Author's note: Ok guys. Because YOU ALL REQUESTED IT. I AM BACK. You should know that the last two and a half years have been very rough, and I had to bury the muse to tend to more important matters, but YOU have inspired me again. Yes, all you following this story. You are all my heroes. I thought I was through, the well of ideas dried as my life turned upside down with my father's illness. He is well now thank God, and you all have been patiently waiting for the next chapter all this time, not sure if there was going to be one or not. You're amazing and Yes! you inspire me. You revive my muse long enough to at least produce one more chapter for you all, and though don't know when the next one is coming, I can feel it in the back of my head boiling, and I think that with a little exercise of the mind (it is a little rusty as you might have guessed after such a long hiatus) I might be able to do it once more pretty soon. If it wasn't for all of you...I would not be back so THANK YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.

Now to the story. New ideas popped into my head while in hiatus, and one of them was to explore a little bit what other villains could be involved in this mess I have created and one name jumped high in the air...Michael Jordan style. The only other villain I have not touched: Ra's Al Ghoul. What role does the immortal one play in this story? Well, I'll start answering that question in this chapter. Like always, I am already out of cannon, so my apologies for painting the Demon's head with a little personal twist. I hope I made him a little more...interesting and likeable. You guys let me know. Hopefully this will be the beginning of good things to come...let's see. In the meantime, enjoy this chapter as the other slowly simmers...hmmm. Anybody hungry?

One last thing. In this long time, I think I've lost my beta. I can't find her email, and really wonder if she will even be interested after this long. So ICE NEKKO, if you're reading this and are still interested, please contact me, you were awesome and I need a beta ASAP!. I know my language limitations and try my best to write as good as possible, but only a beta can help me when I hit the wall. I apologize for any serious grammatical blunders, and hope to soon get the help I need to give you guys the best story you deserve. Thanks for your understanding.

DISCLAIMER 1: BATMAN and all related characters belong to DC COMICS. I don't own, so don't sue.

DISCLAIMER 2: There will be MATURE LANGUAGE and MATURE situations of STRONG Sexual reference. Read at your own risk.

Chapter 40: Secret of the House of Al Ghul.

Selina and Harley stopped by the service door to the warehouse. So far, no cameras and no muscle had come to stop them, and that bothered Catwoman. It was highly unusual in a place that was timing with activity just 24 hours ago according to Harley. So one of two things could happen now. This could just be the calm before the storm of bullets that awaited them further inside the warehouse were Black was waiting for her, or Harley was wrong or worst yet, with an agenda of her own to keep her away from Joker. Either way, she will have to be prepared for anything. Selina checked the door, secured with a padlock. Suddenly, Harley's giggling startled her as the Clown girl pulled a quarter sized smiley from one of her pockets and motioned playfully towards the lock. Catwoman stopped her with her hand and Harley's smile turned upside down..

"What is that?"

"The key, silly. Step back and cover your ears. This is going to be a loud BANG!."

"Harley, this is not one of Joker's parties. If they're not expecting us you're just going to give us away." Selina whispered pulling a small set of lock picks from her belt and started working on the lock. Quinn just look at her strangely, as she did not know what to do. "Put that away and let a professional thief show you how it's done, OK?"

"Oh, I've never been to a cat party before," Harley said returning the smiley bomb back to her pocket and making an angry meow. "Good idea, Kitty. Then we'll let the cat out of the bag and surprise them."

"Yeah, sure. Now watch for anybody not invited to this party, especially the rodent type. This should take only a moment." Selina responded as she quickly worked on the padlock. Within a few minutes, the lock opened and she opened the door slowly and peeked inside. "This is… empty? I really don't like this."

"Oh come on…it can't be that…" Harley started when she pushed Selina aside and stormed in to take a look at the warehouse by herself. She sighed sadly. "Empty. What…not even a speck of dust? You must be kidding me."


