The House of Asmodeus: A Trial by Fire Chapter 9

“In any dispute, each side thinks it’s in the right and the other side is demons.” – Steven Pinker

When Asmodeus and the black daemon clash swords neither one budges. They’re evenly matched in strength, though Asmodeus has not yet ascended to his True Asmodeus form. The setting of the battle is too small unless they want to flatten the whole town. 

But can he match my speed? 

Asmodeus quickly reverts to the similar tactic he used against the challenger to his throne. He starts to hammer the black daemon at every angle he can, this time trying to wound whenever possible. 

This black daemon seems to have reactionary speed that previous foes did not. As Asmodeus spins mid-flight spun, he swings his right leg against the black daemon’s forearm, the daemon catches it in his left hand, and brings it to the ground, slamming Asmodeus onto his back. 

Okay, he can.

The daemon raises his right arm with his whitefire sword, leaving his chest wide open for assault. The daemon had assumed that Asmodeus would be too dazed to counterattack, he was wrong.

Asmodeus takes the blackfire sword in his own hand and positions straight at the daemon’s torso. He pumps magic energy into it so the fire would get a direct hit. The daemon moves his sword arm to cover his eyes, but his chest is burning. Asmodeus then brings his left heel up then down upon the daemon’s hand which still holds him. By the third strike his leg is free and Asmodeus ceases the onslaught of fire to dash away to safety. 

Asmodeus is disappointed to see that the blackfire did no more than irritate the daemon’s skin. 

“Haha! I’m glad you don’t disappoint, though, I figured you’d use spells like the last King did, but this is better!” 

This daemon seems to be having fun, and I hate to admit it, but so am I. 

The adrenaline spike of battle has Asmodeus thinking of Asmodea’s words, The thrill of the fight is better than sex. 

This Lust for battle always makes him fills him with this guilt because he’s suppose to be preaching peace. 

Asmodeus readies a ball of black flames in his free hand and throws it at the daemon. The daemon bats it away.

Asmodeus can’t wrap his head around this guy. This guy must be a black demon to survive the black fire without a scratch, but how is he able to hold light magic?

Asmodeus replies to the demon, “You know, it’s getting really annoying always being compared to that prick. I like to be my own man you know?” Asmodeus thinks his humor might through the guy off, but no luck.

He just laughs, “Haha! I guess that would get really annoying, but what can you do, huh?” 

Asmodeus thinks to himself. This guy isn’t any more serious than I pretend to be. I think I can understand now why people get annoyed with me.

*****

Uriel isn’t faring any better. This shirtless false-angel man is fast. 

Almost as fast as me, she realizes. 

She’s almost at a disadvantage not being able to go full strength on this man. To fully utilize the full power of her True Uriel form would be to bring the place down on top of everyone, destabilize the planet if she’s not careful. 

That would practically be handing the enemy a chance to escape. It also didn’t help that this fake-angel has a half chakram in each hand, to match both of Uriel’s gladiuses. 

The false-angel is just slashing back and forth, alternating hands while Uriel is trying to focus on bringing her swords back in forth while hovering above ground. 

Instead of the usual back and forth slashing, the false-angel flips in the air and kicks Uriel’s wrist, her sword twirling to the ground. 

The two winged warriors share a short look before he lunges for her with his chakram. She darts backwards, allowing him to put himself between her and her sword. 

The fake-angel doesn’t know that Uriel can summon her swords to her as he leaves himself open from behind. She makes a fist with her hand to summon the gladius to her as the false-angel closes the gap. Her gladius is poised to stab him right in the spine at the velocity and trajectory it’s flying at. 

Somehow, he catches wind of what Uriel is doing and twists himself in the air so it would hit his left wing instead of his spine. 

Ack!” His cry of pain draws attention from the neighboring fights. 

Uriel continues to summon her sword to her, dragging it through his wing. 

Got you now!” 

The sword makes its way through the false-angel’s wing, leaving a nasty hole that she can see through.

Uriel’s victory does not yet come as the false-angel unexpectedly drops one of his half-chakrams to grab the gladius mid-air. 

