Chapter Thirty-Nine: Angel Of Death
Gathering information from someone who liked to talk wasn’t necessarily a difficult task for Zack or Rowan, it was somewhat in their job descriptions to question people and retrieve information.
Granted, Zack was used to more extreme measures having been trained in the military than Rowan would have been, although Braylen seemed to have had him beat in that area with her monstrous methods.
They had just arrived outside Horatio’s home in Ashrise City, the quaint cul-de-sac much like the one they had been lead to earlier, although the differences were noticeable.
The excessively proud shrubbery, pruned and shaped to perfection, gardens hinted with colour and houses, seemingly as perfect as the people living in them.
Nothing like New Montem, Zack thought.
Rowan was out of the van before anyone could say we’re here and Aveline along with Zack were close behind.
“Keep your eyes open, there could well be traps awaiting us” Rowan said as they stepped up the pathway to the front door.
A neighbour, however, who had been watching them behind his white picket fence spoke up to them as he watered the flowers in his garden.
“Who are you?” he asked suspiciously.
“Friends of Horatio” Rowan replied politely, his apparent natural demeanour taking over.
The man didn’t seem sold on his words, so much so that he put down his hose and turned his pointed nose towards them, a pair of spectacles sat on the brim.
“He isn’t here, he hasn’t been for over a year as far as I know”
“Is that so? Well, thank you” Rowan nodded, his pointed ears hidden by his grown hair, to Zack’s relief, as he turned and began stepping back towards the van.
“What are you doing ?” Aveline muttered to him as she joined him.
Glancing towards the nosy neighbour, her question was answered, as if bored and satisfied with his neighbourhood watch, the man had disappeared back inside.
“People like him, they like to know what is going on,” he said before circling back to the door where he opens it quietly.
Horatio, whether he’d heard the chatter outside or had simply been waiting for them, was stood in the hallway wearing a wicked smile, one that they were all familiar with it, having seen it in the Battle of Crestfold.
“You took your time. I see you met my neighbour, a sorry sod isn’t he?”
“Where is Tollen” Rowan spat, his hatred beginning to boil.
“You’ve only just got here and you’re already demanding things. You have had a long journey. Now would you like green tea? Coffee? Or maybe you’d prefer yours with a shot if brandy?”
“Tollen” Rowan repeated.
Removing a cigarette from his breast pocket, Horatio offered it to Rowan but it was not accepted as Rowan’s hand slapped it across the room before clamping around Horatio’s throat and pinning him to the wall.
Croakily laughing, Horatio looked at them all with wild eyes “You never learn” he wheezed.
Andrew, who they believed was secured and out cold in the back of the van, attacked Zack from behind.
But Roan refused to take his eyes or hands off of the man in front of him “Where is he?” he growled, releasing his hand a bit.
“Oh Tollen is completely fine if that’s what you are worried about”
“Aveline, locate Tollen” Ronan stated and analysed Horatio’s face as he said so, hearing Aveline’s feet distance her from the room.
“I forgot to ask, how are you coping after I killed pretty lady Braylen?” he asked only to receive less of an airway as Ronan’s grip tightened.
“What’s the matter? Did I hit a sore subject?”
Leaning closer, his hand threatening to close Horatio’s airways completely “Bregan, he’s the real father” he whispered
“I would not lie before I kill you. Braylen was incapable of love”
From somewhere in the house, Aveline’s voice bounced through the hallways to them “I’ve found Tollen” she called out.
All the while, Horatio searched Rowan’s face for some sort of emotion, but finding non he began to panic.
He thrashed against the grip on his throat, his own hands reaching for Rowan’s neck clutching at what he could.
“She lied to you, just as she lied to everyone else. You meant nothing to her”
* * *
“Why are you here?” Ida remarked, glaring at the four of them.
“Mayfel promised me a few things”
The one in question corrected him, despite his delicate situation “It was just the one thing”
“A minor technicality” he replied with a dismissive wave of his hand. “My first request, the book. It is my favourite to read and I wouldn’t be bothering you if it were not the only one”
“Absolutely not” she declared eaning alarmed looks from the rest in the room, they could hardly believe she had risked everything for the book when they had little chance to escape.
“Are you prepared to have a boy's blood on your hands? Are you willing to stand and watch as I slash his throat, all so that you could protect your book?” he hissed.
Vasilios took up the middle throne and that of the King, making himself at home.
“This is much less comfortable than it looks, I wish I had brought my crown with me. Can I borrow yours?” he asked Solon
“If we gave you the book, would you leave Arravan?” Solon said as he stepped in front of the others and up the first couple of steps to the throne.
“Well, here is the tricky part. I promised this little guy over here” he began, his grisly finger-pointing to Mayfel who still had a knife to his throat “That I would bring back his friend for the small price of the book, but I tend to get greedy in these kinds of situations. So, I am pondering the idea of killing you all and simply taking what I want”
Footsteps echoed from the front steps of the hall and in stormed Stavros with Annalise Garett “I found her near the bodies of the thing that attacked us, she is claiming to wish to speak with you, my King”
“Well isn’t this a party?” Vasilios noted, standing up slowly as he dropped his foot from one step to another, his eyes not leaving Annalise as they grew greener for a split second.
“You are the one” he sang to her.
Speaking to the small gathered group that had moved closer towards him, Solon said “Keep a watchful eye on him” as he turned to confront Annalise.
“What is it you want?”
Walking towards him, she glanced sideways at Kaydence.
She was up to something he thought but had no time to react as she sprung into the group grappling with his hair as her other arm circled his neck in a chokehold and dragged him to the floor.
Kaydence and Mayfel looked at one another, both in situations, the fear he remembered seeing in his eyes before their fall from Heaven’s descent as plain as day on his face.
