Smiling in the Face of Hell

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Chapter 14

Scout shot upwards, her senses were on high alert, her mind was rolling with warnings that she was in danger and she needed to hurry.

Before she could release a weak burst of energy, a hand fell on her shoulder and immediately she was calmed.

Scout looked up at the owner of the hand, eyes squinting.

How stereotypical, she mused as she stared at the winged being that stood beside her, marveling at the indescribable beauty of the holy presence that graced her eyes.

Just as she would imagine an angel looking, the being held a soft glow, their entire demeanor was nothing but grace and elegance, and peace. It’s clothes were not white, but were a pale, soft pastel yellow and soft cream colours. It’s wings were neatly curled at their back, it’s feathers almost seemed to glitter in it’s own soft glow.

“Hello, Queen Scout, it is nice to see you came around,” the soft, smooth voice of the angel said slowly.

Scout took an extra moment to take a good look at the angel that stood calmly at her side, examining her flawless ebony skin that held a wonderful and very natural faint golden sheen to it. Her eyes were wide, thick lashes and brows that framed her beautiful caramel brown eyes. Her gentle smile seemed to also glisten, almost as if her lips were touched with a hint of lip gloss. Her dark brown hair was short in a small afro, her natural curls were very defined and had a healthy shine to it. Her hands were small and delicate, yet noticeable lean muscle lined her arms. The woman was the very definition of beauty.

“Do all angels glitter and glow like this,” she asked lightly as she rubbed her eyes, feeling the brightness getting to her.

The angel at her side let out a giggle as she pulled up a white stool next to what Scout noticed then was a bed where she laid, clothed in a white gown and all.

“Most of us yes, but not all. How are you feeling,” she then asked, leaning forward.

Her posture, tone, and just this room, everything about it screamed doctor. Who knew Heaven had such a place that was so strikingly mundane and almost too human-like to be in a place like Heaven. All it was missing was the smell of chemical cleaner and disinfectant.

“Not entirely sure, I’m a bit tired, but I don’t hurt,” she said slowly, scratching her temple lightly trying to think hard about what happened once she blacked out,” what happened again?”

The angel’s head tilted slightly at her question,” it is to be expected you are tired, you have not rested long enough to regenerate your energy. However, do you not remember what happened?”

She sounded concerned as if she suddenly felt as if she was dealing with a case of amnesia. It was only then did Scout even realize that she could read her mind like an open book, but in return, the angle could not get a single glimpse into Scout’s mind. Scout was shocked to be able to read her mind since she was sure demons had no luxury in reading the minds of any holy being, for obvious reasons, no matter how powerful the demon and how weak the angel, not even Lionel could touch an angels mind. In fact, it was supposed to be the opposite, all holy beings had the privilege of seeing and hearing everything that was going through a demon’s head, yet this lovely angel had shown no sign of knowing what Scout was thinking.

Not seeing or hearing Scout’s mind was what elevated the woman’s worry, she could not hear her, so she thought she just was really that out of it that she wasn’t even really thinking.

“No, I mean, sortove, I remember fighting and all that, I remember talking to Dirge, but after that it gets fuzzy, why am I in Heaven. And why can’t you hear me?”

She straightened her back as Scout’s last question, she had not meant to tag that into what she said, but it just came out.

“It is possible for a few humans and innocent souls to create a wall,” she then began, addressing the question she was more interested in before getting into what happened, which Scout already got her answer for anyways,” it’s rare, but not unheard of, I imagine being thrown into Hell as suddenly as you were, your wall built itself fast in order to keep it secure from others around you. Naturally, that wall stays up even around us, and it seems you have had major work done already to have it enforced enough even before you fell to Hell, I imagine from there it got thicker and stronger.”

“So even though I am technically a demon, I still have privileges and certain human aspects that otherwise are stripped from the other souls that fall to Hell, I suppose I knew that, but it’s still shocking I guess to hear out loud.”