Uriel is too slow to stop the sword’s movement as it drags him to her. She locks her hand over his to try and get a grip on the gladius, but he quickly slashes at her with his other half-chakram, cutting a deep slash over her breastplate drawing blood.

*****

Asmodeus’s battle with the black daemon is suddenly interrupted to spectate the one going on between their comrades. They both see the feathered beings sustain what could each be a crippling blow.

As they turn their attention to each other, they both have the same face, which surprises Asmodeus. 

He planned to make a run to help Uriel, which is not something he expected his opponent to do for his ally. The black daemon actually acts first by pouring an immense amount of power into his flaming sword towards Asmodeus. 

Asmodeus tries to turn to fly away but the tip of his black wing is enveloped. It’s only the tip but the white flames are paralyzing, more so than any other light magic attack. Asmodeus attempts to get up and fight through it but the black daemon is already moving to assist his teammate against Uriel.

Uriel has just kicked the fake-angel away from her, putting her arm across the gash on her chest. The larger black daemon lifts the false-angel over his shoulder, and raises his whitefire sword at her. 

“Light magic isn’t going to do much against me, daemon.” She had been trying to avoid any offensive tones that morning, but the last word was still spoken with venom.

He smirks at such a remark, “It can still blind you, dove.” With that he does the same to her as he did to Asmodeus, but without the burning effect. Light magic’s effects are practically useless to use against angel, they embodied light, and an Archangel can withstand fire. 

But the actual brightness, that does have the effect of blinding Uriel.

“Time for our escape!” the black daemon announces. Angels and daemons have been going into the portal a few at a time while braver warriors went to be cut down by Michael and Azale. The dozen left all make a break for it at the daemon’s command. 

The black daemon smirks to himself, “Everyone seems to thinks I’m daemon for some reason, must be the tail.”

He must have thought that no one was listening because he’s surprised to hear Asmodeus ask him, “Then what are you exactly?”

“Wouldn’t you like to know?” The false-demon moves towards the portal with the false-angel over his shoulder. There are some angels and daemons running past him, with a handful staying behind to delay Michael and Azale.

“Well at least tell me thy name oh special one.” Sarcasm is always a good fall back in Asmodeus’s book.
“Well, A’rock,” then he pauses to try and contain a very large grin, “is how my Alice always says it, she’ll be happy to know your grown up.” 

And with that he leaps into the portal with his companion. The portal closing not two seconds afterwards.

Asmodeus is stunned, puzzled. He can’t fathom that the daemon could be talking about who he thinks he is. 

Feeling the exhaustion, Asmodeus falls to his knees, muttering to himself, “No, it can’t be… that’s impossible… he can’t be talking about that Alice she’s suppose to be… dead.

*****

Michael and Azale quickly finish the remaining angels and daemons, Azale landing the last blow with a solid swing of her warhammer.

Michael hears the bang and turns around like a father who’s attention had been away too long. Instead, he sees her standing over a dead daemon, a fury of wrath it seems. Michael instinctively wants to reach out his hand, but pulls it back.

Instead, he walks up beside her to compliment her. “It was a great honor to fight alongside such special power as yours, Azale,” which draws her surprised expression, “you handle it and yourself quite well.”

“Uh, thank you, Master Michael,” Azale replies and bows her head to him. He is a little disappointed by the gesture, but does well to hide it, for both their sakes.

When Azale picks her head up he is smiling at her, with that weird smile where his eyes look like they’re closed. She returns it, same weird smile and all. 

She may have had little joy in being around other angels, but she still greatly respects the Archangel before her. He has been kind her before and after she joined the side of her Master. Fighting alongside him will become quite the memory to remember for her.

“We should hurry to help the others.”

“Of course, Master Michael.”

“Please, it’s just Michael.”

They rush to see their comrades. Michael goes to Uriel and sits her up, as she is still rubbing her eyes from being blinded. “That damn… whatever he is! The two of them couldn’t take me in a fair fight alone!” 

“Of course, you did your best and they couldn’t take that.” After many millennia of dealing with his fellow Archangels, calming and preserving their egos is a skill that Michael had mastered to a T.

Azale approaches her Master slowly, somewhat afraid of his kneeling position, with him staring at the wall in shock. He just keeps whispering, “It can’t be her, it can’t be her, he can’t have her.”

