Book of the Mother - 7
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- The Next morning, Zophiel came and retrieved me without a word. Giving my wings a strange look but never saying anything about them. He acted... strange, as if he was deep in thought about something that worried him. He didn't speak to me at all as we went to the Sanctuary. The next week was uneventful, Zophiel didn't really speak to me, and when he did it was to tell me to read a book on philosophy or a book on something else. I had imagined he would be training me to preform the duties of the Intoner... I was the High Muse... For days I waited and stagnated until Zekiel came to me, telling me Raziel requested me to visit him in the castle gardens.
- Zekiel was a blue winged Muse who had become my only ally in a Choir where the other Muses rotted away in forbidden trysts and excess. I did my best to uphold our laws and devotions to the gods. Speaking of them, I needed to get my monthly offering together, Perhaps I would offer some of Raphael's elixir, I still had the flask he left me. Late next month was the Great Calling ceremony, Zophiel would go to the center of the clergy and together with the priests, preform a powerful ritual that would call for the aid of the Gods, the muses went to the great spire in the center of the circle to sing sacred songs and preform privately for the gods, A ceremony that would protect and empower the entire city.
- “I would hate to interrupt your meditation, but it doesnt seem to be relaxing you.” I looked up at Raziel as he walked beside me. His presence was comforting after the week of cold glances and sneaking to practice my magic.
- “Its been a very long week, Zophiel is acting strange, he barely talks to me, he wont let me do anything by read books, they aren't even about the practice, just random books on philosophy or politics...” I never felt the need to hide anything from Raziel, it felt like he genuinely cared, and that was something I didn't see a lot. He placed his hand on my shoulder.
- “I'm sorry to hear that... He used to be such a good man, Uriel and him were friends, but the death of the last Intoner took a toll on him and he blamed himself.” Raziel had a pained look on his face as he led me through the darkened halls, this part of the castle hadn't been torchlit, as it was established as Raziel's area and the mage liked it cool and quiet. I had heard about the Intoner before, Cele'Ra'Cria. But all information on her was mostly forbidden, the only things that were known about her was that he was rumored to be the most beautiful Arkn in history, and that she had taken her own life.
- “Its fine, Raziel.” I assured as he opened the door to the garden, revealing someone in a strange beaked mask and a wide brimmed hat examining a flowering Cherubim vine waiting for him.
- “Ah, Azrael. Your a little early.” Raziel smiled, stepping over and embracing the visitor.
- “I actually just got here, thought I'd come see how you were doing with my sigil.” Azrael turned to look at me, tipping his hat in my direction. “Is this the student you told me about? The one Uriel calls the Radiant?” He steps closer holding out his hand to me. I looked at him for a moment, confused then reached out to him, surprised as he took my hand and kissed it. “She's a lovely one, her beauty rivals the Lunar Queen.”
- “Azrael, please...” Raziel sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose.
- “Im just showing the lady some respect, not everyday you get to catch a look at the High Muse.” He smiles and lets my hand go.
- “Well go easy on your curiosity, Ill be right back, don't get any ideas.” With that, Raziel stepped into the castle. I didn't like the awkward silence that hovered between me and Azrael, I swiftly moved past him and sat on the stone slab, trying to focus on my meditation before Raziel got back, but Azrael wasn't having any of it.
- “So, whats your name?” He asks, sitting on a bench and started spinning a revolver on his finger. His armor making clinks everytime he moved.
- “Lahabrea...” I answered softly, looking back at him I finally found what was so off, he didn't have wings. “Where... are your wings?” I was genuinely confused by it. Dekn didn't have wings, but he didn't have horns. Dekn couldn't exist within the city anyways... could they? He laughed loudly.
- “I was wondering when you would notice. I have wings, but I don't keep them out. They don't feel very comfortable on this body.” He sat on a bench across the flower bed in front of me, holstering his weapon.
- “What do you mean; “This Body?” You talk like it isn't yours?”
- “Its not, well- it is now. I'm a Arknangel.” He must have saw my confusion because he continued. “Basically, I'm a Arkn, totally merged with a human host. This body gains my power, and me and the human within become inseparably intertwined. Our thoughts, feelings, pain and happiness are one.”
- “Whats a human?” He looked shocked, but I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn't understand all this humans, and merging and I had never heard of a Arknangel...
- “Who's been teaching you?! Have you been taught at all? How could you not know what a human is?!” He sighed. “Of course... it figures... why teach you this information if they are going to see that you can never use it...” He relaxed. “Its really sad.” he says taking out a cigarette and lighting it, taking a long drag before letting the smoke melt like fog from his mouth. “Your a pretty one too, what a waste.”
- “What are you talking about. If you don't like how I'm being taught, then do it yourself.” I meant to sound assertive, but I felt like a fledgling in front of him. I thought he might get mad but he only smiled.
- “Feisty, aren't you? Ok, As you know, the gods created, Dekn, then Arkn. Well, after all this and then there was fighting; I'm sure you've heard this before. Well, what you think is not the entire story. A God, a HETHE, Malek. He turned his back on the others and used his ultimate power to create Earth, then the Humans. At first it was fine, the humans were a perfect race, the best of both races. Peaceful and beautiful. It wasn't long until the other Hethe found it.”
- “What happened?” I asked, completely drawn into his story. Heresy as it was I couldn't stop listening to it..
- “They ripped him to pieces, scattered them to the winds, and used the unspoiled land for their own entertainment. The rest... I'm not the one to tell you about.”
- I stared, I couldn't believe what id just heard. Everything I had been taught told me to turn him in to the white guard, but something else told me to listen. To look to the truth in him.
- “Here, Azrael. I have it. All the information you need, and heres one of my feathers, one of Uriel's and one of Raphael's.” Raziel says , walking out, meeting the...Arknangel in front of me. Azrael smiles, taking the book, the feathers folded inside it and slips it into his coat before turning to me.
- “I'd like one of yours if you don't mind. Just as a keepsake.” He smiles, holding out a hand expectantly. I was still stunned from the story, still lost as I brought my wing around and plucked a small feather from the underlayer, one brown feather, just big enough to fit in his palm. He took it, slipping it in with the others. “Well met, I'll be on my way now.” His boots clicked as he left, going into the castle.
- “Well, what happened? Azrael never leaves without doing something.”
- “Raziel... I want to see Earth.” I couldn't stop myself, the question poured straight from my mind with no stopping. I had to know the truth, I had to know the truth about everything I believed in. Raziel looked at me, even though I couldn't stop staring at the stone under me, I could feel his gaze and he sighed.
- “As I knew you would, I don't blame you for wanting to know the truth, your not like the rest. But I need to know, and I need you to be sure. Once you go, once you know, there will be no turning back.” I looked at him then, he seemed so serious, so sad almost.
- “I want to see it.”
- “Ok, give me a few days to get ready, I'll take you.”
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