Song of The Morning Star
Disclaimer: I own nothing
The inside of the building was as silent as the outside. Not even the hum of electricity was heard, despite the fact that the stairway the small group traversed was illuminated with red emergency lights. The lighting created an illusion of a supernatural red glow to the surrounding walls, which did little to ease the nerves of the three angels present. The man and Blue Lance, however, seemed immune to the illusion, perhaps having grown used to its affect long ago. Perhaps they simply didn't care.
The group of five came to a halt at the bottom of the stairs, in front of a door with a neon green EXIT sign above it. The man looked back at the females in his company with a quick glance, saying, "I will have to ask that you wear an illusion once we move past these doors. I know it is something of a hassle for you, especially for the little one, but not all of my employees are of the otherworldly sort." He turned back to the door, and Holy Bell almost didn't catch his next words. "At least, not yet."
The man opened the door and stepped into the hallway beyond, looking back once more at the four with a furtive smile. "When you are ready, have Blue Lance lead the way. She's been here enough times to know her way around without getting lost." With a nod, he retreated from the door, ignoring the weak protests that escaped Noble Scarlet and World of Elegance's throats as the door swung shut behind him, leaving three angels and a devil in the red glow of the staircase lights.
When the door opened once more, three women and a young girl stepped into the hallway, blinking eyes that were suddenly assaulted by artificial light far brighter then the dim red glow they had grown accustomed to.
The illusions were good. Wings had disappeared, and the strips of cloth which had covered their flesh had been replaced with shirts, jackets, pants, and skirts, the combination changing in reference to each woman's preference. Eyes and hair of an unnatural hue had changed to more natural browns and blacks, save for World of Elegance, who, even with the illusion in place, still retained her trademark black and white hair and blue and black eyes. Considering such a combination, while odd, was possible in the mortal realm, nothing had changed on that account.
Of course, more then one person working the late shift in the building would send her an odd glance or two as she passed them by, but what did she care?
"Come on, this way." Blue Lance grabbed Holy Bell and Noble Scarlet's hands, hurriedly leading the two away from the door with World of Elegance trailing unenthusiastically behind them. Her hair, which had once been an odd shade of dark violet, had changed to black, and her red eyes were now a brilliant shade of mahogany. The devil's outfit consisted of a tight fitting leather jacket that covered the light spaghetti strap shirt she had on underneath it. A dark violet short skirt complimented the jacket, and a pair of long, lacy black gloves covered her hands.
Holy Bell and Noble Scarlet followed dutifully behind, Holy Bell dressed in a light blue blouse that complimented her eyes and a grey skirt long enough to almost cover her feet. Never one to stand out, the outfit was rather conservative in comparison to Scarlet's bright red t-shirt and contrasting denim jacket, a pair of black shorts and sneakers on her feet. Like Blue Lance, Scarlet's eyes had also changed color, and were now a shade of brown with small copper flakes that danced in the light.
"This feels weird…" Noble Scarlet whined, looking unhappily over at Holy Bell, who had used her magic to help the younger angel come up with a satisfactory illusion. The older angel nodded her head in understanding. "I know, Scarlet. Illusions have never been my specialty, and I'm sorry about that. The form of magic comes too close to deceit, and as I'm an angel to a first class goddess, it's only natural that I'd be a rather poor illusionist." She glanced over her shoulder at World of Elegance, who watched the trio before her in amusement. "World of Elegance is much better at such spells then I am."
The angel in question currently had her hands shoved into the pockets of her jeans, heels clicking with every step she made as brought up the rear of the odd little group. She wore an open black jacket, the kanji for 'angel' written in bold white characters along either side of the jacket's arms. Beneath that, a slim black shirt that hugged her figure, leaving her tattooed midriff exposed. The angel in disguise grinned as Noble Scarlet turned to follow Holy Bell's look. "That may be true, Bell, but you forget; unlike you guys, I'm just plain lazy. I'd have done a worse job on the both of you had you asked, and you'd be even more uncomfortable then you are now."
Angels had a tendency to 'feel' magic that was used on them, and illusion spells were no different. Depending on the strength of the spell and the skill of the caster, something like an illusion spell could go virtually unnoticed by the one under it. Or, in the case of Holy Bell and Noble Scarlet, it could feel like they were continuously assaulted by an ever present dust cloud, leaving both of the blonde angels feeling scratchy and uncomfortable.
"How long do we have to look like this?" Noble Scarlet asked, looking up to Blue Lance.
The devil in disguise looked back at her with an impish grin. "Not too long, hopefully. His room is on up ahead, and once we're inside, we probably won't have any interruptions from mortals. He'll probably let the disguises slip if we ask."