She kneels down facing his side. “Master, who are you talking about?” He snaps out of his trance, just slowly composing himself, not that effectively.

“I-ah, can’t answer that question just yet, I’m just not ready.” He puts his hand to his forehead.

“I understand, Master, later then.” I don’t understand at all, I’ve never seen him in such a way before. She looks him over but he has no major injuries from what she can see. His wing looks raw like it is healing from light magic, but that’s not something that should cause him to lose his scruples. 

“Your Grace, we should leave and get the couple we left behind, immediately,” Michael calls as he approaches with Uriel. “Humans should come across this town eventually and my angels on their way to clean up and destroy evidence of all angelic and demonic presence.” 

“Ah, yes, of course.” Asmodeus goes to stand and nearly falls over in the attempt.

“Master!” She goes to help him but he roughly shoves her away. Azale can’t fathom why he is being like this.

Michael and Uriel see him shove his Reaver away, and Michael is most disturbed. Doing well to hide his desire to growl, he goes, “Asmodeus, are you alright?”

“Yes, yes, I’m fine, let’s just go.” Quickly, he takes off, flying through the hole in the ground from which they came.

The angels swiftly fly to follow him.

They come upon the warehouse entrance to find the angel and daemon pair still bound together.

“Whatever you’re going to do to her, do to me!” The daemon pleads for what anyone could now see as his beloved.

“Don’t,” the angel pleads with him, “we can’t back down now, we must stay silent for-” 

Uriel picks up where she left off by plunging her gladius into the blue daemon’s leg. His howl in pain both stops her, and breaks her concentration. Hearing her lover scream breaks the tough facade she put on.

“Listen here, lovebirds,” Uriel snarls, her tone frightening them both to death. If Asmodeus weren’t in a trance he would recognize her as the Archangel who attacked his beloved. “I was in a more responsible attitude before, but after fighting the winged warrior from who knows where, I’ve just about had it with this lovey-dovey horseshit you two are about to start. Who was that mixed-colored-winged freak? Who was his dark budding ally? What are they, and what are you?” 

Uriel is more than angry, her pride has been wounded.

Michael can’t seem to get away from emotional Archangels. “Uriel it’s probably best that we just calm down-”

No, Michael!” she snaps at him, and as Azale knows, She won’t care if he stares her down, and he knows it. 

“We need answers and we’ll get them now.” She twists the blade further into his leg.

Raagh!” the daemon yells out.

Stop, please!” the angel cries.

“Answer what I asked!” Uriel demands.

“The winged one is Seraras! The one with black tail is A’rock. They’re-”

“Saphira, no! If you say anymore, everything we’ve worked will be ruined!” Michael then slaps the daemon, instantaneously knocking him out.

Uriel probably hasn’t been any angrier in her life. 

Michael turns to the bound and not crying angel. “Listen to me, I just saved your, let’s say beloved, from facing torture from Uriel, here. Tell me his name.” 

The dark haired angel gulps before she whispers the answer. “Talon, his name is Talon.”

Michael takes an inspection of the daemon named Talon. “That’s an odd name for a daemon with what I see to be regularly sized fingernails.” 

If I didn’t know any better I would have thought that Michael was trying to be funny, but I do know better. He’s unnerving this angel. 

Michael turns to Azale’s king, “We’ll do better to interrogate them somewhere else, Asmodeus?”

“Hmm?” Somehow Asmodeus wasn’t paying attention to what was happening. His face looks redder, as if his own mind is rambling and psyching himself up for an explosion.

“Obviously, this no simple dispute between angels and daemons. A possible alliance by both angels and daemons calls for a meeting between the Archangels of Virtue… and the Demon Kings of Sin. I do not believe you will have your peace, but you may have an alliance if it is any solitude.”

“Peace… no longer seems an option.” Asmodeus’s dreary response is holding back an ocean of anger, and Michael has no other words to sate it. 

I feel helpless, what could possibly be bothering him in such a way?

“I would ask that you give your blessing for me to take the angel, and I assume you would want to interrogate the daemon yourself. We should meet in the same battlefield as the last war in roughly two weeks time. I will convince as many Archangels to come in peace as I can.”

