Diniel was among his charges, blessing the infants and fulfilling his calling. His purpose, and the purpose of most angels was to serve; to pour out from the reserves that Adonai bestowed upon them to others. That was how angels grew. The more they poured out and fulfilled their calling, the greater they became. The greater they became, the more they could pour out on others. Angels were mutualistic.
A demon was the inverse. They were parasitic. They fed on the souls and emanating spiritual energy given off by great deeds or people. The more emotionally complex the deed was, the greater the spiritual radiation. For demons, human sacrifice was one of the penultimate outpouring of spiritual energy. The mixture of emotions, acts, and potential witnesses multiplied the effect, spilling out spiritual energy as a waterfall that continued for eons.
There was then a third party; Spirits. They could grew through the soaking of radiated spiritual energy, fulfilling their calling, or through growing over time. Spirits gained the least from each of those aspects, but were more flexible in how they could grow. What Diniel was doing was blessing newly spawned spiritual entities to protect them. As spiritual entities started off tiny, it would take eons for many to grow; staying in their infant state for a time and a time. This meant his blessing lasted for eons upon the infant spirits.
“…And go in peace, good spirit,” Diniel said, completing his blessing.
The shrine had been restored, even down to the cracked stone during Ruth’s flight.
It was a tiny floating tongue of fire, slightly larger than a flaming match head. It sported two black pinprick eyes which stared at Diniel. The small floating spirit bowed it’s head before departing. Elemental parenting style usually left the young to fend for themselves and explore the world on their own. With Diniel’s blessing, their chances of being antagonized plummeted.
Next in line was a female goblin and her gob.
“Ah, Meeka, another one hatched?” Diniel said warmly, lowering himself down to eye level.
“Yes, lord Diniel. That makes four this week!” The robed goblin stated happily.
Gobs were laid in small clutches which eventually hatched. Any type of goblin would only hatch gobs. A goblin’s life was one born at the base of the mountain.
Diniel walked with the smaller goblin to the courtyard where the other group of beings waited.
He saw the large group of infants, darting and playing around with each other.
Then he felt it. Malevolent intent. It was well hidden, but he had good sense for it.
He kept calm, his grip firm on his scepter as he scanned the crowd. Most were robed, making it difficult to find the pattern.
He spotted a taller robe figure, hunched over and attempting to hide.
The figure felt a peering gaze and flung back its arms, revealing himself.
Diniel’s soul dropped.
The black armor, slung weapon. The golden lion mask helm.
He was holding an armed solar bomb in his raised hand.
“Praise Lucifer!” The man shouted, his voice distorted from the helm.
Diniel was quick and calm.
The Chosen turned a shade of blue, stopping instantly. The crowd panicked in an uproar, vanishing and fleeing. That was the best he could hope for.
With one Chosen came many.
“Run! Flee to the mycelium!” Diniel bellowed.
He rushed to the man, his hand glowing with a rushing shade of orchid.
He gripped the man and he vanished. He canceled his magic and looked skyward, seeing the flash of light as the man and his solar bomb detonated in the mid sky of the Underrealm.
Emmanuel D’shia. God with us, why is this happening now?
As quick as lightning, the Underrealmers had vanished. War had taught them that much.
He turned to face the shrine, seeing a dozen more Chosen ones inside.
They all armed their solar bombs.
No. Emmanuel D’shia, NO.
The solar bombs detonated together. The blinding flash and spheres of light akin to multiple supernovas.
The Shrine that he had built, the source of his protection towards the infants of the Underrealm vanished to atoms.
He shielded himself, with wing and soul he held, the blast folding around him.
He stood, his scepter melted to slag, flowing through has hands like mercury.
It was a gift from Basil and Astoria after he had rescued them. It was only made of simple silver, but the love and joy that it was made of gave it power that he could channel through.
Soul motes from shrooms, Chosen, and Underrealmers alike dotted the crater.
His four hands balled tightly into fists. He heard the screechcrack of pulsefire ring out. There were more.
He focused his will to collect the motes but they danced away from him, coalescing to another.
A muzzle flash blossomed from the nearby surviving glowshrooms. Diniel felt the impact of the rounds dash against him which was akin to someone plinking pebbles against a mountain.
His anger built up and spilled out.
“Rush of the Comet,” He chanted.
“Blessing of Traitor’s Retribution.”
Only a single fatal blow would fell them now. A creation of the first war of the Underrealm. Many of the traitorous beings he had fought were ancient, capable of warding of dozens if not hundreds of fatal blows.