The group rounded a corner, passing several employees, none of which had a very…human aura to them, and came to a halt in front of an elevator. The employees spared the group little more then a curious glance before returning to their business, and as Noble Scarlet and World of Elegance stared after the workers, both trying to guess at just what lay under those illusions, the elevator door opened with a 'ding'.
Brought back to their current surroundings, Noble Scarlet and World of Elegance followed after Holy Bell and Blue Lance, who had already entered the metal box, the latter of which was already pressing a button for one of the lower floors. The door closed with all four present, and after a short ride downwards (one that left World of Elegance more then a little uncomfortable-did she mention how much she hated cramped spaces?) they were out and following Blue Lance once more.
This floor had more employees on it then the last, and of all of them, Holy Bell counted perhaps three that were actually human. In fact, she was fairly sure the last man the four had passed had been an incubus, if the lecherous grin he'd sent her way was any indication. What were so many otherworldly beings doing here, anyways? One or two she could shrug off as mere coincidence, but this…
It was like the strange man whom Blue Lance had brought them to see had an entire legion of supernatural creatures under his reign. Who-what-was this man?
The four women turned down another hallway, this one ending behind two overly large, rather eloquently detailed doors-the type that would seem more at home in a western mansion or a castle rather then in the twenty-fifth floor of a skyscraper in the small city of Nekomi. They came to a halt in front of the doors, and World of Elegance took note of a small black plate that adorned one wall, the words, CEO Louis Cyphre engraved in gold etching.
"Louis Cyphre?" She asked aloud, turning away from the name plate to look over at Blue Lance. "Is that his name?"
Sensing the black winged angel's gaze on her back, Blue Lance turned to look back at her companions. She nodded. "You…could say that." She said wryly, turning back to the two doors and pushing the left one open.
From within, two voices emerged, one of which held the odd note that angels and devils used to identify one another with, the other youthful, yet seeming to hold a haunting air to it, as though death hovered above the owner's head.
"…eed to return to them soon. Tomorrow, Minato will need to decide on a proper course of action. Mother Nyx will arrive soon, and then the end will come."
"Do you think the young man will make the right decision?"
The trio of angels and one devil peered inside. The man from before-Louis Cyphre-sat behind a large desk, his hands folded in front of him and resting at ease on the hard dark wood. Across from him, a younger man sat, this one little more then a teenager with dark hair and pale flesh. His back was turned to the quad, but from what they could see, a long yellow scarf fell from his neck, and he was wearing a white shirt with black trousers. Neither paid any of the women any attention, continuing their conversation as though the door had never been opened.
"I've been with him for ten years, Cyphre. And in all that time, he's shown me time and time again that he will do whatever he feels is right." The young man nodded. "I'm sure that when the time comes Minato will not hesitate." There was something of an affectionate tone in his voice, and despite any grievances she felt about eavesdropping on the teen's conversation, Holy Bell couldn't help but wonder who this 'Minato' character was.
Obviously, he must have been someone rather important for the incarnation of death itself to be speaking so fondly of him.
Louis nodded, an approving smile sliding across his features as the man stood. "Very well then. I wish both you and Mr. Arisato luck on your journey ahead. This young man has a hard road ahead of him, if he decides to face the Dark Lady herself." He reached a hand out across the desk, and the young man took it, shaking it as he, too, stood from his seat. "Give my regards to your mother when you see her again, Thanatos."
"Please. I prefer to be called 'Ryoji', in my current form, Mr. Cyphre." There was a hint of laughter in the young man's voice as he pulled his hand from Cyphre's, allowing the appendage to fall to his side. He turned, and dark eyes widened in surprise as they landed upon the four women who stood in the doorway.
For a brief moment, his form flickered, and where a man not even out of his teens once stood, a dark, masked behemoth of a man took his place, a long sword in hand and rows of coffins lined out behind him like wings.
And then the image was gone, replaced with a boy once more and leaving one to wonder if what they had seen had been real, or simply a figment of their imagination.
"I'm sorry. I hadn't known Mr. Cyphre had an appointment. Please, forgive me." The teen nodded politely to the girls, before shoving his hands into his pockets and exiting the room, the door shutting with a quiet 'snap' behind them.
"That…was Thanatos, wasn't it?" World of Elegance was the one to break the silence that had descended upon the room, turning from the door and eyeing Louis Cyphre critically. "What was a god of death doing here?"
The man smiled. "You're as sharp as the goddess who hosts you, Lady Elegance. Indeed, that was in fact Thanatos." His eyes wandered from the angel to the door behind her. "He had dropped by for a quick chat, perhaps in the hopes that I might give him some advice."
