No one would notice a shadowed figure walk down a busy street with a purpose.
And no one did.
It was completely invisible. Barely leaving a trail that could be followed if one ever thought to. But no one did.
No one cared for the basket it carried.
No one cared for the perfect pace it set.
No one cared that the basket was laid down and left behind.
No one noticed.
No one saw.
Only heard the first cry.
The point where my story first began.
“There’s my little Slayer,” Lucifer greeted with a teasing grin. He rarely ever expressed such emotions what with being the Devil and all. Appearances to keep, reputations to uphold, beings to rule by fear, souls to steal and all those other things that bring warm fuzzies to the stomach.
I stepped into his private chambers, one of the few completely out of bounds areas of the palace, not looking that out of place with my black clothing.
His walls were black with deep red strips of paint that ran down from the ceiling to imitate blood. Lush dark grey carpet that was pressed under my mud caked black combat boots protected the unnaturally neat floor.
His bed too was covered with black sheets and matching red pillows with a dark wooden frame. The only other pieces of furniture in his room were the vanity and a small, round wooden table with two matching chairs that all went with his black and red color scheme.
I bowed low and greeted, “Hello, Master.”
Even though I was looking at the floor, I knew Lucifer was either frowning slightly or rolling his eyes at me. I bet on the latter.
He sighed and returned to his usual cold, intimidating self that was much more well known and ordered, “Close the doors and debrief me on your mission.”
I nodded obediently and turned to close the seemingly ordinary doors. They were large, wooden double doors that were black with silver handles that were in the shape of scythes with the blades pointing inwards.
I say seemingly because the doors were magically sealed so only certain people could open them or even touch the gleaming silver handles. The seal also worked as a sound barrier so no one could eavesdrop no matter how powerful the spell they were using or how strong their ears are.
Lucifer himself sealed the doors so very few are even tempted to see if they can break the seal. The only person I remember willingly trying ended up bursting into dull grey flames and was reduced to ashes in the blink of an eye. His blood curdling screams echoing for a few moments after his incineration.
Sometimes, if Lucifer is in a really bad mood or just plain lazy and has death row inmates to deal with, their punishment is to try and open the doors. Being one of the quickest yet most painful ways to be executed, people have a hard time deciding if it is merciful death or cruel torture.
Despite his straight to the point instructions, I knew the actual meaning behind his words. “Close the doors and put down the shade so I can talk to you properly and not call you that ridiculous name” was what I got from his orders since this was a normal, almost ritual-like routine for us.
As soon as I closed the doors and heard the definite click of the lock I gladly pulled down my shade.
A shade is a magical illusion sort of thing that, depending on the strength of the caster and size of the shade, basically creates a mirage over whatever the shade is put up on for as long as the castor can hold it. A magic disguise.
I have a relatively strong affinity with certain types of magic, and with Lucifer as my mentor I can create pretty strong shades for lengthy periods of time. Also, with my constant use of this particular shade, it is almost as easy as breathing to put it on and hold it for a couple of hours without feeling lightheaded and nauseous. I’m usually extremely hungry or exhausted after around 3 or 4 hours of holding the shade up though.
With my shade down, I removed the black cloth that covered the lower half of my face and smiled at the sense of freedom it came with. Even though I already had a shade up, I went through extra precautions to keep my identity a secret while I worked.
To normal humans and most supernaturals, I would appear as a teenaged boy with light brown hair dressed in black cargo pants, a black t-shirt and black fingerless gloves. I would have a black cloth covering the lower half of my face only leaving dull, pasty blue eyes visible.
In reality, I appear as a teenaged girl with straight black locks that fall to my shoulders and bright amber eyes that are more of a fiery orange-red.
Tossing the makeshift mask on the table I slumped into the chair and closed my eyes to rest for just a moment. I had the shade up for almost 10 hours and was exhausted. My stomach trying to eat itself wasn’t helping me relax either.
I heard Lucifer get up from his bed and make his way over to the duplicate chair on the opposite side.
When the piece of furniture had stopped moving I slowly opened my eyes to see my Master, teacher, friend and guardian.
Like the stories say, Lucifer used to be an angel from heaven until he pissed off his higher ups and was thrown down to Hell where he is now the king. He changes his looks every few centuries depending on his mood or the current trend in the mortal realm.
Recently, since the late 1980’s I think, and because of the new trends in 2012, he’s been dressing in jeans, fitted t-shirts, leather jackets with cut off sleeves and passing off as a young man in his mid, closer to early, twenties. He hates looking older than 30 because it “makes him feel like a prehistoric bag of bones”. Sometimes I remind him that he is prehistoric what with being well over a few eons old.
He flicked his blond locks that were in much need of a trim out of his almost completely black eyes and whined, “Honesty why can’t I just call you Nyx? Slayer is such an unoriginal name and I like Nyx much better.”
If anyone other than I witnessed Lucifer behave like a bratty 9 year old, I think they might have a panic attack or think they were delusional. That, or they would believe that Lucifer, Satan, the Beast, the Devil, King of Hell, whatever you want to call him, was finally going senile or batshit crazy.
A bone-chilling shiver went down my spine at the thought of Lucifer going mental. I don’t think the underworld would continue to exist if that were to ever happen. I have little hopes for other realms as well.
I rolled my eyes at his behavior and answered, “Because the whole point of the disguise and secrecy is so that no one knows that Slayer and the hybrid freak are the same person. Calling my other identity my real name defeats the purpose of keeping my real identity a secret.”
Lucifer frowned as I called myself a hybrid freak, but it was the truth. I am a hybrid freak, a mix of two species where one was unknown. Half dark angel half something else.
Most hybrids take more of one parent than the other, only having minor traits from the other parent. Me? I only have one wing. Only one raven black wing that is around 7 feet from my back to the tip. My wing is one of the only indications of what I am, or at least half of what I am. No one has been able to figure out who my parents are or what my other half is and being a hybrid is bad enough. A dark angel hybrid being worse.
Like mortals, supernaturals can be quite racist. The difference is that mortals are getting past their racial differences while supernaturals are traditional bastards who still believe in a pyramid social system where dark angels are at the very bottom just because they used to be slaves millennia ago and are relatively powerless.
Hybrids are looked down upon because we aren’t “pure”. Even half-breeds are more respected than us even though they are half human, not that there’s anything wrong with humans, I’m just trying to make a point. Supernaturals are discriminatory assholes, in general.
Some hybrids keep their ancestry a secret just to not be judged and live peacefully. Seeing as there aren’t that many hybrids and hybrids usually gain most of their genetics from one parent, it isn’t that hard.
But me? I can’t even pretend to be a full dark angel. Dark angels have two black or grey wings first of all, and their eyes are never bright orange. Even my aging length is longer than a normal angel’s. Also, seeing how the entire underworld knew of my existence since the day I arrived, it would have been pretty pointless in trying.
My eyes are one of the things that completely throw people off on what I am. What supernatural has fiery orange eyes? Not even fire demons have eyes like mine. They don’t even have eyes; they just have these empty eye sockets with actual fires burning inside them in place of eyes. And it’s not even possible for fire demons and dark angels to breed. Biological and genetic differences that are too vast for them to even fertilize an egg or something.
One other weirdness that makes it harder to find out my other half? My magical capabilities.
Dark angels have little to none abilities in magic of any sort and mine are abnormally strong. My magic is different than a witch or warlock’s though because I don’t have to say words, use mediums, need a wand, use a spell or make potions. I just think or feel, it’s purely instinctual. I can’t do elemental type magic since those require spells and other witchy type things, which eliminates the chances of me being part witch.
There’s also no chance of me being part faerie or one of the Fay. I have no traits from the Fay and my magic is different from theirs too. I can’t put curses on people and I don’t have a hypnotic aura that faeries use to deceive and trick their unfortunate prey. I’m deceitful but not faerie deceitful and unlike faeries I can lie and pretty damn well too.
I’m an anomaly. A glitch. Most likely an accident or a mistake.
“Nyx,” Lucifer drew out my name in warning.
I focused back on his firmly set jaw and faint flicker of worry in his eyes.
I strengthened my mental blocks and he frowned as he felt more walls being put up.
“You know I don’t like people trying to read my mind,” I glared.
If there was one thing I disliked more than being treated like trash because of what I am, it was people trying to read my thoughts. My thoughts are my own and no one has any right to see them without my permission.
Lucifer is the only person I know who is strong enough to push past my blocks. There is nothing I can do if he really wants to, but I sure as hell will make it an annoyance for him. King of Hell or not, I will bite his head off if he tries to forcefully read my thoughts.
“Yes, sorry. Anyway, how was the mission?” he asked.
I was glad that he decided to change the subject, no matter how obvious. We had already talked about my, er, problem, you could say, more than a million times. Seeing how I age 1 year for every 15 human years, roughly two and a half centuries is long enough to have the same discussion far too many times.
“It was successful. The cops should have found them by now and I left a recording of their transaction tied to their hands,” I smirked as I recalled the way they looked when I tied all six of them up like Captain James Hook tied the lost boys and the Darling siblings to his main mast in Peter Pan.
That was a good mortal movie and they almost got the devious and easily jealous nature of pixies completely right with Tinkerbell. But fairy dust to make people fly? Creative, but unfortunately false like most mortal creations. Props for trying though.
I sobered up and continued, “But the drug problem is getting out of hand, Luke. There were two humans mixed up in the dealings this time and this was not their first dose.”
Lucifer frowned in thought and asked, “What were the other four?”
Counting on my fingers, I listed, “Two weres, one was a wolf and the other was a half breed fox, more human than fox. A water witch and a faerie, both quite young. The witch must have just recently graduated, I don’t know which coven she’s from, and the faerie was about a hundred years old, give or take a decade or two. The drug and his inexperience hindered his sloppy powers so he was only a slight nuisance.”
Lucifer nodded, taking it in and opened his mouth to ask another question but I answered before he could vocalize it, “The wolf was the dealer. Light brown wolf, 30 to 35 years old, around 6 foot 2 and his eyes were gold even though he hadn’t shifted. He was also an addict, the early signs were there and I’d give him about another month until he dies like the others.”
I’d been through enough missions to know exactly what Lucifer wanted to know so debriefing was like brushing my teeth or putting up a shade. Routine. Also, since the drug missions were almost daily, I knew exactly what I needed to observe and report back.
He put his head in his hands and leaned on the table, groaning, “Wolf, vamp, demon, nymph, witch, spirit and even an angel. We’ve been looking through everything! Family, blood type, hobbies, personalities, criminal records, education, companions, work and nothing. Absolutely no connections whatsoever. We haven’t even been able to get a sample of the drug!” Lucifer ran his hands through his hair in frustration.
I let a small smile slip as I reached into my pocket and pulled out a small phial the size of my pinkie. In it was a silvery, powdery substance with murky, midnight blue speckles. Beautiful but deadly. The phrase fit perfectly.
I set it down on the center of the table, the glass making a sound as it hit the wood causing Lucifer to look up and stare at the object.
I was just barely able to save it this time since the fox tried to break it. The other times my missions related to the silver drug, the druggies destroyed the drug in some way before I could get it. When the drug hits the floor, it disintegrates, like it is has some sort of autodestruct trait that has made it incredibly difficult to get even the tiniest of samples.
Blood sample from the druggies don’t help either since technology and even magic can’t find the drug in their blood. It’s like the drug completely disappears from the body but the effects get left behind.
It makes sense though since Lunaria, as most have named it since it is silver like the moon, is not a normal drug.
We had questioned the various dealers and addicts we caught, but none of them have been able to tell us what is in it. The first one died before we could question her, and the others either perished as well or went insane.
It was like if anyone questioned them about the drug they either died immediately or went crazy and then died or remained rabid. A cursed drug.
All we know is that Lunaria is a supernatural drug created by one of our own kind. Well, that’s the only explanation we have and it is the most plausible since it first began with our own kind and we are almost a hundred percent certain it has magical influences.
It has only recently been brought to humans and the side effects are horrendous, resulting in mutated, disfigured corpses. It takes a while for the effects to be extremely severe on a supernatural, but with humans it can only take one or two doses, six or seven if they are lucky.
“You didn’t.” Lucifer finally spoke as he picked up the phial and held it up to the light to observe. I just sat there and smiled as he slowly went from disbelief to excited joy.
“Nyx you are amazing! I can’t believe you got a sample, this is…” He stood up abruptly, knocking his chair to the floor. He quickly casted a small protective spell on the phial to prevent it from breaking and tucked it into his jeans pocket. “I have to call the Council.”
The Council had tossed the drug problem onto Lucifer at the last Council Meeting about three months ago when it was becoming more serious with death rates going up and humans beginning to get involved. They had wanted him to update them after every mission and if he got any leads or clues.
So far there has been zilch, so I felt pretty damn smug about getting the first decent clue. A freaking sample of the drug itself.
The Council is basically a sort of government for the supernatural world. There are two representatives from each type of supernatural, one male and one female. In turn, each supernatural has their own government to keep track of the laws for the various beings. The Witches Coven, Angel’s Council of Light, Council of Weres, Vampire’s Dominion, etc.
Hell’s Court is the largest as it contains both dark angels and all the types of demons. Obviously, Hell’s Court is under Lucifer’s authority and he usually goes to the Council Meetings on his own. Sometimes, he’ll take me along as Slayer if the Council has a need for me, or if I want to go which is extremely rare.
The first Meeting I went to was when Slayer became publicly known and it was horribly intimidating even though everyone behaved like 5-year-old snobs. Now, I only go when the Council specifically asks Lucifer to bring me.
Lucifer was already at the his door, hand on the scythe handle ready to open when he turned to face me with that look. The look where he was worried or unsure about me.
“Are you sure you don’t want them to know about you? And I mean you as in Nyx, not Slayer who doesn’t even exist. If people knew what you actually do, then you wouldn’t have to deal with their bullying and racism. You could finally get the credit you deserve and be treated right.”
I groaned, slightly exasperated from having this almost argument numerous times, “I’m fine, Luke. Besides, Slayer is known as an assassin and it’s better to keep it that way. And I like being quiet Nyx where no one bothers me and I can go around without being questioned since no one wants anything to do with me. When I disappear for days on a mission or for my own time, no one notices or cares and I like it that way. Honestly I’m fine. Stop worrying and go suffer another Meeting.”
He looked hesitant before sighing an “okay” and exiting his room.
I slumped into the chair when the door closed audibly and sighed at the comfort sinking and letting loose gave. I kicked off my mud caked combat boots and took off the fingerless gloves before putting my feet up on the table, crossing them at the ankles, and closed my eyes to finally relax despite my mind refusing to shut down for a bit.
Even though I won that small battle I knew that it wasn’t the end, and that may have been one of my few victories. What was that human saying? “Win the battle, lose the war”?
Lucifer was always worrying about me though he never showed that to anyone else. He took me under his care in the guise of having a personal servant when I was more like a niece he promised to take care of. Sometimes he almost felt fatherly, or what I think a fatherly feeling is.
Lucifer told me I kind of just showed up on the doorsteps of Hell in a clichéd basket a few days, maybe weeks, old with a single note. Nyx. My name was neatly written in an elegant script and an old dark angel nurse raised me until my wing had begun to grow when I was 4.
Immediately I became known as the one winged orphan. The freak. The demons of the palace shunned me because I was a dark angel hybrid and the dark angels ignored me because I only had one wing and fire-like eyes. I didn’t fit in anywhere.
When I was around 50, a mere toddler, Lucifer found me playing with a black iris from one of his gardens that I had somehow been able to sneak into. He was going to scold me but then I made the flower explode right in my face. Black, burnt petals scattered the floor and my expression was as shocked as Lucifer’s.
That was the first time I had ever used magic and it was the last time I ever made something combust. I’ve tried to replicate what I did but it never works. It was just a fluke, an accident.
He walked to me, crouching down to my level and began to talk to me. I was scared and confused because no one ever wanted to talk to me much less be in the same area. I thought he was going to yell at me like the others and call me those horrible names, but he was kind with a voice like warm honey.
He smiled at me. Me. He asked to see my wing and didn’t make fun of me or give me a disgusted look. He said it was pretty like my eyes.
Even though he was a complete stranger with a hypnotic voice that could make people happily jump into a pit of swords (now I know that it actually can do that to an extent), I trusted him and still do.
From then on for a few months I kept meeting him in the garden or the field that was a little distance away from the palace and usually deserted. When he wasn’t helping me with my newly found powers, he’d ask me about my day, how I was doing, if anything interesting had happened, if I knew of any scandals or overheard some good gossip. Anything about anything to talk about.
I readily answered all his questions since he was the only person I could ever talk to without getting insulted or snarled at. He listened patiently as I rambled my responses, almost always going on a long tangent. I always looked forward to those meetings with the blond haired man with black eyes and the blue rim.
At the time I didn’t know who Lucifer was. I mean I knew he was the king of Hell, but I didn’t know what he looked like or his personality. What limited knowledge I had of him came from the palace gossip and snippets of conversations I’d hear in the main city.
I imagined him to be a grumpy, strict, mean old bag of bones who always wore a scowl on his face. Completely different than the blonde haired man that was my sun who always had a small smile and was the nicest person I had ever met.
So, imagine my surprise when at a rare court meeting where every single subject of Lucifer had to attend, I saw him, my blonde haired sun, sit in Lucifer’s throne and call my name. He announced that I would be his personal servant and when he dismissed the meeting, took me in private and said that he was more or less unofficially adopting me.
To the public I was a serving girl for Lucifer and he my Master. In private he was my teacher and best friend who helped me control my powers and for a time, tried to help me find out what I was until I told him it didn’t matter anymore.
Then I became Slayer.
Slayer is Lucifer’s right hand man. A mysterious, silent figure and no one knows what he is except for Lucifer and myself.
Slayer came to be when I was 176, so around 12, but he wasn’t called Slayer then. His name came after an incident that drew a lot of attention and made him a public figure. A feared figure to most.
There was a rebel group amid Lucifer’s subjects and I happened to stumble into their hideout right before their meeting. I had hidden quickly and overheard their plan to take over the palace. Luckily I was never found out.
Immediately after the group had left, I ran to find Lucifer but he had gone to a Council Meeting and no one would let me talk to him. I even pulled out the personal servant charade but they ignored me and one stupid demoness threatened to skewer me with her spear.
Since no one would listen to me and I didn’t know who was a part of the rebel group, I put my lessons with Lucifer to use and created the first shade of Slayer. It was rough and quickly done, but fortunately it was enough to be unrecognizable with the black cloth.
At the time, the shade wasn’t called Slayer, just brown-haired-blue-eyed-boy mask. Brilliant name I know.
Long story short, I kind of messed up along the way but in the end the rebel group was stopped. Their first punishment was to repair the destroyed wing of Lucifer’s palace that may or may not have been my fault. Once the repairs were done, they were each sentenced differently, most executed in various ways and the others banished or imprisoned or whatever.
Lucifer didn’t find out that I was the brown haired boy that suddenly appeared, but I think he suspected it. He finally found out when I continued to use the shade to do little mysterious odd jobs during my free time, which was plentiful and long.
I’d over hear guards talking about some petty thieves and the next day, the thieves would be caught in an embarrassing situation. Some kid demon being an annoying douche? Wrapped up in rope hanging upside down like a piñata.
Sometimes I’d actually do something serious and a few times it was petty payback or pranks to brighten up the day. You’d be surprised by how much small criminal acts occurred in the main city. Then again, this is Hell.
It was fun, something that made me smile at the end of the day and I didn’t want to stop. When Lucifer found out, he almost made me give up Slayer because I was exposing too much of my powers and it would be dangerous if I were to be discovered.
I begged him to let me continue and after much persistent badgering, pleading and attempts at guilt tripping, I finally succeeded to sway his mind from completely eradicating Slayer.
Now, I do missions for him that usually relate to Council business or his own personal duties in Hell or the mortal realm. It gives me a chance to leave the palace and see more of the mortal and supernatural world. A chance that few supernaturals have, much less a dark angel freak of nature.
I frowned as I tried to clear my mind from thoughts in vain. I just wanted to rest without overthinking, but that rarely ever happens unless I nick a potion from the infirmary or take a pill or two.
My brain seems to think that it always has to reflect on the past and present and think about everything when I want to rest and not think.
I removed my feet from the table as I got off the chair and stretched my hands over my head. Leaving my shoes and gloves where they had been discarded, I made my way to Lucifer’s large, neatly made and very inviting bed. It was calling for me, pleading to have someone rest amid the soft covers.
I stood at the side and momentarily thought about borrowing some of Lucifer’s clothes to change into, but I was too tired. He could yell at me for dirtying his bed when I woke up.
Before crawling under the covers, I used a bit of magic to open up a small space that was essentially a magic ‘drawer’.
Lucifer had taught me how to create a space with magic that I could open at anytime and store almost anything. It was slightly easier than creating a shade, but still aided in proving that I was a freak.
I reached into the magical space and pulled out a small plastic container. I unscrewed the lid and took out one of the small, pale white sleeping pills then gulped it down dry with practiced ease.
I waited for the familiar detached feeling to cloud my mind before closing the lid and tossing the container back into the ‘drawer’ before closing that too.
The effects of the pills sometimes come quickly and other times I need another dose, but I never take more than two at a time. I only ever take the pill when I really need dreamless sleep, or when my thoughts are too overpowering and keep me awake no matter how drained I am.
I crawled under the covers and closed my eyes, feeling my body and mind drift off.
The only downside of becoming this detached was that I didn’t have much control over my body. So, the result of that was my wing growing out, stretching to its full length at 7 feet and 2 inches as it folded over my body acting as a solitary, raven black, feathery shield. A lone protector as my mind finally went blank.
“…Nyx. Nyx, wake up.”
I felt someone shaking me, his voice soft but firm as he tried to coax me awake. I ignored him and snuggled further into the pillows, absentmindedly bringing my wing closer to my body.
I heard the person sigh and could imagine him rolling his eyes, “Nyx, you better wake up in the next three minutes or else.”
“Or else what?” I mumbled back, the hazy dew of sleep coating my words.
He didn’t reply but I heard movement and the next thing I knew, frigid cold water froze my bones making me shoot up straight, completely awake.
“ARGH! THAT’S COLD!” I screeched, wrapping my arms around my soaked, shivering body with my teeth chattering. My wing had gotten soaked as well, and I flapped it a few times to get rid of the droplets.
I glared at Lucifer as he snickered at my surprise, “Was that really necessary?”
He grinned, “I’m the Devil aren’t I?”
Still shivering, I retorted, “Can you stop answering questions with questions?”
He clicked his fingers and a towel materialized around my shoulders as he answered cheekily, “That depends. What fun would it be if I gave boring straightforward answers?”
The towel snagged on my wing so I had to retract it even though it was still wet, and the feeling was anything but comfortable.
I pulled the warm and fluffy towel closer to my body and got out of the soaking bed, making my way to his private bathroom. I mumbled curses under my breath, but I doubted cursing Satan himself would do anything. The negative energy might even feed his powers or something.
I dried off and changed into a pair of extra clothes I had stored in my ‘drawer’. A simple grey t-shirt and a pair of loose jeans. Comfy, casual, and easy to blend in. Perfect for me.
I entered the room again to find Lucifer sitting in the same chair as last night but my shoes, gloves and bandana were neatly folded and piled at the foot of his bed. The neat freak.
After one final rub of the towel on my hair, I hung it over the back of my chair and unfolded my wing again to let it dry out. I flapped it a bit to shake out some stray water droplets and sat down ready to listen. Lucifer had something to talk to me about. I could see it in his captivating eyes.
One of the first things you’d notice about Lucifer, other than his unnaturally good looks, are his eyes. They are almost completely black except for a thin rim of ice blue that separated his pupils from his otherwise dark irises.
He told me that he used to have clear ice blue eyes before he was thrown out of Heaven and that little rim is what is left of his past life there. Sometimes it looks like he misses it, but then it quickly disappears leaving me to think that I must have imagined or misinterpreted it.
Leaning forward to put most of my weight on the table I asked, “So what made you decide to materialize a bucket of freezing water on me and soak your bed?”
“Well, you could have changed into one of my clothes to keep my bed clean. Who knows where you’ve been in yesterday’s clothes? And you just threw your muddy shoes on the floor. I like my room to be neat and tidy, you know that,” he answered. He was holding back a smirk and I just narrowed my eyes at him.
“Ha. Ha. Very funny, Luke,” I drawled sarcastically, an eye roll added for effect. I went back to being a bit more serious, “But seriously, what do you want? Another mission?”
Even though I just finished a mission last night, the Council and the rest of the world doesn’t wait for me to catch up on lost sleep. I guess it’s a good thing I suffer from a horrible case of insomnia and am a (half) creature of the night.
“Not exactly,” Lucifer cryptically replied. He was hiding something, I was sure of it. I have no proof, but I know him enough to know when he’s hiding something from me.
Okay, only sometimes.
He’s Satan for Hell’s sake. He’s the epitome of all sins and other bad deeds, lying and deceit included. It’s impossible to out lie him.
I raised a suspicious eyebrow and asked carefully, “What do you mean ‘not exactly’? It’s either a mission or it isn’t.”
“Well…” he began slowly, already drifting off. I narrowed my eyes at him and sent out a loud thought, “QUIT STALLING!”
I could have yelled out loud, but thought projections are much more effective, and I don’t jack my throat up.
He visibly winced and muttered something that sounded a lot like, “Why’d I teach you how to project thoughts?” under his breath.
Out loud he said, “I was not stalling, just adding a pause for effect, but you ruined it.”
He pouted but I ignored it with some difficulty. Ignoring Lucifer’s pout is one of the hardest things to do, good thing I’ve had more than 2 centuries to practice. It’s really not fair though. The Devil should not be allowed to look like a sick puppy when he wants to. Disagreeing makes it feel like you kicked the sick puppy like a soccer ball and then stuffed him into a blender with a giant snake.
“Get on with it, already!” I urged, my patience running thin. I had just woken up and not in a pleasant way, sor-ry if I was being a grumpy grouch.
He put his hands up laughing, “Okay, okay! What’s got Nixie Pixie so cranky today?”
I groaned, “Please don’t ever call me ‘Nixie Pixie’ ever again. And you did dump freezing cold water on me.”
He chuckled, “Fine. Anyway, back to the point, and before you say it, yes there is one, Nyx. What are your thoughts about school?”
I tilted my head to the side like I always did when I was confused or lost, “School? It’s fine I guess, but I wouldn’t really know considering I’ve never gone to one. You’ve taught me all I need to know and I’ve read a bunch of books from your library. From what I’ve heard and seen, it’s just a big building or area where kids have to go through classes where they learn different subjects until they graduate when they are 17 or 18. It can be earlier if they are exceptionally intelligent. There’s a lunch break in the middle of the day and when classes are over they go home or do activities like sports and clubs or hang out with friends. They also get work that has to be done at home and completed for the next time they have the class or when the teacher assigns it.”
Lucifer’s eyebrows rose considerably as he just stared, slightly surprised at my answer.
I shrugged, “I have a lot of downtime when I don’t have missions. There’s a lot the Internet and books can teach you.”
“I can see that.” He continued, sounding a bit upbeat, “Well you seem to know enough of the basics of school so I guess that part is out of the way. But your ‘downtime’ is going to be cut short for awhile by about 7 hours maybe 8 or 9 depending on you.”
Still not quite sure where he was going with this, I asked, “And why is that? Could you just get to the point, Luke?”
“You’re going,” he stated.
I blinked and he added, “To school. I’m sending you to school.”
I blinked again.
I finally broke the silence saying, “Oh, okay, sure. What’s the mission? Tracking Lunaria in high schools? How long? Where? Please don’t tell me its in a big city, I hate the cities, too many supernaturals and it makes everything more complicated.”
“I don’t think you understood me clearly, Nyx,” Lucifer said carefully, like he was handling a delicate subject that could make a docile bear turn into a raging beast that wanted to rip his face off.
In response I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion.
“I’m sending you to school, not Slayer. To learn, not scope out the area and report back to me every few hours. To be around people who are around your age, appearance wise anyway. I want you to attend school like a normal kid until you graduate. This isn’t a mission, Nyx,” Lucifer explained.
My jaw went slack, leaving my mouth to hang open.
“School? Like actual school? Like teachers and homework and awkward lunches and classes and all those hours just sitting at a desk writing whatever it is needed to be written down and classmates and bullies and clubs and sports teams and tests and quizzes and social cliques and—”
“Yes all of that, now breathe,” Lucifer broke my rant.
I did as was told and took in a much-needed deep breath, trying to calm down. Once my chest wasn’t heaving and my initial shock had more or less worn off I exclaimed, “I can’t go to school!”