The angel smiled reassuringly,” you are more of an angel than you think.”

Scout twisted to peek over her shoulder to see if she perhaps had any wings, not only did she not, but there was clearly nothing there, she could not feel anything nothing.

The angel laughed,” you see, Heaven and Hell are very similar, I am sure the longer you stay here you will realize. Both go through the same process of evaluating a soul, and the soul is rewarded with what they deserve, whether it’s to be an angel or to be a demon. For obvious reasons, the gods split the two into two different worlds to keep the pure away from the sins, to assure nothing ruined the peace those in Heaven deserve, while the sinners go below to be punished. Even when split, the evaluation and reward system is still the same,” she explained as she reached over to touch something.

Only when the angel touched it did wings show up out of nowhere.

She was distracted by how pure even this angel was that she actually called it a reward system, when all the demons in Hell would heavily argue there is nothing rewarding by getting what was coming to them, that Scout did not even see such a thing coming.

Scout straightened her back as the full sensation of fully feathered wings began to tickle her shoulder blades and upper back.

“In Hell,” the angel began only for Scout to cut her off unintentionally,” I have no need for wings, so they never came out because I was in Hell, where there are no wings.”

The angel smiled, nodding,” but now that you are here in Heaven, they can come out. With more awareness and practice, you can use them whenever and wherever. Responsibly, of course, the moment you return to the surface or Hell, they will disappear again but they will still be there. You would have never known of them until you visited Heaven, because even King Lionel knew of no such thing. Just like you, he is convinced that you are all demon despite being a pure and clean soul.”

Scout breathed out as she suddenly felt uncomfortable, feeling those two extra body parts move and rub against everything, she was even sitting on the tips, which now that they were out or whatever it’s called, the feeling was very unpleasant.

The angel let her adjust on her own as she continued to answer the question Scout did not have the heart to tell her she already knew by now,” and you were dying,” she began, heaving a light sigh as she continued, all of Scout’s movement froze to listen,” the poisons that they got their hands on were poisons that would kill others like Lionel and your friend Dirge if they had gotten it in their bloodstream. There was also a very large amount of bleeding, and unfortunately, demon or angel, enough bleeding can still kill us. Not to mention that there was a decent sized shank embedded in your heart, the only reason you are still alive was the weapon kept the heart from bleeding out being stuck where it was. There was way too much damage, without quick thinking and extreme means, you would not have made it. Lionel had to remain below to handle what happened in Hell. Also given your unique circumstances, it is uncertain what would happen to you if you had died, we could not risk that so we brought you here right away to immediately heal your wounds and assure you were to live.”

She knew what the angel meant, neither Heaven or Hell were aware of what her death would result in, with the knowledge that she was more of an angel than demon, there was no promise that Scout would have been essentially reborn like demons who are ‘killed’, where to them that just meant their time to serve in Hell was started over.

In heaven, there was no such thing as dying like in Hell where, as a form of torture, dying was an option, only they would be back in Hell the next second with a reset-set time to spend in Hell. In Heaven, souls are released to either be reborn on Earth or to just move on to the world beyond this whole system, beyond Heaven and Earth entirely where they were to never return.

Scout never got the opportunity to decide what she wanted to do with her soul if it had been truly set free. If she had died in the fight, she possibly could have been lost forever, never been reborn either as a demon or a human.

Scout wanted to look at herself, but she honestly was not ready to see all the possible scars just yet,” how long was I out,” she asked, feeling once again a sense of deja vu settle in.

The angel zoned out thoughtfully before nodding,” only about three days, not as long as we all would have wished thought, you are still extremely drained and should not move around too much. We did all we could and saved you with little remaining problems, but that is only for the damages you got, not the damage you caused yourself pushing a limit you surely knew you passed doing what you have.”

Scout heaved a sigh, of course, what happened last time that had her passing out held no candle to what she did this time, yet she woke up sooner than last time.

