Steve knew better than to be afraid. He closed his eyes and just stood there knowing he stood no chance against the creature. He banked on his immortality to survive the impending attack, and silently hoped Sargatanas would show up somehow and stop whatever was about to happen.
He opened his eyes and saw a man in green armour just in front of him. He turned to look around for the creature and met no one else around.
“Don’t be surprised… everyone here can transform too. Sarganatas said you’d be coming, and ordered me to show you the way to his court. “
Steve turned back to make sure it was the warrior talking to him and not anybody else.
“Oh… for a second I thought you were going to attack me” He replied when he was sure it was the warrior and he was addressing him.
“I don’t play dirty. I know when I’m beaten and my ego and dignity won’t allow me to fight an unevenly matched enemy. I’m a warrior with honour.” He replied.
“We have to move… there’s no time to waste. He added.
He headed for an open exit just at the end of the room. Steve followed cautiously, always making sure he kept a safe distance between both, should the warrior change his mind and turn on him. He got to the exit and turned to Steve, offering his hand. Steve reluctantly gave him his hand and immediately got pulled into the dark exit. He felt himself being transported at great speed by a force he couldn’t explain…more like he was being drawn to an object or place whose attractive force was unimaginable. Soon he found himself before a golden door. He made to knock, but the door opened halfway on its own. He opened the door cautiously to make sure he was safe where he was entering and met a dark room. His eyes soon got accustomed to the darkness, and he was able to make out three figures in the room, one sitting on a small golden throne and the other two flanking it.
As he made to advance towards them, he felt a cold stiff hand on his shoulders. He turned to see a giant of a man behind him just near the door.
“Bow before Lord Sargatanas” It said, pressing down on his shoulders and bringing him to his knees “…and wait for the order to proceed.”
Steve looked up ahead to the being on the throne, for the first time noticing the being wasn’t the same Sargatanas he met earlier. The being before him had a mean domineering countenance and looked familiar. It took him few minutes to realize it was the very being Sargatanas transformed into earlier. Just at that moment Sargatanas beckoned on him to proceed, and the giant pushed him forward.
“Mohcoleth…” Sargatanas started, when Steve finally got to the throne, “…welcome to my court. I’ve been expecting you. I hope Nebeiros welcomed you properly?”
“Yeah he did…surprisingly. I thought he was going to kill me initially.” Steve replied, still surprised at what was happening. Sargatanas smiled and pointed towards a raised platform for him to sit on, by his right.
“What brings you here?” Sargatanas replied.
Steve looked at him surprised at the question.
“You sent me here. We’re supposed to meet my ancestor Sathariel and Savragene’s ancestor, Asmodius. I’m surprised you’re asking, we already discussed all these on Nature.”
“Well… I asked to be sure you still know what you came for, because I’m not coming with you. Sargatanas replied.
Steve looked at him like he would a stranger.
“What do you mean by that? You told me on Nature that you’d lead me there. Who’s going to lead the way?” He asked.
Sargatanas had a short laugh.
“If you noticed, the Sargatanas you met on earth, isn’t the one you’re talking to. I can’t leave my court. Forael here will accompany you” He replied, pointing towards the exit “…You’re not going to miss my company.”
Steve turned towards the exit, and for the first time saw his earlier oppressor and soon to be company-of-life as he stepped forward and took a curt bow. He was better described as a giant, dark and wingless, and had two little stumps on his forehead…like someone who was dehorned.
“He’ll take you anywhere you need to go. Look beyond his outer features…soon you’ll see he’s quite the charming friend and companion.”Sargatanas finally spoke up, after allowing him few minutes to get used to his new friend.
“If you want to meet your ancestor, you need to leave now…you have a very short window and you won’t get it again …not in your normal mortal lifetime. I forgot to tell you earlier, you are actually ageing here, you’re only ageless and immortal on Nature…so be careful.” He added.
He turned to Forael.
“You know what to do… take him to the path connecting heaven and the cursed abode of the sons of God. Be careful to make sure you are not seen, else the watchers will take you two with them. I’ll send a message to him beforehand, so he’ll know when and where to step out and wait for you. Bring him back here immediately after the meeting. I need to prepare him mentally before he meets Asmodius.”
Forael bowed to his master, and turned towards Steve.
“You heard the Master… we need to leave” He said, reaching to grab his hands and pulling him towards the exit. Steve turned towards Sargatanas for reassurance as he was being pulled away, and got a nod as a reply. Soon, the words “You’re safe” floated across to him, the voice unmistakably Sargatanas’.
At the exit, Forael grabbed him by the waist and leaped into the darkness. Initially Steve thought they were floating until he noticed the golden wings on the legs of his companion.
Somewhere in the darkest parts of hell, loud clanking of chains could be heard, as two hundred bright stars shoot upwards towards heaven, passing through the five other realms.
©️ Evan Promise