearing to the left of the pool was Gabriel. Once he saw him, Uriel took his place in front of the hole of shimmering water.
“It’s been awhile, Gabriel.” A slight smile graced Uriel’s lips, and Gabriel nodded.
Uriel wondered where Michael was, but a part of him already knew.
Soon, the double white doors slowly opened, and out walked Michael in all his glory, glowing brightly.
Behind him Uriel heard Yushiro wince at the sight. Yushiro could not look upon Michael, but as his captain, Yushiro needed to overhear the words spoken between the three archangels.
Michael took his place at the right side of the pool as he lowered his glow. Between the three of them, they formed a triangle. All three angels started to shine with a heavenly light, and images of earth surfaced in the water.
“Uriel, it’s been too long,” Michael said, letting little emotion show on his face. As Uriel looked upon Michael, the first thing he always noticed was the scar lining his right cheek. On the day Lucifer fell, Michael was the one who expelled the traitor to earth. The aftermath took its toll on the archangel, leaving him exhausted. Uriel was told it was a ferocious battle. That Lucifer didn’t want to submit, he wanted heaven to be his, but most importantly, he wanted Lana. However, after he saw Lana again, his actions in heaven didn’t match. Was it all for show? Uriel thought as he recalled the past.
“Aye, it has,” Uriel responded.
“Tell us, Uriel, what has happened on earth?” Gabriel asked.
“The returning angels are in high spirits. More battles won by you no less,” Michael pointed out.
Michael looked at Uriel curiously with his brown eyes. Out of the three of them, Michael looked the oldest, similar to a human considered to be in their early to late forties. Even though Michael was immortal, the battle with Lucifer had aged his angelic spirit. His hair was a short chestnut brown color. And his brown eyes looked wise, knowing only things an experienced angel could understand. Due to his direct communication with God, Michael possessed extensive knowledge of earth and heaven, but hell, was a mystery to him.
“Yes, I pushed Lucifer’s forces back, but still, his numbers are growing. We may be keeping him at bay from heaven’s gates, but –”
Gabriel cut Uriel off. “That is what’s important.”
Uriel filched, “Gabriel, you already know this. We can fight Lucifer for all of time, but until we attack him directly we’ll never win.”
“What’s most important is keeping him away from the gates,” Michael added.
Uriel shifted his gaze to Michael, “There is not enough fallen angels for there to be this many demons. Somehow Lucifer is extending his army. We must attack him where he hides,” Uriel urged, with anger lacing his voice.
The other two archangels stayed silent, musing to themselves.
“While on earth, I heard a warning, “Lucifer is coming,” Uriel said. When he spoke, another voice mirrored his. Emerging from the darkness, Azrael walked up to Uriel and stared at the liquid in the center.
“Azrael.” Both Michael and Gabriel said in unison.
“Why are you here?” Gabriel asked, with anger in his tone.
Azrael ignored Gabriel’s words and said, “On earth, when I was about to judge a soul, a demon appeared. At first, he taunted me-
“And, that is nothing new. All those who have fallen lie and taunt,” Michael interrupted, cutting Azrael off.
“Michael,” Uriel called, “Azrael wouldn’t come to this room unless it was important, we should listen,” Uriel said.
Michael lowered his gaze, and then shifted his eyes to Gabriel. “Fine, proceed.”
Azrael stood still, with a stoic expression on his features. “There was a woman, she was dying. And the demon took her into his arms, and healed her before fleeing.”
All three archangels’ eyes widen to Azrael’s words; disbelief painted their faces. A demon healing a human, that’s unheard of, Uriel thought as he gave Yushiro a side-way glance. Yushiro looked back at Uriel, acknowledging this was the information he heard before.
“What happened to the human?!” Gabriel demanded an answer.
Azrael shrugged. “She is with the demon,” he answered, dismissively.
“You let the demon escape!” Michael scolded Azrael. He stepped closer to the pool of water, letting anger overtake him.