The Batwing proved again to be the best choice for quick transportation. The long trip just took a few short hours to complete. Ra's' castle was located on the high mountains of the Andes, and its eclectic architectural style, something between far east and medieval, seemed carved from the surrounding cliffs. Perfect camouflage. Nobody would see it unless they would know what they were looking for. As Batman had expected, the castle included a private landing strip where the Detective had no problem lowering the jet. Batman turned off the Batwing's engine and ran a thermoscan of the strip. No one was out there. This landing could not have go unnoticed, so why had Al Ghul not sent guards to intercept them yet?

"Maybe he's playing possum in the hopes we leave on our own accord thinking nobody's home?" Fred said as if answering Bruce's concerns.

"Not in this lifetime." Batman responded shutting the engines. "And talking about lifetimes, how long have you said you've known Ra's?"

"Never told you, but a lot longer than I really wanted." Fred started down the Batwing's stairs to the ground.

"Long enough to know about this hideout on the mountains, though."

"This is not a hideout. This is more of his private…" Fred made a short pause to clear his throat. "…summer retreat."

"That's what he calls it..really?" Batman said while checking his utility belt. "It looks like a hideout to me. You've been here before?"

"Long time ago though I doubt he'd remember me since I look so…different now. And he is especially fond of this place. Lonely…removed…isolated. As a man out of time like him must feel."

"And the Lazarus pit here has nothing to do with it, right?" Batman said not obtaining an answer from Fred as he joined him on the palace's grounds. Instead, the old man smiled mischievously. "I got suspicious reading on the plane's sensors and you're not even going to confirm that fact to me?"

"Does it really matter? Because here comes the welcoming committee we were expecting." Fred said as he pointed at four very large hooded guards coming from the palace's main doorways, swords readied in their hands. "Jolly fellows aren't they?"

Bruce readied himself for a fight when one of the guards motioned with his lance towards the main palace doors and spoke some words in a strange language. Fred held Bruce by the shoulder and after bowing to the guards, responded to them in the same tongue. The guards nodded, exchanged some more words with Fred and started back to the castle. Fred encouraged Bruce to follow them.

"Relax my friend, we are guests of the castle's master," the demon responded following the guards. Batman followed closely behind until they reached the large wooden castle door that opened with a moaning creak. Bruce still felt tense that their welcome had been uneventful to say the least. Inside the castle, the walls flickered by the light of the countess torches illuminating the main hall that lead to a large marbled living room and two large statues that stood beside a large fireplace crackling furiously on the farthest corner. Bruce recognized the faces of the statues, Ra's himself stood guard of his living room in full Ottoman military regalia. How far can a man become obsessed with his own image and power Bruce wondered. Around the fireplace, three mahogany and oak chairs upholstered in fine black leather made the place a little more cozy. From the walls, receded features resembling dragon claws held lamps that glowed with a warm white flame that brightened the room making it look larger than what it really was. Across from the fireplace, the room opened to two old fashioned gas lamp-lit halls covered in paintings and reliefs that looked ancient. From the left hall, a tall slender hooded figure approached them slowly as she pulled the hood of her robe back to reveal a pair of familiar hazel eyes sparked in the twilight as she smiled delightedly.

"I came to speak to your father, Talia."

"He's not here, but I'm sure I can make your trip worthwhile, Love. I'm glad to see you again. It's been just too long." The Demon's daughter walked towards Batman and threw her arms around him, but Bruce held her wrists before she could make contact. "What is wrong, Bruce?"

"This is not a social visit. Where can I find your father?" Bruce pushed her off him, to what she responded with an angry snort.

"Who do I look like…my father's keeper?" Talia exchanged a scornful look between Bruce and Fred. Wrapping herself tightly with her turquoise robe she started to leave towards the long hall she had come from. "He's not here. If that is all you wanted, you can leave now then. Sorry that you made this trip for...nothing." Talia said those last with word venomously, with obvious resentment in her voice.

