Wading Into the Abyss with an Angel of Dark and Light

 

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Chapter 1

“Destroying is a necessary function in life. Everything has its season, and all things eventually lose their effectiveness and die.”- Margaret J. Wheatley

Azza stared like a predator at the dying old man lying in the hospital bed.

His beloved daughter was holding his hand so tightly as if she never wanted to let go. Her face was wet with tears that constantly poured down as she cried.

“Dad, please don’t leave us. You still have to play with your granddaughter, right?” The old man’s daughter begged but with a forced smile on her lips.

The old man squeezed his daughter’s hand and looked at his four-year old granddaughter, who was looking at him with sad eyes. She was looking at his hand and her mother’s that were clasped tightly together. Then, she looked up at her father who was standing next to her. His sad face was reflecting hers.

Azza still looked at the small family gathered together. She sighed and went to the other side of the bed. She noticed that the old man was able to see her. She also noticed that his eyes grew wide with fear when he saw her.

He saw a hooded black robed being coming toward him. He could not see its face. It was like looking at a hollow, dark space within the black hood.

“Dad, what’s wrong?” The old man’s daughter asked and looked at the empty space her father was looking at. “Is mom going to take you away now?”

“Grandpa?” His six-year old granddaughter called and touched his arm.

“Dad, I promise to take good care of them,” his son-in-law promised morosely. “Please go if you must. It also pains me to see you suffer like this.”

The old man’s hand gripped his daughter’s hand so tightly again but he was unable to speak. His mouth was open. Azza found the right time to cut the bright white life cord that emerged from the old man’s belly. She took out her double-edged xiphos and severed it.

“Dad!”

The old man seemed to choke and his eyes closed already before the cord was cut. The machine screamed out an alarm and showed a straight line on the monitor. A couple of nurses and doctors went quickly inside the private room and attempted to revive the old man. However, it was already too late. And the family grieved over their loss.

“Who are you?” The soul of the old man asked her and he turned to his remains being revived by the hospital’s medical team.

“I am an Angel of Dark and Light. I have been with you for quite a while now,” Azza replied.

“An angel? You mean you’re a grim reaper?” The old man queried.

“Let me take you to the abyss.”

“The abyss? Where is it?”

Azza sighed and whispered to her apple green colored serpentine stone that was held by a black pearl bracelet. It was a tiny globe that would take her wherever she wanted to and it was also used for communication. She took with her the soul of the old man that had just died.

They arrived at a poor lit room in a blink of an eye.

“Am I… Am I going to hell?” The old man asked with fear in his voice and he trembled.

“I am in no liberty to answer your question. Wherever that door leads you, it has always been meant for you, old man,” Azza answered as she motioned to him and a door materialized in an instant.

The old man hesitated for a moment. He looked at her. Still, he could not see her face.

“Please, go on.” Azza motioned patiently to the door once again.

“What about my family?” The old man hesitated and asked.

Before she could answer, another hooded black robed being appeared from nowhere with a woman’s soul. She was beautiful and young.

“Are we going to queue up in here?” The hooded black robed being asked sarcastically.

Azza ignored him and his remark. She turned to the old man.

“Please. You don’t need to be afraid. You did good deeds in your lifetime, right?”

The old man swallowed and turned toward the door. He entered and he was gone in an instant.

“Well, that wasn’t so difficult,” the second hooded black robed being chuckled. “Now, little miss. It is your turn to enter that door. Right now.”

“I don’t want to go, mister!” The young lady wailed with a horrified expression on her face.

“Now, little miss. It was not my fault that you got drunk and drove your car so fast, and then, you died! Don’t let me push you inside that goddamn door! Let me finish my job here and get out of my sight now!”

The young lady sobbed and turned to the door to enter it. She vanished and the door vanished as well afterwards.

Lahash shed his hooded black robe. A handsome Indian-looking man appeared before Azza. His jacket, slacks and tie made him look so elegant, professional and powerful – like a real man or business tycoon.

She, too, shed her hooded black robe. His eyes approved of her usual appearance. She looked very beautiful and wore a very appealing black dress that covered only her private parts. Her tiara was made of golden cloth and glimmering diamond stones that adorned it. Her double-edged xiphos was strapped securely around her left thigh.

“Don’t hold me up, Lahash.” She threw him a hostile look and she whispered to her bracelet where she placed her apple green colored serpentine stone.

She could still hear his chuckle when she arrived at her place. She sighed and dropped her bottom on a single couch.

“That was not taking so long,” Dantanian appeared before her with a smiling face.

Azza looked at his new face today. He looked like a pirate with a patch on his left eye.

“It was long enough. I had to wait for the old man to die from cancer of the lungs for a week.” She complained and then she paused. “Could you just settle with a single, consistent face from now on, Dantanian? Your changing of faces everyday makes me dizzy!” She complained again.

Her fallen angel butler grinned. “What can I get you to not make you dizzy, my lady Angel Azza?”

Azza sighed. “Forget it! Tell me if there has been any news from the higher ups.”

“Oh!” Dantanian raised his left hand with a pointed finger as if to give her a sign to wait. He materialized fire with a message in the air. “That is the message.”

Azza read it quickly.

“Meeting at devil’s hour at Purgatory Session Hall. Attendance is a MUST!”

Azza’s beautiful young face frowned at it. The message went out into a smoke and vanished into thin air. She wondered for a moment what could be the agenda.

****

The vast brown hall contained a long, rectangular bench-like table. The hall had no windows but only a large door. Gathered around the table were at least a hundred of Angels of Dark and Light. Each of them wore a black robe with a hood. Their large wings were kept under the robe like they were not present. All of their weapons of choice were crowding on the table before them.

They all looked at Baraqel, the Head Director of Fallen Angels, Angels of Death Division. He spoke slowly and grimly as he usually did.

“It has been over a hundred years since we had our last meeting. Now, I have called this meeting to let you know that by the end of the current Earth year, one of you can be chosen to enter the abyss.”

There was a murmur from the Angels of Death inside the vast hall when they heard it.

“Has our appeal to Heaven been reconsidered after thousands of years then?” Buer asked significantly.

Azza looked at the fallen angel who taught her ethics, logic and philosophy for the past thousands of years. He was sitting next to the Head Director, who sat at the head of the bench-like table. He was an adviser and one of the five top ranking officials of their division.

“Even if it was, all of us cannot enter the abyss. Some – or should I say, most of us have to stay here. We are at least given that task for thousands of years. The souls will lose their way if all of us are going,” Allocen butted in.

Azza watched him at the other end of the table, opposite to Buer. He was seated in the middle of the two other top ranking officials of their division, Obyzouth and Forcas. It was rumored and proven that he just took the title as Duke of Hell.

“That is correct, by the way,” Lahash whispered to her. “Do you agree or not?”

Azza just looked at him without speaking.

“That is why, only one of the Angels of Dark and Light is chosen to enter the abyss,” Baraqel pointed out.

“You surely enjoy your job by the looks of it, Allocen,” Buer commented.

“I learned to enjoy it, Buer – unlike you.” The reply came from the other end of the table.

Azza knew that if this duel of words kept on going, the meeting would take forever.

“Must I remind you of the time when I taught you to grab every good opportunity that will come your way?” Buer spoke again.

“And must I remind you that I came to this unfortunate position because of you?”

“Stop it, both of you,” Baraqel’s voice boomed all over the vast hall.

It was seldom that he yelled at anyone. He always spoke slowly and gently for he had all the time in the world.

“It seems that enmity is brewing in the air,” Lahash whispered to Azza again.

“It isn’t just now, stupid,” she whispered back.

“Oh, right!” He just realized and closed his mouth.

“So, if I may continue with regards to the other agenda of this meeting?”

Everyone was quite.

“Very well. I wish to get your annual report by next week. Just send them to my office. To anyone of you who has questions regarding the first agenda of this meeting, you may see me in my office anytime after this meeting.” Baraqel eyed everyone before he vanished.

All of them stood up as it was the hint that the meeting was adjourned. Others vanished as well to get on with their own business.

“Azza, may I have a word with you?” Buer changed into his human form.

He looked like a man in his late thirties.

Azza had also changed into her human form as well and was about to whisper on her serpentine stone. She stopped mid-way and looked at him with questioning eyes.

Lahash on the other hand, who transformed into his human form, told Azza that he would go ahead. She just nodded and the latter vanished.

“Buer, what is it?” She asked him as they were walking on the clouds.

It was already sunrise and the surroundings looked beautiful and fresh.

“You are one of the best Angels of Dark and Light.” He commenced and glanced at her apple green colored serpentine stone. “I knew that you were dreaming to finally enter the abyss one day. This is a great opportunity for you. I shall speak with Baraqel if you wish me to.”

Azza swallowed. She was so grateful to him. It was like he had been her father all this time – after the Great Rebellion in Heaven. He had been looking after her from the start.

“Thank you, Buer. I truly owe you everything…”

“No need to thank me yet, Azza. Just be careful with yourself and you will reach your dream in a not too distant future.” He shook his head with a gentle smile on his lips.

They continued to walk without words for some more moments.

“Buer, wouldn’t you wish to enter the abyss, too?” She finally asked him.

He sighed.

“It has been a very long time since I saw Heaven. A very long time since I smelled its fresh breeze and watched the beautiful landscapes – or heard the sound of trumpets and the singing of our fellow angels. I truly miss the party up there,” he chuckled before he continued, “however, as Allocen put in, most of us have to stay and guide the human souls to the abyss.”

“I understand, Buer. But… why you? Why do you wish to stay? You did say that you have to grab every good opportunity that would cross our way. Why won’t you choose to enter the abyss then?”

“It is but a wonderful journey out here, Azza. What would you do in Heaven when you get back?”

Azza could not find any answer to it. She had no one there. She had made friends with the rest of the fallen angels and bonded with them all this time. Was her dream to enter the abyss worthwhile after all? Won’t she experience hostility in Heaven after what she had done in the past thousands of years? Besides, she felt something lacking deep in her soul and wanted to find it out…

“You should know that your butler could be chosen to enter the abyss as well. We all know it is depending on the performance.”

She just nodded and swallowed.

“Must I let you go back to your dwelling now?” Buer stopped walking and turned to her.

“I should tell Dantanian the good news, too.” She answered.

Buer looked at her for a moment and smiled before he let her go. He was alone in the clouds when he looked around. Then, he vanished afterwards.

****

Azza was back to her huge house on Foothill Road in Beverly Hills. She was standing by the window when Dantanian walked in with a tray full of food for her lunch.

She turned around and smiled at her butler. This time, he looked the genuine human form of his, who looked middle aged with a mustache. She gave him a nod of approval and took one biscuit that was looking like a human hand. She bit on its pinky finger and chewed.

“Hmm… This is good!”

“Right. So, tell me. What was the meeting all about?” Dantanian nodded and crossed his arms as he tapped his right foot on the carpeted floor. “Do I deserve to know?”

“Yes! Of course, Dantanian.” She said and sat on the couch with a smile on her lips. “The Head Director just informed us that one of us can be chosen to enter the abyss by the end of this Earth year. Aren’t you excited? Perhaps you also dreamt of going back to Heaven all this time? Right?”

Her smile was gone when Dantanian gave her a straight face.

“I go nowhere without you, my lady Angel Azza.”

“Dantanian…”

“All this time, I feel… comfortable being with you as your butler. You see, when I get back to Heaven, I wouldn’t know what to do there.”

“Dantanian…”

“I will lose my purpose, my lady Angel Azza. You should know that.”

Azza went still. She swallowed. Then, she blinked and returned the biscuit to the tray that was laid down on the center table. She looked at her butler again.

“Dantanian, I wish you to be happy…”

“I am happy enough to be with you.”

“Are you? I keep shouting at you, Dantanian! I sometimes throw things at you when you make a mistake. There are also times that I am in no mood for no reason and just get angry at you! You have to go back!”

“As I said, I will go to nowhere without you.” Dantanian gritted his teeth.

Azza could not speak anymore. She felt she was getting desperate because of him. How could he not understand that saving himself was all she wanted for him? She did not want him to linger with her in this world. He had to find another purpose and it should be in Heaven.

“I will follow you if you are chosen to enter the abyss. You should remember that from now on.”

Azza just looked at him helplessly.

****

Azza drank wine night and day for the past few days. Her butler was not worried a single bit for he knew the reason of it. He did some thinking about going to the abyss himself. However, he was lost upon thinking of reaching Heaven soon, if he was chosen. He did not wish to leave Azza behind.

He decided to talk with Buer one day. He appeared in his human form and Buer was surprised to see him in his office in Purgatory. It was a rare occasion.

“Dantanian! This is rather unexpected,” his eyes were alert when he stood up from his chair that was behind a huge mahogany desk. He shed his hooded black robe and transformed into his human form.

“I’m sorry, Buer. I just wish to consult something with you.” Dantanian tried to explain.

“Have a seat,” Buer invited him, materializing a chair in front of the desk.

Dantanian sat on the wooden chair and looked up at Buer who sat on his desk.

“Thank you.” He was thinking hard how to open up the subject. “You know, I was thinking about the matter on entering the abyss…” He paused and Buer waited for him to continue. “Azza wanted me to go when I get the chance, if I am chosen. But… I have no wish to leave her behind. Do you think it is possible that I can go with her if I am chosen?”

Buer stared at his desk before he spoke.

“I cannot give you the correct answer to that. It has been said that only one can enter it by the end of the current Earth year. I do not even have an idea when they would choose the next one to enter the abyss and if they would do the same the next time.”

Dantanian was silent for a moment as he stared at Buer.

“Or, what if she is chosen to enter the abyss? Can I go with her as her butler?” Dantanian tried another hypothetical question.

“Dantanian, I cannot answer that. I am sorry. I shall refer this to the Head Director.”

“Buer, you should understand that I will lose my purpose if I am not with her. All this time, I pledged myself to serve and protect her.”

The two of them stared at each other for a long time.

“I understand,” Buer said finally. “I know you would.”

“Do you?”

Buer sighed. “Dantanian, her dream was to get back to Heaven all this time. However, it seems that she too doesn’t want to go back if you were not with her. She wants you to be happy, I know that.”

“I know that, too, Buer. I feel the same for her. However, I seem to notice that something is amiss in her living in the human world for a long time.”

“What do you mean?”

“My mistress tends to feel like a human after living in the human world for a long time.”

Buer blinked in disbelief. “How is that possible?”

“She is even acting like a human as she drank wine night and day for the past few days after the meeting. How can I interpret it, Buer? I don’t worry for her health as we are immortal. However, I begin to worry about her feelings. She is getting desperate. Moreover, no one in the office gave her a job to do so that she can take the abyss off her mind.”

“I will look into that matter, Dantanian. But as for your concerns, I cannot give you a definite answer to them. Rest assured that I shall relay it to the Head Director. I wish to be of help to you and to Azza. She is like my daughter as you well know.”

“Yes, that is why I come all this way to see you.”

Buer stood up as well when Dantanian did. The chair vanished.

“Her name means ‘the strong’. She will get through this, Dantanian.”

Dantanian just nodded with a straight face. He whispered by thoughts to his yellow serpentine stone, which is the pendant of his necklace. He vanished from Buer’s midst and was back to his mistress’ huge house.

He still found her drinking in the balcony, watching the setting sun’s colors in the sky, deep in thought.

“Tell me what you are missing in this human world, my lady Angel Azza,” he whispered.

Azza did not hear him but she felt him. She smiled sadly at herself.

Dantanian walked closer to her and stood behind to where she was seated.

“I just received a new assignment for you.” Dantanian materialized a leaf, as big as a saucer, and showed it to her. She read it aloud.

“Alex Miller is to be murdered. Deadline: three Earth months. You do whatever you wish. Buer.”

She looked up at her butler and smiled weakly.

“I’m sure you have something to do with this.” She said lazily.

 

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"Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows." - Pope Paul VI

Alex Miller should be dead by the end of the year. Azza smiled weakly at herself looking in the mirror the following day. She was in the bathroom and just took a shower. She watched herself naked in the mirror as she was thinking about her new assignment.

“Everything is ready, my lady Angel Azza,” Dantanian called out outside the bathroom.

“Dantanian! I told you not to enter my room!”

She heard him left and closed the door. In an instant, she was out of her bathroom without going through the door. She looked at the dress that Dantanian prepared for her. It was a red dress. She put it on in a blink of an eye. It revealed her cleavage, back, thighs and legs.

“Really, Dantanian!” She murmured to herself disgustedly.

She used her power to hide her double-edged xiphos that was secured around her right thigh. She put some make-up on and sprayed some perfume. She went out of her room afterwards. She could see her butler was at the door, ready to open it for her.

“Call me when you need some assistance,” he said with a straight face.

“Yes. I know, Dantanian. Don’t piss me off! I’m not a kid that you have to tell me that whenever I leave.

Dantanian smiled to taunt her more. She looked behind her when she felt that someone was coming.

“And what is it you want now, Lahash?” She asked before she saw him appeared.

Lahash, in his human form, smiled at her devilishly. “I just missed you.”

She rolled her eyes. Lahash was truly a persistent kind of Angel of Dark and Light that she had ever known. He even defied and intervened divine will countless times.

“You are delaying me, Lahash. I told you many times that my time is valuable.”

“So is mine. You should know.” He looked at her from head to foot. “By the way, I got an order from Allocen.”

“An order?” She was interested for it was connected with Allocen, the Duke of Hell.

“Yes. I am to murder a human being and bring his soul to Allocen.”

“What? Why is that? And why to him instead of bringing the human soul to the abyss?”

Dantanian was also interested in hearing the other fallen angel’s mission.

Lahash shrugged. “He did not explain. He just told me so.”

Azza thought about it for some more moments. There must be some reason behind it. Allocen could not just simply order something without any reason.

She looked at her butler and he nodded. They knew well their thoughts after being together for such a long time.

“Well then,” she turned to Lahash. “I’ll get going since you don’t seem so interesting to listen to anyway.”

Lahash laughed at her and he vanished first before she could step out of the open doorway. She let out a big sigh and ignored her butler. She marched the garage to drive her 2011 model black sports car.

She drove along Santa Monica Boulevard. She could see couples walking hand in hand, groups of teenagers chattering while walking their way to the university, a mother with a baby on a stroller and some men and women holding the leash of their dogs.

Fall was in the air, she could feel it. However, as an Angel of Dark and Light, she could ignore the weather whenever she wished to. For angels, it was always summer.

She looked for a space at the visitor parking area at Saint John’s Health Center. She already did her research. Alex Miller was a thirty-five-year-old anesthesiologist. He had at least one or two surgeries every day. He had no clinic but he stayed in the Billing Department whenever he was free. If he was not there, he was somewhere else that no one knew. One thing was for sure, he was almost always in his apartment during the night. He was only out when he was on a date, which was not very often; a dinner party, which was also not very frequent; or, some seminars and conventions. Aside from those, he seemed to be a loner - a loner bachelor.

She got out of her car and stared at the blue and white buildings. She was invisible the moment she got out of her car. She then entered the hospital. Nobody could see her except the dying ones. But to them, they could only see her true form as the Angel of Dark and Light with hooded black robe with black pointy large wings on her back. She also noticed that some of her fellow fallen angels were there, who were ready to take away the souls of the patients and guide them into the abyss. On the other hand, she saw the heavenly angels that were guarding the patients who were not going to die just yet. They turned and looked at her with smiling faces. However, she didn’t return their smile.

She entered inside the Billing Department through the closed door. She could see that nobody was in there.

“Is it breaktime or something?” She asked herself sarcastically and glanced at the wall clock.

It was not even ten in the morning.

She continued to walk further and peeked at the two closed doors inside the office. There was no one inside. Not a single soul. She sighed. She closed her eyes and gritted her teeth when she felt someone was coming.

“What is it now?” She angrily asked Lahash, who just appeared.

Lahash grinned. “I felt you around here.”

“Just do your own business, will you?”

“Yeah, I am! Really.” He said seriously. “I just felt you’re here. That’s why I just grabbed the opportunity to see you.”

“You’re wasting my time, Lahash. Go to wherever you should be. Just leave me alone!”

“Hmm… alright.” He said defeated and vanished.

Just when he vanished, the door opened and Alex came in. He almost fell backwards when he saw her.

Azza was confused. He could see her at the moment?

“W-who are you? Why are you here… dressed like that? I do not know any party around here. At least, nobody told me…” The guy muttered breathlessly.

“Can you see me, really?” Azza asked as she pointed herself.

“Of course. Are you supposed to be invisible?”

“Yes.” She rolled her eyes and her brows knitted afterwards.

“Well… you’re not! Who are you, by the way? Do you have any business here?” He asked with confusion drawn on his face. “Who let you in?”

Azza stood there like she was mesmerized by him. She never quite thought that she would feel something different for this man. And for angel’s sake, he was her new assignment.

Alex stepped closer to her.

“Hey. Are you alright?” He waved his hand in front of her face but she did not blink at all. She seemed to be in a trance.

He looked familiar to her – somehow. She had a strange feeling about him. She continued to stare at him. His light brown eyes almost looked like yellow. She somehow saw those eyes but she could not place it. His dark brown hair was perfect for his skin tone and face. She had never seen anyone as beautiful as him!

“Hey, Miss Red Dress with Tiara! Are you okay?” Alex almost shouted at her face.

She blinked and stepped back. She did not realize that he was too close to her already.

“Yes. I am alright. Thank you.”

“So, I will repeat my question. What is your business here? How were you able to come inside with no one else around here? We use this kind of card to enter that door,” he said while showing and waving at her face his ID and keycard in the hospital.

“Oh, I suppose it was open when I got in. I even thought there was someone here.”

“Really? And do you suppose that I would believe that nonsense? If you will not tell me who you are and what your business is, I will call security.”

Azza smiled slowly. A thought came into her mind like a game.

“Oh! I see. Well, go on. Call security. Let us see what will happen. I suppose it will be interesting.”

“I am not joking!” He stepped back and took the phone.

Azza let him do it. Alex did call security. The door was slammed open by two security officers and looked at him in confusion.

Doctor, where is the intruder?” One of the officers asked. They could not see any other person in the room except him.

Alex was confused and moved aside. “Can’t you see her?”

The two officers looked at each other with confusion. Then they both looked at him and shook their heads. They lowered their weapons and tucked them in their waistband.

“Really?” He asked to confirm it.

The two officers nodded.

Alex sighed and the two officers went out and closed the door.

“Told you, it would be interesting,” Azza crossed her arms over her chest.

“Why… Why can I see you? Why only me? What are you, really?” Alex asked in confusion. “Are you a – ghost?”

Azza could not help herself but laugh at that guess. “Huh! Nice try. But, I am not a ghost.”

“Then what are you exactly? What do you want from me?”

Azza changed herself into her true form before him. He saw her as one with hooded black robe with large pointy black wings. He was scared and fell backwards.

“Whoa! You’re the Angel of Death!”

Azza transformed back to her human form.

Correction. I am an Angel of Dark and Light. I prefer to be called like that. Actually, most of us prefer to be called as that.” She said matter-of-factly to him.

“Y-you mean there are others aside from you?”

“Exactly. So… this is curious. You can see me,” Azza said thoughtfully. “You are not supposed to see me until you die. Or, at least you’re dying.”

His eyes grew wide. “What do you mean? I am going to die soon?”

“Not too soon, I suppose. You have until the end of this year at least. That is when I am supposed to be seen by you. Not too soon. So, it is really a mystery to me. Perhaps…

“Perhaps what?” Alex stepped closer to her now.

“There had been a change of plan.” Azza told him straightforwardly. “You are going to be murdered. For what reason, I am not informed. It seems that it is going to be sooner than later.”

Alex blinked many times. This matter was no joke. He could see that this is serious. And she looked serious. Besides, there was already the proof. Nobody could see her except him. And, he saw her transfigured.

“So, tell me. You have some enemies?” Azza asked curiously. Interrogation was her option here.

“Of course I haven’t!”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I know myself. I am not a person who loves to fight. So I cannot think of any reason that somebody should have a motive to murder me.”

“But that is your fate.” Azza pointed out.

Alex could not speak.

“I’m sorry. I suppose I should not have said it bluntly.” She apologized.

He looked down. “What am I suppose to do now?” He queried innocently.

“Nothing,” Azza shrugged.

“Nothing?” He asked in disbelief.

“You can’t escape from your fate unless there is some divine intervention.” She shrugged her petite shoulders.

Alex mocked himself with a smile as he spoke. There is no way I would get that privilege, would I?”

Azza looked around instead. “Why do you always stay here, by the way?”

“Ah, that’s because I am helping the staff and patients here.” He explained with a shrug and a hand gesture.

“Huh, really?”

“Yes. And give discounts to some without the hospital’s knowledge.”

Azza looked at him. “Hey, isn’t it the reason you will be murdered?”

Alex laughed. “It’s impossible. I always make sure that it isn’t traceable and obvious.”

Azza chuckled and she walked towards the door. “Well, then. Nice meeting you, Dr. Alex Miller. I believe you are going to prepare for a surgery in a very short while. I will see you again sooneither way, alive or not.

He followed her with his eyes and he swallowed. She got out of the door, without opening it. He blinked as he watched her go through the closed door. Then he sighed and looked up at the ceiling.

“Will we see each other soon, mom?” He whispered.

Azza heard his whisper as she walked away. She knew that he lost his mother fifteen years ago. He never knew his father. His mother never let him know who he was even until her deathbed, or rather, grave.

“Lahash!” Azza gritted her teeth when she felt him around.

She looked around her but she could not see him. She only saw her other fellow angels but not him. She blinked and she realized that he might be somewhere near Alex. But why?

She went back to the Billing Department and she found Lahash standing behind Alex.

“Lahash!” She called out to him.

Lahash, who was ready to strike at Alex by his large scythe, stopped. Alex looked at her and then behind him. He toppled backwards when he saw the cruel looking Angel of Death. He looked at him with fear in his eyes, speechless and was breathing so hard.

“What are you doing? He is assigned to me.” Azza asked him firmly.

Lahash was still holding the scythe in the air. “What?!”

“Yes. And his deadline is in three months. Therefore, he is not supposed to be dead today.”

Azza did not take away her eyes from her fellow Angel of Dark and Light.

“He should die! He is my order,” Lahash revealed.

Azza blinked as she looked at him in disbelief and confusion. Then she whispered her butler’s name and he appeared in an instant.

“Dantanian, take him away from here!” Azza ordered her butler.

The butler, who changed his face that day, was looking like a teenage boy. He helped Alex on his feet and guided him to the door without a word.

Alex was hesitant but gave in later on. He just threw Azza a look of confusion.

When Azza was sure that Alex was safe with Dantanian, she turned to Lahash again with questioning eyes.

“I don’t understand this, Lahash. Why?”

Lahash’s large scythe disappeared and he transformed into his human form.

“I told you that it was an order from Allocen. I cannot ignore it.”

“But I have my assignment given by Buer, Lahash. He told me that I should do whatsoever I wish with it. I have three months. Three months! Not a day, Lahash. So, I cannot let you murder him before the three months’ up. Besides, Allocen’s order is not parallel to the Purgatory’s laws. One is that, which we are supposed to guide the souls to the abyss and nowhere else. And two, we are to take the souls into the abyss on the deadline. Not before or after. You know the laws, Lahash.”

Lahash’s eyes bored into hers as he stepped closer to her. His nostrils were flaring in anger but he was trying to control it.

“I know all the laws, Azza. You don’t need to lecture me with those. I am only trying to follow Allocen’s order. I do not question it. You know it!

“Right. It is because you always interfere with the divine will. You enjoy doing it.

“You don’t know everything, Azza. You don’t know why I interfere with the divine will.” Lahash grabbed her arm firmly as he spoke.

“Prove me wrong on my beliefs and opinions of you, Lahash.” She said with gritted teeth and took back her arm firmly. “You already know that they are all negative ones.”

Lahash could not speak any longer. He instead vanished from her sight. His presence was no longer in the hospital. She could feel it. She then sighed in relief.

She decided to go home. There, she found Alex with Dantanian. Both were seated face to face at the balcony as if nothing happened earlier.

Alex saw her coming and the fear was back in his eyes. He stood up uncomfortably.

“W-who was that? Am I… supposed to die like that?” He asked her.

Azza put her hands on her hips as she faced him.

“I can’t answer that. All I know is that you are going to be murdered. By whom, that will be revealed on the deadline.”

“Which is three months from now – New Year’s Eve to boot!” Alex chuckled to himself with sarcasm.

“Yes.”

“Well,” Dantanian stood up with an energetic smile, “we still have time ‘til then. For now, we’ll just make the most of it – while you are alive,” he clapped Alex’s shoulder before he left.

Alex had to look down as though he was thinking so deeply.

Azza stared at him and some feelings surfaced that she could not understand. She blinked and tried to look away from him. Why did she feel this way? She had the great, overwhelming passion to protect him from this day onwards. She had to remind herself that he was her assignment. She should not dwell with some human and earthly feelings that she began to feel for him. She should not pay attention to his attractive looks and the way he was looking so pitiful – especially at this moment.

She knew that he was confused, afraid and vulnerable. However, she should not get herself more involved with him the way she interfered with Lahash earlier.

She frowned as she remembered him and was about to kill this human. She was still puzzled by the reason why this man should be killed by one of them. It was truly odd in their position. Nothing had happened before as what happened earlier. What could there be with this man that she did not know anything about? She prided herself with her ability in profiling her assignments – more than her fellow fallen angels could do. She must know the reason why Lahash did it.

****

“He’s not dead yet, is he?” Allocen appeared before Lahash.

They were in Obyzouth’s office in Purgatory. They wished to avoid being caught or rumored if seen together.

“He’s Azza’s assignment, Allocen.” Lahash revealed and heaved a sigh.

“What?! Of all the Angels of Dark and Light, why her?” Allocen’s voice rang all over the huge, dark room.

Obyzouth chose to appear that moment. She shed her hooded black robe and transformed into her sexy and seductive human form. Her long, raven hair was shiny and straight. She wore a tight yellow overall clothing. She smiled at Lahash seductively. He used to love it for at least a thousand years.

Lahash looked away from her and turned his attention back to Allocen.

“Buer gave her that assignment, Allocen. Do I miss something here?”

“Yes, darling. You do,” Obyzouth confirmed before Allocen could say anything. She stepped closer to Lahash and gently caressed his face by her fingertips.

Lahash looked at Obyzouth warningly.

“You seem to change, darling. You used to like my caresses.” She purred.

“Stop it, Obyzouth. I am not finished talking with Allocen.” Lahash warned her through gritted teeth.

Obyzouth smiled and stepped back.

“Tell me everything, Allocen. I deserve to know if I am given this order.”

You did really change, darling,” Obyzouth whispered. “You did not do it in the past – questions – if you know what I mean?”

Lahash threw her a contempt look before he looked at Allocen again.

“He is Semyaza’s youngest son, Lahash.” Allocen answered smoothly.

Chapter 3

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we lived.” – Pope Paul VI

Lahash could not believe his ears. He blinked and tried to process this revelation from Allocen. Even though it was eight thousands years ago, he could still not forget the deceit made by his greatest enemy. Until now, he could not forgive him.

“Did you just mean that – that man – that nephilim then is Semyaza’s son?

“Yes, he is the Second Leader’s son with a human.”

“I am sure that he deceived her!” Lahash said angrily.

“That is none of my business. I am only giving you orders to execute that human and bring his soul to me. You were not supposed to know the reason.”

“But as I can see now, I need to know why! Why do I have to bring his soul to you and not to the abyss? Why would I do my enemy some big favors? I don’t owe him anything!

Allocen looked at Obyzouth before he sighed and spoke once again.

“Wouldn’t you be happy to execute your enemy’s son?”

“Why would I? If it makes him happy to be with his son, that’s my loss, right? So, I prefer to not make him happy by delivering his son’s soul to him.

“Whether you like it or not, you need to do this, Lahash.”

“I refuse this order, Allocen.” Lahash told him slowly with gritted teeth.

“What if I’ll tell you that it wasn’t your enemy who asked for this human’s soul?”

“He’s not a human. He’s a nephilim.”

“Be that as it may. A nephilim,” Allocen’s eyes watched him closely. “This nephilim you say is your enemy’s precious son. He has been watching him now and then. We are lucky that he still doesn’t know about the plan.”

“What do you mean? Who wants this nephilim’s soul? And should I believe you? Lahash was confused.

“Lahash, the reason why I gave you this order is because I am trying to give you an opportunity to get back at Semyaza. This has been your biggest dream for a very, very long time! You should believe me when I say that he treasures his son – extremely! Far more than he treasures his other sons Hiwa and Hiya that they sometimes even envy their little brother.

“Then tell me who wants his soul? It isn’t you, right? I don’t see any reason that you would want it. For what?”

“That’s right. I do not wish to have this nephilim’s soul. It is someone else.”

“So, who?” He demanded.

Obyzouth cleared her throat and sat down on a long couch with crossed legs. Her legs looked inviting. However, Lahash looked away and stared at Allocen.

“I’m waiting, Allocen. Just tell me and I’ll think about the order.”

“It’s Beelzebub. He wants the nephilim’s soul to take down Semyaza as the Heir of Hell and second in command of Lucifer.”

“He is now the prince. Why would he be so cocky all of a sudden?” Lahash asked with sarcasm in his voice. “It isn’t like him.”

“You have no idea what is happening in Hell.”

“Ah, right. It is because I am so busy with collecting human souls and bringing them to the abyss while the others are sitting handsomely in some kingdom. And thus, the result – boredom! He shrugged and gestured his hands as he spoke sarcastically.

Allocen could not speak.

“So if you will excuse me, I will get some fresh air.”

Lahash vanished before Allocen or Obyzouth could stop him. They then looked at each other.

“I do not think that this is going to be smooth, Allocen,” Obyzouth shook her head.

“But I just told him the truth.” Allocen answered grimly.

“Yes, but not completely…”

“He already knows too much about this plan…”

“But he deserves to know everything, Allocen. It is why you chose him in the first place.”

“I am not even sure now if I did the right choice.”

Obyzouth sighed as she looked at him helplessly.

****

Hiwa and Hiya appeared at a quite alley around Echo Park. From there, they ran all the way to Santa Monica Boulevard. They ignored some delicious and admiring stares of women as they passed them by. Some who drove would slow down to watch their beautiful half-naked body running under the sun of the fall season. They enjoyed the attention very much after staying for a long time in Hell.

It had been months since they had been given an errand by their father to watch over their little nephilim brother, Alex. When they got to the hospital where he was working at, they could not sense his presence there anymore.

They looked at each other and sniffed the air.

“I think I got it,” Hiwa, who was actually a twenty-three-foot giant, told his brother.

They both looked like handsome men in their early thirties and six feet and five inches in height in their human form.

Hiwa led the way and sniffed the air again. The way led them until Foothill Road. They stopped in front of the gate of the large house.

“It’s here?” Hiya was asking his brother for a confirmation.

“Right, brother.”

“What is he doing here? We’ve never been here before. And I can smell an Angel of Dark and Light here – and another one…” Hiya was wondering aloud.

Both of them whispered to their brown colored serpentine stone that was half-buried on their right shoulder. They appeared in front of Dantanian, who was surprised to see them.

“Ah! So, this is the other one I smelled earlier,” Hiya nodded to his brother.

Dantanian turned into his original human form from a teenager. He was at the kitchen to get some meals for Azza and Alex.

“What are you doing here? I know you both,” Dantanian eyed them suspiciously.

“Right. We are looking for our brother. He seems to be around here,” Hiya looked around the kitchen.

“Your… your brother?” Dantanian asked in confusion. He called out for Azza right away and she appeared before them.

She looked at the two intruders and recognized both of them in an instant.

“They said they are looking for their brother,” Dantanian told her with uneasy smile played across his lips.

Azza’s eyes narrowed as she looked at them.

“Prove to me that you are his brother,” she put her hands on her hips with a tilt of her chin.

“Why should we do that?” Hiwa raised an eyebrow. “This is a family matter. You have no right to intervene.”

“For your information, Alex is my assignment. So, I have the right to know if you really don’t have malicious intent in finding him.”

Hiwa and Hiya looked at each other.

“What?” They both asked her in surprise.

“He is your assignment?” Hiwa was confused. “We did not have the slightest idea. Just when is he your assignment?”

“Father should know about this,” Hiya whispered. It was like he wanted to get pale because of this sudden news but he just couldn’t.

“Azza, does this mean that Alex is a nephilim?” Dantanian asked her.

Azza turned to him and nodded. She just figured it by herself the moment she saw these two brothers in her house.

“So… so, his father is…?”

“Yes. It is Semyaza,” Azza confirmed what he was about to ask.

She sighed and turned her attention to the two brothers.

“So you don’t have anything to do with this matter.” Azza concluded.

“No! We are just sent for an errand by our father. We only learned about it now.” Hiwa said forcefully.

“So, you’ve been around him for a long time then?” Azza wanted to know.

“Like when he was a millisecond old?” Hiya chuckled and looked at his brother.

Azza nodded and glanced at Dantanian.

“You know, someone wants to murder your brother. Buer just gave the assignment to me yesterday. Today, he was almost murdered by… someone.”

“What?! I can’t believe this. Who did it?” Hiwa was angry. His brows were tightly drawn together on his forehead.

“I do not know who planned this.” Azza said truthfully but evaded to answer who was actually sent to murder Alex. Lahash still had some more things to explain to her.

“Father must know about this,” Hiya told his brother and he was gone instantly.

“Just why is he still alive?” Hiwa asked her. “Did you save him?

“I was barely on time, but, yes. I did save him.”

“Why? If he is your assignment, then why didn’t you let him die?” Hiwa asked her with suspicious eyes.

“It is because his time is not yet up. His deadline, as given to me by Buer, is three months.” She said, counting her fingers and showed them to him.

Hiwa’s face went grim. “I need to know who is behind all this.”

“That is what I am trying to do,” Azza said.

Before Hiwa could say anything else, Alex appeared in the kitchen. He looked at the half-naked man in front of Azza. Then, he looked at her before he looked at Dantanian, whom he did not recognize now.

“W-who are they?” He asked in confusion.

Hiwa’s expression became gentle as he looked at his younger brother, whom their father loved so dearly.

“Did you want something?” Dantanian smiled and turned himself as the teenager earlier.

Alex’s eyes went wide with surprise.

“Y-you are a shape shifter.”

“Hmm… could be,” Dantanian shrugged and stepped closer to him. “Are you hungry already? Lunch is almost ready.”

Alex just nodded and looked at Hiwa.

“Alright. Just wait for me at the dining room.

Alex obediently went to the dining room and seated himself at the table.

“So, what will your father do to me if he knows that I am assigned to your brother?” Azza asked Hiwa when Alex was out of sight.

“Huh! I have no idea,” Hiwa shrugged and picked up an apple that was on the kitchen table. He took a bite and chewed it. “Really an interesting thing – your assignment,” Hiwa continued while eyeing her.

Azza smiled sarcastically.

“I can still remember how he fought vainly against Archangel Michael. He wouldn’t let me help him at the time.”

“I heard everything about you. He told us about how strong you were.” He paused to eye her. “Are you still strong, Angel of Death Azza?” Hiwa asked her testily as he looked at her from head to toe and back.

Azza smiled at him sweetly.

“Hmm… how will I know? Shall we test it then? It’s been like zillions of years since I have had my last spar.

“Definitely… but not now.”

“As I have heard, you and your brother are quite strong yourselves. How cannot you be? You eat a thousand oxen, a thousand camels and a thousand horses everyday!” Azza counted her fingers with a sideway smile at the giant. “I wonder where you found them all every day? Do you really count them as much as a thousand as you eat them?

We didn’t steal those animals to be our food, Angel of Death!” Hiwa said grimly, with a tone of warning on the edge.

Azza continued to stare at him. However, he was not looking at her and continued to eat the apple he had taken earlier. She knew better. The second leader’s other loyal soldiers could do the kidnapping of those poor animals to Hell for the giant brothers’ meals.

“As for our duel, I will let you know next time,” he said and he vanished.

Azza sighed. He reminded her of the time of the Great Rebellion in Heaven.

****

Eight thousands years ago in Heaven, Semyaza had agreed to have a secret meeting with Lucifer while God was in the paradise of Eden to visit his creation.

What is it that we need to sneak like this, Lucifer?” Semyaza’s handsome face was in a frown when he saw Lucifer coming.

They were in Heaven’s Meeting Hall, where no one would be around at the time of day. The place was surrounded with walls and ceilings of white clouds. Flowers were hanging overhead in a form of chandeliers.

“I’ve been thinking if you would take my side if I go against God.”

“Are you insane?!” Semyaza’s five voices came out in a roar while his white wings clapped at his back.

“No! I was thinking to create another kingdom for us to rule. Another kingdom that I know God would give us eventually.”

Semyaza’s eyes flamed with curiosity.

“Tell me more about this, Lucifer. Better convince me or I’ll send you to God for judgment. This is punishable by death.

“Here is my plan. You know about the couple of human beings that God created in the paradise of Eden?”

“Everyone in Heaven knows this, Lucifer. Don’t get me bored.” Semyaza’s wings clapped at his back again.

“Yes, well… I think I know how to deceive the so-called woman Eve. I have a plan on my own. You don’t need to hear it. But on second thought, you may need to hear it.”

“You’re dragging it, Lucifer.”