She woke up still alert and worried, so that was probably why, she left before figuring out if she truly did what she intended to do and everything was alright and no one else got hurt.

“How is Lionel,” she then asked, peeking up at the angel as she shifted her butt a bit to release her wings to carefully and very slowly and shakily stretch the wings out backward, making sure not to hit or swipe anything off anything.

“Hmm last I heard he was in Hell punishing everyone, even those not involved. To say he is upset may be an understatement.”

No remorse in her voice. Even such a pure soul as an angel knows better than to even pity those in Hell even a bit. She needed to learn from them it seemed.

Suddenly she remembered Johan, and that gave her even further will to be as unforgiving and give no pity to those around her in Hell from now on. Her only worry would be Dirge, but she also knew that he would be upset if she stepped in to protect him.

It only now bothered her that she knew she would step in and try and help someone she did not truly know than help the one she actually did know. Even in the heat of the moment, she should not have let Johan in.

“Huey should be here soon, so sit tight and rest, we have been asked not to let you return until you have fully recuperated.”

She did not even question who Huey was and heaved a sigh,” I am sure I am fine to return to the surface at least,” she began before the angel shook her head.

“I hope you do not take it personally, but if you are in a place where Lionel could reach you then he could forget his job,” she suddenly said with such intensity, she forgot who she was talking to,” this riot is unforgivable, and he as the King needs to put everyone back in their place, a lot of things need to be done, and it is ideal if no distractions are in his way. He has the Princes to come and check on you for him, but other than that, there is many things Lionel needs to do before he lets himself relax again, and he knows this. Which is why he is the one who asked for you to stay here until you fully recuperate. Understand that there is also very gruesome things happening in Hell, and they are probably going to be that way for a while. Lionel does not want you in hell during this time at all for your own well being.”

Scout sagged her shoulders, she should not have expected any less from Lionel, he knows what gets to her and knows also that she will do something rash, he is probably going to make sure Hell never has any thoughts of ever trying something like that ever again before she came back, she had no doubt he was going to make it clear to leave her alone too. He is not going to let her back into Hell until his point is crystal clear, make sure there is absolutely no reason Scout would have to do something like that ever again. She knew it, she practically felt it even though she was two dimensions away from him.

“So what am I supposed to do in the meantime?”

The angel smiled softly as she reached over to help adjust her wings differently, making Scout glance over at the woman, eyes narrowed.

“Hey, you aren’t really going-”

The angel had moved quickly since she knew her intentions were already caught by Scout, gently slapping her palm to Scouts forehead, sending her into a deep peaceful sleep that the woman clearly wanted Scout to do, knowing that otherwise, Scout would not have gone back to sleep.

She did not even get the chance to meet Huey.

The next time Scout opened her eyes, she was still in the same room she recalled from before. When she sat up, the physical fatigue and soreness she had before was gone. Her shoulder blades began to tingle wildly, it almost felt like they were asleep, that tingling fuzzy feeling that is most associated with the feet when they have been sitting a certain way, except it was between her shoulders on her back.

She glanced back with curled toes as the feeling intensified, her eyes landing on a certain pair of glistening white wings that dare she say she forgot about.

With them, as they were it was hard to move them too much without sending that uncomfortable static spasm through her back.

With her toes still curled, she glanced around trying to distract herself so the feeling would pass faster.

The angel from before was gone, and she was alone in the room. She found herself marveling over the fact of how normal and mundane this room looked in contrast to where she was.

She had no concept of time, there wasn’t any windows really, but even if there was a window it was impossible to tell how long she was out.

With a sigh, she threw her feet over the edge and stood, stretching her stiff muscles. The feat brought Scout to somewhat of exserted breathing, she must have been out for a long time if stretching got her a little breathless.

After walking around the room to ease the stiffness and move and stretch her new wings until they were no longer tingling, she stepped to the door to open it where she was greeted by light, gold, white, bright, just every possible representation of pure was in her face and all around here.

