“Where is Cardiel?” A being asked.
His violet eyes gaze intense as he addressed another in the shadow of the cavern.
“Unknown. There has been no word from he or the men under his charge,” Another replied.
“And you’ve done all you could to raise him, Forcas?” He asked, his tightening grip rang out in the empty cave they skulked in, the sound of straining rope.
He never broke his stare with Forcas, his countenance unmoving. The other kept his gaze impassively.
“Then let us deem Cardiel is lost to us,” The being concluded, anger evident in his pure voice.
“As you wish, Lord Azazel,” Forcas stated.
Forcas was an angel. He was floating along wearing a long tan and silver robe with four white floating forearms with five-fingered hands. His white head was oval shaped with a cross line down the center.
Azazel looked troubled upon hearing Cardiel was nowhere to be found and his last sighting had no traces of him or his men. He had vanished without any signs of distress or combat.
Azazel stood tall and beautiful with porcelain skin, raven black hair, his lone arm clutching at his sheathed odachi. There was the noise of flexing, his hand coiling around the handle, equal parts nervous and angry. A loss of a fellow angel without trace implied another being skulking in the dark. One either powerful or clever. Both were to not be underestimated. Either way, the mistress need not know.
“Forcas, are we hidden from the sight of Diniel and the Fae?”
“Yes, my liege. Abezethibou has sensed no movements of the spirit or divine. Diniel has made no move for an age. The youth are still under his protection. The fae continue in their decadent parties.”
“Then that would mean that either Cardiel has abandoned us, or there is a third party we cannot sense,” Azazel concluded.
He turned to the large angel that stood statuesque in the dark. The lone glowing eye the sole tell he was even there.
“Barthin, you knew Cardiel well. Would he abandon his god and lieges?” Azazel asked, turning to address the silent angel.
Barthin stood tall at ten feet, larger than the other angels. The gentle jingle scissoring schisk of his plated gorget echoed gently in the darkened cave as he turned to address the leader.
He crossed his arms, his slender formed armored in phthalo blue plate.
The single glowing blue eye within gazed back at Azazel’s porcelain complexion.
Barthin shook his head, silent as a grave.
“Vexing, vexing. Very vexing,” Abezethibou responded with a shake of his wild-haired head.
Abezethibou gazed back with eyeless sight, the top half of his face covered in jade bone.
He sported an inappropriate smile.
“Then that concludes our business with Cardiel then; he is lost to us,” Azazel began, gripping his odachi tight, his porcelain face tightened.
“I have received orders from our god Lucifer. At least two or more Seal holders are present here in the Underrealm. We retrieve them at all costs. We end all missions to subvert and return with the captured prize.”
The other Angels were visibly excited for a brief moment before returning to their neutral temperaments. To capture a Seal holder would bring infinite glory to Lucifer, and her adoration to them. Their favor would reach the heavens, as would the power bestowed to them as rewards. Possibly Thrones.
Abezethibou flexed his lone hand and his lone red wing.
Each of these Angels had fallen, rejecting Adonai’s calling, identity, and truth and followed another. They followed the first traitor, the first liar, the first murderer. And their new god. Their act of rebellion echoed through existence and eternity, changing the fabric of reality.
“My liege, we have little information on whereabouts apart from a physical description of one,” Forcas interjected, clasping his four hands.
Barthin gestured on the Seal holder’s height.
“Oho, Barthin, our god stated she was ethereal and almost nonexistent apart form her head; the Seal affixed to her forehead. The consistency of the Seal upon her forehead will be the main tell!” Abezethibou replied to Barthin, laughing with the sound of tearing cloth.
He adjusted his glorious jade kimono with his lone hand made up of a circle of ten fingers.
The halo floating along his armless left shoulder glinted faintly.
“We still have no method of sensing a Seal holder from a distance, nor will the inhabitants assist without disguise; Diniel has taught them he is the only angel in the Underrealm,” Forcas explained.
“We shall do this my way. Gather up any who fought with us in the past. Gather information on anyone with the Seal. Be discrete, Diniel is not to be trifled with openly,” Azazel explained with a sigh.
Barthin made a gesture explaining the limited time.
