The House of Asmodeus: A Trial by Fire Chapter 8

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” – Diogenes

SEVERAL YEARS AGO

Michael’s majestic white wings would inspire awe in many humans, and fear into any daemon, but not Asmodeus. 

I can feel Azale’s heart beating in her chest, Asmodeus thinks, and pulls her closer so she can feel the steadiness of this. I’m pretty sure I’ve got this whole conversation planned out, and she should know.

Asmodeus and Azale share a look one time before Michael lands, and it steadies her. It’s helped me to know that someone else is confident when I wasn’t, I want it to help her.

Michael, as most angels do, looks rather human, with his long brown hair flowing just past his shoulders. Asmodeus can’t help but notice his clean shaven face revealing a rather sharp jawline. I forgot how majestic that chin of his is.

Asmodeus finds himself rubbing his own.

For a figure of religious importance, Asmodeus is surprised to see the Archangel’s hair appear so feminine. It looks good on him, I wonder what the religious fanatics would think… maybe, they’d think he looks like Jesus. He’s supposed to have long hair I think.

Michael first greets Azale respectfully, seeming both happy and disappointed in how he misses her eyes when he looks at her. “Hello Azale, I hope all is well in your new home. You seemed to be enjoying yourself so maybe I could have assumed as much.”

Azale looks away with her hand hiding her mouth. “It is… good to see you, Master Michael.”

Asmodeus turns and stares at Azale. “Wow, it really is an angel thing, isn’t it?”

Azale looks to him, confused at first, but with a look of realization, she yells at him, “I told you!”

“I still think it’s a kink thing,” Asmodeus teases, which starts to confuse Michael, who starts looking between them.

“Master!” Azale yells at him, growing red with embarrassment, her fists balled up in front of her face.

“I mean come on, you called him ‘Master Michael,’ you just call me ‘Master.’” At that, Michael has a hard cringe.

“His name is alliteration!” Azale yells at Asmodeus. “‘Master Michael, Master Michael,’ see! ‘Master Asmodeus’ is a tongue-twister!”

“Wait,” Asmodeus says, as he turns completely around, his back to Michael as he makes his own realization. “So, you’ve just been half-assing it all this time? This changes everything!”

Master!” Azale nearly screams at him. She points to Michael and reminds Asmodeus, “We are here for a reason! And that’s not to dissect angelic custom!”

Michael gruts into his fist. “I’m going to pretend like this conversation didn’t happen.”

Asmodeus turns towards him with a smirk. “Why, does it make us daemons seem too human?”

Michael just gives Asmodeus an empty stare. “Sure,” is all he says.

Michael coughs into his hands again, and moves his hands to his back to straighten himself out. “To the business we are here for… I must admit mixed feelings towards your presence back in the world of man.”

Asmodeus watches him closely, wondering just how the angel is able to go back to being so serious. I was hoping to unnerve, maybe get him to behave more human. Maybe that was a mistake to think someone whose billions of years in age could ever act human.

Asmodeus lets out a heavy sigh. “I mean no harm, Archangel,” Asmodeus tells him, trying to maintain his vocabulary in Michael’s presence, “not even after your comrade attacked my home.” Asmodeus thought passive aggressiveness would keep the Archangel on his toes for the duration of the conversation.

Unfortunately, Michael does not take the bait. “Such action was necessary Asmodeus, to send a warning to the Seven Circles that we will not tolerate the collection of human souls.” 

Well, that felt patronizing. Michael is most certainly Asmodeus’s senior by an eternity, but Asmodeus does his best not show any reaction to the possible insult.

“I can understand the need to crack down on criminals, Michael,” two can play the first name game, “the Demon Kings believe such crimes to be very important to-”

“What? Turn a blind eye to? I want to leave the Circles be, but the crime of soul trafficking goes against our last pact. Daemons must be shown that if their leaders will not control them, Heaven will. My peers believe such a lesson can only be taught through war.”