As she started to walk back to the inner hall ,she noted she was walking alone, while the guards stood right where she had left them with the visitors. She called to them, but no guard uttered a word or moved. They seemed frozen in place and even Batman seemed to look past her with cold absent eyes. Behind her, even the torches flames had frozen and total silence surrounded her. Fred started to walk towards her, the gait of an old tired man obvious in his step as he approached the Demon's daughter and took his glasses off to clean them with a worn handkerchief from his pocket. The tired gray eyes glowed inside with a bright orange flame.

"Don't pout like a little girl, Talia. He did not mean to be rude, but more important matters have captured his attention. Pleasure can come later, I assure you, when you are all safe."

"What are you-."

"That does not matter now, but the business we bring is for your father's ears alone, Talia, and no matter what he instructed you to tell us, I know he's here."Fred interrupted cleaning his glasses with a cream and sniffed the air. "In his room, isn't he?"

Ghul's daughter stopped and turned angrily. "I told you he's not here and you dare calling me a liar? Be careful with your words, old man. I could have your tongue for your arrogance."

"No arrogance child, just the surprise to see the mighty Ra's hiding behind the skirts of a girl." Talia glared at the old man. "What is he hiding…his faltering health or the fact he's really afraid of Batman and a weary old man in search of answers?"

"I had it with you. NO ONE CALLS MY FATHER A COWARD!" Talia exploded. "A good lashing will show you some respect. GUARDS, SEIZE HIM!"

The guards didn't move. Instead they seemed like statues in a museum. Even Batman seemed to be affected by the mysterious spell. The vigilante's blue eyes were fixed on her, but they seemed empty and absent, like the eyes of a corpse. He was looking at her without seeing her at all. For a moment she questioned her sanity, when she noticed the bright glow on the old man's eyes. This was not madness, but supernatural. What type of witchcraft was this? She walked to her guards and tried to shake them from their slumber, but they didn't even acknowledge her presence. The moment she touched them, she felt their skin hard and cold as marble. She looked at the Knight who still looked him lifelessly towards that hall she had been walking just a few moments ago.

"Who are you? What have you-."

"Just call your father, Talia. We are here in a very important mission, one that I suspect he knows already. I beg of you, be sensible and let him know the urgency of our presence."

"Who do you think you're talking to? I am not the ignorant child you take me for." Talia retorted. "Whatever you need to tell a him, you can tell me too."

"I am speaking to Ra's Al Ghul's daughter and if someone can convince the Demon's Head to meet with us is you, Princess. Unfortunately, you do not have the…longevity to answer our questions, child, but he carries centuries of knowledge we could find useful right now. Now go to him and ask him to grant us an audience. This is a matter of life of death."

Talia looked around her again and this time noticed the flames in the torches started flickering again and the guards were breathing once more, at the same time they exchanged confused looks between her and the intruders. Batman looked confused by the whole scene. Ra's' daughter remained silent, staring angrily at the old man. She felt humiliated, but at the same time lost and unprepared, for she was not sure who...or what she was dealing with. Maybe his father was better suited to handle the Detective and his mysterious guest.

"Take them to the Library." Talia ordered the guards as she started towards a large marble staircase at the right of the main hall. "Wait for me there, but do not think for a moment I will forget this, old man." Fred tried to apologize when Talia turned around and quickly disappeared into the castle bowels.

"What was all that about?" Batman whispered to Fred as they started following after the guards.

"A little persuasion I hope worked." Fred answered as the guards guided them long halls and stairs until they arrived to the library that was located deeper inside the Castle's west wing. Batman had followed the guards closely, his senses sharp and readied for this was the first time he felt unsure of what to expect. Being inside Ra's castle uninvited was reason enough to be careful, but Fred's little mystery behavior since they arrived had the Detective senses on edge. This was still a demon he was dealing with, and the magic he could produce was something he could find hard to understand rationally. All this could end up very bad very fast.

Fred whispered to Batman. "That girl is a piece of work. I'll never understand what you see in her Bruce."

"I don't understand what you're talking about." Bruce responded startled slightly from his thoughts.