I stood up, and began to franticly pace, “Going on a mission is different, I’m undercover and I’ll be leaving in a matter of days or weeks. But as me, it wouldn’t work because someone’ll recognize me pretty quickly. And it’s too strange. I’ll be questioned for coming in so late. I’m supposedly 17 so I’d be graduating this year, but the school year is almost over and I have no records. Even if you did forge some, I don’t know anything about a normal mortal curriculum.”
I felt hands on my shoulders, stopping me and I looked up to face Lucifer’s black eyes, the blue rim standing out in the close distance. “Calm down, Nyx. Let me finish explaining before you hyperventilate and pass out,” he said sternly with a bit of worry.
I nodded, my mouth shut tight and sat back down. Lucifer retook his seat and waited until I was calmer before continuing.
“I don’t want to freeze you because I find it annoying and unnecessary and you will be in a pissy mood for the rest of the day, so don’t start going spastic again, okay?” he asked, falling to his more reputational, “no monkey business” tone.
He waited until I nodded before continuing, “You won’t need the records because I’m not sending you to a normal school. I’m sending you to one where even though you will be recognized, there are others similar to you in the sense that they aren’t full bloods. You’ll be going there for only 2 years and it’s for your benefit. You need to spend time around people around your age, and you know what I mean by your age; other angsty, sarcastic teenagers. The only person I have ever seen you talk to is me, and that’s kind of sad.”
“Well its not like you have any friends either,” I muttered on reflex, forgetting that Lucifer could hear every word I said.
He mock scowled at me, “Do you remember who you’re speaking to?”
Rolling my eyes, I answered, “Satan, the Devil, the Beast, the Fallen Angel, the one with too many names, Lucifer the almighty Lord of Hell and all things related to the Underworld.”
He snorted, “Ha. Ha. Very funny.” His snort turned into contained laughter after a few seconds, “But that was pretty good.”
I smiled smugly, “I know.”
“Wait,” I said abruptly. “Stop. You’re distracting me. What school are you sending me to? I didn’t know there were any like you are describing in the mortal world. Supernaturals aren’t supposed to be in concentrated groups, the largest is a were pack and rarely a coven.”
Lucifer leaned forward, carefully annunciating, “That’s because the school isn’t in the mortal world.”
Realization slowly crept up me followed with dread hot on it’s tail.
Oh no, please don’t say it. Not there.
“I’m sending you to School. Supernatural School.”
Let’s see. Underwear, check. Shirts, check. Pants, check. Socks n’ stuff, check. Toiletries, check. And... I think that’s it.
I stretched my back, arcing it and hearing the pleasant sound of bones cracking. I had two bags in front of me, one small, black duffle and the other a small, black and red splattered suitcase. Both courtesy of Lucifer.
They were open on the floor with all of my belongings. I never realized I had so little. There was still extra space in both the small bags. I think if I was determined to, I could fit everything in the duffle.
“This is your room, well one of them, Luke. You don’t need to speak knock,” I answered without turning around.
“Well sorry for acting like a gentleman. You could have been indecent and then I’d be categorized as a pedophile with incestuous intentions,” Lucifer answered as he took a seat on the couch.
This was Lucifer’s Room 4, the one he used the least and was given to me in secret. He has six in total, his primary one the blood red and black one where I always went for a debrief.
Room 4’s color scheme was black and blue instead of red. Different shades of faded blue covered the walls and the pillow covers on the single bed while everything else was black or dark grey with tinges of a blue here and there.
It was simple. I liked it. And now I wasn’t going to live in it anymore for the next two years.
I took a seat next him and sighed. Packing is exhausting even if there’s not much to pack.
“You’re pedophilic anyway. Everyone is a child compared to you, Luke,” I said easily.
I closed my tired eyes and relaxed my breathing until it was like I drifting on a narrow line between awareness and sleep. I could sense everything around me, but I just couldn’t physically see. It’s disorientating at first, but extremely calming and relaxing when you get used to it.
Lucifer “harrumphed” quietly and I smirked at my minor victory.
Just as I was about to drift completely to sleep, a weight was materialized on my lap. I opened my eyes reluctantly and spied a simple black, grey and red messenger bag that weighed more than it looked it would.
I raised an eyebrow in silent question to Lucifer but he just smiled sneakily and nodded at the bag.
Giving in to tempting curiosity, I opened the bag and let out a surprised gasp.
Shakily, like I would break it, I took out the brand new laptop. It was sleek, black (obviously) and fairly light with a slim structure. The keys were a pale dusty grey with dark red lettering that stood out.
After a cautious inspection I discovered it had no brand. The only indication of a brand was my name written in the same red of the keys right under the blank screen.
“There’s more, you know,” Lucifer’s voice broke my trance and I just looked at him in bewilderment.
Almost robotically, I carefully laid the laptop down on the empty space next to me and rooted through the messenger bag again. Each item I took out was placed around the laptop until I had a small pile of various gifts of the same color scheme.
A spiral bound notebook filled with 200 blank lined pages, a small box that contained a claw shaped amber shard attached to a black chain, a bracelet of intertwining black and silver metal and finally a sleek, brand-less phone that resembled an iPhone. Like the computer, my name was engraved on the back in the same sophisticated font.
Seeing how I was speechless, Lucifer said, “You didn’t think I’d let you go without some goodbye presents, did you? I know I’ll be seeing you soon, but I want you to have these. Think of it as an early 259th birthday present.”
He added the last part in because he knew I couldn’t—wouldn’t—accept the gifts without reason. Using my upcoming birthday was playing dirty, but I couldn’t do anything about it.
“The book is charmed so you just have to think and it’ll write automatically and it only responds to you. There’s another little special feature that you will have to discover on your own. The laptop and phone have a few slightly magical additions that you can figure out on your own like I know you will. The necklace and bracelet are charmed as well, the necklace serving as a teleportation device fueled by magic and the bracelet makes it easier for you to use some powers like putting up and holding shades, opening ‘drawers’, the necklace and minor materialization,” he explained, pointing or picking up each item he was talking about as he spoke.
Knowing I wouldn’t be able to return the gifts until Lucifer willingly belly danced at a Council Meeting of his own volition and proclaimed his undying love for Edgar Spiecherg, the grouchy, narcissistic, arrogant, vampire representative, I turned and wrapped my arms around his torso, giving him a rare Nyx hug.
“You really shouldn’t have, but thanks, Luke,” I mumbled into his shirt and looked up to give him a broad grin.
He returned the embrace and patted my head, chuckling under his breath, “I wanted to and you’re welcome, Nyx.”
He released me and I him as I packed away my gifts back into the bag. He helped me close my suitcases and soon I had the messenger bag slung over my shoulder, my duffle in my right hand and the suitcase at my left side.
Time to go.
I stood in the center of the room with Lucifer opposite me. He was going to send me to the School since I couldn’t do it myself for now, even with the new necklace and bracelet.
“See you later, Nyx. Don’t get into too much trouble,” he said, preparing to send me.
I grinned, “I grew up in Hell with Satan as my guardian and have an assassin persona. What would you expect Lucifer? I’ll see you soon.”
He shook his head at me and I felt the familiar sensation of every fiber in my body slowly dematerializing and being sent to another area. The molecules in my body shook, shivered and danced, buzzing around as I was physically displaced by supernatural means.
The tingling sensation of your foot falling asleep dulled down as the blue and black room disappeared to be replaced by a mauve study with a stern looking lady who was physically in her mid-50s.
She had grey streaked brown hair held up in a perfect bun with piercing brown eyes that could bring out the truth in any misbehaving troublemaker. She dressed professionally in a long black pencil skirt and a pale blue blouse. Her fingers were adorned with expensive rings commonly worn by powerful witches but she had the air of a sprite of sorts, either water or earth.
“We’ve been expecting you,” the lady droned, only missing the cat and swivel chair to complete the scene. She looked bored as she scanned my casual apparel. It seemed she didn’t like age-faded jeans and a red graphic t-shirt paired with worn out black converse.
Not sure how to respond, I said, “Uh, well here I am.”
“Uh, well here I am”? I wanted to slam my face into a wall. Great job at first impressions, Nyx. Maybe I am too antisocial.
The lady was not amused. She ignored my less than clever response and continued, “Welcome to Supernatural School, I am your principal Ms. Murano.”
Ms. Moron-o? Are you serious? That’s just asking to be bullied.
Seeing how she seemed to be waiting for a response, I spoke as politely as was possible for me, lowering my head in respect, “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Moro-er-Murano. You have my deepest gratitude for accepting me so late in the term and with such short notice.”
She eyed me critically before the corner of her lips twitched slightly upwards, “I see Lucifer has taught you how to please people. He always did have a way with words, being pleasantly polite when necessary, and it appears you have picked up on it. Though, considering what you are to him, it makes sense that you should be polite and obedient.”
I was slightly shocked by her words, but I didn’t let it show on my face. I knew most of the supernatural world knew of Lucifer’s personal servant, the abandoned hybrid freak.
Lucifer never paid special attention to anyone for lengthy periods of time but, here I was, his “servant”, for the past two centuries. During exceptionally depressing days, even I wonder when he was going to tire of me and kick me out.
She clapped her hands together, the rings clanking at the contact and smiled coldly, “Well, you should head to your room. Since today is Sunday, there are no classes and most of the students are off doing whatever they do. Classes start tomorrow morning, 8 AM sharp, we do not accept tardiness even if you are new. Your schedule will be in your room along with your uniform and school supplies. I have business to attend to, so follow Miss Tigerlily. She will lead you to your room.”
Without saying goodbye, Ms. Moron-o walked out the room leaving me stranded with my luggage.
Who the heck is ‘Miss Tigerlily’?
Sighing, I gripped the handle of the suitcase and began to roll it out the door where Ms. Moron-o had left. Maybe I’d get lucky and somehow find my new room.
Just as the thought crossed my mind, I burst out laughing and to this day I’m not sure why. Right there at the threshold of the mauve study, I clutched my stomach in laughter, dropping my duffle and the suitcase handle.
“Oh yay, I get to show the crazy one around,” a small voice sighed dejectedly. It was soft but high pitched, like wind chimes ringing in a light breeze.
I turned to face the voice to see a small creature only about 6 or 7 inches tall. She had four pairs of thin, petal shaped wings, two on each side fluttering rapidly to keep her aloft. They were burnt orange speckled black and blended into a dark orangey red bordering vermillion with undertones of yellow.
Her black hair with sunrise highlights was curled and held up in a high ponytail with loose tendril falling down to her shoulders, framing her small face. Large brown eyes, small thin lips, long delicate eyelashes and a button nose. The usual pixie facial features.
She was wearing a classic pixie outfit which consisted of a dress that fell to mid-thigh, similar to the humans’ Tinkerbell, and matched her wings. She had a green belt that looked like thin vines woven together in a braid-like fashion around her tiny waist with a flower seed buckle. Simple burnt orange ballet flats with ribbons that tied around her ankles to half way up her calf completed the predictable look.
She rolled her eyes, “Never seen a flower pixie before, new kid?”
I focused on her face again. She looked bored and annoyed, like she really didn’t want to be here. She isn’t the only one, I thought wryly.
Still, I smiled and answered truthfully, “Not many pixies around where I’m from.”
I had seen plenty of pixies in complete honesty, but as Slayer. Nyx has never left the Underworld and pixies tend to avoid Hell like most other supernaturals.
She almost smiled back, but stopped herself and put on her bored face again, “Uhuh. Whatever. C’mon then, the sooner I get you to your room the sooner I can leave. I can still make the end of the party, and that’s always the best time.”
Just like Ms. Moron-o, the pixie flew in front of me down the hall to the left without turning back. I picked up my bags again and ran to catch up, which didn’t take long since she wasn’t going incredibly fast like pixies could.
When I caught up to walk beside her I attempted to start conversation, “So, I’m guessing you’re Miss Tigerlily?”
She spared me a glance and answered, “Just call me Tigerlily, I’m around the same age as you. Ms. Murano always calls everyone Miss This and Mister That. I think the only people she ever calls without the titles are her family and past flings.”
“Human or real?” I asked. It was a normal age question since some supernaturals aged differently and it gets confusing when age comes into the question sometimes.
“Human. We’re in the same class. Two more years and I’m out of here,” she answered. Her voice turned gleeful at the prospect of graduation. I don’t blame her and I haven’t even had my first day yet.
“I’m Nyx by the way,” I introduced myself. I mentally prepared for her to think that the name sounded familiar and then back away from me like I was a walking plague.
She kept the same distance and nodded, “I know. The hybrid from Hell with an unknown half. Lucifer’s personal servant who he took in when you were around 50 years old. Never seen outside of the Underworld and rarely out of the palace in Hell. Found in a basket almost 259 years ago at the main gates of the main city and been a mystery since.”
I stopped in my tracks and stared at her in disbelief.
She stopped and hovered as she turned around to look at me skeptically.
“Either you are really interested in the Underworld, or you’re another one of Master’s admirers, also known as stalkers,” I stated.
When in public, I’ve chosen to call Lucifer Master because that is what he is supposed to be to me. A servant cannot call their Master by name unless their Master says so. Considering it’s Lucifer, him giving someone like me permission to call him by name is extremely suspicious and I like to keep as low as possible.
She laughed, it tinkled like bells, “It’s a bit of both I guess. Lucifer may be eons old and extremely intimidating and terrifying, but you have to admit his looks are nothing to laugh at.”
I couldn’t deny it so I nodded in agreement.
Don’t even think about it. It’s like admitting your brother or another male family member got pretty good genes. You can’t lie or exaggerate and say he looks like a slobbering ogre when he is sinfully beautiful.
“Besides, you are one of the most interesting things that has happened in the past few centuries. I wasn’t even born when you popped up out of nowhere. I’m only 104 and I’ve heard so much about you,” she continued. Her eyes lit up as she continued to drone on about everything she knew or heard about me.
I blocked her out, not wanting to hear all the stories and rumors that orbited around me. I heard enough of them in the palace and the main city when I was a kid and even now here and there. You’d think one topic would have become boring after the first century.
We finally reached a corridor that had a door at the end of the hallway marked with the number 6. Tigerlily stopped talking (finally) and handed me a key that she unshrank with the number 666 on it.
I bit back a small laugh. Lucifer would never let me hear the end of this.
Pixies can shrink items since they are so tiny and then unshrink them again. It is a useful ability, but it can be quite annoying when they use it to mess with you. One of the reasons I don’t particularly like dealing with pixies and such during missions.
“That’s your key. Building 6, dorm 6, room 6. The School has 7 building in total and each building has 6 dorms with 10 rooms since most of the students that go here live here,” she said, pointing to the door.
“Well, I got to go. Nice to meet you and welcome to Supernatural School. I’ll probably see you tomorrow, so bye,” she smiled.
I smiled back and waved at her retreating figure, “Yeah, thanks.”
When she was gone I opened the door and came to face another long corridor with doors on either side, each numbered.
I quickly found room 6 and unlocked it easily with the key.
My room was simple, sterile and uniformed with cream walls and wooden flooring. A basic single bed with off-white sheets, barren wooden desk pressed against the opposing wall, two large windows with pale blue curtains drawn, a tall wardrobe and a door to a small bathroom that consisted of a sink, toilet and shower.
On the bed was a pile of textbooks and my new uniform along with an ID card and a sheet of paper.
The ID card contained the school logo, my name, date of birth (date of discovered in my case) and a picture I never knew I took.
The uniform reminded me of the uniforms drawn in the humans’ Japanese comic books called mangas. A short plaid skirt, blouse, blazer and tie that were all color coordinated in red, gold, black and white. There was even a PE uniform which consisted of black, knee length shorts and a plain white, water absorbent t-shirt. Skirts are a no, I don’t care if it’s uniform, so I’m going to have to make some adjustments...
I left the uniforms and other school supplies on the bed but snatched up the paper and emptied out my new messenger bag, placing the items on my new desk.
I fastened the necklace around my neck, tucking it under my shirt and then put the bracelet on my right hand. It fit the way I liked it, slightly loose but not loose enough to easily fall off. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think Lucifer had actually measured my wrist without me knowing. He probably magicked the bracelet to fit how I liked, or changed to the wearers preference.
Let’s see. I wish this were tighter. I don’t want it sliding around my arm.
Just as I thought, the bracelet tightened until it fit snugly to my skin. Smiling I shifted it back to the way I liked it, loose and unable to halt my blood flow.
Finally, I looked down at the single sheet of recently printed paper with my name written on top followed by a string of 5 computerized numbers that were on my ID card as well.
I had to face it eventually. The proof, the final piece of evidence that couldn’t make me avoid the absolute certainty of my predicament. I was going to attend school. Not undercover for a week where no one would remember me, not investigating after hours, nothing remotely related to Slayer.
I, Nyx, was going to attend school as a proper student until I graduate.
The last of the group had finally entered the nondescript building. Seeing as their two warlocks had put up a complex barrier that forced a weaker mind to simply not notice the already shady building, there was definitely a reason Lucifer wanted to investigate.
Just because I now go to school, doesn’t mean I’ve thrown Slayer away. Besides, I technically haven’t gone to school yet, my first day only starts in about 7 hours.
I snuck towards the entrance, my usual gear blending in nicely with night’s cover, but stopped right before the barrier line. Scanning the area I concluded that there was no one to see me and my targets were already too busy conducting their business on the second floor.
Hmm. The warlocks might turn out to be a problem. This isn’t an easy everyday mind manipulation barrier. It needs two experienced warlocks and one mistake in the formula could either cause the encased area to explode or the warlocks would be slowly drained until they turned into to withered bones and finally to dust after agonizing pain.
I couldn’t help but admire their strength and courage to create this particular barrier when there were other less risky ones to create, but this one was more effective. Too bad it wasn’t strong enough to stop me.
Still making sure no one could see me, I opened my ‘drawer’ and pulled out Slayer’s best friend and trusty companion.
The cold, cool staff melded to my leather fingerless gloves. It’s silver, identical curved blades located at each end of the staff gleamed threateningly in the still night under the waning moon’s faint glow. Standing just a little taller than my 5’7, my weapon of my own creation.
Just like my alias, not very creative.
Scythe, my black gear plus the fact that death usually follows my path has given me the title “Grim Reaper of Supernaturals” along with other equally unoriginal epithets.
After a final check of making sure my bandana was fixed properly, my shade was still working and another quick scan, I swung Scythe down in a diagonal arc twice in quick succession, spinning it in my hand with practiced ease so each blade hit the mark. The arcs bisected perfectly, the point of intersection on the barrier requiring a final aimed kick from me to finish the job.
The barrier fell, its power nothing compared to Scythe who was created by my own hands and put me in a fatigue induced, coma-like sleep for three months. The magic and energy spent on creating Scythe from nothing taxed me heavily, almost ending my life, and earned me a severe scolding from Lucifer when I finally woke up.
The warlocks would have felt their barrier break the moment I destroyed it so I had to pick up the pace. They’d be down to check what happened any moment now.
I dashed to the building, entering the deserted main lobby at the precise moment the first of my targets appeared at the top of the staircase.
It was one of the warlocks, the older of the two along with a vampire at around the same age of 30-something, visually.
They both recognized me and paled, though the vamp didn’t loose much coloring.
I lazily twirled Scythe in my left hand, my posture relaxed and eyes blank.
Behind my bored exterior, I quickly analyzed the two. The warlock may have been the older of the two warlocks, but he was not as physically strong. The vamp was lean like most are and I figured that I might be at a slight disadvantage if it came to one-on-one with his natural speed.
I could hear footsteps, four pairs, come down the stairs and soon all six were standing at the top of the stairwell, each with matching shocked and frightened expressions.
Gee... Glad to see I have such an impact on people. Not sure I should feel proud or depressed that so many seem to be extremely terrified of me.
In total there were two vamps, both male, two warlocks, one demon and one demoness. They were all in the visual age range of late 20s to mid-30s.
The demon, a short stout fellow, stepped forward and tried to mask his fear by stating remarkably smoothly, “It’s one against six. Even if he is Lucifer’s weapon he can’t beat all six of us.”
His words seemed to be enough encouragement for the rest of his group to nod and they gained a little bit of false hope. The warlocks raised their wands, the demons unsheathed their magicked daggers and the vamps tensed in preparation to pounce.
And I dared to think it’d be different. Oh well, might as well have some fun before *shudder* school.
Scythe stopped spinning in my hand and I held it dead still, not moving a muscle. The vamps took this as their cue and charged at me, roaring with fangs elongating and eyes turning sinfully red.
I skillfully swung Scythe and jumped into the air a good four feet before slashing downwards to cut one of the vamps shoulder while the other narrowly dodged.
The one I hit, hissed in pain, dropping to his knees, as Scythe’s blade was lethal to almost all supernaturals. I accidentally cut myself pretty badly with it once and was bedridden for a week. A small scar on my shoulder serves as a little reminder.
I spun on my heels as soon as I touched the dusty, marble floor and sliced the remaining vamp across his back. He fell immediately, face first into the floor and remained still.
Lazily, I faced the remaining four and grinned even though they couldn’t see. What they did see was the flash in my eyes.
The demons came next, shaky and reckless after witnessing the defeat of the vamps. I easily brought them to their knees before I narrowly dodged a column of fire aimed at me.
Fire warlocks, just perfect. The flashiest warlocks of them all.
They were preparing another spell, no doubt another burst of attention attracting flames. I dashed towards them and kicked the youngest to the floor, disrupting the spell before completion.
As soon as the young warlock hit the floor, I backed away, preparing for the backlash of an uncompleted spell.
One of the dangers of spell casting, especially powerful offensive ones, was if the witch or warlock couldn’t complete the spell. They already called up an amount of magic, greater amounts depending on the strength of the spell and castor, and if the energy’s path is interrupted it generally doesn’t turn out well.
In this case, the backlash finished my job for me. The magical pent up energy convulsed on itself and exploded.
I raised my hands to shield my face instinctively even though Scythe could repel most of the raw release.
I didn’t pass out for three months for nothing. Scythe was one of the best weapons in the Underworld and is one of a kind. I never even let Lucifer touch my baby.
When it was safe to open my eyes I took in the damage, preparing a quick report to send to Lucifer and deciding how many officers and medics to call.
I put Scythe away and took out the new phone from my pocket to send a quick text to Lucifer.
Done. 2 wrlks, 2 dems, 2 vamps. 1 wrlk dead, rest out. Need small clean up, spell fail.
I got a reply almost immediately.
Good job, faster than normal. Can you write better sentences? I’ll take care of the rest you go back to school. Get some sleep school starts in 5 hours, don’t be late on your first day. Night Nyx.
You do realize you just said ‘Night Night’, right?
Haha very funny. Go to bed.
Fine. See you.
I ended the conversation and tucked the phone away to leave the building. The phone made communication a lot easier and I wondered why I never got one before.
Oh that’s right. I was always around the only person I ever talked to and could teleport to him if it was urgent. But now I live in School.
As I greeted the cold, early morning air, I slinked into the closest alley, hiding from any sort of eyes, prying or uncaring.
The alley was deserted and the stench of puke, trash and decay filled my covered nostrils. Broken needles, bottles, cans and unidentifiable waste littered the corroding concrete stained from various substances best left unknown.
Taking extra precautions I hid behind a rancid smelling trashcan and closed my eyes. I drew my new dorm room in my head. The off-white bed still carrying the untouched books and uniform, cream walls lacking a personal touch, luggage still packed and curtains covering the windows I still hadn’t bothered to look at.
The tingling sensations returned, though stronger than when Lucifer had transported me since he was much more powerful than my magic coupled with the necklace and bracelet. I felt the amber pendant mildly heat up as I used it as my teleportation medium and my bracelet helped to enhance my powers.
Teleportation is not in my capabilities, so I was almost entirely using the necklace, supplying it with my magic.
Just when I thought I was going to make it on the first go, the tingling turned into a zap and my eyes flew open as I staggered against the wall.
Damn, and I almost got it.
It had taken me almost 4 tries to leave the school in the first place.
Getting my breath back, I tried again.
My breathing evened out to an almost sleep-like rate and I brought up the image again. The tingling buzzed my skin, the sound filling my ears until I felt myself crumble into dust, floating and then reforming.
When I was fully materialized in my room, I staggered, completely exhausted. I had to use the desk to hold my body up.
That drained me more than I thought it would. It wasn’t nearly this bad when I teleported out. It’s almost like I was teleporting—
“Holy shit. Who’re you? Where am I? How’d I get here? What was that buzzin’ feelin’ and why do you have an eight foot wing growin’ out of your back that looks way too real?”
“Who are you and how did you get here?” I asked coldly, immediately becoming alert despite the threat of fatigue slowing me. Thankfully my shade could also alter my voice, so if I ever had to speak as Slayer, even accidental, it would sound like a 17-year-old guy’s voice.
The intruder was a boy who looked around the same age as me. He had sun streaked dark brown hair that was long, ragged and unkempt. His lips were thin but chapped and he had a long nose that had been broken a few times making it slightly crooked. He wore a ratty blue t-shirt with text that had worn away and holey jeans. He didn’t even have a pair of shoes.
“That’s what I’m tryin’ to ask you!” he yelled, his voice a few octaves too high to be normal. His eyes were wide, the white swallowing his forest green irises. He was nervous, scared but still curious. He was just as confused as I was, though him much more disorientated.
I tried to read him, figure out what he was and I dropped my defensive stance when I realized.
“You’re human...” I murmured, not believing it but it was true. He had no trace of supernatural blood in him. One of my talents was to be able to identify anyone. I can tell exactly what they are after a quick inspection unless their bloodline was a little murky.
“Of course I’m human, but you definitely ain’t!” he screeched, pointing behind me.
I turned to look, still keeping a suspicious eye on him and saw nothing. He was pointing to the wall.
I looked back at him and lowered my voice, “Okay, calm down, alright? If you pass out from hyperventilating that’ll do neither of us any good. Sit down on the bed and we can talk.”
He didn’t budge, just stared at me warily though he was much calmer. His breathing was no longer shallow and quick paced as the threat of passing out didn’t seem very enticing.
I removed the bandana and put my hands in the air, “I’m not going to do anything to you. See? No weapons. Just sit on the bed and I’ll stand as far away from you as possible. I’ll answer your questions as long as you answer mine.”
I waited until he hesitantly nodded and backed up to sit on my bed, ignoring the books and uniform. I moved to stand in front of the door, leaning on it and making sure it was locked as a precaution.
We were silent, analyzing the other before I spoke in an interrogative, “Who are you and how did you get in here?”
“I was mindin’ my own damn business when I felt this weird tingly feelin’ and I ended up here. If anythin’, I should be the one askin’ questions, ‘specially since I end up seein’ a girl with weird fire eyes and a frickin’ wing growin’ out of her back,” he responded, throwing his hands in the air frantically.
“What?” I panicked slightly. Did I drop my shade? And wing? My wing isn’t out!
I quickly walked to the bathroom, opening the door and turning on the light to see my reflection.
Short brown locks, pasty blue eyes, masculine structure and no wing. I still had my shade up and my wing was tucked away, so how was he seeing how I really looked like?
He was still sitting on my bed when I walked to him and stared him down. He squirmed under my harsh gaze but I didn’t care.
“You’re human. A mortal. How are you able to see past my shade? How can you see my wing when it isn’t even out? It shouldn’t be possible,” I muttered.
He was staring behind me as I mulled over thoughts in my head and reached a tentative hand out. I gripped his wrist as soon as his hand had almost reached my hips and growled, “What are you doing, boy?”
He was hesitant but answered, “I, uh, wanted to touch your wing. It looks too real to be fake,” he frowned, “And don’t call me boy.”
“My wing?” I repeated mainly because this boy was confusing me. He was seeing things he shouldn’t be able to. “You can see it?”
“It’s kinda hard ta miss,” he drawled sardonically.
I stepped back and slid my hands down my face, groaning, “What have I gotten myself into? Of course I run into the one human who can see what he shouldn’t. But why? How?”
The boy stood up, he was clearly more confident than before and stated, “I’m just as confused as you are, okay? What are you? And where the hell am I?”
“I’m a hybrid and you’re in my dorm at Supernatural School. I must have accidentally teleported you here too somehow and that’s why I feel more tired than I should,” I answered.
“What? Hybrid? Supernatural School?” he repeated, completely lost.
I realized that I should probably pull the shade down since it was no use against the human for some reason and did just that. I immediately felt a bit better since I wasn’t spending any energy on a shade.
“What did you just do?” he asked, surprised and a little scared.
“Huh?” I raised an eyebrow quizzically.
He pointed and stuttered, “You, you... you were kinda hazy before so I thought I was dreamin’ or somethin’, but then, you, then, you did...did somethin’ and now you’re all clear and in focus or somethin’.”
I began to pace, not answering his question since I didn’t even understand it, and mumbled, “Oh Hell, this is way too complicated. This human isn’t normal, but he’s definitely a hundred percent mortal...”
“I have a name ya know,” he muttered.
I quit pacing and looked at him, “I did ask who you were, but you never answered.”