“Well, I plan to make her eat the Forbidden Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, which is planted at the middle of the paradise. By then, you will also lead the Great Rebellion in Heaven.”

Semyaza thought of it.

“And where is the other kingdom fits in?”

“Easy. I know that God will not kill us but banish us from Heaven afterwards. He loves us dearly.

“And so? I still don’t see the other kingdom in the picture, Lucifer.”

“The world will be our kingdom, Semyaza. It will be ours to rule over.”

Semyaza let out a slow smile. His eyes twinkled with excitement. He loved action.

“So, who else are we going to convince about this plan?”

“I’ll give you some names. They are the most probable ones who will be happy to be with us. Azza should be the first one. She is the strongest like our Archangel Michael. But before convincing her, we should convince Buer because of his philosophy. He could help us convince her and the others later on like Baraqel, Obyzouth, Asmodeus and Beelzebub. And then, they will convince the others as well. It is like a chain, you see. And by the next full moon, that’s the time when we will strike against God.

I see. And I have another name in mind. The one who always interferes with the divine will.”

Lahash? I will leave this job to you, then.”

The two separated after they left the meeting hall. Semyaza was able to convince everyone that was in Lucifer’s list of names, who would go against God. The others in turn, convinced some more except Azza.

“Why won’t you convince some of the others?” Semyaza had asked her one time.

“I do not wish to be responsible for them if need be.” Her reply.

“But we need more in our army for the Great Rebellion. There are only a few more days left!”

“Then, don’t let me keep you.”

Semyaza walked away after her refusal.

“What was that all about?” Archangel Michael asked her.

He suddenly appeared in front of her. He just put his sword back to its scabbard that was at his back. She looked at the blue tassel of the sword’s handle that matched his blue and red garment.

“He had some request that I refused to do. So, that was his mood.”

“I see. He’s acting weird lately. I wonder what he’s up to. God is so busy with his creation in the paradise. I could not report to him about it right away.”

“Forget about him. How about we’ll have a friendly match? It’s getting boring here.” Azza took out her double-edge xiphos that became a double-edged long sword. “I need practice.”

Michael chuckled and took out his sword again.

“Very well.”

They sparred over white hills and mountains in Heaven for about three days without any rest. No one had been declared the winner when they finished however. Archangels Gabriel, Rafael and Uriel were having fun while they watched the two of them from day one. They were some of these two’s fans among all other archangels and angels in Heaven.

“Why did you refuse the Archangel position, Azza?” He asked curiously as Azza strapped in her now double-edged xiphos to her right thigh.

“You know I hate responsibilities.” She replied.

“Just leave her alone, Gabriel. Your question is as old as time,” Michael clapped the other Archangel’s shoulder and they all left Azza.

She sighed as she looked at their huge white wings. She clapped her own white wings and made them invisible.

“That was really a show there,” she heard a distinct voice behind her and she turned to see Lahash.

“Anything you wish to talk about?” She asked instead.

“I know what is coming. Semyaza convinced me at last. I had given it much thought, by the way. He said that I will be free when this is over.”

“Good for you.” Azza nodded.

“And you? Why are you convinced to join the rebellion? Do you have your own crusade?” He asked curiously.

“I’m just bored. Buer said to grab every good opportunity that poses itself. I consider this as good opportunity to see another place aside from Heaven… and I feel I lack something… I wish to get away from here for the time being. And the rebellion seems to be a good way to it. I will come back if I have enough then… and if I feel a lot better.

“Do you realize what you are saying?”

Azza just looked at him with questioning eyes.

“Do you really wish to know if you can beat Michael in a battle? Because from what I see, it is what is nagging you, too – all this time. Some say, you are the second strongest one. However, you do not see it that way. You wish to know who is better between the two of you. Don’t you know I know that feeling you have?”

Azza smiled at him sweetly.

“You think you know me very well, Lahash.

“I will try to know and understand you more, Azza.”

Azza rolled her eyes and left him pondering. She had to take care and prepare for the full moon. She decided to go to Heaven’s Spring and meditated there until the day of the full moon. She felt revitalized.

As planned, Lucifer deceived the woman called Eve by disguising himself like a serpent with a human head. He watched her ate the Forbidden Fruit with her companion called Adam.

On the other hand, God was so furious when Semyaza declared war against him. His eyes scanned the faces of every angel that were before him.

“Who among you wishes to come with Semyaza, group yourselves on my left side. And those of you who remain loyal to me, on my right side.”

And so, the Archangels and angels distributed themselves. It was the third part of the entire Angelic Army that took side with Semyaza.

“Michael, you may lead the battle. Gabriel, you come with me.”

The two Archangels bowed to God and obeyed his command. The battle raged on as God vanished from Heaven and went to the Paradise of Eden. He searched for his two human creations but they were nowhere to be found. He then called them out.

“Adam. Eve. Show yourselves.”

Adam and Eve, who were naked, were hiding behind a tree. They took out some leaves to cover themselves before they appeared before God.

“Father God, please forgive us. We disobeyed your command.” Eve was embarrassed and guilty.

“If you punish us, please spare me, Father God. She tempted me to eat the Forbidden Fruit.” Adam explained.

Eve looked at him with hostility.

“You liked it.” She hissed.

“Now, as you both ate from the Tree of Knowledge, I shall cast you away from the paradise. You will suffer sickness, aging and death. Eve, you would labor when you give birth. So do your daughters. Adam, you would toil the soil to be able to survive. So do your sons.” God said. “Gabriel,” he called out his second Archangel, “cast them away from the paradise. They can never return here forever!”

“You shall interbred with the humans on Earth and make their world primitive instead of advanced. Thus, I shall rule over the world.” Lucifer whispered in a not so distant tree.

Chapter 4

“I think we should look forward to death more than we do. Of course everybody hates to go to bed or miss anything but dying is really the only chance we'll get to rest.” - Florynce Kennedy

Eve cried when she heard God’s punishment. Adam could not do anything but to take care of his partner. They were in this together after all. They had to accept their punishment.

God then went back to Heaven while Archangel Gabriel chased the couple away from the paradise of Eden. He saw the battle that raged between the two groups.

Archangel Michael was doing his best to vanquish the rebels. Then he came face to face with Semyaza and Azza.

“Let me take care of him,” Semyaza said confidently.

“No. You can’t defeat him. Let me help you.” Azza said.

“I am the Leader here, Azza.” He reminded her.

Michael gestured for her to go away. Then the two started to fight. Just when she moved, she noticed that Archangel Uriel made a move to strike her at the back. She was able to defend herself and so she ended up fighting with him. Later on, she noticed that one of her comrades was about to be stabbed by Archangel Rafael. She managed to wound Uriel by the chest and she came to rescue Dantanian from Rafael. She blocked his sword and slashed his thigh. It was then when God’s voice rang to every corner of Heaven.

“Cease this battle!”

With that sound, everyone seemed to freeze.

Because of this Great Rebellion, I shall exile all the rebels and will not welcome them back in Heaven for the rest of their existence! In parallel to this, I will give the genius adversary, Lucifer, a chance to manage the Kingdom of Hell, where the souls of the sinners from Earth will suffer forever. This is the place where the souls of Adam and Eve and their sons and daughters will be brought to be punished forever. However, if any of them would be repentant to their sins, I will reconsider to let them enter Heaven.

The rebels’ white serpentine stones will turn to their respective colors and thus, their ranks and powers – depending on their soul’s evolution. Black as the highest, followed by red, apple green, gray, brown and yellow. The colors do not change in respect to the owner’s performance. Be it known that even though you are banished from Heaven, I will not tolerate any more of your rebellious actions even in the world that’s been created. You can run it if you wish. The souls, I still give them the power to choose – so do you. But there is one thing that you cannot do. And that is to destroy my creation without my permission.

Those were the last words that Azza heard from God. And it was also the last time that she saw him face to face.

****

Hiya arrived in Hell. He looked for his father right away to give him the news about his beloved son Alex.

“You’re in such a hurry, nephilim,” Barbatos, Earl of Hell, commented as he walked past him.

Hiya could still tell who was who even though the fallen angels were wearing their black hooded black robes. It was because he and his brother did their best to memorize their odor.

“Have you seen my father, Barbatos?”

“Oh, he retired in his chambers near the Lake of Fire, as you very well know.”

Hiya left the earl and continued to walk the dark alley towards his father’s chamber.

“Father!” He called out as he went inside the room without knocking the thick charcoal door even though it was always open.

“Yes, Hiya? What is it?” His voice had an edge of irritation.

He found his father’s human form lying in the bed. His head was supported by solidified ashes as his pillow.

“Azza is assigned by Buer.” He started.

“And what does it mean?” Semyaza sat up when he heard the name his son mentioned.

“Looks like someone is planning to kill my little brother, Father. She does not know of the details but her deadline is until the end of Earth’s year.”

“No! This can’t be happening!

“I know, Father. However, it cannot be avoided now. She just got the assignment yesterday. And today, someone is already on the move to murder my little brother.”

Semyaza shouted with rage. It rang all over Hell. Even Beelzebub, who was at the other end inside his bed chamber, heard it. His cruel red eyes twinkled with mischief and his smile was chilly and murderous.

“Who is behind this? Did you find out?” Semyaza asked his son for more information.

“I am sorry, Father. Azza could not tell us more,” Hiwa butted in as he walked inside the chamber.

Semyaza looked at his other son.

“But do you trust that she is telling the truth?” Hiya asked his brother.

“Azza wouldn’t lie,” Semyaza said firmly. “It must be one of us who wanted Alex to die soon. But as nephilim, he cannot die in the hands of a mere human being. He is half-immortal on Earth. The murderer should be one of us. No doubt about it.”

Hiya and Hiwa looked at each other. They did not know this fact until now.

“Guard your brother well. Let me know right away if you learn anything else,” Semyaza decided after some moments of thinking.

“Yes, Father,” the two nephilim giants promised their father.

They vanished from the presence of their father and Semyaza was left pondering. His thoughts strayed to Lucifer, Asmodeus and Beelzebub. Who among them wishes his son’s soul? But for what? He could offer nothing to them in return aside from his immortal life. They believed, however, that they could not die unless it is the divine will. He was greatly puzzled by this plan against his youngest son.

****

Azza let Alex go back to the hospital later that afternoon for his scheduled surgery. Dantanian, however, tagged along as a teenage boy. He had to be near the anesthesiologist at all times. Azza will be called immediately if something went wrong.

She had to check Alex’s apartment before he would get back from work. She had to oversee his safety until the day he was supposed to die.

His apartment reflected an owner who was a typical busy person. Dirty clothes were strewn here and there as well as some of his underwear and towels. She covered her nose as she picked everything up and put them away in the washing machine. She cleaned the apartment and the refrigerator. She threw away all expired contents such as milk and butter.

She also changed the bedcover, pillow cases and blanket. She made up the bed prettily. She stared at it in a long moment as she thought of his beautiful face and eyes… and lips…

She then blinked and checked herself. She turned away from the bed and looked at some framed pictures of him and his mother. She was so beautiful. So, he got most of his beautiful features from his mother, she thought. But those eyes weren’t his mother’s. She just now remembered that those were Semyaza’s.

How could she forget? He always looked at her with kind eyes even though he was sometimes pissed off with her. How could she forget that he admired her even once because she was strong, independent and powerful? How could she forget that he was the only one brave enough to comment that she was not any normal angels in Heaven? Even Archangel Michael or the others could not tell her that fact in her face.

She sighed. It was almost dinner when she looked at the wall clock. She decided to call for pizza delivery. It was thirty minutes when three layers of pizza she ordered came together with some drinks.

“Thank you,” she smiled at the teenage boy and handed him her payment.

“No sweat!” He smiled back and did not go right away.

“Why are you not going yet?”

“Uh… can I have something to buy some cigarettes?”

She raised her eyebrow but all the same, she gave him an extra tip aside from the change she should have for her payment.

“Great. Thanks! May I have your number?”

She narrowed her eyes and the teenage boy got scared and ran away. He saw her eyes turned red to trick him. She laughed and closed the door. She placed the pizza and drinks on the dinner table. Then, she heard that the lock was opened.

She checked the door and saw Dantanian and Alex came in with some food.

Her jaw dropped when Dantanian put all of the food on the table. It seemed that the table would break for so much food.

“Dantanian!” Her voice had a warning at the edge.

“I’m sorry, my lady Angel Azza. I thought you would be starving.”

Alex looked at his apartment for the first time he came in and was amazed.

“Wow! You did this?” He asked her with twinkling eyes.

“Yes.” She said with a straight face as she looked at his handsome face.

Alex blushed when he remembered his underwear that were scattered all over the place. Azza could not help but smile as she looked at him. Dantanian on the other hand, looked from her to the anesthesiologist. He cleared his throat then.

“Shall we dine now?” He asked.

“Oh, yes! Thank you, Dantanian. You were such a great help today.” Alex said and glanced at Azza.

“Really,” Azza rolled her eyes but whispered to herself.

“A-and thank you also for saving my life today,” Alex spoke to her.

Azza lifted her gaze and their eyes bumped. Alex swallowed. Azza felt her heart was beating so fast. She could not control it. She had the power to control just about anything – but why not her heart?

She just forced a smile at his direction.

“I ordered pepperoni, too. Perhaps you would like it?”

“Y-yes. Thank you.”

Their hands accidentally touched with each other when they both reached out to grab a slice of pizza.

“Sorry. You first,” Alex smiled at her and gestured.

“Thank you.” She said and took one slice.

“Thank you also for… cleaning my apartment. You didn’t have to…”

“Oh, it was nothing.” She smiled and waved her hand. “I was just… bored…”

Alex took one slice for himself and then he glanced at her. He couldn’t help himself but stare at the beautiful, sexy and twenty-something Angel of Dark and Light. He almost forgot that she was here to take his soul after he would die. Then he stared at her hands and he noticed her attractive golden bracelet with an apple green colored stone.

“What kind of stone is that?”

“Oh, a serpentine stone.” Azza understood what he was referring to.

Alex frowned a little.

“I suppose I have one, too. It was from my mother. But, I am not sure now. It has a gray color. Wait, I’ll get it and show you.”

Azza was dumbfounded. This nephilim got a gray colored serpentine stone? She could not believe that he is more powerful than Dantanian. She was confused. It would be impossible. He was only a nephilim. But then, she reminded herself that Semyaza’s other two sons had brown colored serpentine stones, which still meant that they were also more powerful than her butler.

Alex was back after he took the silver ring from his mother with the gray serpentine stone that adorned it. The stone was embraced by two wings. Then, he showed it to her with a smiling face.

“My mother told me that my father was supposed to give it to me. I have no father since I was little. My mother told me that he is not in this world anymore.” He sighed as he watched the stone.

Azza stared at the stone before she stared at Alex. She blinked as she realized what he was telling her. That was partly correct as Semyaza was not on Earth but in Hell.

“I see.” Those were the only words she could utter for the time being.

“Well, I suppose I should wear it now. I do not have so much time left to enjoy my mother’s heirloom – or should I say, my father’s.” Alex forced a smile and put the ring on his left middle finger.

“Tell me, Alex. Are you strong?” Azza suddenly asked him after a while.

Alex looked at her as if it were for the first time.

“I – I cannot say that for myself. But I was pretty good when I was at school, and later at the university, I joined Wushu tournaments twice or thrice and got gold and silver medals,” he said and pointed out a frame, where those medals were displayed.

Azza noticed them now.

“And what else are you good at?” She asked him conversationally. She took another slice of pizza and reached out for the opened champagne bottle to pour it into a glass.

“Let me do that,” Dantanian, who was in his original human form came to get the bottle and poured it for her.

“Thank you,” Azza said to him.

“Welcome, my lady Angel Azza.” He smiled from ear to ear.

Then, he helped himself with some Turkish kebab and ate it. He ate another one and another until he finished them all while Azza cast him a disgusted look.

“So, it means that you can protect yourself,” Azza concluded as she looked at Alex.

Alex looked back at her and nodded slowly.

“In a way, yes.” Then he looked away and looked at his mother’s picture frame. She was full of life and her smile was like sunshine to him. “However, as I know that death is upon me sooner than I thought and anticipated, I do not think that it is important now.”

Azza shook her head.

“You still have some time to fight against those who wish you dead before New Year. You have a choice. If you wish to live, you must fight.”

“I do not have anything to live for, anyway,” he looked at her in the eyes.

Something nudged her heart when he did it. She blinked and looked away.

“I understand what you mean. But what if… what if… someone does not wish you to be dead even though your time is only up to this New Year’s Eve?”

Dantanian listened to their conversation very closely. His eyes were observing both of them without noticing him. Then, he looked at Azza who stared at Alex. It seemed funny weird for Dantanian but Azza was someone who was truly serious at all times. Was it possible that Azza had fallen in love with this nephilim? It must be devastating for her! But how could he protect her from being hurt? How could he protect her assignment so that she would not be hurt in the end? And would this nephilim love her back?

Alex snorted.

“Who would wish it for me? You?” He then looked at her eyes.

Azza looked at him with her heart reflected in her eyes. Alex almost could not believe what he saw but his heart stopped for a second just to beat so fast afterward. He could see her angelic features – but not as the Angel of Dark and Light that would take away his soul. He never saw such beautiful creature in his life!

He reached out his hand to touch her face but Dantanian was there to stop him.

“What will you do then?” Dantanian asked him.

Both Azza and Alex looked at the butler. Then Alex glanced at Azza but looked down afterwards.

“This I can tell you, nephilim. We will stand by you until the end. Do you understand?” Dantanian promised him and he looked at his lady Azza.

Alex knew in his heart that those words were true. He looked at the butler and the beautiful woman that captured his heart. It was the first time that happened to him. He guessed that love at first scary sight did also exist in this world after all.

“And for starters, don’t lose the ring,” Dantanian referred to his ring on his finger.

Alex looked at it with confusion.

“Why? What’s with the ring?”

Dantanian slackened his hold and let go of his hand.

“You’re lucky. You are powerful than me.” Dantanian continued.

“What do you mean?” Alex asked in total confusion.

“The serpentine stones have different colors,” Azza spoke and Alex turned to her. “And each color represents a certain rank and powers that one can possess. The ranks are according to the divine will – especially for us, the fallen angels. As for nephilims, it is different. It is the parent’s will.

“You mean my father, in my case?” Alex asked.

“Yes. But it is curious that your father favors you most than his other sons,” Dantanian observed.

Alex looked at him.

“The one you saw in the kitchen was your brother Hiwa. He is also a nephilim. From what I know, he and your other brother Hiya owned a brown serpentine stone. I wonder if you are worthier than they do. How could you have more powers than your older brothers? Dantanian continued. “The color of your serpentine stone proves that you are supposedly having more skills than they do. So, I am wondering what your other skills are?”

Dantanian looked at Azza, who was also pondering at that question.

“I don’t know what my skills are – aside from being an anesthesiologist and a Wushu practitioner.” Alex shrugged with a shake of his head. “But why were you warning me about not losing the ring?”

“As a nephilim, you shouldn’t. It is a part of your life. It is the same for us” Dantanian answered and pointed himself and Azza as he spoke, “because once you lost it, you are considered dead. It is our passage to Heaven, you see.”

“But you are fallen angels as you said,” Alex reminded him.

“Right.” Dantanian gave a tight smile. “However, the stone gives us powers to do whatsoever we wish, takes us wherever we wish to go and so on. You just whisper to it or you just think of what you want. It is the source of our powers and strength. Remember, you are considered dead without it.

“So… you were saying, if I lost this ring, I can never enter Heaven?”

Dantanian looked at Azza.

“Not entirely true for nephilim because you have a soul like humans do. As for us, we are banished from Heaven, so we cannot use it to enter there without the divine will.” Azza explained. “Dantanian is just making a point that your stone is precious as your life. You have to take care of it – at least, while you are alive. It can help you when it is necessary.

“Well, I suppose it is necessary now,” Lahash said quietly when he suddenly appeared.

Alex stepped back when he recognized him. Then, Azza stepped in front of him to block Lahash.

“What is it you want, Lahash?” Azza nodded to him.

Lahash smiled enigmatically at Azza then he looked at the man behind her.

“I wish to play with your assignment.”

“He’s not a toy and this is not the right place to play around, Lahash.”

“Are you protecting him?”

“Dantanian, please give him your guidance,” Azza glanced at her butler as she said.

“Done,” Dantanian said and vanished together with Alex.

Lahash gave a big sigh and looked at Azza with gritted teeth.

“Why did you do that?”

“I did not do anything. I already told you. He’s my assignment given to me by Buer and he has until New Year’s Eve. Which part of it that you don’t understand?”

“He is my enemy’s son, Azza. You know that already!”

“If you killed him, would that make you happy? If you killed him, what of it? Semyaza’s still in Hell as the heir!”

“I may not be happy if I killed that nephilim, Azza. But you must understand that if I killed him, Semyaza would feel the loss in his entire existence!”

“Huh! Right. I almost forgot, you have been enemies since we were banished from Heaven. Or at least, you consider him as your greatest enemy. However, Semyaza do not think of you as his enemy. He only felt that you were useful to him. He still cares about your feelings, I know of that.”

“Huh! Feelings?! Azza, you must be out of your mind!” Lahash said and stopped suddenly. “Wait. Don’t tell me you are developing such feelings…”

“Oh, please! Don’t change the subject, Lahash.”

“But is it true?”

Azza could not answer it but just stared at him. And he stepped closer to her with their eyes locked.

Are you having some feelings for the nephilim? I cannot believe it. You just met him. And he’s my enemy’s son, Azza!”

Azza swallowed as she looked at how angry Lahash was. But she had her own conviction and beliefs – not to mention her feelings.

“I got nothing to do with whatever you may think. If you wish to kill my assignment, be my guest. But I assure you, he is powerful than you may think.” After she said it, she vanished and was back at her house.

Chapter 5

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge -- myth is more potent than history -- dreams are more powerful than facts -- hope always triumphs over experience -- laughter is the cure for grief -- love is stronger than death.” - Robert Fulghum

Lahash was left pondering. He did not believe her. He knew that if he would do untowardly to her assignment, she would do everything in her power to stop him. But what would he do now?

Azza was right. He would never be happy if he killed the nephilim. However, Semyaza would not be happy if he killed the nephilim. Besides, what would he gain afterwards? He could not kill Semyaza as he was more powerful than he. His enemy might not forgive him for killing his son, if he were successful. Nonetheless, it was out of the question.

“Still not made your decision?” Allocen asked him when he suddenly appeared.

“I do not need to rush.” Lahash turned around to face him.

“True,” Allocen agreed with a nod. “However, Beelzebub does. He wants the nephilim’s soul as soon as possible.”

“He is Azza’s assignment. Wouldn’t it be more prudent to let her do it her way?” Lahash asked testily. “What is New Year’s Eve to Beelzebub’s existence? He could wait forever.”

“That’s the point! He wanted to be the heir instead of Semyaza. And that forever should start as soon as possible. Got it?”

Their sharp eyes looked at each other.

“Look, the fact that Azza is stronger than me… plus, the butler and the nephilim, it would not be easy to defeat her. I would better give up than get in her way!”

“Coward!”

“No,” Lahash smiled ruefully. “I shouldn’t have got involved with you and Beelzebub’s business. Azza is a very strong opponent. I could not even get a chance to get her stone or even touch it! Let’s be practical, Allocen. You can have the soul of the nephilim by New Year’s Eve without any more enmity brewing between us.”

“You still don’t get it! If we wait until then, Azza would bring the soul to the abyss. Beelzebub wants the soul as leverage! You know that!”

“Then, snatch the soul before it enters the abyss.” Lahash countered. “You maybe can do that effectively than I do. You’re powerful than I am, Allocen. You don’t need me.” Lahash said and vanished afterwards.

Allocen’s eyes flamed with anger and frustration. He decided to give Beelzebub a visit in Hell. He looked around the dark room that was only illuminated with fire from outside the window of the room.

He saw Beelzebub in his brutal, handsome human form. His black wavy hair was past his shoulders. He wore tight black breeches and a white shirt.

“How was it?” He asked.

“Lahash is not very cooperative,” Allocen admitted and shook his head.

“Even though he knew that it was his enemy’s son?”

“Yes, Beelzebub. He does not wish to be part of our plan. He doesn’t want to fight against Azza.”

“Azza? Why is she involved with this?”

“The nephilim is her assignment given by Buer. She follows the instruction to the letter. We all know her very well.”

Beelzebub walked to look out the window and he gazed at the Lake of Fire with souls screaming in torture and were naturally in pain.

“Yes. Even though she owns an apple green colored serpentine stone, our fighting skills against her would not do. It is a puzzle to me why God did not give her the black one. If she only had red like ours, it would have had made sense at least. And the thing is, only her has that color. Isn’t it puzzling to you, Allocen?”

“Yes, of course it is. But who really understands the depths of God’s thoughts and the divine will?”

“Send Belial instead of Lahash.” Beelzebub decided with a sigh. He knew that Belial was very angry with Lucifer. They could use her. She never thought that Lucifer deserved to rule over Hell since the beginning.

Allocen blinked and he vanished in an instant to follow the order.

****

By the next few days, Alex went to work like any of his normal peaceful days. However, he was guarded invisibly – at least by others – either by Azza or Dantanian. They were still on the lookout for Lahash whom they knew was sent to kill the son of Semyaza.

Azza had more time to observe Alex and everyday, her feelings grew more and more. She also noticed the way he looked at her when he thought that she did not have an idea. Her heart would then beat faster and her face flushed. Then she would try to look at him and it would be his turn to look away as he would shy away.

“It’s been many days that I notice your blushing face, my lady Angel Azza,” Dantanian teased her one day.

They were both observing Alex, who prepared the injection for the patient to be operated on. Other doctors and nurses were also preparing to start in a few minutes.

“Just shut up, Dantanian,” Azza threw him a warning smile.

“Azza, if you think you would experience happiness with this nephilim even for a few weeks, just do it. Do not deny it. You have feelings for him since day one.” Dantanian could not help but continue.

Azza looked at him. She of course considered it. However, what would happen afterwards? It was the divine will that this nephilim should leave this world by New Year’s Eve. What would happen to her when the time would come to separate them after all? What would happen if she were not to see him forever after New Year’s Eve? Could she bear his absence? If he were to go to Hell to be with his father, would she be willing to visit him in Hell? However, if she was to go to Heaven, would the higher ups give her the chance to enter the abyss and thus, she could come back to Heaven after a very long time of banishment?

She had lots of questions like these but she never knew what their answers might be. She looked at Alex, who administered the anesthesia to the patient. She sighed when he finished and prepared to leave the operating room. They knew that it was a minor surgery so he could leave right away.

“Hi,” Alex smiled at them when he came out.

“Hi,” Azza smiled at him, too, while Dantanian chose to leave them alone.

“Will just prepare dinner,” he said and vanished.

“Would you care to come with me at the grocery store?” Alex asked.

“You know that I will go with you wherever you will go,” Azza said with a brow raised but she was still smiling.

“I was trying to ask you to have dinner with me at my place afterwards. I will prepare something for you.”

“Oh! Sure. Thank you.” She was a little bit caught off guard by his invitation.

“Really? But Dantanian said…”

“Oh, don’t mind him. He just wanted to have something to do.” She shrugged.

Alex smiled at her.

“I’ll just change. Wait for me. I’ll be in a second.” He said.

Azza followed him with her gaze. Then, she looked around and thought she noticed someone’s presence.

“Lahash?” She called out softly.

Lahash appeared before her with his arms crossed over his chest.

“What?” He asked quietly.

“Was that you earlier?”

“What?” He was a little bit confused by her question.

“Were you here earlier?”

“No. You called me. I just arrived.” He said with a shrug and a straight face.

“So, it was not you after all?”

“What is it you want?” Lahash was getting irritated. “I have to get back to my assignment.”

Azza looked at him suspiciously.

“Your assignment.”

“Yes. Buer gave me one the other day and the deadline is in two days.” He admitted with his two fingers in front of her face. “What is it you want with me now?”

Azza blinked and shook her head.

“It’s alright now. You can go.”

Lahash eyed the anesthesiologist that was coming towards them.

“I see,” Lahash said while his eyes looked at the man, who stopped in front of him. “Alright. I’ll leave you two now to have a date.” He looked at Azza and vanished.

“He seemed to be pretty friendly right now,” Alex observed as they walked to the hospital exit door.

He opened the door for her and followed her outside.

“He’s got another assignment – a job.” Azza explained.

“I see. But… why did he come after me the first time we met?” Alex opened the car door for her.

“That’s a bit of a long story,” she answered and Alex went to the driver seat.

“Really? Try me. I want to understand why.” Alex started to drive.

They stopped at a grocery store on their way to his apartment. They were shopping on the ingredients needed for All American One Dish Dinner recipe that he was going to make later. It was composed of hotdogs, bacon, peas and cheese. And he also thought of buying a pack of ready to fry potatoes for French fries.

Azza just smiled at him as he paid them and they went out of the store.

“I thought you were going to make me really something special for dinner.” She said as they were on the table and the dishes were in front of them.

“Oh, they’re quite special to me.” He said with a smile and put a large portion of the dish on her plate.

“I see,” she smiled back at him with her face flushed.

“I learned it from my mother.”

Azza’s lips formed into “O” and nodded.

“And you were planning to make it special for me?”

“Yes. I was about to ask you that – I was thinking that this should be our first date in my apartment and with my special dish prepared for you.”

“A date?” Azza could not believe her ears.

“Uh, well… if you’d rather…”

She reached out for his hand and touched it lightly.

“Thank you, Alex. It is really sweet of you. I – I have never been on a date…”

Alex was dumbfounded.

“Oh. I… can’t say anything…” He was at a loss. He just stared at her hand on his. His heart was beating strongly.

“You don’t have to,” she chuckled, withdrew her hand and picked up her fork to start eating the French fries.

Then, they both ate.

“Tell me about that guy earlier at the hospital. Why was he after me?”

****

Hiwa, in his human form, appeared before his father.

“Anything new?” Semyaza’s five voices were calm as he turned to look at his son.

“Lahash is not after my little brother now. I heard that he was the one who tried to kill him but he is now with an assignment.”

“Lahash.” Semyaza nodded.

“Why would he try to kill Alex?” Hiya asked as he appeared before them.

“Where were you?” Hiwa demanded his younger brother.

“I was looking for food.” Hiya shrugged. “I prepared them for our dinner tomorrow, you know.”

“Why didn’t you tell me? I was looking for you all over Hell…” Hiwa said.

“That’s enough.” Their father’s voices creepily warned them.

The two brothers were silent as they looked at their father. They realized that his eyes flamed with suppressed anger.

“You are both strong, my sons. Pick up Lahash for me. Tell him that he needs to visit me right away.”

The two looked at each other. They both knew that Lahash had a brown serpentine stone just like them. If they would take him on together, it would be on their favor.

****

“What is it, Belial? You have a problem?” Allocen appeared before her.

Belial was taking her time that night, lounging by the pool at her house on Melrose Avenue. Her huge house was as big as Azza’s. However, she lived there all alone with a housekeeper that would only come during the weekends and without her presence. She would just leave the money by the kitchen table.

“No problem at all, Allocen. I have already gathered some information about the nephilim that you want so badly. I am still devising a plan to deceive Azza. You know very well that it is rather too difficult to deceive her. She has a gift that no one could understand. It has always been a puzzle to me why she joined the Great Rebellion.”

“This is not good news, Belial.”

“I’m sorry to disappoint you, Allocen. If you wish, you can look for someone else to do this job. It’s not my loss,” Belial shrugged.

Allocen put the pool’s water on fire in his anger.

“Do not mess with me, Belial. You have a red serpentine stone!”

“So do you.” Was her cold answer.

Allocen was silent.

“Just let me take my time. I’ll get that nephilim’s soul for you and Beelzebub to have fun with. Don’t worry. Just don’t ruin my pool!”

Allocen left the pool alone as she wished and he vanished. Belial let out a big sigh. She looked at the water as she thought of Azza and Alex who were having their dinner that night. She just left them undisturbed. She wished to play with Azza. She knew that the other fallen angel did not experience such human feelings after a very long time of staying on Earth. She wondered why it was different now. What was with that nephilim? Why would Allocen and Beelzebub wanted his soul so badly? She was out of the picture. She had no idea why she would do this for them. Or perhaps, she just wanted to have some fun after a long time of not having an assignment given to her. Her existence was so boring!

She stood up and dived into the water. She wanted to refresh herself. Her face twisted as she could still smell the fire in the water that Allocen created in his anger and disappointment.

She decided to bid her time and enjoy the blooming relationship between Azza and Alex, the nephilim – whose son he was, she did not care.

****

Azza and Alex were washing the dishes together. Their hearts felt light and happy. They both did not feel like this before.

After the last glass was wiped clean and dry, Alex took Azza’s hand slowly and looked at it. He looked at it as if to etch every detail of it into his memory.

“I wondered in the past few days if I could ever hold your hand like this,” he said in a low voice and looked at her in the eyes.

Their eyes locked as if mesmerized by each other. Alex bent to reach for her cherry red lips. Azza then closed her eyes in surrender. Her soft lips touched his. The kiss was so gentle like a butterfly’s touch until it went deeper and deeper. It was as if their lips were hungry for each other and could not get enough.

They did not even get to notice that Lahash appeared. His eyes widened when he saw Azza kissing the nephilim. He decided to leave them alone and vanished to get back to his assignment.

Alex then carried her into his bedroom. He laid her down slowly as they continued to share a blissful kiss. Azza’s heart continued to drum inside her chest. She could not believe that she felt anything like it. And it was like hours, minutes and seconds did not exist at that moment. She did not wish it to end.

Alex began to undress himself and her, then kissed her body. He thought he saw a very beautiful angel when he kissed her. He could see that her wings were glowing so brightly that he had to close his eyes and he continued to kiss her.

She felt his hands travelled to the human private parts of her body. She never imagined how incredibly wonderful the feelings were by every touch and caress that he created.

She continued to feel his hands caressed all over her body. She felt very warm and wonderful. The sensation was ecstatic for her – more ecstatic than winning duels, spars and battles. She totally gave all herself to this feeling and to the nephilim she was with. She let herself believe that tomorrow was so far away – especially the New Year’s Eve. She and he had only this moment of time – the moment of togetherness and being one…

She truly opened herself to him by spreading her thighs for him to enter her heavenly depths. It felt strange at first but it felt right – very right – to be united with him in her human form. Her spirit is whole, she could feel it. How it happened, she did not have the vaguest idea. And why, she did not have the wildest answer to it. Just to be with him like this was already her bliss and she found heaven in it.

He continued to plunge into her depths and felt something that he had never before experienced and imagined. Was this the feeling of making love with a virgin Angel of Dark and Light? He already knew from the start when he realized that he had some feelings for her – that, he was in love with her and discovered right at this moment that it would be forever.

****

Lahash’s mind was filled with those two kissing each other. He watched his assignment absent-mindedly. She was a pretty but thin young woman with colon cancer and she got only two more days to live. Her family was still incomplete because her father was stranded somewhere in Japan. She was hoping to see him before she would leave this world.

He walked towards the balcony of her bedroom, deep in thoughts. He just confirmed that Azza did have feelings for the nephilim even in a short time that they knew each other. He stared blindly into the panoramic view before him when he felt a presence.

“Show yourself,” he said quietly.

“Right,” Hiya said.

He and his older brother appeared at either side of Lahash. The look of their eyes spelled danger for him. He jumped onto the ground from the balcony and he let out his huge scythe. The two nephilim giants in human form followed him. Their weapons held in each hand.

Hiwa was holding a pair of silver crossbows. One would eject a chain while the other would eject three arrows at the same time. On the other hand, Hiya was holding a pair of golden sickles. One was smooth and sharp while the other was toothed and sharp.

“What do the two of you want from me?”

Lahash was prepared to fight against the two strong nephilim. His huge scythe was in front of him. He looked at the two opponents so that he could tell which of them would strike first. Both had poker face. He could not tell at all. He could not believe that Semyaza had sons like them!

“Can’t you see that I am busy? I am watching over my assignment.”

Hiwa shook his head.

“You have something to say to my father. Come with us without bloodshed and broken wings.”

Lahash’s mind went wild but he tried to calm down himself. He did not wish to do anything foolish in front of these two nephilim to look like an idiot. He did not want them to know that he was greatly bothered that he had to fight with them at the same time. He was a fallen angel and they were merely nephilim! He did not wish to lose face especially to his enemy’s sons!

“I have nothing to say to your father. Tell him though that I have never forgiven him for deceiving me!” His teeth were gritted as he answered.

Hiwa and Hiya smiled at him menacingly. Hiya licked his lips like a maniac. Then, he licked the smooth and sharp sickle that he held on his right hand.

“This should have nothing to do with the past. The matter is about the present, Lahash.” Hiya told him. “You owe our father some explanation.”

“I do not need to explain anything to him. I am a free Angel of Dark and Light. I am not bound to the Heir of Hell.”

“You do have a choice,” Hiwa grinned and started to attack Lahash by releasing the chain from his crossbow.

Lahash was quick enough to dodge and cut the chain by his huge scythe in the process. Hiwa grinned more and got excited. He and his brother had to get him and bring him to their father for interrogation.

Hiya attacked him from behind. He barely dodged the toothed sickle that was aiming his neck. The tip grazed his right shoulder. He did not wince even though he felt the stinging wound.

“How is it, Angel of Dark and Light? Still wanna fight?” Hiya grinned at him.

Hiwa used his crossbow chain and caught him by the waist. The chain got tighter and tighter and he groaned in pain. He tried to slash the chain by his huge scythe but Hiya caught it by his smooth, sharp sickle. His scythe was cut in half. He looked at Hiya with his eyes wide open.

“Let’s go,” Hiwa said to his brother.

****

They were able to bring Lahash to their father in Hell. Semyaza was at the entrance door waiting for his sons to come back.

“Well, well, well. Long time no see, Lahash.” Semyaza smiled evilly at Lahash, who was still bound by the chain of Hiwa’s crossbow.

“Damn you, Semyaza! I did not wish to see your face again!” Lahash shouted at his enemy’s face.

“Nor did I, Lahash. Believe me. However, some circumstances brought us together. Don’t you agree?” Semyaza walked here and there in front of Lahash.

“What is it you want from me?”

“Don’t worry. I was just curious about something. I need to know who sent you to kill my youngest son.”

Lahash could not speak. He just looked at Semyaza who bored his eyes in his.

“Tell me truthfully, Lahash and I’ll let you go as if nothing happened. I’ll forgive you for threatening his life once. Just tell me who sent you.”

Lahash swallowed. He looked at his enemy and then, at his sons who were also curious about this matter. They were indeed a family, he thought sarcastically.

“Have you lost your tongue, Lahash?” Semyaza’s face was too close to his.

“Allocen sent me.” He started to talk.

Semyaza stepped backwards but his eyes never left his.

“Go on. I feel you still have something else to say.”

Lahash sighed as Hiwa started to slacken the chain around his body.

“It’s Beelzebub that wants your nephilim son’s soul. I do not know why. That is all I know.” Lahash said.

“You’re lying! You know why! Just tell me everything, Lahash!” Semyaza shouted at him angrily.

Lahash sighed again.

“Would you let me go ‘piecefully’ if I tell you everything?”

Chapter 6

“Don't strew me with roses after I'm dead. When Death claims the light of my brow,no flowers of life will cheer me: instead you may give me my roses now!” - Thomas F. Healey

Lahash was lucky that Semyaza did give his word to let him go with no further injury than he already had. He was sent back to his shabby apartment by the two nephilim.

“I’ll be watching you,” Semyaza had warned him before he was allowed to go.

Lahash sighed and he used his serpentine stone to heal his wound. It was already a few minutes when Hiwa and Hiya left him alone. He retreated to one of his small chairs at the dining table to sit.

He looked around his place and closed his eyes. He wanted some rest after such inauspicious days he had lately. He wondered how it was for Azza, too.

****

Azza and Alex slept in a cuddle. It was morning when they both wake up. Azza looked up at him and smiled. Love was reflecting in her eyes and lips. Alex leaned closer to kiss her cheek. She closed her eyes as he did so.

“Morning,” she greeted him belatedly.

“Morning, too, angel,” he replied with a delicious smile.

Azza moved closer to him and felt his whole naked body against her back. She never felt so much bliss just to feel it. She never knew how great it felt to love someone – even though he was a nephilim and her assignment, which she just realized. Her heart seemed to turn to a lonely road. Her mood however changed in an instant and she moved away from his embrace.

“What’s the matter?” Alex asked in confusion as he looked at her naked human body.

Azza looked at him slowly. Her face was straight.

“Don’t ask.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t wanna talk about it.” Azza had her dress on in an instant.

Alex moved to get out of the bed and put on his boxer shorts. He then turned to her afterwards. She was standing at the other side of the bed.

“Look, if I did something wrong, just tell me. I – I know it is really quite early but I want you to know that I really care about you.”

Azza looked at him and then, to the bed.

“I’m sorry.”

Alex stepped around the bed to get closer to her. He put his two hands at each of her shoulders.

“I don’t know what’s bothering you. You can tell me. Please don’t hide anything from me, Azza.”

Azza swallowed as she looked at his eyes. He was very sincere, she knew. She could feel it. Her heart was drumming strongly and steadily against her chest.