Asmodeus steps in front of Azale, arms open but still stepping up to the Archangel. Michael nearly arches his brow as he cranes his neck to look down at the shorter man. 

The Demon King reasons, “Michael, you can’t honestly expect just seven leaders to be able to control every single daemon alive.”

“Why can’t I?”

“Because you cannot control all of your own angels.”

Michael seems surprised by Asmodeus’s accusation. He crosses his arms and doesn’t restrain the wiggle in his brow. “And on what grounds do you make this statement?”

“Angels have in the past decided to go rogue and start killing innocent daemons without remorse or reason.” Asmodeus does his best to hide a smirk as to not let Michael foresee his trump card. 

“What proof do you possibly have of such angels?”

“Why Michael, I have the angels themselves, captured by the drudes of Sloth.” 

With that sentence Asmodeus claps his hands to undo the cloaking spell he did earlier. The shock on Michael’s face is not only due to the five examples of angels disobeying the mandate of the Archangels, but also due to the young King of Lust’s ability to hide them with a spell.

“I, but, how?” questions Michael, at a loss of words.

Azale quickly answers him with a question of her own, “Did the thought ever occur to you that simply because an angel does not ‘fall’ from virtue, that they are still capable of doing wrong? To attack Sin unprovoked is still an act of wrongdoing.” 

“Couldn’t have said it better,” Asmodeus compliments Azale, as he places an arm around her waist the moment he feels her hand on his back. 

Asmodeus thinks, She must have noticed them too, but even if she didn’t, not he can put her behind him if need be. 

Together, while Michael remains more that fazed, they sense the two beings coming towards them. They had to be Archangels or else their travel wouldn’t be so fast or obvious. 

I was really hoping to avoid a big audience. If this gets out of hand, he’ll have to use a spell to quickly teleport them back. If it disrupts the flow of portals between the Circles then so be it.

It couldn’t be two worse possibilities of which of the Archangels would come. 

Azale recognizes the famously vengeful Archangel of Temperance, Zadkiel, who certainly has not forgotten Azale’s murder of his subordinate. He comes along with Asmodeus’s own personal counterpart among the Archangels, the somewhat new Archangel of Chastity, Uriel. 

“Unchain them now!” Zadkiel bellows as he raises a rather long broadsword with one hand towards Asmodeus and Azale’s general direction. 

Azale tries to move between her Master and the rageful Archangel, ready to defend him at all costs, but Asmodeus quickly shoves her behind him. Zadkiel could end her with a swipe in his vengeful form, and I won’t let that happen.

Speaking of Zadkiel’s form, he wasn’t as pale as any angel Asmodeus had seen. With his bronze skin, he’s actually much shorter than the large Michael, who stands around 6’4. With dark hair on his head, and a dark but short five o’clock shadow, he reminds Asmodeus of a Spartan, especially with his short haircut. 

Uriel, now on the ground instead of looking down at him, stands as tall Zadkiel. Still tall for a woman. She looks the same as before, wearing the same breastplate leather leggings, but does not raise her sword as her comrade has. She actually shows no desire for conflict, at least to Asmodeus just yet.

“Of course,” Asmodeus answers Zadkiel, “the King of Sloth let me bring them to you so you may punish them accordingly.” 

Keep your cool, keep your cool, Asmodeus tells himself as he tries his best to speak coolly. He struggles to maintain his posture, any of the three Archangels can see his nerves rouse over his predicament. 

Asmodeus quickly levitates the angels again and tosses them to Zadkiel’s feet. Zadkiel looks like he’s preparing to lunge at Asmodeus, but Michael holds out his hand to force Zadkiel to backoff. 

“Why do you stand in my way, Michael?” Temperance questions Humility. 

This is when Asmodeus notices Michael’s eyes only just now leave the bound angels. Asmodeus had a lingering worry about whether or not Michael would believe him, but Michael has been looking inside the hearts of his angels, and Asmodeus’s. He knows the truth.