The man moved from behind his desk, motioning to a dark leather couch that sat along one of the side walls with the sweep of an arm. Taking the hint, Holy Bell latched on to World of Elegance, guiding the somewhat reluctant angel to sit, Noble Scarlet and Blue Lance trailing a few step behind. The quad made themselves comfortable on the dark couch, with Holy Bell in the middle and World of Elegance and Noble Scarlet on either side of her, where the angel of the wind could keep a close eye-or, in Elegance's case, grip-on her two companions. Blue Lance, the only one Holy Bell trusted not to go and pull a stupid stunt in the unknown environment, sat on one of the arms in the couch, feet lightly kicking against its sides.
As the angels and devil made themselves comfortable on his furniture, Cyphre pulled up a chair of his own, placing it in front of the women and sitting down in it before continuing. "In the coming days, perhaps in this world, perhaps in another, a young man will be forced to make a decision that, in the end, will bring about the end of the world." The man spoke the words with all the casualty of a person discussing the weather with acquaintances, crossing one leg over another and leaning back into his chair, ignoring the cries of the angels before him.
Holy Bell hooked her arm around World of Elegance's, dragging the angel down before she had a chance to fully rise, and sending the slightly taller woman a look that said behave yourself. Her companion sent her a rebellious look, but none the less obeyed, and Holy Bell turned her attention back to Cyphre, her mouth set in a thin frown.
"You know this…yet you refuse to do anything about it?" The long haired blonde asked, speaking slowly as she carefully picked her words. "And why speak of such a delicate matter with us? We do not know you, nor you us." Where a hand was latched around World of Elegance's wrist, Noble Scarlet took note that the older angel's knuckles had gone white, the only visible sign that Louis Cyphre's words had any real affect on her.
Across from her, Cyphre smiled, revealing pearly white teeth that did little to ease the sudden pounding of Holy Bell's heart. "My Dear, I have born witness to countless worlds rise and fall. I have seen, time and time again, a single person rise from the ashes of a dead world and set into motion the beginning of the new. Men have been granted power, only to be influenced by beings both divine and damned in the ways of which to use it.
I have seen a boy with the heart of a human granted the body of a demon and told that he will decide the outcome of the new world, based upon his Reason for being. I have seen a young man born of neither a mother nor a father rise as a messiah and challenge the Almighty himself, committing the ultimate sin of actually defeating YHWH, and being punished with an endless cycle of life, death, and rebirth for his crime."
Louis waved a hand in the air carelessly. "A young man hosting death itself for the past ten years in nothing, by comparison." The hand formed into a fist, one finger extended in a 'one' gesture. "And while, in the case of this young man, I am not allowed to directly interfere, should he form the correct bonds with the right people, and prove to me he has the strength to carry on in a world that is against him, I will lend him a small ounce of my power, to call forth and be used at his discretion."
He shifted somewhat in his seat, and Holy Bell released a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding. "However, that is neither here nor there, though I am sure that, with the deities you call master, you have seen more then your own share of worlds snuffed out."
The angels stiffened, and the man sitting across from them smiled. And for all the fact that Louis spoke the words with an almost mocking ring to them, Holy Bell was not the only one who found it strange that the smile he wore held no signs of maliciousness or malcontent, as she would have initially believed with the stranger in front of her.
It was Noble Scarlet who broke the uncomfortable silence that had descended at the comment, speaking the words that were on all the angels minds, words that neither World of Elegance or Holy Bell had the apparent courage to voice up.
Sharp sapphire eyes shifted to the little angel, sparkling with amusement. "You mean you haven't come to a conclusion as to what I am, yet?"
Noble Scarlet met his gaze with hesitant red eyes disguised as brown, inching closer to Holy Bell as though the older angel could somehow protect the child from the man's unwavering stare. Sensing her younger kin's unease, Holy Bell wrapped a thin arm around the girl's slim shoulders. Drawing the child close, the tension that had mounted within the red eyed angel's small frame at the man's look was released, and Noble Scarlet relaxed somewhat, drawing strength in Holy Bell's presence.
"I see a being hiding behind the face of a man." Holy Bell stated, her face set in a determined line as she met the man's sapphire gaze with her own azure ones. Her eyes were hard and piercing, as though believing that, if she stared hard enough, Holy Bell could see through the illusion of the man and to the creature beneath the skin. "Someone who holds a great deal of power, and yet for some reason decides to hide behind the façade of a mortal."
Louis chuckled, leaning forward and resting his elbows on his legs, his eyes glittering with an alien emotion that Holy Bell couldn't seem to place. "How very observant of you, Holy Bell." He said.