"You know Talia… That woman you fell in love with?" Fred said looking at the detective strangely. "I know, I know. it's none of my business, but I would've never imagined you and her would have anything in common."

"And I never imagined a creature of your power falling love with a mere mortal either." But then responded dryly. Fred looked back at him sporting an amused smile.

"Sorry, did not mean to intrude but I just find it fascinating how love can performed such strange things as pairing two unlikely souls. That is a kind of magic I don't even understand now. It worked for me. Did it work for you?"

Batman didn't respond and the silence between them became so tense that Fred decided not to push the compensation any further and they silently followed the guards the rest of the way to the library.


"I don't understand this," Harley said examining the rooms along the large office building until they arrived at the storage area of the warehouse. This, like the rest of the building was clean and empty. If anybody had been using this warehouse before they really went to great extents to remove any evidence of their presence. "There were here the other day, I swear!"

"When was the last time you saw people here, Harley?"

"Yesterday,Kitty... About one in the afternoon. Blackie with his private army of thugs and Eddie were here. Along with furniture, computers, boxes and a lot of other gizmos that looked ancient." Quinn said jumping from the small platform to the storage grounds and examining the ground closely. "I would say they were over 100 people here and look at this...the dust in this floor is ancient, like no one has been here in centuries. It makes no sense."

"Nothing has been making any sense since this all started."

"Then maybe we could clarify the facts for you." A male voice startled Selina from behind. She made a back flip and landed beside Harley unwinding her whip. On the platform, Two-face looked Catwoman amusedly raising both hands off the railway. "We are not here to fight."

"Then what the heck are you doing here, Harvey?"

"Searching for Black, and you?"

"But you were working for Skeletor. I saw you a few weeks ago." Harley said. Harvey smiled perversely.

"We do not work for Black anymore. There is no space for us in this plan when Black's having psychos like Joker in his payroll." Dent noted a hint of a frown in Quinn's face. She still resented when someone badmouthed her clown.

"You're not far behind in the psycho-meter, Harv." Selina responded as she swung her whip beside her. "Why are you really here?"

"Black didn't like we rejected his offer. He's interfering in our business. Time to let the skull face know who is he messing with. You want to know what Mask and his men are up to? We know the whole story."


Ra's' library was a round room probably twice as large as the living room and twice as tall and much more ornate, prove that visitors to the castle were a rare commodity so the style was solely for AlGhul's pleasure. The library plan was divided into two levels, the top mezzanine supported by beautifully decorated ionic marble columns and the floor covered in Moorish styled tiles. Both the bottom and top floor walls were covered in bookshelves filled mostly with scrolls and leather bound copies of literary classics. Bruce recognized many of them: Machiavelli's Prince, an original King James Bible, sitting along a compendium of Friedrich Nietzsche's work….all original first editions. These bits of human knowledge were housed under one roof as part of the collection of a man who could count his age in centuries. In the sparse space between bookshelves, coats of armors from all over the world, and under different names decorated the otherwise bare walls. In the middle of the room, a large wooden table was covered with old parchments and books in languages Batman did not recognize. As he tried to get a glimpse of the books, a familiar voice grabbed his attention.

"You got courage coming here uninvited, Detective." Ra's said in a tired hoarse voice while motioning his guards to step outside.

Al Ghul wore a black velvet robe over a dark green linen shirt and white leisure pants held at the waist by a large band that resembled tiger stripes. The dark color of the attire contrasted with his grey eyes and the lightening beard. Large streaks of grey, started to show on the old enemy's receding hairline, a witness that time was catching up with him. Batman noticed Ra's gaze looked unusually old and tired, as he walked over the table to close the books and put the ancient parchments away. His walk seemed slow and almost painful. Bruce noted the dark circles under the Demon's head eyes and just realized that this man was only the shadow of the one he had known to before, and one who probably had eluded a few nights of sleep. He wondered if the use of the Lazarus pits had reached on his limit on preserving his enemy's body.

"I come in peace, Ra's." Batman said.

