The House of Asmodeus: A Trial by Fire Chapter 32

“Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.” – Mark Twain

“Pride, watch out!” Michael yells as he pushes Lucifina out of the way of Beelzebub’s blast.

Neither was aware at that Pata had such abilities. She thanks him and they both descend upon the King of Gluttony, but stop to fly around from the magical blasts he is shooting at high speeds. 

Beelzebub has his strength and his sword, but his magical prowess is drained. He can only send simple blasts through it, which would still kill any normal daemon and mortally wound his opponents in their weakened state. 

We need to make this a sword fight, two on one, Michael knows, or else Azale will be dead before I get there.

“We need to make this quick!” Lucifina tells Michael. “We waste too much time trying to be careful!” 

Micahel smirks before he yells back, “I agree! I think we should end this in one shot! I see the dead coming on us, and the others can’t fight on two fronts!”

“Doubly agreed! We must attack from both sides!” Lucifina readies her axe on her shoulder, ready to swoop down and hack Beelzebub in two. 

It is likely that Beelzebub will hit one of us, but if the other can strike him down… hopefully, we both get our strength back and heal naturally. 

“Okay! On three!” Michael yells as he rests his sword on his back. “One!”

“Two!”

“Three!” and they both descends at high speeds. 

Beelzebub was not deaf, and he heard loud and clear what they wanted to do. The King of Gluttony needs to hit them both before they get too close, so he quickly shoots off blasts of dark magic by fueling energy through his sword. Six streams of energy come out of Pata, three for each of his opponents. 

This is why anyone would like this sword. He can’t make such deadly attacks himself, but his sword allows for any with enough power to fire off blasts as if they were an amateur sorcerer. 

Lucifina dashes to the left to dodge the first, then spins in the air like a drill to just miss the second, which grazes the ashen hair on her head. Instead of trying to dodge the third, she swings Hecatomb and slashes the blast. 

The force stops her momentum as she tries to fight and push back against it, light bending around her struggle. She powers through to split the blast in half, causing two pieces to move behind her and explode, leaving a small ball of smoke to form around Hecatomb’s blade. She continues towards Beelzebub who is a foot from being in range of her swing.

At the same time as Lucifina, Michael is successful in dodging the first blast that heads his way, but when he tries to slash the second blast he makes the mistake of thinking he can power through in time to catch the third. He is still holding back the second when the third comes around and explodes against his wing, causing him to lose the struggle against the second which hits and explodes in his chest. 

The Archangel is sent flying down to the ground smoking.

Lucifina sees her comrade fall, and raises Hecatomb over her head with a look of rage fitting of her fury

She swings it at Beelzebub and he yells, “Pride no!” as he raises his sword to deflect, but his sword was no match against her rage fuelled axe.

The sword shatters under the axe’s power. Lucifina’s swing follows through and beheads the King of Gluttony. With his death she reaches down to pull out her True Lucifer form, finding that she can use it once again. 

Lucifina turns around to see undead drones attacking angels and daemons alike in the direction behind her, and sees daemons and angels still trying to kill each other. “The damn fools will all die if they are not forced to stand together,” the Queen of Pride grumbles. 

Then she charges her strength and ascends to her True Lucifer form, perhaps the most physically transformative of all the Demon Kings transformations.

Her pale white skin turns into the caucasian tone of an angel, the ancestry of pride beaming through in the rays of light that explode from her. Her white wings of Hell begin to sprout feathers, blacker than the soul of the devil for whom they imitate. Her flowing white hair develops the color to outshine gold as the horns of Hell fade away, and at the very edges of her frays burns a blue fire hotter than the darkest pits of the Underworld. Her armor transforms, no longer will she hide, no longer does she need protection. The black armor reverts to silk and match themselves to the golden wings that nearly brought Heaven itself to its knees.

She is Pride, she is the morningstar that awakens the day.

The only mark of the white daemon that was is the black battle skirt and the sash between her legs.

Michael can feel his power resurge as it heals his blast wounds. “She did it!” Michael groans to himself, both overjoyed and in pain. As he puts his hands on his knees to struggle back up, he feels a large angelic shadow cast over him, and he looks up to see a hand offered to him. 