Azrael looked at all three archangels with a blank stare, “Yes,” he replied bluntly.
Their mouths were agape, even Uriel’s.
“The woman will die anyway. What demon would keep a human if not to torture them to death and kill them? Her soul will call out to me in due time.” His voice was cold.
Gabriel creased his brows and twisted his lips into a dark frown. “You are the angel of death, but still an angel, your job –”
“I am aware of my job, Gabriel. I was created to only judge and take human souls. . . I watch humans die, numerous lives lost, every day, hers was no different,” Azrael said coldly like his voice was made of ice.
“Azrael, you sound as if darkness as entered you.” Gabriel eyed Azrael suspiciously.
The corner of Azrael’s lips tugged into a dark grin, “No, Gabriel. When you are created to be death, you become cold, like the corpses you create.” His words were harsh.
Michael and Uriel stared at the two angels having a battle of wits with words. Azrael’s reaction to the situation didn’t surprise Uriel. Like Uriel thought, Azrael had gone cold, but that was a matter for another day.
“Enough, Azrael,” Uriel said, “We will deal with you another time, right now we must speak of Lucifer’s demise.”
A silence passed over the room, so quiet that if a human was with them, they could hear the human breathe.
“We will wait,” Michael said.
“Wait! Why should we wait?!” Lucifer has sent us his threat, now we must send him ours,” Uriel urged.
“And, are we like Lucifer now, Uriel?” Michael countered, speaking with authority in his voice.
“What are you implying, Michael?” Uriel questioned.
“Only what you believe, Uriel. We know nothing of Lucifer’s plan, and one rogue demon could mean anything. This wouldn’t be the first time Lucifer lost control of his own flock,” Michael said.
Uriel stepped forward and raised his fist, “In order to defeat Lucifer and destroy his armies once and for all, we must face him where he hides. Let me go to the hell, I’ll strike him down where he lives!”
Gabriel twitched and said, “You already proposed that and the answer is still the same. You are an archangel, Uriel. If you were lost in Lucifer’s domain, the balance of heaven and earth would tip,” Gabriel reminded him.
Uriel grunted, being told no wasn’t what he wanted to hear. “Fine, then we must lure him to earth where our forces can trap him,” Uriel said.
“And tell me, Uriel, what would persuade Lucifer out of his safe zone?” Michael questioned.
As Uriel stood there, he was at war with himself over what he would suggest. His solution wasn’t ideal, or even foolproof, but it needed to be done. Even though it pained him, sacrifices needed to be made.
“Lana . . . let her, go to earth.” Uriel’s voice rang through the room, and in an instant, all eyes were on him. Tension from his plan filled the inner area, leaving every angel around him speechless.
Uriel was aware of the dangers with his plan, but if they wanted to defeat Lucifer once and for all, Lucifer needed to leave his sanctuary. Jesus went to earth to die so humans could repent for their sins. If Lana agreed to be a decoy, maybe she could repent, and finally prove to heaven she wasn’t involved in Lucifer’s betrayal. He had constructed his tactic: before Lucifer could get to Lana, he would strike Lucifer, forcing him away from her. And if that didn’t work, Yurshiro and Bellatrix would protect her, keeping her safe. He trusted Bellatrix, and knew she would follow his orders. He had everything planned, and once he convinced Gabriel and Michael to agree, he would finally carry out his will, after waiting for so long.
Lana, Guardian Angel
LANA AND ERELA SAT on the floating hilltop, thinking back to the conversation Uriel had with Yushiro and Azrael.
“What do you think happened on earth?” Lana asked Erela, while she kept her gaze on the ivory buildings below them.
“It’s hard to say, anything can happen during this war.” Erela sighed, and then stood up. After Uriel left, Lana decided to stay on the mountain and think to herself.
She knew Uriel rarely had time to engage with her, but after so many months, she missed his touch on her angelic skin: the way he would caress her, kiss her, and run his deft fingers through her long ebony-silver hair.