“Vexing, vexing. Angels of Time are always vexing,”
“If I had the first strike I could defeat him-” Forcas began.
“No. We do not aggravate or engage him actively, Forcas, Angel of The Invisible, of Equity, and of The Wind. If he senses us we will lose the initiative. Again. And this time it will be only us to do battle against the Underrealm.”
Forcas was silent at the rebuke.
“Abezethibou, Angel of The Red Wing, of Magic, of The Seer, would not be able to stop Diniel either. There is a good reason he is the last rebelling Angel left in the Underrealm,” Azazel explained for them with a gesture of his hand.
Cardiel was their counter against him, being able to lock a being from their magic. With his vanishing, they were left with no alternative apart from skulking. Their numbers had been greater in the past.
“And that Bean-sídhe,” Azazel began.
Barthin felt at the horse figure necklace around his neck. A nervous gesture.
“A completely unknown factor apart from her fatal voice that tipped the battle in their favor, ending any hopes of subversion of this planet,” Forcas told to the group.
“Forcas!” Azazel began with a shout, his voice carrying.
The other angels flinched at the pure voice filled with anger.
“Do not speak such antagonism! Every planet will bend to our god Lucifer’s will!” Azazel scorned as he stepped to the floating angel.
“I speak only the truth-”
“The truth is what we dictate!” Azazel shouted, the pressure of his voice forced the other angel to withdraw. Fury was etched on his face.
“Do you think if you say such things then victory will be in our grasp? Can you conquer a planet while saying it is not possible? Will you say that the Seal holder cannot be found?”
“What would Lucifer do? Would she lose hope and give up?”
“But she has power-”
“Because she believes her will is the strongest! Her godhood is deserved!”
“And it is!”
“Would she leave you standing if she heard your cursed words? Will your faithlessness gain you blessings? If you preach yourself a narrative of destruction, will you survive it?”
“We govern reality. Not the other way around!”
“Forcas! Do not become a spur to hinder us,” Azazel said with a backed threat.
Abezethibou began laughing at the rebuke. Azazel ignored it as he continued.
“Let us start the battle by surrendering!” Abezethibou shot with a tearing laugh at Forcas.
The other angel had long learned to ignore it.
Barthin flexed his plate gauntleted hand against his sixteen-foot adamantine lance. He shook his head, his eye flickering in a pattern.
“Do you see, Forcas? Barthin knows not to question her will!” Azazel replied with a rasp.
“He sees truth as well as he speaks,” Forcas shot back.
Barthin’s hand went to his side sword.
Abezethibou laughed as he saw the brewing fight.
The voice brought the angels back to the present, the potential fight snuffed out.
“The Underrealm will submit,” Azazel calmed.
“Lucifer will be victorious.”
“Find the Seal holder.”
The Angels acknowledged and departed in separate directions, leaving the eighty soldier escort behind with their orders to head to a certain destination, lest they alert the denizens. They would scour the Underrealm for the Seal holder. The soldiers would be used as a screen. Lucifer’s Chosen.
Azazel thought on how best to proceed. He did withhold information from the others. The information on the second Seal holder that he believed was the one Lucifer spoke of. His memory was suddenly updated. It was the time of the Underrealm battle. He and the surviving charges were fleeing. A voice that was not Borscha’s asked who he was. He then saw Borscha, overlayed over the one interned. The one with a Seal branded upon her throat.
He remembered grasping her and telling her about his god, Lucifer. Her image then vanished, leaving a confused Borscha. It was a truly extraordinary occurrence. He had questioned Borscha later, finding no fault in him.
“How did she dream in the past through the eyes of another?”
An angel of dreams would have better theories, but for now, he had unanswerable questions.
And a lead.
There was a reason he did not tell the others. Glory was not shared amongst them. He would find the Seal holders and deliver her to Lucifer himself. The others would do the same. He had more ability than others. With Cardiel out of the way, he had less competition. Lucifer encouraged such competition among her angels. The truly mighty would be victorious, the defeated would feed the strong.
They would find the Seal holders, their followers would strike against the last angel guardian. A necessary sacrifice.
Somewhere deep underground an emerald being fluttered lazily along to his destination.
To find his child.