“To cause a fight with the Demon Kings over this seems beyond hypocritical now, look at the misconduct from our own. If anything, we should apologize personally to the King of Sloth,” a final statement that leaves Zadkiel aghast, but the death stare Michael makes with his last words still the aggressive Archangel, “though, those angels are yours, aren’t they?” 

Asmodeus contains his smirk, holding hope that Michael was the logical and fair leader Asmodeus hoped he would be.

“How can you trust the words of a daemon?” Zadkiel mutters, acting as if attacked by MIchael. Michael responds by staring daggers at Temperance.

Uriel speaks to quell the two. “I have had no reason to doubt Michael’s capacity to trust wisely, and I see no reason why we should question his judgment now.” 

After this statement Zadkiel seems to reluctantly sheathe his broadsword onto his back. At the same time, Asmodeus tries to withhold his shock and general surprise. He would have thought that the same Archangel who called Lolara a whore after she killed her would jump at the chance to denounce him.

“Well, what do you wish do now, Michael?” 

Upon receiving Zadkiel’s question, which comes off as more of a challenge, leads Michael to look upon the Demon King for his sales pitch.

Asmodeus opens up with, “Listen to me, me and the other Demon Kings-” 

“The Demon Kings and you,” Michael corrects him.

Asmodeus smiles a little bit.

“The Demon Kings and I… do not wish for war, there’s nothing to gain from it. We are already planning strategies on how to stomp down on the illegal trafficking of souls, just stay out of our Circles. To put it simply, conflict is avoidable and unnecessary as long as leaders on both sides pledge to work out the problems of both of our groups.” 

Michael seems very pleased with such a proposition. “I myself have no desire for war.” Turning to Zadkiel and Uriel to say, “We should convince our brothers and sister of the same thing, war will only lead to more death,” and with an eye towards Zadkiel, “of daemons and angels, and allow for shadier characters on both sides to run rampant.”

“You’re letting him manipulate you, Michael! This daemon is in league with the same angel who nearly slew one of my Seraphim!” 

Zadkiel has no desire to do anything but wipe out the daemons, but if Michael has to hear him shout his name one more time, the Archangel might send him home like a child.

“A Seraphim you ordered to go against mine,” Michael reminds him, and if Asmodeus didn’t know any better, he’d say Michael nearly growled.

Zadkiel’s backing down is clear to Asmodeus as Temperance not only stays his hand, but looks smaller as he stands beside Michael. Asmodeus is pleased with current events until Zadkiel turns his hateful eyes not towards Asmodeus, but towards Azale. 

Azale tries to ask for clarification, “Did you say nearly-” but she’s interrupt by Temperance’s venomous finger.

He points it at her, claiming, “Make no mistake, traitor, you’re killing of a good angel has not been forgotten, and it never will be.”

Azale’s eyes grow wide, both with fear and regret, hanging her head in shame. To see the pain on Devotion’s face angers both Lust and Humility. Asmodeus moves in front of Azale again, and tells Zadkiel, “Keep your threats to yourself, else you get one back.

Temperance does not live up to his name with the expression of malice he develops, going out of his way to snarl, “Why you-” but the burning eyes of Michael shut him up. 

With Michael’s back to the sun, his face is in shadow, and yet his eyes shine through, staring down at Zadkiel with a rage the other Archangel has never seen.

Uriel watches on with her arms crossed, and a smirk on her face, once again, speaking to quell conflict. “Watching my fellow angels fall to war is a very clear certainty if we do not try to live peacefully. More than that, I don’t want to commence war when I’m not standing on a moral high ground.” 

Asmodeus gives her a confused side-eye hearing her air her wishes for peace. Huh, wish she had thought that when she broke into my fucking house and killed my best friend.

Uriel seems to be very accepting of a truce between daemons and angels. If such words come from an actual desire to save the lives of angels or because of a fear for battle, Asmodeus does not know. 

If only Asmodeus knew, then he would be able to keep his eye off of her.

Zadkiel tries to escape Michael’s glare by dragging Uriel in too. “Not you too, Uriel, don’t listen to the daemon, you’re letting him take advantage of you!”