His movement blurred as he rushed the Chosen. The man was broken in half from the crushing blow, crashing to the earth in a tangled bloodied heap. There he spotted him. One of the Chosen held a crozier, fleeing into the mycelium. A half dozen more rushed in an attempt to screen him.
All six froze as he rushed to the middle of them. He crouched down low and spun, his glinting armored wings spreading out to their full glory.
He continued on as he ended his time lock, the six Chosen’s heads flew off together, their bodies slumping like fallen lumber.
He turned the large glowshroom to see a Chosen holding Meeka by the throat, pulse pistol to her head.
“You will stop-” The Chosen began.
Diniel blurred, snapping his twisted hollow metal arm into the eyes of the Chosen. The man barked a shriek, a quick shake snapped the neck and sent Meeka tumbling to the ground.
He turned and flipped the Chosen to the ground, shattering each bone. The impact crater began to pool with blood.
“Meeka, hide!” Diniel ordered.
“I will! My babies are around her somewhere. Oh!” The goblin replied as she rushed off into the mushroom woods.
The millennia of combat came back to him. All of it he wished to leave behind. Now it had returned.
Ol’imshia. They can’t have returned. Not now. Not with the fae stuck in their glamor.
He spun to the side, dodging a fireball. He felt more pulse rounds ring off his flesh. A small group of Chosen had hunkered down. They had felled the nearby glowshrooms for cover.
He could see the glowshrooms faces twisted in agony.
His knuckles cracked as he flexed them.
The pointless destruction enraged him.
He rushed at them, juking to his left to dodge another fireball. One of them was a caster of less than average ability.
He blinked out of existence for a brief second, appearing the midst of them.
A gift from the fae.
His twisted metal hand grabbed one, crushing the helmet. The blood and matter splattered his friends as they turned. Their discipline was high as they continued fighting as if nothing had happened.
True believers of a deceived people. Midr’a.
He struck out with both wings, cutting through two more.
He felt the stinging of fire as the caster revealed himself just behind. He spun, his wing taking the man apart at the chest. He grabbed the final Chosen, snapping his arms and pinning him to the ground. He made no cry of pain as Diniel weighed down on him.
“How many are there?” Diniel bellowed.
The Chosen laughed, coughing from the pressure.
“Even now she plots again to take from you. To end your traitorous ways.”
“You fool. You followed the great deceiver.”
“Your words are empty. The truth of her majesty is-”
Diniel stood up and crushed down on the man’s head, ending him.
It was useless speaking to them.
He gazed at the fallen glowshrooms.
“Cleansing of Time.”
As long as there was something left he could reverse the damage. There was nothing left of the shrine, all of it implying the Chosen had some idea of who they were battling.
The large glowshrooms, floated and snapped back onto their roots, the damage melting away.
They shuffled and turned to their savior, nodding deep.
“Be at peace.”
More pulsefire drew his attention. He rushed to the noise, flowing past the glowshrooms.
He spotted a mob of very surly Trows in a brutal melee against the Chosen. Both sides pushed, with the Trow’s regenerative flesh keeping them standing. Lucifer’s Chosen and their massive lifespan kept them fighting strong, even after taking fatal wounds.
Diniel collapsed on them, slamming into the Chosen. He struck out with his wings, cutting down three.
“Oi oi! Tha’ angel’s here! Ge’ em lads!” One of the Trow’s bellowed.
Their roaring cry was taken up as they bull rushed the splintered Chosen. Diniel spotted one of the Trow’s had locked a Chosen down, crushing his head repeatedly with a scrap club. It would take hours, if not days of continuous fatal wounds to bring one down. Diniel let him be, a downed Chosen would be saved for last.
A flash of light attempted to blind him. An Angel that had no eyes.
A Chosen with a staff had started to bombard him with spells, starting with a stun.
He crashed through the mob of Chosen, snatching away the caster Chosen and flying high with him.
“Do I look like I have eyes?”
“I’m not sure. Do you?” The Chosen shot back as he gripped his solar bomb with a laugh.
Diniel used it once again. A gift from the fae. Their gratitude was boundless. He was invited into their inner circle.
And was made into a fae on top of his Angelic nature.
He Rith stepped away back down to the ground. He peered up, seeing the supernova blast.
A Chosen swung at him with a sword. He lazily darted away. Another had lept atop his back, attempting to strangle hold him. His thicker lower limb punched through the helmet as he pulled the Chosen off, throwing him in the way of the slashing sword. The swordsman bisected his friend but the Chosen continued on as if nothing had happened. Diniel held up his wing and felt the sword punch through. All four of his hands gripped the blade as he lept, the blade tearing through the wing as the Chosen let go, lest he be taken as well.
