Angels Can't Die

By Ashwath Narayanan All Rights Reserved ©

Fantasy / Adventure

Chapter 7

Eris felt a niggling feeling in the back of his head. He smelt death.

He smelt death all the time, but this was different. It was a murder.

Deaths in Ashanti were mighty rare. Murders even more so.

Eris flew to the scene of the murder. It was an inn on one of the streets, next to the Akan church.

Eris flew through the window, or what was a window until a few hours ago. Glass was scattered across the room, blood was too.

Eris glances around the room, for the first time noticing the priests mangled body. There were five slits across the priest’s throat. Five.

On the wall opposite to the cot, there was a symbol. A pentacle. It was etched onto the wall in. Was that blood?

Eris stepped closer and sniffed at it. He stepped back in shock. It was blood, the priest's blood to be more specific.

Eris wondered who could have done such a thing. The assassin seemed to have come through the open window. Well, the broken glass had no other explanation unless the rest had himself broken it.

Another clue was that the glass was scattered inside the room, and not outside. That meant that the assassin had come in through the window, and also left by the same way.

Eris looked a bit more closely at the pentacle. He remembered seeing it somewhere. Was it in the woods? Or at the palace.

Suddenly it struck Eris. He had seen the pendant with the boy who had come back alive from the king’s palace. Surely that had to mean something.

Eris moved towards the window, deciding to look around the inn a bit more. He found the room above the priests to be abandoned. He looked around a bit, and then wearily sat down on the cot.

The room was quite bare except for the cot and a small chest of drawers at the other end. Eris decided to open the chest of drawers, hoping to find some other clue that would tell him what the pentacle signified.

In the drawer was an ancient scroll. It was plain yellow and there was nothing on it. Maybe it had faded with time.

Now there were only two options left. Either he could visit the archives of the kingdom, or he could go to the house of the boy who had come out of the palace alive.

As to how he would find the boy was an entirely different story, as Eris decided to go to the archives first.

The archives were in the centre of the kingdom, and was the most revered place after the great church. It had been standing for aeons, and it had an extensive collection of scrolls, manuscripts and books that almost no other kingdom could boast of.

The archives were guarded by two guards who were trained in extreme warfare by the kings general himself.

The archives were the greatest structure in Ashanti, their levels going deep into the ground. It was going to be a difficult task finding about the pentacle without a hint of what the thing he was searching for was.

For normal people, entering the archives would have been extremely difficult, and the rare people who were granted entry were considered extremely fortunate. Priests were banned from coming even close to the archives, and once when a daring priest ventured close the structure he was given a sound thrashing.

But Eris wasn't normal. He slunk inside the archives and started his search for the pentacle.

Scrolls in the archives were on the topmost floor, or the ground floor. They were arranged in specific periods, and Eris didn't know where to start.

He decided to start from the lowest floor which was five floors underground.

After a few hours of searching, Eris was nowhere. He had just finished one level and that one of book. The most significant thing he had found related to the pentacle was a book saying that it had five points. Thanks for nothing.

Eris was tired, and decided to take a break and think things out. What could that pendant mean? Was it a sign of murder, or did it mean something related to the murderer.

Eris was still thinking things out when he heard a voice.

"This way. He went this way."

Someone seemed to be coming in his direction. How was this possible. No one could see Eris. Well the king had. But that was entirely different.

What if the king had trained his guards to do the same?

Eris heard footsteps heading in his direction, and stood frozen on the spot. He couldn't do a thing. There was nowhere to go.

The guards pointed straight at him and shouted out, "Stop." They came running, weapons in hand.

Eris was terror struck. He was surely dead. Could angels die? Eris was sure he was about to find out. Thought passed through Eris's mind. Where would he go?

In a breath taking moment, the guards walked right past Eris. Eris turned and saw an old man standing there. Eris was definitely sure the old man wasn't there an hour ago. He had just come in. How come Eris hadn't noticed? Was he so ignorant, or had the man come through some passage.

"How did you get in old man?" The guards demanded.

"I have permission." The old man said, not intimidated in the slightest. He took out a scroll and showed it to the guards.

Whatever he showed them however wasn't enough, as they hauled him out of the archives and up to the entrance.

He screamed as they took him up. His shouts of despair echoing around the archive like a bullet cuts through silence.

"Please, let me go. Please." He pleaded to no avail. No one was allowed to enter the archives without permission.

Eris suspected that the manuscript was fake and that the signature was forged. But where had the man come from?

He was pretty sure he hadn't come from the entrance.

Eris turned around, walking along the trail of footsteps the old man had left. After a while, the old man’s prints suddenly ceased. There was no trail now.

Eric looked around, wondering what the old man had been doing here.

He glanced around, and saw something on one of the shelves.

"Satanic Verse."

Eris picked it up, making sure no one was around.

Satanic Verse.

A composition of Satanic rituals, languages.

Marko Vietro 1772

What was this? Eris barely remembered the king saying something about Satanism.

He leafed through the book, but the only words legible were the ones he had already read on the cover.

Satanic Verse.

A composition of Satanic rituals, languages.

Marko Vietro

1772

Eris leafed through the boom, wondering what he would see. And there on the third page was the pentacle. The holy red pentacle.

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