I See You Glowing in the Darkness
“Are we finally going home?” The shorter human asked.
Chen was acting like himself again. He got over every suspicious thing that happened in the last two days with no regrets.
Ezekiel was a different story, though. He’s been staring at Zoe for long periods of time on the way back but it didn’t seem like she was aware of it.
Chen took the passenger seat and let the two culprits in the back, not realizing how uncomfortable Ezekiel was.
“Hey, Zek. You’re too obvious,” Chen mumbled as he was staring at his friend through review mirror.
She was sleeping peacefully and coincidentally, leaned on his shoulder. Ezekiel flinched but didn’t move further to the right.
“Just pretend I didn’t say anything. You act suspiciously,” Chen continued, his eyes following every twitch of his friend.
Iaosur moved the review mirror so he could see the human too; he drove them there and was the one driving them back.
“What did you two talk about that affected you so badly?” Iaosur interfered, his hand still tingling on the wheel.
Chen sighed, “I kind of asked him if he likes Zoe as more than a friend. He’s been thinking about it ever since.”
Iaosur laughed, “Human emotions are so annoying,” Next to his bemused expression, his statement was rather cold, “So? Do you like her, Zek? You have the highest chance to stay by her side anyway.”
Ezekiel narrowed his eyes at the two boys who were making fun of him; or at least that was how it sounded to him.
“I don’t like her like that. Besides, she made it clear that she loves Mehrdir.” The human boy mumbled, glancing at her from the corner of his eye.
“That asshole won’t take responsibility anytime soon. You can consider yourself the lucky winner.” Iaosur added.
That only made Ezekiel feel worse and uncomfortable, mostly because she was breathing on his neck and her hand was twitching on his lap from whatever she was dreaming of.
“What about Alice? She’s your girlfriend.” Chen teased.
Ezekiel threw a pack of gum at Chen’s head, making the younger human whine.
“I don’t like Zoe like that. Stop messing with my head.”
Chen and Iaosur glanced at each other and smirked.
“Whatever you say,”
Iaosur got hit by a roll of plastic bags, as well.
The rest of the ride to London was silent. Chen fell asleep too and Ezekiel was staring out the window silently. Iaosur glanced at him through the mirror and chuckled.
“You shouldn’t be afraid,” The demon started, “Loving her is not a sin. It won’t get you in Hell.”
“But being her legacy will.” He responded without taking his eyes off the scenery.
“That depends on you. The former inheritors didn’t get to Hell, they lived their lives peacefully. But just because they didn’t face the problems doesn’t mean the problems were never there. Zoe chose the hard way and she’s going against the flood. She’s a true commander.”
Ezekiel glanced at Iaosur’s seat smiling softly, “You respect her a lot more than I imagined.”
Iaosur nodded. Unlike some other demons -Mehrdir- he knew when to accept the reality.
“She made you all stay by her side without a single spell.” Ezekiel was still not sure if that was good or not but he was amazed nonetheless.
“That’s because she doesn’t only protect the inheritor. She protects everyone around her, including the demons. Being under her natural spell is better than being all alone.”
Ezekiel moved Zoe a bit, trying not to wake her and leaned closer to the back of Iaosur’s seat, “Demons feel lonely too, huh?”
Iaosur gripped the wheel tighter; that was a touchy subject.
“Demons feel something but it’s not as intense as human emotions. It depends on every level and on each demon’s endurance.” Iaosur explained, “Mehrdir is a feared demon in Hell, has always been, yet his obsession turned into feelings and those feelings are breaking him down as a demon.”
“Levels seem to be very important, huh?” Ezekiel asked, finally having a chance to explore their world more.
“You see, demons are from nature very greedy and proud, some more than others. There is a line that must be kept so we won’t rebel; well, the lower grades not me.”
“How do levels come in this matter? Is A the highest level?”
“For demons of a sort yes. Then there are demons that exceeded that sort and became Level F. They became Fearless in front of the Princes.”
“F comes from fearless. So they are above normal standards because they are brave?”
“Most of them are individualists who place themselves above everyone. Naturally, Level F was born under Mammon who could never control his demons.”
“Then Level A is…?”
“Abnormal. Both I and Eneizar are demons that have an abnormal relationship with the Princes. I changed two and still going strong. Eneizar, let’s say he belonged in Hell even when he was alive.” Iaosur added, glancing around in case the blond demon would suddenly pop out.
“What other levels are there? B? C? D?” Ezekiel chuckled, taking the ranks in Hell as very amusing and humane.