She almost thought for the little time she was awake before that thinking everything was gold and white was a stereotype, but it seems like that is not the case at all, and in fact they seemed to love keeping the light and clean theme.

Of course, however, not all of the souls and angels conformed to the ‘norm’, which was just another thing that made it seem so much like the surface.

There were some angels who enjoyed the angelic theme, while there were others who were just living their lives as they may have once lived it before. No judging was present in the minds of any of these souls. Some were curious, but none condemned another because of how one looked, which was one thing humans on the surface sadly did not do well.

For obvious reasons, everyone was very human and still has their human life close to their hearts, a thing she honestly already expected.

Every difference from Hell and Heaven were to be expected, but to Scout, it was oddly refreshing to get to see hands on.

Suddenly wings fluttered nearby as she was soaking up all there was to soak in, not even really looking at the angel, the same one from before, who she finally learned she went by Jackie, just as she landed. Scout was rested and felt stronger than ever so she was just inhaling everything around her, including past and human lives.

Scout hadn't meant to dig into such sacred and precious memories, however, everyone was as open as humans here, it was all too easy for it to just happen when Scout was not being careful.

Jackie, she was rather new compared to some of the other angels around her.

Jackie was a precious soul lost in an accident while she was only 6 months old in her mother’s belly. Her heart stopped from the force after a while, her mother was left on the world with scars and no daughter, heartbroken. Scout drifted down the memories of Jackie, watching her come to Heaven as a tiny baby and grew to such a beautiful woman who would have been in her late twenties on the surface, much like how she was there in heaven.

Jackie has since been watching over her mother.

Scout was touched with an odd sense of security and peace from knowing her story. It was tragic, terrible, and the thought that she could still be alive had that drunk teen not slammed into her mother at a red light was saddening to think about. However, to know that the youngest souls still are able to grow, even if it is in a sacred and sheltered place like Heaven, at least they live on, and have the choice to watch over their family. It was heartbreaking, but at least there still is a beacon of hope for those who leave the surface too early.

In the end, everyone there, including herself, were dead to the human world, but even in the afterlife, they have the choice to move on to be reborn, or to stay and become angels for those in need. They still have a purpose.

This place, ‘Heaven’, was not even the only afterlife to exist.

Scout pulled her mind to herself, closing her eyes to help keep it contained as her head instantly hammered in retaliation of her digging once again. Maybe one of these times she will learn.

How was she supposed to stop herself, she was so curious, but if too careless, she can really hurt herself.

She heard Jackie shift on her feet,” Queen Scout are you alright?”

Suddenly a new voice popped up, she felt it approach, but she had not realized it was headed to her specifically,” she's fine, she is just getting a bit ahead of herself,” said a deeper man’s voice from in front.

Scout decided that Heaven was the very last possible place for anything bad to happen, so she kept her eyes closed and lifted her head, using all her other senses to get a reading instead of most likely diving balls deep into a mind that was not her own,” And you are?”

Before anyone could introduce themselves, Scout felt a somewhat familiar presence prickle at her neck, making her open her eyes wide, shooting towards the direction of the presence.

No alarms, no alerts, no one around here in Heaven was aware of the presence, but for sure there was someone of the Hell’s region in Heaven that was not any of the princes or Lionel.

She pushed past the two angels, who were shocked at her sudden movement as she ran full speed towards the presence.

Something else was off as well that she could not put her finger on yet.

Her wings seemed to have a mind of their own as they began to flap, trying to increase speed to get to the source before it disappeared.

Feeling a similar wave of responsibility as she felt on the surface. It was like it was woven into her new DNA that anything Hell related she had to take full responsibility for.

Despite knowing she could hurt herself, she reopened her mind, and found the answer of what else felt wrong,” Rastus,” she then called, finding the name of the new, older angel that popped in just before she ran off, knowing he and Jackie were right behind her, wondering what was going on.