"I doubt your good intentions when you let my daughter be attacked by…whatever your friend is." The Demon's Head responded looking at Fred who was absentmindedly examining some of the scrolls off the wall. "I'm only going to warn you once. Put those back, old man. My daughter told me what you did to her and you are not longer welcomed here."

"If I have offended your home Al Ghul, I'm sorry." Fred said calmly putting the book he had borrowed back on the shelf and raising his hand apologetically. "My apologies to your daughter as well. I know I was harsh, but I needed to convince you to see us."

"And you think you can just come to my abode uninvited, bewitch my servants, and just demand me to give you whatever it is you seek?" Ra's eyes narrowed on Fred. "How did you know of this palace? It was you, wasn't it? You might look different now, but we have met before, a long time ago, I…know your name…I know you."

"Does it matter, Ra's?" Batman interrupted, "Aren't you more concerned on what has forced us to come here to see you, knowing the risks?"

"Whatever it is, it does not concern me, Detective. So the sooner you leave the better for both of us."

"Believe me Ra's, if you were half as intelligent as you are arrogant, you could actually do some good in this world. Why can't you listen to reason?" That was all that was needed to spark fury in Al Ghul's eyes. Ra's pulled a sword from one of the coat of arms sculpted on the wall and pointed it at the Fred in a challenging stance.

"I am getting tired of your insolence." Ra's roared.

"No, you are afraid," Fred said. The revelation just fired up Ra's anger and he lifted the sword high above him. Fred did not move. "Because you know what we want and somehow…that scares you. I can smell it in you."

"I don't know what you are, but your threats don't scare me. Your disrespect on the other hand is starting to wear my patience thin. Leave before I decide to find out if you bleed like the rest of us." AlGhul used all his strength to swing the sword above his head, huffing painfully from the effort.

"RA'S NO! We're trying to protect you and your daughter." Batman said.

"And he's going to kill himself if he doesn't stop." Fred said. "Ra's Please...STOP!"

Al Ghul slowed the sword and let it hit hard the floor beside him, chipping some of the tiles. Bent over slightly and still holding to the handle, Ra's panted heavily. "We...we are safe here. We don't need your protection... and I will not say it again. LEAVE MY CASTLE!"

"Ra's', we need Nabur's weapon," Batman asked startling his enemy for a brief moment. Al Ghul had not expected the direction the interrogatory was taking and locked his gray surprised eyes on the Detective. The sudden dread disappeared as fast as it had come and using the sword for support, he guided himself to the wood table and slowly let himself down on a chair.

" A fairy tale? Is that why you're here? Since when Gotham's Detective exchanges facts for mythology?"

"This is not mythology, Ra's. I'm sure you've heard Nabur and Augor ." Fred said.

"Legends forgotten by time. This is becoming tiresome. Stop wasting my time with medieval fairy tales."

"They're trying to bring Augor back." Ra's let out a mocking chuckle, and Batman felt mocked. "What do you find so funny?"

"If you had your facts right, Detective, you'll know no demon or mortal in his sane mind would want Augor back. He was feared even by his own children." Ra's snapped.

"Not by his brother Eligos." Fred said. "With Augor back, Eligos becomes one very powerful Prince."

"Eligos was banned along with his brother." Ra's said, turning his attention to Fred. "That's how the legend ends. Both brothers and his followers were sent to oblivion to end the war."

"You are the one with the wrong fact, Ra's." Fred said. AlGhul's eyes glowed with anger as he frown.

"Eligos is in this realm, and he already has the book of Mirrors, Lucifer's keys, and possibly all the souls needed to open his brother's prison" Batman said. For a second time, there was concern in Al Ghul's grey eyes. "We need to stop them before he does, and for that we need Nabur's weapon."

"The weapon is a legend, Detective. Ask your demon friend here, he'll tell you. Not even his kin believe in it and I don't like meddling in Hellion affairs."

Fred huffed angrily. "Even if it means sacrificing the life of your own blood, Ra's? Is your grandson to pay for your indifference on this matter as well?"