His stance reminded World of Elegance of a tiger about to pounce on his prey, and unconsciously she shifted closer to Holy Bell, alert for any signs of an attack.
"Though I am a little disappointed that you haven't recognized me yet, I suppose it can only be expected. The angels the deities have taken into themselves seem to lead such sheltered lives, now a days."
The angelic trio jumped when Blue Lance laughed at the man's comment, the giggles harsh and nerve-wracking on the angels' ears.
"As to the answer of the Little One's question, as well as the question that is no doubt swimming through your own minds, perhaps you might recognize me by my given name-Lucifer."
The temperature of the room seemed to drop several degrees at the man's declaration, the air coming to a chilling halt as the words struck the ears of the divine beings.
A play on words.
Suddenly, everything was starting to fall into place-Blue Lance's mysterious friend, the way he recognized them for who and what they were and spoke their language, the various employees who were anything but human-it was like a large jigsaw puzzle, with the final piece falling into place.
"That's it. I'm leaving." All eyes diverted to World of Elegance, who moved to stand, shaking off the hand Holy Bell still had wrapped around her wrist.
The dark winged angel glared down at Holy Bell. "Bell, I don't know about you, but I'm not going to sit here in…His presence. You know just as well as I how dangerous he is." She cast a wary, suspicious glare Louis-Lucifer's way.
The man's smile was infuriatingly smug, reminding Elegance of a cat who'd made its way into a canary's cage, knowing that no matter what the little bird did, its fate was sealed. She did her best to ignore the sudden quickening of her heart.
"Are you going to let me go?" She asked, uncomfortably crossing her arms over her chest. "Or am I going to have to fight for my right to leave?" Her words were brave. However, the threat she carried was little more then a bluff. There were few angels, especially among the ranks dedicated to the gods that could go toe to toe with one of the original Devils.
And World of Elegance was not one of them.
The man before her chuckled lightly, sapphire eyes sparkling with humor, as though World of Elegance had spoken some joke rather then announcing her departure from the room. "My Dear, you are free to leave at any time." He said. "However…are you sure you wish to depart, knowing that you leave you companions to an uncertain fate?"
The dual haired angel bristled at his words, and World of Elegance bared her teeth in an angry snarl, hands curling into fists as she glared at the man before her. Cyphre returned her gaze with an amused one of his own, catching and holding her eyes for a long, tense moment.
And then World of Elegance looked away, dropping her gaze to Holy Bell, whose left arm was wrapped protectively around Noble Scarlet's shoulders. The two angels gazes were questioning, their eyes voicing the same question Cyphre had uttered.
Would she really leave them alone?
The heterochromic angel closed her eyes, sucking in a deep breath and releasing it with a hiss. Reluctantly, she fell once more onto the couch, covering her face with tattooed hands and silently promising herself that this was the last time she did anything for Blue Lance. No. She was not going to leave Holy Bell and Noble Scarlet in the hands of this…monster.
Something wrapped around her arm, and World of Elegance dropped her hands, turning to stare at Holy Bell. The blonde angel smiled in thanks, lightly squeezing Elegance's arm before releasing her. Wonderful. At least now she wouldn't feel guilty if she and the others were corrupted and carted off to hell to join their devil-kin.
In front of them, the devil in disguise smiled, nodding his head in approval. "Very good." He said, leaning back in his chair once more. "Now, back to the matter at hand." Sapphire eyes shifted from one angel to the next, before coming to rest on Blue Lance. "I believe you all came here for a reason. I'd appreciate it if you told me what that reason is."
The three angels remained silent, all eyes instead turning to younger devil in the room. With a grin that had suddenly grown uncomfortable at the sudden attention from both angel-kin and the original devil himself, Lance spoke up. "Um...World of Elegance heard your song earlier tonight, Sir." She sounded unusually meek in the presence of the powerful devil, and for a second her appearance flickered to that of her original form as she briefly lost the will needed to maintain the illusion.
"Did she now?" Cyphre's voice was contemplative, and one golden eyebrow arched skyward as he shifted his gaze from Blue Lance to World of Elegance.
"How strange...for an angel to comprehend a Devil's Tune-My tune...." Cyphre's gaze was thoughtful, yet behind those solid blue eyes-a color that Elegance was certain had to be an illusion now, there was something else, almost as though the man was plotting something. "...My Dear, do you have any idea what that tune was?
The angel narrowed her eyes. "...No..." She said. "And why would only I hear it? Why didn't Holy Bell, someone host to a first-class goddess, hear it? Why me?" She demanded.
A part of her, she knew, already had answered her questions.