“I – I just think that we only have a short time together,” she blinked as she confessed. “Anytime soon, someone would take you away from me and from the abyss. I can’t be sure if I can protect you from anyone who wishes you harm. And I can’t be sure if I can be with you again after… you’re gone.”

Alex sighed and embraced her tightly as if to not let her go.

“I’m sorry if I was not thinking about it… but we can make the most of my time by spending it together. Right?”

Alex let her go for a moment to look at her eyes deeply. She nodded slowly and hugged him to her.

“You should know that this is all new to me. It’s ironic that I know God and love but I never really felt love until now. I don’t want to be apart from you, Alex. I promise to make us happy while we still have time. If only I can defy the divine will, I shall – just so we can be together forever!”

After she said it, they heard someone clapping. She moved away from Alex and saw Lahash who was grinning sick.

“Very moving, Azza. Really!” Lahash continued to clap his hands as he looked at her.

Azza’s face went stern as she looked at him.

“What do you want? Did you come here to take him away from me?”

Lahash stopped clapping and stepped closer to the two of them.

“No. I told you that I have a new assignment. Only a couple of days and I’ll be free.”

Azza’s eyebrows drew together as she looked at her fellow Angel of Dark and Light. Was he up for something else this time or was this just a trick? She knew she could not trust him fully well. She could not seem to see it in the future.

“What do you mean by ‘free’?” She asked him straightforwardly.

“No assignments. I can do anything I want!”

“Huh! It is as if you are not going to take on another assignment after this one,” she said to him and glanced at Alex.

“Hmmm… maybe yes… maybe not. We’ll see, Azza.” He said and looked at Alex.

“Lahash, tell me something that I can really believe in, honestly.”

Lahash looked at her again slowly. His eyes were unperturbed. Their eyes clashed but no one looked away.

“What is it, Azza?”

“Are you here to kill Alex?”

Lahash showed her his most evil grin. His eyes did not waver as he continued to look at Azza’s straight face. Then Lahash turned his back at the lovers.

“Did you know that it was against divine will when I accepted that assignment without questions? Did you know that I started to ask questions after you stopped me at the hospital? Did you know that it is not only his life that is in peril but yours and mine as well?” He turned around to face the lovers again after the last question.

Azza stepped closer to Lahash with confusion.

“What do you mean by that? Our life depends on the divine will. Lahash…”

Lahash snorted with a knowing smile.

“Dear Azza. You are so naïve and ignorant!”

“Could you tell me what it is you want me to know, Lahash? Don’t beat around the bush or I’ll beat you!” She said quietly but with a warning tone in her voice.

Lahash’s smile faded as he looked at her. He then knew that he had to let her know about the reality of the serpentine stone.

“It is not true that we are going to die because of the divine will.”

Azza did not get it when she heard it.

“What are you talking about, Lahash?” She asked him with confusion on her face as she stepped closer to him.

“It is not true that we are going to die because of the divine will, Azza. It is the serpentine stone that gives us the power and life. It was designed by God so that we shall take care of ourselves – to value our existence on Earth.”

Azza’s breathing was unsteady as she tried to listen to him carefully. This was truly news to her! She did not have an idea where Lahash got such information about the serpentine stone.

“Are you making this up, Lahash?” She asked skeptically.

Lahash looked at her eyes with a shook of his head.

“No, Azza. I heard Baraqel talking about this with Buer once. They did not know that I heard this information. Only the four of them know about this matter.”

“Four? Who are the others? And why they did not tell all of us?!” Azza’s eyes were practically glowing with rage.

“It was Gabriel who sent the message to Baraqel and he told the other three, Buer, Lucifer and Semyaza. I am the fifth, by the way. And that makes you the sixth.”

“Why are they keeping this to the others? Aren’t we all in this rebellion thing?”

“As I have told you already, Azza, it is to value our existence in this world. It is to avoid our killing each other. That’s why they just said that one of us would die through divine will. But the truth is that, if the serpentine stone is taken away from the owner and is destroyed in the process – without our knowing – that’s when the owner dies. Why do you think we have to keep our respective serpentine stones? We still have our own free will. We have a choice as we did in Heaven. It’s always been the gift of God to us.”

Azza could not speak as she digested all of this.

“Semyaza knows and so I think his nephilim sons know about this, too.” Lahash continued to speak.

Azza looked at Alex, who was standing and listening to them all this time and tried to follow their conversation.

“So, if my serpentine stone is fine, I will be fine?” Alex asked Lahash.

“Hmmm…. Not entirely. You have to be near your stone always. It is your power and your life as I said earlier. You have to keep it safe no matter what.”

Azza and Alex looked at each other. Alex had to wear his ring with the serpentine stone on it from now on. They could not afford to have it destroyed, especially at this moment. They wanted to be together until New Year’s Eve at least.

Alex looked for his ring as he took it off when he took a shower the other day while Azza turned back to Lahash. One hand was on her waist while the other was playing some gestures she was unaware of while speaking.

“So, what now? Are we sure that we should not let the others know about the serpentine stone?”

“It is up to you, Azza,” Lahash said quietly and turned his back to her.

“Why did you tell me, Lahash? You could have had kept it forever without me knowing it and the reason behind it.”

“It is my choice to tell you.”

“Why?”

“If something happens to me, you should know that it is Semyaza who is going to be behind of it including his nephilim sons.” Lahash turned around to look at her again.

“But why?”

“Semyaza knows that I am after his third son. Or, at least, I was.”

“What do you mean?”

“I refused the assignment given to me by Allocen. And as I already informed you, I have a new assignment. So, sleep assured that I am not going after your nephilim lover.” Lahash whispered the last words.

Azza ignored it.

“Wait. Are you sure that Allocen does not know about the serpentine stone?”

“Yes. I am pretty damn sure.” Lahash nodded and glanced at Alex who found his ring and wore it on the middle finger of his left hand.

“I got it, Azza!” Alex happily showed his left hand to her.

“That’s great, Alex!” Azza smiled at him sweetly.

Lahash was an audience of the loving exchanged looks of the two lovebirds. He sighed and left without a word.

Azza felt that Lahash was gone from the apartment. She walked closer to Alex smilingly as if nothing happened.

“We’ll fix breakfast?” She asked him and he nodded with a grin.

“Yeah! I’m starving!”

****

“Why did our father let him go?” Hiya asked Hiwa while they were eating a fat camel the next evening.

The 880th camel was roasted near by the Lake of Fire by Hiya. It only took a second to roast it and it was already delicious-looking. Hiwa even chuckled when he saw his brother carried it to their large table, which was assigned to them in Hell’s huge kitchen. Although the residents of Hell did not have to eat, it was built for the name of home.

“I suppose he could be useful in the future,” Hiwa shrugged.

“I see. I do not trust him with our brother though.”

Hiwa snorted as he chewed the meat of the camel. Then, he swallowed it with a jar of warm wine.

“Do you think he would not kill our brother one of these days?” Hiya asked his older brother.

“We’ll see. However, I do not think he could do such a thing if Azza is around. She’s assigned to Alex, and I believe in her.”

Hiya snorted this time and his brother looked at him in the eyes.

“Why? Something wrong with what I said?”

“Nothing, really. I just can’t believe that you’re admiring her at the sound of your voice when you mentioned her name.” Hiya explained with a shrug.

“I do admire her especially her fighting skills. I would surely love to have a match with her. Speaking of which, I still have to make a date.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

“Really wanna fight the best and deadliest of Angels of Death?”

“I miss a good fight. Maybe she can satisfy my need?”

Hiya laughed at that. Then, the two nephilim giants continued to eat their dinner in silence.

****

Belial looked at her red polished nails with white flowers design. She was just across the building that faced Alex’s apartment. Then, she looked at the two lovebirds that were having their breakfast happily. She saw that Azza was eating the hotdog that Alex was holding between his fingers.

She placed her two hands at either side of her small waist. Then, she pouted her lips beautifully with her eyebrows drawn together as a plan came to her mind.

“So, you now have a plan?” Allocen suddenly appeared by her side.

Her left eyebrow lifted at the sight of him.

“Yes. But I don’t have to tell you what it is. It’s my game, Allocen.”

“I see. So, when can I expect the good news?”

“Don’t be so rush, Allocen. I shall take my time.”

Allocen’s face became distorted when he heard it. He and Beelzebub wished it to be done right away. They did not wish to prolong this order.

“Belial, as you well know it, we wish it to be done as soon as possible.”

Belial laughed sexily when she heard this.

“Allocen, I told you, this is my game. If you wish this order to be done, just sit back and watch! I have nothing more to gain in this, so let me enjoy while I have this chance. Got it?”

Allocen let out a big sigh.

“I am not pleased with this, Belial. You know it very well!”

“Yes, I do,” she said slowly as her face got nearer to his. “But, you gave me this order and I shall do what I shall see deem fit that makes my heart happy. Oh, do I have a heart?” She said in second thoughts with a smirk on her face.

“Beelzebub will be after you if you fail this order!” By that, he was gone.

Belial just stared with an evil smirk at the place where Allocen stood just a few moments ago. “Just you wait and see, Allocen. I’ll die and cease to exist if I failed in this order.”

“Really?” Lahash suddenly appeared behind her with a mocking smile pasted on his face.

Belial turned around to see him. She slowly smiled as she looked at his handsome face and walked toward him in a catwalk.

“Lahash, dear. I’m surprised that you are here.”

“Yes. I just happened to notice your presence around here. So, I appeared to say ‘hi’.” Lahash said as he swept a look at her from head to foot.

“Really? Well… I was just visiting my order around here, Lahash. That is truly a coincidence!” She smiled sweetly at him.

Lahash knew that she was up to something and he wished to know what it was. Then, he looked across the building and he seemed to sense something not good. He saw the two lovebirds very clearly from where they were. His eyes narrowed but his smile was still on his face as he looked at her face again.

“Oh, I see. So, would you care to tell me about your current order, dear Belial?” He asked her slowly.

Belial let out her sexy laugh and playfully poked him on the chest.

“Lahash, dear. Just when did you begin to mind my orders? That’s really unlike you, Lahash, dear. By the way, why won’t you tell me about yours? Is it also around here?”

Lahash was still smiling.

“Not really, Belial. I was just visiting… an old… acquaintance. By the way, I did not notice you when we had our last meeting in Purgatory.”

“Oh! I wasn’t really there. Allocen updated me about it.”

“Oh, so you’re close with Allocen lately?”

“Hmm… are you jealous, Lahash dear?” Belial touched his face with feather-like fingers.

He snorted at that.

“Why? Am I not allowed to feel that?” Lahash’s eyes bored into hers.

“Not that you’re not, Lahash dear. Just… curious. After all, I knew that you were one of my admirers in Heaven.” Then she sighed and looked away. “Heaven is a very long time ago, isn’t it?”

Lahash could not say anything about it. It was true. Then, he looked up at the sky as if he could see the kingdom beyond it. Belial on the other hand, looked at him with suspicious eyes.

“So, are you free today, Lahash dear?”

“Why?” Lahash looked at her again and he smiled charmingly.

“I am free today.”

“Well, I’m not. I’m sorry, Belial. I have to take care of my order on her last day in this world.”

“Oh! I see. Alright, then. Better next time?”

Lahash just smiled and disappeared without a word.

Belial was smiling and it was gone when he was gone. Her eyes narrowed and she looked at the window of Alex’s apartment. The two were finished having breakfast and were already washing the dishes at the sink. They still showed an ordinary happy couple that was newly married.

Belial sighed and disappeared to go back to her mansion.

****

Lahash appeared again in Alex’s apartment. The two lovebirds turned to look at him with questioning eyes.

“I just thought I’d stop by… again… to tell you about a suspicious act.”

Azza swallowed before she asked him.

“What is it, Lahash?”

“I just… saw… Belial right in that building,” he pointed at the building in front of Alex’s.

“Belial? The Angel of Dark and Light that’s ‘without worth’. What about her?”

“She’s deceptive and you know it. So now, I hope you get what it means.” Azza closed her eyes and sighed.

“Do you mean that Allocen is giving her the order that you just refused? Does that make any sense? She’s afraid to even look at me in the eye, Lahash.”

“Maybe that’s some million years ago, Azza. It’s different now. Everything’s different now.” Lahash pointed out with a shrug.

Azza’s eyebrows were drawn together as she processed this information. Lahash had a point, really. She then looked at her fellow Angel of Dark and Light with a nod.

“Thank you for your effort, Lahash. I appreciate it very much.”

“Well, just take care…” He said while looking at Alex. “Of your… nephilim lover.” Then he vanished before Azza could give a retort.

Chapter 7

Men fear Death, as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased with tales, so is the other. ~Francis Bacon, Essays

Lahash visited his current assignment. He watched her smile when her father arrived. He made it! She was so happy while her tears were running down her cheeks.

“Dad! I was waiting for you.” Her beautiful but pale and thin cheeks stretched because of her smile.

“Oh, my dear popsicle. I am so sorry. I was stranded in Japan for quite a few days. Some of their systems were still in trouble after the tsunami. But what matters now is that I am here with you.” His father was teary-eyed while he spoke.

She nodded slowly with a smile while her father wiped away her tears of joy.

“Dad, I am so glad that you are okay and you are able to come before I leave you all.” She whispered.

“Pumpkin, don’t say that…”

“Dad, I am so tired now. I wish you all happiness even though I will leave all of you. Please take care of mom always. Don’t go often from now on. She always misses you when you are out of her sight.” She looked at her mom who was silently crying and wiping away her tears by a yellow handkerchief in one hand. “And my baby brother always misses you, too.” She smiled at her teenage brother who was about twelve in Lahash’s guess.

Her father hugged her comfortably as he cried more.

“I am so sorry that I wasn’t always there for you, pumpkin… I promise to be there always for your brother from now on. I just realized that I did wrong and now, it is too late for me to make it up to you. I always thought that I did the right thing. I thought that to follow my boss’s orders to always go abroad for many months in a year to represent the company, I did our family a great thing because of the higher salary and bonuses. But…”

“Dad, just promise me that you will always be there for my brother and mom. That’s all I ask…” she said weakly and her breathing was uneven.

Lahash was on the alert. She would be gone in just a few minutes. He knew it.

“Yes, yes, pumpkin. I promise you that. Just don’t leave us…” her father wailed but softly.

“Jenny,” her brother was crying as he took her cold hand.

The mother also got nearer to the bed, so did her cousins, aunts and uncles.

“Thank you for everything.” The sick lady said weakly and she breathed her last breath after she closed her eyes to meet death.

Lahash let out his large scythe and cut the life cord. He saw her soul separated from her body and she now looked like a healthy spirit. She was smiling at everyone but it was gone when she looked at her dead body. Then, she saw Lahash in his hooded black robed form.

“Are you taking me now?” She stepped closer to him as she asked.

“Yes. Come with me.”

She nodded but she took a last look of her family that was grieving of her loss. Then she found herself in a dark room.

“You step inside,” Lahash ordered her when the door of the abyss opened.

“Am I gonna be okay?”

Lahash smiled even though the lady would not see it.

“Yes. Do not be afraid. It is truly a privilege to enter that door. Come on, don’t stay too long. I still have something else to do.”

“Oh. Alright,” the lady said and she stepped inside the door and vanished.

The door closed and Lahash changed into his human form.

“Really, Lahash. You changed just a little after a long time,” Buer chuckled behind him.

He turned around to see the owner of that voice.

“Well, I did not mean to change at all.”

“Lahash, you did really change even though a little bit. I can see that you are getting friendlier with Azza. You seem to start caring for her.”

“Huh!” Lahash snorted. “I did have a crush on her even while we were in Heaven then. It doesn’t mean that I really care for her.”

“Who would believe this unthinkable thing, anyway?” Buer chuckled again. “You are not Michael’s level even then, not even now.”

Lahash was astounded.

“What do you mean by that, Buer?”

“Didn’t you know that Michael was in love with Azza? Didn’t you know that Gabriel and Rafael did, too?”

“What?!” Lahash exclaimed.

Buer laughed and he shook his head.

“You really did not know anything about Azza, huh. Lahash, she is truly special. You should see that.”

“Well, I know! She fights very well… she is the only Angel of Dark and Light with apple green serpentine stone… she is very strong as a warrior… she is wise… she is fair… she is… in love with a nephilim…” Lahash counted these with his fingers and his shoulder slumped.

“Did I hear that right, Lahash?” Buer’s face went serious. His eyes got sharper than ever.

“Yes, Buer. You did!”

“Who’s the nephilim, Lahash. Tell me, everything.” Buer’s voice held a warning.

Lahash took a deep breath. He knew better than to hide something from Buer and especially not to hide something about Azza.

****

“Hey!” Hiya was grinning when he appeared before Azza and Alex one night at Azza’s house.

“Hey,” Alex was the one who answered back while Azza just stared at the nephilim who just appeared.

“What’s up, Angel of Death?” He asked Azza who just stared back at the TV and was seated next to Alex with one arm around her.

Azza did not reply and just ignored him.

“Well, as my brother is busy, he just sends his message for you.”

This time, Azza looked at him with interest, her eyebrows were up.

“What?”

“He wants to set the date of your… let’s say, your date.”

“What date?” Alex butted in.

“It has nothing to do with you, little brother,” Hiya said to him and turned back to Azza. “If it is okay with you, he wants it to be this weekend.”

“This weekend?” Alex asked again.

“Silence, little brother. I am talking… with your… girlfriend here.” He looked at Azza intently.

“Why not? It’s got to do with me!” Alex stood up facing his older brother. “As you said, she’s my girlfriend!”

“Alex, just calm down.” Azza said slowly. “It’s not so serious. Your brother Hiwa just wants to have a spar with me.”

“A spar?” Alex looked down at her, who was still seated on the couch.

“Yes. I suppose he just needs a little beating to know how strong I am.” Azza smiled at him toothlessly.

“But…”

“Do not worry, little brother. Hiwa will take good care of her.” Hiya said and vanished.

Alex looked at him and then he turned to his girlfriend when his brother was gone.

“Don’t worry. It’s just kind of a warm up. I know I have to face my fellow Angels of Dark and Light to protect you,” Azza stood up and embraced him warmly.

“Azza, I don’t want you to be hurt. Ever.” Alex whispered to her ear.

“Yes, I know. But this is inevitable. I have to fight for you no matter what. At least until your deadline…”

“On New Year’s Eve. Right.” Alex said sarcastically.

Azza separated from him and looked at his eyes seriously.

“If I can fight against the divine will, I will, Alex. I do not wish for us to be apart. I love you.”

“I love you, too, Azza.” His lips came down to kiss hers.

She kissed back and the blood in her veins travelled so fast. Her face was flushed.

“Ehermm…” Dantanian cleared his throat.

The two lovers stopped and separated with embarrassment as they looked at Dantanian. He was in his original human form at the moment.

“Dinner is ready.”

Alex moved first while Azza whispered to her butler.

“You should have entered later!”

Dantanian just grinned as he scratched his head.

The two lovers ate and enjoyed their dinner while Dantanian was watching them. After dinner, the butler asked her permission to go.

“By the way, I will go visit Buer in Purgatory. I’ll be back in the morning,” he winked at Azza while Alex was washing the dishes and was listening to them.

“Oh, alright. Give my regards to him.” She smiled at her butler.

They finished with the dishes and the butler was gone. The two smiled at each other lovingly and they went to Azza’s room. She shed her dress and underwear to take a shower. Alex admired her beautiful, perfect human body. He stepped closer to kiss her lips while his hands adored her every curve.

Azza kissed him back lovingly. Her hands caressed his hair and chest.

“Would you come with me in the shower?” She whispered.

“With pleasure, my angel,” Alex whispered on her lips and his tongue caressed them.

Azza helped him shed his clothes and they entered the bathroom together with lips touching each other. The running water of the shower massaged their naked bodies. They were kissing and were both chasing their breaths.

Belial was silently admiring the two. She was watching them with envy. She smiled at herself with a mocking smile.

“Enjoy him while you can, Azza,” she whispered to herself and vanished.

Azza stopped kissing Alex. She felt the presence of her fellow Angel of Dark and Light. However, she could see no one in the room.

“Hey, what is it?” Alex asked with concern.

“I… I… It’s nothing, Alex. I’m sorry.” She looked into his eyes and forced a smile. Then, she began to kiss him again and went downwards.

Alex moaned softly. She continued to kiss his manhood and used her tongue to explore it. She caressed the tip with her tongue and sucked it experimentally. Then, she felt him turned off the shower and carried her to the bed. Their lips joined together once again. He laid her down slowly and she felt him over her, when her back touched the soft bed.

Their eyes were closed as they continued to kiss each other. Their tongues touching each other in a rhythm and their hands were exploring each other’s body. She softly moaned as he caressed her two beautiful and proud mounds and down her belly to the inverted pyramid of her body. She felt his fingers stroke her there. Beyond her wildest dreams, she never knew how wonderful it felt.

She moaned louder and louder as his every touch. His lips were kissing her two mounds and caressed them lovingly.

“I love you, Alex,” she whispered in between kisses.

“I love you, too, Azza,” he answered in a whisper.

They looked at each other before he plunged slowly deep inside her. They both sighed lovingly and moaned together. Her legs tightly wrapped around his waist.

****

“Father, I can see that their relationship is different.” Hiwa was standing before Semyaza inside his room.

Semyaza’s eyes went dark and his voices were loud as ever.

“I do not agree with this! Azza is dangerous and he could be in danger!”

“Father, as I told you already, she is the one that is keeping him alive until now.” Hiwa objected.

“The more he is in danger. It is not only one Angel of Dark and Light that would go after your brother. It would be two or more!”

“I do not hope so, father. Azza is soft-hearted now.”

“How do you know that?”

“I can see it by just looking at her. The long years that she’s been living in that world made her soft.”

“And if you say she’s soft, she’s not dangerous?” Semyaza pointed out.

“I am going to test that on Earth’s coming weekend, father.”

Semyaza sighed in defeat.

“Very well. Just tell me your observations or I’ll send her some help.”

Hiwa laughed.

“Really, father. She doesn’t need any! Perhaps it is me, who will need some help this weekend.”

“Do not bring shame to me, Hiwa! I am the Heir of Hell.” He pointed at himself.

Hiwa laughed again. Then, Hiya arrived.

“Did I miss some fun here?” He asked.

Hiwa and Semyaza looked at the new arrival. He was in his giant form. Ugly face, huge body and all.

“Where were you?” Hiwa asked.

“I checked on our little brother again. It seems that he is really in love with that Angel of Death!” Hiya replied, his voice was booming all over Hell.

Semyaza’s face turned grim once again. His thoughts travelled to the past. He admired Azza more than any other angels in Heaven at the time. When he thought that he would never admire more than her, he was fallen hard and deep in love with his third son’s mother, Wella.

“Just turn into your human form. You’re giving news to the rest of the fallen angels in Hell!” Hiwa suggested disgustedly.

“Well, what does father think about it?” Hiya asked after he turned into his human form. He was looking at his father who was deep in thought.

Semyaza looked at his second son.

“What do you think about their relationship, Hiya?” Semyaza asked his second son.

Hiya glanced at his older brother before he looked at his father again.

“Well, that Angel of Death is serious about protecting him.”

Semyaza turned around and swallowed.

“Just keep an eye on both of them. If there is any sign of danger that may befall to either of them, do your job as my sons. Understood?”

He said and turned around to look at his monstrous sons.

“Yes, father,” their reply.

****

Belial was staring at her pool that was newly cleaned up. She looked at her reflection on the water and frowned as she thought of Azza. She was truly beautiful, no deception about that. It was all natural since they were in Heaven. Whereas herself she had to use her powers to make herself beautiful from the hair to foot because of the scars she acquired from the Rebellion in Heaven.

“You are finalizing your plan, I suppose,” she heard the voice of Allocen from behind her.

She turned around to look at him and saw that he was not alone. Obyzouth was with him. She looked cunning and beautiful in her human form. She smiled slyly at both of them.

“Yes. You can say that, Allocen. So… what is she doing here with you? Why do I have the… sweet presence of Obyzouth?” Her voice was filled with sourness as she referred to the other Angel of Dark and Light.

Obyzouth laughed seductively as she usually did and answered.

“Well, I guess you need a little help with Azza.” She said with a serious face.

Belial laughed at that statement.

“I don’t need any help with Azza. I can defeat her even if it won’t be easy.”

Obyzouth laughed again.

“Are you nuts? Michael could not even defeat her then. You are out of her league. All of us, in fact. So, you need my assistance.”

Belial blinked and turned away from her and Allocen.

“Belial, it is not easy to defeat Azza. We do not even know yet who is on her side.” Allocen said logically.

“Huh! Semyaza and his sons should be, not to mention Lahash!” She turned around again to face the two.

Obyzouth blinked this time with mouth wide open.

“What?! What did you say? Lahash is on her side now?”

“Yes! As a matter of fact, he’s also watching over that nephilim and Azza. What is it with her? Why does it seem that everyone likes her and takes her side?” Belial asked desperately.

“She is special,” Allocen said quietly.

The two females looked at him in awe.

“Huh! No wonder that Buer was right to stand by her all this time – ever since from the Rebellion in Heaven. He is just like a mother hen to her all this time.” Obyzouth said like it was a scandal.

“And why does she have to be so strong as a warrior? I could not get God. Really!” Belial’s eyes were wide open in wonderment.

“Don’t think about those things now. You need to defeat Azza even if it would cost your life.” Allocen said.

“But we could not die except… if it is the divine will,” Belial countered.

“Yes. But what if it was already the divine will?” Allocen replied.

Belial sighed.

“Alright. I agree with this arrangement but,” she said facing Obyzouth, “you should do as I say and not the other way around. This is Earth. Not Purgatory. Understand?”

Obyzouth looked at Allocen before she nodded.

“Alright. But if I don’t see it is right, then you already know what I mean by that,” she answered.

Belial just raised her chin to that statement and Allocen disappeared.

“I don’t want to let Allocen down. You get it?” Obyzouth warned her.

“Oh, I get it,” Belial smiled wickedly.

“What do you mean you get it?” Obyzouth hissed.

“Well… you and Allocen? Isn’t it?”

“What? Are you crazy?” Obyzouth frowned at her. “I love Lahash! Allocen is just a very good friend all this time ever since the Rebellion in Heaven. Don’t even think about it, Belial. I’m warning you.”

Belial just grinned wickedly and disappeared before Obyzouth could hit her with the water sword, which was her weapon. However, Obyzouth was able to track her inside the house. She was attacking her by flying vases and other things inside.

“Hey! Be careful with those!” Belial warned the other Angel of Dark and Light.

“I do not care any less!” Obyzouth shouted and continued to throw things at her direction.

“I really care for these things. I got them far away from here. I value them a lot!”

“Huh, so you are materialistic now? Don’t be such a melodramatic Angel of Death! It doesn’t suit you one bit!”

Belial was astounded to that.

“What? Melodramatic Angel of Death?! You know that we always prefer to be called Angel of Dark and Light. Not death! You should pay for that insult!”

She let out her star weapons and threw them fast and hard toward Obyzouth’s direction. She was truly mad at her statements and offensive judgments.

Obyzouth was quick enough to dodge the five sharpened stars by cart wheeling, rolling, jumping and tumbling all over the place. She attacked the opponent with a flying water sword that came from outside.

“Oh, hell?” Belial was stunned and she barely dodged it. It got her hair and was cut in ugly form. “You’re so on! I can’t forgive you for doing it!”

She threw her five sharp stars at every direction and one caught Obyzouth by the chest. She saw that her eyes were practically in fire.

“Oh, so I got you now?” She grinned. “We’re even?”

Obyzouth’s eyes went normal. However, she looked grudgingly at the owner of the house. She took out the star that was buried deep into her chest and threw it away.

“I’ll let you know someday if we are even.”

Belial just shrugged her shoulders.

“Whatsoever you say. You’re from Purgatory, anyway.”

“Don’t start again, Belial.”

Belial just made a face and turned away. Then, Obyzouth healed herself by her red serpentine stone that was buried in her right palm.

Chapter 8

We cannot banish dangers, but we can banish fears. We must not demean life by standing in awe of death. ~ David Sarnoff

Dantanian arrived from Purgatory. He had been frequently going to and fro from there and back to Azza’s house lately.

“So, any preparations you did for your warm-up sparring with Hiwa this weekend?” He blurted out at Azza, who was reading a magazine at the balcony while Alex was at the pool, swimming. She was watching him by the balcony, Dantanian knew.

“Oh, I’m quite busy with something else, Dantanian.”

Dantanian grinned and he let out a hula-hoop, which was his weapon. The hula-hoop would take different kinds of weapons, as he could change his face now and then as he wished.

Azza looked at his weapon with a raised eyebrow.

“What’s that?”

“You know what it is,” he shrugged. Then, he attacked her by a sideway slice.

Azza was quick before he could complete his action. Her eyes were so sharp as she looked at her butler.

“What is this, Dantanian?”

“Just refreshing your body skills and instinct by this!” He attempted to strike again but she was too quick for him. She kicked him by the face and he fell to the floor.

“Stop this nonsense, Dantanian.” She attempted to sit down on the iron chair but her butler threw the hula-hoop and turned into a small sharp circle that was targeting her neck. She dodged and threw her xiphos towards it and it fell down to the floor with a clang.

Dantanian got up and he changed himself into a younger boy. He was dressed like a ninja and he got his weapon like his hand was a magnet.

“I’m not quite warmed up yet,” the younger boy said.

Azza sighed and stood up to face him to get it over with.

“Alright,” she got her xiphos from the floor like her hand was a magnet, too. “Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you that this is really nonsense.”

“I’ll be fine, my Lady Angel Azza,” the younger boy grinned and started to attack her with a few kicks and hand blows.

Azza easily dodged and blocked all his attacks. She was kind of bored to death. Her butler was truly no match for her. However, she appreciated very much his effort to train her or better yet, to refresh her. She knew it was quite a big effort for him. He was not made to be a warrior at all. If Heaven was a street, he was just like some of the human’s bystanders.

Azza used her right palm to hit his chest. Dantanian’s mouth spurted blood because of it while his body was pushed hard backward by her strength. Her chi was truly remarkable, he thought. He tried hard not to fall backward to the floor. He started to run to her with a flying frontal kick. However, Azza was able to dodge it easily by stepping sideways to the left. She countered a high right side kick that made him fall down to the floor so hard he could hear his bones were breaking at the process. He groaned. He regained his strength again by whispering to his serpentine stone.

“Quit it, Dantanian.” Azza started to turn away when he attempted to attack her by his weapon.

Azza ducked and threw her xiphos towards Dantanian’s face. But it stopped before its tip buried to his flesh. His eyes crossed at the sight of the xiphos. Then he grinned at Azza.

“That’s really pretty close!”

Azza took back her xiphos and returned his weapon to him with a sigh.

“Really, Dantanian. You need to improve yourself to protect me!”

Dantanian got up and changed into his original human form quite fresh, as if he did not exert any effort just a few moments ago.

“But what can you say? I did quite refresh your instincts, right?” He asked stupidly.

“Yeah, of course!” Azza just rolled her eyes and turned away from him. “Really, it was great, Dantanian!” She added sarcastically.

Dantanian though took it as a compliment. He could not stop grinning. He was just praised by Azza by his efforts.

“What that about?” Alex asked curiously at Dantanian when he came in from the pool.

“Oh, it was nothing. I was just thinking to warm her up for her fight this weekend.”

Alex’s eyebrows went up and laughed.

“Really! You’re so thoughtful, Dantanian!” He slapped the butler’s shoulder and Dantanian almost toppled down because of the strength.

“You’re quite strong,” he observed.

“Oh, am I?” Alex asked.

“You’re truly a nephilim.”

“Oh.”

“Yes. Semyaza, your father is strong. But of course, he was not as strong as Azza. Although, he was fairly strong, too. So, would you care to have a match with me sometime?”

“Sure! I miss the Wushu, in fact.” Alex nodded with a friendly smile to the butler.

“I think we do need to train… to keep you alive,” Dantanian smiled back before he turned away and left him.

Alex’s smile was frozen on his face as he watched him walk away.

“Hey! You finished swimming?” Azza looked up at him with a smile on her face.

She looked so beautiful, he thought.

“Yeah. I saw you from the pool with Dantanian. I thought there was something wrong.”

Azza laughed at that.

“It was nothing. Dantanian just wanted to help as always. He is really thoughtful.”

“Yeah, I can see that.”

Then he looked into her eyes before they both closed them to kiss each other’s lips.

“Love you,” he whispered to her lips.

“Love you, too,” she answered back and continued to kiss him. She giggled when his wet body pressed to hers. “I think you should change first.”

“Yeah, right,” he laughed and kissed her one more time before he turned away to take a shower and change into fresh clothes.

Azza followed him with her eyes. She could not stop smiling. She was truly happy to fall in love with this nephilim. He was so sweet and thoughtful, carefree and lovable.

“I can see he makes you happy,” Lahash said quietly behind her.

She turned around to face him. Her smile was gone. She once again presented her stoic personality to him.

“I think I like you better with a smile pasted on your face.” Lahash continued.

“What do you want this time? I think your last assignment is done, right?” She said and walked toward the living room and knew that he followed her.

“Yes. Quite finished without any squeals and such.”

“I see. Good for you.” Azza said seriously. “So, what can I do for you now?”

“I heard that you have a… date this weekend?”

“Huh!” Azza snorted at that. “Really? The news really travels at all directions, I can see that now. Why? What of it?” She faced him with her arms crossed over her breasts.

“Well, I just thought that I would not want to miss it.”

“Oh, so?”

“So, I just came to tell you that I don’t want to miss it.”

“That’s all?”

“Well, to let you know that I am free at this moment.”

“And so?”

“Well, I am free to do anything I wish. Right? I can pester you whenever I wish to. Don’t you agree?”

“And so, you’re starting it now.”

Lahash grinned.

“You’re so smart, Azza. Why are you so… perfect?”

Azza laughed at that word.

“Perfect you say? Lahash, are you just trying to make me laugh or what?”

“Not really. Anyway, I was thinking if you ‘heard’ anything about Belial. I really think that she is the one that Allocen is sending for Alex this time.” His face went serious.

Azza’s brows were drawn together at that statement.

“No, Lahash. Nothing so far.”

“From what I know, she really fears you, Azza.”

Azza shook her head.

“Everything is changed by the time, Lahash. You know that. You don’t feel intimated by me lately…”

Lahash snorted and looked up at the ceiling.

“I wonder why.”

“Anyway, I will always appreciate your efforts to help me and Alex, Lahash. That, I want you to know.” Azza’s face went serious again.

Their eyes locked for a few moments.

“So, another lover is here?” Dantanian said half-jokingly.

Lahash smiled at the butler and disappeared.

“What are you talking about, Dantanian?” Azza asked her butler.

“Oh, just that,” he shrugged and walked away.

Alex came in looking at the retreating butler and he asked her with a smile.

“What was with him?”

“Oh, just to let us know that dinner is almost done.” Azza gave him a sweet smile and a kiss.

Alex embraced her by the waist and looked deep into her eyes. His heart was beating so strong against his chest as he looked at her loving eyes.

“I love you very much, Azza.” He whispered.

She smiled when she heard it once again. She kissed his mouth with her heart in it, hoping she relayed how she felt for him too.

****

Belial and Obyzouth looked at them from a distance. Their sight went through the walls.

“Really!” Obyzouth’s mouth was wide open. “I just can’t simply believe this!”

“Yeah, really!” Belial said sarcastically.

They looked at each other.

“So, we’ll proceed as planned?” Obyzouth wanted to confirm.

Belial looked at the two lovers again.

“Yes. There’s no more time to delay. Allocen doesn’t wish any more delays even though I wanted to do it my way. Can you believe that? It is like he is running out of time even if we live forever! I don’t really get him. Do you really know everything? I knew from the start that he did not tell me everything. He did not tell me for some reason… that this nephilim is Semyaza’s youngest son. I only knew it by chance! He did not even explain how I stake my life on this order! He did not seem to see it. Or, he just simply refused to see it?”

Obyzouth just made a face with eyebrows raised.

“You talk so much. I did not know that you are such a talker.”

“You’re a pain in the neck, don’t you know that?”

“Thank you!” Obyzouth answered with sarcasm. She turned around and disappeared.

“And she has guts to leave me here all alone,” Belial mumbled and also disappeared to only appear at her house.

She saw Obyzouth at her kitchen, munching some grapes.

“And what do you mean by leaving me there? What if Azza felt me then?” She complained straightforwardly.

“I know she wouldn’t. She was quite busy with the nephilim.”

“I can’t believe this! Are you really here to assist me to succeed or to make me fail just to feed your ego?”

“I did not think of that.” Obyzouth sat sexily on the kitchen table and continued to eat some more grapes.

“Really? Because I don’t believe it for one second! You know, I don’t really need your help on this matter.”

Obyzouth stopped eating and looked at her in the face.

“You agreed with Allocen. You can’t take it back.”

Belial sighed. It was true. Whether she liked it or not, she was already bound with the agreement.

“Sure. So, you just do what I say then.”

“Fine!” Obyzouth rolled her eyes and popped another couple of grapes inside her mouth.

Belial marched out of the kitchen and went to her pool to cool down. She was full of hatred toward Obyzouth and the order. Why did she take it in the first place? True, she wanted to prove herself. However, she thought it was too late to reverse her decision. There was no turning back. She had to do what she was ordered to do because she took the job.

“How are you faring?” Allocen appeared in the kitchen, where Obyzouth was still staying and eating grapes.

She looked at him with seductive eyes. “Allocen, good to see you on Earth!”

“Cut it out, Obyzouth. Is Belial a contagion?”

“Oh, don’t mention her. Well, we already have a plan for this weekend.”

“Alright. That’s good news at least.” Allocen took an apple from the fruit bowl on the table. He was playing it by throwing it up and catching it. “So, you agreed with that plan, I suppose.”

“Of course. She told me to do whatever she wanted me because this is Earth, not Purgatory.”

“You have a mind more than that, Obyzouth.”

“Oh, well. I do have, Allocen. Just that I agreed to follow her lead.”

“Alright then. Just be sure you won’t fail. We cannot afford to lose any more time with this order. I need that nephilim’s soul right away!”

“Yeah. Yeah.” She said with boredom and looked up at the ceiling.

Allocen disappeared. She sighed and looked at the grape between her fingers. She threw it at the wall with anger.

“I feel like a slave now!” She told herself. “I hate Beelzebub!” She screamed.

Belial heard it. She frowned at that and snorted. “Who loves him, anyway? He is not even as good looking as Buer or Dantanian.”

She then decided to dive in the water without shedding her clothes.

****

“My Lady Angel Azza, it’s time to wakey wakey!” Dantanian was in a middle-aged woman form that morning. Alex was already swimming in the pool, leaving her to sleep more.

Azza groaned and opened her eyes lazily.

“Dantanian, just leave me alone for a few minutes. Please.”

“But you have to get ready for your date today.” Dantanian insisted in a very high voice.

“Just shut up for a few minutes and I will get up, okay?”

Dantanian smiled knowingly.

“Ah, did that nephilim suck all your energy last night?”

With that, Azza’s eyes were literally fired up. Her face was so red with embarrassment. She threw her butler with a pillow that hit him hard on the face.

“I’m getting up now. Just get lost!”

Dantanian laughed and disappeared.

She went straight to the bathroom to take an early morning shower. She brushed her teeth and changed. She was dressed like she was going into a battle but minus the heavy body shield. She wore black leather jeans and fitting black top. Her sexy body was revealed perfectly by her outfit.

“Wow! You look so sexy and beautiful for your date with my half-brother!” Alex observed with a smile when he went into the room and saw her.

“Thank you,” Azza smiled at him brightly. She walked toward him and kissed him on the lips. “Good morning. Dantanian was pestering me so I could not sleep more.”

“Yeah, I kind of saw that in my premonition,” he laughed and kissed her.

“You have a premonition?” She asked seriously.

“Well, I see things sometimes.” Alex shrugged. “Not all the time, really.”

“Did you have that before you met me?” She asked with a serious face, still. “Tell me, Alex.”

“Why? Is it really important? Yeah, I had it since I was little. Well, only when I was at home with my mom.”

Azza’s eyes went to the serpentine stone, his ring. “You have premonitions when the ring is near you.” She concluded.

Alex looked at his ring, too and then he shrugged.

“Could be.”

“No. Really. You do when it is near you. It was in your apartment. You were with your mom in your house or apartment where the ring was, too. Right?”

“Well, yeah. Could be.” Alex confirmed. “What of it? I don’t really see important things. I did not even see that my mom would die.” He said with bitterness.

“I’m sorry, Alex. But, really. I do think it is because of the ring that you have premonitions at times. That’s one of your powers aside from your skills or talents.”

Alex did not make a comment. She held his arm.

“Alex, believe it and you can hone it. It can be useful for you… for us…”

Alex embraced her before she could speak more. She just smiled and caressed his back up and down to calm his heartbeat that was so fast, she could feel it. She sighed.

“I’ll keep you safe no matter what, Alex. At least, until the deadline. If I can do something until then, maybe I can still extend your life by protecting you. Your premonitions could be focused there, too, so that we will know our future. Don’t you think it is exciting to have a gift like that?”

“I think you’re right, Azza,” he whispered and kissed her hair.