He scratched his chin, “I guess ya did.” He stuck out his hand and smiled lopsidedly, “I’m Matt.”
Slightly stunned at his change in behavior, I couldn’t help but smile back slightly and grip his hand, “I’m Nyx. Not sure if it’s nice to meet you yet, considering you just made my night a lot more complicated than it needed to be.”
He laughed as we released hands and I took out my phone.
“Who you gonna call?” Matt asked.
I put the phone to my ear and answered, “The only person I trust, the King of Hell.”
“We have a new student joining us from now on. Please make her feel welcome,” the stubby old warlock monotonously droned.
I stepped into the classroom filled with quite curious students. It wasn’t everyday a new student turned up so late in a term. New students in general were a rarity in themselves.
I hadn’t gotten any sleep the previous night what with Matt getting dragged along, though I’m still not sure how. I had called Lucifer and he immediately teleported himself to my room giving Matt a fright and me scolding him on being so rash. We quickly decided that Matt couldn’t stay any longer and I was not allowed to miss my first day, so after a long argument, Lucifer took Matt back to Hell and I haven’t heard from them since.
After school I was going to immediately return and we were going to have to discuss what to do. Matt could see things he should not be able to and he shouldn’t have been able to hitch a ride while I teleported. I have to be touching the person if I were to do a dual transport and I definitely hadn’t been touching any part of him.
Just finish today, go through the classes and go to the palace. I can pass out until tomorrow later. I can do it.
The alchemy teacher, apparently called Mr. Darius Bertham, motioned for me to stand next to his cluttered desk in front of the age-old blackboard.
I stood awkwardly and half asleep on my feet until he cleared his throat impatiently, “Well then, introduce yourself.”
I blinked and tried to clear my mind as I responded, “Oh uh, well, I’m, er, Nyx.”
I noticed some slight flashes of recognition in a few of the more awake eyes of my future classmates. Some found my name familiar and then the one exceptionally gifted vampiress exclaimed, “Hell’s Hybrid!”
That got the class going. They murmured to one another and I heard the normal terms said whenever someone figured out who I was.
Hybrid, half, servant, Lucifer, freak, orphan, Hell, dark angel, one winged, fire eyes, etc.
“Yeah the hybrid. That’s me. The hybrid freak of nature that showed up out of nowhere. At least talk about me when I’m not standing right in front you to gawk at,” I bitterly spat out. I was still quite drained from magic use and the lack of sleep really wasn’t helping my situation or mood. I was pissy, bite me.
“That’s enough!” Mr. Bertham bellowed. The class instantly quieted down and he pointed at an empty seat in the back corner of the room, next to the wide window that ran the length of the wall. “That shall be your seat for the rest of the year.”
Taking my cue, I nodded and walked to the seat holding my head up high over the whispered gossip.
I ignored everything, even Mr. Bertham’s lecture on alchemy that I should have been taking notes or something on. I was trying to stay awake. Listening to the ingredients required to make a weak invisibility potion that lasts barely 10 minutes will be of no help.
No one bothered me for the rest of the period, only whispering and sneaking the most obvious, horribly concealed glances I had ever seen.
Thankfully the lesson finally ended the set 85 minutes later with the only homework being to remember how to create the potion. What was stupid was that we weren’t allowed to actually make it. We just had to know how.
Apparently, some of the many rules of School were that students weren’t allowed to use their powers during school hours, nor were we allowed to create potions or practice spells without teacher supervision. How that works is a mystery to me.
I drifted through the 10 minute passing break and math, feigning attention when required and generally ignored all the eyes directed at me. By the hour long lunch period at 12PM my name had passed the lips of almost all the students and teachers.
I didn’t think it would happen that quickly, but then again I guess I had underestimated the natural instinct people (supernatural or not) had to talk about an item of interest.
I steered clear of the cafeteria, or at least I believed it was the cafeteria considering it was the building being flooded by student chattering about their weekend. Instead, I made my way to an isolate table near the dorm entrances of Building 4.
Even before I had properly sat myself down on the wooden bench I had my phone out and ready to call Lucifer.
I cut the phone right before the prerecorded default message told me that the person I was trying to call was unavailable. After four unsuccessful tries with the same result, I took full advantage of the phone’s trait to be practically destruction proof and threw it to wherever it went and flopped onto the table groaning in frustration.
“Looks like someone isn’t having a great first day,” a low masculine voice tsked.
It was followed by a much softer and higher voice that tinkled, “First days are hardly ever great. Normal days are only decent at most.”
Looking up I eyed the two people who decided to bother me. The girl was the same pixie that reluctantly showed me my dorm yesterday, Tigerlily. The only difference was that she was dressed in the standardized uniform instead of her orange dress.
She was fluttering by the shoulder of a boy I recognized from my math class in the last period. He was a warlock, and a powerful one at that for a person his age. Rich and of high blood too, if his perfect teeth, styled golden locks, gleaming skin and arrogant posture were anything to go by. Even his stormy grey eyes held the same snobbish sheen present in the many nobles of any court I had seen and the displeasure to meet.
The warlock took a seat on the opposite side of my table while Tigerlily sat at the edge of the table right next to my arm. They watched me and I stared blankly back, waiting for them to get bored and leave.
Reluctantly, when I realized that they weren’t going to do as I mentally wished, I sat up again and scanned the floor. The small black device had bounced around until it landed under the table next to the warlock’s blindingly white branded trainers.
Just as I ducked under to retrieve it, the warlock kicked my phone out of my reach and picked it up himself.
I returned to my original position and glared at his smirk, wishing my eyes really were fire so I could burn him to a magical crisp.
He ignored my death glare and held out my phone in his left hand, his smug smirk shamelessly contorting his face.
I reached to take it, but he pulled his hand back, or at least attempted to. I was quicker, and grabbed his thin wrist first, squeezing a little more than hard, before reclaiming the device.
He winced and began to rub his wrist with his uninjured hand and needlessly exclaimed, “That hurt!”
“That was the point, warlock,” I drawled not bothering to look at him as I tucked away my phone.
Throughout the small exchange, Tigerlily was busy laughing, her bell-like laugh ringing in the air.
“How did you know I’m a warlock?” the boy asked, still rubbing his wrist. I might have pressed a little to hard because I could see faint purple bruises already forming. I need to keep a check on my actions.
Standing up and preparing to leave, I shrugged my bag onto my shoulder and answered, “Like I know that Tigerlily’s a pixie.”
With that less than helpful remark, I walked away towards the building where my next class, history, was supposed to be located. I still had another 40 minutes left of lunch and even though I should probably get something to eat, having more stares and questions directed at me was not worth it. I had plenty of that in Hell and the first two periods today.
Besides, I doubt I’d be able to eat peacefully with the human Matt in my head. Lucifer hadn’t told me a thing since he left with Matt the previous night. I don’t even know if Matt is still in Hell or if Lucifer did something and wiped his memory or even killed him. As far as I know, Matt is the first full mortal to enter Hell while still very much alive.
Lunaria and an abnormal human both appearing in a short time frame can’t bode well for the world.
So what am I doing? The person who found the human? Sitting under a tree counting down until the time I can leave this pointless campus and return to Hell.
The final bell rang aloud at precisely 3:00 PM. Like the rest of my new classmates, I had already packed my bag and was sitting on the edge of my seat, staring at the slowly ticking needle of the cloned clock. C’mon, c’mon, c’mon, hurry up.
Without a moment’s hesitation I ran out the room as soon as the English teacher dismissed us. I made a beeline straight for Dorm 6 in the next building, knocking people out of the way and getting curses aimed at me. Not the magical kind, just the crude insults variety.
“Hey! Watch where you’re—oh Nyx why the hurry?” Tigerlily questioned me as I accidentally shoved her into one of her other pixie friends and a vampire. I ignored her and continued to run until I crashed into my room and slammed the door shut, locking it immediately after.
I tossed my bag in the general direction of my bed and pulled out the amber shard from under my shirt. It got stuck on the tie, so I ripped the tie off in my impatience and quickly thought up my room in the palace.
My room. Collage of faded blue walls instead of standard cream. Grey carpeting instead of sleek wood. Black, blue and grey bed that was used more during the day than at night. Medium sized couch, a haven in Hell after a long day. That’s my room.
I felt the now much more familiar tingles buzzing my skin and when they stopped I opened my eyes to greet what I call home. Well, not the exact place I was trying to teleport to, but it was still part of home.
“It’s you! How’d you do that?” the human from last night (or would it be this morning?) pointed. He was lounging in one of Lucifer’s rooms, Room 5 I believe. It was a clone of mine but the color scheme was green and white, which I still don’t understand. The room was too happy and perky color-wise which really doesn’t make much sense. Then again, Lucifer rarely did make some, if any, sense.
He sprang up from the bed and began to circle me, not like a cat stalking his prey but like an intrigued scientist of sorts. His brow was scrunched and had a hand scratching the area above his ear in confused thought.
“Quit looking at me like a science experiment, boy,” I ordered sharply, and mentally smiled as he did as I ordered and backed away in slight fear.
I looked around the room and frowned, “I swear I meant to teleport into my room, not this one.”
The human’s eyes widened and he began to ramble, his speech rapidly accelerated in his excitement, “Teleport? You can teleport? Can you fly too? And magic? Can you shoot lasers out of your eyes and curse people n’ turn ‘em into toads? N’ dragons? Do dragons exist n’ griffins n’ nymphs n’—”
“Can you shut up for just a moment?” I snapped, eyes flaring. I was so not in the mood to answer a bunch of ridiculous questions of some human who causes more trouble than he may be worth. I hadn’t had a chance to even begin catching up on lost sleep, and his pestering plus the 6 hours of pointless facts being crammed into my head was not helping.
“Where’s Lucifer?” I asked.
I may have been a bit too snappish at him but he answered anyway, albeit warily, “He, uh, he said he had to go to some meeting and he’d be back at, erm, in a bit.”
“When’d he leave?”
The boy closed his left eye and bit his bottom lip, “Around 20 minutes ago, I think. He told me to stay here and keep out of trouble.”
I snorted, “I don’t blame him.”
Sighing I walked over to the moss green couch and flopped on my back, one leg hanging off the edge and the other tucked in with my knee jutting upwards. “He won’t be back for another hour at least. Council Meetings take an inordinate amount of time. Especially with Lunaria on the loose I’d be surprised if he returns in the next 3 hours.”
I turned my head to see the boy standing awkwardly at the foot of the bed. He was fidgeting, clearly out of his comfort zone and I’m sure my moodiness wasn’t helping the situation.
Reluctantly getting myself out of my current very comfortable position, I got up and patted the seat in front of me as I put my back to the armrest. “Despite what you think, I won’t eat you, boy. Besides, I think you’ve got a lot of questions to ask and I doubt Lucifer bothered to answer them when he brought you here.”
“I have a name you know,” he muttered under his breath and I’m sure I wasn’t supposed to hear. Still, he moved to stand next to the couch and I had to tug his arm to get him to sit down.
“I see Lucifer got you some clothes,” I commented as my eyes drifted over his form, changing the subject. He had a new, loose dark green shirt that was stain and tear free, jeans without holes and a brand spanking new pair of army green converse. Lucifer is so obsessed with color coordinating it’s almost ridiculous.
He looked down at himself and smiled, “Yeah, I don’t remember the last time I had clean clothes and a pair o’ shoes that weren’t about to break. Plus a roof over my head and food on demand? This place is more like Heaven instead o’ Hell.”
Call it pity or a rare sense of responsibility, but whatever it was made me jump off the couch to stand in front of him and do a quick examination as I said, “Well then, what would you like to be?”
“Huh?” he asked. “What’d ya mean?”
“Well, I for one do not want to sit in a way too perky room and talk for the next three hours, and I’m pretty sure you’re dying of curiosity so I figured we could walk around certain areas of the palace and I could answer some questions of yours. But, you can’t just waltz around as a human so I’m going to put up a shade so no one will find you out of place. So, what’ll it be? Demon or dark angel?”
“Er, uhh, um,” he stuttered, unable to form words.
I held back a laugh at his utterly gob smacked expression and carelessly drawled, “Well, if you don’t give me an answer, I’ll make you a bright pink flower faerie complete with glittery wings and flashy pants.”
“Angel! I’ll be an angel!” he jumped out of his seat, clearly distressed at the thought of being seen as a faerie of pinkness.
I laughed, clutching my stomach and he realized I was kidding as he rolled his eyes and drawled, “Oh haha. Very funny, Nyx.”
When he said my name, I instantly sobered and was honestly surprised, “You remember my name?”
He shrugged, “Well yeah. Kind o’ hard to forget the name of a one-winged angel who ain’t too bad to look at.”
“Flattery will only get you some places, Matt,” I responded immediately and noticed his small lopsided grin as I said his name. “Hold still and shut up for a moment.”
I closed my eyes and thought up a simple shade of a boy with black hair, pale grey eyes and large black wings similar to that of a crow’s. I opened my eyes to view my handiwork and smiled smugly.
“What? What’d you do this time?” he turned around himself like a dog chasing his tail and I had to resist falling to the floor in a fit of laughter.
“You are now a black haired, grey eyed, dark angel. It’s just an illusion though so don’t go jumping off buildings in an attempt to fly,” I answered. “Wait. You can’t see your fake wings?”
He shook his head, “Nope, I feel a little different, like someone poured some sorta gloop or somethin’ over me but otherwise, I’m pretty much the same.”
This time it was my turn to circle him like an intrigued lab coat wearer, “You really are a weird human, boy.”
“And we’re back to the ‘boy’ calling, I’d call you angel but that sounds like a compliment,” he complained and actually pouted.
I walked to the door of the room and called out as I waited for him to follow, “Call me angel and I’ll teleport you into a nest of hungry and very grumpy water sprites while you’ll be looking like a nice, big, stinking freshwater fish. They’ll hardly tell the difference between fish meat and human meat, so watch your words, boy.” I can’t actually do all that, but he doesn’t need to know.
He ran up to me as I exited the room and walked towards Lucifer’s private gardens. Lucifer had all his private rooms in a whole separate wing of his palace, so it was safe for us to walk around, we just couldn’t be too loud. There were some places though where we’d have to cross the main hallways and have the small chance of running into one of the palace guards or staff. Hence, the precaution shade I put on Matt.
“So, where ya takin’ me?” he asked cautiously as his eyes roamed the hallway with open curiosity. It proved my suspicion that Lucifer had pretty much locked Matt in Room 5 since the morning.
“A garden. It’s my favorite place to take a nap where no one but Lucifer can bother me,” I answered, already envisioning the unique plants that could only grow in Hell. My absolute favorites were only grown in Lucifer’s private ones since they were incredibly hard to grow, but their magnificence made up for the hard work.
“A garden?” he repeated, skeptically.
“Yes a garden. Now shut up and walk. If you want answers you’ll have to follow me,” I ordered, my eagerness to see my garden making me less patient by the second.
After only one run in with a demon who greeted me with a scowl and sent a disgusted look to Matt for walking next to me, we finally reached the glass doors that led out to a cavern only lit up by bright glowing blue crystals that contained mixtures of demon and faerie magic. They had darkly colored vines wrapped around them, giving a more enchanted look and the faint copper sulphate colored glow they emitted in broken shafts made the cavern all the more ethereal.
“Woah...” Matt breathed as he took in the scene with wide eyes.
A variety of unique, darkly colored plants were perfectly laid out by type and shade. Small, silver vines with razor sharp leaves that perfectly fit the “beautiful but deadly” category acted as fences, guarding each section.
There were special versions of plants found in the human world of unearthly colors as well as plants not even heard of in legends, all naturally grown. Dark maroon buttercups, purple stemmed orchids, ivory daffodils and Elven cuprum to name a few.
Elven cuprum is a leafy plant that requires Elf magic to grow and is a dull grey plant with bright copper leaves that curl in on themselves as they age. The leaves are highly toxic but the roots can be used in medicines or potions for experienced alchemists.
I smiled softly, “Yeah.” I’ve been down here so many times (I lost count after the first 30 or 40) and it still takes my breath away.
I walked down the stone pathway until I reached the center of the cavern. I crouched down to lay a ghost’s touch to the velvet petals of Lucifer’s prized flowers and my personal favorite. Pure black roses.
I heard Matt quietly walk up behind me until he crouched down, enthralled by the flower.
“They’re amazin’,” he whispered as if he were afraid the tiniest bit of noise would destroy the seemingly unreal flowering buds.
“You’re extremely lucky to see them. Barely any demons or other beings of Hell have had the honor of seeing one, much less a whole batch, in person,” I whispered back inattentively for all my attention was on the exceptionally rare flora of Hell.
Unlike the mortals’ ‘black’ roses, these were actually pure black. No tinges of purple or extremely dark blue and these were naturally grown like everything else in the cavern. They were black as a night in the arctic regions during the dead of winter with dusted silver stems and leaves the color of soot-tainted snow.
I crossed my legs under me and planted myself on the cool floor with Matt following my lead. Taking my attention away from the beauty, I opened the metaphorical doors, “So, question time.”
Like an excited puppy he began, “What other magical creatures are there? Do you live in the human world and how many are there? How long have you all been around? Is the guy who brought me here really the Lucifer?”
I laughed, entertained by his infectious eagerness and answered each question, “There’s hundreds of other ‘magical creatures’, as you call us. Faeries, witches, vampires, werewolves, angels, warlocks, pixies, elves, dwarves, and so on. But there are subsections of each type, like weres for example. Werewolves are only one of a thousand breeds. There’s a were for almost every animal in existence.”
Matt’s jaw was getting closer and closer to the floor and his eyes were gradually expanding as each word left my mouth.
I continued, “Most of us live in the human world, but demons and dark angels prefer to live in Hell while the Fay tend to stick to mythical forests and sometimes human forests and valleys. And yes, Avalon is real though it’s extremely difficult, more like almost impossible really, to get in unless you’re a high-ranking Fay. Angels, the white winged ones, prefer to stay in the Upper Realm, which I guess is what you humans would call Heaven. Other than that, it depends on the person though we generally tend to lie low in the human world, spread out though so not much trouble will be caused. Supernaturals in general have been around since humans, some even before but those ones are rare. Lucifer is one of them and there’s these special demons called Elemental Demons who are so mysterious, many supernaturals think of them as merely myth. And yes, the guy who brought you here is the Lucifer. King of Hell, Satan, the Devil, call him what you wish.”
I could tell that all the information was overwhelming, but he didn’t seem to mind as he asked, “Why do you call me ‘boy’? You’re not even that much older than me.”
I chuckled, “I call you boy because that is what you are. Plus, it annoys you which is a bonus for me. Let me ask, how old are you?”
“Turned 17 two months ago,” he answered, a little confused.
“I’ve been around for almost 242 years before you were even born, Matt,” I said, waiting for his response.
He opened his mouth but closed it again and I could see the clogs slowly accelerating in his mind, sparks from the speed and friction flying about.
Finally he exclaimed, “You’re two hundred and sixty years old?”
I mock glared, “No. 259 in a month, thank you very much.”
“But...but...you,” he jabbed a finger at me, “You look like you’re my age...”
“Is my age really more surprising than anything I’ve told you so far?” I asked, honestly curiously amused at his reaction.
He was too stunned to nod or shake his head and just stared at me, trying to find evidence of my extraordinary age.
“I age 1/15 of a human. For every 15 years, I only age once. In human years I am 17, but I’ve been 17 for almost 4 years,” I explained.
He nodded, still disbelieving but taking in my clarification. For a few moments he was silent, only staring blankly.
I smirked, “What happened? You attacked me with a volley of question when I teleported to the room and when I finally let you ask. You already ran out?”
“No, well, I wanna pick an important question. Somethin’ I really wanna know more than anythin’ so I don’t waste time,” he answered, still racking his head. His eyes widened as his head shot up when he finally decided, but he seemed to hesitate.
“Go on, ask me anything. I kind of owe it to you for dragging you along last time,” I encouraged him. As an after thought I added, “Though I’m still not sure how I did that.”
He took a breath and asked, “I was wondering about your wing. You’re other one.”
“Oh.” I should have known he would ask.
I looked away from his questioning gaze and stared at the black roses while I spoke, “I don’t have another wing.”
Even without looking I knew he had no idea what I meant so I continued, “Supernaturals are pretty uptight about same species mating so if a child is born who is only half, they are looked down upon. There’s two types of halves, half-breed and hybrid. Half-breeds are half human and are more accepted than a hybrid who has two supernatural parents of different species. I’m a hybrid, but a hybrid freak. Hybrids mostly take after one parent, but I don’t. I have only one wing and I don’t even know what my other half is. There’s been no signs and I can do things that dark angels shouldn’t be able to do but there isn’t a close enough connection to another type of supernatural.”
He was quiet again before tentatively saying, “I kinda know how you feel. I’ve been the odd one out ever since I was a kid. I was always seein’ things that others couldn’t n’ I pretended I couldn’t see nothin’ for a while. Then when I was 10, I swear I saw a little girl turn into a rabbit n’ everyone thought I was crazy. My parents kicked me out, sayin’ they wouldn’t put up with a loony son that wasn’t even theirs n’ I’ve been driftin’ ‘round since. Now I know I wasn’t seein’ things n’ I’m not crazy.”
We sat in silence, taking in the cavern and each other’s words until I heard very recognizable footsteps clacking on the stone path.
“I knew I’d find you here,” Lucifer smiled tiredly. His hair was a mess from running his hands through them and his face drooped in exhaustion. Even his usually neat, casual clothes reflected his lack of liveliness.
I got off the floor and smiled quickly before frowning and crossing my arms over my chest, “What’s the point in a magicked phone if you won’t answer my calls?”
He scratched the back of his neck and his smiled turned apologetic, “You can’t expect me to be free when you bring back a sample of Lunaria after months of nothing. And then you bring a human who is not ordinary and can see what he shouldn’t be able to.”
Not letting him off so easily, I retorted, “Well if someone didn’t ship me off to some stupid school, I’d be here to help and you wouldn’t look like a walking corpse.”
Lucifer was about to answer back when Matt raised a hesitant hand and waved slightly, “Uhh do you two want me to, er, um leave? You guys look like you’ve got stuff to sort out and yeah...”
Both Lucifer and I snapped our heads to stare him down and he cowered under our combined gazes.
“No, you are actually my main concern and the reason Nyx rashly left school,” Lucifer answered, breaking contact. He turned his back to us and strolled towards the glass doors calling back, “Let’s talk somewhere more comfortable. We can have some snacks as well and I don’t want food in the cavern.”
A few minutes later found us in Room 5 again but Lucifer had materialized a medium sized round table with three matching chairs. The table was stacked with plates containing a variety of pastries from cherry Danishes to slices of Devil’s food cake to various berry flavored chocolate mousses. To wash down the sugar high inducing and saliva stealing treats were soda cans of our choice materialized by Lucifer on demand.
He’d kill me thirty different ways if I said it out loud, but at times, he’s my personal infinite vending machine.
Matt wasted no time in stuffing his face while I picked up a can of Sprite and Lucifer kept his hands to himself.
“Sfwo, wuff woyu fwanga ftwalfk bouf?” Matt asked with a mouthful of glazed donut holes. You know, the pieces that get hole punched out of the donut to leave that empty circle so you can stack them on your fingers like giant rings? Lucifer prefers to materialize those instead the whole donut since they can be created in bulk and are easy to eat. And they are less of a mess.
Matt began to choke from talking while munching and rapidly chugged down his coke to try and unclog his throat. He hacked away for a bit and I know I should have been patting his back or something, but I was too busy laughing and Lucifer smirked in semi-sadistic amusement.
When Matt stopped dying from donut holes, Lucifer tossed five polaroids that landed on Matt’s already sugar dusted lap.
He picked them up curiously and looked at me with a question in his eyes. I had no idea what the photos were for or of, so he silently asked Lucifer.
“Can you tell me what each photo is of, Matt?” Lucifer asked calmly, like a therapist who was showing ink splodges to check if a patient needed a straightjacket and a padded cell.
Matt’s face scrunched up in confusion, “But these are blank pieces o’ cardboard.”
“Cardboard?” I echoed, my face imitating Matt’s. I reached out to take a piece and turned it over in my hands. It was a photo of a phoenix no matter how hard I concentrated on it. It must have been a fake photo though because there is only one phoenix in existence and she’s barely bordering reality.
Even supernaturals have myths and legends, a universal one being the four Elemental Demons. We’re not sure if they’re even remotely related to demons, but that’s just what we’ve always called them. There’s only four and like the name suggests, each is of a particular element; fire, air, water and earth. Phoenix is fire, Leviathan is water, Griffin is air and Golem is earth.
Lucifer sighed gravely and ran a hand through his hair, his expression becoming even more tired.
“What’s goin’ on?” Matt asked. Like me, he sensed that something was not quite right.
Lucifer snapped his fingers and the photo I was holding turned into a blank piece of regular cardboard. It was a shade. Matt saw past Lucifer’s shade.
Lucifer eyed Matt, scanning him and staring him down. Analyzing him while I stared in unveiled shock.
“And I was honestly hoping I was wrong,” Lucifer said aloud, grudging acceptance tingeing his voice.
“Luke, what’s going on?” I demanded. A human saw past Luci-freaking-fer’s shade.
He sighed and slumped in his chair, regarding Matt cautiously, “Long ago, before even you turned up Nyx, there was a...prophecy.”
I put down my half empty can and Matt placed his treats on the closest plate. We both sat attentively and Lucifer continued, “Only the older members of the Council know of it. I don’t have the exact words since we as a group decided that it was best to leave hidden, but I do remember the generalities. The prophecy told of a pure being whose eyes were free of a blinding cloth. The being had no tainted blood. The being could see. This being, accompanied by another, could bring about the end of the world as we know it. They are a dangerous pair who will meet and decide the fate of both the supernaturals and mortals.”
A pregnant silence followed until Matt hesitantly spoke up, “And...and you think this, this, bein’ is me?”
Lucifer didn’t have to speak or move to answer, Matt knew but wouldn’t believe it until it was said.
“But,” he began, eyes widening and hands shaking, “I, I can’t... I’m a nobody. I ain’t the least bit important and no way could I destroy the world!”
“I didn’t say you could and I sincerely hope you aren’t, but from what I’ve seen so far, it fits together. You are a being of pure blood. You’re 100% human yet you have clear sight. You could see past a shade I created without even trying. I’m sorry Matt, but all signs point to you,” Lucifer said, still calm but there was genuine pity evident in his tone.
Matt stared blankly ahead and swallowed the imaginary lump in his throat, “So now what? If I am the person in the prophecy thing, that means I’m gonna destroy everythin’. Are ya...are ya gonna kill me?”
Killing Matt would be the logical thing to do since if he was dead, the prophecy couldn’t be fulfilled. But...
“It’s not his fault,” I spoke up.
Ignoring their surprised expressions I continued, “I mean who knows if the prophecy is even real? And even if it is, it said that he has a partner. Maybe it’s not even Matt and you just interpreted the lines wrong. The kid couldn’t hurt a fly much less the whole world.”
I don’t know why I was trying to protect a human I had just met but I was doing it anyway. It could have been his naïve innocence or the fact that he was like the human version of me. He was born a freak and shunned. His parents got rid of him like mine, but I think I got off easier since I don’t even know who my parents are. It’s easier to be thrown out by strangers you never met rather than parents, even adoptive one, who raised you and made you love them.
“The prophecy is very much real, even though we had tried to deny it when it was found. There is more to it and the first few lines had already been fulfilled when we got it. Another line had been fulfilled around 80 years ago though I didn’t know until I snuck a peek to check.”
Matt looked down, his face no longer bright and cheerful as he held the air of one who had given up before the fight had even began. Resigned to his supposed fate and slumped in his chair.
Lucifer berated him, sounding slightly offended though I knew it was just for effect, “You have so little faith in us? If Nyx, my little Nixie Pixie, stood up for you do you think I’d really kill you just to try and prevent a prophecy? Not only is trying to control a prophecy pointless but I would have to spend a few more centuries with a very unhappy and begrudging Nyx.”
I groaned in annoyed embarrassment, “You said you’d never call me that again. What kind of stupid name is ‘Nixie Pixie’?”
“I think it’s adorable,” Lucifer admonished and then turned to Matt for support. “Right, Matt?”
“Uh...” Matt was utterly confused and I didn’t blame him. First we were discussing his possible relation to a gloomy prophecy where he could be the protagonist and then we started arguing over Lucifer’s stupid pet name for me that he had only used once before.
Lucifer grinned and patted Matt’s back reassuringly, “Don’t worry about it. Prophecies can’t be changed so we will just have to take it as it comes. And it’s not certain that you’ll be the destroyer of the world, you could be the savior if you’re the being. I don’t have the actual thing with me and I haven’t read it or tried to decipher it in a long time so I may have gotten some parts wrong. Just to be on the safe side, don’t let anyone know you can ‘see’. You can stay here if you want or I can send you home. But Nyx...”