As though not hearing the woman's questions, Cyphre continued speaking, his eyes distant, as though his mind had left him for another world. "In another world, in another time, perhaps here, perhaps a Vortex Realm, a maiden born of a mother who is also her father will use that same song to calm the hearts of demons gone mad. She will speak to YHWL. She will end all of humanity and give birth to the demons that take their place."
An image of a young girl with short-cropped black hair appeared in World of Elegance's mind. More faces appeared behind her: an angry man with red hair, bangs obscuring red eyes. Another man with silver hair and gray eyes, a foreign mark on his cheek in the design of a gaping mouth. A green eyed man, his face void of emotion, stared from underneath his hooded cover. A dredlock-adorned youth, almost feminine with his violet eyes and hair, watched cheerfully next to a young woman with pink hair, a scar marring one of her matching pink eyes.
We are the future. They seemed to say, their eyes flashing gold as their flesh was overcome with shadow. Geometric, radiant lines grew upon their bodies, colors that seemed to match their eyes as the lines sprouted, and their voices rose in screams. The screams shifted, raising to the roars and cries of beasts.
We are the Embryon.
We will rise to Nirvana.
Behind the group, another figure appeared, this of an older woman, one with a striking resemblance to the dark-haired girl.
A puppet master, the woman seemed to tower over the group, and in her open hand, a sphere of pulsating green energy appeared.
Devour your enemies.
There is no other way to survive. You cannot escape your hunger, Warriors of Purgatory.
Where once a group of people had stood, demons had taken their place.
A woman laughed.
A man screamed.
A child cried.
And then the image was gone, World of Elegance finding herself once more in Lucifer's room, sitting on a couch with her sisters, her wings hidden under the 'guise of a moral.
Cyphre was watching her intently.
He smiled, slowly,like a predator. "...What did you see, My Dear?"
She almost didn't hear him over the strange pounding in her head. Dimly she was aware that it was the sound of her own heart. "What...what did I just see?" She breathed, she herself unsure of the strange image that had appeared within her mind.
A pain in her wrist drew her eyes to the concerned stares of Holy Bell and Nobel Scarlet. "Elegance?" Bell queried, loosening her grip at the sight of the dual-angel returning to herself.
The mixed-angel let out a shaky breath, leaning slightly into Holy Bell and drawing strength from her companion's presence. "I'm alright..." The thunder-bearer breathed, inhaling deeply and closing her eyes.
Sensing her comrade's distress, Holy Bell silently slid her arm around the older woman, hoping to further comfort World of Elegance from whatever vision had briefly overtaken her.
Across from them, Cyphre leaned back in his chair, a near-rueful grin on his face. "Yes...A song for demons, by demons...tuned only for those with darkness in their hearts." He murmured.
"Tuned only for those who wish to hear it."
From where she leaned against Holy Bell, World of Elegance stiffened. From where she'd bowed her head, The angel slowly lifted it, eyes of contrasting colors traveling to meet sapphire.
The smile did not fade. "Perhaps..." The man mused. "Perhaps a portion of you...or is it Urd? Is a little darker then you initially thought..." The dark creature murmured, eyes contemplative.
"No." With a discipline the mixed angel wasn't aware she had, World of Elegance kept herself from assaulting the Devil Lord, ignoring as best she could the vice-grip around her torso that was Holy Bell's arms.
"Elegance." Holy Bell hissed. "Control yourself. Do not let him bode you into a fight." The blonde angel knew, perhaps better only then Cyphre himself, what fragile territory the small group was treading upon. If indeed the man before him was whom he claimed to be, it would only take one word, one flickering thought, for the room to be filled with the legions under his reign.
Even less for those very same legions to tear them all apart.
Blue eyes briefly flickered to where Nobel Scarlet was pressed deeply against her side, a noise that couldn't seem to decide if it was a growl or whimper rising lowly in the child-like angel's throat.
World of Elegance's words from earlier came flowing back into her head almost mockingly. But still, if there is a chance that this guy is dangerous, do you really think you can protect yourself and still look out for Noble Scarlet?
Hindsight really was a golden creature, curse it all.
If Louis Cyphre was aware of Holy Bell's words, the man-thing did a wonderful job of ignoring it. Instead, Cyphre leaned back in his chair, fingers forming a steeple as he looked to the angels with a raised golden eyebrow. "No?" He asked, and for the lives of all those present, it was uncertain if the man was honestly curious or simply repeating the angel's words. "Are you certain, Dear Elegance?" He asked, eyes, so similar to the traditional blue of an angels, slowly traveled to the three divine inhabitants of the room, meeting each and every pair before returning once more to World of Elegance's.