Dantanian chose to appear that moment with a smile. He was still in the middle-aged woman form as he woke Azza up earlier.

“Breakfast is ready. Please come with me right away before it gets cold.” He disappeared once again.

The lovers looked at each with a smile and headed to the dining room. The table was set with a vase of flowers at the center and around it were the food for their breakfast.

“Wow! This looks grand, Dantanian!” Alex exclaimed with a smile to compliment the butler.

The middle-aged woman bowed with a smile and left them. The lovers ate happily. It just felt right to be there together. Each of them thought and wished that it could go on like this forever. They both wished that the deadline would still be so far, far away so that they could still enjoy their togetherness, their love for each other.

****

Outside, the sun was shining so bright. Before Hiwa and Hiya could enter Azza’s house through the gate, Obyzouth and Belial were blocking their way. Both Angels of Dark and Light were wearing sexy dress to distract the two nephilim brothers.

“Well, look who are here,” Hiya smiled like a rabid dog to his brother.

“Really nice, ladies.” Hiwa nodded seriously.

The two brothers knew these two Angels of Dark and Light by reputation but not as interesting as Azza’s. Hiwa felt that there was something wrong here. He looked at his brother with alertness in his eyes. Hiya got it immediately and he stopped grinning.

“So, what do you want with us?” Hiya asked the two females straightforwardly.

Hiwa was on his fighting stance. These two could be nasty. They had to take care. He knew that both were holding red serpentine stones as their father informed them once.

“Hiya, be careful,” he warned his younger brother.

Obyzouth and Belial began their attack against the two giant nephilim brothers. Obyzouth took out her water sword from the sewerage system while Belial threw away her five sharp stars in their direction. Hiwa and Hiya transformed into their original giant forms. The stars did not even graze their thick skin.

“Those are really useless, Belial!” Obyzouth observed and she attacked Hiya with the sword water.

“Be careful, Hiya!” His voice was so strong and loud that Azza and Alex went still.

“This is not good!” Belial said and whispered to her serpentine stone to take them away from Azza’s gate.

Azza peered quickly outside but did not see anything. It was just in time that Belial was able to bring the four of them at the Mountain State (West Virginia). They were on the mountaintop. The nephilim brothers went very alert. This one was powerful just to bring them all together all at once in a faraway place.

“Be really careful, Hiya!” Hiwa warned once again.

“I heard you the first time, brother!” Hiya replied and moved a step towards Belial. “I think I’ll take her on.”

Chapter 9

There's nothing certain in a man's life except this: That he must lose it. ~ Aeschylus, Agamemnon

Belial smiled wickedly at Obyzouth.

“Don’t worry, she’ll take care of your younger brother,” Obyzouth said confidently to Hiwa. “It’s really unfair that I have to look up to you, nephilim. Why don’t you change yourself to your human form?”

Hiwa snorted as he looked down at the seductive Obyzouth.

“That’s very tempting, Angel of Death. But I am sorry to disappoint you. Come and show me your ‘seductive’ wings then. Maybe I will change my mind.”

Obyzouth went berserk at that remark. She was not merely an Angel of Death. She was one of the high-ranking Angels of Dark and Light. How dared this nephilim insult her? She attacked him by her water sword. Then, it penetrated fast in his left leg.

Hiwa’s eyes were wide open in pain. He groaned as the sword slashed his supposed very solid flesh. The sword was now almost halfway through his bone. He reached down to take out the water sword and threw it far away where it broke into thousands of droplets. He faced his opponent again. And his wound started to heal on its own.

“Is that all you’ve got, Angel of Death?” Hiwa tried to annoy her more.

Obyzouth was breathing hard as she looked up at the giant nephilim. She regained back her water sword by her right hand. The droplets formed into a sword again and held by her hand. Her lips twisted in a mocking smile.

“It is not all yet, nephilim. I assure you. Do not even blink or my sword will cut you in pieces and there is no healing after that. Your body will be like grilled meat! You like meat, don’t you?”

Hiwa’s crossbows appeared. He quickly aimed at his opponent. He let go of his arrow but at the same time, his opponent aimed her weapon toward him. He jumped so high to avoid it and Obyzouth did the same. The arrow and water sword followed their respective targets.

Hiwa aimed some more arrows toward his enemy and there were five of them that target her. He also aimed for her water sword and he was lucky that his arrow hit it and broke it. Then, he looked at his opponent who screamed in annoyance. He just smirked. His arrows would not be easily broken by her powers. His weapon was a gift from his father so was his brother’s.

Obyzouth could not believe that the weapon seemed to be indestructible. She revived her water sword from the droplets and with all her might, she aimed for Hiwa’s mid-section. The sword was blocked by the giant’s big hand and it fell to the ground in droplets again. It was too late when she noticed that an arrow was coming fast at her and hit her at the back of her left shoulder. She groaned in pain and she grew her wings to get rid of the arrow.

Hiwa laughed at the sight of the wounded Anger of Dark and Light. His eyes glittered with admiration when the wings showed up.

“How I wished to see those pretty things!”

Obyzouth was up in the air and snorted.

“You asked for it, nephilim. It would be my turn now!”

The water sword was revived again and it travelled so fast to hit the giant nephilim. Hiwa saw it coming but it grazed his left cheek. He crushed the sword by his big hands and his wound healed. However, the sting was still there like it was burning his face. Then, he heard the opponent’s laughter while she was flying around him.

“I told you so, nephilim!”

“What do you mean by that?”

“The sting will never go away by your mere powers. It will burn your whole being. You would be lucky if someone can heal you. Good luck!”

She left the nephilim that was groaning in pain. He felt the sting from his face and throughout his body. It was like he was going to burst into fire.

****

Hiya saw the fate of his brother.

“Go back to Hell, brother!” He shouted and Hiwa did so. His arrows disappeared as well.

However, he had to face the two Angels of Dark and Light on his own. He knew that his brother was stronger than him but he relied on his speed. He had to be strong to defeat these two. He was faring well so far using his two sickles against Belial. But now, he had to use these against her and Obyzouth.

“You look as if you are about to cry, nephilim,” Belial was mocking him with a smirk on her face.

Hiya closed his eyes and decided to transform into his human form. The sickles were flying in the air threatening both Angels of Dark and Light. He was smiling as the two tried their best to dodge. His smile widened when he saw that the two were hit by the sickles. Belial was hit at her left side while Obyzouth was hit at her leg that cut it.

Obyzouth screamed in pain and annoyance. She could not believe that this nephilim could hit her. She also saw that Belial seemed to go berserk when she was hit at the side. She was trying hard to heal herself. It was way too slow that her eyes widened. She was afraid that her wound would not heal at all.

“What is it you used, nephilim?” Belial asked Hiya while she was in pain.

Hiya just shook his head with a smile.

“It would not do me good if I’d tell you, would it?”

He turned away and was about to leave the two wounded Angels of Dark and Light when Obyzouth hit him by a slash of her sword water at his back. He winced in pain and looked at his opponent. He willed his smooth, sharp sickle to hit her chest. Blood oozed from that part and she screamed again.

He groaned in a low voice and disappeared to go back to Hell. He also needed to be tended from his wound. He did not care how the two Angels of Dark and Light would cope. He wished for them to die and would not bother them all again.

****

Semyaza looked at his two wounded sons. His eyes were fiery and his voices were booming in the room.

“Who caused this?”

“Oh, what happened to your sons?” Exclaimed Barbatos who just walked in.

Semyaza looked at him and pointed his door. “Get out! You’re not needed here.”

Barbatos grinned and stepped closer. “Maybe they need my help.” He said.

“I can very well take care of my sons, Barbatos. Don’t press your nose where it is not needed! Now, get out!”

Barbatos shrugged and walked away without a word.

“Now, tell me everything!” He demanded of his sons.

The two looked at each and began to tell him from the very beginning. Semyaza’s hands curled into tight fists.

“How dared they do this! They shall pay!”

****

Obyzouth called for Allocen and he appeared before her. He frowned at the sight of her wounds and without a leg. He turned to look at Belial who was also suffering from a wound. The blood was still oozing from her wound like Obyzouth.

“Allocen, help!” Belial said with a croaked voice.

“I don’t think I can help you with your wounds.” He inspected their wounds. “You have to do it yourselves.”

Belial and Obyzouth looked at each other.

“How? We are already doing that,” Obyzouth complained. “And I can see that my cut leg over there is rotting!” She pointed at her separated limb some distance away.

“You can do it! Just focus more. Lahash was able to mend himself after he tasted the same fate you have now.”

“What? Is that possible? He has only the brown serpentine stone!” Belial was astounded at that information.

“That’s the point! You should heal yourself then. Lahash was able to do it, why couldn’t you? You are more powerful than him!” Allocen was annoyed.

Allocen disappeared without helping the two females. They were so disappointed with him. However, they were setting their disappointment aside to heal themselves.

“How should we do this?” Obyzouth asked Belial. She was looking so desperate while she watched her cut limb.

“How about if you help me heal myself first and then, I will help you heal your wounds?” Belial suggested with hopeful eyes.

“What? Wouldn’t you help me first with my wounds? I am more in critical condition compared to you. You see my rotting limb over there?”

Belial looked at it some distance away. Her face winced at it and she looked down at her wound. She could not even stop the bleeding at the moment. Let alone heal it. She looked at Obyzouth with doubtful eyes.

“If I help to heal you, will you do the same for me?”

Obyzouth’s eyes shone with hope. She smiled even though she felt the pain that Hiya’s sickle had caused.

“Of course! We are still on a mission. We have to finish the order we’re sent to do. And remember that I am just going to follow your lead. You can just leave that cut limb to rot. Just help me regenerate a new one. And after that, we shall go after Azza. Do you trust me, Belial?”

Belial was staring at the other Angel of Dark and Light. She sighed afterward and prepared herself to help the other one to heal.

Obyzouth smiled at her with satisfaction. A new limb was regenerated after a few seconds and as promised she helped Belial to heal her as well. They both sighed when they both felt better.

“We will proceed to the next stage then?” Obyzouth grinned.

Belial nodded. They both changed their image. Belial assumed the face of Hiya and Obyzouth on the other hand, assumed Hiwa. They smiled at each other with an evil smirk before they disappeared and appeared inside Azza’s house.

****

Azza and Alex just finished their breakfast. They washed the dishes together while Dantanian popped up now and then to watch them so happy just by being together. Dantanian shook his head with a smile. He was so happy for his keeper. He had never seen her smiled very often as it happened lately. He wondered what it would be like if the nephilim she was protecting until the end of the year would be gone. He then decided to leave them to clean the pool.

Azza turned around to see Hiwa and Hiya arrived. She felt that there were something wrong with them but she could not pinpoint what it was. Their auras were truly different compared to a few times that she met them.

“What do you want now?” She asked testily and looked at Hiwa with probing eyes.

“Don’t tell me that you have forgotten our little fight today, Azza?” Hiwa answered.

“I don’t.” She said with alert ears and eyes. She could still not tell what was wrong. Was something wrong with her and her powers lately? Or, were these nephilims just too good to change their auras now and then? But, aside from the auras, there were some changes of their behavior. Still, she could not say what was wrong.

“Good then. Shall we start then?” Hiwa asked.

Azza looked at Alex before she answered.

“No. Not here. I wish to do it in the remote past. I do not wish any trouble for the humans around here.”

Hiwa and Hiya looked at each other as they laughed.

“You are so thoughtful,” Hiwa grinned.

“You don’t need to go to the past, Azza,” Hiya said.

“Show your real selves!” Dantanian shouted with a booming voice as he entered the living room.

All of them stared at him. Then Hiwa and Hiya looked at each other.

“There’s something wrong with these... two nephilims,” Dantanian told Azza.

“What is it, Dantanian?” Azza asked her butler. Perhaps he could tell her what was wrong with them.

“They are not what they show us, believe me. However, I could not tell who they really are.” Dantanian’s thoughts reached to Azza’s as he willed it.

Azza sighed in disappointment. And before she could protect Alex, all of them were transported into a mountainous place by Hiwa’s powers. It was like a desert except that there were some trees on some mountain valleys and hills. And there was a river at the far east side from where they stood.

“Where are we?” Alex asked Azza as they looked around them.

Hiwa and Hiya laughed at them. Azza could not tell where they were.

“Are you scared, Alex?” Hiya asked with a little laugh. “My brother just followed your girlfriend’s wish.”

Alex looked at him. It was as if he only saw him for the first time.

“You are not my brother!” Alex exclaimed.

Hiya looked at Hiwa for a moment before he looked at Alex again. He pointed a finger at him.

“What are you talking about, Alex? Are you testing me?”

Alex shook his head with his lips in a grim line.

“I know my brothers. You two are not my real brothers! I do not see your auras as my brothers. What did you do with them?” He demanded at last.

Azza looked at him in bewilderment and then, she looked at Dantanian who just smiled a little and slightly nodded at her. Then, she turned to look at the two nephilims in front of them.

“Alex, we are your brothers!” Hiwa said to try to convince him.

Alex shook his head. He did not believe it one moment. He knew how his brothers act. These two were different.

“What is this place? What do you want with us?” He asked them.

Hiya stepped forward with a mocking face. He looked at Azza who let out her xiphos. He eyed it with alert eyes.

“A promise is a promise. We are only here to fight with Azza.” Hiya said.

“Azza, believe me. They are not my brothers. I think, they are here for me.” Alex whispered to Azza. “Besides, it was Hiwa who wanted to have a fight with you today.”

Azza looked at him with unperturbed eyes. She nodded at him seriously.

“Right. I was thinking the same, Alex. I just could not place where I met them or who they really are.” She answered.

“We do not have time to unravel that at the moment, my lady Angel Azza,” Dantanian stepped closer to them and butted in their conversation. “We need to fight for now.”

Azza swallowed and nodded at him.

“Alex, stay back!” Azza warned him as she started to attack Hiya first.

Hiya jumped backward and Hiwa stood in his place. He summoned his water crossbows and let go a couple of water sharp arrows.

“Look out, Azza!” Dantanian shouted and by his doubled-edged sharp whip, he captured the arrows mid-way to protect his keeper. They were broken in an instant.

Hiwa looked angrily at Hiya and signaled him to take on Dantanian. Hiya nodded with a smirk on his face.

“Let’s play, Dantanian.” Hiya growled at him. “My brother will take good care of your keeper.”

Dantanian smiled and changed his whip into a tussah, a silk thread that was sharpened by his powers. He disappeared and appeared around Hiya as he wrapped and covered him with the sharp silk thread like a mummy. Hiya screamed in pain as the tiny, long and sharp weapon grazed and buried in his skin and flesh.

Dantanian stopped with satisfaction. He dusted off his hands and turned to Alex.

“That’s how to torture your enemy,” he said to the nephilim very proudly. His chest was out and his stomach in.

Alex smiled. And they watched Hiya who tried to get rid of the silk thread around his body. They saw that he was able to slowly melt the threads by his strength. They gasped with mouth wide open as they watched the threads disappear.

Hiya still screamed and gathered all his strength to melt the silk thread and be free from its sharp, stinging tight embrace.

“Alex, do something!” Dantanian panicked and grabbed the nephilim’s arm so tightly.

“What? What am I gonna do? I don’t know how to use my powers!” Alex complained.

“Just do anything! He’s almost free now! Do something, fast!” Dantanian shouted at him.

Alex looked around. He panicked, too. He looked at Dantanian and Hiya back and forth. And he looked at Azza who was busy fighting with Hiwa. He swallowed and looked at his ring. He blinked and with all his might, he asked his ring to do something for him.

“Dantanian, wrap him with your tussah again!” Alex ordered the Angel of Dark and Light as he continued to stare at his ring.

Dantanian nodded in panic and wrap Hiya again with his tussah. Hiya screamed again in pain.

“Ring, please help!” Alex whispered urgently to his ring.

The ring shone with a bright silver colored light. Symbols floated in the air in random. Dantanian looked at the symbols, mystified. Even Azza and Hiwa stopped fighting as they looked the shining light and saw the powerful symbols.

“Alex, you are powerful!” Dantanian clapped his hands in disbelief. His smile was filled with pride and awe.

Alex swallowed and blinked. He looked at Dantanian with confusion.

“What am I supposed to do with these symbols?!” His voice cracked with panic and confusion.

“Use them, Alex! You should!” Dantanian said.

“Use them, Alex! Use them right now!” Azza shouted from the opposite direction.

Her xiphos was poised at the neck of Hiwa. He could not move because of Azza’s strength. He now knew how strong she was and why she was one of the best fighters before, in Heaven.

“Tell me how!” Alex shouted back.

“Use them as a weapon! Can’t you see? Don’t you know at all? For heaven’s sake! These are powerful symbols!” Dantanian grabbed him by the collar.

In a short moment, Dantanian oriented Alex through telepathy on what he knew about the symbols that were floating in the air, which were shown by the bright light that was coming from the ring.

He learned that these symbols were mostly ancient and some were new, used in Reiki, an alternative holistic kind of healing. Spiritually, these symbols were used to heal. In his case, these symbols could be used as weapons against his enemies.

He nodded and Dantanian let him go.

“You can do this.” Dantanian said and eyed Hiya again, who was free and ready to attack them both.

Dantanian flew away just before Hiya’s toothed and sharp sickles could hit him. Alex was able to dodge the sickle, too. Alex used the power symbol of Reiki, Cho Ku Rei, to attack Hiya and hit him in the forehead. By then, he changed his image to his original human form as the Angel of Dark and Light named Belial.

Dantanian and Azza were surprised to see her. It dawned to Azza that Lahash had mentioned her some days ago.

“Belial, you truly are without worth!” Dantanian whispered. “How could you do this to us? Don’t you know that you are only used by the others against us?” He paused, “Alex, attack her now!”

Another power symbol hit Belial. This time, it was at her belly. She groaned at the pain that was lasting so long. It felt as if it made a huge hole in it. She felt like she was imploding.

“You are so strong, nephilim!” Belial complained as she threw away her stars toward Alex and Dantanian’s direction.

Both of them dodged the stars. Belial screamed in frustration. Her scream was cut short when Dantanian’s sharp whip hit her in the face and sliced her head in three parts. Alex used again the power symbol to finish her off. Her body imploded and turned into dust. And then, it disappeared in the air.

“Noooo!” Hiwa screamed and changed into his real human form as Obyzouth.

“You?” Azza was truly surprised to see her.

“Where is Belial?” She demanded at Azza.

Azza blinked for a moment and answered her with a straight face.

“She’s gone.”

Obyzouth’s face contorted at that. She did not know what Azza meant by ‘gone’. It was impossible!

“What do you mean ‘gone’?!” She demanded Azza again in confusion. “Tell me, Azza. Where did she go now? Where did that nephilim send Belial? Where? Answer me!”

“I cannot tell you where she is now.” Azza said truthfully. “I do not know where he sent her. All I know is that she is gone! Alright?”

“But where?” She turned to the nephilim.

Alex could not answer either.

“She’s dead, Obyzouth. That’s the truth if you wanna know the reality.” Azza said at last. “You didn’t know, did you?”

“What am I supposed to know?” Obyzouth asked mockingly. “I am a high-ranking official in Purgatory. I know everything! What else am I supposed to know?”

Azza let down her guard and her xiphos as she explained.

Chapter 10

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. ~ William Penn

“Don’t tell her!” Lahash suddenly appeared.

Everyone turned to look at the new arrival.

“Lahash? How did you know we are here?” Obyzouth asked in amazement. “How come you are here? And what do you mean by not telling me something?” Then, she turned to Azza, “Azza, am I not supposed to know what you know?”

Azza swallowed.

“We are not supposed to know,” she answered her.

“But how do you know? What do you really know?” Obyzouth asked.

“Azza, don’t tell her!” Lahash commanded.

Everyone turned to look at the new arrival again. He appeared in his real form as an Angel of Dark and Light. Then, he changed into his human form.

“This is unfair, Lahash. You knew how it felt when you were kept in the dark! Why don’t we tell her what we know?” Azza turned to looked at him.

“And what?!” Lahash stepped closer to her with his eyes burning with rage. “Don’t you know what will happen if she knew and escaped from you? From us? Did you ever think about that, Azza?”

“What else am I supposed to know? Azza, I demand of you to tell me now!” Obyzouth said angrily. Her nose was flaring as she breathed deeply.

“We were not supposed to know!” Azza said as she turned around to look at her again. “I know how it feels, Obyzouth. It was truly unfair that we did not know about it from the very beginning!” She turned to Lahash again. “We need to tell her. It is up to her what she would do after this.”

“It is not up to her! It is up to me!” Lahash said and summoned his large scythe.

Obyzouth blinked in fear.

“Lahash, what are you going to do with me? Azza?” She turned to her for help. Her voice was imploring her, Azza understood it.

“Lahash, don’t do this!” Azza said warningly.

Dantanian and Alex looked at this scene without words. Lahash stepped closer to Obyzouth while the other stepped backward.

“Azza, tell him to stop!” Obyzouth asked her.

“Lahash! Stop this nonsense! She is one of us.” Azza implored him.

“No, she is not!” Lahash shook his head. His teeth gnashed.

“Don’t you understand why I’m stopping you, Lahash?” Azza said.

“I don’t need to understand, Azza. She wanted to kill you and your nephilim lover! Why do you forgive such an evil act?! Why, Azza? We are not in Heaven anymore! We have a choice even from the beginning even while we were still in Heaven!.”

Azza stared at him for a long moment.

“Because I want to. My heart says so that I am able to forgive her in what she and Belial had done to us. You should do the same. Besides, you were once more than friends. Right? So, what is it with you now? Why won’t you give her a chance to live?”

“Azza, what do you mean by that?” Obyzouth asked her, still with puzzlement.

“Just tell her, Lahash. Or else, I will. You owe her that much.”

“I don’t owe her anything, Azza. I’m sorry. But I have to finish her.”

Azza swallowed as she looked at him. It seemed that he became evil. Perhaps it was because he had suffered on Earth? Or perhaps it was because he was frustrated? What was the real reason behind his anger?

“Azza, help me.” Obyzouth felt powerless now. Even though she knew she had more powers than Lahash, she knew that Lahash was very strong and could hurt her. She did not wish to use more powers from her serpentine stone as lately, she thought and noticed that she was not as strong as before. What happened to her and Belial a while ago and from what they had suffered in the hands of the nephilims they fought with, were already the evidence. She was wondering why. And she was wondering what it was that Azza wanted to tell her if Lahash did not arrive.

Azza looked at the pitiful state of Obyzouth. She looked at Lahash who was eyeing her with venomous looks and full of hatred. She wondered what happened between them. She knew that they had a special relationship for centuries! What went wrong?

Lahash was ready to take action. His scythe was ready to strike but Azza stopped it by her xiphos and her strength.

“What’s the matter with you?! I told you not to harm her!” Azza said to him angrily.

“You don’t really understand me, Azza.” Lahash shook his head and attacked her.

Azza was very quick to defend herself.

“Lahash! Stop this!” Obyzouth screamed. “Just let her tell me what I need to know!”

“You don’t deserve to know!” Lahash turned to look at her. He stressed every word he said. He wished to strike at her but Azza was there to protect Obyzouth, using her xiphos.

“Leave for now, Obyzouth!” She commanded her.

Obyzouth’s tears streamed down to her face. She shook her head at Azza. “I want to know, Azza! Tell me!”

“I said, leave for now!” Azza said through gritted teeth as she held her ground against Lahash.

Dantanian wrapped his sharp whip around Lahash’s feet. He fell to the ground with a groan.

“Sorry!” Dantanian said with a shrug.

Obyzouth disappeared with sad eyes and ugly state. Azza sighed as she looked down at Lahash, who was still on the ground. Dantanian’s whip disappeared after a few moments.

“I told you not to hurt her! Why are you being so difficult, Lahash? Tell me.” Azza demanded with a strong voice.

“It is you who is very difficult to talk to!” Lahash stood up and in an instant, his wounds healed. He faced Azza with an angry expression in his eyes. “You don’t know what I have been through because of her!”

Azza’s eyes softened. She glanced at Alex and back to Lahash.

“I’m sorry, Lahash. But I hope you would understand why I don’t let you kill her. We could still give her a chance to change.”

“There’s no way she would change, Azza. She practically adores and worships Allocen! And you know him!” He said bitterly. He turned around to look into space.

Azza swallowed and touched his arm.

“I know but perhaps… she will change.”

Lahash blinked and glanced down at her. He always adored Azza for being strong, for always being positive and for always making him feel alive. It had always been like that for him ever since they were in Heaven.

It was a long moment they held each other’s eyes. Alex felt something stabbed his heart. He did not know what jealousy was like until that very moment.

Dantanian looked at the three of them silently. Then, he whispered to his necklace to take them all back to Azza’s house.

****

“Allocen, tell me something that I don’t know!” Obyzouth demanded when she met him at his office in Purgatory.

Allocen’s expression was that of confusion. He looked at her ugly state but he noticed that she did not pay any attention to it. The matter at hand must have been more important than her pretty and proper look.

“I do not know what you are talking about, Obyzouth. What has it got to do with me?’

Obyzouth sat on a chair restlessly.

“Lahash and Azza know something that I don’t. She said it right after Belial was gone!” She said hysterically. “Lahash doesn’t want me to know. He changed, you know?”

Allocen just nodded with his brows furrowed.

“Azza wanted to tell me that something but he stopped her!” She continued. “Allocen, do you have any idea what it was about after Belial was gone? Just… tell me honestly, Allocen. Please! I feel so terrible now. And I don’t know what to do anymore. Look at me. Look at how I look now! You must know something, don’t you?”

Allocen swallowed and blinked. He then shook his head with a gesture of his hands.

“I wish to know what it was. But how come Belial was gone? Was it the divine will already?” He asked in puzzlement.

“She just imploded after she was hit by that nephilim!”

“Who?”

“Semyaza’s youngest son, Alex! He was strong and… and powerful! He… he projected a very bright light with symbols that were floating randomly in the air… and… and… he hit Belial by one of those powerful symbols and she – she was gone! I asked them what happened. I asked them where she was sent. Nobody could tell me!” She cried after telling the story to Allocen.

Allocen went to her and embraced her warmly. He shook his head. He had no idea what happened.

“Could it be the divine will that she perished? But why at that moment? We were supposed to kill that nephilim and hurt Azza!” Obyzouth wondered audibly. Then, she felt that he gently pushed her to look her in the eyes.

“I am so sorry, Obyzouth. I thought the plan would go well. It seems that Azza is truly into protecting that nephilim before the end of this year. But really, we need to kill that nephilim before the end of the year or we’ll be lost. It is the only way that Beelzebub can be the Heir of Hell. After that, a great revolution would follow to remove Lucifer from the throne. He doesn’t deserve the throne all this time! We’ve done everything in our power to be the rulers of Hell and in the world of humans! We deserve the throne this time!”

“What would become of us when Beelzebub is in power?” Obyzouth shook her head as she spoke. “Would he remember you? Would he remember me? Would he remember all the things we sacrificed for him? Do you really know what is in his heart and mind, Allocen? Do you really believe that he would care for us after we will be successful of killing that nephilim? Huh? Can you assure me now, Allocen?”

Allocen stood up straight. He could not look her in the eye. He himself doubted Beelzebub at that moment as Obyzouth did. But they need to be firm with their loyalty and decision. They need to stand their ground. There was no turning back after he promised Beelzebub. He could not ever break that promise or he would suffer such consequences. His serpentine stone would be confiscated. That was the deal. And without the stone, he was good as nothing. Instinctively, he knew that he could not live without the stone. And it was sure that everybody knew it.

He sighed and looked down at Obyzouth, who was still sitting on a couch. She was still teary-faced.

“Give me some time to investigate, Obyzouth. I promise that everything will be alright. Okay?”

Obyzouth did not react to that. She just tried to wipe away her tears. Her thoughts were still troubled. She could not seem to believe anything now except what Azza wished to tell her. She was ready to let her in on a secret before Lahash came. How did he know where they were anyway? Lahash was not so powerful like Azza or her.

****

“I sent Lahash after your brother. I knew that something was wrong the moment Hiwa stepped into my room,” Semyaza told his nephilim sons.

He healed his sons by his powers.

“Now, perhaps you could tell me in details?” He turned to Hiya.

Hiya jumped up and down to test his strength and body. Nothing ached anymore. He smiled at his father.

“They’ve got a plan to perish my little brother, father. Most probably, they were eliminating us to assume our persons. I dare to think that they knew about my brother’s date with Azza today.”

Semyaza sighed and stared outside the window, where he could clearly see the Lake of Fire. His hands were behind his back as he contemplated for a few minutes.

“So, do you think Azza could handle those two nasty bitches by herself?” He asked his sons.

Hiya and Hiwa looked at each other before they spoke.

“Yes, father,” they said in unison.

“And you know better,” Hiwa added.

Then, Semyaza turned to look at them with serious eyes. He felt it was true because he knew Azza’s abilities.

“Very well, then. Just go and check later what happened. Perhaps, you should not come back until the end of this year unless it is necessary to report to me.”

The two nodded with serious eyes.

“Just rest for now,” Semyaza disappeared after he said it.

Hiya and Hiwa sighed when their father was gone.

“Do you think what has happened now?” Hiya asked is older brother.

“I bet nothing special has happened.” Hiwa shrugged.

“What’s the plan now?”

“Do we need one?” Hiwa retorted and laughed. “Azza is very strong. I don’t think she even needs us.”

“But father…”

“Yes, I know. Well… we can just watch and see. From there, if they really need our help, then we’ll do that. But I guess that’s very vague in the future.”

Hiya chuckled.

“Our brother is really lucky he got that Angel of Death!”

“Everyone is envious with him by now.” Hiwa added.

“Huh! I bet you are!” Hiya laughed and disappeared before his brother could strike him arrows.

Hiwa sighed in anger. His eyes burnt with fury because of that jest. Then, Barbatos came in without a word.

“I heard about your demise.” Barbatos grinned at Hiwa.

“What do you mean by that?” Hiwa asked innocently.

“Well, you have to look after your brother and you end up hurt. Did your father really, really love you?”

“He doesn’t need to show it,” Hiwa retorted to the Earl of Hell.

Barbatos laughed for a moment with a shake of his head.

“Well, you are one dedicated and loyal son! Tell you what, he wouldn’t care one bit if you perish because of his youngest son.”

Hiwa’s brows furrowed at that information. Was it true? He looked probingly at the Earl of Hell.

“What do you want of me, Barbatos?”

“Hmm… nothing!” He shrugged with an evil smile and a glint of his eye.

“I know what you are and who you are, Barbatos. You are telling me something to hate my father and brother. Is this part of some plan that we do not know of? Has this got to do with my father as the Heir of Hell? Now, you tell me the truth and I’ll tell you something that you don’t know about.”

It was Barbatos’ turn to look at Hiwa probingly. He wanted to read his mind but he could not get into his head. This nephilim is strong, he thought.

Hiwa chuckled when the Earl of Hell could not say a thing.

“What now, Barbatos? I will not tell you anything if you don’t tell me something… something that is very useful for me… something that I do not know of…”

Barbatos just grinned evilly and disappeared without a word. Hiwa chuckled and shook his head.

“Such a coward!” He said to himself. “You’re a coward, Barbatos! I do not know why you are an Earl of Hell!” He shouted all over Hell to let everyone know it.

Then, he wondered where his father could be when he disappeared some moments ago. He looked around his father’s room before he left it.

****

Lahash and Alex were standing in the living room while Azza was sitting at the single couch. Dantanian was off to the kitchen to prepare something to eat for the three of them. Not that they were hungry, but something to do after the ordeal a while ago.

Azza lifted her gaze when she felt a presence that was coming. Her eyes widened when she saw Semyaza in his human form. She stood up and the two males looked at the direction she was looking at. Lahash too, was surprised. On the other hand, Alex was surprised at first for he just appeared quietly and then, he wondered who it was. He stepped backward to get nearer to Azza if he was a threat.

“You! What are you doing here? You are not supposed to leave Hell.”

Is this Lucifer or Satan? Alex wondered. His heart was beating so fast when the new arrival looked at him intensely. Azza glanced at him, so did Lahash.

“I don’t think I am needed here,” Lahash was about to turn around when Semyaza spoke.

“No need to leave us, Lahash.” His five voices said quietly.

Lahash stopped and turned around again to face him. Then, Semyaza looked at Azza with tenderness in his eyes.

“I know how you feel. I know about you and my son.”

“Of course,” Azza said with her nose up. “So, why are you here? I don’t need your assistance, Semyaza.”

Semyaza chuckled.

“Of course! I was the one who needed your assistance then and until now.” Then he glanced at his nephilim son. He knew that his son still didn’t get the idea that he was his father. “I just want you to know that my two other sons are ready to assist you if you need any help.”

Azza chuckled with her eyebrows raised.

“Really, Semyaza! Just when did you wish to assist me? But of course, I do understand it. He is your son!”

“W-what are you talking about, Azza?” Alex asked in confusion. “Is – is he my father?”

Azza looked at him in the eyes and nodded. “Yes, he is.”

Semyaza looked at his son with tender eyes, just like he looked at Azza a short while ago. He looked like his mother but his eyes were like his. They were intelligent. Father and son looked at each other’s eyes.

“I was… and am… quite busy in Hell so… I haven’t seen you since you were born,” Semyaza said uneasily.

Alex swallowed and he nodded slowly. “Then, why are you here?” He asked him.

Semyaza looked at Azza. He could not properly or rightly answer that question.

“He doesn’t know the reason why you are in danger now, Alex,” Azza said quietly. “Your father might not be a good father but… as you can see now, he is trying to be a good father to you.”

Semyaza turned around to hide the tears that threatened to fall down his haggard face. He felt his son’s eyes bored into his back.

“I didn’t know I still had a father. I was told that you were dead. I knew how mom loved you. She would always shed a tear whenever she thought of you. I thought she was very sad when you left her…”

Semyaza could not hide his tears anymore. He wished to embrace his beloved son. He turned around and without his son’s permission, he hugged him with all his might. He dearly loved Alex ever since he was born. He was his joy even though he was serving in Hell.

Alex’s heart that was full of sorrow after he saw his father, felt lighthearted when he embraced him. His tears came down and he embraced his father back.

Azza tried to hold back her tears as she witnessed this moving scene. Lahash looked away from them and went to the doorway that was leading to the balcony. He was not used to this kind of drama. He knew that Semyaza truly loved this youngest son more than the other two.

Hiya, who was standing on top of the building facing Azza’s house, saw this poignant scene as well. By his powers, he heard the conversation, too. Then, he felt Hiwa’s presence. He too saw and heard the scene at Azza’s living room.

“Melodramatic meeting,” Hiwa commented in a low voice.

Hiya just looked at his brother.

“I am sorry, Alex,” Semyaza said at last and both of them parted from their tight embrace.

Alex nodded sorrowfully. “I understand now… father,” he said in a low voice.

Both of them wiped their tears away. Dantanian happened to walk in and he summoned some facial tissue for the father and son. Both nodded to him gratefully. Dantanian smiled awkwardly especially to the Heir of Hell.

“I see you’re still here, Dantanian,” Semyaza observed. “Azza is so blessed with someone like you,” then he turned to Lahash.

Lahash stole a glance at Azza for a moment and looked away.

“You are indeed lucky to have special friends, Azza. I always envied you.” Semyaza told Azza. “And my son is so lucky to have you.”

Azza smiled at him. “Is he?” Her eyebrows raised in disbelief. “I am to take him to the abyss at the end of the Earth’s year, Semyaza. You cannot say that he is lucky to have me.”

Semyaza chuckled.

“Right! You have a point. After all, you are his Angel of Death.”

Azza’s smile faded away. “You know that we hate to be called like that! We are not the reason that people die. Only, we are their guides when they have to cross when they leave this world.”

“Be that, as it may, Azza.” Semyaza said before he turned to his son. “You should use your powers properly, my son. You are more powerful than your brothers and more powerful too than other Angels of Death!” Then, he left.

Alex was just gaping at that information.

Chapter 11

Death is a release from the impressions of sense, and from impulses that make us their puppets, from the vagaries of the mind, and the hard service of the flesh. ~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Lahash looked at Alex in disbelief too. With that revelation from the Heir of Hell, it was very true!

“Really!” Lahash exclaimed when Semyaza was gone. “I can’t believe that he is also melodramatic at times.” He referred to the Heir of Hell.

“What did my father mean by that?” Alex asked the three Angels of Dark and Light that were with him at the living room.

“Well, I already initiated you about your powers using the symbols,” Dantanian said. “You remember it? Not one of us has the powers like yours. I, myself could not believe that you were fated to have such powers. Semyaza could have had them in the past and passed them onto you as his beloved son.”

“But why not my brothers? Why me?”

“You’re his youngest son. His most precious one. I guess, he loved your mother very much.” Dantanian revealed.

Hiya and Hiwa on the other hand, heard this. They sighed and looked at each other helplessly. They could not blame their father for feeling that way.

Alex’s shoulders slumped and he went to the couch to sit down. He felt like all his energies were drained after what had happened today, alone.

“You’re lucky, Alex,” Dantanian continued.

Alex looked up at him and then to Azza and Lahash. “What do you think of my powers?”

“I am speechless, really!” Lahash said and turned away. “I can’t believe that Semyaza had hidden powers such as the ones he passed onto you.”

“Alex,” Azza sat down next to him. “I know Semyaza was not a good father, but with your powers, I think he was after all. He wanted you to be the strongest among his sons. Just use your powers as he suggested. They are yours for your own protection. I assure you that not one Angel of Dark and Light was a good father. No one has been an exception except what your father has done for you.”

“I cannot say that I am happy to have a father like him. I always thought I was normal. I always thought that…”

“Keep those thoughts away from now on, Alex. You are given the powers that no one ever has. You are special!”

Azza embraced him tenderly and Alex kissed her cheek. On the other hand, Lahash watched the scene without any single word uttered.

“I think you need some refreshments,” Dantanian left to go to the kitchen to retrieve the tray with refreshments.

Azza smiled at Alex with love in her eyes. She kissed his lips softly. Lahash looked away again when he saw it.

“Isn’t he kind of jealous?” Hiya commented to his brother with a playful grin.

Hiwa grinned back. “I suppose you are right. Look at his face. It turned very ugly!”

The brothers’ fists came together playfully. Then, they turned serious when they saw Alex and Azza stood up from the long couch, where they sat earlier. They watched Lahash disappeared and realized that he appeared behind them.

“Well?” Lahash said with a grunt.

The brothers turned around to look at Lahash.

“Were you here a long time ago?” Lahash asked them conversationally while he watched Azza’s house.

“You can make a guess,” Hiya said with a shrug and a smile. “You wanna play with us, Lahash?”

Lahash smiled at them and shook his head. “No. I don’t want any troubles with you and with your father.” He said seriously. “I don’t think I can ever pay you back. But… maybe some other time…?”

The brothers knew what he meant. If they would still live, he would make them pay for what they have done to him previously.

“I see you don’t forget a debt,” Hiwa said smilingly, “maybe we can fix a time when we can play?”

Lahash shook his head again. “No, don’t make any trouble with it. We’ll see after your brother dies.”

Hiwa wanted to strike Lahash but Hiya stopped him.

“Hey! He’s not worth it. He’s a sissy!”

Hiwa looked at his brother with a grin and nodded. “Right! He is a sissy.”

Lahash angrily disappeared from where he stood. The nephilim brothers did not know where he went for they did not see him at Azza’s house.

****

“So, what can you tell me, Lahash?” Semyaza prompted when he felt that Lahash arrived at his room in Hell.

He turned around after watching the only beauty in his eyes, the Lake of Fire.

“Belial is gone. Obyzouth was able to escape because of Azza.” Lahash told him straightforwardly without any details.

Semyaza’s brows furrowed. “Belial is dead?”

“Yes. I think I just told you that.” Lahash said calmly and he held his hand with the other in front of him.

“Don’t be philosophical, Lahash. Tell me what happened to Belial. Why is she dead?” His voices went impatient.

“Huh! You should ask your youngest son about that.” He answered slowly with a chuckle.

Semyaza’s eyes became interested. They practically twinkled when he heard about it.

“Are you saying that Alex killed Belial by his powers? That’s good news, Lahash! Why don’t you keep giving me good news such as this?”

Lahash gnashed his teeth to control himself. It seemed that he had become a messenger at this moment.

“So, tell me how he did it.” Semyaza sat down on his seat that was made of human bones and skulls.

Lahash did narrate what happened. Semyaza’s grin became bigger and bigger everytime. Then he shook his head with a big grin still on his face.

“You must say that my son has the potential…”

“What potential are you talking about?”

Semyaza’s grin faded and he looked at Lahash with brows furrowed.

“He’s got the potential to kill anyone when his mind and heart are in it! I passed onto him my best powers through his serpentine stone. He is even more powerful than any of the Angels of Dark and Light!”

“But, he has only possesses the gray serpentine stone!” Lahash said vehemently.

“Why, does it matter? Azza has the apple green colored serpentine stone, none of us who holds the black serpentine stone could defeat her. So, how do you think about that?”

“Do you mean to say that God is a liar?!”

“No, Lahash! I did not say that. What I mean is that the holder of the serpentine stone is more powerful when he has the potential to create and destroy.”