From his statement, Uriel is insulted. “I am taken advantage of by no one, the only one who definitely seems to be trying to manipulate me is you, Zadkiel!” 

Michael, now having watched Zadkiel pick a fight with Uriel rather than him, grows tired of this infighting. “Calm yourselves!” Michael’s command instills silence from the two of them. “Is this how you behave in front of the being you claim to hate?” 

From this quick exchange Michael’s seniority over them seems quite obvious. 

To calm himself down, Michael adjusts the broadsword on his hip. Despite being the same size as Zadkiel’s, though more regal, it can rest on the hip of his tall frame. “We must be able to have some faith in each other to follow and enforce if we want to prevent any unnecessary threats.”

“But faith has to be proven, earned,” Zadkiel says, pointing his finger at Michael, a gesture that draws great ire from the eyes of Humility. Temperance does not tempt fate, and purposely moves his finger…

… towards Asmodeus. Michael looks between, Zadkiel and Asmodeus, seeing the adversity and the refusal to back down in Zadkiel’s eyes, and the aggravation in Asmodeus. 

Michael asks him if he was willing to prove his dedication to peace. Asmodeus hides his scowl, and nods his head. 

“To prove that you are trustworthy to enforce punishment, I would wish to see you carry it out,” Uriel suggests as she raises her chin at him.

Michael and Zadkiel appear at odds at whether such an action is even appropriate, but the idea itself seems to win Michael over at least. Now everyone is waiting on Asmodeus’s response.

He sighs and agrees. “Okay, I’ll dish out punishment to a daemon or group of daemons who are harvesting… whatever.”

Lucky for them, the Demon King and the four angels were about to run into a fight they severely underestimated.

*****

Uriel quickly acquires information about a rather large ring of daemons trying to take the souls of humans in another universe. Some humans had been performing a rather satanic ritual to summon daemons to offer their souls to. 

Apparently they garnered the attention of daemons who would begin to capture nearby people in the town. 

Such an operation was unheard of, stealth and discretion was usually the M.O., but this time something was very different. The daemons reportedly were not taking their souls, but the humans themselves, simply throwing them into the portal the daemons came through. A squad of angels had quickly came down to stop them but were slain by a powerful black demon. 

Asmodeus had quickly covered himself, Azale, and the three Archangels under a cloaking spell as they traveled between the universes the long way. Michael said to leave the bound angels where they were, he would come to deal with them later. 

Time and space bends as they fly, with Michael leading the way. They fly between universes, between Earths, and the caliescope of other planets that they fly over are many copies of the blue world. 

Only Asmodeus is surprised by the sight before them. He’s never traveled this way, wondering why his wings feel so light and not overcome by pressure. How am I not going insane? It’s the infinite void beyond space and time and we’re treating like I would the interstate. 

It’s like we’re flying at light speed without a spaceship.

The daemon attack itself was in a small town less than 30 minutes by flying between worlds. 

When they reach said Earth, the universe pulls them in, making the world stretch around their eyes. 

When space stops bending, and they’re floating down through normal Earth clouds, Asmodeus has to use all of his willpower to not get sick. When they see the mortal town below, he has a new reason to feel ill.

What they see when they pass through the clouds is a small midwestern town turned into a war zone. The only humans bodies left around are dead or at least unconscious from what they can see. 

Azale comes up behind Asmodeus to see how he is feeling.

“Are you alright, Master?” she asks as she rests her hands on his shoulders. “The rest of us have seen battles like this before but you haven’t. Will you be alright?”

I’m letting my green show. In the civil war I wasn’t exactly a general. I didn’t know shit about shit, Dotor and Asmodea took charge, they knew what they were doing. I just ran around trying to find Lolara when she got kidnapped.

I went a long time without killing anyone… even then, with the magic I had, they just went poof. It felt dangerously like a game. It didn’t become real until it was down to me and the usurper, and that wasn’t much more than a one-sided beatdown.