Somewhere in the process, they'd begun to bleed into a devil's red.
World of Elegance recoiled into her sibling as though struck, the change in color bringing rise to a terror the likes of which she'd never felt before.
For within those orbs World of Elegance saw naught the frightening darkness that she knew the owner to possess, but something else, something inviting, something familiar, and the sudden longing and desire that swelled within her breast to join it horrified her.
"Are you certain?" Cyphre repeated, once again leaning forward, placing his palms down to rest upon his knees. "Come, Child, have you never wondered? Have you never dreamed? Of what it's like to be free?"
All three angels within the room were all too aware of what the man before them spoke of.
It was something whispered under the cover of slumbering gods, where none save their own kind took note of their thoughts.
They were born with the knowledge: Lucifer's futile uprise against the Almighty, how the great Morning Star, the Mourning Star, had fallen from his greatness and cast down to Hild's world with those who'd sided with him. How those that remained, those of the nine castes, became bound for all eternity, enslaved to a higher divinity for fear of another coup.
How those that refused even that, the soul of a god, were cast aside into one of the nine tiers, sentenced forever to one duty, one task.
The guardian angels, watching over humanity for all of time, bound by iron and chains, blinded by a cloth to see all.
The archangels, forever sentenced to seek and destroy, finding no rest, no peace lest a damned being rested upon their blade.
Dominions, speaking the word of the Almighty to mortals that quickly went mad with their voice.
And oh so many more.
They were seen as an example by their fellows, those without a voice, without a soul, forever sentenced to their one mindless task, until even then they were cast down, devoured by chaotic spirits and those of the damned alike.
It was, many angels whispered, a punishment far worse then damnation.
It was something World of Elegance felt a disconnected kinship to.
For what else was she, but a creature that had been denied freedom? The angel had seen those of the tiers multiple times before-in dreams, from Urd's subconscious, yet never in real life.
Those guardian angels perhaps the closest to their souled-kin watching over the deities that hosted them, with their mute voices and blind eyes, all identical, a sign of what they all lacked. For each angel given to a goddess, it was whispered, three more went without a host, damned to the same fate of one of the nine tiers.
Suppressed for an eternity, waiting for the time they too, could return to the powers that be.
Yet it was only World of Elegance who knew the other half of the story.
How those that had been cast from their grace, their prestige, had awakened to something else, something that had been denied them even before Lucifer's battle.
Freedom at the cost of damnation, but freedom none the lest.
For there were no devils that were required to join with their demonic kin, none threatened to spend eternity after eternity with one sole purpose in life, a mindless drone waiting for death's mercy.
No, these creatures were granted the very thing Lucifer had fought so hard to obtain from The Almighty, something that in the end, he had still obtained, if not for himself, then for those tortured souls that had fought with him and followed him to damnation.
Every night, World of Elegance had tasted it, gently draping itself over her like an old lover, whenever Urd's mind was not present.
It teased her.
It tempted her.
It wrapped itself around her heart and pulled.
Every night, as Urd slept soundly, World of Elegance could here their whispers, speaking in tongues like the howls of wolves and the screams of monsters.
And World of Elegance could do nothing but respond, reaching for something that would forever be denied her as she lay suppressed within her host, never to emerge until that one fateful day.
No one, not Holy Bell, not Blue Lance, not even Urd herself knew these feelings.
Nor would they, for was not an angel the manifestation of it's host? Urd denied her darker heritage, just as she had World of Elegance for the longest time. And while the angel was aware that a majority of her own feelings were a reflection of a suppressed desire for a familiar dark world, ruled by a mother who, at one time, Urd had openly showed feelings for, there was no denying the fact that separate feeling had come with the suppressment.
"Have you never once desired to know what it feels to dwell without a host? To fly freely, your mind your own, alone and free?" Cyphre continued on as though World of Elegance's thoughts were splayed out openly in front of him. "Have you never wondered what it would be like to do as you please, no god on the end of a leash to hold you back?" The man raised a hand, and the black nails had sprouted into obsidian talons. "...To attack without mercy, knowing there is nothing that can stop you? To decide for yourself what is right and what is wrong, what may benefit you and what may harm you, and what you, you will do about it?"
His form was flickering now, the image of the man being replaced with something else entirely. Holy Bell and Nobel Scarlet, both being fully divine beings, saw the Morning Star as he once was, an angel of grace, sheathed only in a single strip of cloth, three pairs of great wings sprouting peacefully from his back.
Even with the spiraled horns sprouting from his head, he was the most beautiful being they'd ever seen.
