Pdf Version: SORChapter4 Part 2

A deep deranged cackling punctured the air. Zera recognised it immediately. He started to laugh. Seraph crooked her eyebrow. That’s a mocking laugh.

‘Little tip, Saleos. If you want to scare someone, don’t talk!’ Zera announced, turning to the source.

Saleos stood on top of the tallest pile of junk; his tattered wings, black – the mark of transforming into a Fallen Angel – opened. Pale, unshaven and with long greasy hair, Saleos had seen better days. He wore a gold medallion around his neck with gangster’s pride. He modelled himself as an underworld mobster, conducting the notoriety. His right eye was missing, replaced by a scar.

‘Age hasn’t made you charming, Zera,’ Saleos declared.

‘How’s the eye doing?’ Zera asked with a derisive smile.

Saleos clenched his fist, digging his uncut dirty nails into his palm. They pierced his skin, blood stained his nails. ‘An eye for an eye isn’t going to cover what I’ll do to you, Zera!’

‘Well, you shouldn’t have child-trafficked then.’

‘You left me for dead!’

‘I didn’t have time to finish you off last time. I promise you that won’t happen again.’

Saleos growled, his demonic grunts sneered, itching to swipe their claws. Seraph kept quiet. Never saw Zera as the goading type. I’ve heard stories, but never imagined he actually matched them.The longer he goads Saleos, the more time I have to plan.

‘Thirteen demons are a lot for a simple ambush, Saleos.’ Zera observed. ‘Must have quite a lot back at your hideout. Where is it, Saleos?’

Saleos laughed. The demons joined in, forming a chorus, the overtones almost rehearsed. Zera shivered. Well that’s new.

‘If you’re so smart to link this junkyard with us, then you can figure out that mystery,’ Saleos shouted, leaning his pale neck forward.

‘Not even for old time’s sake?’

‘No. But, I’ll look forward to delivering your head to my brethren, Zera. We shall all sleep easier.’

‘You flatter me, Saleos.’

Saleos extended his arm, finger cupped. ‘You’re just a pawn, Zera. Heaven doesn’t care for you or the humans.’

‘And I suppose Lucifer cares?’ Zera replied. He had heard this all before.

‘He will unite all plains under the glory of his wisdom. We will make the important decisions and all who serve shall follow blindly and without hesitation!’ Saleos preached, cackling.

Seraph rolled her eyes. How many times do they recite that mantra before they’re completely brainwashed? She refocused on the enemy. Saleos was still monologuing. Oh God! He’s still talking?

‘And you will rot and be forgotten, Zera,’ screamed Saleos. ‘Both you and your side-kick!’

Seraph heard that. ‘You what, mate!’

Zera didn’t know who concerned him most – the thirteen demons or Seraph. Arakiel vibrated, escalating in amplitude, offended like its blader.

‘I’m his superior!’ Seraph declared.

‘Are you?’ Zera muttered.

‘Yes!’

Zera thought about it. ‘I suppose you are.’

Saleos guffawed, deep and throaty. The demons joined in. Seraph tightened her grip on Arakiel. Ramiel sparked. Zera grimaced at the power generating within Arakiel, its juddering making it difficult to hold. This isn’t going to be pretty.

‘You? A woman? You can’t be serious!’ Saleos blurted out.

‘So not only are you a vile, repugnant, child-trafficker, but you’re also misogynistic!’

‘What’s that?’ Saleos asked without a hint of irony. Seraph inhaled deeply. The runes of Arakiel shone brightly, growing in intensity. ‘But worst of all, you’re incredibly stupid.’

‘How so?’ Saleos indulged.

‘Never anger a woman who can take away the ground beneath your feet!’

The earth rumbled. The demons’ instincts alerted them to imminent danger. They charged forth, claws extended. Seraph pointed Arakiel skywards, its runes shining rose-gold. A pillar of dirt-glued, rust-coloured rock grew beneath the Angels’ feet propelling them out of reach.

Saleos gulped at Seraph’s monument of power. She’s just like Zera?