Diniel grabbed the sword, gazing at it as his wing healed shut.
Berrylite blade, lightly enchanted to damage divine beings.
He spotted the swordsman draw his sidearm only to be piled by several Trows.
The battle had been decided on endurance and numbers. Take away a few Chosen and the Trows would do the rest.
He floated to the ground, dropping the blade to the rocky floor.
“No prisoners,” Diniel ordered as he gestured that the blade was free.
A lone Trow collected the blade, and turned to the Swordsman. His gear was stripped, as was the armed solar bomb.
“We’ll take care of ‘em,” The Trow growled with promise.
Diniel reached out with his senses, feeling the crozier was farther away.
“Of course it would return to that fateful moment, Dre’dire,” Diniel began cryptically.
He rushed off to followed the crozier. He heard the screams of the Chosen as the Trows took their time to dole out justice for the attack on their loved ones and neighbors. Underrealm justice towards traitors was exact. Brutal. Final.
He had little idea how many numbers they had left.
He flew down to the massive scar canyon in the Underrealm. The one he had created.
The Daer-seehn was said to have been active in this area, but no fae or hunting group found it. It had been quiet as of late.
There he spotted the holder of the crozier. He was different than the others. Lightly armored, adorned with dozens of glinting necklaces. The Chosen stamped the crozier down, embedding it in the rocky ground.
The Chosen froze for a brief second.
And then shook the spell as a necklace flared.
The Chosen unsheathed a katana made of adamantite.
He wielded it one handed.
“Azazel himself taught me. Lucifer herself blessed me beyond measure.”
“They all prepared me for this day. The day the last murderous traitor is expelled.”
“And yet it was an eternity of wasted worship,” Diniel countered calmly.
The man blurred rushing to Diniel. He was just shy of Azazel’s speed.
He has been trained well. Ah, Re’it’yia. He is not a Faithful One. Diniel concluded.
Diniel Rith stepped behind the Chosen, his wing sweeping to cut into his back. The Chosen was clever as he blocked behind himself, shearing through the striking wing with ease. He spun, pressing his sudden advantage as Diniel rose to the sky, his blade missing his feet by inches. The Chosen glowed like the sun, taking to the sky to pursue Diniel.
A Glorified One.
One who had accepted Adonai’s mercy in the old world. A being of power equal to the angels themselves.
With the ability to outdo them.
And he was fighting one that had turned his back on Adonai, joining with the enemy.
Diniel felt his spirit sadden.
Emmanuel D’shia. How could he fall like this? He knew!
Diniel Rith stepped away, back to the ground.
A cloud of violet darts flowed from his hand rushing to the Champion Chosen.
The Champion sent out a wave of energy from his sword, dashing many to pieces.
Fae magic was wiley as the rest of the Saigheads branched off, swarm him from all sides.
They struck as they flowed around his defenses, baiting and waiting for openings.
Diniel cast more silent cantrips, setting a dazzling curse that would glint in his eyes. Another to haze the peripheral vision.
His wing knit back together, becoming whole again. This would be a long fight.
The Glowing one touched down, looking his body over.
“That was it? I could have taken the full brunt!” The Champion’s anger began to boil out.
“It’s not intended to destroy; it amplifies the emotions,” Diniel corrected.
“You bastard!” The Champion cried as he rushed to Diniel, sword slashing wildly.
An old world curse. He was for sure an old worlder.
He calmly Rith stepped off to the Champion’s blind spots.
Diniel casted another cloud of Saigheads. The Champion didn’t bother with defense as he blurred through the cloud, slashing into Diniel. He Rith stepped, grunting as the Champion’s blade predicted correctly where he would end up. He flew back, glancing to his twisted hollow right hand, seeing half of it was missing.
The Champion was bellowing in anger, the Saighead’s doing their work.
“Blessing of the Strength of God.”
He baited the Champion, testing for counter magic. He found none.
Possibly too enraged to think.
Another sword slash took the tip of his wing off.
The Champion was getting faster, better at predicting Diniel’s movements.
“Blessing of the King’s Justice.”
He slapped the blade away. A follow up slash took his left hand. He let out a grunt of pain, his hand tumbling away. A spray of gold blood told the Champion hit struck true.
He Rith stepped high into the sky with the Champion rushing to him like a comet.