“Yes Queen, what’s wrong,” he asked, clearly knowing that something was wrong, but not himself feeling it yet.

“Fate keeper, where is she,” Scout asked just as she jacked up the intensity of her wings, giving herself a jump before finally gliding through the air, unsteady, but still faster than on foot.

Instead of answering her directly, he called for backup immediately to go check on the Fate Keeper, finally realizing that, according to Rastus’ knowledge she never leaves her post, but is now gone. Gone, as in not in heaven anywhere, and it happened at the same time she felt the demon presence.

Scout burst through the large double doors of a tall white and gold building.

They were face to face with a tall angel who jumped their entrance, dropping loads of papers from her arms, gasping loudly.

Just like that, the presence of the demon was gone completely.

“Who was just in here,” Scout asked the shocked Angel, who cleared her throat nervously.

“As far as I know it was just me, was there someone else in here?”

Scout ended up confirming just for her own need, even knowing Angels could not lie. This woman was too busy sifting through those papers, she never would have noticed anyone coming or going.

There was no noises, no weird smells, no nothing indicating the presence of a demon.

Scout pressed her palms to her throbbing temples,” I see, I’m sorry then,” she said, turning to step out, feeling a wave of dizziness hit from leaving her mind open that entire flight over to what looked to be one of the many little library buildings that were all over Heaven for the many gatekeepers to keep complete and accurate files of everything going on in Heaven regarding the souls and their angels.

Even though Scout failed to find that presence she was so sure she felt, Rastus stepped next to her, putting his hands on her shoulder to steady her as he spoke,” Fate keeper seems to have stepped out for a moment, but we are unsure where.”

Scout was confused, suddenly the Fate keeper’s presence returned. The two angels instantly were soothed by this but something still seemed off.

Scout’s brows furrowed, she was relying too much on her powers that she must have made a mistake. She did not even have a firm hold on her powers, yet she was so confident in them.

“It looks like she has returned,” Rastus said.

Heaven was heavily protected, so if the keeper’s presence returned, there was no further need in looking into things. Scout wanted to insist on checking on the Keeper personally, but she was sure that she would get nowhere, since they were sure everything seemed fine.

They also never felt that demon presence she was sure she felt. Which was another thing that had her wondering if she even felt anything to begin with or she was just a bit out of whack from the wounds she just recovered from earlier. She could not even tell, it happened too fast for her to keep up. Instead of assessing the details, she went straight into finding the source and that did not seem to help her now that it was gone.

Everyone else was relaxed and calm and did not seem alarmed. Who was she, a fresh demon/angel, to tell them otherwise? She was probably still somehow on the high of being in that short but eventful fight on the surface, that maybe her body still felt the need to dig up any threat around her and eliminate it right away.

“With your sensitivity, it might take a while to get used to things again. You have been unconscious for roughly a month, your senses are understandably high and sensitive,” Rastus explained, making Scout nod.

She heaved a sigh, rolling her neck to try to pop the pressure out of her head, which did not work.

Jackie smiled reassuringly up at her as she gestured towards a certain direction,” maybe you felt Huey, he is at the gate now about to be let in to visit you.”

Scout paused before scoffing in amusement as she realized who Jackie was talking about.

The presence that popped up then was for sure one she knew, and one she would not have been alarmed of, but maybe she was just over alert and misread the presence. Even then it did not explain why the one she thought she felt led her to a library instead of the gate, but again, she shrugged it off, she had no further proof that it ever happened. She was the only one to feel it and felt it right before Huey showed up, so it seemed clear she was just imagining things.

The three of them left the library, heading towards the gate together.

Instead of going by foot, Scout instead wished to try out her wings to practice one last time.

Just like everything else, she learned quickly and by the time they reached the gate, she seemed to have gotten the hang of it and was able to stay steady in the air with the help and guidance of Jackie and Rastus.