I have seen beauty in my long life, but she’s something else.

Michael can assume that Lucifina is in her True Lucifer form, because it’s the only thing that would explain her transformation from a white demoness to a shining fallen angel. The woman looks like angel royalty, and her presence demands such respect.

Are going to keep gawking at me or are you going to get up?” she questions him. “I don’t know about you but I am in a rush, we need to unite our people to stop the return of Pluto and to fight this undead horde.” 

Michael shakes his head around like a young boy who had just been woken with a bucket of cold water. “Why yes, of course!” Michael responds as he takes her hand. 

I assume you are alright after the blow you took?” she asks him, and he nods in response. “Good, I have an idea where I use this,” she says as she lifts Beelzebub’s severed head, “to signal to everyone that I killed him, then I’ll magically project our voices across the battlefield, where we’ll tell both sides to stop being petty and to fight the things that will kill us all.

“Uh,” is how the Archangel starts his sentence, as he is distracted by the severed head she is holding. 

Why does she not find it nauseating? I’ve beheaded people but I never just… carry the head around.

“Ok, understood, I’ll tell the angels that the Pagan Gods, or something worse has come, and that fighting daemons is not in everyone’s best interests. Should we communicate with Satan and Chamuel to command their forces to stand down?”

Then the Archangel of Benevolence comes flying down, obviously having regained her strength from the defeated Beelzebub. Jophiel flies over to tell them, “I have already seen both Satan and Chamuel redirect their forces to fight the undead instead.”

Lucifina’s grins at the information. “Ironic that those two seemed to stop and recognize the issue at hand. Are you going to do the same Jophiel?” 

“I will,” the Archangel assures her.

Michael adds, “I will roundup Zadkiel’s forces, they will listen to me after their leader was killed.”

“The soldiers of Envy will listen to Satan, Envy and Wrath have a relationship almost as close as Pride and Lust. No, I must put my attention towards those of Gluttony. I can make sure they fear their fate if they do not comply with my orders, and the head of their King will do just that.” Lucifina raises Beelzebub’s head again like the trophy it has become. “We have our goals. When we are done Michael, would you ascend to your higher form and help me put down that Nephilim?”

“It would be my pleasure, my liege.”

*****

The community will be ready to go in minutes, and Asmodeus has finished powering everything for the portal. If things go as everyone else predicts he won’t get another chance to say goodbye to anyone. He takes the chance to think of whether or not it is possible to even contact anyone. 

Lolara has said all that she needs to say. The only thing missing was the actual goodbye part he was sure he would get before going through the portal.

He has no way to contact Noella and Azale when they’re at the battlefield, and nothing to call Asmodea. He would have liked a moment to tell each of them how special they are to him.

Asmodeus wouldn’t have minded telling Dotor, Petra, or Logue how thankful he is for their service and loyalty. Maybe even complement Cavill on his accent and missing out on getting to know him.

Zaze,” he realizes. He can call Zazriel one last time.

Asmodeus reaches into his pocket and takes out the The Hermit fortune card she had given to him. That memory seems like so long ago. She had given to him, but never asked for it back, because she said that it always connected her to him, so she could come if he were ever in trouble.

Asmodeus brings the card to his lips, and calls for Zazriel. It takes a slight moment for her to answer. “Asmodeus, my love?” Her voice comes through a little hazy, probably because they are literally worlds away. Even magical phone calls aren’t perfect.

“Hey Zaze, I uh, just wanted to talk to you one more time, before um…”

“Asmodeus, is everything alright?” she asks, the hesitance in his voice alarming her.

Few things get past her. 

“Noella has left with Azale and Petra to see her mother. They’re watching over the battle with Wrath, Envy, and Gluttony. They told Dotor not to worry, they were only going to watch, but I’m not so sure…”

Asmodeus holds the card away as he groans. Remembering the painful feelings he recently endured when he felt Leviathan and Beelzebub bite the big one. 