For Uriel to leave so quickly, she wondered if it was about Lucifer. Surely, if Uriel saw him, he would tell her. Angels could not lie, and yet, most angels deemed her the mother of lies.
Lana hesitated before speaking and asked, “Do you think,” she paused and exhaled, it’s about Lucifer?”
Erela pursed her lips to Lana’s question and walked passed her. “Do not think too much about it. Our job is to focus on the humans we protect. Speaking of which, we should go. You know we must watch over them while they sleep.”
“I know,” Lana said, rising to her feet. As she walked to Erela, she couldn’t shake the feeling Uriel was concealing something from her.
Erela opened her wings, fluttering them like a bird about to fly.
“We should race!” Erela proposed and she took flight. Before Lana could catch up, Erela flew off, descending towards Guardians Sanctum.
With a smile on her face, she chased after Erela, trying not to think of her woes. If anything, she knew Uriel was protecting heaven, so nothing could happen to her.
Both angels flew through the sky, darting past buildings and other angels. Lana twirled, gliding along the heavenly structures and making sharp turns. Erela was in the lead but Lana soon surpassed her, flying above her.
Once she saw Guardians Sanctum, Lana quickly landed on the crystal floor, with Erela soon landing behind her.
“You cheated!” Erela accused her.
“No, you’re just slow,” Lana retorted.
Erela then smiled and walked towards the staircase.
“Let’s go, we better get to work before serial scolds us.”
Lana agreed, and they both walked into the building to their respective viewer pools.
Lana waved her hand over the shining water, causing an image of her human to appear. He was asleep in bed, in the bedroom of his apartment. Lana found watching sleeping humans dull, but it was her duty to make sure their rest wasn’t disturbed by demons or any wandering souls stuck on earth (Or what humans call, ghost).
As she kept watching him sleep, she heard Serafim and Erela starting to batter again. Every time, she thought, as she kept her gaze fixated on the ivory bowl.
Suddenly, the image in the water flickered, like something ran across the room. She lowered her sight deeper into the water, twirling her hand around to change her view.
Her human started to moan and wail like he was being attacked. Oddly, he was still asleep, so she figured it must be a nightmare.
Again, he moaned, but then he cried out. His body was quickly being drenched in sweat and his yells sounded like a cry of pain.
His eyelids fluttered rapidly, causing Lana to worry. If she needed to, she could enter his dreams to sooth his nightmare, but before she did, something caught her eye.
She maneuvered her hand again, seeing a peculiar corner in his bedroom. The corner was darker than normal, and the shadow looked like a void, like a black hole out in space.
She zoomed in on the corner, wondering what was lurking. If it was a demon or spirit, she would cast it out using her powers, which was simple enough.
Her tan hand hovered over the water, focusing all her angelic energy. She was about to strike, sending her power through to earth when she saw three, dark yellow eyes form into a line from the shadowy corner.
She was taken back when she realized the three eyes were looking right at her. In all of her years being a guardian, a demon or spirit had never acknowledged her existence through the viewer pool.
Lana, we have finally found you, she heard a dark voice say in a sing-song tone.
She retracted her hand, feeling confusion flood through her.
“What?” she said, with her mouth agape.
“Lana?” She heard Serafim call to her. Before she could look towards him, a shadowy figure with three eyes emerged from the corner, smiling demonically at her.
She was about to channel her energy, but before she could, a black mist seeped through the liquid in her viewer pool, latching onto her like a leech.
You can’t escape, mother of lies, the voice echoed in her ears.
“This can’t be happening.” She screeched.
Surrounding her, she heard other angels screaming, questioning what was happening.
“Lana!” Erela yelled.
The black mist quickly moved up her angelic form.
Using her power, Lana tried to attack it, but the clouds of darkness split, and then formed again when her ball energy struck the wall.