Rastus never got the chance to introduce himself, and in reality, neither has Jackie, but she knew it was because of their understanding that Scout did not particularly need a verbal introduction.

When they got to the gate, it was a sight to behold. It truly was what many people would imagine the gates of heaven looking like. It was beautiful compared to Hell’s gate that fits in with the old broken abandoned church. Tall, oh so very tall, gold, shiny, glowing, strong, with elaborate designs.

It was cracked open for the souls to freely come in and the angels to freely step in and out as they saw fit. The gate never closed until there was a state of emergency, much like the one Scout and Lionel had to deal with on the surface, other than that the gate is open at all times for souls to take care of their affairs quickly.

Unlike Hell, in Heaven the souls had a few more things they had to do. In Hell, a soul falls and it is on it’s journey to turning into a demon until it goes to confess their sins, in that case, it is an angel’s job to go and retrieve the soul to be taken to Heaven, of course, if they pass Lionel, the angels knew the souls were genuine.

Whereas in Heaven, the souls were let in and they were given a direction to go based on their decision. The souls of Heaven have the choice to either be reborn, much like Scout, but obviously very differently (as an angel) where they will find their purpose and whatnot at their own pace, no time limit. Not like in Hell where the soul had roughly a week to decide if it was going to confess, after the transformation, they were shit out of luck and their last hope of ever leaving Hell ever again is gone just like that.

Souls also had the option to be reborn back onto the surface, which is a whole other process on it’s own. According to the many angels she has already passed, including Rastus who was just a powerhouse of information himself, that process involved another group of angels who specialize in such things like the Keeper of Fate, as well as all the other Keepers.

Then lastly they also had an option to continue their journey to Paradise. Where their souls will forever and indefinitely move on from the Earth, no longer continuing it’s life as a human or angel.

The interesting thing about souls was it held its history, it remembers every passing life it lives, every soul that chooses to be reborn, the soul will simply start a new chapter and restart, but the soul itself was like a mega memory bank where it held all it’s past lives beyond the last one it has lived. Some souls were new, some were old, but no soul will ever know until they are facing the gates of Heaven themselves.

Those who face the gates of Hell do not get the privilege of knowing what their past lives, they are stripped of anything that is possibly pure beyond the last life in where they lived in sin and landed themselves in Hell. They do not have the privilege to know that they once were good, and pure. Once they are in Hell, they have lost all rights to be reborn and to remember such things. Even if they confess, they will never have the history they might once had, the soul is stripped and forever will it remember it’s sins whether it decided to be reborn or not. If they do confess, they have more limitations, they can only be reborn, they cannot become an angel or move on to Paradise, they are cursed with the endless loop of rebirth. It was just the reality of sinners.

Scout originally faced the gates of Hell, so she could not say for sure if she will ever recover any memories of past lives, or if there was no such thing to recover. In all reality, she did not need to learn any of her past lives anyways, had no qualms if such things happened to have been deleted the moment she fell into Hell. She did not mind.

She had a feeling she was somehow a new soul anyways for Lady Pers to have gotten her hands on her as easily as she had.

When a certain tall and bulky demon walked through the gate, Scout could not hold back her grin.

Wrath was being escorted in by three very strong and capable guards that did not hide their distaste towards the Prince, who seemed oddly content with everything despite being in Heaven who knows how many times now.

She then realized there was a heavy spell on him to retain his inner anger, completely disintegrating anything he could possibly get mad at and gave him completely 100% control of himself. It gave him the ability to be the most human he has ever been in his life, maybe even more than before when he was actually human.

Scout grinned as he approached, although he did not have the big mean aura of someone about to lose his head over every little thing and rampage, he was still a tall and thick man, it was hard not to remember what he was capable of.

“You almost look high,” she commented as he stopped in front of her, shaking his head.