“Huh! Isn’t this getting more complicated, Semyaza? Do you mean that the red serpentine stone holders do not have the ability to create? But, just to destroy? Does this go with all of you who have the black colored serpentine stone, too? Is this another kind of secret that was hidden to us all this time? Do you mean that Azza is the most powerful Angel of Dark and Light all this time?”

Semyaza turned around. Lahash moved to get closer.

“Tell me, Semyaza. Do I need to know something aside from death for every Angel of Dark and Light? We were made to believe that we only die because of the divine will. The divine fate! But it was a lie after all! So, tell me.”

Semyaza turned to look at the angry Lahash.

“How did you know about our death?”

“There’s no need to know that. It was not so special when I overheard it. So, tell me now. Is the black serpentine stone not the highest rank, more powerful, which we are supposed to believe?”

“The colors go with all our potentials, Lahash. God had designed it to be like that when we were swept away from Heaven. But aside from that, it measures our evolution as well.”

“That’s ridiculous! You mean the black serpentine stone holders are the most evolved among us?”

Semyaza smiled a bit but it faded quickly.

“Yes, but in the wrong way, Lahash. If you say bad and good, the black serpentine stone stands for the bad.”

Lahash swallowed.

“Do you mean that Dantanian is the most evolved good one? He has the lowest ranking color, which is yellow.”

“It’s ironic, isn’t it?”

“I can’t believe this! This is unfair! This is just not right!”

“You can’t do anything about it, Lahash. All you need to do now is the right thing.”

“And what do you mean about it, Semyaza? To protect your son?”

“You owe me that much, Lahash. You intended to kill him the first time. What was with you, anyway?”

“I thought it was against you. I did not want to let any chance slip to get back at you then.” Lahash said truthfully.

“Either way, Lahash it was against me. Were you happy to receive the order then?”

Semyaza and Lahash looked at each other’s eyes for a long moment.

“I am never happy, Semyaza. I just regret why I am here. I regret why I had to help you and Lucifer to go against God.”

“So, that is how you feel after all this time.”

“You promised to make me free. I am never free! I was never free from the very beginning.”

“Yes, you were, Lahash. You were free to choose.”

“I just chose to be free. I did not think it would all go like this… go this way…” Lahash’s voice faded into his own thoughts.

“Whatever you chose, Lahash it should have made you happy. Now, I don’t think you would ever be happy.”

“Huh, how do you know that?”

“I just know it. You are so miserable… more miserable in each passing day.”

Lahash disappeared without a word. He did not wish to hear any more from Semyaza. He hated him so much!

Semyaza just sighed when Lahash disappeared. Then, he went to sit down on his chair. His thoughts strayed to Azza and Alex.

****

Alex was by the pool. He was looking intensely at his ring. Then, the ring shone brightly and once again, he saw the symbols floating randomly. He was getting to know more about each of the symbols.

“It is good that you are studying them more closely,” Dantanian said behind him.

He turned his head at the new comer. Dantanian brought him a tray of biscuits and fresh orange juice. He placed them on a small iron table that was solely for that purpose when Azza used to sit by the pool.

The bright light with the symbols disappeared and Alex went to chair and sat on it.

“Thank you, Dantanian. I just thought I had to take a peek on those symbols again. I still don’t understand why those symbols are so important and that you believe they were so powerful.”

Dantanian sat on the other chair, which was facing him.

“Those are powerful, Alex because they are spiritual symbols. Some of the ancient people used them for their religion, their beliefs in God and the evolvement of their spirits. That’s why, they are so powerful. And they would become more powerful when all your energy, your soul are used for them to manifest some things. For example, you intended to finish Belial by the Cho Ku Rei symbol. Your soul, your energy came with that power symbol of Reiki, which also came from the universe’s energy – that is why, you were able to defeat and finished her off. She must be back to Heaven by now.”

Alex frowned to hear it. “She was bad. Why would she go to Heaven?”

“We are all meant to go to Heaven and be with God as his sons and daughters. People who believe in Hell, there is Hell for them. That is why Lucifer and Semyaza are down there in Hell. To manage those lost poor souls. In reality, there is no Hell. There is only Heaven, where all of us came from. Just that, we all separated from it because we wish to learn some things. As for me and Azza, we wished to be free from Heaven for a while. We were bored. That was why there was a Great Rebellion in Heaven a long time ago. So then, we are here on this primitive Earth. We are sent here to learn things.”

“And what are those things that you learn?” Alex could not understand Dantanian. He grew up to know and believe there is Heaven and there is Hell. Heaven for the good and Hell for the bad ones. He did not even know he was a nephilim, a son of mortal woman and an Angel of Dark and Light.

“Everywhere we go, it is our choice. Whatever we do, it is our choice. Whatever the consequences are, these are the things we learn from them. Just think about the cause and effect principle. We learn from something we choose. We learn something from their results.”

“And what are those things that you learn?” Alex asked again. “Can you tell me?”

Dantanian shook his head.

“I could not put them in words. That is why, Azza and I long to go back to Heaven. We have learned everything we need to know. Even though it is boring in Heaven, it is much boring here when you know all things on Earth. You would feel stuck. The Earth is so primitive that I could cry. But then, it is also enjoyable to get to know some people. We sometimes sympathize with them. I just know that there are also people who are so spiritually evolved that they feel how Azza and I feel – being stuck in here.”

“So, you cannot just go back to Heaven in your will?”

“Yes, because we chose to be parted from there. So, if we could only cross the abyss, we can go back to Heaven.”

“The abyss? Tell me more about it.”

“The abyss is the portal wherein we can enter Heaven. But to those who believe in Hell, they go there instead.”

“So, how would you know if you can go to Heaven? Even if I am bad, I can enter Heaven?”

“If you are bad but wish to enter Heaven, you can. However, you are going to be sent back to Earth to learn good things. That is what the Buddhists call ‘incarnation’. You come back and learn new things. When your soul knows everything and then, you are allowed to choose if you come back to teach people what you know, or you choose to stay in Heaven and serve there for eternity.”

“Do you know where the portal is?”

“Yes, of course.”

“So, why can’t you just enter there with Azza?”

“As I told you, we are not allowed to enter the abyss when it is not yet our time.”

“Do you have to… die to enter it?”

Dantanian shook his head. “No, Alex. Just that, there is something that binds us here on Earth before we can enter the abyss. Our officials in Purgatory had managed to have an agreement with Heaven about it. By the end of this year, one of us is chosen to enter the abyss and never come back. Well, I think that is what all Angels of Dark and Light wish. We have had enough of this primitive world.”

“I don’t think my father and Lucifer agree to that.” Alex said seriously and took one biscuit to munch.

“Oh, right! Maybe not.” Dantanian grinned.

Azza chose to come at that moment with a smiling face. Dantanian smiled at her as he stood up to leave the two lovebirds.

“Hi!” She said to Alex and kissed his lips. “I was looking for you all over the house after I took my shower.”

“Just came here to think and Dantanian came. We just talked a bit.”

Azza sat where Dantanian had sat earlier. She reached out to get one biscuit and chewed with sexiness she was not aware of. Alex looked at her with dreamy eyes and a cute smile. Azza looked at him and her eyebrows rose in question.

“What’s up?” She asked curiously.

“Uhmm… no – nothing really.” Then he took the glass of juice and sipped a bit.

“Come on. Tell me!”

He shook his head with a smile. He was quite shy to tell her.

“Come on, Alex. Tell me! Why did you look at me like that?” She smiled with blushing cheeks.

Alex made up his mind and stood up. He was grinning now and stepped closer to her.

“Did you say you just had a shower?” Then he bent to kiss her ear. She laughed.

“Yeah, I did! So?”

“So, come with me under the shower.”

“Hey, I just changed!”

“Oh, if not…”

“If not, what?”

Alex scooped her in his arms and he jumped in the pool. Azza squealed and laughed when they both came out of the water afterward. She playfully hit him on the chest.

“You’re crazy! I told you I just had a shower and changed into fresh clothes!”

“So what? You still have dry clothes, anyway!” Alex said and embraced her small waist.

“What clothes?” She feigned innocence.

“I liked that red dress you wore when we first met at the hospital.” He said quietly.

Azza smiled at him sweetly as she batted her eyes. “You were afraid then.”

“No, I was surprised!” He said matter-of-factly. “But I was really attracted to you at the time. But I was afraid you were a ghost. I could not bear it then. And I wished to touch your beautiful looking skin.”

Azza laughed. “Just looking beautiful?”

“No, when I first touched you – your skin was so amazingly soft and smooth.” He said seriously with his voice so low and sounded so erotic. “You know you are so beautiful.”

“Not until you said it.” She whispered.

They looked at each other’s eyes deeply. Then, they closed them and as if like magnet, their lips met hungrily. Their tongue encountered and dueled.

In a blink, both of them were in Azza’s bed with their clothes so wet from the water of the pool. It was Alex’s thoughts that ordered his serpentine stone to take them in her room.

They continued kissing and taking off their clothes one by one until they were both naked. They caressed each other’s wet skin. Then, their lips met again and their tongue affectionately touched each other. Their hands roamed around each other’s body and their goal was going downwards. Their breaths were shallow and deep alternately. Feeling the sensation that each other gave to the other.

“I love you,” Azza whispered to Alex.

“I love you, too,” Alex responded in a whisper as well, in between kisses. His hands were cupping her private area and caressed it with love and longing.

Azza moaned softly and she also touched his manhood lightly, massaged it and caressed it. She continued to make a duel with Alex by her tongue. Then, he broke their kiss to kiss her cheek, her ear, the side of her neck and down her left breast. He was teasing her nipple until it stood pertly. She felt him getting more aggressive in caressing her private area. She moaned again and again. She sighed and inhaled deeply.

He parted her legs and positioned himself on top of her. He kneeled between her legs and bent down to kiss her other breast. Azza could not describe the longing in her chest, the feeling he gave her. She desired him so much at this moment. Her love wanted to get out of her chest by giving herself more freely to him. She then felt his manhood caressing her entrance and plunged inside. She moaned some more at each stroke he did inside.

Alex felt himself drowning as he plunged inside her. He also moaned softly at the feel of her. She was so perfect for him. He kissed her mouth as he continued stroking her inside. Their tongue met once again and touched each other lovingly. Their breaths were fast. He kissed her more deeply as he descended precipitously so deeply into her.

Her legs wrapped and caressed his buttocks and behind his legs. She met his every move and her moan was getting louder and louder.

“Oh, Alex…. I love you so much!” She whispered in between their kisses.

She felt him getting faster and faster in stroking her. His eyes were so tightly closed. She opened her eyes and looked at his beautiful face. Her black and white wings appeared and wrapped him lightly until they both released. They felt so whole at that moment, their souls merged as one and their love was consumed.

Her wings disappeared and they were still wrapped in each other’s arms as they lay on the bed. Their hearts was settling down into a normal beat after some minutes that passed.

“So, you cannot say ‘no’ now. You are coming with me in the shower,” Alex whispered to her and kissed her ear playfully.

She lightly pushed him with a smile. “I suppose so. You are forcing me into it.”

Alex chuckled and got up of the bed. She followed him to the bathroom to take a shower together.

****

Allocen appeared in the room. He followed them by his eyes. He looked at the crumpled sheets of the bed. And then, he disappeared a few moments afterward.

Azza felt him but she sighed when he was gone. She could always feel the aura of those she was always had contact with. Alex noticed it but she smiled at him as if to reassure him that everything was fine.

Chapter 12

Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live. ~ Norman Cousins

“Do you know that we’re not nephilims anymore?” Hiya blurted out while they were walking inside the mall. They were following their brother and his girlfriend Azza. They were shopping.

“What?” Hiwa asked in confusion.

“We are the bodyguards of our brother and that Angel of Death.”

Hiwa gave his brother a slight grin that faded quickly.

“Nice! Like we pass as people.” He said and looked everywhere. They could not see anyone who was as tall as they were even with their human form.

“Our mother was a mortal woman, anyway. So we are also people,” Hiya countered.

Hiwa stopped to stare at his brother. “What’s with you right now? You wish to become a normal, powerless human?”

Hiya stopped as well and looked at his brother. He shrugged after thinking a few moments.

“Well, why not? We have a soul just like them.”

“You want to be a slave? Because every human is a slave. The people have to work in the evil system to live. They have to work so they won’t go hungry! Do you understand what that means? They are not free. They are slaves for as long as they live in this primitive world. Have you even thought of that, brother?”

Hiya’s shoulders slumped.

“We are better off as nephilims. At least, we have powers we could use in this evil world! We are stronger than these people. We are protected by our father who has also the power in Hell. Do you get what I mean?” Hiwa continued.

Hiya could not answer it. His brother was right in that point. He turned around and looked for their brother and his girlfriend. When he spotted him, he walked toward him without a word to his older brother, who followed him then.

“I do get what you mean,” Hiya said afterward. “It is just that people do not have any care about this world. They do not know that they are slaves. At least, if I were a normal human, I just know it.”

“Don’t praise yourself. You are saying that because you are a nephilim right now.” Hiwa shook his head with a fake chuckle. “If you were really a human, you would end up like them. A slave without his own mind because it is being brainwashed by the evil system. You are only told to do what the system wanted you to do. You are not free.”

“But, do you think we are free right now? Is it right to stalk our brother to protect him from our enemies?”

“It is our choice to be here because we also want to protect him! We are not here because of our father’s wishes.”

“Is that right? Aren’t we slaves too of our father? We always do as he wishes.”

“It is not called slavery. It is called respect. We respect his wishes.” Hiwa countered.

“Do you really understand me, brother?”

“Sure, I do. And I am trying to make some sense into you. I will ask you a question then and tell me the answer honestly.”

They stopped again and faced each other.

“What is it?” Hiya asked.

“Do you love our brother?” Hiwa asked with his eyes piercing into his brother’s.

Hiya could not answer it right away. He looked at their youngest nephilim brother who was so happy being together with Azza. He looked so happy with her. He seemed to be carefree. Then, he looked at his older brother.

“Yes, I do. He is our youngest brother and our father loves him so, too.”

“Very well, then. Don’t think you are made a slave by our father. We are only doing this for the good of our brother.”

Hiya sighed in defeat. Hiwa had a point again.

“We know very well that father loves him more than us. But it is because of her mother. We cannot make Alex guilty out of it. It is our father’s feeling. We cannot take it away from him. And we cannot deny Alex the protection when we are able to do it for his safety.”

“So, that’s what I’m saying! We are his bodyguards now.”

“Get over it, Hiya! Don’t make me mad! You’re just thinking and talking nonsense!” Hiwa said angrily and stormed out of his brother’s face.

Hiya was astounded but followed him quietly.

****

“So, this one will fit me?” Alex asked smilingly at Azza as he took one polo shirt and showed it to her.

“How would I know if you don’t fit it in the dressing room?” Azza pouted prettily at him that made him smile.

“Oh, right. Will go there now, then,” he said and walked away.

Azza smiled when he left but she followed him and waited for the result.

“So, how is it?” Azza asked outside the dressing room.

“Oh, look,” Alex said when he came out.

Azza raised her eyebrows with a smile. “Not bad!” She said while admiring his body. Her eyes caressed him and he felt it.

“Hey, stop that. Just tell me the truth.” Alex said jokingly.

“Yeah. I told you it’s not bad. You can take it.”

“Alright.” He said and turned around to go back to the dressing room to change.

They walked to the counter to pay for it by his credit card.

“Now, we’ll buy something hot for you,” Alex said with vulgarity.

Azza laughed at him. “I don’t need anything.”

“Oh, really? How come you have sexy dresses?” He asked in real confusion.

“Well, Dantanian made them for me.”

“What?! Dantanian?”

“Of course! He knows about cloths and threads – and the machine, to boot! He can make just anything I imagine to wear.”

“Really?”

“Yeah! Why won’t you believe it?”

“He’s…”

“He’s an Angel of Dark and Light? Yes, but we’ve been here for a very long time. So, he learned everything he wanted to know.”

“That’s really convenient! But…”

“But what?”

“Do you really trust Dantanian that much? Isn’t he…”

Azza laughed at him and hit him by the arm. “Stop it, Alex! He’s not a pervert. He looks after me like his daughter. And he’s more than that. He is also my protector, my butler and anything you can name him – except my lover!”

Alex grinned at that. He knew she was telling him the truth. He could feel it. And of course, he could also see it just by looking at Dantanian. He was like a mother hen to Azza. He saw what the butler did to Lahash when he tried to hit her days ago at some remote past where they fought with Belial and Obyzouth.

“So, we just eat some ice cream, then?” He winked at her.

Azza laughed at him. “Sure. Let’s see who’s going to shake afterwards.”

Alex remembered it was autumn and it was already cold outside. Then he grinned at her all of a sudden.

“Hmm… I think I won’t shiver. I am a nephilim.” He said proudly.

Azza seemed to remember it at that moment and feigned surprise.

“Oh, you are? Alright, we go for ice cream then!”

They entered an ice cream house while Hiya and Hiwa were outside, watching them. They were enjoying the ice cream together that it almost envied by the nephilim brothers.

“I wish I had a girlfriend,” Hiya sighed dreamily.

Hiwa hit him by his elbow targeting his stomach. He doubled over because of the pain. He coughed and stood up straight to face his older brother.

“What was that for?”

“You are going nuts! I don’t know why.” Hiwa shook his head as if already desperate. “Do you really wish to be a normal and powerless human after all these years?”

“I wish…” He said in a low voice.

“No, you can’t. And you know it very well! You will always be a nephilim until you pass over this world.”

“Yeah, right.” Hiya said sadly. “But I can’t kill myself unless another being is doing it for me.”

“Stop this nonsense, Hiya.”

Hiya didn’t say anything more. They watched the lovebirds go out of the ice cream house. Then, they hired a taxi to take them to the botanical garden.

The brothers used their serpentine stone to become invisible. They followed the taxi by just running after it.

“Is this normal?” Hiya asked his brother while they were running.

“What?” Hiwa asked. He did not get what his brother meant. He wanted to think that his brother’s way of thinking had deteriorated for the long stay in this primitive world called Earth.

“Running after that taxi!” The reply.

“Let’s rest that issue, shall we?” Hiwa said strongly. “Just think that we are doing this exercise. Humans do cardio-thing.”

“Yeah, right!” Hiya said, defeated again.

The two lovebirds were strolling in the botanical garden. Admiring the nature around them. Even the two nephilim brothers admired the beauty of the botanical garden. They even wished these were in Hell. They were tired of seeing it so dark and lonely. They were tired in listening the screaming and wailing of the souls that were being burnt in the Lake of Fire. It would be eternity for them. There was no chance for them if they would go on to think of Hell. They would not be able to escape from there if they are convinced that they are going be there forever. Pity poor, ignorant souls, Hiwa thought.

“I think this is the real Paradise of Eden,” Hiya said conversationally to his brother.

“Hmm… maybe you can say that,” Hiwa replied to him quietly.

Then they saw the two lovebirds held hands and smiled at each other.

“Do you like the place?” Alex asked Azza.

She smiled and nodded. “Yeah, very much! It reminds me of the paradise a very long, long, long time ago.”

“Do I know the name of that paradise?”

“Well, it is all over the Bible of the humans. At least, it was very well known to Christians. It was the so-called Paradise of Eden, where all the people came from.”

“So, what can you tell me about the first peoples?”

“What I can say is that, the historians of this world are liars and conspired to the evil system. They say Adam and Eve were the first humans on Earth. The reality is they were not. But, around that time, God exiled them from the paradise and it was at the time that we had the Great Rebellion in Heaven.” She paused.

“It was true that giants were living in this world a very long time ago. The humans now are descendants of the first people, after the last Great Flood, called the Pelasgians. They spread throughout the world, each continent. Their religion, their culture, their beliefs, their way of life were not connected to the Christian religion. They were pagans. They worshipped the sun, the nature… they believed in everything that had souls, energy and life.”

“But Christians believe that all people have souls.”

“Yes, but that’s twisted because of the evil system in the world. The stories were mixed. The evil system added and cut off the others so that no one could trace the real history and be confused. By that, people would believe in their God that they believe in, in this present time. There are Draconians, the Reptilians that are enslaving humankind. Do you know that?”

Alex shook his head. His eyes mirrored confusion. He never had such idea about it. He was one of the brainwashed people on Earth. And now, his angel is giving light into his spirit, his soul, mind and heart.

“These are extraterrestrials. Some of them, the bad race, are living underneath the Earth without the people’s knowledge besides to those who conspired with them and agreed to be used. They wish to rule over the world.”

“So, it isn’t Satan or Lucifer that wants to rule over the world?”

“The Satan you call is not the evil thing that lives here. He has always been in Hell after the Great Rebellion. It is the alien species of this world as you may call them, extraterrestrials, who wish to control this world, the bad race that is. They are the evil ones, not Lucifer or Satan. The people are brainwashed of this so that they will not recognize the real perpetrators. It is the Reptilians or the Draconians that are evil and want to control Earth. The propaganda that’s being advertised around the world now is the so-called New World Order. It says that it is going to unite the world. Yes, in a way, it would. But it would enslave the whole humankind. And I mean, really enslave them.”

“So, how can we save the people?”

Azza shook her head.

“We can’t. It’s their own selves that can save them from all of this. If they only wake up to the reality, they can be saved from slavery and be free from the system and fight against it. I have been waiting all this time that they would say ‘enough’ to the evil system. But no. The people do not seem to wake up. They are still living in this nightmare.”

Alex sighed. He wished to help the people. After all, he had been living with them all his life. He pitied everyone now, especially those who are still sleeping. But what could he do? He was only a nephilim who is targeted to be killed by some Angels of Dark and Light with no apparent reason but greed and power.

He raised Azza’s hand and kissed the back of it.

“I am so lucky to have you.” He whispered and she smiled at him.

They kissed in the middle of the bushes of red, pink, white and yellow roses.

The nephilim brothers looked away and looked at the trees. The birds happily sang as they perched. Some were flying around freely. Then, they looked at the man-made lake. It was so calm, not a wind or a leaf touched its serenity even at that autumn day.

“It is good that Azza opened his eyes,” Hiwa said quietly to his brother.

Hiya just chuckled and glanced at the two lovebirds that started to walk again to look around the botanical garden. Then, they stalked them again.

****

“Wow, what do I owe for this visit?” Dantanian asked Allocen when he appeared in Azza’s kitchen. He took off his apron and placed it on the island table in the kitchen.

“Belial is dead. Do you know why?” Allocen asked him directly.

“That’s no news, Allocen. That’s what… more than a month ago?” Dantanian faced him.

Allocen slowly paced here and there with his hands held behind him.

“Tell me the truth, Dantanian. Was it her time that she died?”

Dantanian shrugged. “How should I know that? We were just fighting, and accidentally, maybe, she was killed by Alex. Maybe it was.”

Allocen swallowed and stopped pacing. He stood before Dantanian and looked him in the eyes.

“Aren’t you going to tell me then, Dantanian?”

“I don’t owe you anything that I will tell you something that’s valuable. Besides, I don’t know why she died.”

“You’re lying!”

“So be it. Well?”

“You should tell me, Dantanian.”

“Or what, Allocen?”

Then, secretly, Dantanian called Azza.

“Are you going to kill me? Can you?” He mocked him.

****

Azza heard Dantanian’s call. He seemed to be in trouble as shown in his voice. She looked urgently at Alex.

“Azza, what is it?”

“Dantanian needs me.”

“Why?”

“I – I think he’s in some kind of trouble at the house. I am not sure why. But let’s hurry before it’s too late!”

****

Lahash appeared in Azza’s kitchen. By his large scythe, Allocen stopped strangling Dantanian. He choked when he was freed.

“What are you doing, Allocen?” Lahash demanded.

“I am trying an… experiment.” Allocen said and straightened himself despite of the large scythe that was threatening to cut his neck.

“What experiment was that, Allocen? Could you share it with me please?” Lahash smiled but it did not reach to his eyes. His voice was so cold.

“He’s trying to kill me!” Dantanian chimed in.

“Oh! Was that, Allocen?” Lahash smiled again with coldness in his eyes. “That was an experiment? And your guinea pig is Azza’s butler? What do you think the keeper will do? Did you think about that, Allocen? Do you think she will not pay attention to this?”

Allocen swallowed a huge lump in his throat. He knew what Azza was capable of. He knew her even from Heaven. None of them didn’t know Azza. They all knew her from the start and how strong she was.

“I asked him something but he refused to say anything,” Allocen said at length.

Then, Azza and Alex appeared. She was confused why Lahash was threatening Allocen by his large and sharp scythe.

“Tell me what’s going on here?” Azza demanded as she stepped closer to Lahash.

Allocen seemed to be relieved when Azza arrived. At least, she would not hurt someone without apparent reason. Unless, that someone deserved it. She was the most fair and she believed in justice and equality.

“He – he tried to kill me, Azza,” Dantanian told her. “Lahash stopped him.”

She turned to Allocen angrily. “Is this true, Allocen?”

“Yes.” He said with gritted teeth.

“Why are you doing this?” She asked him innocently. “Dantanian did not do anything to you.”

“Oh, yes. But he helped your nephilim lover to perish Belial!”

Azza sighed in desperation. She looked at him and she glanced at Lahash before she spoke. “Belial’s time was at that moment.”

Lahash hid his large scythe after she said it. He disappeared after he gave Azza a warning look. She just nodded to him.

“So, there was no hidden truth of her demise?”

“I don’t think we know more than you,” Azza said without answering him straightly. She promised Lahash not to tell Allocen about the reality of death among Angels of Dark and Light. “You are serving in Purgatory, Allocen. You should know better than us, whose job is to take souls into the abyss!”

Allocen sighed. He was lost. But Obyzouth was freaking in Belial’s death. Could it be that she was just overreacting to it? Perhaps she just shied away to protect her own life? But they are immortal!

“I’m sorry, Dantanian,” Allocen apologized to him before he disappeared.

They all sighed when he was gone.

“I thought it was the end of me!” Dantanian said. “You came so late!”

Azza rolled her eyes. “You called me late! From the second Allocen was here, you should have called me right away!”

“Alright. I called you late.” Dantanian turned around to tend the meat he was cooking.

“Dantanian, I’m sorry. But it was good that you did not say anything to him.”

Dantanian just nodded while he continued to pay attention to his cooking.

“I really thought it was the end of me,” he mumbled after a few moments before Azza or Alex would leave the kitchen.

The two of them stopped at that and looked at him pitifully.

“But it was truly good that I did not tell him anything. Or, he would have had finished me in another way. By then, it would have been too late for you to help me or save me.”

Azza sighed again. “If you feel his aura again, you should leave the house.” She advised him.

Dantanian turned around. “Oh, why didn’t I think of that?” He said hysterically.

“Yes, why not?”

“Because I goddamn tried to calm myself and hoped that you would come fast! So… okay, I will leave the house when I feel him next time.”

Azza looked at him with anger but she just let go of this matter, especially when Alex touched her shoulder. She then calmed down and they both disappeared from the kitchen.

Dantanian shook his head and continued with what he was doing at the time.

Chapter 13

Death is for many of us the gate of hell; but we are inside on the way out, not outside on the way in. ~ George Bernard Shaw

Beelzebub was pacing here and there in his room while his accomplices, Obyzouth, Allocen, Barbatos and Asmodeus, were looking at him. They were seated on a flaming couch. Nobody felt the heat of the fire because of their serpentine stone.

“Until now, you were not able to perish that nephilim! What is so special with him? You failed to tell me that Azza became his lover!” Beelzebub’s eyes were practically flaming with blue color because of his anger.

“How do you know that, Beelzebub?” Allocen asked calmly.

“Belial told me once. Until now, I cannot believe that she has already departed from the Earth because of that nephilim. So, anybody knows why did that happen?”

His four accomplices looked at each other.

“I was there when she died,” Obyzouth said in a low voice. “I, myself, could not believe it when she was gone! But then, nobody told me why. It could be the divine will that was why she had that fate.”

“Exactly what happened?” Beelzebub inquired.

“It was Alex, the nephilim, that killed her. He used such powerful symbols that not one of us possessed. I believe that Semyaza had that hidden powers before and passed them onto his youngest son.” Obyzouth informed him.

“And as Allocen described, you were so distraught. You thought that Azza wished to tell you some secret about Belial’s death and Lahash stopped her.”

“Yes,” she confirmed. “I know Azza. We all know her. I believed that she had something that she wanted to tell me if it were not Lahash.”

“So, if Lahash is in our way, better…” Asmodeus started to speak.

“No. No!” Obyzouth appealed. “He is on his own, he doesn’t really take sides.”

“Of course he was, Obyzouth!” Barbatos said. “He was in fact… your lover and he followed Allocen’s and your wishes a long time ago. Don’t tell me that he did not take your side at that time?”

Obyzouth was not able to say anything. She just gasped at Barbatos’ vulgarity.

“Do not dig into it, Barbatos,” Allocen said calmly. “It was a long time ago. Besides, Lahash is just like an ant that is so annoying. He is just small compared to us, our powers and our forces combined together.”

“You should have tried to kill him a long time ago, Allocen. Perhaps, if it is already the divine will and we’re lucky, he will be perished!” Asmodeus said with his fists shook in the air. “We will not know if we will not try.” He said facing them.

“He is right,” Beelzebub said. “Eliminating the Angels of Dark and Light that surround that nephilim should be our first step. And you have to do it right away. Don’t waste any time! The end of the Earth’s year is fast approaching.”

Obyzouth did not like the idea of killing her ex-lover, Lahash. After all, she still felt something for him even after the long years they had been separated from each other. She could still remember all the things they shared together. Lahash was a very good lover. She loved him then. And she still loved him until this day. She never had any lover except him. And she knew that Lahash was the same. Even though she detected that something was going on between Lahash and Azza, it was just recently. However, Lahash had no chance with Azza when she already had her nephilim lover at the moment.

Who knows if Azza’s feelings would change for that nephilim? But then, no one could ever stop her if she already made up her mind. They knew she was strong then and she still is. They wondered how God made her that even the vilest warrior Archangel Michael could not defeat her.

She could go on fighting without tiresome. Her strength never faded. She was so focused then. Then, a thought came into Obyzouth. What if she would distract Azza by the nephilim? She was keeping this idea to herself. It might be thwarted if others learned about it.

“So, that is the plan?” Barbatos prompted after a few moments.

Beelzebub stopped pacing and faced them all. “Yes, that is it. Eliminate all that surround that nephilim. Being a group should suffice. I realized that to send only one of you would be difficult knowing that Azza is so strong compared to us, even if combined. However, we may stand a chance if we are in a group. You should target first the weakest of them. You do know who it is. I am going to wait for some progress next time we meet. Or, I shall confiscate your serpentine stone.”

His accomplices agreed. Obyzouth was still devising her own plan. She was hoping that it would do her good. If not, she might perish for all she knows.

****

Semyaza looked at Lucifer straight in the eyes. He was called into his presence to ask him some things that he heard around Hell. It seemed that only he, Lucifer, was not in the loop. He should ask his Heir in Hell to confirm these hearsays.

They stood facing each other at Lucifer’s throne located at the east side of the Lake of Fire. Then, the ruler of Hell took the three steps of stairs that were made of gold and silver toward his huge chair, as his throne. The throne was made of pure quartz that glistened from the light of the Lake of Fire.

“Tell me what I need to know, Semyaza,” Lucifer asked in a calm voice. It was so cold that it seemed that Semyaza felt the chill.

He used his power of the serpentine stone to not be affected of Lucifer’s energy. With that, he could concentrate on having a conversation with him.

“Well, for starters I do not know the reason why my youngest son is going to be assassinated by some fellow Angels of Dark and Light. No one has really informed me about it.”

“So, you sent your two sons after your youngest son?”

“Yes, for his protection.”

“So, I heard that Azza is involved in this. Is it true?”

“Yes, Lucifer. It is true. In fact, she is the one assigned as the Angel of Dark and Light to take my son into the abyss.”

“And, you do not wish him to die?”

“It is not yet his time.”

“So I heard.”

“What is the purpose of this meeting, Lucifer? You want to help my son?” Semyaza’s voices showed impatience.

Lucifer laughed at that question.

“Semyaza, that is your affair. Not mine.”

“So, why are you questioning me?”

“Because I want to know. Hell is my domain.”

“Keep it that way.”

“I need to know whatever that goes around here! I am the ruler of this domain. Nobody should keep a secret from me!”

“I certainly did not keep any secret from you. Didn’t I tell you everything now?”

Lucifer laughed.

“Because I asked you just now. I thought you would tell me in your own time.”

“Yes, this is my own time now. So, I am telling you the truth when you asked.”

“Semyaza, you’re such an insulting being. Anyway, you are still the Heir of Hell. I could not give that privilege to any other Angel of Dark and Light around here. You still possess whatever you had in the past. That, I am amazed. And, you are loyal to me. You are not even devising to throw me out of this throne, are you?”

It was Semyaza’s turn to laugh. His five voices showed pleasure at that.

“That is the most insane idea I have ever heard of, Lucifer. Thank you for making me laugh.”

Lucifer smiled approvingly at Semyaza.

“Of course. We were in the Great Rebellion together after all. I trusted you then and I trust you now.”

“I will not thank you for saying that. I am who I am. You know me, Lucifer. I will never betray you. And I believe that you will never betray me. We’ve been friends for a very long time now. Whenever I recall what we did in Heaven, it somehow brings a smile to my lips despite of our banishment. I never experienced such a good friendship with you for a very, very long, long time – through thick and thin.”

Lucifer nodded with a smile. “I agree, Semyaza. However, it seemed that we talked last some thousands of years ago even though we are both here in Hell. We seem to be so busy lately. I reckon, especially now that your son is threatened by our fellow Angels of Dark and Light. So, tell me who is behind this.”

“I am not even sure. I just know that Belial was together with Allocen and Obyzouth. I don’t know if they still have more accomplices and who leads them in trying to kill my son.”

“How do you know it is them?”

“Lahash told me everything. But, I see that it wasn’t everything since he did not know anything more than he told me. I believe him.”

“Oh, I was about to ask you that.”

Semyaza shook his head with a smile. “We still have that telepathy, Lucifer.”

Lucifer nodded again with a smile. “Just tell me if you need my help, my friend. Do not take at heart when I told you earlier that this is your affair.”

Semyaza shook his head. “Thank you for the proposal but there is no need. I believe in Azza to keep my son alive at least until his day is over, which is on the day when the current Earth’s year is going to end.”

Lucifer nodded with a smile. His handsome face was emitting trust to his long-time and only friend Semyaza.

“Just the same, I am at your disposal if you ever need my help.”

Semyaza nodded curtly with a slight smile. He then left Lucifer to go back to his own chambers. There, he paced to and fro, thinking. It was still a puzzle for him who in Hell wanted to kill his beloved son Alex.

****

“Dantanian, take a look at Alex while I am out,” Azza told his butler one day. They were at the kitchen at that moment.

Dantanian looked at her in puzzlement. His face frowned. “Why? Where are you going? Can I contact you right away?”

“Don’t worry. I asked Lahash to look around,” Azza said.

Dantanian just nodded and watched Azza disappeared from the kitchen. Then, he looked at the table, still wondering where Azza would go.

“Have you seen Azza?” Alex popped up in the kitchen.

Dantanian turned his head to look at Alex and answered. “She said she will go somewhere. I don’t know where. She didn’t say.”

“Where could she be?”

“I have no idea. I can just guess.”

“Where?”

“In Purgatory.”

Alex’s eyes widened. He didn’t know there was such a place indeed.

“In Purgatory? What is her business there?”

“I am not sure what her business is there. It is seldom that she goes there. Usually, it is only when there is a meeting of all Angels of Dark and Light. Or, she wants to talk with her father figure there. That’s my best guess.”

“With who?”

“Azza didn’t tell you that she has a father-like aside from God?”

Alex shook his head slowly. “No, she didn’t tell me. Who is it? Do I know him? Did I meet him already?”

“No. I don’t think so. His name is Buer. Ever since the Great Rebellion, he had been watching over her like a father does to his daughter.”

“Are you sure that’s their relationship?” Alex queried with his brows drawn together.

Dantanian laughed for a moment and shook his head.

“Why? You’re only Azza’s boyfriend. That’s temporary, nephilim.”

“Do you think that what I feel for Azza is only temporary. Don’t tell me something like that, Dantanian. Perhaps you don’t know how we feel for each other…”

“Of course I know. But you are going to die at the end of this year. You’re going to break my keeper’s heart! If it weren’t for you, our lives wouldn’t be in danger!”

Alex was astounded.

“Dantanian! How dare you say that?”

“Yeah, I dare to say it. You changed the life of my keeper. I knew she was bored here. When you came along, you light up her life. But what if you die, nephilim? Do you know what will happen to her? No. I don’t think you know. She would be more miserable than ever!”

Alex could not say anything after he heard this. He just knew that Dantanian poured some ill feelings he had because of what happened recently. He could not blame him after all. He turned away then.

Dantanian blinked and he felt guilty on the words he let out of his mouth. The nephilim left him in his own thoughts then.

****

“Buer,” Azza called him when she arrived at his office in Purgatory.

Buer, who was in his hooded black robe turned around to face her. He didn’t shed his current form as he spoke with her.

“Yes, Azza. Anything you want from me?”

“I just want to confirm with you on something.”

“Yes?”

Azza could not say it directly. Her eyes roamed around the room before she spoke again. She looked at him again.

“I want to know if you know anything about the ones who want to kill Alex. The assignment you gave me, remember?”

Buer floated closer to her. She looked at the hollow black hood.

“I know not the affairs of Hell, Azza. You know that very well.”

Azza swallowed. She blinked twice before she spoke again. “But are you aware that Allocen and Obyzouth are behind it? I am sure there is still another being who’s involved in this. The one who gives the orders.”

“I don’t mess with other’s affairs, Azza. All I think is you and your happiness.”

She swallowed again and ran her tongue over her lips. “If that is it, Buer please help me discover who’s behind in all the things that has been happening to my assignment. I want to understand, Buer. I would be happy if you could do me a favor.”

Buer transformed into his human form and they stared at each other.

“Is this nephilim your happiness, Azza?” He asked her seriously. His expression was that of concern for her.

She couldn’t look at him directly. She looked down at her feet when she spoke.

“Yes, Buer. He is my happiness now. I never felt so alive. I never felt empty since I found out that I love him.” Her eyes shone with love for Alex.

Buer could see it clearly in her eyes.

“But he is your assignment, Azza. You will not be together forever.” He said sensibly to her. “By the end of the Earth’s current year, he should die.”

Azza closed her eyes for a moment before she looked at Buer again.

“Why did you give me him as my assignment, Buer? Why? Didn’t you foresee that I would fall in love with him?”

Buer shook his head. “I am sorry, Azza. I didn’t.”

“But you should have known better, Buer. I blame you for making me fall in love with Alex! I should have been better off without him in my life. But now that he is, there is no turning back. There is nothing in the world that I am not willing to give up just to be with him forever! Do you know how it feels, Buer? Do you?”

Buer swallowed and blinked. He could feel how she felt right at that moment. He could empathize with her. But what could he do? It was meant to let go of Alex at the end of this year. He should no longer be on Earth after that day. He was destined for a mission in his next incarnation. Even though with that fact, he knew that it would not be the same for Azza and for Alex. There were just some things that could not be done or undone.

“I do feel how you feel, Azza. I am sorry. I feel guilty to give you him as your assignment. But I didn’t think it would go this way. It became complicated as it is already. I should have had assigned this order to someone else.”

“It’s too late now, Buer. Just tell me what we should do now. And I ask you a favor. I hope that you would tell me who’s behind in all of this except Allocen. I just know that there is someone else aside from him. It should be someone from Hell. But I cannot figure it out right now. But I am sure that it is not Lucifer. He is a good friend to Semyaza.”

“Are you saying that either Beelzebub, Barbatos, Asmodeus or anyone else who is in Hell could have something to do with the plan of killing the nephilim?”

“Yes, I do. I am sure of that, Buer.” She nodded vehemently.

“Alright, I will help you find out who is behind all this.” Buer agreed at last.

“Thank you, Buer! I will owe you this one forever.” She smiled at him trying to hold back her tears.

Buer embraced her lightly and she felt better.

“Just always be strong, Azza. You know that you are ever since in Heaven. I just wish that it will be you who is going to enter that abyss at the end of Earth’s year so that you can be together with that nephilim.”

Azza nodded happily. How she wished that now. But what if she were not chosen? She would be left alone in the world without Alex. It would never be the same then. She shook her head to chase away that negative thought. She did not want to manifest it – ever.

“Would you help me to enter the abyss, Buer?” She asked after a few moments of thinking that question.

“I am sorry, Azza. I cannot promise you that but I will try to ask Baraqel if that is possible.”

“I am not sure what I will do without Alex, Buer. Maybe I will kill myself just to be with him so that I can go back to Heaven and meet him there.”

“What are you talking about, Azza? Why kill yourself? You know that…”

“I know that what we are made to believe is a lie, Buer. Don’t lie to me as well!”

Buer could not speak. His eyes widened to what she said. He did not know that Azza learned the truth about their death.

“Who told you that, Azza? How did you know?”

“It’s not important who told me and how I know it. I just need your help. Tell me when you know who is behind Alex’s death plan.”

“What if you know who it is? Would you stop him? Could you?”

Azza gave him a smile and a nod. “I don’t think I can stop them from killing Alex. Just that I need time until his fated time to leave the Earth.”

