Prologue - besetment
-- Selaphiel --
Selaphiel let his gaze sway over the countless roofs. He was currently standing on the top of a three-story building, vigilantly observing any movements in his surrounding. In front of him spread a sea of houses, disorderly stringed together till an impassable labyrinth of streets and bridges emerged.
Few humans still searched their way home through the dirty roads, hoping to find a good night’s sleep before they had to go to work again on the following morning. Selaphiel clicked his tongue when he looked down on these creatures who crawled like ants, mindlessly through their worthless lives.
Turning his gaze away from these tiny insects, Selaphiel’s focus fell back on the steep rooftops. As it was late at night, only the faint candlelight shining through the windows was able to brighten the tiled roofs to countless shades of gray. The sky was covered by ominous dark clouds, preventing any starlight from piercing through and down to them.
However, Selaphiel didn’t care. His immediate surroundings were illuminated clearly, like a miniature sun radiating its light. Even though he was as hidden as a beacon in the night, no human raised their heads to marvel at this miracle. To put it another way, they didn’t dare to. They all apprehensively stared at the paved ground in front of them, trying to leave the vicinity as quickly and unnoticeable as possible.
But Selaphiel paid no notice to these mortals and just let his gaze wander over the countless buildings, discerning even the slightest movement.
A few hundred meters away, an inconspicuous shadow moved behind a chimney while trying to keep its presence undetected.
A faint smile flashed on Selaphiel’s face as he spread his wings. With a few flaps, he levitated himself into the air and charged to where the figure last had been.
In only a matter of seconds, Selaphiel arrived by the fuming stone stack. When Selaphiel circled the obstacle, he caught a glimpse of a blonde young woman jumping off the roof. Naturally, the person pursued had long noticed the flying beacon approaching her, so she decided to attempt an escape.
Selaphiel raced after the woman who had landed on a small balcony on the next building. From the heavy impact, cracks had appeared on the bricked floor and chunks of concrete trickled down to the road.
Having seemingly received no injury, the woman straightened herself up and began sprinting at an inhuman speed away from Selaphiel. While she used the countless balconies as stepping stones, Selaphiel caught up and flew parallel to her along the street. He raised his hand and an arrow of water condensed in the air. Once the weapon had completely materialized it instantly accelerated into the direction of the woman.
Even though the person attacked had its back turned to the projectile, she suddenly performed a gravity-defying jump when the arrow was about to hit. As the woman landed safely on the roof, the water weapon crashed into the brick wall and exploded. Innumerable junks of debris were catapulted in all directions and left a gaping hole on the side of the building. Selaphiel himself was hit by a few stones, but it just bounced off his white clothes, not even leaving behind a single stain of dirt.
Instead, Selaphiel focused on the escaping woman who had already gained distance again. A scornful smile appeared on his face as a dozen more arrows came into existence around him. With the flick of a finger, all of them darted in her direction.
The woman dashed over the rooftops while she was constantly evading the impact blasts around her. Each time when she abruptly changed the direction, the tiles under her shoes cracked and broke into the room below.
As she was about to jump over an alley to the next roof, the woman noticed the energy construct Selaphiel had created below. Unable to fight against inertia, the woman still chose to advance. Suddenly, a gigantic pillar of water emerged below her and swallowed its target.
Selaphiel himself knew that this was not enough to kill her. Therefore, he stayed vigilant. However, Selaphiel could already feel his allies approaching and it should be only a matter of moments before they would arrive.
The pillar of water was still shooting up but the location where the woman had vanished unexpectedly turned red. In a deafening steam explosion, a platform of hardened lava formed. Molten stone still flowed out of the coarse cracks and dripped down to the houses. The buildings were immediately set on fire.
Selaphiel didn’t pay the rising smoke any regard as his gaze was locked onto the person standing on the lava rock hovering in the air. At last, the woman had chosen to act.
It began to rain. The rain was not of natural origin but only the leftovers from the water pillar. The droplets which hit the woman began sizzling and smoking as the holy water reacted with her body. Burn marks were left behind.
According to her distorted facial expression, she didn’t enjoy the excruciating pain of the sacred water, so she chose to leap through a window into the safety of a building. The fact that it was burning didn’t seem to concern her.
Selaphiel didn’t want to let his prey get away and he quickly followed. She clearly was weakened by the holy water so, in order to conserve energy himself, Selaphiel aviated the metal railing of a balcony. The handrail broke apart and turned into crude metal spears which were circling around his figure while pointing in all directions around him.
Then, Selaphiel unhesitatingly entered the burning building. He surely would kill her this time.