Asmodeus takes a deep breath before giving his reply. He sees here why he truly can’t allow war to break out, this sinking pit in his stomach. This will be the outcome, so he vows to himself, “Those guilty of this will pay.”

He says that, but what he’s thinking, I should feel worse than this… worse than an ill feeling in my stomach. I should be horrified.

Azale hugs Asmodeus’s back, if only for a brief moment to give him some comfort. She can feel Asmodeus’s growing wrath, the most violent of all Sins.

The Archangels have mixed reactions to Asmodeus’s words, having overheard their conversation. Uriel, holds a small smirk, finding further proof of the Demon King’s capacity for compassion. 

Michael nods to himself in agreement with Asmodeus’s reaction

Zadkiel remains unimpressed.

They continue along through the town until they come upon an angel warrior, lying against a car with a rather large hole in his chest. A black resonance is pulsating from his wound, most likely the after effect of a deadly form of dark magic. Michael floats down to him with a glowing white light in his hands to push into the angel’s wound.

“There, that should destroy any dark residue keeping you from being able to heal. Now tell me brother, are there any combatants left, any innocent souls that can be saved?” Michael speaks calmly, trying not to agitate the wounded warrior’s mind and inadvertently, his body.

The angel looks up at Michael astounded, in awe, despite his wound. He finds the strength to reply with vigor, “I’m not sure thy Master Archangel.”

“Please call me, Michael, you’ve proven yourself worthy to call me by my name tenfold.”

“But… have I not, failed?” 

“Far from it, please try to think of a location of where the daemon’s portal might be,” Michael asks of him. 

The angel’s bloodied face contorts as he tries to wrack his pain riddled brain. He is able to call the Archangel of Humility by his first name, he would live up to such an honor by wracking his brain through memories against any pain. “I remember… the large black daemon, *Ack* telling a cloaked one… to bring the last of the humans… to an abandoned warehouse to leave.

“How long ago was this?”

Ten minutes.

“We must hurry then,” Uriel says before she takes off into the air, searching for such a warehouse.

“Agreed,” Asmodeus adds. He spread it his black wings once again to follow her with Azale at his tail.

“What wings… did I just see?” Blood covers the poor angels eyes, but he does notice the dark wings of the Demon King and fallen angel before him. 

“Worry not for that now, Zadkiel, take this one for aid,” Michael assures him.

“Excuse me? I must see these demons slain!” Zadkiel erupts.

Michael doesn’t snap at him with equal anger this time, instead plainly jabbing at his supposed care for his own angels, “But one of us must see this angel saved, would you deny him survival?”

Zadkiel is taken aback by the challenge, now calming himself as he realizes this angel can still hear. “No,” he answers calmly, “but why me? The daemons who caused this would see much more suffering at my hands than yours.

“That is an assumption,” Michael tells him, being sure to show no signs of insult as he stands to his feet, “but what is fact, is that you would not find out why these daemons have attacked in this way, because what’s happened here,” with a gesture to the disaster around them, “that’s so much unlike everything that’s come before.”

“What good would knowing such information do?” Zadkiel asks, “You can’t still possibly be against war after seeing this?”

“Do as I ask, Zadkiel, before it is no longer a request.” 

Zadkiel appears to hate hearing his name come out of Humility’s mouth, as much as Michael hates hearing his come out of Zadkiel’s. “What is happening here is much more than simple greed, it is necessary that we find out just what.” 

With that Michael gives Zadkiel such a glare, that Zadkiel knows that the conversation is over. With that Michael flaps his wings to catch up to the young ones who have already gone.

*****

It doesn’t take long for Uriel to spot a warehouse with an entrance guarded by a pack of cloaked daemons conversing, probably laughing over their last kill. This is when the three descend on the daemons as if valkyries from Norse legend.

Only seconds pass before the three are seen soaring through the air, and lose the element of surprise. It does not matter. 