“But don’t you think that this is already his fate?”

“Yes, I know, Buer. Don’t throw it on my face. I just need more time – more time to be with him! I don’t know if we can be together again once he is gone. You and I are not sure yet if I can enter the abyss on that same day! Just give me this gift, Buer. I plead you.”

Buer held her shoulders as he looked into her eyes. “I promise to investigate who’s behind in all this. I do not wish to see you suffer after this. I don’t!”

They embraced each other again. Azza’s heart fluttered to feel that she was safe with Buer. She was assured that everything would be fine whenever Buer is there for her. She believed in him. She believed that he could make things right after all this bad fate for Alex.

****

“What? You don’t know why Azza is in Purgatory?” Allocen echoed what Obyzouth said to him. They were at his office at the time.

“How should I know? Buer is very secretive. Whenever Azza is here, he is casting a spell not to be eavesdropped. They are really close, you know it.” Obyzouth explained.

Allocen was breathing so fast. How could they defeat Azza when Buer was behind her all the time? And for sure, Baraqel would take side with Buer. They have been friends since they were assigned together in Purgatory. Both of them were not the type to betray each other.

“So, how can we defeat Azza now?” Obyzouth asked him his own question in his head.

He looked at her as if she had read his mind. But he did not allow her to read his thoughts. They were his alone.

“Just focus on Dantanian first. He is the weakest of them all.”

Obyzouth looked at him with penetrating looks. Then she nodded slowly. She disappeared to take a look at Dantanian. She was invisible in his eyes as she followed him while he did his chores in the house.

She smiled as she realized that Dantanian was a loyal servant to Azza. She wondered how she did it. It seemed that everybody was loyal to her.

Dantanian looked behind him. However, he could not see who it was. He was sure he knew that aura but could not determine whose aura was that. He knew he recently met that aura.

“Show yourself!” He demanded.

Obyzouth smiled. She didn’t know that he was sharp, too. Considering the yellow serpentine stone he possessed, it was amazing he could detect that there was someone with him around the house.

“Allocen?” He asked in a wild guess. He didn’t hear anything that confirmed it was him. “Hiya? Hiwa?” Then, “Buer?” but he frowned. It was impossible because he was almost sure that Azza was with him right now in Purgatory. And most importantly, Buer would not disguise himself invisible if he wished to talk with him. “Ah, I think I know who it is. So, you better show yourself now!”

Obyzouth’s eyes widened.

Chapter 14

You will never find that life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping. ~ The Epic of Gilgamesh

“Obyzouth?” Dantanian stepped backward when she showed herself.

She was grinning madly at him when she appeared. She wanted to surprise him, too. An idea was lurking at the back of her mind.

“So, you knew it was me?” She promptly asked him.

“Y-yes. And why are you here?”

Obyzouth laughed sexily but it chilled Dantanian to the bones. She summoned her water sword. His eyes grew large when he saw it. He summoned his tussah as well. When the water sword was coming toward him, he quickly wrapped his tussah around it until the sword was broken.

“Pretty effective, Dantanian,” she praised him with a smile but with an evil glint in her eyes. “Come on, Asmodeus! I need a hand here.”

Asmodeus, an ugly monster-like human appeared. He was grinning like a mad dog, watching Dantanian’s eyes grew wide. His heart was thumping so hard against his chest. He barely called Lahash in his mind.

Lahash appeared right away and assessed what was in the scene he arrived at. His large scythe was ready in his hands when he arrived. He looked at Asmodeus as if it was the first time he saw him.

“So, you are also in the team after all,” he said calmly. He glanced at the shaken Dantanian. Of course he was no match to these two. No wonder he asked him for help. But, where the hell was Azza? Why was she leaving her butler all alone again? Was she with Alex again? His teeth gritted. “Where is Azza?” He asked the butler.

He shrugged at him and then, Alex appeared. Lahash was confused. So, the nephilim was in the house after all.

“Where is Azza, nephilim?” Lahash demanded Alex.

Obyzouth laughed sexily. He turned to her. Everybody turned to look at her. She seemed to be mad!

“Azza? Where is she?” Obyzouth mimicked and laughed. “Well, I tell you where.”

Lahash and Alex furrowed their brows. Dantanian was still looking panicky to look at the two nasty Angels of Dark and Light.

“So, where is she?” Lahash asked her through gritted teeth.

“Well, I change my mind. I think it is no use of you to know where she is right now. All I know is that she is busy!” Obyzouth replied. “Asmodeus, do me a favor, please.”

Asmodeus’ mouth opened so wide. Alex’s thought whispered his ring to take them all at Monument Valley. It was located at the region of northeastern Arizona and southeastern of Utah. It was notable for its amazing scenic rock formations. He did not wish to bother the people around Beverly Hills. Better to have their fight brought in the scenic beauty of Monument Valley.

“Wow, this nephilim is adorable!” Obyzouth admired the scenic formations of rocks in the place they were taken.

Lahash sighed. “Bring this fight on then!” He butted in.

“Well, darling. Why can’t you wait?” Obyzouth said almost in a whisper. She floated near him in a blink of an eye but was gone afterward. She was perched on top of the big rocks, laughing, with her water sword floating in front of her, threatening the nephilim, her ex-lover and the butler.

Asmodeus laughed too. But it was not chilling but scary. His mouth opened wide again. They knew that he was going to suck their energy. Just that, Alex did not know it.

“Alex, be careful,” Lahash warned him.

“What? Why?” He asked and about to show his powers.

“Don’t use your symbols. They won’t do on Asmodeus. He will suck your powers and render you useless and powerless. Let me face him. You and Dantanian can take on Obyzouth.”

Dantanian and Alex nodded. Dantanian summoned his sharp whip and handed it over to Alex.

“You use this and I’ll use my tussah.”

“Are you sure?” He was unsure if Dantanian was thinking right. It was not easy to hand him the weapon that Dantanian had his powers relayed.

“Yes, I’m sure. If I will die today, let Azza know that I never meant to question her feelings and – and… everything!”

Alex frowned at him. “Don’t say that to me. Tell that to Azza!”

Alex tested the sharp whip. The soil that was touched by it cracked. Alex and Dantanian jumped simultaneously to attack Obyzouth. But her sword was coming toward them in a very high speed. Dantanian barely dodged. Then, they saw it coming back speedily.

****

Hiwa felt that he was summoned by Semyaza. He told his brother that he would go to Hell for a short time. Hiya nodded. They both had no idea what happened in the house. And they could not feel their brother’s aura nearby.

“What is it, father?” He respectfully questioned his father.

“Your brother got away under your nose without your knowing. Go after him. I know he is in trouble.”

“Where is he, father?”

“I’ll send you and Hiya there now.”

Hiwa disappeared from Hell so did Hiya across Azza’s house. They both appeared in Monument Valley. They looked down to see Lahash was there, facing Asmodeus. They looked at each then.

“Asmodeus is part of this?” Hiya asked his brother.

“Looks like it.” Hiwa confirmed.

Hiwa saw the water sword behind Dantanian and Alex. It looked like it was going to hit Dantanian at the back. He quickly summoned his silver crossbows and targeted the sword by his arrow. It was so fast that it hit the sword and broke it. However, the sword already grazed at Dantanian’s back. He quietly groaned and his face twitched in pain.

“Dantanian! Are you alright?” Alex asked him with concern.

Dantanian forced a smile and nodded.

“I’m sorry, Dantanian. Were you hit?” Obyzouth feigned concern then she laughed. “Let us see if it is already the divine will and you will die. Maybe I forgot to tell you that my water sword has a poison now?”

Alex and Dantanian’s eyes grew wide when they looked at each other. Dantanian felt a strong, persistent pain at his back, missing the spinal cord. They looked at Obyzouth with a mocking smile on her face. She floated to get closer to them. Her black wings were flapping calmly in the air.

“Did you hear that?” Hiya asked his brother.

“Yes, I think Dantanian won’t have any chance now. I was too late.” Hiwa sighed and shook his head.

Hiya tapped his brother’s shoulder. “It isn’t your fault.”

“Yeah, I know. But it is a pity. He was very loyal to Azza and in fairness to him, he is reliable for he protected our brother.”

Hiwa was sighting Obyzouth by his arrow. By then, she looked at him with angry eyes.

“How dare you, nephilim! What did you do to my water sword?” She shouted angrily as she could not revive her water sword.

Hiwa smiled at her without humor. “I just upgraded my arrows, Angel of Death! You wish to test them now?”

Hiya nodded also in satisfaction. They were making fun of Obyzouth now while Lahash was busy fighting against Asmodeus.

Obyzouth summoned another water sword. However, Alex whipped it by Dantanian’s weapon. Alex asked Dantanian through telepathy to change the whip into a tussah. Dantanian nodded and in an instant the whip changed into a tussah. The tussah crushed the second water sword of Obyzouth.

Dantanian’s lips turned into blue. His skin was quite violet and his skin began to wrinkle angrily. He twitched his face in pain again and again. He could feel pain in every crease of his skin.

“I don’t think I will manage another half an hour, Alex,” Dantanian whispered to him in pain. His breath was shallow and fast.

“No, Dantanian! Listen to me. We’ll get through this!”

“No, you won’t!” Obyzouth chimed in and laughed. She faced the other two nephilims now and floated closer to them, leaving Alex and Dantanian. “You won’t ever get through this!” Then, she went away to get closer to Hiwa and Hiya with a laugh. “That includes you two, nephilims!” She pointed a finger at their direction.

Hiwa let go of his three arrows at the same time. However, Obyzouth was quick enough to dodge all of those three. Then, Hiya helped by throwing his two sickles toward her. She managed again to get away from those. She was laughing all the time as if they were playing a game.

Dantanian on the other hand, closed his eyes. Alex became more alert and concerned. He shook him roughly so that the butler would stay awake.

“Dantanian! Don’t sleep!” He looked at his tired, aged face.

Dantanian half-closed his eyes and forced a smile at Alex. “Thank you, nephilim. I never thought your kind is not powerful enough. I will leave you my weapons. You can use them anytime. Just call them into mind and they will be of your disposal. For now, I have to rest. I do not feel so good. Every cell of my body is painful. My serpentine stone is not working so much now.”

Alex nodded and tried to control his tears. Then, he looked up at the flying Obyzouth.

He summoned Dantanian’s weapon, the tussah. Without Obyzouth’s knowledge, for she was busy with his two older brothers, he extended the tussah toward her and wrapped her quickly tightly in the tussah like a mummy. Her low moaning let them know that she was in pain. Her wings were tightly wrapped as well and they were sliced thinly, so was her body.

Asmodeus happened to see Obyzouth’s demise. He thought there was no chance for him too. Lahash, even though with his lower ranking serpentine stone, proved to be strong. He was confused now. Why was this happening? It was not like this before. He decided to leave the battleground.

Lahash sighed in relief. He looked around and saw Obyzouth’s current state. He felt pity on her but there was no way he could let her escape again. His wings appeared and he flew toward her. His scythe cut off her head. The red serpentine stone was broken. Thus, the end of her life, too. She imploded and turned into dust. She was gone in a blink of an eye after that.

Everyone looked at him. He flew toward Dantanian and he whispered to him.

“Dantanian, she’s gone.” He placed the butler’s head into his arm as if to cuddle him comfortably.

Dantanian tried so hard to open his eyes with a forced smile.

“I wish to see Azza for the last time,” he whispered into Lahash’s ear.

Lahash looked at Alex and looked up at his brothers that were standing next to him now.

“Call Azza” Lahash demanded.

Hiya was gone in an instant to fetch her. At that moment, Azza just got back from Purgatory and was surprised to see the giant nephilim in her house.

“What’s this all about?” She asked.

“Just come with me.”

Azza did not trust him so much but she agreed. She was taken to Monument Valley and her eyes seemed to pop out when she saw Dantanian’s state in Lahash’s arms.

“Dantanian! What happened, Lahash? Tell me!” She demanded as she ran toward her loyal butler.

She realized that Alex was squatting next to him and his other brother, Hiwa, was standing nearby.

Dantanian looked at her straight in the eyes.

“I did not follow your instruction. I did not leave the house when I felt the enemy’s aura. She got me, Azza. I am sorry. I have been…”

“Shhh… don’t say that, Dantanian. I am asking Lahash what is going on.” Her tears were threatening to fall down to her cheeks but she tried her hardest not to cry.

“Obyzouth managed to hit him in the back by her water sword.” Hiwa explained. “I could not destroy the water sword in time.” His shoulders dropped as he said it to Azza.

Azza swallowed as he told her the story.

She glanced at Alex who was quite. His thoughts were shielded against anyone. Then, she looked down at her pitiful butler. His face contorted because of the pain.

“Dantanian…” She called out his name.

“My Lady Angel Azza, I am so sorry for the things I said or do…” Dantanian whispered but Azza shook her head. “I shall wait for you in Heaven. I will continue to serve you there. Goodbye…” Then, he stopped breathing. His body turned to dust and slowly disappeared into nothingness.

It was then that Azza let go of her tears as she cried her butler’s name. Lahash embraced her slightly and clapped her back a bit. She embraced him in return and let go of her tears some more. She was lamenting on Dantanian’s demise.

Alex blinked and held back his tears. He did not wish to see Azza at such pitiful moment. He looked at his brothers, who were looking at him. Then, as if they had telepathy, all three of them disappeared, leaving Lahash and Azza behind. They went to Hell to see their father.

Lahash knew that the nephilim got jealous but he did not care one little bit. He felt that Azza wished to be with him now rather than with her nephilim lover, which was just quite right for him. Then, she decided to go to Purgatory again and transported herself and Lahash there.

“Azza!” Buer was surprised to see her back in so a short time and with Lahash this time. “What is the matter?”

“Dantanian is gone,” she whispered and covered her face as she cried again and again, not minding Buer or Lahash.

It was the first time they saw her broke down. They understood it because Dantanian had been with her for a very long time and they both loved each other as keeper and butler. Their loyalty and care for each other were so deep.

“Would you mind if I stay here for a while?” Azza asked him and sat down on a couch.

Buer stepped closer to her and nodded. “Anytime you wish to leave, it is fine. Azza, I just want you to know that I am always here for you when you need me. Okay?”

She nodded and ignored Lahash.

Buer turned to Lahash at that moment and faced him fully. His words were plain and simple. He made his voice lower so as not to let Azza hear his words when he spoke.

“Where is the nephilim?” He asked the Angel of Dark and Light, who always intervened the divine will.

“Only God knows where he is and his brothers are,” he answered with gritted teeth.

“I see you lost your respect towards me, Lahash. But don’t let me be the one who is going to destroy you. I care for Azza and her feelings. How about you?!”

“Come on, Buer. The nephilim is not right for Azza.”

“Do you know who’s right for her? Don’t tell me it’s yourself now, Lahash. You are not meant for Azza. You were not meant for her either.”

“Save me from those words, Buer! I don’t care what you think or say!”

“Is it because you lost Obyzouth a long time ago? You wished Azza to replace her?” Buer sent those words like sharp knives. Lahash winced because Buer stroke that painful part of him. “You will never have Azza’s heart, Lahash. Remember that. You should know your place.”

In an instant, Buer sent him to Hell. Even though he tried to go back to Purgatory, it seemed that Buer blocked him. He looked around him.

****

“My sons!” Semyaza was so happy to see his three sons when they entered his bed chambers. His arms were wide open to welcome them all. “I am so happy to see you safe and sound.”

“Father,” the three of them answered.

“So, how was the little battle you had today?” Semyaza asked them calmly. He went to fetch some wine from a nearby table. He handed his sons each a goblet that was full with wine.

“Obyzouth is gone at last, father,” Hiya said proudly as if he was the one who finished her up.

Semyaza nodded with a smile pasted on his face. “Very good! She was not needed in Purgatory, anyway. Good riddance!”

Silence. He watched his sons drank from the clay goblet. Then, he turned to his youngest and beloved son Alex.

“So, Alex. What else happened? Could you tell me, son?”

Alex blinked after he sipped the wine from the goblet. He looked up at his father who was looking at him intensely. He glanced at his brothers before he answered.

“Dantanian is gone.” He started and swallowed. He tried not to cry in front of their father. He had to be strong. He even refused to think about Azza for he was jealous of Lahash. But, he did not wish to let the others know how he felt at this time.

Semyaza looked at his other two sons who nodded to confirm what Alex said.

“How did this happen? Where was Azza?” He wanted to know.

“Azza was somewhere. Dantanian thought she was in Purgatory with Buer.” Alex stated.

“What else happened?”

“I saw him died, father. It was really a loss of a friend that I began to have. He was so good that he even gave me his weapons to protect myself.” Alex said and turned away to let go of his tears. “And… and Azza came with Hiya. I couldn’t bear to see her cry!”

Semyaza glanced at his two sons and stepped closer to his youngest son. He touched his shoulder but his son did not turn around.

“I know how you feel, son and I am sorry. I didn’t see her cry even from Heaven and the whole time she was on Earth. It must be so painful to lose her butler that she cried.”

Alex nodded in agreement.

“But why are you not with her? Maybe she would feel better if you were with her.” Semyaza suggested.

Hiwa and Hiya shook their head. Their father saw it. His eyes inquired them.

“It seemed that she preferred Lahash with her,” Hiya said sadly.

“Not really,” Lahash’s voice was at the doorway.

All of them turned around to look at him. He stepped inside and closed the door of Semyaza’s room.

“Why are you here?” Hiwa demanded as he blocked his way.

“Well, it is not really my choice!” Lahash shrugged. “Buer sent me here and I am banned to go to Purgatory for the time being.”

Lahash helped himself with wine. Then, he looked at Alex who dried his tears before he turned around to look at the newcomer Angel of Dark and Light.

“I see you are here, too,” he said to Alex.

“My father is here,” Alex answered. “I belong with him, anyway.”

Hiya and Hiwa looked at each other with a wicked smile on their faces.

“Lahash, where is Azza now?” Semyaza asked curiously. He paced around the room as if he had all the time in the world.

Lahash turned to look at Semyaza. His face was stoic. “Oh, she’s in Purgatory with Buer to heal her wounded heart.”

“I see. And you cannot heal her heart?” Semyaza asked with a grin.

Lahash’s brows were drawn together while the two older nephilims grinned at him. He was sick of them.

“I must say, you are so unlucky, Lahash. You were always at Azza’s shadow whether she knew it or not. However, she did not take a serious look at you – ever! Now, you are hurting her by taking her away from my son, who loves her dearly.”

“Huh! What do you know about love, Semyaza?” Lahash countered with gritted teeth.

Semyaza’s five voices rang with a laugh all over the room. He stopped pacing and faced Lahash. His faced was serious now.

“Of course I know it, Lahash! It seems that it is you who doesn’t know what love is. What was your relationship with Obyzouth? You know what I think it was? I think it was just lust! Merely lust! And what you feel for Azza now? Tell me the truth, Lahash.”

Lahash could only stare at Semyaza. He could not answer it. He wanted to believe it was love he felt for Azza. She was different from Obyzouth. Then, he glanced at his adversary’s three sons. They were looking at him intensely.

“I do not need to explain to you, Semyaza.”

Semyaza grinned at that and shook his head. “Of course you can’t.”

Lahash’s eyes practically blazed with fire. The nephilims were alert and ready. If he wanted to hurt their father, they were ready to defend him.

Semyaza waved a hand to calm his sons.

“This is nothing, my sons. Lahash is just… upset. It is because… he could never have Azza’s heart.”

“If you have no more to say to us, Lahash, better you leave now.” Hiwa warned the Angel of Dark and Light.

Lahash looked at them. The fire in his eyes was gone. He gulped the remaining wine in his goblet. He threw it to the Lake of Fire and it burst there. He then turned around to face the family of Semyaza.

“I don’t feel so good right now. You are right, Hiwa. I will leave now.”

He disappeared and appeared at the exit of Hell. He saw from the entrance that Asmodeus was talking with Barbatos. Both were looking so upset and worried at the same time.

Then, Lahash decided to leave Hell. He did not wish to be in trouble but ever since he took the order from Allocen, he was in a chain of troubles. He did not wish to regret all this because in a way, he was thankful to be nearer to Azza.

Chapter 15

Have the courage to live. Anyone can die. ~ Robert Cody

Alex returned to Azza’s house. It was so empty without Dantanian or Azza. He wondered if she was still with Buer right now after so many days had passed. She did not even send a word for him in Hell. She did not even visit there to find him.

Everyday, he felt worse and worse. It seemed that his relationship with Azza became more difficult as the days went by. Could he and Azza be happy ever again? Could they still be together after all this had ended? He wished so hard that it would be like as the day they were holding hands and walking together at the botanical garden.

He slowly walked toward the pool and he could see himself and her in the pool, swimming happily – kissing and... he shook his head to shove the memories away. He did not wish to think of those so that he would feel worse. It was as if those happy moments were gone forever now.

He transported himself in the hospital, where he worked. He went out of the bathroom of the personnel’s. Some of his colleagues were startled because they did not know he was inside in one of the cubicles.

“Hey, we didn’t know there’s someone here,” his fellow doctor said. Then, the doctor clapped Alex’s back in a friendly manner. “We didn’t see you for many days. Where were you?”

“Oh, I sent word that I am having a vacation.”

“What? No one said you were on vacation,” the reply.

“Really? I thought I told Nick about it.”

“Well, at least you are here now. You can assist me on my surgery later.”

“Sure,” he said with a forced smile and a nod.

“Very well. I don’t need to call another anesthesiologist from another hospital since you are here now. By the way, where have you spent your vacation?”

Alex cleared his throat to think of where.

“Uh, well… I – I went to see the Monument Valley and camped there.”

His colleague laughed at that. They were walking on the hallway now, going to the nurse’s station.

“Really? Isn’t it cold enough there at this time? In two days, it’s already December!”

He laughed and shrugged to that comment.

“Well, I’m sort of training myself into cold weather. Like… I’m having an experiment if I would get a cold at this kind of weather.”

“You’re crazy, man!” The colleague said with a shake of his head. “Alright, I will leave you now. I still have to make my rounds.”

Alex nodded with a smile. But it was a smile of relief.

He did not stop to have a chat with someone in the nurse’s station as he used to do in the past – before he met Azza.

Some hours later, he was in the surgery room with his fellow doctor to assist him. Afterwards, he went to the Billing Department to help out and take away all his thoughts of Azza. However, he could seem to see her there in her red sexy dress.

“Hey, Alex! Where were you taken by your thoughts?” A nurse asked him with a smile. She dropped some records to the Billing Department at the time.

“Oh! Sorry. I was just…”

“No, it’s fine. Just go on with your thoughts. I just said ‘hi’ anyways,” the reply with a smile once again.

He just nodded and smiled at Meredith.

“Oh, by the way. Can we have some dinner together later? I am so bored at my apartment. It’s my birthday!”

“Really? Happy birthday!” He said with a smile pasted on his face.

“Oh, thank you but it isn’t really my birthday! Silly! I just told you that so that you would come with me.”

“Oh!” Alex’s smile faded.

“So, you’re coming, right?”

“Sure. I will.” Alex was forced to agree.

“Good! See ya!” She turned around and left the Billing Department.

“She’s a bitch!” Said one of their colleagues named Jane, who was behind him. She was about to get some coffee at a nearby table.

“Really?” He asked with astonishment.

“Yeah?” She said with as-a-matter-of-fact tone in her voice. “She dated Nick once or twice. Then, she dated the intern guy nurse for two weeks. And then, she dated one of the drivers of the ambulance! Now, she’s going to get you in her list!”

“Oh!” He felt disgusted. “But I promised her dinner tonight. What shall I do then?”

“Well, it’s up to you if you go out with her or not.”

“Well, I’m not going to.”

“Oh, then… Find some reason if you can’t go with her.”

“Oh, thanks!” He smiled to his colleague, Jane.

“Welcome!” She said with a roll in her eyes and left him with a cup of coffee in her hand. “Hope she’s not going to throw a fit!” She then laughed afterward.

Alex sighed. He sighed as if he was so tired. Then, he looked at the table he used to work on when he was free from surgeries. He felt so bad. He remembered Azza again.

He caught a glimpse of a hooded black robed Angel of Dark and Light that passed by the open door of the Billing Department. He decided to follow it. Jane on the other hand, just followed him with her eyes.

He did not know who was it but still, he followed the Angel of Death. He shook his head.

“No. No. Not Angel of Death. Angel of Dark and Light.” He said to himself. He did not notice the stares of his colleagues who were smiling at him but he did not smile back at them.

Some patients noticed him passed by, too. But it seemed that he did not notice anyone else except the Angel of Dark and Light. Who was it coming here for? Poor soul. He or she wouldn’t know the reality that there was no Hell in reality. Just that, it was a made up place of the brainwashed brain.

The Angel of Dark and Light did not turn to look at Alex, who was following him. He did not mind that a nephilim in this hospital could see him. However, Alex was desperate to talk with the Angel of Dark and Light. He wanted to know who it was in the hooded black robe. He was sure it was not Azza. But perhaps… he or she could tell him how she was.

When they got into a corner without people, Alex stopped the Angel of Dark and Light. He blocked his way with his arms opened wide.

“Wait!”

“Why? Don’t waste my time, nephilim,” came the cold voice of Sorath.

He looked at the Angel of Dark and Light closely but still no face could be seen.

“I am not going to detain you for long. Just tell me what I need to know…” he said and paused.

“Well? What is your question?”

“D-do you know where Azza is now?” He dared to ask at last.

“I know not about her whereabouts.” Was the reply and the Angel of Dark and Light moved around him to pass and go to his destination.

His shoulders slumped and he sighed as his eyes followed the Angel of Death that went away.

****

“He is beyond redemption,” Hiya shook his head. He and Hiwa were at the ceiling of the hospital, looking out for their brother. “Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.” He clucked his tongue. “He cannot feel so good without Azza.”

“We can do nothing about it. It’s his heart.” Hiwa commented. “We cannot demand him to cut her off from that part. It should be his own decision to forget her if she doesn’t love him anymore.”

Hiya swallowed and looked at his brother.

“Do you think she forgot him already?”

Hiwa shook his head and answered his brother’s query.

“Well, I am not sure about that. Just that from what I know from father, she is difficult to understand… even her feelings… her thoughts…”

“You seem to know her. You even got a crush on her!”

Hiwa looked at his brother with a warning in his eyes. “Shut up, Hiya. Don’t talk such nonsense. It’s got nothing to do with you, anyway!”

Hiya danced awkwardly to tease his older brother more.

“You’re in love with Azza, too…” He said in a singsong voice. “Hiwa… you’re in love with her, too.”

Hiwa gave him a knock on his head and he stopped. He rubbed his head furiously.

“Hey, that hurt!” He complained.

“I told you to stop your playing around. You don’t listen! That’s good for you!”

Hiya gave him an angry look and disappeared. Hiwa just sighed and looked down at his brother. His sight penetrated below several floors to look at his sad brother. He looked around and made sure that nobody was around. He appeared before his youngest brother quietly.

“So, back to work?” He asked conversationally.

“What are you doing here?” Alex was worried that someone might see his brother here. “You should not be here!”

Hiwa just chuckled and nodded. “I know.”

“Well, why are you here?”

“Why did you approach Sorath?”

“Who?”

“Sorath. The Angel of Death you just talked to a short while ago?”

“Oh, I just…”

“Alright. Would you like to come with me and find Azza?” He asked at last.

Alex blinked in disbelief. “Could you do that, brother?”

Hiwa shrugged. “Well, we can ask father. He surely knows where she is right now.”

“Really? But how?”

“Well, he’s got some connections, you know.”

Alex’s eyes were cast downward. He shook his head and looked at his brother once again.

“I don’t think I can face her now.”

“Well, why not? What’s the problem?”

“She doesn’t need me anymore. And I think… she doesn’t love me anymore. So, there’s no use to see her and talk with her again. I don’t think she misses me as much as I do. She must be better off without me, anyway.”

“Yeah, she doesn’t have to fight against her fellow Angels of Dark and Light because of you. And it was because of you that her loyal butler is gone now.” Hiwa agreed.

Alex looked at his brother more with a nod. He had a point, anyway.

“I miss Dantanian and his changing of faces everyday.” He whispered. “I miss his cooking and everything.”

“Well, tell you what, brother. You have his weapons. You can… at least check them out if you miss him.” Hiwa shrugged with a suggestion.

“Maybe you’re right. But it would also bring me sadness whenever I remember his fate.”

“Don’t think that what happened was entirely your fault. It wasn’t. It was our father’s enemies’ fault. If they didn’t try to harm you, nothing would be like this. Everything would have been different… even between you and Azza.”

“But I would never have had known her if my life was not in danger, right?”

Hiwa could not answer to that. It was true.

“Well, perhaps everything is laid out for us,” Alex added. “The divine will?”

“No, it’s not true. We make choices and we face the consequences of the things we chose. There’s no good or evil. It is just humans that created these.”

“But isn’t luck and demise included in our life’s struggles?”

Alex and Hiwa looked at each for a long time.

“You are right, brother. But do not think that you are unlucky because you are not. You are even lucky to be loved most by our father. And as brothers, we love you too. We are willing to die in your stead so that you could be happy. Remember that.”

“I wish you and Hiya a good life when you leave this human world, brother.” Alex said quietly.

Hiwa embraced his brother tightly.

“Thank you, brother. I wish you the same. And that, I wish Azza and you will find true happiness after all these things.”

Alex looked at his brother when they parted. Then, Hiwa disappeared to look for Hiya in Hell.

Before Alex could go out of the hospital, Meredith held his left arm with a huge, entrancing smile.

“Hey! Where are you going? Were you leaving me here?” She asked sweetly.

“Oh, I forgot. Sorry, I have an emergency back home. I was supposed to tell you before I leave the hospital. Maybe next time…”

He put her arms aside so that he could go ahead of her. She was pouting her beautiful mouth when he called a taxi.

Jane, who was behind her, grinned mischievously. Then, they both looked at each other’s eyes like mortal enemies.

****

“Why won’t you go home now, Azza?” Buer asked her softly. She was still in his office like it was her home.

Azza was seated on the long couch just like before, when she arrived here after Dantanian was gone. She shook her head to Buer.

“No. I am not in the mood to be in the human world right now, Buer. And I don’t feel like working anymore.”

Buer sat on his table and looked at her in the eyes.

“Tell me the truth. Is there nothing else more important to you right now?”

Azza remembered Alex. Her tears threatened to fall down again to her cheeks. She shook her head so hard that she felt dizzy.

“Buer, I can’t even bear to lose him! But I can’t see him at my current state. I am afraid that I could not protect him anymore. My love for him is too much that I can barely bear it! How would I feel if he’s already gone? Do you know how it feels, Buer? It’s like I’m already dying inside just the thought of it! My heart feels like it’s strangled. As I looked at Dantanian go away, it made me think of Alex going away, Buer. Do you know that? That was the hardest part I felt when my loyal friend went away without me! I feel so alone…”

Buer was so sad to hear the truth from her. “I feel so sad to know how you feel, Azza. However, think of the positive side.”

“What positive side, Buer? Alex is going away, too. And I will be left alone again!”

“Just think of the moment, Azza. Do you think Alex is happy right now? Did you try to think of his feelings, too? He is also afraid to go away without you, I know that. He is afraid to leave you alone. He is afraid to make you sad. That’s what I can read from his feelings for you right now. But you are supposed to be happy while he is still alive. Make the most of his time on Earth, Azza. With that, you can let go of him easily when the day has come for him to leave.”

Azza could not say anything to that. Buer was wise, she could see that. But why was she became a coward now? She had to face the truth. She had to face what was inevitable. She started to cry when Baraqel arrived at Buer’s office. He shed his hooded black robe to transform into his human form. His face mirrored that of confusion.

“Buer, did you make her cry?” Baraqel asked straightforwardly.

Buer shook his head without a word.

“Azza, what’s going on?” Baraqel turned to ask her.

Azza swallowed and wiped away her tears. It was the first time he saw her cry. And he looked again at Buer with questions in his eyes.

“You know she lost Dantanian.”

“Yes and I was about to tell you that Dantanian is very healthy in Heaven. Gabriel just delivered me that news. I suppose he knew how Azza feels right now,” Baraqel said.

Azza’s eyes glistened.

“Did he really tell you that, Baraqel?” Azza stood up to question the newcomer.

“Yes, he did. In fact, he delivered me a note. The candidate that won to enter the abyss is… you, Azza,” he said in a matter-of-factly tone.

Azza smiled. Her heart leapt in joy.

“Really? Didn’t you say that we will know the lucky one on the last day of current Earth’s year? How come the news is so early?”

“Well, we decided to let you know now. I pleaded to Gabriel as the messenger to Heaven that you are so bored with your living on Earth already. So, you need to go back to Heaven especially that you are inspired by a certain nephilim.”

Azza jumped in joy and hugged Baraqel tightly.

“Thank you, Baraqel! I didn’t stop one moment and think that I can be chosen to enter the abyss! I am so excited now!”

“So, you need to go back to your house now on Earth,” Buer said with a smile on his face.

Azza nodded excitedly. She can’t wait to give the news to Alex. After all, she can go and enter the abyss with him at the end of the year! She disappeared with excitement in her face.

Buer and Baraqel looked at each other when she was gone. Buer’s eyes sort of measured the truth his friend said to Azza.

“Was it true that she was the one chosen to enter the abyss, Baraqel?” Buer asked him a few moments later.

“Who cares, Buer?” He said and looked at the green apple in his hand. There, the name of Lahash was carved, given by Gabriel.

The apple caught fire and disappeared. Buer could not take a glance of what was written there. He just sighed as he looked at his friend again.

“I will just tell Gabriel that there was a mistake.” Baraqel said quietly. “He will understand. I’m sure of it.”

Buer just shook his head again.

“So, why are you here?”

“I just want to discuss with you something. Some lists of souls that are now at Lucifer’s domain.”

“I see. Alright, we go to the meeting hall then. I can’t wait to meet Allocen.”

They both changed into their hooded black robe and disappeared. They found him waiting for them, alone, in the meeting hall.

They all changed into their human form and sat down together closely.

“So, what is it you wish to discuss, Baraqel?” Allocen asked with enmity twinkling in his eyes.

“You are the Duke of Hell. Therefore, you need to deliver this to Barbatos to pass unto Lucifer.” Baraqel started.

“On the eve of the New Year, all souls in Hell must be sent back to Heaven to be sent to another third dimensional world to live again a new life. This is the word from Heaven, which is according to Gabriel.”

Buer was silent as he looked at Allocen’s face. He seemed to disagree with that idea from Heaven. His fists curled into angry tight balls on the table.

“Why the sudden decision, Baraqel?” He asked angrily and pounded the table. “We were not consulted on this matter!”

“We were not either!” Buer said in a cool, firm voice.

“So, what is your plea, Allocen as the Duke of Hell?” Baraqel asked coolly. One of his brows was raised.

“I must consult this with Beelzebub…”

“Beelzebub?!” Baraqel and Buer asked in unison with confusion.

“I – I mean, Lucifer. I must ask him what to do.” Allocen said in a stutter. He could not look into their eyes.

Buer and Baraqel looked at each other for a moment before they looked at Allocen again.

“I am sure that he is not going to agree with this!” Allocen added.

“Alright, you may go now. You tell it to Lucifer then.” Baraqel dismissed him.

Allocen disappeared instantly to go to Hell while Buer and Baraqel stayed to talk.

“Why did he say Beelzebub? Did he forget that Lucifer is the King of Hell?” Buer asked in confusion to his friend.

His friend’s brows were drawn together because of that puzzle.

“Wait, you said that Semyaza’s son was in danger because of some threats. Allocen was also a threat to that nephilim. So, I must conclude that it is something to do with Beelzebub.”

Buer was dumbfounded with that.

“You mean, Beelzebub is the one who’s behind all this?”

“I say, you look out for him. I think he has something to do with this after all. Maybe you can meet Semyaza, too so that he would be alert about this matter.”

“I could not agree more. I suppose I need to summon him into my office today.”

“Yes, we should not waste more time.” Baraqel concluded and they both disappeared in a moment to do their respective tasks.

Chapter 16

If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them. Buildings burn, people die, but real love is forever.” ~ The Crow, 1994

Azza found Alex at her kitchen. She looked at his busy figure, cooking something for dinner. She wondered if it was only for him or for both of them.

“Alex,” she softly called out his name with a smile.

He turned around and saw her. At first, his eyes were happy and later, they projected some kind of negative feeling. Azza knew it.

“Ah, so you are here now. You finally decided to come back!” He said coldly and turned his back on her.

Azza’s smile faded. She was offended in his words. “Why? Aren’t you glad that I am here now?”

Alex turned around again to face her with anger in his eyes.

“You chose to leave me after Dantanian went away – somewhere! I have been missing you all this time. But then, there was no news about you! How do you think I should feel?”

Azza shook her head. “I can’t blame you on what you feel right now. But aren’t you happy that I am now here, at last?”

“I don’t understand you. You went away to embrace Lahash. You did not even look at me! I felt abandoned and hurt!”

Azza stepped closer to him and tried to reach out to caress his face. However, he stepped back so that she could not touch him.

“I am sorry, Alex.” She whispered with a plea in her voice. “I did not mean to do that. I thought that I could not bear to be left alone if it were you!”

“It wasn’t me, Azza!” He shouted at her. “You knew it.”

Azza stepped back because of it. She could see that he was so angry at her because of what she had done to him.

“I know, Alex. I know. But to think that it was you instead of Dantanian… I could not bear it!”

“I thought we agreed to make most of my time here on Earth, Azza. You broke that promise between us.” He shook his head. He was still hurt when she chose to go to Lahash instead of to him. “I wished that it was me who held you to comfort you that I was still there and did not leave you… I wished that…”

Azza stepped closer to him again and this time, he could escape her tight embrace.

“I am sorry, Alex. Please forgive me. You don’t know how much it hurt when I saw him disappeared. I thought it was you!” She said crying.

Alex could not speak. He relaxed and hugged her back with his loving arms. He kissed her on top of her head and her forehead. Then, he kissed her on the cheek and eyes. He silenced her cry through his loving kisses.

“Shh… I’m still here, Azza. I will never leave you if I need to intervene with the divine will, my fate. I wish to be with you forever. I love you so much!”

Azza lifted up her face to receive his loving kiss on her lips. Their lips mated gently at first and then with hunger. In a moment, they were in her room to share their love again. Their clothes were shed with one command of their serpentine stone. Her wings embraced him gently as their souls soared to heaven when they became one.

They whispered loving words for each other as they travelled together to that place that no one was allowed to go but them.

They were still in the bed in each other’s arms when Alex smelled something burning.

“Oh, no! The chicken! My fried chicken!” He jumped from the bed naked and ran into the kitchen.

Azza was laughing. She was there first by using the serpentine stone. She turned the burner off.

“You forgot your magic, Alex!” She teased him.

He just grinned looking at her naked body. She looked delectable at that moment. In a second, he was holding her waist and kissed her breasts.

“Hey, stop it! I think we need to cook for dinner again.”

“Forget it! Let’s have dinner outside.” He said while letting her go.

“Oh, sounds a good idea!” She said excitedly. “And, I have news for you!” Her eyes were twinkling so beautifully when she said it.

Alex wondered what it was. She looked so excited about it. It must be about them.

“So, tell me what it is. The news,” he asked when they already gave out their order. They were seating next to each other in a fine restaurant near her house.

“Well, Baraqel said that I can enter the abyss. And this means, we can go together!” She said excitedly.

“Really?!” He could not believe it.

“Yes, Alex! Really!”

“Wow, that’s so great then! I am not afraid anymore to leave you behind.”

“Yeah, me too.” She smiled sweetly and kissed his lips.

Her eyes widened when she realized they were in a public place. However, Alex kissed her back and she giggled.

“It’s really a perfect night!” He whispered to her with a smile.

“Yes, I agree to that,” she smiled back.

The waitress envied the lovely, happy couple while she placed their ordered dishes on their table.

****

Hiya sighed in relief. “I thought they would not be together again.”

Hiwa just smiled at his brother.

“Since everything is right now, maybe we can go back to Hell to tell father about the good news we just heard.”

“Yeah, but let’s eat at that restaurant first.”

Hiwa could not do anything but agree. He was also hungry.

“OK! Let’s go then.” They changed into fine clothes while they were walking.

Two guys looked at them as if they were weird but Hiya was able to hypnotize them and they forgot what they saw.

They entered the restaurant and asked a lot of dishes to be delivered on their table. The waiter looked at them as if they were not from this world. The brothers just grinned at him and he turned away to get their order.

“You should have ordered the others later,” Hiwa said to his brother.

“I can’t wait for later. They must be on our table right away!”

Hiwa just grinned at his brother and looked at the happy couple some tables away from them.

****

Beelzebub was pacing here and there inside his room while Allocen was following him with his eyes. He was sitting in one of the flaming chairs that Beelzebub owned in his private room in Hell.

“So, did you brought up about this matter to Lucifer?”

“Should I?” He countered.

Beelzebub smiled wickedly and shook his head.

“I do not think he needs to know.”

“But what if I need to tell him about this matter? There is no way I can find any reason to tell them that I ‘forgot’ to tell Lucifer about it. Besides, some Angels of Dark and Light might tell either Buer or Baraqel that I am always seeing you lately. That’s enough to make our plan suspicious.”