“I am Mati, I see all, I protect all, I follow only the Mati and that Mati is me” she whispered into his ear, the pin removed from her hair, she drove it through his chest and into his heart.
Gasping as if the air was pulled from his lungs, Kaydence started to change.
Annalise had stepped away, meanwhile, symbols appeared along his skin and his eyes changed, both in a green glow and his wings snapped open.
Mayfel’s voice hollered and cried out Kaydences name over and over but his attempts to be heard and let free were lost to both Kaydence and Vallen.
“We must go,” Vasilios said and tried gathering Ida and Erabos, but she had other ideas.
Kaydence had stolen the Aurem orb from the box, but Ida and her nimble ways, retrieved the others passing them on to Xenia who was quick to conceal it within her cloak and, following the Kings and Ida’s orders, leapt through a portal to The City of Embers with Everette as compensation, against her better judgement, her last look at the chaos saw Kaydence drive Acuere through Annalise’s chest and move on to Ida where he spent no time and showed no remorse as his blade pierced through her back, through her heart and out of her chest.
The carnage continued to unfold, Erabos mourned his mother's body but not for long as Kaydence struck him down, the flames along his blade melting the flesh around the stab wound.
Evan, seeing Erabos fall, charged Kaydence in his pursuit of everything that moved, in a fruitless effort to pin his arms down so that Fraya could send his mind to a happier place, Evan grasped his arms as but Fraya’s abilities couldn’t touch the power surging through him.
Using his elbow, Kaydence freed himself of Evan to which Acuere slashed and stabbed at, Even blocked and ducked pointlessly, each time he did so, the blade caught him repeatedly until it sliced through his forearm, his hand landing on the floor, the next blow ultimately ended his life in one swing against his thigh that tore through flesh, muscle and his artery.
One enemy down and bleeding out on the floor in agony, he soon turned to Fraya who was backing up with stumbling legs and a blood-splattered face.
She didn’t get far, she had no chance to beg or plead to him to spare her life before her blood joined the floor in deep, dark pools matching the obsidian ground with eyes still and blank.
Pushed aside, Kaydence's vision targetted Vasilios.
He used his wings to glide over, Acuere poised at his side but from out of nowhere the snake-eyed man uncovered a scythe, its handle black and engraved with golden swirls and spirals, the blade sharp and glistening gold as it lunged for Kaydence.
Avoiding danger, Kaydence and his sudden strength threw Vasilios to the wall providing Vallen with a chance to drag Elena out of the doors and away from the mountain.
Vallen wasn’t lucky enough to miss the dagger blade that sunk into the back of his neck, severing his spinal cord, Elena on the other hand, stopped and stared out to the open mountain view from the main doors.
Kaydence however, continued with Acuere having grown significantly in length, inscribed with the markings covering his skin.
The tip of the blade plunged towards Vasilios, the scythes pole snapping and splintering in half as it got in the way as a line of defence, but not even Vasilios’ protective barrier his magic formed could save him.
Desperately swinging the scythe's blade with the shorted wooden staff, proved useless when Acuere passed through his neck and into the wall.
Vasilios’ head dropped to the floor and rolled a short distance, coming to a halt with his absent eyes staring at the blood and scattered bodies, Elan’s being a part of the deceased once again, the end of her life joining Vasilios’.
Kaydence started towards the main doors of Evangelis, his wings outstretched and tainted with blood, but for once it wasn’t his own.
“Let me go” Dalamis struggled, his focus on getting to his brother but Halda was holding him back still as well as the King who was actively protecting Florenta and their child.
She joined the hall, having heard a commotion and multiple of Evangelis’ inhabitants flee from the mountain which they feared to do even during the Trinity war, she knew there must have been something seriously wrong.
“Kaydence” Mayfel called out, hoping it would be enough as Kaydence began to glow brighter.
The winged man, crouched and collected an unknown item from Vasilios’ body but as he stood up the item in question became apparent.
Dalamis called out to him and for whatever reason, it triggered something within Kaydence, his body spun as if in slow motion and in his right hand, a section of the scythes staff.
As he let go, the splintered and pointed end sailed straight for the group.
Watching the inhuman soul in Kaydence's eyes and the unholy look of his blood-smeared hands and body, Dalamis witnessed the defeat and downfall of everything he knew.
He was the angel of death.
But it only got worse when Halda put himself between the spear and everyone else hidden behind him, only for it to land square in his chest.
Dalamis dropped to the floor with Halda in his arms as he frantically tried to stop the bleeding, but it wouldn’t stop.
“Kaydence!” Mayfel hollered again with raw emotion and a torn throat.
He turned around giving Mayfel the impression that he heard him and was responding, but he thought wrong as Kaydence raised Acuere gliding over towards the Halda who stood in front of Dalamis, the King and Florenta who had joined the hall having heard the dying calls.
Mayfel, however, leapt in front of him, Kaydence though, didn’t stop.
Collapsed against him, the long blade embedded in his chest, he lay still and for a second, just one second, Kaydence regained consciousness enough to know what he’d done.
The necklace he had gifted Mayfel slipped from his bloody hand clattering to the floor of blood.
Agony filled him, the loss overwhelming and was made even more so as he screamed in heartbreak and was suddenly consumed in green light.
Dalamis fought tooth and nail to get to him, but there was no way Halda or even the King was letting him go, no matter how many tears fell and how much he cried out for them to let him go.
The last anyone heard, was a catastrophic blast.
A blast that shattered every window, cracked the earth beneath them, raised the tides and wiped out everything around him.
The light shot into the sky, tinting the clouds and the skies themselves and from there it began to spread like a plague.
The great light had struck again, although this time, there weren’t many who realised it.
For it brought all fae, to the ground.