A cloud of blinding violet micro explosions filled the air in front of him as a screen. The Champion rushed through, being knocked back by the small yet powerful explosions.
He bellowed in frustration at being denied.
“Blessing of Admonition and Penance.”
Another blessing. He needed to only stall and defend as per his fighting style.
The Champion flew around the cloud, rushing to stab Diniel. He Rith stepped away back to the ground, almost stumbling as he felt his foot at the ankle was gone.
The missing hand and wing tip had begun to regrow. Too many wounds would mean his overall healing would be spread too thin. A destruction by minor wounds.
He is well trained, even while mindlessy enraged. I must give Azazel credit.
“Sacred Blessing of the Fae’s Soul.”
“Blessing of Gravity’s Might.”
He managed two more blessings as the Champion slammed down, the earth cracking and rumbled from the blow. He had Rith stepped away. His image flickered, dancing in random directions. A fae illusion that would bait harmless blows as his true image remained invisible.
Everything else was meant for a single fatal blow.
He chained two more spells, the covering wall of violet detonations, with the Saighead cloud passing harmlessly through.
The Champion had somehow ended up just behind him. Diniel spotted a flash of the necklace.
His thick arm grabbed the Champion’s blade wielding arm is it slowly sank into his midsection. The Champion had seen through the illusion.
Diniel let out a grunt as the blade began to sink deep. The Champion gripped the blade with both hands, attempting to force it through.
The Champion’s helm was half destroyed, revealing a glowing face, an eye mad with anger.
Diniel felt he was in a strong position, despite a sword in his torso.
“And then those deceived Seal holders will be in our care.” The Champion muttered.
Diniel nodded in understanding.
“Thank you for the information.”
The smiling Champion cocked his head at that.
One of his twisted metal arms grabbed the Champions right bracing arm. His other empty hollow twisted arm ripped off one of the necklaces.
The Champion’s eye went wide as he twisted the blade and cut outward, splattering gold blood across the stoney ground.
Diniel Rith stepped backwards.
The Champion froze, mid follow up. Diniel clenched in pain at his missing side. The fight was over.
The blade was inches from his face.
Diniel dropped to his knees, feeling at his torn open side. The blade had gone deep, tearing into his spine.
He was glad his nervous system was not as prone to failure as a human’s.
He rose, limping to the frozen Glorified One.
“Your treason is shocking. You know the truth and yet you fled from it.”
“Be at peace. Judgement will soon arrive once again.”
Diniel grasped the champion’s outstretched sword arm. His twisted metal arms gripped the elbow and pulled.
The arm tore free, his strength at maximum from his blessings.
He gazed at the gorgeous blade and shouldered it with a limb. He dropped the Champion’s ripped forearm.
Diniel wound up his fist and struck the Champion in the face.
He sighed at that.
Things have changed. Emmanuel D’shia. God with us, let us weather this storm.
He turned back, gripping the gorgeous decorative crozier. A priceless artifact. One that had stolen his charges. He pulled it free from the tomb of rock and limped away. The foot was beginning to return. His side was sealing shut. The damage would vanish soon.
And so too would Champion. He just wished he didn’t have to make another scar.
He gazed back as the spell ended. He saw the Champion fly apart, and then detonate from the force of the strike akin to a tumbling asteroid. The world itself shuddered from the blow.
The dust settled, revealing a second scar in the Underrealm. A massive ‘X’ was now visible for miles.
The ages of work to hide the shrine and the patience of blessing each child of the Underrealm was gone. Within a millisecond it had vanished.
The enemy knew where he was located, possibly studying him for ages.
Dre’dire, I was not attentive. And other suffered for it.
He felt the burden of those lost heaped upon his shoulders, adding to the already insurmountable weight he carried from the previous wars.
Diniel kept holding his side, limping away from the battle. He heard no more fighting in the suddenly quiet realm.
“I need to warn Ruth,” Diniel concluded.
The Champion slipped up, bragging about his plans. Lack of experience and drunk on power.
He tapped the crozier, and the massive golden mote from the Champion obeyed, flowing inside, confirming his total depletion. He now knew what the target was. The Chosen were bait. While the Champion did have a chance of assassinating him, the experience gap was too wide and the Champion too dependent on items.
He gazed at the steaming cloud heap of his former shrine. He felt nothing. He had lost too much to feel anymore.
And then he sensed it. A massive sickening wave of malevolent intent. His very being revolted upon feeling it.
No! Not now!
He took flight, making haste for the location he felt it from.
The direction of the Silk Mansion of L’yophin, the Dugrum.