Beelzebub contemplated about it for some moments before he looked at Allocen again.

“Alright. Send Barbatos instead to tell Lucifer about this matter. This way, we can avoid any suspicions.”

Allocen nodded satisfactorily. Even though he did not wish to let Lucifer know about their meeting in Purgatory, he had no way to conceal it. Buer should be suspicious of him by now. Worse, Baraqel would be into it as well.

He disappeared to search for Barbatos. He found him at the Lake of Fire, watching the souls that were burning. Not a second they could feel the air or its coolness. Barbatos smiled while looking at them.

“Fascinating, isn’t it?” He said.

Allocen looked at the Lake of Fire were millions of souls were screaming in pain.

“I don’t understand what you mean.” He said truthfully.

“I mean, watching these souls burn for eternity. Instead of getting incarnated to another world or life to learn some lessons, here they are. They are suffering in pain for eternity because they believe in this thing. It is amazing how such thought could manifest something like this… barbaric, cruel place!” Then, he looked at Allocen after he said it. “Do not you agree, Allocen?”

“Well… yes. That’s true. However, I am not here to discuss their suffering. I am here because Beelzebub agreed to tell you so that you can inform Lucifer in turn. It is about giving up these souls by the end of Earth’s year. This is Heaven’s message through Gabriel.”

Barbatos’ eyebrows were drawn together.

“Did I hear you right, Allocen?”

“Yes, Barbatos. It is the fact I’m telling you now.”

“Meaning, these souls… all these souls… are to go to Heaven by the end of Earth’s year? Isn’t this drastic and outrageous?! After all this time, watching these souls burn to suffer for eternity, Heaven is going to redeem them? For what?!”

“That is not our concern now, Barbatos. You can think of it clearly.”

“After all we’ve planned for? These would come to naught?! I can’t believe Beelzebub let you do this!”

“Yes, he is. In fact, he said, you should talk to Lucifer about this matter. He is just across us, anyway.” He said watching Lucifer looked at them across the Lake of Fire. “Just one leap over the Lake of Fire then, you’re in his presence before you know it.” Allocen smiled coolly but didn’t reach his eyes.

“Right. We’re just messengers in this hell of a place!” He said and disappeared and reappeared in front of Lucifer’s throne.

By then, Allocen exited Hell to go back to his office in Purgatory.

“So, why I owe you an audience, Barbatos? Did Allocen say something to you?” Lucifer calmly asked. One elbow was resting on his throne’s arm and the other was lazily resting at the other.

“Allocen said he just had a meeting in Purgatory. The subject of their discussion was the souls in our domain.” He paused.

“Go on.” Lucifer said patiently.

“Alright. Here is discussion. They want you to release all these souls in the Lake of Fire and send them to Heaven by the end of the current Earth’s year. Meaning, we are to free them from here so that Heaven can send them to another world or reincarnate them into a new life.”

Lucifer’s eyes went red when he heard this. “Who sent the message?!” He demanded the Earl of Hell.

“It was Gabriel.” He answered in a short note.

Lucifer screamed in anger. He was outraged because of Heaven’s decision about his pet souls in the Lake of Fire. It was his only joy in his domain. Why is Heaven taking this away from him? He had been appointed to rule this place, but who to rule over now if these souls are not here anymore?

“I heard you, Lucifer. What’s the matter now?” Semyaza’s five voices said. He was walking nearer to the throne and stopped by Barbatos’ side.

“I am no longer a King of this domain. Heaven is taking it away from me now! What shall I do?”

“Oh, yes. I heard this thing from Buer. He happened to visit me today,” while he was talking, he was watching Barbatos’ expression.

Barbatos did the right thing. If not, he would taste Lucifer’s wrath if Semyaza had told him before he did. Barbatos tried to look at Semyaza straight in the eyes. It was good that Beelzebub let Allocen tell him about the meeting in Purgatory. If not, they would be in great trouble as this was no ordinary matter at all.

“Well, what you should do is to do what they want you to do,” Semyaza said logically. “Because if you don’t we will all be gone for good. Surely, you were thinking about it and you understand it. There is a consequence in every choice.”

“Yes, but I am not happy about it,” Lucifer said angrily.

“Well, for sure we cannot take on Heaven all by ourselves. We were lucky that we were given this domain for more than eight thousand years now.” Semyaza said matter-of-factly.

Lucifer was speechless. His Heir of Hell was right. Then, he looked at Barbatos, who was silent since Semyaza arrived.

“So, any soul that would be coming here are useless to us now… because Heaven is going to take it away by the end of Earth’s year! Barbatos, what is Beelzebub thinking by now? I am sure that he knows it. I saw Allocen’s aura through his room.”

Barbatos could not speak.

“Hey, you lost your tongue?” Semyaza teased him and elbowed him.

Barbatos looked at him warningly and turned to Lucifer to speak.

“I know not what he thinks at the moment, Lucifer. That’s the truth.”

Lucifer and Semyaza just stared at each other. Then, Semyaza disappeared without a word, leaving Barbatos with his long-time friend.

“If you don’t give me such answer, we have no more to talk about, Barbatos. You can leave me in peace now!”

Barbatos slightly bowed and disappeared. He went to Beelzebub’s room to report what he had done and what Lucifer said to him.

****

Buer was concealed by the power of his black serpentine stone. He was still in Semyaza’s bedroom and waited for him to come back. He was scouting what Barbatos was telling Lucifer at the far east side of the Lake of Fire.

“He told Lucifer about your meeting,” Semyaza reported to him when he appeared back to his own bedroom.

“Oh, that’s great then. I thought Allocen wouldn’t do it.” Buer was satisfied about it. “But then, I still don’t trust Allocen. They might be planning for something else.”

“Well, don’t worry about it. My sons are always keeping an eye on their youngest brother and Azza.”

“That’s a relief at least! But your sons are only…”

“Don’t worry, Buer. Azza is strong.”

Buer sighed. However, his face was not satisfied at all. He was still concerned about her and her feelings even though she was excited to enter the abyss with Alex.

“Baraqel told Azza that she can enter the abyss by the end of Earth’s year.”

Semyaza’s eyes twinkled with delight when he heard it.

“Good for her! So, she can be with my son when he enters the abyss.”

“Yes, that’s right. And I am happy for both of them.”

“But why aren’t you happy? You don’t seem to be happy at all, Buer. What is wrong? Isn’t this the best thing you wished for Azza after a long time of being an Angel of Dark and Light?” Semyaza’s face drew that of concern to a friend.

“After all these things that happened lately, I am in fear of her life.”

“I told you, she is strong.”

“She was, until she met your son.”

“No, I don’t believe it. I still think that she is very strong! She might even go stronger now that she feels love in the person of my son.”

Buer shook his head. He was still concerned about her. There were enemies lurking around her and her nephilim lover. Semyaza’s two older sons might not be strong enough to face these adversaries.

“You might be right, Semyaza. However, you can’t take away this fear I feel. We still don’t know who is behind in planning to kill your youngest son. Heaven just sent us the message that he will die at the end of current Earth’s year.”

“Yes, I know how it is, Buer. Just believe in my son and Azza. They will make it. They will be able to enter the abyss peacefully.”

“Yes, I am wishing that so hard, Semyaza. But, how about you? Don’t you wish to enter the abyss one day?”

Semyaza looked at the Lake of Fire through the window of his room.

He shook his head and spoke as if he was speaking with another being in a distance. “I don’t think I can ever go back to Heaven after what happened eight thousand years ago.”

Buer smiled toothlessly. “Of course Heaven can forgive all those things that happened in the past. Why else they wish to contact us? We are not totally thrown away from our source. God is always good. He just sent us here to learn more as we wished. We are free. We’ve always been free. You know it, Semyaza.”

“All the same, I don’t think I can ever go back to Heaven, Buer. I don’t wish to be incarnated or sent to another dimensional world. This domain is enough for me to survive for eternity. I feel that I learned everything after the Great Rebellion in Heaven. And I choose not to go back to Heaven.”

Buer nodded slightly. He knew how Semyaza felt. He could feel the connection to it. He could relate to it as for he, himself, did not wish to go back to Heaven. He had no face to be in God’s presence again after what he did. He knew that God wouldn’t tell him in the face what he did in the past but still, perhaps after living such a long time in Purgatory, or Earth, he felt some guilt. But he knew that he shouldn’t feel that way for there were no bad or good in the universe.

He was only one of those souls that wished to be free from Heaven and God. But he now knew that he would always belong with God for every soul was a son and daughter of the great source. Still, he knew that after all these things and circumstances that happened, everything and every soul would come back to God in the end.

“Well, we have free choice. If that is how you feel, Semyaza, you deserve to do whatsoever you wish.” Buer said at last.

Semyaza nodded and turned to look at him.

“I just wish that the world was not manipulated by some of our enemies. Humans should have been living in a better place. If only the truth was not twisted by the evil system that is ruling the Earth now, the world should have been good to live in. It should have been peaceful and rich. I just wish… that everything that had happened in the past would not repeat itself in the future. I truly wish that, Buer.” Then, he sighed as if with regret.

Buer knew what it was like to feel that way, as Semyaza did. He understood it fully. But, the adversaries were here when they were swept away from Heaven. Oddly, their connection with them was inevitable to be able to manipulate Earth and its living beings.

“Everything should have been good from the start if not only for other selfish, greedy and evil souls. Our enemies do not deserve to own Earth. I wish that the human beings were awakened after such a long time of sleeping. I see that they seem to refuse to do it. However, I could not blame them because they are being manipulated by twisted truths. That is very late for us now. Whatever we do want to wake them up, they prefer to live in their dream. I know, because they do not want to be confused after what they learned to be the truth, which was a lie. They were raised to believe those twisted truths that the evil system fed on them. They are so weak but their evil side is strong, thus, the poor state of the world today. I wish… everything was different… good and blissful!”

Semyaza nodded in agreement.

“That is so true, Buer. However, the Earth is not in our hands but in our enemies’. We came too late.”

“Right. It was so absurd to downgrade the DNA of the human beings so that they would be helpless and powerless. Hence, they can rule over them. It is too pity to think that they are allowed only to use a little part of their brain so that they cannot see the truth and be away from the great source. Their souls are not evolved enough to see the reality.”

“Yes, without their knowledge that every human being was supposed to live longer than their life-span now. They did not know that their bodies are slowly killed by chemicals by food, air, water and things they use everyday. It is truly outrageous to know these things, and yet, you could not anything for them.”

“Yes, we are helpless ourselves despite of the powers we have.” Buer admitted. “But of course, we could only hope for the best in the near future.”

Semyaza nodded. “And I wish it is not so far.”

Both of them smiled at each other. Their thoughts connected on their wishes for the good of all human beings in the world.

“I could not say anything but hoping for the good of all,” Buer shook his head. “For now, we only have to rely on the decision of Heaven when everything is going to be set right for everyone.”

“That is correct.”

They still looked at each other’s eyes.

“Don’t worry, Semyaza. Like you, I will trust Azza’s strength from now on. She will be able to jump the hurdles before her. We will see her triumph over these!”

Semyaza was happy to feel and hear that Buer was confident in Azza again. True, it wasn’t so convenient to trust anyone with your own son, but she was one and most reliable being one can trust with. “So, you’re going back to Purgatory now?” He prompted at his visitor.

“Well, I suppose so. I will leave Azza in peace with your son Alex.”

Semyaza laughed at that. “Not really in peace. My other sons are there to stalk them.”

Buer laughed at that slightly, too. He knew very well what Semyaza meant by those words. He nodded to the Heir of Hell and disappeared instantly to go back to Purgatory, where Baraqel was waiting for some news from Hell.

Baraqel was already in Buer’s office, waiting for him patiently to come back.

“Well? What is going on in Hell now after we delivered the message during the meeting?” Baraqel prompted.

Chapter 17

Death is one of two things… Either it is annihilation, and the dead have no consciousness of anything; or, as we are told, it is really a change: a migration of the soul from one place to another. ~ Socrates

“We are running out of time. When am I going to have this nephilim’s soul?” Beelzebub’s voice rang over his room. By his powers, no one outside could hear him but his three followers namely Allocen, Barbatos and Asmodeus.

“We are still working on it,” Allocen replied calmly.

“You knew what happened to Belial and Obyzouth. What next?”

“I suppose we should all come together to defeat them.” Asmodeus suggested. “If we do it by group, then we will have the positive result.”

“So, why didn’t you do that?” Beelzebub countered.

“Well, we tried to pair up… but nothing worked,” Asmodeus explained. “We thought we were more powerful knowing that they possessed the lower ranking serpentine stones.”

“Oh, that’s very reasonable!” Beelzebub’s voice was filled with sarcasm. “You know already that even Azza could take us all on! How could you be so tactless?”

Everyone was quite.

“Allocen, I am relying everything to you now. Bring me the soul of that nephilim before the Eve of New Year!” Beelzebub said seriously with a warning in his voice.

Allocen just nodded.

When they were out of Beelzebub’s room, Asmodeus was grumbling to the other two companions.

“He knew how strong Azza is. Why wouldn’t he do it himself?”

Allocen sighed. “Just forget it. We only have to do what is best for him since we are into this matter in the beginning. So, nothing to complain about now. We only have to do what we must from now on.”

“Easy for you to say, Allocen,” Asmodeus rivaled. “You weren’t there when Obyzouth fell. I could conclude that what we were made to believe was a lie! There is no such thing as divine will! It’s all a choice. We have to choose from those choices! Death is never a divine will, believe me. Even death is a choice for us. If we cannot take anything painful anymore, we leave this very inconvenient and lonely, primitive planet!”

“You have a point, Asmodeus,” Barbatos said quietly. “I do agree with that now. Knowing that Belial and Obyzouth were gone after the battle you’ve been through, there is no divine will as were made to believe. Gabriel, that fucking liar! We call him the messenger of God but he lied to us! How can we believe what he would say next time? Such evil souls! I curse them all!”

Allocen sighed again. These two had a point after all. But there was no turning back now. He had to serve Beelzebub as promised. Or else, he would be gone soon. His serpentine stone would be confiscated right away if he changed his mind!

“So, what are you sighing for now, Allocen?” Asmodeus asked him and spat afterward.

“Nothing. Just tired,” he said.

Asmodeus and Barbatos laughed when they heard it and looked at him if he were an alien in their eyes.

“Really? You did nothing until now. What made you so tired?” Asmodeus asked sarcastically.

“Yeah, what is it, Allocen?” Barbatos mimicked Asmodeus.

Allocen did not play with them but he disappeared to get back to his office in Purgatory without a word. He felt frustrated now. How could Obyzouth leave him in this state? Did she know that everything was for naught after all? Did she know that going back to Heaven was the answer of all this frustration?

However, like Dantanian, he wouldn’t know what would be his purpose in Heaven after the Great Rebellion. Would everyone in Heaven still trust him? Or Obyzouth? Or Belial, in that matter? After all these years, he could not say anything good that he had done for humankind. He wondered what Obyzouth and Belial were doing in Heaven right now. Were they happy now? Were they contented and peaceful now?

****

Azza pinched Alex’s nose playfully one morning. They shared love the whole night and they felt so happy being together again.

Alex woke up with a slight groan. She laughed slightly and kissed his cheek playfully.

“Hey, stop that!” Alex said with a smile and caught her hand without opening his eyes.

“How did you know my hand was at the top of your forehead?”

“I can feel it, silly!” Alex answered and turned around to embrace her with surprising agile.

“Wow! You’re so fast now!” Azza noticed his agility and giggled when she felt his hands on her flat stomach. “Hey, that’s tickling!”

Alex continued to tickle her and she giggled.

“Stop it, Alex! I promise I won’t wake you up with a pinch on the nose!”

“Really? That’s a promise?”

“Yeah, it is a promise. Now, stop it!” She said giggling.

“Okay,” Alex smiled and kissed her forehead. His eyes were still closed.

“Aren’t you going to work today?” She asked and gently caressed his hair.

“Hmm….?”

“I said, aren’t you going to work today? I think you were speaking of a major surgery that would keep you long in the Operating Room.”

Alex suddenly sat up on the bed.

“Right! Good that you remembered it! I totally forgot about it!”

He quickly got up to go to the bathroom. Azza caught her lower lip by her upper teeth with a smile. He did not notice that he was butt naked when he jumped from the bed.

Azza changed into a robe and went to the kitchen. She missed Dantanian. He used to send them breakfast in bed or prepared it in the dining room. Everything would have been ready if Dantanian was still with them.

She shook her head. She knew he would be in a better place right now, in Heaven. She just knew it without a hint of question. She quickly made something for breakfast and everything was ready when Alex came out of the shower and was already dressed up, ready for work.

They ate in silence. Both were in their own thoughts about Dantanian. They looked at each other saying they each missed him. However, they knew that they were going to see him in the near future.

“I’ll go now,” Alex bade his goodbye that morning to go to his work.

“Yeah. Be careful! I will be waiting here.” She said waving her hand in the air.

He was out of the house and hailed a taxi that was coming his way. He waved his hand too and Azza closed the gate by her powers. She went back to the kitchen and washed the dishes.

“Something is wallowing you?” Buer appeared behind her.

She turned around and wiped her wet hands by a towel hung on the fridge’s door handle. She wasn’t surprised to see him there. She already felt him before Alex went out of the gate.

“Yes.” She answered. She didn’t have to hide anything from him, anyway.

“What is it then? Perhaps I may be of help?”

“No, Buer. Thank you. It is just… I miss Dantanian. He was so important to me.”

“I understand. Me, too.”

“You, too?” She smiled at that revelation. “Why? You were not so close to him.”

“Yes, but I know how you feel. So, I know how it is.”

“You’re so impossible, Buer. Anyway, what brings you here? I am sorry I didn’t visit you in Purgatory these past days. I just want to spend all the time that I can with Alex. And Christmas is so fast approaching, I couldn’t believe it! Just a few days from now.”

Buer nodded. He could not believe that this made up holiday was so important for almost all people in the world.

“Right. I know you wish to spend every minute of your life with him, while you are still with him.”

“Yes, Buer. And even though I am excited to come with him to enter the abyss at the end of this year, I am still feeling something that I cannot give him enough happiness until then.”

“I know what you mean. However, it should be enough for you to know that you won’t be separated with him until that day. That you would be together forever beginning the end of this year. Don’t you agree?”

Azza smiled at him and nodded.

“I know, Buer. But it would be different in Heaven. You know that.”

Buer nodded this time and smiled.

“Right. No breeding there except in the world.”

They laughed together at his joke.

****

Later that day, after Azza spent her time talking with Buer, she prepared something for dinner for her and Alex. She could not believe that time was passing so fast. She still wanted to talk to Buer but he already left because he felt that Baraqel was looking for him.

“You are so busy!” She complained.

“I’m sorry. You know how Baraqel is. He is like a slave driver.”

They laughed and he disappeared with a smile on his face.

“Hey!” Azza heard Alex’s voice from the doorway.

She waited for him to come into the kitchen. “I’m here!”

“I have a surprise for you!” Alex said and showed her a bouquet of wild flowers in his hands. He also brought chocolates and cake for her.

“Hey! Are these for me?” She asked and smelled the flowers.

He nodded with a wink. “Of course! For who else are they? Is there someone else here?”

Azza playfully hit him the flowers on the chest.

“Hey, that’s not funny!”

“Anyway, they are yours.” He whispered and embraced her by the waist.

She looked up at him with a smile. “Thank you! You’re so sweet today.”

“What? Only for today?”

“Aha. Right. Only for today. I never received any gifts from you ever since.”

“Oh, I remember. Sorry for that, sweetheart. I just can’t believe that an Angel of Dark and Light is going to be happy to receive such tiny things as these.”

“Silly! I saw these things on movies after all. And to receive these, it’s so good to feel. You know… no one gave me some things before except you.”

“How about Dantanian?” His one brow was raised.

“Silly! He wouldn’t dare! He’s afraid of me!” She laughed at that and hit him on the chest again.

He smiled and then, his lips came down to caress hers.

“I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

They smiled at each other and they separated. She put the flowers in a vase and prepared the dining table.

“So, how was work today?” She asked conversationally.

They were already seated at the dining table when everything was ready.

“Oh, was good. The patient was kind of a fighter. He went through the surgery all fine. I think he would be better tomorrow.”

“Really? That’s great.”

“But sad to say that there were two patients that we lost today.”

“Oh, I’m sorry.” She said sympathetically that she reached out for his hand and pressed it lovingly.

“Yeah. I saw Sorath there today. He was one of the Angels of Dark and Light that were there today.”

“Oh, Sorath?” She smiled.

“What about him?”

“I didn’t see him for thousands of years! You know, when we were in Heaven he is one of those kids you would say nerd. He was like an unsociable soul, you know. So, he doesn’t care much of anybody or anything at that. But he has a good soul in him.”

“Really?” He could not believe it.

“Why?”

“Oh, one time… when you were not yet here after Dantanian was gone, I approached and asked him. I thought he was not good at all.” He grinned after he said it.

Azza laughed at that story.

“Told you. He was like an outsider. He doesn’t care about anyone or anything. Anyway, it was good for you that he even talked to you. He doesn’t talk to anyone, you know. Just stare and make some telepathy – that is, if he wished to answer your question.”

“Oh, that’s very interesting!” He decided with a nod and a smile.

“Anyway, he’s a good soul, I tell you that.”

“If he was, then why did he join the Great Rebellion in Heaven?”

Azza could not find the answer right away. She just looked at him in the eyes and thought that Alex’s impression on her might be the same.

“Do you think I’m bad, Alex?” She asked him at last, after thinking a few moments, before she decided to speak.

“No, why do you ask that? Would I still be alive if you were?” He shrugged.

“Because you thought that Sorath was bad. So, maybe… you are thinking the same regarding myself – because I joined that damned Great Rebellion in Heaven!” Her voice raised in anger.

“Azza, I didn’t mean that. I think you are just thinking that I was having that impression in general. I didn’t say it for everyone, okay?”

Azza sighed and put down her spoon and fork at either side of her plate.

“You know what? Just tell me truthfully if you really love me. And tell me what you really think of me. Am I bad or not? These things are important to me, Alex. And I tell you the truth, none of the Angels of Dark and Light is labeling humans as bad… or good. There is no good or evil, ultimately speaking. It is just negative results that came after some greedy souls chose to do something. Do you get me?”

Alex sighed and put down his fork on the table.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t think you were bad at all, Azza. And I didn’t say that all of you are bad… all of you who joined the Great Rebellion in Heaven. I fell in love with you because of no reason. Do you understand me? I was taught that love is unreasonable. It is not asking for anything else other than love, too. It’s unconditional, I know it. My mom taught me that since I was a kid. That is why, I never hated my father! That is why, even though you are my Angel of Death, I love you!”

Azza swallowed. She blinked the tears away to not let them fall down to her cheeks. Then, she forced a smile to him.

“I can’t thank you for that, Alex. You know that I love you…”

“Yes, but it seems that there some things that come our way and you seem to forget that I am still here… I am here, loving you always…”

Alex stood up and went over to Azza to embrace her. She started to cry because of the things he said. She felt guilty then.

“I am sorry, Alex…”

“Enough of this drama,” Lahash’s eyes and face were so stoic that no one could read what was in his mind and heart.

Both of them looked at him. He sat where Alex had left his seat. He helped himself some food while the lovebirds just stared at him. He ate for some minutes without talking until Azza could not take it anymore.

“Why are you here, Lahash?” She inquired with a tone that was not angry or happy.

“I just owe you a visit. In a few days, it is Christmas. And what do you think after Christmas? Huh?”

“Lahash, this is not your problem anymore. Leave us in peace, please,” Azza said to him decidedly.

“Azza, don’t be such coy. You need me. You need me to protect your nephilim lover.”

“I don’t need your help,” Alex responded to it. “We never asked for your help, did we? Besides, you only make some friction whenever you are around us. Just leave us be!”

“Or what, nephilim? Are you threatening me now? After all that I have done for both of you, you are going to treat me like this? As if, I didn’t do anything for you at all? So, you cannot get rid of me easily.” Lahash concluded.

“Don’t force yourself to get in our way, Lahash,” Azza said calmly. “I already told you not come near me a long time ago. And I don’t want you anymore with us.”

“Azza, why are you doing this to me? Didn’t I prove to you that I am not a nobody? I can help if I can.”

“Lahash, I don’t want you to regret what you did and what you do for us. I don’t want to lose you. Do you understand?”

Lahash was speechless to hear it. Alex looked down at Azza’s head. Both of them did not understand what she meant by that. Why would she say it? Why couldn’t she lose him?

“You’ve been a great friend all these years, Lahash. That is why, I cannot bear to lose another friend as I lost Dantanian. Do you get it now?” She added.

“I don’t understand why, Azza. If you treat me as a friend, then don’t me kick out of your way! Don’t kick me out of your life because I care!”

Azza smiled without humor.

“Come on, Angel of Death. You are not wanted here!” Hiya said when he appeared, followed by Hiwa.

“Get out of here before we will throw you out,” Hiwa added to that.

Lahash could not do anything but obey. He disappeared to somewhere they did not have the slightest idea.

“Alright!” The two nephilim brothers that newly arrived gave a high five at each other.

“He’s afraid of you?” Hiya asked his older brother who grinned.

“No, he was afraid of you!” Hiwa replied with a grin.

Alex shook his head and sat down at his place again. “Would you eat with us?” He asked them.

“Sure!” Hiya said and both he and Hiwa helped themselves on some meat.

****

“So, why are you here, Lahash? Changed your mind after all?” Allocen asked the newly arrived Angel of Dark and Light.

They were at his office in Purgatory. Allocen concealed Lahash’s aura against all prying eyes, ears and noses. His visit must be important. It was truly a surprise for him.

“I wish to avenge Obyzouth’s death,” Lahash’s teeth gritted as he told Allocen about his decision.

Allocen smiled at this.

“Very good, Lahash. So, when are you coming to fight with us?”

“On Christmas Eve.”

Allocen nodded, satisfied.

“Very well, then. I will tell Asmodeus and Barbatos about this matter. So, what do you think you’re going to do then?”

“I will avenge Obyzouth’s death,” Lahash repeated as he looked Allocen’s eyes deeply.

His large scythe appeared and he suddenly attacked Allocen. His shoulder was caught by the pointed part of the scythe.

“Are you crazy, Lahash?” In panic, he disappeared to go to Hell. He was lucky that his serpentine stone was safe, which was buried in his right shoulder.

He wondered how Lahash knew that his serpentine stone was hidden there. Who could have told him? Oh, it must be Obyzouth for she knew everything about him. He was breathing so hard when he entered Hell. Then, he suddenly appeared in Beelzebub’s room.

Beelzebub was surprised to see him there with a wound. “What happened?” He asked curiously.

“Lahash. He attacked me suddenly.”

“How did you let this happen? Are you naïve?! You know that you can’t trust him anymore because he took Azza’s side.”

“Yes, but I thought he changed his mind. He even said that he would avenge Obyzouth’s death. He loved her once if I am not mistaken.”

“Yes, he did love her once. It was not merely lust between them. They loved each other dearly in the past. Maybe that is why he wanted revenge for her.”

Allocen shook his head in confusion.

“I can’t believe he’s doing this to me. He was loyal to me and Obyzouth once. I don’t know what changed him – or who changed him…”

“It was Azza for sure. She is truly an influence. She must be gone on Christmas!”

“No, we can’t do that. We still have to eliminate the two nephilims that are guarding them.”

“Who?”

“The two elder brothers of Alex, Semyaza’s older sons.”

“This is getting out of hand, Allocen. I do not like this!”

“Oh, I thought I just imagined some commotion here,” Asmodeus was grinning like a mad dog at Lahash.

“Be productive, Asmodeus! You are not needed here!” Beelzebub hollered at him.

Asmodeus’ grin faded and looked at Lahash seriously.

“What happened to you?”

“Lahash did this to me. We should not trust him.” Allocen replied.

Beelzebub and Asmodeus looked at each other without words.

Chapter 18

“One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.” - Hafiz of Persia

Christmas Eve. Azza was looking at the Christmas tree outside her house with a happy face. The lights were twinkling so beautifully in that snowy night. Alex was behind her, embracing her comfortably.

“You like the lights? I’ve been working on them so hard! You should like them!”

Azza laughed and nodded.

“Yeah, I like them a lot! I never had a Christmas tree at my yard!” She paused and looked up at him in the eyes. “Thank you, Alex! They look so beautiful! And I feel so happy right now.”

Alex smiled at her and kissed her lips.

“You’re welcome. I am so happy, too.”

Hiya and Hiwa appeared half-naked near the Christmas tree. Their grin was from ear to ear.

“Hey, turtle doves!” Hiya called out to them at the balcony. “Happy Christmas!”

Hiwa let out some firecrackers and fireworks by his powers. They looked up at them with happy smiles on their faces. Azza and Alex kissed under the fireworks prepared by his older brother.

He sent his brothers a heart symbol from his ring to let them know that he loved them and that he was happy they were there to spend Christmas with him and Azza. This was the first time they were together and so happy together.

The four of them ate together at the living room where Azza prepared the food and some special delicacies she bought and collected around the world the other day.

“Wow, this one is good!” He referred to the so-called Piaya from Bacolod, Philippines.

“And what’s this?” Hiwa asked, referring to a light blue and white small rectangular box and paused to read, “Sans rival? Let’s try this one.” Then, he took a rounded piece from the box. “Hmm… this is so good! I never tasted like this before!”

Azza smiled at her lover’s brothers. They were like kids, trying new things. Alex came behind her and embraced her once again. She offered her lips for a kiss and he did so obligingly.

“That one is from Dumaguete City, Philippines,” she informed Hiwa with a smile.

“Oh, it’s great!”

Alex picked one piece, too and ate it. He nodded while looking at his girlfriend.

“It tastes heavenly!” He said while chewing.

Then, he was forced to swallow what he was eating when Asmodeus, Allocen and Barbatos arrived. The four of them looked at the newcomers.

“Care to join us, folks?” Hiya chuckled.

Everyone was alert though. What were these three Angels of Dark and Light want with them now? It was Christmas Eve for heaven’s sake.

Asmodeus opened his mouth wide and everyone was in their fighting position. Hiya’s pair of sickles was bouncing here and there as he targeted Asmodeus. Hiwa on the other hand, let go of his arrows. The three targets were quick enough to dodge the arrows and sickles.

“Get out of here!” Hiwa told Azza and Alex.

Sparks were everywhere. Azza’s house’s beautifully arranged things and other furniture were all in a mess. The food and delicacies were thrown all over the place.

“No, we should help you!” Alex shouted back at his brother.

Azza’s xiphos was in her hand and ready to slay Allocen when Lahash stopped her as he appeared before her. Her eyes were opened wide, as well as Allocen’s. They did not foresee that this would happen. His scythe crossed with her xiphos.

“Get out of here Allocen,” Lahash said through gritted teeth. Azza was so strong. His scythe was slowly pushed backward to his face.

“You’re such a traitor, Lahash!” Azza told him angrily.

“Don’t blame me, Azza,” he countered.

Azza turned around to stab him at the side but he was quick stop the xiphos by the handle of his scythe.

Allocen disappeared when he saw Azza and Lahash fighting. Asmodeus tried to eat by magneting Hiya’s sickles.

“Brother, help!” Hiya turned to his older brother Hiwa.

“Hold on, brother!” He said to him.

Alex on the other hand was busy fighting against Barbatos by hand-to-hand combat. So far, no one was able to hurt the other.

“Be careful, Alex. He is very tricky!” Hiwa warned him.

“Yeah, I can take care of myself, brother!” Alex answered without separating his eyes from his opponent. Then, he summoned Dantanian’s sharp whip. He struck the floor testily and it cracked and smoke came out of it in an instant.

Barbatos was threatened of it. He looked around and by his power, he elevated all things that he wished and slammed them at Alex’s direction. But, Alex was quick to transport himself behind him. He was bound by the sharp whip that angrily buried in his flesh. Then, he transported himself back to Hell and the whip vanished.

Alex sighed when Barbatos was gone. So did Lahash.

Hiwa helped his brother Hiya by sending Asmodeus his arrows. Asmodeus tried to suck the arrows, too. However, the arrows were powerful enough to pierce his throat. He was not banished by those but he disappeared to go back to hell in defeat.

Hiya was relieved to see that his sickles were safe.

“I’m sure they’re back in Hell,” Hiwa guessed.

“Perhaps we should tell father about this. It is really getting more and more annoying and troublesome,” Hiya suggested to his older brother.

“No,” Alex opposed.

“I don’t think your father should be burdened with this problem. Anyway, he already knows about your brother’s destiny by the end of this year. He only wished to make Alex go through until then.” Azza sighed and looked at Alex.

Her xiphos disappeared, so did Hiya’s and Hiwa’s weapons.

“But I know that father will surely help us if we will bring the battle in Hell,” Hiwa looked at Alex and Azza in the eyes.

The lovebirds looked at each other for a moment.

“There is still someone behind this aside from those who showed up in front of us, you know,” Hiwa continued.

“And who is it?” Azza asked curiously.

“I think it is Beelzebub. He is extraordinarily quite all this time. And I feel that he is envious with our father because he is the Heir of Hell.” Hiwa replied.

“Oh, really?” Hiya could not believe it.

“You should be more perceptive, brother,” Hiwa lectured him.

Hiya just grinned without humor. Then, he looked around at the mess.

“Really a pity!” He murmured.

However, Azza put them all together again as if nothing happened just a short while ago.

“Wow! You’re really cool, Azza!” Hiya said as if he was like a delighted kid with a surprised present given to him. “Thanks! I wanted to try that one Hiwa tried before those killjoys arrived.”

Azza just smiled at him slightly and looked at Alex with concern.

“I don’t think this has to go on.”

“I agree,” Hiwa butted in quietly. “But what’s the plan now? Lahash is with them. We cannot trust him.”

“Yes, I know that.” Azza turned to answer Hiwa. “Maybe I’ll ask help from Buer or Baraqel. It is really getting out of hand. I don’t want to lose anymore life.”

“Right, but I don’t think that Buer or Baraqel would join in this mess.” Hiya chimed in while he was enjoying eating another piece of Sans rival. “They should be neutral. They are supposed to manage Purgatory.”

“He’s got a point, Azza,” Hiwa agreed with his brother.

“But, maybe Buer or Baraqel could send someone to assist us.”

“I am not expecting any more help, Azza. We can do this,” Alex sighed.

“We are strong enough. Look at what happened. They all retreated,” Hiwa said as a matter of fact.

Azza sighed. The three brothers all agreed with each other’s opinions. She had no power to show them that they were wrong. Besides, they told the truth. However, she was still concerned that before New Year’s Eve, Alex might die.

****

“Morons! Imbeciles!” Beelzebub shouted at his three followers. “How could you not take care of Azza this time? She was only with three nephilims who were not more powerful than you are!” His eyes practically flamed in anger. “I know she is strong but how could you not have such a plan to trick them or something?!”

Barbatos and Asmodeus still tended their respective wounds. Allocen just stared into nothingness.

“I will give you this one last chance. Next time, I will be there to take care of such things,” Beelzebub decided angrily. “Now, get out of my sight!”

After the three disappeared, Lahash appeared behind Beelzebub.

“So, what do you need, Lahash?” He prompted without turning to face the newcomer.

“I don’t need anything from you, Beelzebub. It is you who owes me.” Lahash said in a quiet voice. He looked around Beelzebub’s room. Everything in it seemed to flame because of the owner’s anger toward his underlings.

“Why don’t you take a break? You know that Azza is a strong Angel of Dark and Light. No one is a match for her even Michael, you know it. He wasn’t able to defeat her even once. Yes, you may say that they both have the same strength.”

“What do you want to say, Lahash?” Beelzebub calmed down and everything that flamed stopped flaming and cooled down. This time, he turned around to look at the newcomer.

“Judging by her strength, her weakness should be eliminated first,” Lahash suggested.

Beelzebub looked like he heard a scandal. He intensely looked at Lahash’s eyes and his expression. There was no game going around in those. He was perfectly sane and serious.

“That was my original plan,” he said at length.

“Well, revert back to your original plan,” Lahash countered.

“You know that he is surrounded with powerful beings… plus, he is powerful himself,” Beelzebub informed Lahash.

Lahash nodded. “Yes, I know,” he agreed. “However, we have to plan the right time and place for it. Not around Azza.”

“But they are inseparable.”

“Yes, they are. He is working during the day.”

“I didn’t know this. I thought Azza was always with him.” Beelzebub shook his head, his eyes showed confusion.

“Yes, it’s unbelievable. Right? But, I have been watching them lately. This is their current routine.”

Beelzebub swallowed and he got excited with this information.

“What if I am going to take the nephilim here?” Lahash suggested.

“Do you think that they would still trust you after what happened tonight?” Beelzebub contradicted.

“I am confident that I can take on his older brothers.”

Beelzebub laughed. “Don’t forget you were badly hurt because of them.”

“I discover something to trick them,” Lahash said quietly.

“And what is that discovery?” Beelzebub got serious then.

“I don’t need to tell you. It’s my move, not yours.”

“If you do, then why are you here? Why are you telling me all this?”

“I just want you to stay away from Azza. She’s got nothing to do with all this. It just only happens that she is in love with her order. Once he’s gone, everything will be back to normal.”

Beelzebub shook his head with a grin.

“No. Not normal anymore, Lahash. Because by then, I will be the King of Hell. I will change things around here.”

Lahash just looked at him and disappeared. He did not wish to listen to Beelzebub anymore. Whatever changes he planned for Hell, he did not care one bit.

****

“I see that this is getting more and more serious,” Baraqel sighed.

He was sitting next to Buer’s table in his office in Purgatory. They were both in their hooded black robes.

“Yes, you are right, Baraqel,” Buer agreed. “But what can we do? We are merely personnel in Purgatory. We cannot interfere on Earth.”

“True. However, I was thinking if Sorath or anyone could assist Azza for the time being. I don’t want to see her break down if the nephilim is gone before the Earth’s New Year’s Eve.”

“You say Sorath, Baraqel?”

“Yes, Sorath. He was approached by Alex once. Someone saw them talking and reported to me. So, perhaps he would be welcomed by his group without questions.”

“Azza doesn’t trust anyone anymore, Baraqel. Even Lahash has betrayed her. I don’t think this is wise after all. Besides, she is strong. I believe in her.”

“Yes, I know. But the others are not strong enough when Azza is not around. No one could protect that nephilim then.”

“I understand your concern, Baraqel and I thank you for that, my friend.”

“But what, Buer?”

“I hear that Azza wouldn’t want to lose another life if she can help it. But we know that it is inevitable. And yet, we cannot drag another Angel of Dark and Light to join this battle.”

“All the same, I will send Sorath to watch out for that nephilim when Azza is not around. This is my help for her and for you, my friend.”

“Thank you, Baraqel. I owe this big for eternity.”

“Never mind eternity. We are doomed in Purgatory. We are choosing to remain here no matter what.”

Buer chuckled because of it and shook his head. Baraqel vanished and he was left contemplating on some matters regarding Azza’s predicament at the moment. He did not wish to regret what he had done, but everything was in the past now. All he had to do was to settle everything as soon as possible. He cared too much for her who was like a daughter to him. He could not afford of letting her hurt herself and drown in pain. He had to save her from all that. First, by saving and protecting the life of that nephilim before New Year’s Eve.

****

“Why am I here?” Sorath asked through telepathy. He was looking at Baraqel with alert eyes.

The two hooded black robed Angels of Dark and Light faced each other.

“You barely visit Purgatory, Sorath.” Baraqel commented through his thoughts.

“I know this is not the reason why I am here,” he said through telepathy again. “Tell me quickly and so I can leave immediately.”

“Yes, I do not intend to hold you for a long time here, Sorath. I just want you to send to protect Alex whenever Azza is not around him.”

“Alex? Who is he?”

“He is Azza’s assignment. Remember the nephilim who approached you once in the hospital? That was the one I am talking about now.”

“I see. So, who am I protecting him against with?”

“Against Lahash, Barbatos, Allocen, Asmodeus and the one behind them that I know not at the moment. I will let you know once I have the information so that you will be alert at all times.”

“I don’t get it why I am given this task. Azza is strong enough against them all.”

Baraqel laughed at it a bit.

“Sure, but she has become weak because of this nephilim. You see, she is in love with him.”

“Oh, that was why he was looking for her at that time he approached me.”

“So, you understand this now.”

“Yes, I will do as you asked, Baraqel.”

Baraqel nodded and Sorath was gone before he could speak more. He turned into his human form and sighed. His thoughts were full of Azza and her group, their life were more in danger as the New Year’s Eve was approaching so fast.

He decided to summon Semyaza through telepathy.

Semyaza did not let him down. He appeared in just a second afterward. His human form was full of dusts.

“Where were you?” Baraqel was confused.

“Oh, I was just in my room in Hell. I was cleaning it up.” He grinned and dusted himself.

“Anyway, just to let you know… I sent Sorath to protect your youngest son when Azza is not around him.”

“Oh, that’s very thoughtful of you, Baraqel. I have already my two sons guarding him. No need for Sorath. I know that he’s got something else in mind besides protecting a nephilim.”

Baraqel shook his head.

“No problem with that, Semyaza. He agreed right away.”

“Oh, I wonder why?”

“He’s unpredictable. We know it. But at least, he is one reliable thing.”