Lucifer faced me, a his mouth in a thin line and eyes slightly narrowed, “You pretty much just disappeared from your dorm without precautions. Go back now and do your homework. I’ll call you when something comes up but you can’t just leave whenever you wish, understood?”
Dutifully I nodded with slight sarcasm, “Yes, Master.”
Knowing I wouldn’t be able to change his mind and that he would probably prevent me from being able to teleport out of the school if I tried, I stood up and prepared to go back to the dorm room.
“Don’t worry about it too much, ‘kay? I’ll see you soon, boy,” I grinned crookedly with a slight wave. I closed my eyes and felt for the tingling sensation once again and reluctantly returned to the dorm to attempt the various pieces of assigned work.9: Chapter VIII
It’s been three days since Lucifer told Matt and I about the prophecy that Matt may or may not be a part of. Matt’s been staying in Hell with Lucifer, helping out where he can without being discovered. He’s been restricted to Lucifer’s private hallways and occasionally comes to the human world for a few hours.
I’ve been attending school regularly and am still the main point of gossip. Tigerlily and the warlock whose name is apparently Daniel or Damien or something have been joining me during lunch. I think they’re trying to be friendly, well Tigerlily at least. The warlock is Tigerlily’s best friend so I believe his eccentric pixie friend dragged him along. Why she wants to be friends with me is beyond my understanding
Daniel/Damien is even more snobbish and snooty than I first stereotyped him to be and I discovered why today. His father is the warlock representative in the Council, Gordon Harrway. An exceptionally arrogant warlock specializing in air magic and being a prejudiced conceited prick.
I had just finished my last class of the day. Immediately after, I had ran to my dorm room, changed and teleported. The sequence had quickly become routine as I could hardly ever wait to leave the figurative hellhole to return to my lovable hellhole, Hell.
The school’s classes were organized by day. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are the academic days while on Tuesdays and Thursdays we take our practical or “hands on” classes that would be the humans’ equivalent to PE.
We have a PE class that is mandatory for all students and is basically keeping fit, running laps and playing sports, like a regular mortal PE class. The other half of the day is where we are split up on what we are and our individual abilities. Spell casting classes specified for certain groups, more outdoorsy and more extreme physical activity classes for weres and vamps and a combat class for exceptional students with advanced or more noticeable magical capabilities.
I’ve been put into a general magic class along with an extra PE class that was more magically centered with a mixture of warlocks, Fay, demons and witches. When I found out about the combat class I pestered Lucifer to transfer me, but he was adamant against me joining that class. Said I’d “attract too much attention” and I’d be “questioned on my unnatural ability to kick everyone’s ass” or something. Bleh.
Anyway, the day was uneventful like always except for a plant elf accidentally causing wine grapes to sprout out of one of the vampire PE teachers’ ear. I have to say I actually admire them for being able to get a grape seed in the teacher’s ear without the teacher knowing. That takes precise timing and very nimble fingers with uncanny aim. Some creativity was also essential.
Now I was back in my element. The shadows. No literally, I was hiding in shadows as I stalked my current target.
She was a hybrid but was more angel than nymph. Her fluffy white wings were tucked away and she scuttled along the busy pavement tugging her dark trench coat up to her ears. Her curly golden locks were stuffed under a shady looking cap that resembled the ones worn by detectives from cheesy crime shows in the 1990s.
The polluted air clogged her more nymph-like lungs, making her breathing shallow and ragged. If she were a pure nymph, she’d pretty much be having a severe asthma attack, but her angel blood helped her deal with the many man-made toxins brought on by industrialization and modernization.
I continued to follow her, skulking through the shadows as she weaved through people. Her eyes were skittish, always moving and seeking but glazed over.
She turned into a quieter alley, going in a few meters until she leaned against the wall breathing heavily, greedily sucking in air. It was still not as clean as she’d prefer, but the taste of sweat and bodies was greatly lessened in the desolate alley. Plus, she could use minor nymph magic to cleanse the air around her a bit. I was still a few feet away from her, but I could sense the slightly cleaner air. It smelt faintly of salt. Ocean nymph.
Her hands shakily opened her coat and she pulled out a note. The paper shook violently in her hands, crunching in her unsteady grip.
I crept closer, molding myself to the darkness and prepared to get Scythe out. I froze though when the angel-nymph shot her head up with widened eyes. I held my breath, not shifting a single muscle despite my current awkward position.
Shit. Did she notice me? Did I slip somewhere?
The angel-nymph tucked her note away and scanned the area with a suspicious and paranoid eye. I willed her to not notice me or decide to investigate the shadows.
“Who’s there?” she shouted out, her voice quivering. She combed the alleyway again with her eyes while her hand reached into another pocket to grip something that gleamed silver. Her unsteady eyes skimmed past the area I was hiding in, leaving me undetected. She played her paranoia as just that, paranoia and relaxed, slipping her weapon back.
She muttered under her breath but I couldn’t hear. She checked her wrist and muttered again.
I guess she’s rendezvousing with someone and that someone is late.... And may have just arrived.
With the last thought I swung backwards with Scythe but stopped short of landing what would have been a fatal blow.
“Matt?” I whispered in disbelief.
He opened his eyes and slightly uncrossed his arms from above his head and smiled weakly.
I returned Scythe to a neutral position and heatedly whispered, “I could have killed you, idiot!”
He was about to speak up by I slammed my gloved hand to his mouth, “Don’t speak. Keep quiet and out of my way.”
He nodded, eyes wide with fear and curiosity.
I turned my back to him to return my attention to the angel-nymph but she was nowhere to be seen.
Damn. Where’d she go?
“Aaaaaarrgh!” a loud war cry erupted from above. I pushed Matt backwards and jumped to the side to narrowly avoid collision.
The angel-nymph had a long dagger clutched tightly in her shaking hands. Her wings swallowed her body from behind; large, feathery, frayed, faded and dull.
Her glazed eyes spied me out and she hissed croakily, “You! You’ve been disrupting his plans! If I get rid of you, he’ll make me his favorite and give me more!”
She finished and immediately shot into the air again to dive down at me with the blade aimed for any part of me it could scratch. I jumped out of the way again using Scythe as leverage to gain more distance.
I swung the blade down to avoid the incoming slash of her dagger and the reacting force made us step back. Without wasting time she dashed forward again, her wings providing speed and I continued jumping backwards, deeper into the alley while blocking her aimed frantic attacks with Scythe’s staff.
She kept swiping and slashing, giving me barely enough time to block each move much less fight back. Knowing I wouldn’t be able to keep this up for much longer, and she was supposed to be meeting someone, I ducked and rolled to the side, getting my shoulder clipped in the process but it was a small, inevitable sacrifice.
I jumped to my feet and spun on my heel to finally, finally land a blow across her back. It was a minor cut since she propelled herself away at the last minute, but at least I was able to strike her.
She hissed in pain from the cold cut metal and leaped back to recuperate. I did the same but kept a close eye on her.
We watched one another, waiting for the other to strike or to find a chance to lay a fatal blow. She was tiring, her breathing ragged, eyes flickering and wings slightly drooping like the effort to keep them up was too taxing. The effects of Lunaria were also a weakening factor. She must have been on it for at least a month now.
A shadow moved in front of me to the side and it caught the angel-nymph’s attention as well.
Shit. Matt. What is that idiot doing?
I had forgotten about him, but it seems like he didn’t do the smart thing and run for his fragile life.
The angel-nymph noticed the change in my posture and grinned wickedly. She lunged in the direction of Matt without a backward glance at me.
“Get out of the way!” I yelled frantically, my voice coming out low, rough and muffled. Deep in the back of my mind I was thankful the extra precautions I take to disguising myself, going as far as my voice.
I dashed forward, Scythe already in motion as Matt cowered in fear and the angel-nymph prepared to strike down.
That moment slowed down considerably, like a cool, untraceable gel covered the scene making movements slow and sound so distorted it was almost mute.
Matt had a small knife exuding a faint dark aura gripped in his sheet white hands but was shaking and shivering with fright, absolutely unable to move. The knife gave me a helpful hint as to who to yell at when we get back to Hell.
The angel-nymph slowly plunged her dagger downwards, aiming straight for Matt’s fluttering heart and would have definitely killed him.
Before she could make the determining cut, I sliced her twice diagonally across her back in an X. Broken feathers were detached and fluttered to the floor, the first to hit the ground breaking the metaphorical spell.
She staggered, the dagger still positioned over Matt’s chest but her face contorted in pain. Matt finally regained his senses and scurried out of the way just before the angel-nymph let the blade fall between her slackened fingers.
She fell to her knees, her wings already turning to pale gray dust as all angel wings did when their time was over. I stood over her crumpled body and she began to laugh. Horribly letting out dry, sanity-deprived chuckles.
“He...will still win. He still....has so m-many....mo...re,” she coughed out blood but continued to raspily speak. She faced me, the life fading from her already zombie-like form and whispered, “My lord...Bar..tus...D...Dra...h..heim...”
“Bartus Draheim?” I repeated as the last of the angel-nymph’s wings blew away into the cold air of death and her lifeless body crumpled to the floor. I quickly muttered two small incantations, giving the angel-nymph the death rites of her people, both angel and nymphs.
After apologizing quietly I bent down and opened her coat, going through the pockets, taking whatever was necessary. This was one of the few things I hated about working as Slayer.
I took her wallet, the note, phone, watch and her dagger along with a set of keys and stored them away in my ‘drawer’ along with Scythe. The wallet, keys, watch and phone were useless to me other than discovering an identity, but her death wouldn’t be questioned. A mug victim is less suspicious than a dead body with all her belongings. No one would look into it seriously if she was believed to be yet another unfortunate mug victim. It’s sad, but it’s the truth.
Finished, I dusted off my pants and looked around for the human who really shouldn’t have been here and almost ended up getting killed. He was still clutching the magicked knife like it was his very soul or means of existence as he warily crept towards the lifeless corpse and me.
“Is it...did you?” he whispered hesitantly, peering forward.
I looked back down and replied shortly, “She. Not it, she. And yes. She’s gone now.”
He was silent but I saw him put the knife down and relax considerably from my peripheral vision. He walked up to stand beside me and looked down at her.
She looked so peaceful now despite the marring on her back. Her golden locks spread out and face calm and devoid of the pains of living on a substance that slowly drains away your life. Her pale lips kissed by death were tension free and I could remember the smile they used to hold before Lunaria shattered her mind.
The first time I saw her, she was laughing freely with a red haired witch. She was kind and wouldn’t harm a fly. She was greatly loved, but when people realized she was a hybrid, they looked at her with disdain. She still never lost her smile. Until now.
“I swear, if it’s the last thing I do, I will find the asshole who did this and make gouging his eyes out with a rusty pair of broken pliers seem like a magnificent alternative to dealing with me,” I solemnly vowed.
Turning my back to the sleeping angel-nymph I walked back to the main street, removing my bandana and tucking it away. Matt followed me all the way and we remained unnoticed in the city crowd.
I walked silently into a McDonalds and headed straight for the washrooms with Matt coming in right after me. I triple checked that it was empty with no security cameras and took out the amber shard from under my shirt.
“Give me your hand,” I ordered and grabbed Matt’s wrist when he hesitated. I closed my eyes and urgently thought up Lucifer’s room, the tingling sensation becoming almost painful from my haste. Matt squirmed in my grip but I tightened my hold and only released him when we were in the red and black room.
I staggered. My shade fell but I held myself together and marched towards Lucifer who was sorting through some paperwork at an office desk he must have materialized.
I grabbed Matt by the cuff of his shirt, shoving him towards Lucifer and questioned with an accusing tone, “What was he doing there? The boy almost got killed.”
Lucifer opened his mouth to answer back, but I was too pissed to let him, “A knife is only useful when the holder can actually use it. If he’s terrified into paralysis, not even the most dangerous and most powerful weapon in existence will be of any use.”
Lucifer set down the pile of papers he was holding and sincerely apologized but Matt struggled out of my grip and said, “No, it wasn’t his fault. I asked him to send me to ya. I...I just had this feelin’ or somethin’. I don’t know what it was, but I felt in my gut that I had ta be there. If you have to be mad at someone, it’s me.”
I looked at him and then at Lucifer before sighing tiredly and running my hand over my face, “Sorry, it’s been a long day and lots of magic use.”
I reached into my ‘drawer’ and pulled out the belongings of the angel-nymph, placing each item on Lucifer’s desk as I explained, “The angel-nymph had these with her. She’ll be considered a mug victim when found, but she was supposed to be meeting someone. She kept checking her watch and muttering.”
Lucifer analyzed the items checking her wallet for identification and then inspecting the dagger. When he picked up the note I added, “When she died, she...she said a name. I think it’s who we’ve been looking for. She said—”
“He will still win. He still has so many more. My lord Bartus Draheim.”
Both Lucifer and I stared at Matt in complete and utter shock.
He gazed blankly, as if in some sort of trance before shaking his head and his forest green orbs cleared.
“What? Why’re you guys starin’ at me?” he asked obliviously.
I was about to question Matt, but Lucifer beat me to it. He lunged forward, startling both Matt and myself as he asked, “What did you just say?”
Matt stuttered, completely intimidated, “I-I-I, er, I didn’t say nothin’. I just kinda blanked out for a second and when I came to, you both were starin’ at me weirdly.”
Deciding to put it off as Matt’s specialness for now, I answered Lucifer, “Bartus Draheim. That’s the name she said.” Lucifer froze and I was almost afraid to ask but I did anyway. “You recognize the name. Who is he, Luke?”
The note was still clutched in Lucifer’s hands, unread as he gravely muttered, “That’s not possible. He should be dead.”10: Chapter IX
After that cryptic remark Lucifer immediately closed up and sent me back to the dorm without another word. I tried calling him, but the line was dead. I tried teleporting back but the necklace didn’t even emit a faint fiery glow.
“Dammit!” I kicked my door and turned away to sit and brood on the bed.
It was late in the night and I might have woken up my neighbors, but I didn’t care. Lucifer was hiding something from me. He knew who Bartus Draheim was.
He should be dead.
The thought looped in my mind, giving me questions upon questions with no answers. The only person who could give me the answers was currently blocking any form of communication and pretty much trapped me in the stupid school.
“You’re really out of it today,” Tigerlily observed when I fubbed another minor healing potion. Mr. Bertham was getting increasingly irritated at my apparent lack of skill and numerous mistakes while the others in the class snickered at my misfortune.
“I didn’t get much sleep last night,” I muttered back.
Actually I didn’t get any sleep the night before. I spent the whole time trying to teleport or call Lucifer, but to no avail. When I finally decided to give up, my brain was too overactive to shut down, running a few million miles a second. I even swallowed two sleeping pills but it didn’t work. I was tempted to try a third, but decided against it since the repercussions would not be favorable. I couldn’t afford unfavorable side effect or to pass out for an undetermined amount of time. I do not need people thinking I tried to overdose on sleeping pills. That would only add to the rumors and I have always firmly believed that suicide was never the answer; it was never even an option that should be considered.
“You must have been in a really bad mood last night, kicking your door and everything,” Tigerlily’s warlock friend said, his potion already done and ready. He was lounging in his chair, feet crossed and an insufferable smirk scarring his face.
“You stalking my room, warlock?” I grumbled. I messed up again and was just a sliver away from throwing the flask out of the window.
“I’m your neighbor. And stop calling me warlock,” he answered back, slightly peeved.
“Then what do I call you. You are a warlock, warlock,” I replied easily. I slumped back in my chair and closed my eyes feeling a migraine coming on. Ha. I’m getting a migraine making a healing potion. Talk about irony.
‘Giving up so easily, Nyx?’
My eyes flew open, “What?”
Tigerlily and the warlock gave me a puzzled look and the warlock said, “I said, you could call me my name. Daniel.”
“Oh, uh, sure,” I replied distractedly.
What was that voice? It sounded like—
I looked around, but only saw my classmates making the potion and Mr. Bertham scowling at his computer screen.
‘You will not find me by looking around. I am in your mind, you are the only one who can hear me, child.’
Who are you?
‘A...friend. I cannot meet you yet, but I have waited long to be able to talk to you.’ The voice was that of a woman, mature in mind with a tone like silk. Her voice become affectionate, taking an almost pride filled tone as she continued, ‘You have grown so much, little Night.’
“Ehem,” an impatient throat cleared itself bringing me out of my mental conversation. Mr. Bertham stood in front of me, his cheeks red and arms crossed over his chest.
“Uh, yes?” I smiled awkwardly.
“Are you quite done daydreaming? You haven’t even been able to make a single successful potion,” he stated, beady eyes glaring at me.
I wasn’t sure how to respond so I just looked down, mumbled an apology and blocked out the giggles from my classmates.
He ‘harrumphed’ and walked away, muttering under his breath, “Angel hybrids...so easily distracted and can never do anything right...”
‘Do not trust him.’
Oh yay, you’re back. Looks like I am finally going crazy.
The voice reprimanded me, ‘Do not take that tone with me, little Night. And it is best you heed my warning.’
How do I know I can trust you? I don’t even know who or what you are or if my mind is just making you up from lack of sleep.
‘I cannot tell you and you will just have to trust your instinct. You feel an unnatural incline to trust me, do you not?’
She was right. Even though I was slightly afraid and suspicious, I did feel the unnatural, instinctive desire to trust her. It was like when I first met Lucifer. I had no idea who he was, but I intuitively trusted him immediately.
Can you at least tell me your name? And you know mine so use it instead of ‘little Night’, I am not little.
The voice answered sounding sincerely apologetic, ‘I am afraid I cannot tell you anything of me other than I am trustworthy. If you wish, my dear Nyx, though you are very little compared to me.’ She laughed, ‘It is the same reason you call the Seer ‘boy’.’
The Seer? You mean Matt? Matt’s a Seer? What’s a Seer?
‘Oh no, I’ve said too much. I shall leave you now but if you are ever in need of my assistance, just call and I shall come. I hope to see you soon, dear Nyx. I have waited so long.’
“Wait! You can’t just say that and disappear!”
I heard silence and then realized all eyes were on me. I had slammed my hands against the table, my stinging palms and tipped over herbs serving as proof, and I was out of my seat. Ah crap.
“I think you should stay behind, Miss Nyx. The rest of you may leave. Put your potions on your desk, I shall grade them for next class. They will not be counted but will serve as a check to see how much you have or have not learned,” Mr. Bertham calmly stated.
Immediately, the rest of the students packed their bags and vacated the room, most sending me haughty sneers or the typical kindergarten “oooh you’re in trouuuble” looks. I got one sympathetic smile from Tigerlily as she fluttered out of the room with the warlock Daniel (I knew it was either that or Damien) right in front of her.
Mr. Bertham gestured for me to come up to his desk and I complied, leaving my stuff at my own desk.
I stood in front of him, silently watching as he sorted through his personal files, not giving me the time of day.
I shifted my weight on the balls of my feet repeatedly, slightly swaying from side to side. Having nothing else to do and being as it seemed like he was going to make me wait, I let my eyes skim over Mr. Bertham’s desk, the voice’s warning still in my mind.
No harm in just checking...
At first glance, there was nothing out of the ordinary. Test papers from other classes inked red, some more than others, pens and pencils in a store bought holder, half finished cup of black coffee, files marked with various names and a laptop opened to his email. Normal teacher stuff.
I let my eyes roam his flayed papers when one particular half hidden sheet caught my attention. I glanced at Mr. Bertham to see if he was still absorbed with the paper in his hands before focusing on the wrinkled sheet of lined paper with sloppy handwritten words etched in ink.
Amalia Giddings 24, Jason Schmidt 29, Ronald Fenry 19, Gracelyn...
Names and numbers? Ages? Why are some crossed out?
I heard shuffling and quickly removed my gaze from the sheet to stare at my shoes before looking up to make it seem like I had been gazing at my laces the past 5 minutes.
Mr. Bertham finally looked up from his papers, tucking his current stack away in one of the empty folders marked with ‘confidential’ written in bright red capitals. His eyes caught the paper I had read and he discretely slid a file to cover it entirely. Acting as if tremendously bored, he laced his fingers together, the warlock rings leaving small gaps between.
“I do not appreciate slackers in my class, Miss Nyx,” Mr. Bertham droned, straight to the point. “You waste time, which makes me waste time and it would be better for all of us if you do your work and let me do mine without me having to call you up to lecture you on your poor behaviour. I do not care if you are new, you’ve had plenty of time to get used to the curriculum. If you have difficulties due to your,” he gave me a badly hidden belittling look, “heritage, then it would be best for you to transfer out of my class and into one more...suited to your abilities.”
I kept my face impassive and simply responded through tight lips, “Sorry, sir. It won’t happen again.”
His eyes had gone back to his papers as he nodded to dismiss me. I strolled to my bag and packed up silently. I was late for my next class, but I didn’t bother quickening my pace.
As I headed out the door, I sent a quick stony glance back at Mr. Bertham to see him skimming over the wrinkled sheet filled with what looked like a list. A list of names followed by a number if my guess was correct. Some crossed out, some left alone and I could make out some sort of identifying marking on others.
Why would a teacher like him have a list like that? It was crumpled, repeatedly folded and covered in ink splatters, old too by the murky yellow tinges only achieved by years passing by, or tea. Mr. Bertham is almost as OCD as Lucifer. He scolds students whose personal notes are the smidgest bit messy and makes them rewrite everything.
Well, Voice, you’ve planted the seed so are you going to help nurture it?
Receiving no response and not sensing the other presence in my mind, I let out a short sigh and lifted a corner of my lips in a mirthless half smile. Thought not.
Not feeling up to it, I ditched the last two periods after lunch, going to the nurse and claiming nausea and a headache.
Beforehand I had snuck into the alchemy department and nicked a few roots and flowers to grind with nymph tears. The resulting mixture is a gloppy purple substance used to coat knives and makes them slightly stronger and harder to break. The smell is so repulsive though, that most end up seeing their past meals that hadn’t been digested yet after a single whiff. It tastes almost as bad as it smells, so a spoonful mixed into a simple sandwich is a free pass to the nurses’ office.
The nurse was a young light faerie, clearly more focused on her looks than her job. She kept texting away before, during and after she gave me a potion and told me to rest. So it was pretty easy to gulp the bitter liquid down and leave when she herself left to go meet up with her lover by the bathrooms at the other end of the building.
For the next two and a half hours-ish I wandered the school gardens, looking for an isolate area where no one would bother me.
I found a decent tree with shrubbery all around and sat down against the sturdy trunk. I stared ahead at the boring, green, leafy patches until I was in an almost trance-like daze. I was so focused on nothing that I felt my mind slip away, drift off into oblivion.
I felt like I was soaring, but frozen. Like my body was chained, rooted to the earth but my spirit was detached, had more freedom though still held back.
Then I smelt smoke.
The odd and strange trance I was in left me in an instant, leaving me disorientated and slightly panicky. I got to my feet, ready for battle but the world was still drunk and spinning. I swayed and fell back against the tree, closing my eyes and trying to regulate my breathing.
When I opened them again, I saw that I was still alone. My only company was the boring green bushes and the tree that was supporting me.
I really need to get some sleep. I’m beginning to hallucinate.
I checked the time and was surprised to see that two hours had flown by and there was only about twenty minutes of class left.
I turned to pick up my things but stopped short.
The trunk of the tree, right above where I had been sitting, had a dark black marking coloring it and I knew it hadn’t been there before.
I carefully reached my fingertips to the blackened area to tentatively touch it. Bringing my hand back I saw that the coloring had dusted off onto my fingers. Soot.
The tree had been burned by something and it was not an accident. The fire marking was shaped like an actual flame, a flame’s silhouette or shadow captured on bark. The edges so perfect it looked like it had been drawn on with chalk. If chalk smelt like burnt wood.
I backed away from the tree, checking my surroundings once again before dashing off back to the dorms.
What the hell was that?
I shoved it to the back of my mind, unable to understand what had happened or how. Today was just much too weird, even for me.
Maybe I ate too much of the...no that makes less sense...
I ran straight to my room, ignoring the calls of a few of my classmates whose names I hadn’t bothered to remember. I think Tigerlily was one of them, but I’m not sure. Even if she were, I wouldn’t have stopped. I had to get to Hell as soon as possible.
I slammed my door shut, startling the were-falcon who lived across from me only to come face-to-face with Lucifer. Looks like Hell was slightly faster than I was.
“Luke,” I started, mildly surprised but getting ready to lash out about him just sending me away like a disobedient child and trapping me in the stupid school.
But he stopped me, briskly saying, “Yell at me later. Council Meeting, now.”
It took me a few seconds to understand and I quickly pull up my shade as Lucifer teleported us both to the location of the Meeting.
Council Meetings are located in a separate dimension (for lack of a better word) like Hell, the Upper Realm or Supernatural School. It was created using the powers of all the first Council members and is kept going through the current ones.
Lucifer teleported us right outside the door to the Meeting Hall, giving us both time to get into character. I pulled out my signature bandana from my ‘drawer’ and tied it tightly around my face, completing the disguise. He hadn’t given me the time before and I was lucky that the hallway was empty.
Seeing as I was done, he placed a hand on the polished doors and muttered an incantation that only Council Members knew. When a member retired, the words would disappear from their minds along with the location of the Council. If they died, then the job is done already.
The doors swung open on their own and we both stepped through to see that everyone else had already arrived and were seated in their assigned seats.
Lucifer calmly strolled to his seat at one end of the long rectangular table and I followed to stand at his left side. Unlike the other gold-plated seats, Lucifer’s was sleek, black and cool to the touch.
“So glad you could join us, Lucifer,” Edgar Spiecherg, the male vampire representative, drawled bitterly. He exuded the same pompous attitude as the last time I had the displeasure of being in his company.
Lucifer coolly answered back, sinking into his chair and put one leg over the other as if he were about to read the morning paper on a rocking chair, “Ruling an entire realm makes it difficult to just drop all my duties to come running to a Meeting. Besides, Slayer was the one who retrieved the sample so he should be present. Even he has responsibilities that can’t be tossed carelessly, Eggy.”
Edgar scowled in embarrassment and disdain at Lucifer’s nickname for him. Had he had a beating heart, I’m sure his face would have been painted red.
Before Edgar could respond with a horrible comeback, Sylvia, the witch representative, sternly berated the two, “Edgar, Lucifer, for once could you two at least pretend to be civil during a Meeting. This is important, the results have finally come in.”
The seriousness of her tone and the situation made the two behave, temporarily at least. They always behaved like this whenever in the other’s presence.
My ears stood to attention at the mentioning of the results. After spending so long doing innumerable missions relating to the damn drug, finding out what was in it more than interested me.
The rest of the Council also straightened out and leaned forward, paying careful attention to Sylvia.
She took everyone’s attention as her cue to continue, “Yes, the results from testing the sample Slayer retrieved have come in. The creator of Lunaria is someone of high magical capabilities, and after much debate between our facilities, is most likely an extremely proficient witch or warlock.”
Her grave words drew out a gasp from a few of the members and some suspicious eyes glanced at Sylvia and Gordon, Daniel’s father. Lucifer remained emotionless, but I saw his hands tense briefly.
Sylvia ignored the looks and stopped Gordon from interrupting to defend his pride by increasing her tone, “We have no suspects as of yet,” I kept my surprise hidden from the statement. Did Luke not tell anyone about the angel-nymph’s words? Bar...Bartus something. Draheim! That’s it. “but the creator is experienced in forbidden magic. The ingredients of Lunaria that we uncovered were most commonly found in alchemy spells that have been banned for centuries. Demon ashes, pixie wings, elf tears, the petals of green drakon lilies and...blood. Blood from one of each type of pure supernatural and a human.”
Silence filled the room, none daring to speak after what was just heard. From my readings I knew that those ingredients were either banned or incredibly difficult to obtain and that was just some of the ingredients the alchemy specialists were able to discover.
The blood part... Blood is only used in the darkest of alchemy, the area where only those who crave power like a drug would ever venture to. Dark alchemy usually results in the castor’s death, and few have been able to master it.
Lucifer sat up and knocked on the table, attracting everyone’s attention. When all eyes were focused on him he spoke tonelessly, “Last night, I sent Slayer on a mission and an angel-nymph was killed. When the girl died, she said a name. Bartus Draheim.”
Only some recognized the name and their widened eyes and disbelieving expressions clearly expressed their dread. The vampires Edgar and Sheila, the spirits Daphne and Cedric, the older angel Raphael and the ancient faerie queen Liseira. The oldest Council members.
“That’s impossible. Draheim is dead. Even if he did somehow survive, it’s been 300 years. He would have perished to old age before the first 100,” Sheila broke the silence, her voice carrying denial but a tinge of fear.
Is this Draheim guy really that horrifying? The oldest members fear him. Who the hell is he?