“Ha, ha, ha. No. There’s Fearless, Abnormal, Betrothed and Vain. There’s also one that rarely occurs, which is called a Rebel. There’s only one I know of and he’s been lost for centuries.”
“Betrothed and Vain make no sense.” Ezekiel pitched in, confused. “Demons of level B are what, soul mates that ended up in Hell together?”
“No! That’s stupid. There’s no such thing as a soul mate!” Iaosur complained, glowering at the human, “It means they are loyal to the Prince they follow. Satan’s whole domain is full of Bs. They are demons who wouldn’t go against their master’s word and are ready to sacrifice for their Lord.”
Ezekiel couldn’t help but smile at the scornful tone of the demon that changed two masters. He was more humane than Mehrdir and Eneizar in both thinking and behavior. Iaosur was also mediocre compared to the older demons in looks and power and there was no ounce of respect in between the three demons. So then, was Iaosur really a Level A demon or did he forget what level he is?
“I don’t like how you look at me,” The demon threatened the student. It was strange but Ezekiel was not feeling threatened even if Iaosur was serious.
“What about Vain demons?” Ezekiel changed the subject quickly.
“Every other demon outside the premises. They are just like wild dogs hunting for a title and of course, they rip each other apart for eternity thinking they are worth something. They’re not.” Iaosur ended his explanation nicely, “Do you understand now?”
“Yes. The levels were made by Lucifer in order to make himself more valuable. There are the princes at the peak of the pyramid then there are demons like Mehrdir who are brave enough to stand up in front of their masters. A levels are the demons in whom their masters invest power and manipulate however they want thus making them feel more important than they are-lords. Bs are loyal servants and Level V is the plebe. Am I right?”
Iaosur blinked, taken aback by how childish it sounded coming from a human’s point of view.
“Maybe we should change the ranks…” The angst demon muttered to himself, genuinely thinking about it.
"How did you become Level A?" Ezekiel asked curiously.
“Some demons were humans before they got sentenced to a life of evil and scum. Against what you believe, I never did anything bad in my life. I ended up in Hell because I committed suicide.”
If that wasn’t surprising, Ezekiel didn’t know what was. An angst demon who never sinned, except in the moment he died was never heard of.
“But that happened a long time ago, when we didn’t have computers and internet; when we didn’t even have a cellphone.” The demon chuckled, using his witty attitude to make it sound nicer than it was.
“When did you die?” Ezekiel asked, curiosity getting the best of him.
Iaosur’s eyes softened a little bit as the melancholy of his past life was surfacing.
“Second World War,” Ezekiel’s eyes widened, “I was so scared that I took my life before anyone else could. Instead of dying like a hero, I died like a coward.”
That was definitely interesting and a little confusing for the human.
“Why are you being so talkative?”
“Because it’s better to know rather than live in ignorance. Take Zoe as your best example; she gets strength out of knowledge."
He gave two thumbs up in the mirror and turned back to driving. Moreover, he turned on the radio hinting that the conversation was over.
When Zoe woke up, she was in her bed. Ezekiel was next to her, looking out the window. She leaned on her elbows and stared at him.
“You have a nice profile,”
That didn’t even sound like a compliment; it sounded like a statement. Just a simple statement.
However, Ezekiel was deeply thinking about what both Chen and Iaosur said. Having a kid with Zoe was out of question since he couldn’t even imagine that friction happening between them but that would save them a lot of trouble, wouldn’t it?
He turned his head to her and blinked, “Let’s have a baby.”
Zoe blinked twice before she registered what he said. She got up and clicked her tongue.
“Who gave you this crazy idea? Eneizar? Iaosur? Gakhas?” It was something that Gakhas would probably say, “Look, Zek. I love you and I’d give everything for you, but not to the point where I’d do that with you,”
He blushed, “But having a baby wouldn’t make everything easier? Besides, you already made me your legacy. A baby would-“
“A baby would mean nothing at all. The commander may or may not go along the bloodline. I don’t want to create a mess out of my child’s life. I don’t want one, in the first place,”
It dawned on him. Iaosur was messing with his head, again.
“It would only complicate everything. If you want to have that kid become my legacy because he would be blood from my blood, that is not even for sure. That’s not how it works.”
Ezekiel sighed and moved closer to her, “Then how does it work?”
She sighed heavily and rubbed her eyes, feeling a slight pressure on the back of her head; she was going to have a rough time now that she actually asked a demon prince for help.
“I don’t know. The kid has to be born on a full moon but not any kid can become the commander. Hell decides that.”
Ezekiel frowned, “Then, why you? Why not someone else?”