‘Now!’ screamed Seraph.

Standing on Arakiel’s stalagmite, Zera angled Ramiel towards the heavens, a bolt of lightning shot from its tip. Reaching thirty metres above his head, the lightning bolt separated into thirteen branches, then flashed to the ground. Each demon was struck, knocking them off their feet, sending them flying. Their heads smashed into the ground; they teetered on the edge of unconsciousness. Saleos stepped back, seeing both Watcher Blades in action horrified him. What I’ve got myself in for?

Seraph smiled. The ant-lion fell into its own trap. Shockwaves rippled from Arakiel. The ground beneath the demons disintegrated, melting away. Quicksand in consistency now, the demons began to sink. They screamed, the earth was eating them alive. A crash followed. The surrounding junk piles were compromised, collapsing under their own weight. The demons didn’t stand a chance.

‘Overkill, Seraph?’ asked Zera.

‘You said spring the trap.’

‘Yeah … I did.’

Seraph’s eyes were trained on where Saleos should be, grovelling for forgiveness. Please let this be simple. You beat the mooks then the big boss surrenders without a fight. That’s how it should be! However, Seraph knew better. ‘Looks like Saleos fled.’

‘He’s quite slippery.’

‘Greasy certainly.’

Zera chuckled. His mind then surveyed for any change in the desolate scenery. Where did you crawl to, Saleos? However, no one was distinguishable in the junkyard.

‘You fought Saleos before, Zera?’ Seraph asked.

‘He’s a Fallen Angel who trafficked orphans decades ago. I busted the operation open, slashing his eye. But the children needed to get to hospital so I left him unconscious. Didn’t have time to finish him off.’

Seraph shook her head. It got under her skin. How can an Angel fall so low? It makes me sick that I share the same species as someone like that.

Zera noticed the warehouses beyond the perimeter of the junkyard. His eyes focused solely on them. There’s enough warehouses there to hide an infestation. ‘Think it’s a possibility?’

‘Maybe? Know anything about them?’ Seraph replied.

‘Not much. Looked nondescript on the map.’

The countless number of demons possibly crawling in the shadows made Seraph sweat. It would be far too many for them to handle without a plan.

‘Want to scout ahead? It’s your call, boss,’ Zera said, enjoying the question.

‘You’re not letting that go, are you?’

‘Nope.’

Seraph calculated the risk, indulging her sense of adventure. Discovering and taking out an infestation in the belly of the beast sounded exhilarating, but they could cause city-wide chaos if allowed to spread beyond the nest. Don’t think Uriel would be pleased if I did that.

Zera stared at the warehouses; something was alluring, drawing him in. Static built up on Ramiel, drawn to its tip, longing to jump and reach the warehouses. Something’s there?

A sharp roar reverberated through Zera’s mind. Crimson runes flashed before his eyes. Seraph saw it too. Ramiel and Arakiel vibrated uncontrollably, as if screaming. An echo of a laugh rang in their ears, foreign to Seraph.

‘Shamsiel?’ Seraph blurted out.

Zera’s heart beat uncontrollably, wrenching. The runes were unmistakable; the crimson runes of the Watcher Blade of hellfire, Shamsiel. It’s here in Rumon? But that wasn’t the worst part. The laugh wasn’t foreign to him. Valafar?

‘OK! What was that?’ screamed Seraph.

Zera didn’t answer. He was pale, his confidence deserted him. His skin froze. The hairs on his arms fell flat. Ramiel went quiet, as fearful as Zera.

Seraph couldn’t believe the sudden switch. Arakiel barked, the stalagmite they stood on trembled. Shamsiel’s call rocked both Watcher Blades. What is going on? The blades, they’re afraid of their kin. ‘We need to get out of here!

Zera was a statue. His mind defaulting, trauma resurfacing.

‘Now!’ screeched Seraph.

Her voice reactivated Zera. They both flew back as fast as they could. The pillar of rock Seraph had forged disintegrated, becoming mere sand caught in the wind.

OK

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