"Grandson?" Batman inquired, seeing the look of surprise in Ra's eyes.

"And his grand-grandsons. All your lineage gone." Fred quickly continued ignoring the interruption. "Is that what you want? Augor is not his brother Lucifer, Ra's. He has no tolerance for your species and would not give a damn about your status. You're Hellion influence will be worth a spit with that monster in power. With Augor ruling Hades you legacy will not survive. Think about that then think about your daughter... We know how to hurt you Ra's and Augor will find even more ways to make the pain last."

Batman just exchanged estranged looks between Fred and the Detective. For the first time he felt at a loss in the conversation, not understanding the references thrown out between Fred and Ra's. A secret code that was making Al Ghul obviously nervous.

"Ra's, only you can help us stop Augor." Batman said, bringing the Demon's Head attention to the matters at hand.

"Told you before, it is a legend, Detective." Ra's said calling over one of the sentinel guards at the library doors. He whispered something to the guard who bowed reverently and left. Ra's' shifted painfully on the chair. Batman could note the exhaustion in his enemy's eyes. "Don't you think I would have used such a formidable weapon if I had it already?"

"It would not have no effect on mortals, Ra's. It was created to kill demons." Fred said.

"And no demon could ever wield it. Why are you so interested in a weapon you can't even touch, demon?"

"It's not he who wants the weapon, it's me." Batman said bluntly.

"For what? Only a fool would think he could handle a Hellion weapon with his bare hands." Al Ghul responded. "Who do you think you are...a god? You're merely a mortal."

"I'll do what I have to do to save lives. Ra's, you and I have been enemies for a long time, but I do respect you deeply. Augor is our common enemy. Helping me defeat him will save you and your family. After it has ended, we can go on with our paths…wherever they take us."

"I don't know if your too noble or just too naïve, Wayne. It is easy to save those you love most; but who in his sane mind would want to save his enemy's life as well?"

"No noble act of heroism here, Ra's. I thought you would understand that bowing to a monster like Augor and his minions is not in our human nature. And if you don't bow, you fight back. The enemy of my enemy—"

"What part you didn't get? The weapon does not exist. It's a fairy tale." Ra's said exasperated. "Now GO!"

"NO! It can't be, you are lying," Fred said. "The legend said-."

"Nabur died not able to fulfill his dream of killing the murderer of his wife and daughter. A weapon that would kill demons would have killed him well before he could complete his revenge, a paradox that he could never solve." Ra's explained as Talia entered the library carrying a tray with a bottle of wine, a large silver goblet, and a small block of Swiss cheese with a knife embedded into it. She settled the tray on the large table and proceeded to pour some of the wine in the goblet. "Sorry that you came all this way to waste your time with an imaginary tale, Detective."

"You're lying." Fred reiterated.

"Am I?" Ra's snapped back at the demon.

"No he's not." Batman responded somberly. Even he could read the sincerity in Al Ghul's words now. All his attempts to follow a Joker's leads have led him to a dead end. One that he knew would cost him dearly. "Sorry I have wasted your time coming here, and abused your hospitality based on a false lead." Batman said pushing the cape behind him. Fred tried to protest when Batman looked at him sternly as he started to leave. Then he heard a voice call his name.

"It's a fairy tale with an alternate ending. Don't you want to hear it before you go?" The voice sounded like Ra's' at the same time it was different; strong and young. It rumbled across the room like thunder in the midst of a storm. Fred tapped Batman and motioned for him to look behind him were stood a man in a smoky gray vest over black loose fitting long sleeve shirt opened at the neck. His dark auburn hair, short and wild on top of his head almost seem to sparkle under the torch lights. He did not look older than thirty, but his eyes reflected the experience of many thousand lifetimes. A mocking smile peered from under a thin moustache. Batman noticed the absence of a door behind the man and the fact that he had not seen him enter the library through the only visible door, made him suspect this was a supernatural meeting.