She shrugged, “I don’t know. But your child won’t become the commander. I’ll make sure of it, just in case.”She watched as Ezekiel sighed in relief, “You thought about it for the whole ride back, didn’t you?”
He nodded, “I’m happy we don’t have to do anything weird,” He literally sighed in relief, “But it would be a pity not to have a kid.”
“For you or for me?” She asked bemusedly.
“Both of us. But not with each other.”
She watched him assure and reassure himself of that idea. It was funny to see him so messed up.
Of course, that wasn’t Iaosur’s opinion when he started to feel a burning sensation in his hand, crawling up his arm and to his body. It wasn’t something that would hurt for a long period of time but it was just like he had been struck by lightning. It was happening fast but hurt like nothing he felt before.
The thing was, he was getting punished when he genuinely gave advice to Ezekiel.
The next day was Saturday. She had a few amends made for that day. Caleb called just in case she forgot and needed a reminder; she definitely didn’t forget.
She stayed in bed for most of the day, thinking about the time she was a demon. Everything was blurry but she knew she met the inheritor at some point. She couldn’t remember him but she was curious if he will remember her.
“Where are you going?”
Eneizar just appeared that morning with a guitar. He was strumming it peacefully when he saw her walking out of her room, dressed.
“The question is where did you go when I needed your help?” That shut him up quickly, “That’s what I thought. Oh and, we might get some uninvited guests later today. Prepare yourself mentally,” Zoe announced before she left.
She knew she had demons sniffing her around and she didn’t want to get Caleb in danger so she took the bus to the airport; alone.
When she arrived, she surveyed the entry before walking towards the meeting spot. Familiar and ghosts already figured who she was since the dark world was always whispering about the commander.
“Did you miss me?” Elijah blew in her ear.
She closed her eyes in annoyance, her hand twitching, “Not at all.”
He chuckled and grabbed a hand through his hair. She stopped in front of the arrivals gate and followed her. He looked like an old lady, standing with one hand on his waist while he was scratching his head with the other.
“Levi wants me to stick around you for a while. He wants you to teach me some things,”
First was Gakhas and now, she had Elijah; she was slowly growing annoyed with the babysitting.
“Levi?” She asked, bemused by the lack of respect of that certain ghost.
“Leviathan is too long. I don’t like to waste my breath,”
That was quite the irony since he was dead already.
However, he continued, “You know, I figured out why he wanted my soul so badly,” She had no choice but listen to his life story, “It seems the commander and the inheritor can be different demons, not only glutton and vanity. For instance, you are definitely a vanity demon with a little bit of greed; no Beelzebub territory. The only thing that connects you to him is the title, actually. I heard he originally wanted you dead as soon as you were born,” He chuckled, “But, the inheritor is not vanity. He’s anything but vanity, as a matter of fact. He has wrath and sloth. Isn’t that just interesting? He’s a lazy ass that would fight for as long as he lives. Quite a contradictory man, I may say,”
Well, that was indeed interesting but it wasn’t very important for the so called cause.
Elijah rolled his eyes and took a step closer to her, “You know how you have Andrew? Well, the inheritor will get me.” She froze, “Don’t look so disappointed. I’m quite an ideal demon/ghost. I am smart.” He finished, pointing at his head with a genuine expression.
That wasn’t necessarily something good. He was also good at lying and manipulating; he was a psychopath, in the end.
“You’re dangerous,” She added a characteristic to his extremely modest personality.
He gave her two thumbs up with the most stoic face she had ever seen.
She rubbed her forehead and sighed, the pressure on the back of her head becoming stronger.
Caleb walked towards Zoe as soon as he got into the airport. He found her fast thanks to the familiars. They actually pointed towards the place she was in which wasn’t good since they were supposed to hide her from anyone, even him.
“These familiars are way too polite. I only had to ask nicely and they pointed to you,” He whispered once he got next to her.
She glared over her shoulder but the ghosts were acting innocent.
Caleb’s eyes moved on the tall guy sitting next to her,“Who’s he?”
“Your brother’s new friend,” Caleb was confused so she continued, “He’s the ghost that will tag along everywhere he will go like an unwanted yet needed ghostly guardian.” Caleb was still very confused. She sighed and clicked her tongue, “Like Andy is to me.”
That unveiled the mystery, “Won’t that be troublesome?”
She stared at him blankly. Of course it was going to be troublesome; Elijah was not Andy. The difference between the two was Heaven-Hell like.
They waited for an hour before his plane landed. For that entire hour, Elijah spoke about his life before he got into the Cane Hill Asylum. Of course, Caleb found out the back-story and wasn’t happy at all.