“It feels great. This is something I have to do or I would not be allowed in to check up on you,” he said, almost sounding sad.

Scout laughed incredulously. Of course, the others most likely would have to go through similar things to keep them disabled, to keep them from causing any problems. It was what had to be done, it was the policy. Unless they agreed to Heaven’s terms, they were not allowed in. They had no rights here to complain, and Scout was sure they all understood that.

Scout just shook her head, patting the man on the shoulder,” Why did they send you thought?”

Huey heaved a sigh as the two of them walked further into Heaven. Jackie and Rastus left the two to catch up, no goodbye required as they said their farewell through their minds, once again not knowing that Scout preferred verbal communication instead of nonverbal, but she wasn’t going to make a big deal about it. The only ones to remain glued close were the guards, who were not going anywhere or leaving Huey out of their sights, which was too be expected.

“Lust was the only one who wanted to actually come into Heaven willingly for his Queen,” Huey began, making Scout shake her head, cutting off Huey,” it’s just Scout, that Queen stuff is reserved for your lovely brothers Greed and Pride,” she corrected somewhat grimly,” but they don’t have to know.”

Huey snorted a laugh as he nodded,” I like that,” he admitted with an accepting nod,” anyway, Lust was the only other willing one to come up here, but something popped up and he backed out.”

Scout raised her brow, his intentions of hiding something had her curious, but she did all in her power to not figure it out, even though she did get a peek, she nodded and looked away,” so you actually volunteered to come up here to visit me?”

Huey did not hesitate to nod, not even ashamed of it,” yes, like I said, I like you, your cool.”

Scout nearly choked on her saliva,” did the Prince of Wrath tell me I am ‘cool’?”

Huey chuckled, man this human Wrath sure was something to get used to, Scout thought inwardly, as he nodded, taking the full weight of admitting those words,” yes, and I will never say something like that ever again outside of Heaven, so enjoy my words while they last, the second I am back in Hell, I will be right back to normal.”

Scout shook her head,” of course, would not have expected any less.”

A few moments passed in silence before she asked the important question, “How is everything in Hell?”

She knew she asked Jackie, a month ago, but no matter the time difference from then to now, she would have still wished to ask someone like Wrath personally about it, not that she did not trust Jackie’s word, it was just she was sure he would sooner give her more details and answer her questions a bit more fully instead of cryptic or held back explanations.

Huey glanced down at Scout, nothing particularly remorseful or pitiful,” Lionel found every single little root of the rebellion and killed them.”

Scout stiffened, killed as in killed to restart their days in Hell, there was no way Lionel would grant them the freedom to be relieved of Hell by erasing their entire existence from both Hell and Earth. No, he was going to restart them and then do more suffering no doubt.

“Then he hunted them down the second they were back and sent them immediately to the dungeons for the rest of their pathetic life.”

Scout looked ahead of her, not showing her reaction. She knew he would do that, after Huey said that Lionel had reset their countdown, she was sure he did it solely for that purpose to make sure his point is clear before they leave the realm of Hell to be forgotten forever.

“And what about the rest?”

Huey heaved a sigh,” no demon was left untouched from this. He gave everyone a cold reminder of who he was and who they were, and made sure they understood, whatever happens, Hell as a whole will pay a price.”

Scout nodded slowly, she did not need to peek to know the Princes’ also had their own fair share of pain from this, it was Huey’s own words, no demon was left untouched. The Princes were not exempt from this.

“Is he still ‘working’?”

Huey shook his head,” no, he finished a few weeks ago already. Things are still tense, but other than that, it’s done. Whenever you are ready, you are free to go back, or free to go to the surface. Lionel did not want you stepping out of Heaven until you were completely recovered. After how things happened, there was no way he was risking you putting yourself in danger like that again.”

She already knew that, she had given Lionel a whole lecture on how he needed to make sure to do his job and not to worry sick about her if something happened, and not even thirty minutes later, she was off dying, truly testing him on how much he would listen and take her words into account. It seemed like she truly did worry for nothing. She should have known someone as old as Lionel did not need a lecture like that.