Ra's stood and Fred bowed.

"Lord Lucifer…honored to see you." Al Ghul started when the man returned the bow and motioned him to be quiet and sit down.

"And why would you be bowing, Amiel?" Lucifer said glaring at Fred. "You've never bothered bowing to me in the past."

"I was just been polite." Fred responded forcing the words through gritted teeth. "It's called etiquette."

"Yeah, like you cared. We both know how we feel about each other so don't pretend to like me, because I don't like you either. I'll deal with you some other time. " Lucifer said walking slowly towards the Batman while examining him from head to toe. Bruce just glared back at him. "So this is the infamous Dark Knight. Very nice…outfit. Suits the color of your soul. You know I've been keeping my eye on you for a while now, don't you?"

"I can't say I'm flattered." Batman spat back spitefully. "And I would guess you are so desperate now that your angry brother is coming back that you desire to show up your face now out of fear. You definitely look like the cowardly type." Ra's rose from his chair with effort, his hand wrapped tightly around his sword and ready for action. Lucifer lifted his hand to the Demon's head.

"No, no Ra's. No need for violence, we are between friends are we not? And you're wrong Batman, misled by the bad press I've gotten over the centuries, I'm sure. I can be ruthless, true, but deep inside, I'm just a lover, not a fighter. And I'm not afraid of anything, neither mortals nor even of my dead brother YOU seem to concerned about."

"I'm sure you are." Batman responded sardonically. Lucifer responded glancing over to the Knight, whose blue piercing eyes were fixed on him. "Ra's old friend, why don't you go to the wine cellar and fetch me a bottle of that delicious ambrosia you keep stashed in there. The real old stuff. And bring more glasses I'm sure the company warrants such a delicacy. I would really like to exchange a few words with your mortal friend…in private."

"This is my house, Lucifer."

"And I'm your guest. Etiquette is such a lost art, isn't it Ra's? Just ask Amiel here; he seems to suddenly be versed in it. Now, please take your time. I want only your best ambrosia." Lucifer responded demurely, without even looking back at the castle's master. It took a few moments before Al Ghul nodded and departed aided by his daughter finally leaving the library to Lucifer and the guests.

"I admire your courage, mortal. Not many have the guts to speak to me like that when in my presence." Lucifer said when they were finally alone. "You monkeys don't know your place in the tree of life but I can remind you. You're at the bottom of the tree. Right beside the fungi. So easy to step on your arrogant existence, and a lot of fun."

"Am I supposed to be scared? I know what you are, and I am not impressed of you as a king. Why show up now? Does your brother scare you that much that you have to pretend he's dead when you know he's not."

"He's never scared me. I'm here because I wanted to see what kind of mortal would be willing to take hell all by himself. Because that is what you're going to do if you go through this with your plans. And if Amiel here has a blind belief on your abilities, well, then you get my attention. After all, Hell is my domain too. Did you know what Amiel did before he fell for mortal women? No? Poor blind bat. I'll be very careful of the agenda of someone of his kind if I was you."

Fred hissed as his eyes glowed brightly. Lucifer smile mockingly, his eyes gleamed intensely a deep red, almost like boiling blood behind those pupils. The temperature of the room seemed to get suddenly hotter than usual.

"First fear, now self doubt? I know what you're trying to do, Lucifer and it will not work. You should know, your son tried it once and here I am. I know Amiel and what unite us is stronger that any of your lies. We have a common foe now, your brother Augor. And I would appreciate that if you have something to contribute to this mess you've created, feel free to do so. Otherwise, stop wasting my time."

"Impressive mortal specimen you associate yourself with Amiel. Impressive indeed." Lucifer frown and misty blue vapor escape through his nostrils as he exhaled. "Oh, I have a lot to contribute to this meeting my warm blooded mortal...bat. Maybe even more than you probably want to hear, but believe me you will not regret the ages of information that will enrich your small mammalian brain tonight." Lucifer smiled. "Where do I begin...oh at the beginning of brother Augor."