Jeffrey Recktor, a were-lion who was the newest Council member, vocalized my question, “Who is Bartus Draheim? Is he the one behind the drugs?”
“Bartus Draheim was a magnificent warlock and a Council member long before Gordon and Sylvia. He had a dislike for human and half bloods but he rarely let it cloud his judgement. But just about 3 centuries ago, we received a prophecy,” Liseira explained to the majority who were just as clueless as I was about the mysterious man Bartus Draheim.
“A prophecy?” Selene the female angel representative, questioned, her delicate dark brown eyebrow quirked in cautious curiosity.
Lucifer leaned forward, about to be the one to answer this time and I paid careful attention. The prophecy that had Lucifer worried and Matt was suspected to play a major part. I was going to hear every damn word.
“We’ve locked it away for safe keeping after what happened with Draheim. The prophecy mentioned the possibility for humans to be eradicated or to something of that effect and Draheim stole it in an attempt to control it. He looked for the child, hinted to be a pure human, mentioned in the prophecy for the next few years, murdering innocents until we finally caught him. He should be dead though, I killed him myself.”
“Maybe Miss Giddings didn’t say his name and your dog just misheard her,” Gordon proposed. I glared at him, slightly annoyed that he’d openly insulted me like that. I am technically his senior by more than a century and could easily kick his arrogant ass. The main reason he annoyed me though was because his suggestion was completely ridiculous and it would’ve been best if he had kept his mouth shut.
Wait. Giddings? That name...
Mr. Bertham’s list popped into my head with intense clarity. It was like the image was being forced into my head by another power. The sloppy script was emphasized, a single name with pronounced lines my mind had added.
Amalia Giddings 24
Keeping what was visible of my expression relaxed and emotionless, I sent a thought to Lucifer, Luke, was the angle-nymph called Amalia Giddings? 24 in human years?
The other Council members began murmuring amongst themselves, oblivious to our mental conversation.
‘Yes, why? And how did you know?’ he responded, his face not betraying a single drop of curiosity that leaked from his question.
I need to talk to you. Now. The urgency in my mental tone was enough for Lucifer to stand up and say, “I have to discuss some private matters with Slayer. When I get back, I hope you all have something useful to say.”
My small grin was hidden as I enjoyed the insulted looks from various members who I didn’t particularly like. Lucifer and I walked out the door we entered from and he put up a shield around us, one that could prevent eavesdroppers from listening in.
“What did you figure out? I never told you anything about the angel-nymph but you knew her name and human age,” he stated. He knows me way too well.
“This is either me being really paranoid or one helluva coincidence, but I saw a list of names with a number next to each. Amalia Giddings was one of them but her name was crossed out like some others. It was just a hunch, but a crossed out name, the same name as a girl who died and the same age?” I let the rhetorical question hang, waiting for Lucifer’s response.
His eyes became blank, opaque stones and I was almost afraid. Emotionlessly he asked, “Where was this paper?”
I answered calmly and obediently, instantly going into ‘mission-mode’, “I’m almost certain it belongs to Mr. Bertham, my alchemy teacher. Darius Bertham, a warlock though I don’t know of what specialty.”
Lucifer tapped his fingers against his thinned lips that were slightly pulled down in an almost frown, “This is too coincidental.”
He pulled down the shield and walked back to the room, flinging the doors open with me trailing behind and ignoring the expecting stares.
He stood in front of his seat, supporting his weight with his hands on the table as he leaned forward and sent me a quick glance before stating, “We have a suspect.”
He waited for the other members to process his abrupt declaration and break out in chaos.
Just as expected, questions on his claim flew around the room in a highly disorganized manner.
“Do you have any proof?”
“Are you telling the truth?”
“How do you know?”
“How did you get a suspect so quickly?”
And many, many more calls mixed, mangled, knotted and collided together. Lucifer slammed his hands against the table, effectively shutting up the jabbering leaders.
He sternly looked at each member, challenging them to interrupt or continue to question his reliability and judgement, “Slayer discovered a list of names followed by a number which we have guessed to be their human age. Some of the names were crossed out, Amalia Giddings being one. It could be mere coincidence but the owner of the paper is a warlock. The alchemy teacher at Supernatural School, Darius Bertham.”
“You think a teacher at the School is the one behind Lunaria? That he’s using the alias of Draheim?” Sylvia asked, slightly skeptical.
“Did the dog see any other names?” Gordon questioned, raising an eyebrow at me in condescension.
Lucifer looked at me over his shoulder and I closed my eyes to try and bring up the image of the paper. Instead, I brought back an elusive voice.
‘What is it you wish to know, dear Nyx?’ the Voice asked. From her tone, I knew she knew exactly what I wanted to know.
Why are you here? Go away, I need to remember the other names on the paper Mr. Bertham had. Besides, you won’t tell me what I want to know from you.
‘I wish I could tell you everything, but I cannot for now. You heeded my warning of the warlock which will give you time that you need. Now you just need to find out who he is,’ she responded, dodging my questions and making me think of more.
If you’re not going to be helpful, then go away. I need to remember the names!
As I thought-yelled back, the image flew to the front of my mind, clear as untainted, repeatedly polished crystal.
Amalia Giddings 24, Jason Schmidt 29, Ronald Fenry 19, Gracelyn...
I repeated the names to Lucifer via thought-speech and he said them aloud to the council, stating the age and whether or not the name had been crossed.
‘Do not talk back to me like that, Nyx. Next time, I will not be so lenient in aiding you. I will let you handle the Seer by yourself.’
With that last thought, I felt her presence leave my mind just in time for me to listen to the Council discuss the four names I had seen.
Jeffrey was frowning, “Jason Schmidt...that’s the name of the werewolf dealer we,” he looked up at me before correcting himself, “I mean, Slayer, caught around last week. He died during interrogation right after he was brought in. From his records, he was 29.”
“Do you know the last name of the Gracelyn girl?” Sheila asked. “One of the vampiress addicts was Gracelyn Garica. She was half human.”
Lucifer looked at me and I shook my head, I had only caught a quick glimpse.
“What about the Ronald Fenry? His was the only one not crossed out. Does it mean he’s alive?” Cedric, the male spirit representative asked.
“I’d assume so. Everyone, check among your people to see if there is a Ronald Fenry, aged 19. If a match comes up, report immediately,” Lucifer began giving orders. He faced Sheila, “Sheila, you are closely linked to the School, so could you keep an eye on Darius Bertham? I’ll have my own spy there for extra precautions.”
Sheila nodded, “Of course. We’ve finally got a lead and—”
Sheila was cut off when at the center of the table a blinding, orangey white light erupted, causing everyone to shield their eyes to prevent blindness.
Scythe was already equipped in my hand as I tensed in preparation for when I could look at the intruder.
As soon as the light subsided enough to not blind me, I jumped forward onto the table and used Scythe as a high jump pole to spin in the air to land a solid kick to the intruder’s chest. The intruder went flying backwards with an “oof” and I regained my footing, Scythe held up in front of me, ready to strike.
The light finally cleared completely and I had to bite back a gasp as I recognized the intruder.
“Oww... What the hell was that for?” He looked around from his position on the table and rubbed his back asking, “And where am I this time? I was only gettin’ somethin’ to eat.”
Katrina, a were-condor, and Sheila immediate sprung into action, pinning Matt to the floor. Sheila’s fangs were extended to their impressive 2 inches and Katrina had semi-shifted to have her hands turn into fierce claws and her eyes gold.
“Release him, I don’t know how he got here, but he is harmless,” Lucifer ordered, I caught his eye and returned Scythe to my ‘drawer’ and went to Matt. I wordlessly took him by the arms from Katrina and Sheila who still hadn’t returned to normal.
“What the hell are you doing here?” I whispered heatedly into his ear as I shoved him towards Lucifer.
He didn’t have a chance to answer as the Council was in chaos once more. All thirteen of them were worse than newborn Fay.
“Lucifer what is the meaning of this?”
“Who is the boy?”
“How did he get here?”
Matt stopped suddenly causing me to crash into his back and he pointed at each member, stuttering, “Oh my...y-y-you...t-they...w-wings...T-Tinkerbell....a-angels....you a-ain’t e-even gots a body!”12: Chapter XI
Lucifer slapped his hand over his face, muttering under his breath. I had to resist the same urge and could only force Matt to keep moving no matter how bewildered he was.
He’s ‘seeing’. He can see everyone’s real form. Even Daphne and Cedric who should look human to him and not the floating, shadowy figures they actually are.
He turned his head to look at me and I could already see him forming my name on his lips. I shoved him a little harder than necessary and said as loud as I could without anyone overhearing, “Don’t say my name. It’ll only cause more problems, boy.”
He nodded almost unnoticeably and kept moving until we stopped by Lucifer’s left.
I turned Matt to face the rest of the Council and could feel him shaking out of fear and excitement under my hand. I gave him a comforting squeeze on his shoulder in an attempt to relax him but kept my face impassive and faced forward.
“Lucifer, I demand to know who this boy is!” Edgar exclaimed standing out of his seat.
Instinctively, I moved to separate the two and adjusted my stance in case Edgar decided to resort to his fangs. It wouldn’t have been the first time.
Lucifer placed a hand on my shoulder to silently tell me to back down and I did so after a steely glare in Edgar’s direction.
“No need to get your fangs in a twist, Eggy.” Lucifer pulled the still stunned Matt to his side and introduced calmly with a wave of his hands, “Council members, meet Matt. Matt, the Council members.”
“He is a human, Lucifer,” Liseira stated, ignoring Lucifer’s buoyant introduction.
“Oh my God, you’re like granny Tinkerbell!” Matt had finally found his voice, though it may have been better if it was lost for a bit longer.
Liseira’s nose wrinkled in distaste, “Tinkerbell?”
I was trying not to laugh, I mean really? Granny Tinkerbell?
“A human movie character. She’s a pixie from a Disney classic, Parker something,” Lucifer answered.
“Peter Pan actually,” I corrected. My eyes widened slightly at my slip and I added, “Master.”
I got some sort of astonished stare from every Council member save for Lucifer who was just amused. Now, more than ever, was I thankful for being so paranoid.
I glared at Matt. Ever since he came along, I’ve slipped one too many times. It is somehow his fault. I know it.
“He can speak...” I heard someone murmur, I believe it was Gordon.
“Who cares if the Grim Reaper can speak? Why is there a human here who’s able to see us?” Daphne exclaimed. Her human form faded to reveal a glimpse of her shimmery, ghostly shadow that was a pale grey-green.
“Lucifer, explain yourself,” Liseira demanded, calmly. Her age old eyes not too ancient to give a withering stare.
Lucifer sat down and sighed, “The story is much too long and barely makes any sense. It would be easier to bring the Prophecy out and then you will understand why I decided to keep him a secret for the time being.”
“Prophecy?” Matt repeated. “The one you told me and N-er, the one you were talkin’ ‘bout before?”
Matt was ignored and I gave him a light kick as a warning to shut up for just a moment at least. The Council traded looks with one another until it was obvious they came to a mental agreement.
Sylvia nodded, “Okay. Bring the Prophecy out, Lucifer.”
Lucifer closed his eyes to concentrate and I could feel a pressure exerting itself on me in the room. I could see that I wasn’t the only one affected, though some had it worse. I ended up having to support my weight on Lucifer’s armrest and Matt did the same though he used the table but was still almost on his knees.
After a few more minutes of intensified gravity, it dispelled and a sheet of paper appeared on the table right in front of Matt. All that for a piece of paper a little smaller than A4 sized.
The paper looked new, but was obviously ancient. It was parchment paper but not a single stain covered the pale, ochre sheet that was free from abuse. The paper was mostly blank save for a few lines of text in a language I couldn’t read that only began closer to the bottom of the sheet. It was a language of symbols that I had seen before in some of the older books in Lucifer’s library. The Ancient Language.
Edgar frowned as he saw the paper, “I’m sure there were more symbols the last time we had seen it.”
Lucifer examined the text, not looking up as he stated, “There was. As each line of the Prophecy comes true it disappears after a length of time. After we caught Draheim, the lines that had warned us of him and mentioned the possible threat to humans had disappeared. The first is already beginning to fade. I fear that the rest of the Prophecy is beginning.”
We waited with baited breaths as Lucifer cleared his throat to recite the text, as he was the only one who could translate the Ancient Language.
His tone became grave and low, the words of magic and history leaking small traces of raw power even though translated into English.
“When a mortal of pure, untainted blood is found
Together with a partner shall he be bound.
One whose eyes are free from cloth and grime,
The other with an inner fire slowly burning over time.
He sees only truth, not lies or shades of deceit,
She lives in the shadows, flames snuffed out until they meet.
Blood and death shall lead their path
To one consumed by black wrath.
And when wings of fire and darkness take to the sky,
What has been held together for millennia will either fall or intensify.”
No one released a single drop of sound. Only let the words sink in until the air and our bodies had absorbed the traces of magic from the words.
Lucifer let out a deep breath, as if merely saying the words was taxing him, which it must have. The Ancient Language is pure magic, even though it loses a considerable amount of energy when translated, it still contains unbelievable amounts of raw power.
If a weaker person tries, they end up burning up, much like those without permission to enter Lucifer’s private chambers. Lucifer, the ‘true’ angels Michael, Gabriel, Raphael (the one in the Council is only named after him) and the Elemental Demons are the only ones I know of that can read the Ancient Language without combusting into oblivion.
Finally, Gordon broke the silence, “What does this prophecy have to do with the boy?”
I resisted the urge to whack his head against a wall, repeatedly.
Lucifer’s brow wrinkled slightly in annoyance as he answered, “The boy is a hundred percent human yet he can see the true form of others. He can see Daphne and Cedric as they truly are even though they are solidified into a human form.”
To add insult to injury, Lucifer sardonically added, “I wonder what he has to do with the mortal mentioned in the Prophecy who has clear sight and why I said that if I read the Prophecy it would make sense as to who he most likely is.”
“The boy has a name...” Matt muttered quietly. Even under the circumstances I hid a smile at his...I don’t even know what it is. He can be so calm and naïve but then he can be a complete nervous wreck in just a few seconds. Were all humans like this?
Gordon turned red and huffed, unable to come up with a dignified retort.
Kolvar, a wood elf as the male representative of the Fay, hummed in thought, “Together with a partner shall he be bound. The partner is female and from the lines is most likely a supernatural with fire magic. But...”
Liseira continued, “Fire slowly burning over time. The partner must have innate fire. The only being that I know of that would apply to that would be—”
“The Phoenix,” Lucifer finished grimly.
“But the Phoenix is just myth, isn’t she?” Katrina asked, her eyes showed uncertainty as she looked to Jeffrey.
“You’re forgetting, Kat. We’re just myths as well, but we certainly exist,” Jeffrey replied kindly. His eyes strayed to Matt as he mentioned ‘myths’ and I checked to see if Matt was doing something Matt-like again from my peripheral vision.
He was staring, completely fascinated at each and every member, but the Fay and spirits held most of his attention. I guess he got bored of feathery wings from seeing a few dark angels in Hell and my single one.
Raphael got hold of everyone’s attention and sternly said, “It doesn’t matter right now who the partner is. Our priority should be to manage what we already know or suspect. We should first determine whether Darius Bertham is indeed related to the Lunaria problem and locate Ronald Fenry before trying to decipher a prophecy we couldn’t figure out the first time we got it.”
“We can’t just let the human go free. He could bring about destruction. I vote we kill him,” Sylvia stated.
Matt visibly paled and I could feel his panic coming off in erratic waves. I wanted to reassure him somehow, but I was Slayer at the moment. A silent assassin whose only purpose was to obey his Master.
Thankfully, Lucifer opposed Sylvia for me, “Killing Matt will do no good. It is impossible, not to mention completely pointless, to try and control or prevent a prophecy. You should know that, Sylvia. When someone tries to change a prophecy, they usually end up helping it come true. The boy is my responsibility and I will not allow anyone to kill him.”
“How come you get the prophecy boy?” Edgar questioned, eyeing Matt hungrily. Edgar’s eyes had dilated slightly and I could see his fangs had marginally extended. Not noticeably but you only had to see the thirst in his eyes to know that he hadn’t fed yet. Edgar was a very picky bloodsucker so I guess he was either really thirsty, or Matt had appetizing blood. I’d guess the latter since he is a prophecy boy. Their blood must be a rare delicacy, tinged with the flavor of fate, destiny and a dash of doom.
Lucifer noticed Edgar’s thirst as well and scoffed while listing on his fingers, “One, you or one of your subordinates would drink him dry no matter how much self control you claim to have, I can already see the way you are eyeing him. Two, Slayer is the one who found him. And three, he has eaten in Hell and therefore my property.”
Edgar was about to retort, not wanting Lucifer to embarrass him yet again. He opened his mouth with an angry frown but Lucifer beat him to it, “And I kept the boy a secret so that you all would not begin panicking and going head first into killing him. Much like you are now.”
I could see that Sylvia and Edgar were going to argue but Kolvar stood, though it didn’t make much different with his tiny height, “I believe Lucifer is correct. Prophecies are trickier than the Fay and it would be best not to attempt to disturb it. We should focus on our current long-standing problem and do as Raphael suggested.”
Kolvar eyed each Council member, “I vote we focus on Darius Bertham and finding Ronald Fenry first. All in favour?”
I held my breath and waited to see the results.
Lucifer raised his hand in agreement followed by Raphael, Jeffrey, Katrina, Sheila, Cedric and Liseira. 8 out of 13, the majority won. Thank Satan.
Lucifer grinned victoriously, “Seems we will be going through with our original plan.”
“What about the boy? He cannot roam freely if he is to bring the destruction of the world,” Sylvia insisted on continuing to argue.
Seeing as they knew I could speak and I was fed up with the seesawing arguments, I turned to Lucifer and bowed, “If I may speak, Master.”
Lucifer nodded, his left eyebrow quirked and I continued to speak tonelessly to Sylvia, “There is no mentioning of the boy destroying the world. It simply says, ‘what has been held together for millennia will either fall or intensify’. That can be interpreted in many ways, half of which can be positive. So far, the Prophecy is only partially completed. The boy’s partner has not appeared yet, and if she has, she and him would be together, but he is alone. I found only him; there was no girl who had, as Queen Liseira said, innate fire magic. So, Lady Sylvia, please cease this pointless arguing so we can begin working on investigating Darius Bertham and Ronald Fenry who may be the key to ending the rampage of Lunaria.”
I betrayed no emotion even though I was dying to grin maniacally at the more than stunned expressions of the Council members. Matt, as expected, had absolutely no idea what had happened except that he had been saved from an early grave at the hands of the first witch he ever met.13: Chapter XII
The Meeting ended on that note and as Lucifer teleported both Matt and I back to Hell, I saw Liseira give me a thoughtful look. Too thoughtful, in my opinion. I may have been looking into it too much, but it wouldn’t hurt to be cautious around her. The Fay are wise, and quite troublesome, the faerie queen even more so.
I went to the dorm after Lucifer congratulated me on making Sylvia speechless and Matt kept repeating all the amazing things he saw. I let Lucifer suffer through that. It was endearing really though, Matt was just so human. It was refreshing after you looked past the immediate annoyance.
Sheila was quick to assign one of her clan members as a spy. He was lean, tall and pale like all vamps and had a slightly brooding aura but was playing the role of a teacher-in-training. His mentor was my English teacher and even though he tried, he could never spend more than 10 minutes with Mr. Bertham.
They have also immediately begun searching for Ronald Fenry, but with only a name and human age to go by, the search will be difficult. Lucifer promised to keep contact with me, unlike the last time he sent me back to the school and I have been itching for my phone whenever it was not in my immediate reach. Such as now during PE, for example.
“Nyx! Pay attention!” Mrs. Crawley bellowed as I narrowly dodged a magicked dodge ball. The orange rubber sphere flew past me only to reverse its direction mid-air and I had to duck down to avoid it again.
“Sorry, ma’am,” I answered back as was expected of me. It was more of a mumble but she heard me anyways due to her vampiric hearing.
Looking around I realized that my team was losing, badly. Other than me, there were five others still ‘alive’. The other team had more than half of their players, five of which were a combination of vamps and weres. Their Fay and physically weaker witches and warlocks were at the back casting enchantments and spells such as the simple boomerang enchantment on the dodge balls as well as minor reflective shields on their best players.
My side? Complete crap. I analyzed the situation and the only way we could possibly win or lose with some sort of meager pride was if I didn’t hold back so much and if the others would stop arguing with one another and listen for once. We also needed a plan to catch ‘live’ balls since breaking the shields would require more effort and precise timing that none of my teammates had.
“Tigerlily!” I called out in warning as a were-cat threw another ‘boomerang’ dodge ball at her. She flew out of the way just in time for me to dive in and catch the ball before it bounced, enabling me to bring back someone from my team and the thrower was out.
Eyeing the suddenly eager line-up of ‘dead’ I pointed at the one person who was still slumped in his seat. I didn’t know his name so I just yelled, “Hey, you! The demon-elf.”
He looked up in surprise and pointed to himself to be certain that I had called him back in. I restrained from rolling my eyes and saying, “Are there any other demon-elves? Oh course I meant you, you idiot!” Instead I nodded and he got up.
He was stunned that I would pick him to come back over the weres and vamps, especially since he was quite useless and one of the first out. He wasn’t paying attention to his surroundings and would have gotten another ball to the face had I not thrown the one I caught to make them both go in separate directions.
I ran up to him, dodging more rubber balls of doom, most magicked, and rapidly ordered, “You’ve got good levitation magic with a wide spread, right? Think you can stop a group of balls from hitting the ground just until someone from our side picks them up and brings back more of our players?”
He nodded hesitantly and I smiled at him in encouragement before turning away to tell the plan to the others who were still in.
My plan worked perfectly in the end and we actually won. The demon-elf, after gaining more confidence, was able to stop five balls from hitting the ground at a time, which was pretty impressive considering how spread out they were and the speed. Coupled by a witch to help with levitation, we were able to bring back the entire team and slaughtered the opposition. It was quite invigorating in a slightly merciless way.
When PE was over and we all headed to the locker room to change for lunch, I saw the demon-elf getting praises. He was blushing bright from embarrassment but was searching for someone. I slipped away and quickly changed before he, or anyone else, could find me.
‘They should be praising you, dear Nyx,’ the Voice quietly entered my mind.
I’d rather they didn’t. Besides, I didn’t do anything.
‘I think your new friends would disagree with you,’ the Voice answered cryptically before going dormant again. I swear, she would just pop up and leave without any notice. I should have been worried or suspicious, but I wasn’t.
“Nyx! Wait up!” a high-pitched jingle called.
I stopped at the sound and turned to see Tigerlily fluttering towards me with Daniel in tow. She must have wanted to really catch up to me since Tigerlily was always one of the last people out of the locker room.
She caught up, breathing a little heavily, “They should be praising you, not the hybrid.”
“I’m a hybrid too, ya know,” I responded, feeling a twinge of hurt at her tone. I have to admit, despite my crabby moods and coldness, Tigerlily has still not given up trying to be my friend and she’s actually grown on me. I actually sort of enjoy our lunches together or when she sits with me during classes we share.
She realized her slip and profusely apologized, “Oh my Liseira, I am so sorry, Nyx! I didn’t mean it that way! Honestly, I don’t know what I was saying, I really—”
I waved her off, “No it’s fine, Tigerlily. I get it, it’s okay, really. And I didn’t do anything. The demon-elf is the one who saved the day.”
“Yeah, but you were the one to come up with the plan. If it weren’t for you, we would have lost horribly and you also saved us from a bet,” Tigerlily insisted.
“A bet?” I repeated, only mildly intrigued.
“Yeah, the vamps and weres made a bet and the losing team has to put on a performance during the next assembly. When I left the locker room, I heard them discussing what kind of performance. It’s going to be the funniest thing of the year,” Daniel answered after being so quiet for so long. I guess he wasn’t going mute. Pity.
I shrugged seeing as I didn’t really care. It was just a game, not like anyone’s life was in danger. An embarrassing bet, though pride destroying, wasn’t much of a big deal.
Tigerlily was not satisfied with my vague response, “But really, how did you come up with a plan like that so quickly?”
“Yeah,” Daniel added, teaming up with the stubborn pixie. “How did you know that Gravin was good at levitation magic and that he was a demon-elf hybrid? You’ve never said two words to the guy until today but you knew exactly what his strongpoints were.”
Damn. This is why I wanted to be a recluse. No one would ask me questions.
‘You draw people to you though, dear Nyx. You have been a mystery since the day you were left in that basket in front of the small magic store, Grellies’.’
I stopped suddenly, eyes wide and Tigerlily almost crashed into my shoulder blade.
“Why’d you stop?” she frowned. She flew in front to see what had blocked path but only saw an empty hallway as all the other students had already headed to the cafeteria.
How...? How do you know that?
The Voice laughed but I detected a saddened undertone, ‘I know quite a bit about you, my dear child. I do wish I could explain everything to you, but it is too early and I cannot.’
Can’t or won’t? I thought back bitterly.
‘Cannot. I do honestly wish I could tell you everything, but I cannot. I may be powerful, but even I am not allowed to tempt fate. I have been forced to stay away for so long...’
“Nyx? Nyx are you okay?”
I blinked and Tigerlily came into focus right at my nose, a frown decorating her lips and worry reflecting in her large eyes.
I shook my head and smiled slightly, “Yeah, I’m alright. Just tired and thinking. You guys go on ahead, I have to go talk to Mr. Gelner about the last lesson.”
I didn’t wait for either of them to respond before running off in the direction of the history department. When I was certain I was out of their line of sight I made a sharp turn towards the alchemy classrooms. If I was right, then Mr. Bertham would be at the cafeteria or the teachers’ lounge for lunch, meaning his room was unguarded and mine for the snooping.
I checked the hallways, sensing for any living or non-living being before trying the door. As expected it was locked. Not like that would stop me. I closed my eyes and folded my hand over the doorknob and imagined the mechanisms of the ordinary lock.
I imagined the pins in the lock cylinder being pulled up against the springs in the knob. I pictured them lining up perfectly as if the correct key had been inserted and made the lock cylinder move to the right as if I were turning the real key to unlock the door. I kept imagining it turning and turning until I heard a click and opened my eyes. I turned the doorknob and it swung open freely.
I couldn’t help the victorious smile that made its way across my face.
“—‘ll kill both of us!”
I whipped around, arms slightly raised in fists to see the slumped back of a certain dark brown haired human.
“Matt? What in Hell’s name are you doing here?” I unclenched my hands and used one to massage my head. I could already tell that I was not going to be happy. Unlocking the door, though simple, did put a strain on my mind, as it required complete concentration.
Matt turned around, forest green eyes wide in surprise and I could detect a twinge of fear. He wrung his hands and refused to look at my face while answering, “Uh, heheh...well you see...lucifersentmehereforyoutokeepaneyeonmeIdidn’tdonothin’Iswear! Don’thurtmeplease.”
I groaned slightly and rechecked the hallways to make sure we were alone. Reluctantly, I relocked the door, and dragged Matt to the girls’ bathroom after I was certain that no one was there.
I crossed my arms over my chest and stared him down. There was something off, though I couldn’t place it at the moment. “Explain, and slower so I actually understand what you’re saying,” I ordered.
Matt gulped visibly, his Adam’s apple bobbing, “Erm, well Lucifer sent me here and he told me to tell you to keep an eye on me until the end of the day. I swear I didn’t do nothin’! I didn’t wanna come here, but he teleported me before I could stop him. Please don’t hurt me!” He cowered slightly, folding in on himself but his hands were tightened into white, shaky fists.
I closed my eyes, releasing a deep breath and leaned back against the sinks. I rubbed my temple grumbling, “On top of investigating I have to babysit? I don’t have time to babysit Prophecy Boy.”
I could hear Matt shuffled uncomfortably on his feet, looking around the bathroom. He was most likely dreading the moment someone came in and saw him in the ‘forbidden zone’.
My eyes flew open and I circled Matt in a manner much like he had done to me the day I accidentally got teleported to his room at Lucifer’s.
I knew there was something off.
“Lucifer didn’t just teleport you, he put up a shade and a really strong one at that. I can’t tell that you’re actually human even though I know. Now we just need a cover story for you,” I began to pace along the three sinks, trying to come up with a believable story for the sudden, unannounced appearance of a full blood demon.
When I looked up, Matt was frantically twisting around himself and the image of a little dog chasing his tail popped into my mind. It was too much of a perfect analogy.
I grinned, “What’s the score? Invisible tail 5, Matt 0?”
He stopped while he was still halfway twisted at his waist and set himself right before replying, “You said Lucifer did somethin’ to me. I wanted to see what.”