Since she had already taken care of the ones who did the actual damage to her, he had to take it out on someone, so he settled for all of Hell, killing the rest of the rebels and punishing the rest.

This would be nothing Scout could stop even if she was awake and with him, no way. There was no innocence to fight for.

Huey then paused, turning to face Scout to look down at her,” so would you like to return now, or do you wish to stay here or go to the surface?”

”I think I wanna go to Hell,” she said with a smile.

Huey snorted,” who the hell looks so happy to actually go back to Hell, are you alright in the head?”

Scout rolled her eyes,” I only needed a small break to take care of some things on the surface, now that those are done, I don’t particularly have a reason to go back there until I need another breather. Also, being in Heaven really did ease my soul, literally, so I am more than fine, at least emotionally, to return. Now there is stuff in Hell that I need to take care of,” she said somberly.

Huey raised a brow, but did not honestly seem that surprised,” already? That was fast,” he mused with no humor, wondering what other personal issues she had to deal with other than Greed and Pride.

Scout nodded with a fake smile,” yup, unfortunately.”

There was one small detail Lionel missed, one that she knew only she could handle.

He did not even question it, which at this time she could appreciate.

Just then, the three angels behind Huey, made way for them to go ahead and head back to the gate.

Scout was somewhat perplexed for a solid second. She thought that she had to say goodbye, or tell someone thanks, but she quickly learned that this was what being treated like royalty felt like. None of that was expected of her, nor did they particularly care for it. Kind gestures from her did not matter, in the end, she was just the Queen of Hell. Being respected did not mean treated like a normal person, apparently.

Huey gestured for her to go first, only further adding onto that royalty treatment that she did not like at all.

“Tell Jackie and Rastus thank you for me,” she then said to one of the guards, figuring even if did not matter, she would still do it anyway, because she may not have lived with her real parents or family, but she was still taught manners. She may not be human anymore, but she will always have common decency.

The guards gave Scout a deep bow,” Yes Ma’am.”

She wanted to correct them, but she did not find the point, since it was just going to go up and over their head.

With that, Scout left, only looking back one last time to look up at the huge tower that stood tall in a light veil of shimmering mist off in the distance.

Scout realized she was kept at the edge of Heaven, close to the gate, away from Heaven’s ‘royal’ angels she knew existed. They kept her away and did not bother to come and see her when she woke, even after she almost caused a scene.

Even though they knew who she was and how she was even there to begin with, she understood loud and clear they did not want to bother with the Queen of Hell.

After all, entitlement was not a sin apparently as some may think.

Instead of giving them further reason to not want any involvement with her, she gave the huge building and the rest of Heaven a generous bow.

Wrath hissed beside her,” what are you doing bowing,” he asked.

She could tell this would be something that would piss him off, for it even seemed to break through the spell while still standing in Heaven.

Instead of fighting him or explaining, she shot her arm out to hit him square in the gut, all whilst remaining in her bow, effectively getting Wrath to ‘bow’ with her.

His displeased groan rung in her ear as she straightened her back glancing over to him biting back a smile as he glared up at her.

“Let's go, buddy, our welcome is wearing out,” she said, helping him straighten out to pull him towards the gate.

She already noticed the guards stiffening at his anger that began to overwhelm the spell, so for Wrath’s sake, it was best to get him out of there before he miraculously breaks free from the spell and makes a mess. Then she really would never be welcomed back.

The two of them hurried out through the gates, where the guards stopped just right outside to watch them leave the premises.

Being out of Heaven and outside it’s gates, the high like effect from the spell was gone, Wrath was back full throttle, and ready to blow.

She immediately opened a portal, where she knew she was able to make a very quick and hasty retreat back to Hell where Wrath was free to rage all he wanted.

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