Pieces of ivory fell to the crystal floor, cracking it.
“Lana,” Serafim called out to her. He ran over to her, trying to grab her from the dark aura but when he touched her, he was repealed – thrown to the crystal floor.
She reached out her hand; trying to take hold of anything but the darkness was sucking her in.
“Serafim, we must get Sariel!” Erela yelled. Serafim sprang to his feet, nodded and then ran pass the archway.
At this point, chaos ensued Guardian’s Sanctum. All the angels surrounding Lana had fleed once they felt the cloud of malice, but for Erela and Serafim.
As the mist crept up her form, she felt power leaving her, causing her to slowly slump to the glass floor. Once her body was drained of angelic energy, the dark cloud surrounding her took shape. Fear consumed her as the three dark, yellow eyes appeared through the cloud of shadowy mist.
A face materialized before her – dark and brooding – with sharp canine teeth and distorted facial features.
“Demon,” she hissed, feeling its shadowy hands tighten around her wrist. She winced in pain. Her wings were pushed into the floor, without space to expand.
She tried to avoid looking into the demon’s gaze, but it gripped her chin, forcing her to stare into its three eyes. As she stared into its yellow hues, she saw an image of Lucifer in her mind, with the golden locks she used to love and crystal blue eyes. He looked the same as she remembered him, glorious and holy.
He was standing on top of a mountain, overlooking the sea. In the distance, the moon was high in the sky, and his eyes glowed with an unnatural light.
“Lucifer,” she called to him. Looking at him, she felt entranced. Seeing him the way she used to love filled her with sorrow.
He smiled at her, as his golden locks blew in the wind. His face was of a young man’s, radiant and glowing. He expanded his giant white wings and reached out his hand to her.
“I’m coming for you, Lana, you’ve waited long enough for me.” His voice was soft, like velvet.
Lana stepped back, shaking her head to get out of the trance. You’re not real, this isn’t real, she repeated.
She kept staring at the image when suddenly it brusted into orange-red flames. His once golden locks had turned black, running down his backside. The crystal blue eyes had been replaced with darkness – black pools where no light could enter. And his magnificent white wings had turned a raven black, and his eyes then flickered yellow.
Lana walked backwards in a panic, and she was thrown out of the trance. The demon was still before her, smiling deviously. Slowly it opened its mouth, spewing an ebony sludge over her angelic form.
“No! Let me go!” She fought, kicked and screamed but it was no use.
Again, she heard her name being called. She tilted her head, seeing Erela in the distance. Serafim was gone and Erela was alone.
Soon, she heard footsteps clinking against the glass floor.
The familiar face of gray eyes and brown locks came into her view from the passageway.
“Raziel.” Her voice was weak, barely audible. Erela followed Lana’s gaze when she saw Raziel standing in the archway.
Erela ran up to Raziel and gripped his arm.
“You have to help Lana, it’s consuming her!”
A look of disgust crossed Raziel’s face. He glared down at Erela, catching her off guard. Letting out a weak hand covered in dark aura, Lana begged for Raziel to help her. Instead, Raziel clicked his tongue, and then pushed Erela hard, knocking her into a column. Resounding from the column, cracking noises echoed in Lana’s ears. Erela wasn’t moving; her eyes were shut.
Lana went wide-eyed, staring at Raziel. Quickly her body was being covered in the dark sludge. She could feel the sticky substance entering her, crawling into her mouth and eyes. A bloodcurdling pain shocked her body and she screamed out.
As Raziel gave her a devious smirk, tears streamed from her eyes. Raziel wasn’t to going to help her, no one was.
“Why, Raziel . . .” Once he turned away from her sight, her world was covered in darkness. All she could see was black as the dark aura infested every inch of her.
A/N: I’m sure you didn’t see that coming 🙂 Please comment and vote! For all you silent readers, please comment if you are enjoying this story. It doesn’t get as much love as Clash of Tides 😦