Checking the clock above the bathroom door, I pulled Matt back out and answered, “A shade. He made an aura shade to make you seem like a full blood demon so you can walk around without suspicion. Not many people can tell if someone is human or not, but some can and it would cause problems if a human were traipsing along the campus amid a few hundred supernaturals. Don’t do anything that’ll attract attention and let me do the talking unless it’s necessary for you to speak, understood?”
He nodded and we made it outside with just around 10 minutes before classes started again. After lunch were the specialty classes and I had my general magic class first. It was in another building, next to the cafeteria and I could already see students exiting to rush to their respective classes.
Matt and I were more or less unnoticed, but those who did see and register us blabbered more gossip that I was sure would spread by the time I got to my classroom.
“Uh, Nyx, why do I feel like people’re starin’ at us?” Matt asked, looking over his shoulder more than once though he was immensely fascinated by all the different supernaturals.
“Just ignore them,” I said mindlessly. “Like I told you in the garden, I am not very well liked. Remember, keep your mouth shut and let me do the talking.”
We reached my classroom with a few minutes before the bell and I headed straight to Mrs. Galvineer, an earth witch, with Matt acting as my shadow.
She was just setting up for today’s lesson and momentarily stopped sorting through the handouts to listen to me.
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Galvineer,” I greeted politely with a slight bow of my head. I stepped to the side to reveal Matt who stood to attention under scrutiny. “This is Matthew. My Master has put him in my care for a few days so he will be joining the class, if that is okay with you, ma’am.”
Matt’s eyes had widened slightly at my sudden change in character but he schooled his features and smiled pleasantly at Mrs. Galvineer. He went as far as taking her right hand to kiss it and elegantly greet, “It is a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Galvineer. I apologize for the inconvenience.”
It was my turn to stare in astonishment. I had no idea he could act so...gentlemanly. It must be killing him. I wonder how long he can keep it up...
Mrs. Galvineer’s cheeks flushed as she giggled, actually giggled, “Oh no, the pleasure is all mine Matthew. No need to apologize, it’s really no inconvenience at all. If you need anything, just ask me.”
Matt smiled and I led him to my seat in the back left. The tables were aligned in pairs but seating was free choice. Daniel has been sitting next to me, though I believe the main reason is Tigerlily and her stubbornness to be friends or he just wants to annoy me. Well, for as long as I’m Matt’s babysitter, Daniel will have to find another seat, which won’t be too hard.
Matt seated himself and looked around the classroom with disappointment.
“What?” I asked. “Not magicky enough for you?”
He rolled his eyes, “I thought it wouldn’t look so much like a normal classroom. It’s kind of borin’, like regular school. But I haven’t been to school in awhile, didn’t have the money to continue goin’.”
I molded my back into my chair, watching the other students filing in and chattering away, “School is school, no matter where. It sounded like a pain from the books I read and it is just as boring. I’d rather be back in Hell.”
Before we could talk some more, the bell rang and latecomers were given the traditional “how dare you be a millisecond tardy to my class” look. Daniel was one of them and when he saw that his seat was taken, instead of finding another seat like a regular person, he marched up to Matt and dropped his bags on the desk.
“Out of my seat, kid,” Daniel sternly ordered.
Matt shrank back almost unnoticeably, but put on a brave front and raised his chin, “No, and I am not a kid.”
Daniel was taken aback that someone actually refused him and it took him a moment to regain his bravado, “No? Do you know who I am?”
“Daniel stop,” I said, standing up to prevent too much of a commotion. Already the rest of the class and a few stranglers by the door were being drawn in from their curiosity. “Matthew is under my Master’s care and I have been ordered to help him for an undetermined length of time. I would not harm him if I were you.”
Daniel stared at me for a moment, and I waited to see how he would react. He switched his gaze to Matt and I saw his jaw tick right before he grudgingly looked away, “Fine. Just know that if you weren’t Lord Lucifer’s charge, I’d have sliced you to pieces with wind and then burned you to a crisp. I don’t like people messing with my stuff.”
He picked his bags up again and took a seat in the front of the room next to a timid air-witch. The lesson started soon after and I began planning how to get to Mr. Bertham’s classroom and have enough time to snoop without getting caught.
I am going to kill Lucifer for interrupting. The vampire spy is useless! The way he is going, Draheim or Bertham or whoever the Lunaria creator is will have achieved whatever his plan is.
‘Patience, dear Nyx. You cannot do this all alone, my child, you will need the assistance of your friends.’ The Voice had returned to depart minor, cryptic knowledge and more questions. Great.
I was about to answer her when Matt leaned over to whisper, “Who was the jackass?”
Luckily, there were no vampires or weres in the class so no one heard Matt’s whisper. Normal humans would not have heard, but some supernaturals could. The other demons in the class heard a hushed mumble but couldn’t decipher the words.
I picked up a pen and scribbled a response on the blank notebook where my notes should have been.
Remember the warlock at the meeting yesterday? The one who asked the stupid question about what you had to do with the prophecy? That was his dad.
Matt’s lips morphed into an ‘O’ and he gave Daniel a quick examination. Daniel must have felt someone staring at him since he turned back with a frown to see Matt looking directly at him. Daniel scowled and Matt moved his fingers in a wavy motion with a half smile.
During the rest of the lesson, Mrs. Galvineer explained the basics of most shield spells and left us to our own devices to practice. I already knew shield spells like the back of my hand, so I spent my time talking with Matt though I did purposely fub a spell just to keep eyes off me.
“Do you have any other messages?” I asked, carefully. I noticed the occasional eavesdropper from surrounding tables and made sure Matt didn’t spill anything important while being as vague as possible.
Matt scratched his head before shaking it, “Nope. Just said you have to watch me.” He mumbled under his breath as an afterword, “...I don’t need a babysitter though.”
“Matt, you need to remember that not matter how quiet you think you are, I have much better hearing than you do. When in the company of supernaturals, whispering is almost always pointless.”
There was only 15 minutes of class left when Daniel decided to come back to our table and plop himself down on a stolen chair from the table in front. It wouldn’t have been missed as the owners had gone to mingle with other friends in the room.
He completely ignored Matt and spoke solely to me, “So Nyx, I have to tell you something. Tigerlily already knows since she was with me, and we want you to be part of it. Well we actually need you to think of a plan for us.”
I furrowed my brow, “Um, okay? What’s up?”
Before he answered, I felt the air around us change; it was being manipulated with magic. I eyed Daniel and noticed he was making motions with his hands. When he finished and the air settled he explained puffing his chest out, “There, now no one can hear us. I just put up a wind sphere so only we can hear this conversation. Pretty cool right?”
I kicked Matt under the table to stop him from commenting and stroking Daniel’s already inflamed ego. “What do you want, Daniel?” I asked, feigning boredom to make him spit it out. With people like Daniel, if someone doesn’t show an interest, they will either A) get pissy B) boast about something that they think will regain attention or C) stop wasting time and get to the point.
Daniel picked option C and hurriedly said, “Tiger and I overheard my dad talking about Mr. Bertham being involved with the drug case that’s been going on for awhile. We decided we were going to help to show our parents we aren’t little kids. This is where you come in. We need a plan to get old Bertham out of his room and do some snooping. Apparently he has some sort of list that needs to be found.”
I am so going to kill Gordon when I see him again. Council Meeting topics can’t be discussed so freely, especially to their nosy children!
‘Remember what I said, Nyx. You will need the aid of your friends if you wish to succeed,’ the voice spoke again.
Can you at least give me some kind of warning whenever you decide to pop up and eavesdrop on conversations? I asked, slightly irritated.
She didn’t respond, but I could feel her lurking in my head. I ignored her for now and answered Daniel, “So you want me to come up with a plan to buy you time to check out Mr. Bertham’s room.”
“Exactly, I knew we could count on you,” Daniel grinned.
“Nuh-uh-uh-uh-uh, hold it,” I said, raising my index finger. I held a smirk at Daniel’s confusion and leaned forward so my back was no longer molded to the chair. If there is one thing I learned from the Devil, it’s making deals. “I never said I’d do it. What do I get?”
I leaned forward further on the table, clasping my hands in a business-like manner, “I won’t come up with some sort of scheme for free. What do I get out of all of this?”
Daniel floundered for a few moments and I caught Matt smirking a little at Daniel’s fallen control and confidence.
I watched him falter and struggle for a bit, secretly enjoying his flustering state (hey! He needed to be kicked down a few notches) before saving him from further embarrassment, “Here’s the deal. I’ll provide the plan, but only if I can do the snooping.”
Daniel was ready to argue immediately but I held up my hand to stop him, “You and Tigerlily can take all the credit, in fact I don’t want my name mentioned at all. I’ve already thought up a simple but more or less effective plan. So, do we have a deal?”
Daniel thought it over and I could see that he was just on the edge of agreeing though there was still that tiny drop of doubt and reluctance. For the final tug I added with a wicked smirk, “This was supposed to remain a secret, right? What will my Master think when he finds out that your father has been carelessly discussing Council matters?”
I held my hand out, waiting for him to shake it to finalize the deal. My minor, underlying threat worked its charm and he resignedly agreed, “Fine. When can we do it?”
I smiled briefly, “As soon as this class is over. I have a 30-minute break between this and my next class, which is plenty of time. Mr. Bertham only has morning classes today, and from what I’ve noticed, he is rarely ever in his room when he doesn’t have to be. Most likely he is in the teachers’ lounge or the library. This is where you and Tigerlily come in. If he is not in his room, I’ll go in while you and Tigerlily guard both ends of the hallway. If you see him coming, stop him and buy me time. I only need those twenty minutes, twenty-five would be preferable if possible. You and Tigerlily can be as late as you want to most classes because of who you are, so don’t bother arguing that you’ll get in trouble for ditching or being late to class. Just keep him occupied and if you fail, Matthew will be on guard at the door and he can warn me to get out.”
Daniel tapped his chin and asked, “How will you get in? What if we can’t buy you time?”
I shrugged, “Leave entering the room to me. The less you know the better and if I do happen to get caught, I can prevent you and Tigerlily from getting in trouble. If worst comes to worst, I can make up something. I had a message to deliver, question to ask, something to do with Matthew. Don’t worry about it, just buy me time.”
He nodded but then eyed Matt, “Okay, but why does he have to come.”
“He’s my Master’s charge and I have the responsibility to look after him. He goes where I go,” I stated, leaving no room for discussion.
Daniel turned to check the clock and pulled down the wind sphere before standing up, “Meet me and Tiger by the water fountain near Mr. Bertham’s room when you’re done.” He went back to his seat and grabbed his bags right before the bell rang and we were dismissed.
I followed the others; packing my bag and having Matt trail me. He was ridiculously polite as he left the room, thanking Mrs. Galvineer and whatnot. I had to hold my laughter at his totally reversed character.
“So we’re gonna be detectives?” he asked, eyes glistening with excitement.
“I’m doing the snooping. You are tagging along. When you appeared, I was just about to check myself, this is just giving me another chance,” I answered as we turned the corner towards the alchemy department once again.
The building with the alchemy classrooms was relatively empty since there were no classes held there at the current time, so we kept quiet, sneaking to Mr. Bertham’s room.
Well at least Matt and I tried to be quiet. As we turned the corner into the hallway with Mr. Bertham’s class, I prepared to face a certain pixie.
“Nyx!” Tigerlily called out, flying over to us.
“If this is going to work, you might want to stay quiet, Tigerlily,” I stated, but smiled slightly.
“Oh, right. Sorry. Daniel told me the plan. Good luck and don’t worry, I’ve got your back,” she puffed her chest out and grinned.
I nodded and she said a quick hello to Matt who smiled in return before Matt and I hurried to the classroom.
As expected, it was still locked. I told Matt to cover me and brought up the same images as the first time I unlocked the door. For some reason, it came easier and quicker the second time around and I didn’t feel as light headed. Must have been because I had unlocked the same door in a short span of time.
Matt’s eyes were wide with surprise and admiration, “How did you do that? It was locked.”
“Magic,” I said simply. It was one of my many abnormalities, unlocking doors by simply imagining the mechanism and how it works.
‘You are special, not abnormal. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise, dear Nyx. You have many talents and gifts still left to be uncovered,’ the Voice finally decided to be heard again. She had been in my head, quiet, but still there as the nudging feeling in the back of my mind.
I ignored her and entered the room, Matt closing the door behind us. I took a length of spare rope (you never know when you’ll need to scale a wall or tie up targets) from my ‘drawer’ and tied his wrist to my bag, like a disobedient puppy on a chain.
“In case Bertham is coming I need to be able to teleport the both of us out of here. I can only do so if I am touching you in some way so, if you’re tied to my bag while it’s on me I can, in theory, get us out easily,” I explained.
“But I thought I was look-out?” he questioned, but followed me to the desk.
“I can sense it. Right now, there is only one warlock in the area, which would be Daniel. As soon as I sense a second one we are leaving,” I answered as I sifted through the papers. I tried to make it not look like someone had gone through them, but if I found what I was looking for, Bertham would know anyway.
Bertham had moved his files since the last time I saw them so I began checking the ones already laid out on his desk. They were just school files, but I flipped through just in case. I did the same with the other four files, but all they contained were test corrections, homework, lesson plans, a pop quiz for tomorrow and faculty meeting notes. Nothing of use or importance.
Matt checked Bertham’s computer, which was stupidly left on with no password request after waking up, and I began examining the desk drawers, starting with the left. I guess it was fortunate that he was a very organized warlock. I tapped the bottom of the drawer after noting it had pencils and other stationary equipment. No false bottom.
I still had about 10 more minutes and I went to the other drawer. This one was filled with pamphlets and small notebooks at about 3 x 5 inches. I flipped through the notebooks, skimming the text and stopping at pages that had torn pieces of paper in them. The fourth notebook, pale grey in color, caught my attention though. It was completely blank.
I flipped through it completely just to make sure, but it was empty save for a blank piece of paper wedged between two pages near the middle.
I remembered a book I had read and studied in Hell about disguise or concealment magic for when I was perfecting Slayer’s shade. I had briefly looked over a chapter that was focused on hiding text or images using spells and alchemy but didn’t study it too deeply since I was unable to cast spells and such. It was a more water warlock/witch type of magic anyway.
“...Damn...what was the reversal?” I muttered to myself, scratching the back of my head.
“Hn?” Matt maneuvered himself to take a look and I handed him the paper along with the notebook. As soon as the paper touched his fingertips, I felt heat and a burning pain race through my nerve endings and yelped. I jumped back, crashing against the wall and dropped the items.
“What was that?” we both questioned simultaneously. Matt too was holding his fingers and was rubbing them to relieve the pain.
I ignored the numbed stinging and bent down to study the paper and notebook. They had fallen so the notebook was covering the loose sheet and as I tentatively reached out to pick them up, I tensed.
Matt frowned, worry reflecting in his eyes, “Who?”
“Bertham.” I snatched the paper and notebook quickly, the burning sensation fortunately not following, and stuffed them in my ‘drawer’. Matt stuffed the other notebooks back in their proper place and slammed the drawer shut.
I closed my eyes, pulling up the image of my dorm room in my mind and drawing up my inborn magic. I felt the first tingles and just when I felt us leave the current area, they stopped. I tried again and again, but the signs of teleportation stopped earlier each time until they never even came.
“Fuck,” I cursed, trying to curb my slowly rising panic.
Matt glanced worriedly at the door and I could sense two warlocks getting closer and closer to our location. “It’s not working. My magic isn’t working. I can’t teleport us out!”
What the hell happened?
‘Do not underestimate the one you call Bertham,’ the Voice warned before I felt her depart the premises of my mind. She stays when I would rather she left and just when I was close to desperate for help; she leaves some stupid message and disappears.
“What’re we gonna do?” Matt’s voice rose a few octaves. He began to pace, his hands running through his hair and the rope gaining tension from the distance he made.
I racked my brain and bit my lip, close to drawing blood, trying to think but coming up with blanks, “I don’t—”
“What do you think you are doing here?” an angry voice boomed.
I looked to the opened door to see Mr. Bertham red faced with his hands clenched into a tight fist.
Matt was pale, scared stiff and I moved away from the desk, thinking on my feet, “Oh, Mr. Bertham. I was looking for you to—”
He cut me off again, his eyes narrowed into slits seeping fury, “Do not bother lying. I knew there was a reason Lucifer’s servant was sent to this school. Seems the Council isn’t as stupid as they used to be. Did you find the evidence you were looking for?” He began to laugh coldly, the low tone grating my ears and sending an unwanted shiver down my back.
I felt two more beings come to the room, rushing. A pixie and a warlock.
Daniel and Tigerlily. Wait, but how did Bertham get here before them? I had sensed him with Daniel and they were walking together, so how did he suddenly jump to the room?
The two soon appeared at the door, right behind Bertham, looking surprised and anxious.
Temporarily ignoring their presence I held my stance up and removed all traces of emotion from my face. “So you admit to being responsible for creating Lunaria,” I accused, leaving no room for argument.
“That is an unfair question, Nyx,” Bertham tsked. “Either way I answer would be confessing.”
I tugged at the rope to get Matt closer to me as Bertham leisurely stepped towards us, a glint in his harsh eyes. Once Matt was close enough, I stepped in front of him, acting as a barrier between the dangerous warlock.
Bertham noticed my protectiveness of Matt and eyed him with interest, “So who are you really? Old Lucifer is not one to make his slave watch over another. Nor does he try to hide the real identity of the person.”
I was thoroughly surprised that Bertham realized Matt was different. Lucifer’s shade should have been close to impossible to detect. Bertham was no ordinary warlock.
Bertham sneered, “Now you’re wondering how I can see Lucifer’s little shade. Do not underestimate me.”
Voice, if you’re there, a little helpful advice would be much appreciated. Out loud, I said, “Who are you? I doubt your real name is Darius Bertham.”
He relaxed his fists and raised one of his hands, palm facing me as he replied, “I think you already know who I am, hybrid. And for that, I shall have to kill you.”
As soon as he finished saying the clichéd line, a collection of dark colored magic gathered around his hand and he fired a beam. It headed straight for me, a ball of pure dark magical energy, and I could do nothing to stop or dodge it without Matt getting hit instead.
I braced myself, standing my ground with my arms raised, crossing them at my wrists to form a defensive X. I closed my eyes, anticipating the impact but felt nothing. When I opened them, I first noticed that Matt was standing in front of me and everyone had their own version of an astonished expression.
The second thing I realized was that Matt’s shade was gone. He was visibly human. The attack must have been nullified by Lucifer’s shade at the cost of the shade being destroyed.
Bertham was the first to speak, “You’re human. A human who can see.” I could see his mind working until his eyes widened in realization. “You are the boy. One whose eyes are free from cloth and grime. I finally found you.”
How...how does he know the Prophecy? He can’t be...
“Matt,” I began, lowly. “Stay behind me. Now.”
He did as I ordered and I kept my gaze on Bertham, narrowed and calculating. “You’re Bartus Draheim, aren’t you.” I phrased it in a statement form, rather than a question.
He clapped slowly, mockingly, “It seems that even a hybrid mistake like you can actually think. I didn’t even bother trying to create a better temporary name. It should have been easy to figure out if someone had just bothered to rearrange the letters of my name.”
Bertham, I mean Draheim, eyed Matt who trembled under the inquisitive gaze and directed the next bit of speech to him. “Long ago, I searched for you but now my plans are about to come to fruition. I don’t need you anymore, so you can die with the rest of them. I’ll let you have the honor of greeting death with my creations.”
Getting ready for a battle, I quickly brought Scythe out in front of me as Draheim began to recite a spell of some sort in a language that sounded faintly familiar. When I felt my body being weighed down, I realized he was speaking the Ancient Language. Matt felt the crushing weight of raw power as I did and I sensed him slowly sinking to the ground.
I have to get us out of here. Matt cannot die.
Thinking hard, I desperately drew out as much magic as I could, reaching deep into my very being. C’mon, just a little bit more. I have to. I can’t let us die here.
I faintly heard Draheim continue to recite the seemingly long spell. I would have tried to disrupt him, but the consequences could end up destroying the school and every creature. Normal strong spells caused immense destruction, I can’t even begin to imagine the backlash of a spell spoken in the Ancient Language.
I concentrated on myself, ignoring my surroundings and felt for the pool of power I knew was inside of me. I felt tendrils, slowly licking their way through my body. They heated my blood, simmering it until I could hear it boil and roar in my ears. The tendrils turned into flames, bright, powerful and soaring fire that licked its way around my body and hissed with energy. The feeling was both empowering and terrifying. That had never happened before, not even when I created Scythe.
‘Do not fear it. It is part of you. Embrace it. Use it. Mold it. Feed it. Harness the power, my little Night,’ the melodious sound of the Voice’s voice faintly drifted over the tumbling rumble of my blood.
I swallowed my fear and continued to feel for the energy. I let the fire from my mind sway and lap at my skin. Each lick sending my nerves in a jumble with pleasant pricks. I focused on a person rather than a place, Lucifer’s image shining with clarity in my mind’s eye. I just had to go to Lucifer. He was the only one I could think of when I thought of safety.
He’d keep Matt safe.
He’d know what to do.
I felt the telltale tingles to my relief and as I opened my eyes, I saw Draheim had finished his incantation. He had a wicked smirk and I barely heard his parting words, “It has begun. My army, my little addicts, shall follow me as I rid the world of useless beings. Both human and hybrid filth.”
The last thing I saw before completely teleporting was a dark, tangible aura envelop Draheim and I swear I saw the dark matter shoot out in various directions. Spikes of deep purple shot out, flying out the room and through the ceiling, walls and floor. He laughed maniacally, “HAHAHAHAHA! COME TO ME MY ADDICTS! AFTER 300 YEARS...”
I saw and heard no more as the classroom faded into the main assembly hall of Lucifer’s palace with Lucifer sitting at his throne, one knee crossed over the other in a bored manner. His eyes widened in surprise as he abruptly got to his feet. I saw his mouth move, saying something, but my ears were still filled with the echoes of Draheim’s laughter and the red fires. I tried to step forward but I fell to my knees, fatigue giving me the abilities of a ragdoll.
My mind was barely functioning. I felt like I was slowly departing my body, like my soul or spirit was being detached from my physical self. I had no control over what I did or said. I don’t know if I even did anything. All I know is that a black sheet covered my eyes and I sank right into it without a drop of energy to fight.14: Chapter XIII
I was floating. I think. My eyes were closed and I couldn’t open them, I couldn’t move any part of my body. I just listened. I heard only air.
Am I dead? Death by fatigue...You’ve gotta be kidding me. I won’t die from a little energy overuse.
“No need to worry, you are simply asleep for now, little Night.”
I tensed, or at least tried to, when I heard the Voice. This time it wasn’t in my head. She was out there. Somewhere.
I tried to open my mouth to speak, but my body was unresponsive, I was completely paralyzed. I strained my ears, trying to locate where I was. I couldn’t sense anything. My mind was totally disconnected from the rest of me. It was highly disorientating even though all I could see was blackness.
“Rest, you spent quite a lot of energy to teleport,” I heard her soft, maternal tone again. She was closer this time but I still couldn’t place her. I wanted to speak out, but I couldn’t.
Where am I? I tried thought projections, hoping it would work.
The Voice answered, “Sleeping. This is simply a dream world where your spirit can enter on certain occasions. Your physical body is safe with Lucifer.” Her voice sounded almost wistful when she said Lucifer’s name, but my worry overshadowed my curiosity.
What about Matt? Is he all right?
She laughed softly and the sound instantly eased my anxiety. Her voice drew closer until it sounded like she was directly above me and I felt a presence on what should have been my forehead. She spoke softly and I could imagine a smile on her blurred face, “The Seer is fine. He is unharmed and watching over you worriedly. You have such loyal and trustworthy friends, little Night.”
The presence on my forehead began to move, like a hand brushing the hair away from a sleeping child’s eyes. It was incredibly soothing and I could sense my consciousness drifting. I had no desire to fight it even though I had so many questions to ask. It was hypnotic.
I faintly heard her last melodious words, barely a hushed whisper, “...you’ve become such a beautiful girl. If...” Her words faded away as I drifted.
I was floating again, mind bordering between oblivion and semi-consciousness. I drifted mindlessly for an undetermined length of time before I slowly regained feeling in my limbs. Warmth spread through my fingers and toes, traveling through my nerves, up my arms and legs, to my stomach, chest, jaw, lips, cheeks, ears, my entire body. A swirling sense of heat that I would imagine was gold, or dulled orange.
My ear began to work again, along with my nose. A bitter fragrance filled my nostrils, the smell so strong I could taste whatever horrid concoction it wafted from. I gagged, trying to rid the vile taste of the scented air.
“She’s waking up!” a high-pitched voice cheered. It was followed by a stampeded of three pairs of feet huddling around me.
“W-w-water,” I croaked, my voice rough and harsh, grating on my own ears. I sounded like a fifty-eight year old, jobless, male chain-smoker.
Instantly, a cool sweet liquid met my lips, I had no idea what it was but chugged it down without complaint. It was a tad bit too sweet, tasting faintly of Dwarf honey and some Fay flora, but it eased my dire thirst. Once I finished drinking the sweet syrup, I coughed to clear my throat and finally opened my eyes.
“Urrg,” I groaned, holding my thumping head and tried to sit up. A pair of large, thin hands supported me as I shifted into a seating position on the bed I had been lying in. I realized I was in Lucifer's room, on his bed and there were four other people in the room with me. Four.
“Thank Liseira you’re alright, Nyx!” Tigerlily sighed, her voice filled with relief. She fluttered towards my shoulder then flew around my face, circling my body doing her own quick inspection.
“T-Tigerlily?” I stuttered. I then caught sight of a certain Council member’s arrogant son. “Daniel?”
The bed sank next to me as Lucifer added his weight. He combed my hair back with his hand and shushed me, “Don’t strain yourself, you need to rest. Teleporting four people including yourself is no easy feat. Good job, Nixie.”
I didn’t bother correcting him and frowned, “But I...I was...how? I couldn’t have.”
The only person I was touching was Matt. I actually forgot Daniel and Tigerlily were in the room. They were on the opposite side, by the door. No way could I have teleported them.
As soon as the thought finished, Lucifer frowned, “What? That shouldn’t be possible.”
My eyes widened, “Wait. You heard my thoughts?” I checked my mind and gasped, “My blocks are gone. I can’t put them back up.” I felt panic bubble up, coming close to overflowing and tried summoning up Slayer. Not even hair color change. I desperately tried to open my ‘drawer’ but only snatched air. I focused on my core, but nothing. Not even a tiny flicker.
“It’s gone,” I whispered, dismayed. “My magic...my powers...they’re gone.”
Lucifer pulled my hands away from my head and placed his palms on each temple, closing his eyes and muttering. I felt nothing. Lucifer’s frown deepened and his eyes flickered as he pulled his hands away.
I felt empty. Now that I searched, I felt completely broken and hollow. A huge void was just sitting inside me. I had nothing.
“Maybe you just overused your powers and they’re rechargin’ or something’,” Matt proposed, trying to make me feel better. I smiled at his effort, but it didn’t help much. Even if I did overuse them and they were “recharging”, I wouldn’t feel this empty. Even after creating Scythe, I didn’t feel so...desolate or lost.
“Scythe!” I exclaimed, remembering. “What about Scythe?” If I couldn’t open my ‘drawer’ what would happen? Scythe was my baby, I created him and no way was I losing him. Normal people have a blanket or a teddy bear; I have a double bladed scythe.
I wrapped my arms around myself and noticed I was shaking. I was so vulnerable. So weak. So...so helpless.
I could tell I was worrying the others, but at the moment I couldn’t care. I was still panicking. I was scared shitless.
Lucifer wrapped his arms around me protectively, murmuring words of comfort that I couldn’t comprehend. I shook in his arms for a bit until my shudders simmered down and I was only breathing short, clipped breaths. “I’m scared, Lucifer,” I whispered hoarsely into his chest.
I felt his arms tighten around me and I felt a soft pressure against my forehead as he answered, “Don’t worry. We’ll figure it out. You’re still my little Nyx, okay?”
My little Nyx. My little Night.
“Y-yeah. S-sorry,” I shakily replied. I pushed away from Lucifer and took a deep calming breathe and tried a smile, “I just...overreacted a bit. I’m fine. There’s more important things to discuss first. I’m okay. Really. I’m fine. I’ll be okay.”
Lucifer clearly didn’t believe me, but he didn’t push. Tigerlily just looked at me worriedly while Daniel and Matt seemed too afraid to try and come any closer. I didn’t blame them though. Even I have no idea what to do when someone as a mental breakdown. If the situation were reversed, I’d probably be doing what they were doing or I’d make the situation worse by saying something insensitive.
I shoved my personal problems to the back of my mind and focused on the more immediate problem. “Bertham is Draheim, he said so himself. He’s also behind Lunaria,” I stated.
Lucifer cast one more worried glance at me before putting on his usual façade and tonelessly answered, “I know. While you were out, your friends described what had happened. Do you have the notebook and paper?”