The dark haired angel cries out, “No, please! Don’t take him from me!”

Uriel is more than spiteful. “You speak as if you deserve anything, traitor.” 

When she’s angry, Uriel brings up memories of Zadkiel.

“Please, I’ll tell you what I know, I just… I just need him by my side.” Saphira believes that she is pleading for her beloved’s life. She’s not far off.

“Take him too then…” Asmodeus says, “do what you want to make her keep her word.”

“Thank you, merciful king!”

“Do not think this a mercy…” Asmodeus warns her with a look of fire and flames in his eye. Saphira is silent at what seems to be a threat from the King of Lust. She can make no friends here.

“Master, is that wise?”

“It’s easier to keep them together, Azale. Michael, it would make sense to bring them both, two weeks from now.”

“Agreed, we should all head home, and rest on the events that transpired today.” With that Michael grabs both the daemon and angel by Asmodeus’s magical chain, carrying them off to the heavens. 

“We’ll get them next time, Asmodeus,” Uriel promises before she leaps to follow him. 

I don’t he even noticed Uriel’s strangely warm promise.

Azale and Asmodeus stand for what feels like hours, but is only a few minutes.

“Come here, we’re going back.” Asmodeus takes Azale under his arm, but his touch is not loving, so unlike him. 

Azale feels an uneasy feeling in her chest. She prays to God that the others help her find some way to help him. Asmodeus summons a portal and walks through. 

On the other side is Asmodeus’s palace in his beautiful Circle of Lust. He’s around the corner to his room where the newly regained Reaver, Cavill, is conversing with Asmodea. 

They both turn to see their King return and look with smiles on their faces. Smiles which slowly fall as they see the look of death on Asmodeus’s face, and the fire pulsating form his eyes, cracking the skin around it. 

“Clay cutie, what is wrong my-” Asmodeus walks right into her shoulder shoving both her and Cavill aside. 

“Is he usually like this, Seduction?” Cavill asks her by her Reaver title. 

Never,” she says in a hush. 

She races behind him, “Clayton, wait!” He has reached the door to his study and enters alone. No one else is inside when he locks it. “Asmodeus please open up! Speak to me, tell me what is wrong!” she yells as she bangs on the door.

Inside the room Asmodeus is letting loose a rage he has not felt before. Blackfire is foaming from his mouth, burning his furniture and belongings. With fire coming from his fists, he starts to smash things at will. Tearing apart his desks, his supplies, and throwing paintings. 

Destroying everything until he lets the Incantorum fall to the ground.

*****

Dotor and Zazriel are stopping by, having caught wind of the King’s return only to see Asmodea calling for him outside of his office chambers.

“What is going on in there?” Dotor asks. 

“I don’t know, Clay came back so angry like this! Azale what happened?” 

“I really don’t know what happened over there that set him off! There was a fight with this black daemon, and Asmodeus confronted him, and then after the daemon left Master was lost. I’ve never seen him like that, and never like this!”

Dotor is confused, “Fight with a black demon? I thought you were both speaking to Michael?”

“Long story.”

“I’ll bet,” jokes Cavill. The other four Reavers stare him down. “Sorry.”

Then the crashing and banging stops. They all fall silent.

Zazriel takes initiative. “Move aside.” She takes out one of her fortune cards and blasts the door open with it. What comes into view is a room completely destroyed, like a platoon of soldiers went to war with everything inside, and Asmodeus standing in the middle, his arms inflamed, and fire coming out of his nostrils with every breath.

Zazriel asks softly, “Asmodeus, my love, why did you do this,” walking up to him, unafraid as the others are.

He won’t look at his Reavers. He takes many breaths, everything comes out through heavy breathing. “The daemon, whatever he was… A’rock. The fucking bastard.

“What did this A’rock do?” she asks him.

It’s not what he did, it’s what he has! Who he has! I can’t-, I just can’t…!

“Who Asmodeus, who does he have?”

With that Asmodeus turns around to look at them. “The fucking bastard has my sister.” With the shock out in the open, he swiftly moves past them to the terrace balcony and leaps off to the city streets below.

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