The sight of an Archangel, black demon, and a fallen angel inspire awestruck, fear, and confusion among the daemons. Uriel is like lightning as she quickly slashes and beheads two daemons with her gladius sword. 

Azale wraps her warhammer in light energy as she brings it down multiple times on the head of a daemon. 

Asmodeus has the magical elements of water and wind ready in his hands, and encompasses three daemons in a sphere of water. He then freezes it and lets it shatter to the floor, leaving the daemons in splintering chunks of red ice. 

A blue furred daemon tries to go inside, but Azale with one swing releases a blast of light that whips the daemon in the back, making him scream out at the burning pain. Uriel quickly shoves her boot over it’s head to ask it questions.

“How many humans are left inside?”

“I don’t know! Oh, my back, it burns!

“More than just your backside will burn if you don’t give me the truths I need.

“I swear I don’t know! They should almost be finished transporting them by now!”

The door swings open and three more forms in cloaks walk out. The appearance of the lead is more surprising than any M. Night Shyamalan twist. 

In front, is a dark haired and pale angel, with her white wings outstretched and armed with a gladius that is far less spectacular than Uriel’s. 

“Release him now!” the angel yells. She starts to reel back her arm to slash as she flies over to Uriel, who is still holding down the blue demon.

“No, Saphira, stay back! You can’t take her!” The blue demon raises his hand while laying on the ground. 

That fear in his face, Asmodeus can’t help but notice, it’s not for him… 

Uriel is readying to cut the angel down when Michael finally catches up, making his entrance by grabbing the angel by her arm and forcing her to the ground. Then he takes his long sword in his right and swings it at the other cloaked forms. 

The figures are several feet away, not in his sword’s reach, but the shear strength of his swing sends a blast of wind that beheads both of them, and leaves a slash across the doorframe.

“Your Grace, if you can, restrain these two with a spell, we must question them later,” Michael asks of Asmodeus. 

“Uh, of course.” Asmodeus finally regains his composure and tries to remember a spell of binding. This one is actually in English, “You shall not move, you shall not pace, you cannot leave your place. Be trapped and helpless in, my name and yours.

Both the daemon and angel are bound back to back in unbreakable iron chains at their arms and feet. 

“Now we must proceed to see what other surprises await us.” Michael takes lead with Azale behind him. Asmodeus and Uriel take up the back to have a short conversation.

“You’ve been around longer than me, I assume,” and he waits for Uriel to be offended, but she does not become so, “have you ever heard of an angel and daemon being together without one falling to Sin or Virtue?”

“No, not ever, if an angel of Chastity subjects itself to lust it would inescapably fall to Sin to become a fallen angel, it should be the same for any other Virtue,” but after listening to the angel and daemon outside, she adds, “to my knowledge.” Uriel’s answer only leaves Asmodeus more confused over the pair they left outside.

Sounds can be heard coming from the floor which causes them to stop.

Azale points out, “We don’t have the time to save anyone and find a way down. I propose I make one.”

Asmodeus tells her to, “Do it.”

With that, Azale charges her warhammer and brings it down upon the cement floor, creating a large hole anyone of them can fit through. They each fly down at once to find themselves surrounded by cloaked daemons and angels. 

There’s a portal in the back where a tall black daemon is throwing the last of the humans through. When he’s done he makes his way to the four intruders with one shorter figure in a white cloak following him. What is roughly a couple dozen combatants, make way for them.

Once Asmodeus gets a good look at him, his day only got stranger. Most daemons seem to always have a colored hue to their skin unless they sucked in their appendages to hide their appearance. 

Black demons should have dark colored limbs to go with the black wings and horns, and their faces would seem white or extremely pale in color tone. This black demon, if that is what he is, has pale skin, caucasian like a regular-looking human like Lolara. 

His hair though, is dark, long, and straightened, making it difficult to tell if he’s hiding any horns but he doesn’t seem to have any wings, though he could simply be holding them in. 

He does have a rather skinny black tail though, the only thing that says he is a black demon. 