Semyaza grinned and nodded. “Allocen and the rest should be careful with him then.”

“Meanwhile, I petitioned for Allocen’s removal in Purgatory’s office.”

“Oh, you can do that?” Semyaza chuckled.

“Yes, I already sent it to Heaven two days ago. I am now waiting for their decision and approval. I am sure what I justified were concrete enough to let him go.”

“Oh, I did not think you were able to do that. Really.”

“It is time for him to be in Hell. He doesn’t belong in Purgatory anymore. And after what he has done all this time, he is meant to serve in Hell.”

“I don’t think Lucifer would like this idea.”

“But Allocen is a Duke of Hell. Why not?”

“Well, we just learned that he conspired with the plan to kill my son. So, as my friend, he feels for me.”

Baraqel laughed.

“Really? This is so impossible! I did not think he would.”

“You don’t know Lucifer very well then, Baraqel. He’s a loyal friend.”

“Well, then. As you say…”

“Anyway, thanks for letting me come over and tell me something good. I never heard such good news lately.” Semyaza was grateful.

“Don’t mention it, Semyaza. But don’t think I am doing this for you or for your son. It is all for Azza.”

“Azza is truly so blessed to have some beings around her.”

“Wish you good luck in cleaning up your room, then.”

“Yes, thank you. I’ll get going then and continue the chore I left.” Semyaza bade goodbye and disappeared.

“I wonder why he didn’t just order somebody else to do that dirty work for him?” Baraqel asked himself in wonderment.

****

“So, you are saying that Plaedians were the ones that created humans as a sort of experiment and let them live on Earth, a three-dimensional planet.”

“Yes,” Azza was teaching Alex some things about the true history of Earth and humankind on that weekend. In just a few days, it would be New Year’s Eve.

“And that, the Annunaki came to intervene the highly evolved humankind at the time?”

Azza nodded.

“They created Adam and Eve to downgrade the DNA of humankind when they interbreed with them. That is why, all people in the world is controlled by those Reptilians. Only a few are evolved and know the secret knowledge.”

“That is correct. And you are one of those who know the reality.” Azza smiled at him.

“You have been here for a long time, why didn’t you just help the people to be awakened?” He complained.

“It is because the people’s brains are already controlled since they are born. Their brain and DNA were already suppressed to know the truth. So even if you presented the reality to them, they would reject it because they have already known the things that they are raised to believe in – except for those who remain open-minded. Chances are, only a small percentage of the total population of the world that accept the reality.”

“I still do not understand why people have to believe the evil system. They should trust their intuition.”

“Yes, but perhaps they are already used to their comfort zones that they do not wish to go out of it and not think out of the box, you know.”

Alex sighed in despair. He wanted to help the people all around the world. He wished that they also know what he learned. He thought that they should be awakened so that they would end their karmic life on Earth and move on into another dimension – another world and take all the lessons they learned to become more evolved and eventually, they could go back to be forever connected with each of their godhead.

Chapter 19

“Death is nothing else but going home to God, the bond of love will be unbroken for all eternity.” ~ Mother Theresa

Lahash was lurking at the hospital. However, he did not go undetected because Hiya and Hiwa could smell his odor even though he tried to conceal himself. He planned on kidnapping Alex and thought of bringing him to face Beelzebub in Hell. Although he knew that the nephilim’s father would be there, Beelzebub was strong enough to conceal the nephilim’s aura from everyone in Hell.

“I’m sorry, I know this is sudden. But I have to leave town before the New Year’s Eve,” Alex explained to the director of the hospital he worked for. “Please, just accept my resignation.”

The director of the hospital sighed in agreement.

“Alright. But in case you will be back in town afterwards, know that you are still welcome here. We do not know such responsible person like you whether I am present in the hospital or not. It is such a pity to lose someone like you.”

“Yes, thank you. And I am sorry about this.”

“I understand. I just wish you good luck, Dr. Miller.”

“Thank you, Dr. Harrison.”

He went out of the office of the director. He planned to throw a party at least in the hospital for everyone as his goodbye to them. He would not be alive anymore after tonight’s New Year’s Eve. It was only a few hours from now. He was sad to leave his colleagues forever.

“So, here you are!” Lahash said through gritted teeth. He caught Alex behind by the neck.

Alex could not move but he twisted and tried to turn around to fight off Lahash. However, he seemed somewhat paralyzed. He had no idea why.

“Let him go, Lahash!” Sorath ordered Lahash through telepathy. He was behind him.

He turned around, Alex was still in his arms.

“Out of my sight, Sorath if you don’t want to be hurt.” Lahash warned him.

Sorath, for the first time, turned into his human form. His ugly scarred face surprised Alex. His face was full of scars from lightning and sword when he fought against the angels in Heaven during the Great Rebellion.

“This nephilim is under my protection, Lahash. You cannot order me to get away and leave him with you. I know he will be harmed by you and the others.” He continued to talk through telepathy.

“Sorath, just go away!” Alex ordered the Angel of Dark and Light. He did not want him to get hurt because of him.

“No, nephilim! I am ordered to stay with you and protect you when Azza is not around!” This time, Sorath spoke through his mouth. “I am bound by my words!”

Lahash laughed. “Then, come with me in Hell!”

“Nooo!” Hiwa and Hiya shouted.

Other people in the hospital witnessed the scene. Alex waved his hands on the air to calm them down.

“People, calm down! I am… I am only playing with my buddies… as my goodbye party to you all! I resigned!”

The colleagues’ jaws dropped when they heard that he was resigning.

“So, just calm down. We are just… acting!” Alex said.

So the others went on their business as if nothing happened.

“If you harm our brother, Lahash, I swear…” Hiwa warned through gritted teeth. His bow and arrows were ready in his hands.

“No, you can’t harm me here, stinky nephilims!” Lahash answered.

“What? Did you just call us stinky?” Hiya asked angrily. His sickles were thrown toward him but Lahash was able to dodge through his power.

“If you wish to get your brother back alive, follow us in Hell!” Lahash said.

Before he vanished together with Alex, Sorath caught Lahash by the feet. He was transported as well in Hell and to Beelzebub’s room.

“Well, well, well. I did not think you were able to do this job, Lahash,” Beelzebub said with a clap of his hands as he saw them all three. “And what is my long lost friend doing here, Lahash?” He referred to Sorath who was at Lahash’s feet.

Sorath got up like a zombie.

“We are not friends anymore, Beelzebub,” he hissed through telepathy. “When you left me for dead, it was all over between us!”

Beelzebub laughed.

“Oh, you still remembered that historical day, my friend. I am sorry. I just saved my ass out there.”

Sorath summoned his axe and quickly threw it toward Beelzebub. However, it was like a toy and useless when it hit the wrong target. The opponent easily dodged away from it. The axe was now resting near the window of Beelzebub’s room.

“You are not quite friendly right now, Sorath,” Beelzebub’s face turned serious. Gone was his teasing and chuckling.

“I am not your friend anymore, Beelzebub. Those times we spent together are all gone since you left me for dead! I can never forgive you for that. Ever!” He said and summoned his axe again.

This time, he aimed it to Lahash. The axe landed on Lahash’s forehead. Alex was then let go unintentionally.

“I didn’t mean to do that,” Sorath said through telepathy.

He snatched Alex away to get out of the room but it was already too late. Beelzebub sealed his room. Nobody could leave his room now.

Lahash took out the axe from his forehead angrily. “That was not funny, Sorath!” He burnt the axe to dusts by his powers. His wound slowly healed. “I’ll show you my wrath!”

Lahash summoned his scythe. Both Sorath and Alex were ready to fight against him or Beelzebub, should he decided to fight now. Alex summoned Dantanian’s tussah and Sorath summoned his axe again.

“That tussah is very familiar, nephilim,” Beelzebub teased Alex.

“Because of you, the owner of this is gone. You will pay for it!” Alex said.

Before Alex or Sorath could move to attack Beelzebub and Lahash, Allocen, Asmodeus and Barbatos appeared with grin on their faces.

“Good that you are here now,” Beelzebub was satisfied. At last, the nephilim was so near for his touch. He could just reach out his hand and he could caress his angry face. “No one can help this nephilim now! You see, Lahash was not elaborate with his plan but look… he is very successful to bring me the nephilim, which, all of you failed to do!”

“You did not say to bring him alive here,” Allocen murmured angrily.

“I heard you, Allocen,” Beelzebub said. “It depends on your plan. What I wanted was the end result, which is to bring me his soul!”

Lahash’s wound was completely healed now. He just gave the other three Angels of Dark and Light a mocking smile. Allocen was very pissed off. Lahash completely played him and made a fool of him.

****

“What? What did you say, Hiya?” Azza blew in angry fits when she heard the news about Alex’s kidnapping. They were at her living room at the moment.

“You heard him, Azza. Lahash successfully kidnapped my brother and brought him to Hell,” Hiwa answered, his voice was calmed. He tried.

“Why didn’t you do anything?”

“It was too late. Lahash already got him as a hostage when we got near to them. Lucky enough, at least, that Sorath is with him right now. He vanished together with Alex and Lahash.” Hiya answered.

Azza controlled herself not to cry. Her thoughts had gone wild. Maybe when she and the others would be too late already, when they would come after them in Hell. She tried not to panic.

“Are you sure that Sorath is with him?”

“Yes, I told you. He vanished together with Alex and Lahash,” Hiya said firmly.

“We have to come after them right now!” Azza said.

She looked at the wall clock. It was still four hours before New Year’s Eve. It was more than two hours ago that Alex was kidnapped. She still could not make the decision back then because the two nephilims tried to calm her down. They did not tell her right away what happened to Alex.

“We don’t want you to get hurt, Azza,” Hiwa said with a controlled voice.

Hiya looked at his brother. It looked like he was in command on Azza at the moment. However, he saw Azza shook her head.

“I don’t want your brother to get hurt before midnight!”

“Yes, we know that!”

“But why are you not trying to do anything now?”

“There’s… a problem,” Hiya stated.

“What?!”

“We cannot enter Hell anymore. We tried!” Hiya revealed.

“What?! This is ridiculous! You can enter and exit Hell whenever you wish! Whenever we wish!” Azza said her hands gestured angrily.

“They blocked the entrance and exit of Hell right now, Azza.” Hiwa said as a matter of fact.

“So what are we going to do now?”

“There is only one way to find out how to enter Hell now,” Hiwa replied.

Hiya and Hiwa looked at each other. Then, Hiwa looked at Azza again before he started to speak again.

“We need a sacrifice to enter Hell. A soul would lure it to open again.” Hiwa revealed.

Azza’s eyes were wide open. Her thoughts were in riots. Who the hell were they going to sacrifice at this time?

“I suppose, you need some help,” Buer appeared before them.

They all looked at him as he walked closer to them.

“Buer, we can’t…” Azza started to speak.

Buer hushed her by his power. He smiled at her reassuringly.

“Don’t worry. I have an emergency order for you. It would help you to enter Hell in the right time.” He looked at his wrist watch. “Exactly thirty seconds, someone is going to die. I did not give this soul to anyone yet knowing that you are in such trouble. That soul would be useful and I was right.”

“So, what are we waiting for?” Hiya asked.

They all transported in a hospital. Just in time, a guy in ICU died when they appeared. Nobody was with him.

“Why is he alone?” Azza asked Buer.

The nurses and a doctor were busy reviving him. However, the cord of life already came out of his mouth, which was invisible to the hospital’s personnel. Azza took out her xiphos and cut it. The soul came out of the body with a deep breath.

Then, he was surprised to see other people in the room. He turned to look at the hospital’s personnel trying to revive him. He grinned and looked at himself anew.

“He was shot in the head. He was caught robbing a store. He has no more family or friends,” Buer stated.

The soul of the man nodded as if he was proud he of what he had done and who he lost.

“That is true. I wish to die right away because I am curious to see Hell. Everyone was saying that I would go to Hell because of the bad deeds I did,” he said truthfully. “I want to experience what Hell is like.”

Azza smiled at him like they were friends all their life.

“Alright, then I will guide you there.”

They were all transported in a dark room and a door opened. Azza stepped together with the soul, so did the nephilims. Buer was left behind and bade them goodbye.

They all knew that there was no accurate time if they would see each other again.

****

The entrance of Hell opened. Lucifer was confused. He did not seal the entrance and exit of his domain. He summoned Semyaza and he appeared right away before his throne.

“Did you seal our domain, Semyaza?”

Semyaza looked confused and shook his head. “No. That’s ridiculous! Why?”

“I found it sealed and it opened just now.”

After he spoke, he saw a soul brought by Azza and Semyaza’s nephilims.

“Sons, what happened?” Semyaza was concerned.

The soul of the robber that Azza brought in with was immediately sucked by the Lake of Fire and there, he cried in pain.

“What is Azza doing here?” Lucifer asked.

“Alex is here,” Hiwa answered to both questions of the King and the Heir of Hell. “He’s kidnapped by Lahash and is brought here.”

“But I don’t feel him,” Semyaza said and blinked.

“I think Beelzebub was the one who sealed Hell so that we cannot come after our brother right away. It was good that Buer was able to help us. That’s why we are here,” Hiwa reported.

Semyaza looked at Beelzebub’s room. He could not feel any aura other than the owner of the room. He looked at Asmodeus’ and Barbatos’ rooms but he did not find them there.

“I think they are telling the truth, Lucifer. It is no joke. We must save my son!” Semyaza said to his friend urgently after his short time of investigation.

“Well, I am kind of bored here, too. Sitting all day. It’s time to kick ass!” Lucifer grinned at his friend.

“Good then!” Semyaza grinned and they all went together to Beelzebub’s room.

By Lucifer’s touch, the seal was gone. He was after all, the King of this domain. Nothing should be kept from him.

Beelzebub felt it and so did the others.

The room was already a mess due to the small battle between Alex, Sorath and Beelzebub’s powerful group. Azza was so relieved to see that Alex was still alive.

Beelzebub’s face was beyond anger. Alex was strong enough to hold them back together with Sorath. Asmodeus was rendered helpless when the nephilim’s power was unleashed. He thought that Asmodeus could render him powerless. However, it was the other way around.

“You shall die, Beelzebub!” Azza was so angry that she threw her xiphos toward him.

He forgot that it was so powerful that even if he dodged he was hit by it. He groaned in pain. Semyaza on the other hand, showed his wrath and slayed Allocen in an instant by using his mind bomb. Allocen just blew up without apparent reason. His serpentine stone was broken into tiny pieces and was gone into thin air.

Lahash and the others slowly stepped backward. Lucifer sealed the room so that no one could get out. They had to face each other once and for all.

“I don’t know if you need redemption, Beelzebub,” Lucifer whispered dangerously.

Beelzebub’s wound was healed by his powers. Azza felt so bad that all by herself, she attacked them all in one move. She watched them all go down to the floor, bleeding to death.

However, Lucifer healed them by his mind powers. He wanted to torture them.

“Why did you heal them?” Azza demanded angrily to Lucifer. Her eyes were blazing with fire in her anger.

Hiya and Hiwa used their respective weapons to get back at Lahash and others. Lucifer healed them once again.

“Stop this, Lucifer,” Hiwa demanded too in anger.

“No, they have to feel the pain every now and then,” Lucifer smiled. “It is good to know that they can feel pain! It will remind them that they are mortal here.”

The others got the idea about death now. They learned the truth just at this moment. And it is already too late for them.

Then, Sorath threw away his axe and it slashed their enemies by the face. Lucifer slowly healed them again. Sorath looked at Lucifer with anger in his eyes.

“I shall leave here then. I don’t think I am needed here anymore, anyway,” he said through telepathy to everybody and vanished.

And without their knowledge, Beelzebub broke the seal of the room. Lucifer was fast enough to seal the domain before they could go out and escape forever. That was the best he could do.

Beelzebub, Lahash, Asmodeus and Barbatos were flying around the Lake of Fire. Their wings were flapping strongly while they flew around. They were looking for some weak points of Hell where they could use as their doorway to freedom.

“You have no way out!” Lucifer shouted at them and he laughed.

It was maddening and goose bumps could be felt all over their human form body.

Azza’s wings flapped and she flew toward the four Angels of Dark and Light.

“You cannot escape from me. I assure that!” Azza said and she threw four xiphos against the four enemies.

Her four xiphos were like magnets toward her enemies. They were all hit at the different parts of their body.

Alex helped her by summoning Dantanian’s tussah and wrapped them all in it together. The tussah buried itself in their flesh. The four Angels of Dark and Light moaned in pain. By the power of his ring, his symbols were summoned and he chose again the power symbol of Reiki, Cho Ku Rei, to finish off all four of their remaining enemies.

Beelzebub and Lahash used their power to escape from the tussah. Asmodeus and Barbatos were too distracted by the pain that they could not escape from it. Hiya threw away his sickles to catch the fugitives but they were able to dodge away from his weapons.

Hiwa used his bow and arrows but all the same, they were able to dodge the arrows and burnt them. The souls in the Lake of Fire were screaming, watching at their small battle. Their hands wanted to reach out to them.

Asmodeus and Barbatos gave in to the pain. Their bodies burst into dusts and they were gone quickly into thin air.

“Good riddance,” Semyaza’s voices were so low but they could still hear him say it.

“Alright, I will leave you to end this private battle. You gave life to my domain after all,” Lucifer decided. He returned to his throne and just watched the battle like he was watching TV.

“Maybe I will watch this from a distance, too,” Semyaza decided to leave and stood near Lucifer after a while.

The two of them talked like they were watching a game. They were making some comments now and then.

“Beelzebub is persistent, I give you that,” Semyaza laughed.

Azza threw her xiphos and she flew toward her two remaining enemies. She was in the middle and the three of them were engaged in a hand-to-hand combat in the air.

The three nephilims could just watch in awe.

“Better leave Azza to punish those two,” Hiya chuckled.

They saw that Azza’s strength was never diminishing. It was like her strength grew more each passing minute.

“You better not piss her off, brother,” Hiwa advised Alex with a chuckle as well.

The two older brothers had a high five with a laugh.

Then, they saw with a kick, Lahash was sent falling downward to the Lake of Fire, where the waiting hands of the souls caught him and never let him go.

“Azza! Help me!” He shouted from the Lake of Fire.

Azza just glanced down at him with satisfied look. Then, she turned to Beelzebub.

Chapter 20

Death – the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening. ~ Walter Scott

“Now, we shall finish this, Beelzebub. I don’t want to see your face ever again!” She said.

The wall clock at Azza’s house stroke midnight. It was already New Year’s Eve.

Before she could give a big blow for Beelzebub, she did not notice that he was aiming a spell at Alex. Alex convulsed right away and burst into flames. His body dropped dead while the others were just surprised at how quickly it happened!

Beelzebub laughed triumphantly.

“I may not be successful to take his soul to be my hostage against Semyaza, but I am successful to take his life!”

Semyaza heard it and realized why his son was to be murdered by his fellow Fallen Angel. He looked at his friend Lucifer, who just shrugged and shook his head.

Azza, with one strike hit Beelzebub by the face. Her xiphos was stabbing him all over his body as he was falling down to the Lake of Fire. Her xiphos struck and broke his serpentine stone that was buried in his right kidney.

“Nooo!” Lahash was surprised as Beelzebub’s dead body came falling toward him.

Lahash was buried deep down the Lake of Fire, together with Beelzebub. Then, all of them witnessed the ascension of all souls from the Lake of Fire. They were sucked by a bright light toward the skies.

Azza came down and hid her wings. She cried at the sight of the burnt body of Alex. She looked at Hiya and Hiwa. Then, Hiwa pointed something down. She looked down and saw the cord of life of Alex came out of his burnt belly. She summoned her xiphos and slowly cut it while her tears were pouring down.

Semyaza patted her shoulder lightly.

“You did not do anything wrong, Azza. Look,” he said to her and she turned to where he pointed the direction of his finger.

Alex came out of the Lake of Fire. She smiled back at his smiling face. One hand was extended to her. She then wiped away her tears. She adored his new look now. His body was shining with luminous light.

“What were you doing down there?” She asked with curiosity.

“I made sure that Lahash and Beelzebub cannot come out of there ever,” he answered.

He bent and kissed Azza’s lips. She felt that their connection grew stronger by the moment.

Semyaza took his son’s dead body and placed it inside his room. He cleaned up his son’s body by his powers to look like he wasn’t burnt at all. He smiled and congratulated himself.

“I will never miss my son again,” he whispered to himself. He turned to his window and watched the ascending couple.

Azza and Alex bade them goodbye as they were sucked up by the light as well. Then, the light was gone, so were they.

“There’s no more souls left,” Lucifer said to himself while watching the empty Lake of Fire.

“You still have us!” Hiya said with excitement in his voice.

“What? Are you willing to dance in the Lake of Fire for me?” Lucifer asked.

“What? That’s ridiculous!” Hiwa frowned at Lucifer. “You dance alone!” He turned to his brother and left him.

“Anyway, there are still some new souls that would come here,” Hiya assured Lucifer with a serious face.

Lucifer looked at him and then to his friend.

“That’s correct, my friend,” Semyaza nodded with a smile of assurance.

****

Alex blinked when finally they touched somewhat a floor under his feet. He looked around. Everywhere was white. They walked around for a long time. Then, he saw some mountains with flowers, trees, animals and birds that were flying freely. He could also see the valleys, rivers and the big ocean from where they stood. He could feel that everything was emitting happy energies.

“Is this Heaven?” He asked Azza.

Azza smiled at him.

“Yes, Alex. This is Heaven. This is our original planet.”

Before Alex could ask Azza, he saw a man was walking toward them.

“Welcome back, Azza!” Said the smiling but cruel looking being.

He met them and embraced Azza lightly. Then, he looked at Alex.

“Who is this? Do I know him?”

Azza smiled and introduced Alex. “Yes, Michael. This is Alex. My twinflame. We will never be separated again. I won’t allow it!”

“Oh, so I get it now. You joined the Great Rebellion because of him?”

Azza nodded.

“Yes, I felt I lacked something. I wasn’t whole. And when I met him, I felt that he was the one, the missing piece of me.”

Michael smiled at Azza and nodded.

“I agree. But I never heard anyone say that you found the reason why you joined the Great Rebellion.”

“I am happy I found him. It was so long, waiting for him.”

“You do understand what she meant by that, right?” Michael turned to Alex.

Alex wanted to get jealous but he found out that he could no longer feel such feeling. His heart just felt so light and he was full of love, especially to Azza.

He looked at her lovingly and nodded.

“Yes, I understand,” he answered Michael’s question.

“Welcome back, Azza!” Gabriel was grinning and clapped her shoulder in a friendly manner.

“Thank you, Gabriel. Where are the others?”

“Oh, they are so busy since they are going to send all the souls from Hell back to Earth. It seems that everyone was not evolved enough to be sent to another dimensional world.” Gabriel shrugged his answer.

“Oh, so Hell is still going to exist for a long time,” she concluded and looked at Alex.

Alex remembered his father and Lucifer. They could still manage their domain after all that they’d lost.

He smiled at Azza and kissed her cheek.

“So, what is your decision, you two? You wish to be sent to another world?”

Azza and Alex looked at each other for a long time before they answered. They saw Dantanian was walking toward them with a smile.

“Dantanian!” She exclaimed.

The keeper and the butler hugged each other in a friendly manner.

“I missed you. We missed you,” Azza admitted.

They separated and looked at each other.

“I missed you, too,” Dantanian said and looked at Alex. “Nice to see you here, nephilim.”

Alex and Dantanian shook hands as if they were still on Earth.

“Same here, Dantanian. I am happy to see you here at last. I never thought you were gone, but… you know… we just missed you.”

Dantanian nodded and turned to Gabriel.

“So, what you asked them? If they would like to return to another dimensional world? The higher density now?”

Gabriel shrugged at Dantanian’s question. The butler looked at his keeper who held hands with her twinflame, the nephilim.

“He did ask us that. However, I wish to see God before we make the final decision. Right, Alex?” Azza said with a smile.

“Oh, well. I think he wants to see you, too,” Michael butted in.

“Really?” Azza’s smile grew wider and she looked at Alex.

“Yes. Just go to his room.” Michael said with a wink and he turned away to leave their small group.

“Is it really fine to go there, Gabriel?” Azza’s eyes doubted.

“Yes, of course!” Gabriel assured her and he also walked away from them.

“I’ll guide you to God’s room,” Dantanian winked with a smile and they all floated through mountains and valleys and meadows.

Alex and Azza looked at the whole place with awe.

“This is really beautiful!” Alex commented. “I don’t think I want to leave here. It is just all amazing! But I don’t question now why you joined the Great Rebellion,” he smiled down at Azza, who was still holding his hand.

“Yes. You should know that it was because of you. I got bored and felt that I missed that something important part of me.” Azza said in a loving voice.

“So, here we are,” Dantanian stopped and faced the large door.

Azza and Alex looked up at it.

Alex was so amazed at how big it was. “This is it?”

“Yes,” Dantanian said and knocked on the big door through his sharp whip.

The door did not crack or something. Alex was amazed. The door must be very strong indeed!

Then, the huge door opened silently.

“Well, I’ll see you later!” Dantanian bade his goodbye and floated away from them, leaving him and Azza.

They stood there for a while, looking at the huge doorway.

“Well, aren’t you coming in?” The voice seemed to be from a giant but the sound was quite enough.

“Let’s go,” Azza whispered to Alex.

They stepped inside and the huge space met their eyes. At the far end of the room was a throne-like space and Alex saw the biggest giant he ever laid eyes on. He was so amazed!

“Is this God?” He whispered his question to Azza.

Azza nodded to him with a smile and pride.

“Isn’t he looking wonderful?”

Alex was amazed as memories came into his mind like a flash. All Azza’s memories became his and all memories from his past came into his mind like they all happened just yesterday.

“Good that you remember now, nephilim,” God chuckled inside his thoughts with a teasing tone. “Have you learned all the lessons you need?”

“Yes,” Alex answered through his mind.

“Very well. You may decide whether you wish to go to another world or you wish to stay here and create your own universe.”

Alex glanced at Azza with a smile. Then, they both answered God through telepathy.

“We wish to stay in Heaven for eternity,” they decided together as one.

-- The end --

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Chapter 2

 

            “Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.” – Pope Paul VI

Alex Miller should be dead by the end of the year. Azza smiled weakly at herself looking in the mirror the following day. She was in the bathroom and just took a shower. She watched herself naked in the mirror as she was thinking about her new assignment.

“Everything is ready, my lady Angel Azza,” Dantanian called out outside the bathroom.

“Dantanian! I told you not to enter my room!”

She heard him left and closed the door. In an instant, she was out of her bathroom without going through the door. She looked at the dress that Dantanian prepared for her. It was a red dress. She put it on in a blink of an eye. It revealed her cleavage, back, thighs and legs.

“Really, Dantanian!” She murmured to herself disgustedly.

She used her power to hide her double-edged xiphos that was secured around her right thigh. She put some make-up on and sprayed some perfume. She went out of her room afterwards. She could see her butler was at the door, ready to open it for her.

“Call me when you need some assistance,” he said with a straight face.

“Yes. I know, Dantanian. Don’t piss me off! I’m not a kid that you have to tell me that whenever I leave.”

Dantanian smiled to taunt her more. She looked behind her when she felt that someone was coming.

“And what is it you want now, Lahash?” She asked before she saw him appeared.

Lahash, in his human form, smiled at her devilishly. “I just missed you.”

She rolled her eyes. Lahash was truly a persistent kind of Angel of Dark and Light that she had ever known. He even defied and intervened divine will countless times.

“You are delaying me, Lahash. I told you many times that my time is valuable.”

“So is mine. You should know.” He looked at her from head to foot. “By the way, I got an order from Allocen.”

“An order?” She was interested for it was connected with Allocen, the Duke of Hell.

“Yes. I am to murder a human being and bring his soul to Allocen.”

“What? Why is that? And why to him instead of bringing the human soul to the abyss?”

Dantanian was also interested in hearing the other fallen angel’s mission.

Lahash shrugged. “He did not explain. He just told me so.”

Azza thought about it for some more moments. There must be some reason behind it. Allocen could not just simply order something without any reason.

She looked at her butler and he nodded. They knew well their thoughts after being together for such a long time.

“Well then,” she turned to Lahash. “I’ll get going since you don’t seem so interesting to listen to anyway.”

Lahash laughed at her and he vanished first before she could step out of the open doorway. She let out a big sigh and ignored her butler. She marched the garage to drive her 2011 model black sports car.

She drove along Santa Monica Boulevard. She could see couples walking hand in hand, groups of teenagers chattering while walking their way to the university, a mother with a baby on a stroller and some men and women holding the leash of their dogs.

Fall was in the air, she could feel it. However, as an Angel of Dark and Light, she could ignore the weather whenever she wished to. For angels, it was always summer.

She looked for a space at the visitor parking area at Saint John’s Health Center. She already did her research. Alex Miller was a thirty-five-year-old anesthesiologist. He had at least one or two surgeries every day. He had no clinic but he stayed in the Billing Department whenever he was free. If he was not there, he was somewhere else that no one knew. One thing was for sure, he was almost always in his apartment during the night. He was only out when he was on a date, which was not very often; a dinner party, which was also not very frequent; or, some seminars and conventions. Aside from those, he seemed to be a loner - a loner bachelor.

She got out of her car and stared at the blue and white buildings. She was invisible the moment she got out of her car. She then entered the hospital. Nobody could see her except the dying ones. But to them, they could only see her true form as the Angel of Dark and Light with hooded black robe with black pointy large wings on her back. She also noticed that some of her fellow fallen angels were there, who were ready to take away the souls of the patients and guide them into the abyss. On the other hand, she saw the heavenly angels that were guarding the patients who were not going to die just yet. They turned and looked at her with smiling faces. However, she didn’t return their smile.

She entered inside the Billing Department through the closed door. She could see that nobody was in there.

“Is it breaktime or something?” She asked herself sarcastically and glanced at the wall clock.

It was not even ten in the morning.

She continued to walk further and peeked at the two closed doors inside the office. There was no one inside. Not a single soul. She sighed. She closed her eyes and gritted her teeth when she felt someone was coming.

“What is it now?” She angrily asked Lahash, who just appeared.

Lahash grinned. “I felt you around here.”

“Just do your own business, will you?”

“Yeah, I am! Really.” He said seriously. “I just felt you’re here. That’s why I just grabbed the opportunity to see you.”

“You’re wasting my time, Lahash. Go to wherever you should be. Just leave me alone!”

“Hmm… alright.” He said defeated and vanished.

Just when he vanished, the door opened and Alex came in. He almost fell backwards when he saw her.

Azza was confused. He could see her at the moment?

“W-who are you? Why are you here… dressed like that? I do not know any party around here. At least, nobody told me…” The guy muttered breathlessly.

“Can you see me, really?” Azza asked as she pointed herself.

“Of course. Are you supposed to be invisible?”

“Yes.” She rolled her eyes and her brows knitted afterwards.

“Well… you’re not! Who are you, by the way? Do you have any business here?” He asked with confusion drawn on his face. “Who let you in?”

Azza stood there like she was mesmerized by him. She never quite thought that she would feel something different for this man. And for angel’s sake, he was her new assignment.

Alex stepped closer to her.

“Hey. Are you alright?” He waved his hand in front of her face but she did not blink at all. She seemed to be in a trance.

He looked familiar to her – somehow. She had a strange feeling about him. She continued to stare at him. His light brown eyes almost looked like yellow. She somehow saw those eyes but she could not place it. His dark brown hair was perfect for his skin tone and face. She had never seen anyone as beautiful as him!

“Hey, Miss Red Dress with Tiara! Are you okay?” Alex almost shouted at her face.

She blinked and stepped back. She did not realize that he was too close to her already.

“Yes. I am alright. Thank you.”

“So, I will repeat my question. What is your business here? How were you able to come inside with no one else around here? We use this kind of card to enter that door,” he said while showing and waving at her face his ID and keycard in the hospital.

“Oh, I suppose it was open when I got in. I even thought there was someone here.”

“Really? And do you suppose that I would believe that nonsense? If you will not tell me who you are and what your business is, I will call security.”

Azza smiled slowly. A thought came into her mind like a game.

“Oh! I see. Well, go on. Call security. Let us see what will happen. I suppose it will be interesting.”

“I am not joking!” He stepped back and took the phone.

Azza let him do it. Alex did call security. The door was slammed open by two security officers and looked at him in confusion.

“Doctor, where is the intruder?” One of the officers asked. They could not see any other person in the room except him.

Alex was confused and moved aside. “Can’t you see her?”

The two officers looked at each other with confusion. Then they both looked at him and shook their heads. They lowered their weapons and tucked them in their waistband.

“Really?” He asked to confirm it.

The two officers nodded.

Alex sighed and the two officers went out and closed the door.

“Told you, it would be interesting,” Azza crossed her arms over her chest.

“Why… Why can I see you? Why only me? What are you, really?” Alex asked in confusion. “Are you a – ghost?”

Azza could not help herself but laugh at that guess. “Huh! Nice try. But, I am not a ghost.”

“Then what are you exactly? What do you want from me?”

Azza changed herself into her true form before him. He saw her as one with hooded black robe with large pointy black wings. He was scared and fell backwards.

“Whoa! You’re the Angel of Death!”

Azza transformed back to her human form.

“Correction. I am an Angel of Dark and Light. I prefer to be called like that. Actually, most of us prefer to be called as that.” She said matter-of-factly to him.

“Y-you mean there are others aside from you?”

“Exactly. So… this is curious. You can see me,” Azza said thoughtfully. “You are not supposed to see me until you die. Or, at least you’re dying.”

His eyes grew wide. “What do you mean? I am going to die soon?”

“Not too soon, I suppose. You have until the end of this year at least. That is when I am supposed to be seen by you. Not too soon. So, it is really a mystery to me. Perhaps…”

“Perhaps what?” Alex stepped closer to her now.

“There had been a change of plan.” Azza told him straightforwardly. “You are going to be murdered. For what reason, I am not informed. It seems that it is going to be sooner than later.”

Alex blinked many times. This matter was no joke. He could see that this is serious. And she looked serious. Besides, there was already the proof. Nobody could see her except him. And, he saw her transfigured.

“So, tell me. You have some enemies?” Azza asked curiously. Interrogation was her option here.

“Of course I haven’t!”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes. I know myself. I am not a person who loves to fight. So I cannot think of any reason that somebody should have a motive to murder me.”

“But that is your fate.” Azza pointed out.

Alex could not speak.

“I’m sorry. I suppose I should not have said it bluntly.” She apologized.

He looked down. “What am I suppose to do now?” He queried innocently.

“Nothing,” Azza shrugged.

“Nothing?” He asked in disbelief.

“You can’t escape from your fate unless there is some divine intervention.” She shrugged her petite shoulders.

Alex mocked himself with a smile as he spoke. “There is no way I would get that privilege, would I?”

Azza looked around instead. “Why do you always stay here, by the way?”

“Ah, that’s because I am helping the staff and patients here.” He explained with a shrug and a hand gesture.

“Huh, really?”

“Yes. And give discounts to some without the hospital’s knowledge.”

Azza looked at him. “Hey, isn’t it the reason you will be murdered?”

Alex laughed. “It’s impossible. I always make sure that it isn’t traceable and obvious.”

Azza chuckled and she walked towards the door. “Well, then. Nice meeting you, Dr. Alex Miller. I believe you are going to prepare for a surgery in a very short while. I will see you again soon… either way, alive or not.”

He followed her with his eyes and he swallowed. She got out of the door, without opening it. He blinked as he watched her go through the closed door. Then he sighed and looked up at the ceiling.

“Will we see each other soon, mom?” He whispered.

Azza heard his whisper as she walked away. She knew that he lost his mother fifteen years ago. He never knew his father. His mother never let him know who he was even until her deathbed, or rather, grave.

“Lahash!” Azza gritted her teeth when she felt him around.

She looked around her but she could not see him. She only saw her other fellow angels but not him. She blinked and she realized that he might be somewhere near Alex. But why?

She went back to the Billing Department and she found Lahash standing behind Alex.

“Lahash!” She called out to him.

Lahash, who was ready to strike at Alex by his large scythe, stopped. Alex looked at her and then behind him. He toppled backwards when he saw the cruel looking Angel of Death. He looked at him with fear in his eyes, speechless and was breathing so hard.

“What are you doing? He is assigned to me.” Azza asked him firmly.

Lahash was still holding the scythe in the air. “What?!”

“Yes. And his deadline is in three months. Therefore, he is not supposed to be dead today.”

Azza did not take away her eyes from her fellow Angel of Dark and Light.

“He should die! He is my order,” Lahash revealed.

Azza blinked as she looked at him in disbelief and confusion. Then she whispered her butler’s name and he appeared in an instant.

“Dantanian, take him away from here!” Azza ordered her butler.

The butler, who changed his face that day, was looking like a teenage boy. He helped Alex on his feet and guided him to the door without a word.

Alex was hesitant but gave in later on. He just threw Azza a look of confusion.

When Azza was sure that Alex was safe with Dantanian, she turned to Lahash again with questioning eyes.

“I don’t understand this, Lahash. Why?”

Lahash’s large scythe disappeared and he transformed into his human form.

“I told you that it was an order from Allocen. I cannot ignore it.”

“But I have my assignment given by Buer, Lahash. He told me that I should do whatsoever I wish with it. I have three months. Three months! Not a day, Lahash. So, I cannot let you murder him before the three months’ up. Besides, Allocen’s order is not parallel to the Purgatory’s laws. One is that, which we are supposed to guide the souls to the abyss and nowhere else. And two, we are to take the souls into the abyss on the deadline. Not before or after. You know the laws, Lahash.”

Lahash’s eyes bored into hers as he stepped closer to her. His nostrils were flaring in anger but he was trying to control it.

“I know all the laws, Azza. You don’t need to lecture me with those. I am only trying to follow Allocen’s order. I do not question it. You know it!”

“Right. It is because you always interfere with the divine will. You enjoy doing it.”

“You don’t know everything, Azza. You don’t know why I interfere with the divine will.” Lahash grabbed her arm firmly as he spoke.

“Prove me wrong on my beliefs and opinions of you, Lahash.” She said with gritted teeth and took back her arm firmly. “You already know that they are all negative ones.”

Lahash could not speak any longer. He instead vanished from her sight. His presence was no longer in the hospital. She could feel it. She then sighed in relief.

She decided to go home. There, she found Alex with Dantanian. Both were seated face to face at the balcony as if nothing happened earlier.

Alex saw her coming and the fear was back in his eyes. He stood up uncomfortably.

“W-who was that? Am I… supposed to die like that?” He asked her.

Azza put her hands on her hips as she faced him.

“I can’t answer that. All I know is that you are going to be murdered. By whom, that will be revealed on the deadline.”

“Which is three months from now – New Year’s Eve to boot!” Alex chuckled to himself with sarcasm.

“Yes.”

“Well,” Dantanian stood up with an energetic smile, “we still have time ‘til then. For now, we’ll just make the most of it – while you are alive,” he clapped Alex’s shoulder before he left.

Alex had to look down as though he was thinking so deeply.

Azza stared at him and some feelings surfaced that she could not understand. She blinked and tried to look away from him. Why did she feel this way? She had the great, overwhelming passion to protect him from this day onwards. She had to remind herself that he was her assignment. She should not dwell with some human and earthly feelings that she began to feel for him. She should not pay attention to his attractive looks and the way he was looking so pitiful – especially at this moment.

She knew that he was confused, afraid and vulnerable. However, she should not get herself more involved with him the way she interfered with Lahash earlier.

She frowned as she remembered him and was about to kill this human. She was still puzzled by the reason why this man should be killed by one of them. It was truly odd in their position. Nothing had happened before as what happened earlier. What could there be with this man that she did not know anything about? She prided herself with her ability in profiling her assignments – more than her fellow fallen angels could do. She must know the reason why Lahash did it.

****

“He’s not dead yet, is he?” Allocen appeared before Lahash.

They were in Obyzouth’s office in Purgatory. They wished to avoid being caught or rumored if seen together.

“He’s Azza’s assignment, Allocen.” Lahash revealed and heaved a sigh.

“What?! Of all the Angels of Dark and Light, why her?” Allocen’s voice rang all over the huge, dark room.

Obyzouth chose to appear that moment. She shed her hooded black robe and transformed into her sexy and seductive human form. Her long, raven hair was shiny and straight. She wore a tight yellow overall clothing. She smiled at Lahash seductively. He used to love it for at least a thousand years.

Lahash looked away from her and turned his attention back to Allocen.

“Buer gave her that assignment, Allocen. Do I miss something here?”

“Yes, darling. You do,” Obyzouth confirmed before Allocen could say anything. She stepped closer to Lahash and gently caressed his face by her fingertips.

Lahash looked at Obyzouth warningly.

“You seem to change, darling. You used to like my caresses.” She purred.

“Stop it, Obyzouth. I am not finished talking with Allocen.” Lahash warned her through gritted teeth.

Obyzouth smiled and stepped back.

“Tell me everything, Allocen. I deserve to know if I am given this order.”

“You did really change, darling,” Obyzouth whispered. “You did not do it in the past – questions – if you know what I mean?”

Lahash threw her a contempt look before he looked at Allocen again.

“He is Semyaza’s youngest son, Lahash.” Allocen answered smoothly.

 

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