My previous pain and depression flashed across my face for a split second before I answered dutifully, “Yes, but it’s in my ‘drawer’.”
Lucifer tapped his fingers in thought, thinking about how to proceed. He warily looked at me, “Draheim has taken over the school. As soon as you left, he put his plan into action. He’s got an army of brainwashed supernaturals, some humans as well. They are all Lunaria users, he must have had an activation spell to control those with Lunaria in their systems. He’s grown stronger over the centuries, so much that he’s been able to remove the school from its own dimension into the middle of the human realm. The Council has sent their own forces to stop Draheim, but no one has been able to reach him. They are calling for Slayer.”
I inhaled deeply and stood up, swaying slightly until I regained my bearings. I flexed my fingers, rolled my shoulders and cracked my neck, “I better get going then. I’ll need your help to send me to wherever the bastard is though, Luke.”
“What? You can’t go! You can barely stand, Nyx!” Matt exclaimed, waving his hands in my direction as I stumbled trying to take a step.
“What use would you be anyway?” Daniel asked skeptically.
Tigerlily flew to his shoulder and kicked his cheek with a huff, “You idiot! Can you be anymore thoughtless?”
I focused on taking another step, this time with minimal faltering that was almost acceptable to my standards, and ignored their bantering. “I’ll need some throwing knives, three daggers, two short and one long, and a semi-automatic,” I listed to Lucifer. He frowned but said nothing knowing I would get to Draheim with or without his help no matter how impossible it seemed.
“You are not going, Nyx,” Matt declared, his voice showing signs of authority and confidence that I hadn’t known he possessed.
Lucifer materialized the weapons I asked for and I tucked them in easily accessible places as I answered back, “I am and that’s final, boy. I can take care of myself and this is my mission. Stay here and don’t get in trouble, I’ll be back.”
Matt charged towards me and grasped my arm, halting me from tucking the specialized semi-automatic into the waistband of my modified school skirt. I had attached shorts underneath and sliced a line up the skirt to the waistband for easier and more fluid mobility.
I gave him a stony glare and snarled, “Let me go, boy.”
I saw a trickle of fear invade his eyes but he puffed his chest out resolutely, “No. Not unless you say you ain’t goin’.”
“Why the hell do you even care?” I asked, frustrated by his unreasonable persistence. The world was in danger and he was preventing me from doing my job to do something about it.
“Because you’re my best friend! N’ I don’t wanna see you get killed!” he yelled, some of his spit spraying my face.
I kept my expression impassive, almost robotic, and released my arm to wipe his emotion driven spit from my face. When finished, I double-checked that my weapons were in place and quietly, monotonously, without looking at him said, “Then good thing you’re staying here.”
I caught a quick glimpse of his face, confusion, hurt and disbelief painted it clearly. I ignored it and coldly turned my back to him facing Lucifer. “Send me there, please.”
Lucifer let no emotion show on his face, but I caught concern and understanding flash briefly in his opaque eyes as he replied, “Be careful. Try not to kill many of them, they are brainwashed by the drug and Draheim’s spell. There are vamps and weres and a few skilled witches and warlocks that are from the Council. Do you want me to recreate the shade?”
I shook my head, “No, there’s no time for me to change. When this is over, I don’t think it’ll matter that my cover’s been blown. Everyone will just have to deal with the fact that their Grim Reaper is a little hybrid freak.”
I heard two gasps from behind me and turned to see the reason why. Daniel was pointing at me and Tigerlily had her hands covering her mouth.
“You’re the Slayer?” Daniel questioned, his voice a pitch higher in disbelief.
My eyebrow rose of its own accord in slightly amused sarcasm, “You just figured that out? You’re almost as oblivious as your father, warlock.”
Lucifer chuckled, “I don’t think anyone can be as ignorant as old Gordy. Except for dear old Eggy. Those two would make a wonderful, miserable couple if they didn’t have mates already.”
Daniel’s face flamed red at the insult but it wasn’t like he could do anything. He just fumed silently while Tigerlily teased him and I smiled. Matt was still glaring at me though his forest green eyes held a considerable amount of worry and concern. I had to leave as soon as possible.
“Lucifer,” I called, my tone low. He nodded solemnly, the good mood evaporating quickly as he placed his hand on my shoulder.
“I’d go in your place, but you know the rules. I am not allowed to interfere directly with affairs of the mortal world,” he sighed. He squeezed my shoulder and I felt the tingles of teleportation. “Don’t get yourself killed. I won’t have an annoying little brat to look after then.”
I smiled crookedly, “You won’t get rid of me that easily, Luke.”
In mere seconds, the blood red and black room disappeared to be replaced by the front gate of Supernatural School. I took in my surroundings and noted it was slightly chilly, and there was snow from a previous snowfall. There were cop cars surrounding the school and a number of them were stunned to see a schoolgirl materialize right in front of the gates.
“She’s one of them!” one of the cops called out fearfully. Instantly, I had a couple dozen standard .40 cal police guns aimed at me in shaky grips. Even though my magic was gone, my sharp eyes zeroed out the supernaturals in the squad. They were the ones who looked at me with either recognition as Lucifer’s servant or as one of them since I had the School’s uniform on.
I raised my hands over my heads to look harmless and shouted over the blaring sirens, directing my message to the supernaturals in the area, “My Master sent me. Let me through the gates.”
The human police were confused, but the supernaturals who recognized me understood. One of them, a burly blond who I would peg as a were of some sort, lowered his gun and ordered the others to do so as well. They complied uneasily and he walked up to me as I slowly lowered my arms.
“We asked for Slayer, not his hybrid servant,” the might-be-were stated disdainfully, a British accent slightly audible. I must be in somewhere in Great Britain. At least it’s not as cliché and Hollywood-esque as New York.
I held back a glare and answered tonelessly, “My Master ordered me. Let me through the gates.”
He narrowed his eyes at me, “That bastard sends his slave instead of his killer. I bet he’s teamed up with Draheim just to see the destruction of everything.”
I growled and pulled out the long dagger I had tucked into a hole I made in my shorts. With my free hand I clutched the officer’s collar and pulled him down with the dagger’s blade lightly touching he hollow of his throat. I had guns aimed at me once again but I ignored them and hissed, “Never, insult Lucifer in my presence. Now let me through the damn gate without a couple dozen bullets making Swiss cheese out of me, Blondie. We’re losing time.”
The man was frozen for a few dragged out seconds and I almost thought I would have to spill a little blood to get my threat across. Luckily he backed off and reordered the weapons to be pointed elsewhere. He rubbed his throat, no doubt still feeling the ghost of my dagger and grudgingly stated, “Alright. Don’t expect anyone to save you inside though, hybrid.”
I tucked the dagger away and turned my back to the police. With a deep breath, I opened the school gates and took a step inside. I felt my body pass a liquid-y, plasma kind of wall and instead of entering the front courtyard of the school, I ended up in the cafeteria.
He’s messed with the spaces in the school. Completely distorting the dimension and bringing it to the human world...No. Stop thinking negatively, Nyx. You are going to go back. No way am I dying here, not yet.
I took out the two short daggers, holding them cautiously and keeping alert. The cafeteria was completely empty. No signs of any sort of being, living or not. The air had a strange tint that smelt strangely familiar. I knew it from somewhere. It was some sort of herb or plant mixed with smoke.
“No time, I gotta find Draheim,” I muttered to myself. Warily and stealthily, I slinked across the cafeteria to the door. I put my ear against it, listening for movement but heard nothing. Carefully, I nudged the door open and peeked through the crack I made. It was just the regular hallway.
I frowned and closed the door again, searching for a small object. Seeing none, I picked up one of the plastic chairs and dragged it to the doors. With a quick shove, I opened the door and threw the chair inside. Like I expected, the chair vanished, leaving only a faint rippling as the only sign of a magically adjusted border.
Looks like I’m going to have to blindly jump around and hope I get lucky. There’s gotta be some sort of pattern.
Realizing I was losing precious minutes, I tightened my hold on the daggers and ran through the door only to narrowly avoid crashing into a tiled wall and the chair I had thrown in beforehand. After seeing the urinals I realized the cafeteria was connected to one of the boys’ bathroom. I let out a frustrated grunt and marched to the exit, pulling the door open only to be tackled to the floor.
“DIE!” my attacker screeched. “If I kill you, I get more! Hehehe....die!”
I dropped my daggers to restrain my attacker’s wrists and prevent her clawed hands from ripping the skin off my face. She was a semi-shifted were-hawk, her gold eyes wild with a frenzied craze.
We rolled on the cold floor until I found an opening and kicked her stomach, effectively tossing her off of me. Quickly, I snatched up the closest of my fallen daggers and just barely managed to parry her talons with the blade.
“C’mon hawk, you can fight it,” I grunted out through clenched teeth. The girl was just brainwashed. There was still a were-hawk with a conscience in there somewhere. Hopefully.
She either couldn’t understand me or chose to ignore my words. She just continued to push her claws against the dagger and tried to land a blow on me. She kept chanting to herself, “More. He will give me more. I just need to kill you. Kill. More. I need more.”
She was slowly pushing me back against the wall I had almost crashed into upon entering the bathroom and what I wouldn’t have done to have Scythe in my hands. My eyes caught a urinal we were slowly passing and I took a chance to duck, her talons falling down over my shoulders as I grabbed her waist and smashed her into the porcelain.
She shrieked in pain but it didn’t stop her from pushing off and attacking me again. I managed to block off one of her clawed hands but the result was the dagger being knocked out of my grip and clattering to the floor. She nicked my cheek, drawing three lines of scarlet.
I ignored the sharp sting and wrestled her to the ground, trying to pin her hands above her head and pinning her legs with my lower body. “Stop....fucking...dammit...” I gritted my teeth, forcing her down. I needed to knock her out somehow. Bashing her head against the floor was a bit too barbaric for me and I might end up killing her.
My problem was resolved though when I sensed the air shift and the were-hawk stilled under me. Momentarily confused, I quickly became alert and jumped off of her, aiming a kick at the newcomers.
I froze right before my foot made contact and lowered my stance in disbelief. “What are you three doing here?” I asked, my voice a little breathless from the scuffle.
Daniel smirked and dusted off invisible flakes from his shoulder, “Even if you are the Slayer, you’ll be needing some help. Even Lord Lucifer agreed and sent us after you.”
I groaned, but didn’t respond. They were stuck with me now since they couldn’t go back out the way they came. I turned my back to them and crouched down to check the were-hawk. Her pulse was beating very faintly, but beating nonetheless. The air change... Daniel must have altered the air around her to make her breathe in a lower amount of oxygen causing her to pass out. Hate to admit it but that’s pretty smart.
I picked up my daggers once again and turned back to my new teammates. Sternly, I ordered, “Okay, I’m stuck with you now so listen up. When I say run, you fucking run. When I say stay, you sit your ass down. Don’t try to be a hero and go off on your own. Your main priority is to stay alive. They are drugged and under some sort of magic mind control and will not hesitate to kill you. Knock them out or hinder them but your life comes before anything else. Do you have some sort of weapon or method to protect yourselves?”
“Fire and air magic. I can do what I did to the were-creature to three at a time,” Daniel responded promptly with a touch of smugness.
“I can create minor illusions to a small group or a stronger one on an individual. I’m also really fast and small so it’ll be harder for me to be spotted or attacked,” Tigerlily supplied.
When I faced Matt, he squirmed, not being able to come up with an answer. I sighed and rolled my eyes but smiled slightly. I flicked one of my short daggers so the handle faced Matt and I waited for him to cautiously take it.
“Matt, stay close to either me or Daniel. Only use the blade when absolutely necessary. Trust your instincts and you’ll be fine,” I smiled encouragingly. Matt looked at the blade and swallowed but nodded resolutely. His fear was still evident, but I had to admire his persistence and courage. Such a strange human. There really should be more like him, supernaturals too.
I took out the long dagger and twirled it in my right hand, getting used to the feel and weight before marching to the exit of the bathroom.
“Now follow me and don’t get yourself killed.”
I heard them follow and we stepped through the door into the next area of the distorted school.
Draheim, I’m coming for you.15: Chapter XIV
After we left the boys’ bathroom, we entered the principal’s office then a dorm room, a hallway, one of the math rooms and then we ended up in the indoor swimming pool.
“Where on earth is this guy?” Tigerlily whined. We hadn’t come across any druggies or Council troops and we had no idea where to go or how to get there.
“It’s a goddamn maze,” Daniel cursed. “Why won’t he just come out? Spineless coward.”
I was getting frustrated as well. We were wasting valuable time. The only one who seemed calm was Matt. He simply examined each room we were in and followed quietly, not a single sound came from him other than his footsteps and breathing.
There’s gotta be some way to get to him. C’mon Nyx, think! Everything you’ve read about dimensional magic. There’s gotta be a weak point, a crack. Something dammit.
“Hey, uh, guys,” Matt called us. We stopped in our tracks and I tightened my grip on my daggers, preparing for an attack.
Matt had stopped in front of the diving board of the 4th lane. He was staring at it with his brow scrunched.
“What’s wrong?” Daniel asked, coming up behind Matt to try and see what he was seeing. “I don’t see anything.”
Matt pointed at the diving board, “But there’s this glowin’ crack. How can you not see it? There’s black smoky things comin’ from it n’ there’s even some blood!”
I frowned and walked towards the group, but like Daniel, I couldn’t see hide nor hair of what Matt was describing.
Tigerlily worriedly asked, “Are you okay? Maybe all this evil business is stressing you into seeing things.”
Seeing what other can’t.
My eyes widened and I whispered, “One whose eyes are free from cloth and grime...He sees only truth, not lies or shades of deceit...Blood and death shall lead their path, to one consumed by black wrath.”
The other three hadn’t heard exactly what I said and I ignored their questioning gazes. “Everyone move back. Now,” I ordered.
They hesitated but followed my command quickly. I stood directly in front of the diving board and directed my next question to Matt, “Where exactly is the glowing crack?”
He hesitated before using the dagger I had given him to trace a jagged lightning-shaped line close to the bottom right of the board. “Right there,” he said.
He moved away and I crouched down to examine the area, using my own dagger to retrace the line he drew. “Tell me if anything changes,” I ordered Matt as I pressed the dagger’s tip deeper into the board.
Tigerlily spoke up, keeping behind me, “Um, what are you doing?”
I kept my eyes on the line I repeatedly carved as I answered, “Gordon bigmouth told you of the Prophecy right? It spoke of a pure human who could see what shouldn’t be seen. He can see past illusions, shades, mirages, anything and see only truth. If Matt says he sees something, I trust him.”
I stood up and looked to Matt to see he had a faint blush color his cheeks. Even though the temptation to comment on his change in skin color was strong, I shoved my inner bully away and asked, “Did I draw the line exactly?”
He swallowed and nodded, “Y-yeah.”
“Okay then.” I took in a deep breath and handed my second short dagger to Matt so I could grip the long one with both my hands. “Everyone, step back. Not sure how this will turn out, but no harm in trying.”
“Unless it kills you,” Daniel muttered but nonetheless stepped further away.
I held the dagger point down over my head and focused on the line I had drawn. I imagined what Matt described, the black smoke, blood splatters and glowing. I thought with such intensity, I almost saw my etched line turn into the glowing crack only he could see.
With a grunt, I plunged the long dagger into the board, right on the top of the line. When it was lodged in, I dragged it down the etching. As I tugged the blade, I felt the air around us change. It was similar to teleportation, but this was different in the sense that it wasn’t my skin tingling, but the air was breaking apart. Like I was cutting through an invisible wall made of Jell-O.
As I cut the board, black smoke began to seep through the tear until I saw the bloodstains and glowing crack. I kept pulling the dagger down the now visible crack until I reached the end. I was blown back by a blast of pure magic and darkness, crashing into whoever was behind me. I heard Tigerlily scream as the wind was too strong for her small wings to battle and I heard Matt and Daniel’s yelps.
I shielded my eyes with my arms, squinting against the blast. When I no longer felt the overpowering force, I slowly lowered my hands to see I was sitting in the center of the main auditorium of the school with the stage right in front. The stage was far from empty though.
All around the stage, metal cages secreting dank, black smoke piled around or on top of each other. The cages weren’t unoccupied though, they contained humans. Children, teenagers, babies, adults, even the elderly. Humans of various ethnics, ages and sizes crammed into the many cages looking as if their next breath would be their last. Fear was etched in every face, and when they saw the four of us, rage and terror emanated from them.
I turned behind me to see Matt sprawled out with Tigerlily caught in his hands and Daniel was the person I crashed into. I got up and ran to the cages, not checking to see if the others were following at my heels.
I stopped at the first cage and gripped the bars, looking for a door or some way to open the metal contraption. “Don’t worry, we’ll get you out,” I promised to the group who had backed away as I approached.
“Stay away you monster!” a frail woman screeched. She held her child close to her chest and the others began to yell and thrash.
“Why should we trust you?!”
“Keep away you demon!”
I backed away, confused.
Matt came up behind me with a confused frown. Soon, all the conscious caged humans began yelling and screaming.
“Stay away, monsters!”
“Haven’t you tortured us enough?”
“Go back to Hell where you came from!”
The shouts got mingled, English mixed with languages from across the world. But they were all saying the same thing.
“Hey!” Matt roared, slightly angry. “She’s riskin’ her life to save you! She’s no monster!” He was defending me. I sensed Tigerlily and Daniel walk up behind us, but I couldn’t remove my attention from the fury directed at me for no apparent reason. What in Hell’s name did Draheim do to them in such a short amount of time?
A gangly man pointed at me, “She’s got fire eyes of a demon and a black wing. What are you? Another Hell creature?”
The others shouted in agreement, though they were terrified. Barking Chihuahuas. When smaller creatures are threatened they resort to attacking.
“I’m human, like you. She’s not a demon, she saved my life. Now she’s savin’ yours,” Matt rebutted.
I turned to see my back and there it was, my wing was out. How? I hadn’t released it though. Was it the blast?
“You traitor to mankind! Siding with a demon,” one of the humans spat. Matt was momentarily shocked and soon other began spitting curses to Matt as they did to me.
The shouts became louder and louder, filling my ears until a flash of light and smoke erupted from behind us coupled with tremors sending the humans screaming and me off my feet once again.
When the shaking ended, I stood up, helping Matt along the way and asked, “You guys alright?”
They each responded with their own grunt or grimace when a maniacal laugh resounded from the center of the auditorium. I whipped around and pulled my gun out from my waistband since the sudden blow from the crack had thrown my dagger out of my hands. I aimed the barrel towards where the laughter originated from, directly at a leering Draheim.
He had changed his appearance, but I recognized the mad grin that adorned his face. He was no longer a portly old man, but a middle-aged stick, all flesh and bones. His eyes though... They were black, soulless and empty. Lucifer’s at least looked alive with emotions even if well hidden, but Draheim’s? They were dead.
“So he really is the boy of the Prophecy. But where’s his little girlfriend? The one with wings of fire and darkness.” Draheim sneered. He was completely fearless of my gun aimed at his chest where his heart would be. He strolled leisurely to the front of the stage until he was standing right before the stairs.
I maneuvered myself to stand in front of the others so that if Draheim attacked I’d be the first in line. I heard them move behind me, probably readying themselves.
“You better stop, Draheim. If we were able to get here, the Council troops are sure to follow. Release your spell and surrender,” I called out. I cocked the gun and smirked grimly, “Is what I’m supposed to say, but I doubt you’d listen.”
Draheim laughed coldly, “If you weren’t a hybrid mistake, I wouldn’t have minded having you be part of my army. My leading general perhaps.” He tsked, “But you’re too loyal to the big guy downstairs. Such a shame.”
I noticed that the humans were deadly silent and a quick glance showed me that they were screaming muted screams. “Let them go, Draheim,” I ordered sternly even though I knew he wouldn’t listen. “They haven’t done anything. They didn’t even know of our existence until now.”
He laughed, “After going through all the trouble of capturing them? They should feel honored. The first batch of worthless humans to feel my power. The first of many useless trash to be disposed of. Their screams shall be heard across this wasted world to show the rise of a great power.” He smiled and said simply, “Me.”
“You sick bastard...” I scowled, my tone leaving a rancid taste.
He began to pace along the length of the steps, and I never let my gun stray from his chest. “I could give you what you’ve always wanted, little Nyx.”
“Don’t call me that,” I spat out. The words sounded vile coming from him.
He pretended not to have heard me and continued, “I could give you what has made you an outcast your entire life. I can give you a second wing.”
“That’s impossible,” I replied blankly. I should know. During one of the lowest points in my long life, I spent almost thirty desperate years looking for some way to have two wings. I searched through multiple spell, lore, myth, alchemy and enchantment books and came with nothing. So many sleepless nights just going through all the information I could find, steal and borrow. All for naught.
Draheim chuckled ominously, “It is also impossible for a mere warlock to live for three extra centuries, survive a death blow from Satan himself and create a drug to take over the minds of supernaturals in order to rid the world of humans, hybrids and half breeds. I know just what to do to give you two large pairs of black wings, little Nyx.”
Small drifts of smoke floated out from the barrel. “I said, don’t call me that.”
Draheim looked down at the bullet lodged in the left side of his chest. He placed his palm across the hole and inhaled sharply. He shook, and then crumpled to the floor to his knees with his head down.
Something’s not right. It can’t have been that easy.
I tensed in preparation for whatever was to come. It was not over yet.
“Did...you just...” Matt whispered. I put a hand up to silence him and waited. I watched Draheim’s form, still on his knees. Just when I sensed someone behind me step forward, probably Matt, laughter left the lips of the warlock.
His head rolled back and pure, hoarse, cold sweat-creating laughter erupted from his lips. He stood up, still laughing and stuck two of his fingers into the hole in his chest. Right where his heart should have been, he slowly pulled out the bullet.
“Oh my....” Tigerlily gagged behind me.
Not a single drop of blood.
“That actually stung. Lucifer’s little weapon? Ha,” Draheim jeered. His voice held only smug, sadistic glee, not an ounce of pain. He grinned maliciously, “My turn.”
I tensed immediately as dark matter surrounded Draheim’s hand once again. This time it was larger, brighter, much more powerful. Sparks of deep purple lightning surrounded the ball.
“Dan, Tiger, Matt, dive out of the away!” I shouted just as Draheim released the dark magic ball. I dived to the side, rolling to a stop on my feet to see that the ball had only gone half the distance. It was just floating there and Draheim had his hand stretched forward, palm face up. He curled his fingers in until he was left with only his index finger pointing forward.
I stood up and checked quickly to see that the others had heeded my warning and were now spread out and getting up themselves, though Tigerlily just had to fly.
“What is it that the younger people say? Psych?” Draheim smirked. He began to twirl his forefinger in a circular motion and the magic globe began to follow his gesture. He moved his finger to the left, the ball moved, the right, the ball went to the right. He made a Z, the ball moved in a Z formation.
“I’ll give you one last chance, Nyx,” Draheim drawled though his eyes showed his seriousness. “Join me or die.”
“How about you go and fuck yourself with a cactus,” I growled.
He wrinkled his nose in disgust, “Pity, for a hybrid, you did have some talent. Good bye.”
Draheim flicked his fingers and the sphere went into to motion. I tried to jump out of the way again, but my feet were trapped. I looked down and saw that he had magicked my feet to the ground with black chains. I couldn’t move.
“Nyx!” Daniel, Tigerlily and Matt yelled in warning. I couldn’t do anything. I struggled uselessly but the sphere just came closer, time slowed but I knew mine was about to end. So, I stood tall in a pathetic attempt of a last stand.
“No!” a gut-wrenching cry tore through the distorted time, shattering the lagging effect.
The sphere of dark magic sped up and slammed right into the body that ran to protect me. The one I was supposed to protect. The frail human with forest green eyes and a head of sun streaked dark brown hair.16: Chapter XV
“Matt!” I cried out, catching his falling body before he crashed into the floor. I fell to my knees, holding him as his breathing became ragged and slow, his pulse already weakening. My wing curled down in a veil as I stared down at his paling face.
“You idiot. Stupid human. What were you thinking, boy?” I scolded, forgetting about everyone around us.
He had the nerve to smile. “If you died...Lucifer’d kill me...” he spluttered a bit, coughing hoarsely. It sounded horrible, crackling, like his lungs were made of crushed paper.
“And...you’re my...best friend....Save...them....Nyx..and..cough...show ‘em you’re not...a...cough...monster....you’re...an angel...one helluvan angel,” he breathed. His eyes dulled, that familiar and comforting spark gone, and his body went limp in my hands.
“Matt? C’mon, quit joking. Matt? Dammit! You stupid, stupid human. Wake up, boy. What the hell? You’re supposed to be the golden Prophecy boy, you can’t die before your little lady friend comes along. Wake the fuck up Matt!” I felt my eyes sting. I don’t know when I grew so attached to him but immediately the day I first met him, the time I took him to the garden, all our conversations, everything involving him flooded my mind. Somewhere along the way, he became my best friend. My right hand, second lung, and any other metaphorical body part with which I would be impaired or dead without.
I closed his lids as I gently laid him down on the stage floor and stood up. I felt anger. Red, hot, burning anger grow inside me.
Tigerlily softly called me but I ignored her and Daniel. My ears were deafened by rage boiled blood.
“What is your dammed problem?” I bellowed. “What the fuck did a human or hybrid or half breed every do to you? Why do you hate them so much you don’t bat an eyelash or show a bit of remorse when you slaughter them and ruin their lives? Is power really that important to you?” The chains at my feet had melted away somehow but I didn’t notice as I took steady steps towards the front of the stage where Draheim was just standing and watching. He seemed slightly shocked, like he honestly hadn’t expected Matt to run in and give his life to save mine. He didn’t believe a human could be so selfless and caring. A courageous idiot.
“I heard you used to be a great warlock, but when you heard of a chance to rid the world of humans and anyone impure you went straight to the crack house. Is it worth it? All those lives?” My throat hurt, my screaming becoming cracked and hoarse.
Draheim snapped out of his trance and sneered, “They are a waste of life. So powerless and useless. Humans especially. They rule the world while we have to hide. They are ignorant creatures that have no use. Even the Prophecy boy was completely useless. Dying so easily.”
“Don’t you dare say anything about Matt, you filthy piece of scum,” I growled.
He laughed, “Matt was his name? Well he shall be known as the first worthless human to succumb to my power.”
I felt my body burning, heating up. My wing stretched out and I felt an intense burning on my wingless shoulder blade.
‘Release it. The times has come for your dormant powers to be free. Harness the fires, my little Night.’
My powers are gone though, Voice, I answered her bitterly. Her sudden appearance calmed me considerably, but not enough to rid my murderous intentions towards Draheim.
‘Embrace the burning you feel. The fires of your loyalty and friends. Just let go, my child, feel,’ she encouraged.
When I looked at Draheim’s lifeless eyes, the heat increased. My back burned, my blood boiled, I felt fire licking all around me. My head hurt, pounding incessantly. It hurt so much I couldn’t move. I dropped to the floor mid-step, clutching my head.
‘I know it hurts, but you can overcome it. I know you can, my little girl,’ the Voice supported. Her soft voice helped to ease the pain slightly but it was still almost mind-numbingly unbearable.
My back burned with excruciating pain. I felt like something was forcing its way out of my spine, tearing at the muscle and bones in me. I felt power seeping into me, the emptiness I woke up to at Lucifer’s rapidly being filled until it was overflowing. It was too much.
“Aaarrrghh!” I cried out, arching my back. Light, bright orange light glowed from behind me as the pain faded. When it was over, my back felt heavier, but the weight was distributed evenly instead of more on one side as previously.
I slowly rose to one knee and then both feet breathing heavily. When I looked up, Draheim’s face was the picture of silent horrified amazement.
“It...wings....it can’t be....” he whispered in bewilderment.
I felt my hands burn and saw that I had two small balls of fire swirling in each. Golden flames. I stepped forward and he shrank back.
“No..stop. STOP!” he screamed and threw another ball of black magic at me. It burned in dark orange flames before it got two feet of me. He threw two more, smaller and faster ones but the same thing happened.
“Stay away!” he hollered, horrified.
I raised the two fire spheres in my hands and calmly stated, “This time, no type of black magic will help you. I hope you suffer, Bartus Draheim.”
I threw the two spheres together, making them collide to double in size as they went directly for Draheim. His scream was cut short when the fire engulfed him. He burned in the golden light before my eyes leaving nothing behind. Completely purified.
When I landed on the ground I realized I had flown for the first time in my life. Behind me were two wings. No longer was my sole black wing alone. It was paired with a wing of pure fire. An array of fiery feathers of various golden and orange hues burning brightly in the auditorium.
I had no time to wonder or celebrate though as I turned back to Matt’s sleeping body. I crouched down and sat beside him, staring at his expressionless face. It was wrong. He always had some sort of emotion displayed across his features, even in sleep. Matt with a blank face was not my Matt.