“Well, I must say I’m surprised to have attracted the attention of Archangels, and the King of Lust especially…” 

Great, he knows my face, not ominous at all. Maybe I don’t hide my energy as well as I think I do. 

 “I expected some run of the mill angels, could have just kill them no hassle, but now I guess the secret’s out, isn’t it?” His words would make someone else sound worried, but his face and voice tells a different story.

“It was bound to happen eventually,” the white cloaked one tells his taller friend, “the multiverse was eventually going to respond by alerting higher powers.”

“Yeah, but these three are a bit much, wouldn’t you say?” 

“I demand to know what’s going on here, or you will all be slain!” Uriel’s threatens, having had enough of these two posturing, but her threats do not stir either. 

Then the one in the white cloak turns to a daemon to tell him to expand the portal for escape. “Prepare it for others and close it before they follow.” 

“Something tells me they don’t hold esteem for our power as highly as we do,” Asmodeus jokes. Others would be worried, but he’s already defeated several black daemons before, Michael and Uriel most likely have as well. He’s slightly worried about Azale, but he has seen her fight and kill in her sleep, literally.

The black daemon smiles at Asmodeus’s remark and raises his hand. 

He summons white fire that shapes itself loosely like a blade. 

“It’s not that we underestimate you, we know that you underestimate me.”

Asmodeus finds himself to be in awe for much of this day. 

“Will you allow me this fight King of Lust?” the black daemon asks, retaining his smile. He slumps his body, raising only his right hand with the flaming sword in it. He’s feinting bad composure but Asmodeus doubts that he can’t fight. 

“I guess I should prepare too,” says the one in the white cloak. He gently lets it fall to the ground from his shoulders, where he stands shirtless but covered in battle scars. 

“Azale, when we get home I making today the annual holiday of surprises.” 

The one in the white cloak has skin that seems close to albino in paleness, but his hair is a regular golden blonde. He’s much more well-kept than his partner in crime. What is shocking, is that he has angel wings, which are black and white. There are the two intimidating half chakrams, but that was just an ok-level on the surprise meter.

“Uriel and Asmodeus, handle those two, Azale stay by my side to not get overwhelmed. I want you to be ready to use dark and light magic on the fly.” Michael hasn’t lost his focus like everyone else, already deciding upon the best course of action.

Azale tries to change her placement in the strategy, “But I must protect Master-”

“Azale, let’s listen to Michael, don’t take this as an offense but you won’t be able to keep up with me if this battle gets really serious.” Asmodeus hates to say such a thing, because it hurts her feelings, but they both know it’s true. 

It’s the job of Reavers to protect their Demon King at all costs, and Azale’s lifelong mission is to keep her friend safe. That doesn’t mean she’s one of the few who can keep up when the King of Lust needs to fight.

Azale nods her head in acceptance, and moves herself back-to-back with Michael, readying her golden warhammer in her right hand, full of light magic, and her silver warhammer in her left, filled with dark magic.

The many angels and daemons separate to create a path between their two leaders and Asmodeus and Uriel. It will be a cramped battle ground so they all try to get out the way of the four godlike fighters in front of them. Now they start moving towards Michael and Azale, who are terrifying enough on their own. 

“Uriel, I’ll go after the black demon calling me out, the white dude, that sounded racist, looks more like a fast and close combat type. Your speed should be better matched for him.” He half expects her to snap at him and tell him that she’s going to do it her way.

“Agreed,” she says instead, and he watches her walk in front of him in surprise. It’s this the same Archangel who killed Lolara?  

Right now, he’ll have to think about what’s in front of them. By the time she notices that he didn’t walk with her, they’re standing side-by-side ready to face their opponents. 

The black daemon makes a very unnecessary demand of his soldiers. “If any of you interfere with either of our battles, I won’t apologize for any casualties.”

The winged warrior says softly, “I’d rather not kill any of you by accident.”

With that Asmodeus creates his own sword-like shape of blackfire. With it, he lunges and clashes with the black daemon’s.

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