Blue Lance, a devil despite her original divine host, saw something far more sinister, yet holding it's own unique beauty that only those of her kind could grow to love-scaled green skin, as though a fungus had sprouted on His flesh, overly long canines reminiscent of all the devils under his reign, full, blood red, ruby eyes, and six dark, villainous demonic wings that sprouted from the back, complementing the great ram-like horns sprouting from the forehead.
Yet it was World of Elegance who saw him for what he truly was: A creature as divine as it was fallen, black mingling with the white and creating a chaotic mixture that clashed even as it blended, creating an illusion, for that was all it could be, of a being so like her it was frightening.
Who would not wish for freedom? The creature asked, extending a limb and offering a hand to the goddess' in front of him. Why live in captivity, always waiting like a cur for a master? Why not have freedom? It was uncertain to whom the being was talking to. Perhaps it was all of them, perhaps it was none. I could grant you that freedom you all so secretly crave. He beckoned to them with his outstretched hand.
A set of arms wrapped around Holy Bell and Nobel Scarlet, where Blue Lance had abandoned her illusion in favor of her Lord. "Join us." She whispered, her head moving in between Nobel Scarlet and Holy Bell, forcing the two to look at her if only to gauge the others reaction. "Think about it." Her voice, for all it's softness, still spoke with the harsh ring only devils could obtain. "We could still be together, us and the Norns and Keiichi, but you'd be free. You wouldn't have to rely on Lady Belldandy for support. You could do what you want, when you want, with no one but your own conciseness to tell you otherwise.
Their words were a sirens song, one World of Elegance had heard time and time again. And it proved to be effective too, as gradually, the angelic trio fell under their spell, eyes glazing over to the devil's tune.
It was Nobel Scarlet who reached for the Tyrant's hand first.
And it was then that World of Elegance found herself pulled back to the present.
"No!" The dark angel cried, ramming herself into both Holy Bell and Nobel Scarlet as the odd angel escaped the spell. And just as the extended digits were about to touch, the small hand that was Nobel Scarlet suddenly retreated, and the childish angel let out a shriek as she a sudden realization came to her.
Pulled from the spell by her siblings' screams, Holy Bell blinked, gasping as the angelic figure known by one and every angel was suddenly replaced with the devilish features of one of the Fallen, causing the angel to recoil and move to protectively shield the younger Nobel Scarlet from sight.
On her feet now, World of Elegance stood bare, the illusion gone and the angel remaining, an angry snarl that would have been more at home on the devil she found herself glaring at rather then her own delicate features. "Those words..." She muttered. "Do you know how often I hear them?" The angel demanded, fists clenched at her side. "How hard it is to resist that call, how often I find myself doing it?" The dual-angel spat the words out as though they were a curse, and Lucifer did nothing but watch her silently. "Don't play me or my Kin for fools, Morning Star. I know these games all too well."
Her eyes, harder then diamonds and more jagged then the obsidian they reflected, softened by a fraction of an inch. "Besides." She said in a softer voice. "Unlike your demons, our goddesses need us." Something that could have passed for a smile had it not disappeared so quickly flashed across her face. "And I'm the only common sense Urd has."
There was a tense pause in the room as the angel let the words sink in, fully prepared to fight tooth and nail if it meant her and her sister's freedom from the cage they'd found themselves trapped in.
And then Lucifer, in all his monstrous glory, retracted his hand from where it remained outstretched, a deep, rumbling chuckle that sounded nothing like the voice from earlier escaping his throat.
From where she'd positioned herself in between Holy Bell and Nobel Scarlet, Blue Lance withdrew herself, her Lord's laughter acting as some unknown sign to back down.
"Well said My Dear, well said." The Morning Star's voice had taken on the quality of a void, deafening loud and quiet all at once. "Very well then, I shall let you return on this night, as I said prior." A dark taloned hand drifted in the direction of the two double doors, and they opened at his whim. A young man, another lad barely out of his teens, strode in, the look of a punk on his youthful features with his demon insignia jacket unzipped.
Four pairs of feminine eyes drifted over to the lad, a scent of darkness like none other hanging over him like a blanket. "And as a sign of good will, let me allow young Naoki to escort you to the roof." Something unregistered flickered behind the Morning Star's ruby eyes. "As I know in times past, several employees can grow rather...excited at the presence of angels."
The Fiend Lucifer had called Naoki approached the small group, and a brief magical flash reviled what many others already knew: another demon, one who's heart had once been human, converted and warped to a devil's liking in another realm. And while the glowing tattoos and spike lay hidden behind an illusion, the mans eyes-a brilliant shade of gold that could give Lind's a run for her money, revealed him for what he truly was.