Tigerlily and Daniel slowly crowded up behind me along with a horde of other pairs of feet.
As soon as Draheim burned into oblivion, his magic died with him. The cages had disintegrated and I could already hear the police entering the now normal school. Where the hell were they when Draheim blasted that damn dark magic ball?
‘You can still save him, child,’ the Voice spoke softly.
“How? I’ll do anything, just bring him back,” I answered back out loud. I didn’t bother speaking mentally even though I was given worried looks from those around me. The doors to the auditorium were kicked open but I didn’t look up.
“Nyx...! You, what? Nyx!” I heard a deep voice call my name, but I ignored him.
“C’mon Voice, tell me what to do, please,” I begged while staring at Matt’s still, unmoving chest.
‘Every creature has a flame burning inside of them. His is still not quite snuffed out completely. His fire just needs a little food and a push.’ The Voice then began to whisper a string of words that I repeated robotically. I mindlessly repeated them, not knowing what I was saying, but I felt my body heat up once again. I felt the same fires growing inside of me and I closed my eyes, laying my hands on Matt’s chest.
Everything around me disappeared until it was only Matt, my hands, my voice, my magic and the Voice. The strange, unfamiliar yet recognizable language flowed from my lips and as I finished reciting the incantation, I slowly opened my eyes to see a dull orangey golden glow emanate from my palms as they seeped into Matt’s chest.
Once the glow faded I felt completely drained. The rest of the world came back to me and I saw that Lucifer had ran up to kneel beside me, worry clearly visible across his features. My wings were gone and I slumped, falling backwards until two steady arms held me.
“Nyx! Nyx, stay awake,” he shook me but I couldn’t stop my lids from drooping again.
“This had....better have....worked.....Voice....” I murmured as my senses left me once again.17: Chapter XVI
I sat up and the rock I was leaning against disappeared. How the rock got there, I have no idea. I actually had no idea where I was or if I was even alive. Is this another “dream world”? I can move and see this time though.
I got to my feet and checked my body for injuries and realized I was no longer wearing my torn, modified school uniform. Instead, I was wearing something I would never willingly wear. It wasn’t a dress, thank Satan, but it was something flowy.
I was wearing a loose halter top that was more like a really short halter dress thing. It was black with dark reddish orange that flared down from below my neck in a way that resembled dark flames. It was held up with a black cord that tied at the back of my neck in a strong knot. My modified skirt was replaced with ripped grey jean shorts that only came to half thigh and just barely showed under the long flowy shirt. I still had the bracelet and necklace Lucifer had given to me, but otherwise, I had nothing. I also happened to have lost my shoes.
“What happened?” I murmured to myself. I looked around and shrugged, “Well, wherever this place is, it’s not too shabby looking.”
The area I was in was a large field that went far beyond the horizon. It was completely flat, unnaturally flat with no bumps, slopes or ditches. The field was an ashen grey, but it did not look like death. It was actually quite beautiful, like volcanic snow had been evenly painted across the landscape.
I looked up to see that there was no sun, moon or any celestial object to light the area up. The sky, a dusky, pale dark blue was void but looked to stretch on endlessly.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it?”
I whipped around, my shirt ballooning slightly from the spin, and faced a tall woman. She was dressed in a long, silky sleeveless sundress. It was a blood orange sunset, going from a deep, almost red, orange at her chest to a golden yellow at her shoeless feet.
What struck me the most though, beside her flawless tanned skin and immeasurable beauty, were her eyes and hair. She had fiery ginger locks pulled up in a messy bun with a clip of some sort and a few tendrils were free to frame her small face. Her hair was so orange and with the golden highlights, I had mistaken it for fire at first glance. Her eyes though, I had seen eyes like that every time I looked in a mirror. Bright amber, closer to an orangey red that looked like small spheres of fire.
I tensed, raising my arms in a defensive stance. “Who are you?” I asked cautiously. She seemed familiar but I didn’t let that lower my guard.
She smiled and I thought it unfair that such a person could smile so beautifully. She was ethereal, like a goddess described in the prehistoric humans’ religions.
“I thought you would have been able to recognize my voice, little Night,” she spoke with a lilt.
I frowned for a second before my eyes widened in realization. “You’re the Voice...” I trailed off not believing that the stunning woman in front of me was the ever cryptic Voice who had appeared out of nowhere.
She laughed melodiously, “I see you have the same skill with naming as dear old Lucifer and I.”
Again, there was the sense of longing as she said Lucifer’s name. I lowered my hands and stepped forward, determined to have my questions answered this time.
“Who are you? What is your relationship to Lucifer? What was that spell you told me to do? Will Matt be okay? How did I get another wing? Where am I? Wh—” I was cut off when I became mute. I furrowed my brow and tried to make some sort of sound, but nothing came out. I scowled at the Voice as she just held back some giggles.
“One question at a time, child. We are not too short on time now that the Prophecy has finally been completed. You need your rest. The spell you did on the Seer would have killed any normal being, but you are far from normal, my little Nyx.” Her tone held a tinge of pride as she said the last sentence. I felt warm, not the warmth of excess power flowing in me, but warmth in comfort.
With a sweep of her hands a cluster of large boulders cropped up and she seated herself down. She patted the space next to her and beckoned me to come. Not really having a choice, I plopped myself down beside her and waited expectantly.
She examined my face with her eyes, a soft smile forming as she reached out to hold my cheek. “You’ve grown so much. You don’t know how many times I wished to hold you in my arms again,” she said so softly I barely heard her.
“What do mean?” I asked in an equally soft tone. I was happy I could speak again, but I wouldn’t start rambling like before.
She retracted her hand and I felt the spot cool considerably, already missing the feeling of her nurturing hand. She smiled knowingly, “I thought you were clever. You have my eyes along with a rare magic and a wing of fire. I even gave you a clue a few weeks ago, before I began to speak in your mind. You haven’t figured it out yet?”
In my mind’s eye the scene were Lucifer tested to see if Matt was indeed the boy of the Prophecy popped up, much like how Draheim’s list had appeared in my mind during the last Council Meeting. I had taken a card with a picture of a phoenix. The Phoenix. The only creature with wings of fire.
I stared back at her, not believing my completely unrealistic idea. Her smile remained on her face as she stood up and closed her eyes. A golden glow encased her from behind, growing and growing, gaining in size and brightness until I had to shield my eyes. When I was able to look again, I gasped, my hand coming to cover my gaping mouth.
“F-F-Fire wings....” I breathed. “No way...”
Behind the Voice was a pair of wings made of fire. Pure magical fire. She flapped them and rose above the ground by a few inches. Even though she had only materialized her wings, there was no denying it.
“You’re the Phoenix...You’re real,” I whispered in disbelief. I shook my head, completely confused. “But, what does that have to do with me?”
Phoenix lowered herself to the ground and pulled my head up to look into my eyes. I saw affection and warmth reflecting from hers. Her eyes that were almost completely identical to mine.
“Do you really not want to believe it?” she asked, a brief flash of hurt coming across her features, marring her beauty for just a second.
“B-but...” I was stuttering, unable to comprehend what she was hinting at. “The Phoenix...y-y-you and the other Elemental Demons can’t have children. You guys are the only ones of your species, living for eternity, right?”
She sighed in remembrance, “That’s what I had thought as well. I was quite surprised when I learned I would be having my own little bird.” She glanced at me in the way I had seen mothers look at their young ones. “But I couldn’t have been happier.”
“Then why did you throw me away?” I couldn’t stop myself from whispering. I was surprised that I had accepted it so easily, but I guess I already did realize with her hints. And she looked so much like me, or I looked like her. Our eyes were pretty much copies. I had a wing of fire.
She pulled me to her chest, wrapping her arms around me in a comforting embrace and spoke into my hair, “Oh I felt horrible leaving you, but I had to. I couldn’t keep you with me no matter how much I wanted to watch you grow up, dress you, teach you about your powers and be a part of your childhood. The Prophecy has been ongoing for centuries. The first of the lines have long since faded away but they did foretell of an impossible child. They also told of another child with wings of fire and darkness, though I only recently realized the two children were one and the same.”
I was reeling from the information. I was part of the Prophecy. I was the partner who we thought hadn’t shown up yet. But most importantly, my mother was holding me. My goddamn mother was the fucking Phoenix and she was rubbing my head and holding me close to chest in a dream world.
I was half Elemental Demon.
My missing half that I knew nothing about for the past 259 years.
I pulled back and bit my lip, afraid to ask. I sucked it up and hesitantly asked, “Who’s...what about my...my father?”
Phoenix (it’s much too weird to call her ‘Mom’ or even ‘Mother’) smiled and sighed happily at the flashbacks she must have received. Her reaction really made me wonder what kind of man my father was.
“I don’t know where to begin,” she started. Her eyes glazed over as she described the man who helped in conceiving me. “He’s tall. Very tall. And he was the typical bad boy with black hair, dark eyes and when I had met him he was caught in the ‘rebellious phase’. It was quite adorable, but don’t tell him I ever said that.”
My eyes bulged, “He’s alive?”
Phoenix laughed, “Of course he is. You didn’t really think a simple dark angel would be able to father you, did you? And I never would have put you in Hell if you weren’t near him. He’s taken such good care of you, but I do not forgive him for letting you carry on that charade as an assassin and getting hurt. If he—” She slapped her hands over her mouth, cutting off her rant-to-be. The classic “oops I said too much” expression.
I frowned, “But the only one who’s known about Slayer...oh my Satan. No way. But he has blonde hair. He can’t be....”
“He changed his hair color not long after we parted ways,” she explained. “He doesn’t know he has a child but from what I’ve seen, he already treats you like his.”
I put my head into my hands and groaned, “This is too much. For my whole life I’ve though that my parents were a dark angel and something else. Apparently I’m not even half dark angel. I wish I could say you were lying and I was dreaming or something, but I can’t help but trust you. And it makes sense. My magic, my powers, they are nothing like that of a dark angel. With my black wing...it was just assumed.” I sat up and laughed bitterly, “And now I’m apparently some Satan-Elemental Demon hybrid. Just when I thought I couldn’t become even more of a freak.”
I leaned back against the smooth rock and saw that Phoenix was gazing at me curiously. “I would have thought you’d be happy to learn who your parents are.”
“I don’t know what I’m feeling,” I answered truthfully. “I mean, I just killed the guy who killed my best friend. I’m unconscious and having a dream talk with someone who I just learned is my birth mother and that the man who I’ve looked up to since I was a toddler is really my birth father but he doesn’t know. I now have a pair of wings, one of which is made of fire. I cast some powerful spell with unknown effects because you said it would save Matt and I don’t even know if it worked.”
I felt Phoenix brush my hair from my forehead and I faced her smiling face. She must be one of those dolphin-like people, some sort of smile for every occasion. “Our time is almost up, you should wake up soon and check for yourself.”
“What about you?” I asked, though I already knew what her answer would be.
She shook her head, “I cannot go back. I have to stay hidden, play my part as an invisible force. Golem and Griffin are already going to chew me out for having a child and keeping you a secret. Leviathan will probably understand but still keep up a cold front so that he can keep Griffin happy.”
At my surprised look she added, “Even Elementals have their own high school like drama. Eternity is a long time, little Night.”
She stood up, pulling me along with her and gave me one more warm hug. She pulled back but kept her hands on my shoulders and smiled softly, “Time to stop your friends and father’s worry.”
“And you’ll just hide away? Disappear after coming into my life without warning?” I prodded. It was clear she still had feelings for Lucifer and it may be too much to hope for, but Lucifer hadn’t had any flings in the entire time I had been with him. At least no flings that I knew of. Jeez, I’m acting like a kid who wants their divorced parents back together and I only just found out who my parents are.
“Lucifer and I were never supposed to be together. Two immortals of such power coming together resulted in the almost-destruction of the world. You are called the impossible child for a reason, my little Night. Now it is really time for you to return.”
I felt my eyes drooping and the world began to fade. The sky disappeared and the ashen grass turned into oblivion blackness until only a circle around Phoenix and I was left.
“I’ll see you again, my beautiful daughter,” were the last words I heard as I fell into darkness once again.
But I soon awoke not even a few seconds later.
“Nyx!” a chorus of voices greeted me. The three voices were followed by their owners who crowded around me, worried and relieved smiles adorning their faces. I tried to readjust my self, but it required a lot more strength than I expected and I realized I was lying in Lucifer’s lap. He was cradling me like a child.
We were still in the auditorium and I could see the usual blankets wrapped around huddled ex-cage victims. The police were talking to the freed humans and I saw them questioning the more calmed ones. Daniel was kneeling next to Lucifer and I with Tigerlily perched on his shoulder. She looked like she had been crying.
“How long was I out?” I asked, facing Lucifer.
He scanned my face for a moment and then pulled me into his chest, squeezing me in his arms until it almost grew hard to breathe.
“Uu-uhm Luke?” I spoke into his chest. My cheeks were squished and his body muffled my voice but he did not let me go. I sure am getting quite a lot of hugs lately... but it feels nice. And....
I cut off my thoughts and squirmed in his grip to return the embrace, though not as tightly as I was still a bit light headed. “You’re being sentimental, Luke,” I berated him halfheartedly. “I can feel eyes on us.”
“Screw them,” he snorted. “I’m allowed to be sentimental when I thought my little girl was gone. You’re honestly like a daughter to me. My little Nyx.”
I froze at his words and remembered my conversation with Phoenix in the dream world. I pulled out of his embrace and smiled, “And you’re like a father to me.”
I punched him lightly and crawled out of his lap to try and stand up. It was hard and I needed help from Daniel but I managed to get to my feet and not crumple to the ground. I looked around again, confused. I swear I’m forgetting something...something’s missing.
“Oh my Satan...Matt!” I gasped. How could I forget Matt? I spun around, too quickly though and almost fell to the floor from light-headedness. “Where’s Matt?”
I felt hands grab my arms to support me from behind. They were really warm, as if they had been lying in the sun and their skin soaked up the heat like a sponge in water.
“You gotta be more careful, Nyx. You’ve been sleepin’ for a while.”
I stood frozen in complete, mind numbing shock. Slowly, I turned around to face him. He looked normal. Scruffy, long sun streaked dark brown hair. Bright, lively, forest green eyes. That crooked nose and cheeky grin. He didn’t look like he had run in front of a ball of dark, black magic and died.
I stared at him for a moment, unable to speak. His grin slowly widened, almost splitting his cheerful face. Unable to stay still for so long, I succumbed to my desires and punched his stomach.
His mouth flew open in an O and he doubled over, clutching his abused stomach.
“Owwww. What was that for?” he groaned.
“What in Hell’s name were you thinking? Were you really that eager to die?” I scolded him. He looked up with an apologetic expression and was about to explain when I wrapped my arms around his shoulders.
“I can’t believe you’re alive,” I murmured as he returned the gesture by encircling my torso with his injury free arms.
He squeezed me encouragingly, “That’s all thanks to you. You’re part phoenix, that’s gotta be pretty frickin’ cool. And you’ve got two wings now.”
I pulled back, surprised. “H-How did you know?” I asked. I then realized we had attracted a lot of attention. Every person, supernatural or not, was staring at us on the stage. We released each other completely as one of the blanket wrapped humans walked up to the stage. It was the gangly man who pointed out my unintentionally released wing and accused Matt of being a demon.
He looked up at us with a blank expression, silent and staring. Two children, twins at around seven or eight years old, came up behind him followed by a woman who I assumed was his wife. I watched him, wondering what he wanted. He was free and his family was safe, what business did he have with Matt or I?
The man took me by surprise by bowing. He kept his head down in submission while he spoke with complete honesty and sincerity, “Thank you. Thank you for saving us even though we called you a monstrous demon. I won’t give any excuses, but I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for saving us.”
Once again, I was left speechless. As soon as the man finished his short monologue, more of the blanketed humans came up behind him and bowed. I had an army of yellow blanket covered humans bowing down to me in a supernaturals’ school auditorium where two people had died, one of which had been brought back to life though I’m still not sure how.
Matt nudged me with his elbow and I stiffly turned to see him grinning proudly. He patted my back in a silent “go on, what’re you waitin’ for?” to shake me out of my reverie.
“Oh, um, well, I, er...I don’t know what to say...” I stuttered, feeling my cheeks grow warm. I felt horribly awkward being the center of attention when I was usually hidden in the shadows. I scratched the back of my neck in embarrassment, “Please stand up, I really don’t know how to respond. I was just doing what I had to, what was right. You humans may be weak compared to some supernaturals, but you’re incredibly remarkable. For years you’ve thrived and overcome disasters without much aid from, er, otherworldly powers, so to say. I really don’t need any thanks and I don’t blame you for freaking out. If I was in your position, I’d be scared shi—er, I’d be really scared too.” I had just barely managed to censor the cuss from the many children.
Thankfully, they all stood back up but didn’t stop staring at me. It was creepy to say the least.
I cleared my throat uncomfortably, “Well erm...I’m just going to check some stuff. Matt, come with me.” I waved to the horde of humans and pulled Matt towards Lucifer, Daniel and Tigerlily but went past them to behind the stage curtains. I heard them follow though, so I didn’t turn around to call them.
When we were out of sight of the others, I released a deep breath, “I doubt I’m going to be keeping to the shadows from now on. I bet the entire supernatural world will know what happened here by the end of the day.”
“Actually,” Lucifer broke in, wincing slightly to show the bad news he was about to reveal, “They already know. The Council is preventing the supernatural news crews from entering the school, but you did put on quite a show with your new wing and bringing the dead back to life.”
I laughed tiredly, “I still can’t believe the spell worked. I don’t even know what I was saying.”
“Neither do we, but Lord Lucifer looked like he couldn’t believe what you were saying. You spoke in a completely different language and suddenly, it felt like gravity grew stronger like your words carried weight or something,” Daniel offered up, not realizing the implications of his words.
“But that’s impossible,” I frowned. “I should have burned into oblivion if I used the Ancient Language.”
“You brought me back from the dead, grew a really pretty fire wing, killed some crazy psycho warlock, had a chat with your birth mother while unconscious, and you think you speakin’ some ancient language is impossible?” Matt raised an eyebrow.
“Okay, how did you know about the dream world? I know you can see my new wing, but how did you know about her?” I demanded.
“Birth mother?” Lucifer parroted.
“Yeah,” Matt answered Lucifer, but not me. “Nyx is part phoenix and her father is—”
I slapped my hand over Matt’s mouth to cut him off. “Matt, you may be my best friend, but I will kill you if you say another word,” I growled into his ear.
“Nyx,” Lucifer drew out my name like a father about to berate his child. Technically, he was. Hell, that’ll take some getting used to.
“Dead. My father is no one and it doesn’t matter,” I half-lied. Technically, Lucifer is not a living being as he resides in Hell, a place of death. I continued truthfully with a small smile, “But Matt’s right. When I did the spell and fell unconscious, I was in a dream world created by Phoenix. We talked, and she...she told me what I was. I know what I am now.”
“I knew there was something special about you, hatchling,” a soft velvety voice came from above.
We all looked up and Tigerlily gasped, “Queen Liseira!” She hurriedly curtsied mid air, her face flushed.
The rest of us bowed as well out of respect though I had to pull Matt down since he was too enraptured by the ancient faerie.
“Not to be disrespectful, Your Majesty, but we have never met,” I said once I stood up again.
She smiled knowingly, “I have not had the pleasure to meet you, but I have met your persona, Slayer on a few occasions. I have known for some time now, young hatchling, no need to be so surprised. There is little one can hide from one of the Fay, especially one as old as I.”
She flew to flutter in front of me, her pale grey wings flapping rapidly as she examined me. “I just never expected one of the mythical Elementals to have a child such as yourself.”
“Sorry for being such a disappointment,” I muttered unconsciously.
“Nyx!” Tigerlily hissed, horrified that I had back talked to her queen.
Liseira laughed, the similar tinkle faeries and pixies had, “Oh no, little one, it is fine. I do have a request though, hatchling.”
I waited for her to continue but realized I had to vocalize my consent, “Um, okay.”
“May I see your wings?” she asked.
All eyes were on me now. I shuffled self-consciously but closed my eyes to release my wings. I wasn’t even sure if I could since I rarely ever released my wing in the past as it was of no use. I felt the bones in my back rearrange, two lumps jutting out until I arched my back and felt a sense of release and freedom. My back felt mildly heavier and when I opened my eyes, I had an audience staring in awe.
“Oh my God...” Daniel whispered.
“A wing of darkness and one of fire...” Lucifer murmured.
I pulled back my wings, I wasn’t used to leaving one out, let alone two, and then it clicked.
“The Prophecy is complete,” I stated, finally realizing.
At the questioning looks I received I began to explain, “When a mortal of pure, untainted blood is found, together with a partner shall he be bound. Matt is the mortal and since he was found, we’ve been almost inseparable. Something kept us coming back together.”
“One whose eyes are free from cloth and grime, the other with an inner fire slowly burning over time. We already knew what Matt’s line meant and the fire is my other half.”
“He sees only truth, not lies or shades of deceit, she lives in the shadows, flames snuffed out until they meet. Again, we knew Matt’s part and before I met him, I had always hidden in the darkness, being a secret. At the Council Meeting, I spoke out when I would usually be silent, a shadow. I hid from everyone, but Matt came along and I slowly became more open, stepping out of my little bubble of darkness.”
“Blood and death shall lead their path to one consumed by black wrath. The blood could be from the drugs which was followed by death, and when we were exploring the school, Matt saw blood splatters on a crack that seeped dark magic and the crack led us to here. Draheim was lost to black magic because of his hatred, the one consumed by black wrath.”
“And the final lines: And when wings of fire and darkness take to the sky, what has been held together for millennia will either fall or intensify. The wings, when my wings came out, Draheim died and now look out there. The wall we created between the humans is crumbling. The wall put up to separate us for millennia is falling. This entire stupid prophecy was about our nonexistent relationship with mortals.”
Unbelievable. Just completely unbelievable.
“It was also a warnin’ of sorts,” Matt added. This time it was his turn to be stared at. He continued with un-Matt-like seriousness, “That Draheim guy thought he was better than a human or hybrid or whatever. There’s gotta be more supernaturals who think the same, but not as crazy or determined as that guy was.”
“Did you come back alright? Did I somehow mess up the spell and bring back a smart, psychological Matt?” I questioned.
He rolled his eyes good naturedly, “I do feel a bit different, but your mom told me that there was gonna be some sorta change in me. She said that phoenix fire has some side effects or somethin’ ‘specially ‘cause I’m a ‘special case’.” He put up finger air quotes around ‘special case’ and then shrugged.
Lucifer had a thoughtful expression on and walked away to check the auditorium. I silently followed him, leaving the others to talk amongst themselves but I sensed Matt follow me.
He stopped at the edge of the stage, looking down at the humans and supernaturals mingling. There was a tension of distrust in the air, but also curiosity.
“You heading back to Hell?” I asked, knowing he couldn’t remain in the mortal world for long.
“Will I have yet another empty room?” Lucifer asked back quietly.
I was about to answer when a scream echoed from behind us. Turning and tensing for a fight I could only stare in puzzled shock as I saw Matt running across the stage like a headless chicken. A flaming headless chicken.
“AAAHH!! I’M ON FIRE! SAVE ME SOMEONE! NYYYYYX HELP!” he screamed, swatting at the golden flames dancing along his arms in vain.
“Using phoenix fire did have side effects. He’s part phoenix,” Lucifer commented, sly amusement lacing his tone.
I held back a chuckle, “As if he wasn’t much trouble before. Now a fire wielding Matt? I better try and help him control it before he burns the place down.”
I left Lucifer’s side to go and try to calm Matt down. After a few steps I turned back, “I’m kinda hungry, think you can set up pizza or something for when we get back?”
Lucifer smiled, his black eyes shining as he nodded, “Hurry up then, I don’t like tardiness.”
He snapped his fingers (he really doesn’t have to but it became a showy habit) and vanished as I went to calm down the world’s first Elemental Demon half-breed, brought back from the dead, my best friend.18: Epilogue
I wandered along the path woven by two pairs of feet, ducking under branches that had grown slowly over the years. Leaves and twigs crunched under my beyond worn out converse. I could have just used the necklace Lucifer gave me all those years ago to teleport or just flown (I still have not gotten used to the idea of having two wings), but it was our tradition to make the trek without the aid of magic. Using magic to actually get on the island was fine, but we had to walk to the location.
Of course, he just had to have our meeting place be in the middle of a forest instead of on top of a hill overlooking the ocean like a normal person. Then again he never was normal, if he were I never would have met him.
We first came here on my 266th birthday. He was busy with college and I had my own duties in both Hell and the mortal world so we didn’t have much time to see each other. Plus, he had recently started dating Farrah, so our time was even more limited, not that I resented Farrah, she was amazingly nice, too nice in my opinion, but it was almost impossible to hate her.
The only reason I hold the tiniest bit of anger towards her is because she left Matt when Nyxelle was about 12. It was a mutual divorce and they remained close friends, but I’m still fiercely loyal to Matt and I knew he did love her at a time. Pity how humans change so quickly but I guess they can’t be blamed for their limited lifespans.
Anyway, the main cause of Matt and I coming to the island then was Lucifer forcing me to take the day off. Matt had cancelled all his plans and decided we had to go hiking on some godforsaken island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle as a Nyx-Matt only adventure, or as he called it, a Myxventure. Since then, on both of our birthdays, we would come here no matter what for at least an hour or two.
I finally reached our personal spot and smiled in response as soon as I saw him. He was surrounded by shrubbery at the base of the largest tree almost at the exact center of the island.
“Hey Matt. Just went to see your granddaughter’s wedding. She was beautiful and her eyes were bright like yours when you married Farrah. I think David was tempted to kill Mel’s fiancé, well husband now, and lock Mel up in a tower, but Nyxelle’s bawling held him back. It’s amazing how much my goddaughter looks like you two and I still can’t believe you named her after me. Seriously, how did you rope Farrah into naming your first child Nyxelle?” I laughed lowly, looking down, “You always were a weird one.”
“Your grandson’s been doing pretty good and is in his final year of high school if you can believe it. Tyler’s lessons have been coming on well and he’s been kicking your ass at learning to control his powers. I guess he has an advantage though since he’s been learning since we found out he got a little bit more of your genes that were dormant in Nyxelle. It was kind of forced on you and you had to temporarily die to get it, so I guess that evens it out. I still hate you for scaring the shit out of me back then, though.”
I looked back up at the sky, blue peaking through tree foliage, and sighed musingly, “It’s been 5 years now. Lucifer’s been complaining ceaselessly but its obvious he’s excited to raise Lucius even if indirectly for now. He’s settling for being a mysterious midnight imaginary friend, but I know he can’t wait until Lucius is sixteen to be able to show him everything. I only hope he doesn’t go overboard, but it’s Lucifer. I doubt he’ll be able to control himself for another 11 years.”
I crouched down and smiled sadly, “I wish you could’ve met Lucius. I’ve met him a few times and he’s definitely the spawn of Satan. Being ridiculously adorable makes up for his familial trait to cause and attract trouble though. He calls me his ‘pretty stranger-girl’.” I let out a few somber chuckles, “He’s going to have to learn to think before he speaks soon. I’ve heard him blurt out not so nice things once in awhile that’ll get him into a lot of trouble in the future, more than he already gets into. I wonder when he’s going to notice his ‘pretty stranger-girl’ barely ages. I’ve been 22 for 10 years already, only change is a haircut that you made fun of but it’s grown since then. Finding out I’m his half-sister might be quite the surprise as well. Lucifer was ecstatic when you finally tricked me into telling him.”
“People are still getting used to mingling with supernaturals, they’re less afraid and there haven’t been many fights in the past few years. There’s still some who think supernaturals are monsters and the same can be said for supernaturals who think humans are inferior but it’s not as bad as the Council thought it would be. Last year, the Council created a new seat for humans, but they still haven’t decided on a set two representatives because of your vast population. You humans multiply like rabbits. It’ll take time, but what we did is making a difference. The Prophecy came true, just not how anyone expected it to.”
My phone buzzed in my pocket and I knew my time was up for today. Tigerlily roped me into attending Supernatural School’s graduation ceremony and somehow tricked me into being one of the speakers. It was too late to back out and she’s the headmistress, so I was stuck making a motivational speech to a bunch of teenaged supernaturals, never mind that I was barely 4 years older than them human wise. I think I’ll be the first speaker person (not sure what they’re called and don’t really care) who showed up in shoes that were about to fall off paired with shabby jeans and a ratty, oversized hoodie with forest bits in their hair. Oh well, they knew it was me so they only have themselves to blame, or Tigerlily.
Getting up, I dusted off said jeans and laid the flowers down on the polished stone protected by magic. Black roses naturally grown in Hell.
“Happy 97th birthday, boy.”