“He is a freaking psychopath!” He hissed.
She became immune at his whining over the past hour.
“Excuse you, but I am a genius undercover. I got there because I let my guard down but that won’t happen again.” Elijah was really offended by Caleb’s words.
“Of course not. You’re dead.” Zoe mumbled, rubbing her forehead.
Elijah scoffed and turned his back on them, noticing something and leaving.
“Did he go to report to his Master?” Caleb asked ironically.
Zoe looked after him and saw him a few feet in the back.
“He went to steal a bento from a Japanese tourist,” She stated.
Caleb and Zoe glanced at each other before they sighed heavily; that ghost was going to provoke so many problems.
“I’m starting to question his genius,” She mumbled under her hand.
Plane 3245, coming from Tokyo-Japan to London-United Kingdom is landing right now at Gate 3.
She sighed in relief when she heard the announcement.
Both Caleb and Zoe were waiting for the younger brother with a knot in their stomachs. Caleb gulped when he saw the familiar head of his brother poking above the rest.
Zoe and Elijah were staring ahead with blank expressions. Zoe’s eyes became yellow and her hands were trembling in anticipation; her sign was glowing but not enough to grab attention.
Through Zoe’s eyes, the boy was glowing; he had dark mist around him and he was glowing like the light at the end of the tunnel; bright and purple.
When he got in front of them, Caleb didn’t act like a lovely older brother, instead he gulped and stared worriedly at him.
“Is that how you greet your younger brother?”
“I’m sorry, Jasper.” Caleb’s voice cracked before he pulled him into a tight hug.
The boy frowned,“You’re forgiven for whatever you have done. Don’t have to act so dramatically,” He stated once he let go of Caleb.
His head instinctively turned towards Zoe, whose face was somewhat familiar but he couldn’t understand why.
“Do I know you?” He asked, furrowing his eyebrows in concentration.
Zoe was trembling from head to toe, licking her lips nervously; she didn’t even know if she was excited or scared.
“She’s Zoe Lestrade. She is the commander, Jaz,” Caleb started on the way to the cab.
The boy tilted his head to the side, confused.
“That’s why father sent you to Japan. But it seems I couldn’t take that burden off your shoulders. No matter how much I try, I cannot be the inheritor.” Caleb admitted; it was better if Jasper knew sooner than later.
Jasper stared at Zoe before turning to his older brother. The difference between Caleb and the new face was only one: she was glowing.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jasper questioned further what was happening.
Caleb took a deep breath and thought how to break the news. He didn’t get the chance, though.
“He means you’re the inheritor.”
Jasper frowned. That guy wasn’t there before, was he? He was really tall and strange-looking; his eyes were black and scary, he was really pale and his bones were visible through his skin. He looked like a nicer zombie, actually.
Elijah raised an eyebrow, already figuring what Jasper was thinking about.
“I am your new best friend forever. My name is Elijah,”
Jasper shook his hand absent mindedly, not realizing that no one could see Elijah except him, Caleb and Zoe.
He leaned back and turned to Caleb, “What is he talking about?”
“Remember the story grandpa used to tell us when we were kids?”
Jasper nodded, “About the secret child of the devil. He used to say it wasn’t just a fairy tale and that this kid was called the inheritor. He also said he kind of surfaces in a random kid at every 50 years or something,”
“That’s you. The inheritor.”
Jasper’s eyes widened, “What?”
The ride in the cab was excruciating. Zoe was lost in space while Caleb tried to make his brother understand what was happening.
“So, you’re telling me that I’m the newest reincarnation of Devil’s secret child. Also, since he hates my guts, he sent vanity and lust demons to kill me and get my soul to Hell’s basement,”
“Second level,” Zoe corrected.
Jasper furrowed his eyebrows at his brother, “Anyway, how is that possible?”
“Well, in the first place, you can’t see the sun. It’s always a dark mist that covers it. And secondly, you have the serpent sign on your back,” Caleb explained.
“I thought you have it too.” Jasper trailed but Caleb shook his head, “So, if I’m the inheritor, who’s she?” He asked and pointed at Zoe.
“She’s the commander; the reincarnation of Beelzebub’s sister. Practically, you and her have a deep bond; deeper than soul mates’. You live to protect each other and right now, she’s so deep into this business that she’s the only one who can help you,”
Jasper frowned and glanced at her from the corner of his eye, “Is that why we’re not going home?”
“You’re going to live at her place. Believe me, you’ll like it.” Caleb assured his brother.
Jasper doubted that.