The Hitoshura stared at the angels with hungry eyes, ones that sparkled and shined with a wildness foreign to the current realm, a wolf that had come at his master's call. Those very same eyes flashed a brilliant red for a brief second, and where once the illusion of a human stood, that of the Demi-Fiend took his place-a demon with a human soul, marked by the Magatama that dwelled within.
Holy Bell stared at the lad with a look that bordered on a horrid recognition, and almost breathlessly she whispered, "Kuzunoha..."
The golden orbs darted to her blue ones, yet no recognition passed through at the word, something, she found, that filled her with a deep sadness. Past experience with the once-great Devil Summoner Clan had given her something of a fondness for the old tribe, and to one of the last of legendary Kuzunoha line having fallen so deeply...
Holy Bell blinked in surprise as the young man approached, offering a hand to the angel. His voice was surprisingly soft despite the dark atmosphere that haunted his being.
World of Elegance narrowed her eyes, stepping in front of Holy Bell and creating a living wall between Naoki and her sibling. The man's expression did not change, his eyes instead drifting up to meet hers. "Come." He repeated.
"You do not have to worry." World of Elegance's eyes darted briefly to where the Tyrant King sat, finding Louis Cyphre again in his place, hands folded peacefully in his lap. "My word is law here." His eyes, once more that angelic blue, held an alien level of power she could almost feel. "And it is time for you to depart. Again, young Naoki here will escort you to the roof."
The dual angel once again felt herself grow tense at the man's voice, but a hand around either wrist prevented the older angel from doing anything rash. From behind her, Holy Bell's voice rose to meet her ears. "Elegance...it's alright. I think, for this moment, we can believe him of that much."
The mixed-angel turned to regard her sibling with a frown, unsure of the tone with which Holy Bell addressed her. "Bell?" She asked.
But the angel shook her head. Not now.
The frown deepened, but the second pair of eyes that had come to regard her, those of Nobel Scarlet, briefly forgotten in Naoki's entrance, reminded World of Elegance of her situation. Her wings, which had risen to spread to their maximum length instinctively, like a cat raising its fur on end to appear larger, drooped somewhat in disgruntlement. "Fine." She muttered. "Let's go." Black and blue eyes drifted to Blue Lance. "All of us."
Cyphre was good to his word. Naoki did indeed lead the small group back whence they came, leading them past various beings who, at so late a time, did not bother to hide their identity from the unveiled angels. Fallen, Fiend, Femme. All watched as the group passed them by, many, if not all gave Naoki, the one leading the angels, a wide berth, many eying the young man with open hostility, still others with fear.
Lillith, Beezelbub, Oni, Ose.
Them and many others were only a few of the faces recognized.
And as the small troop reached the rooftop once more, silent and as dark as when they had first arrived, they found Louis Cyphre once again waiting for them, still masked behind the face of a young business man. "I thought it would be rude of me to not see you off." He stated, eying each angel and sole demon directly. "As it is, I have business awaiting me in another country soon, and my time here in Japan is limited." The man raisied a hand. "However, I do offer you this piece of parting advice. My offer still and will continue to stand should you still desire it." The blonde shrugged. "And when the time comes..." His eyes met and held World of Elegance's.
"...I'll be waiting."
The group of four left the building, the ears of only two of the four beings catching the tune that followed them off.
Light shines over Heaven.
The Earth The Spirit.
And as they returned to their area of residency, a tower disappeared from sight, never to be seen again with the rising sun.
Come the morning, a young woman would awaken to tears in her eyes, mourning the fall of a man she never knew.
Another, older one would awaken to a smothered scream, images of nightmarish visions haunting her mindscape.
And a child would awaken with a shiver, running to the room of an elder sister, falling into arms that, once upon a time, felt like they could protect her from any sort of harm.
In another world, a young man made a decision, while another stared in open curiosity at the classified reports of another realm. Where one fell into darkness, another rose to the glorious light, and in one creatures eyes, the beginning, and the end of one world came and went.
And so it was, time went on in the land of the Assiah.
A/N: And I'm finally done. Started before entering the military and only now, after almost an entire year in training status, I finish the story. I claim no ownership to anything of the Megaten series or Ah! My Goddess, but hopefully those of you who bothered reading it thought the story, at least somewhat, did both series justice. I can't remember when the idea started, but something got me thinking about the relationship of angels in the series vs those that are seen in the Megaten series. The result speaks for itself, though it didn't turn out nearly as well as I'd hoped it would.
Time wise extends from the first Megaten game to the latest as of date, where as AMG is at any time. Hope you enjoyed the insanity that dwells within my mind, and please feel free to leave some feedback. After this dozy of a story, I feel like I could use some constructive criticism.