“Strange thing to want to watch,” Asmodeus comments about his wife and Reavers. 

Zazriel giggles, “That’s what I thought. Hmmm…”

“What is it, Zaze?”

“I worry for you, and Lola, of course, but… don’t take this the wrong way but I trust her to be safe more than you, despite what Cavill says.” Asmodeus is glad she can’t see his grimace right now. 

“What did Cavill say?” Asmodeus ask, half chuckling.

He can sense her pursing her lips. “Basically that you’re strong enough that you can take care of yourself.”

“Well, if that can’t be entirely true,” Asmodeus says, “why else have I always needed you?”

There’s a pause before Zazriel responds, her voice humming softly into his ears. “You haven’t needed me, wanted is more accurate.”

“Is want any different than need for us?” 

“Hmm,” she chuckles, “be careful saying things like that… I may need to be with you, and then you’ll need your freedom.”

“I doubt that.”

“Hmph, alright, troublemaker, tell me before I abandon my post, did you find what you were looking for?”

“Ah, yeah, we actually did find the community of angels and daemons, its… its not pretty, but its still beautiful… in its own way. They live together, as one people, but they deserve to live somewhere better, and I think we can help them if things go well.”

“That’s great, but not what I meant. I know you really went to find your sister.” 

Clever one, Zazriel is.

“I found her, and her daughter. It was, really good to see her. I really think you’ll like her.”

“I do too.” Then there is a pause before she speaks again. “Is there anything else you wanted to talk to me about?”

Asmodeus quickly responds through the card, “No, that’s what I wanted to tell you.”

“Really?” Zazriel is not satisfied. “You’d tell me if something were wrong, wouldn’t you?”

“Yes, I would,” he lies to her.

“No, you wouldn’t,” she catches him, “but I’d drag it out of you… even if it kills you. I love you.”

Asmodeus laughs, his hand on his mouth trying to stifle it. “Tough love, you’re giving me here.”

“It’s what you need,” she says, “but it only means that I love you… goodbye.”

“I love you too…”

Then it ends.

“You just lied to her,” Lolara tells from behind him. Asmodeus knew she was there, listening to their conversation. Asmodeus had heard her walk up half way through but said nothing about it.

“I did.” 

Lolara kneels down behind him and wraps her arms around him, her head sitting on his left shoulder. She kisses his cheek and tells him, “You know that if you die, that fortune-telling succubus will be destroyed, don’t you? You’re supposed to be her fortuned desire… as much as I’d like to be.”

“Pretty sure I’m supposed to bring her fortuned desire.”

“Don’t correct me.”

“Sorry…” he whispers.

He turns his head to face Lolara’s. “You’ll help her, won’t you?” 

“As if you need to ask.”

Asmodeus grabs the back of Lolara’s head and brings her in for one last kiss. 

“I love you too, Lo.” 

“I know, I love you too, you’re my best friend, and I still hope, that despite what you’ve said… you’ll bullshit your way out of this in the end.”

“This isn’t a game,” Asmodeus tells her.

“Of course, its a game,” Lolara snaps as she hugs close to him. “It’s all a game, with cheat codes, shortcuts, glitches, and game overs… so… be the admin.”

“Be… the admin?” Asmodeus questions.

“God, you’re such a filthy fucking console pleb,” Lolara mutters to herself as he’s trying really hard not to laugh. 

Talon comes up behind them to let them know everyone is ready. “All the fighters have their weapons, all the medics are supplied, and the runners are armored up to act as paramedics. All 10,000 of us.”

“Didn’t realize that there was room for so many of you here,” Lolara remarks, removing herself from Asmodeus.

“This palace was made to house all the occupants from a city that used to surround it. That’s why we picked it, to house anyone who came,” Talon informs her.

“Good to know,” and Asmodeus asks Lolara, “would you get Uriel and others for me, please? We’ll leave first to get A’rock. The portal will remain open for an hour after I go through, long enough to transport everyone through I believe.”

“Shouldn’t even need that much time to move everyone if the portal is to be the size of this wall,” Talon responds.

“Perfect, let’s begin.”

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