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Chapter 3

Azrael paced around his library in frustration. Nothing had ever happened like this and out of all the time he had lived so far, he had never been genuinely thrown off so much.

After leaving Lila to get some rest in his guest room, he had gone to change in a grey Twin Tribes t-shirt and grey sweatpants. He had always found his robes to be uncomfortable, especially in this late century where people wore jeans, t-shirts, and sweatpants rather than robes like ancient times.

He flung his hand out to the right sending the books on the modern live-edge desk to the floor. After pilfering his vast library room, he had found no answers to the current dilemma of what happened to Lila.

With a flick of his hand, the books levitated and returned to their designated spaces in the shelves.

Straightening his back, he scratched the stubble on his cheek. Days like this made him want to curse the forces at will. He hated not being in control.

When he came for Lila’s soul, a shimmering ball of pure light, the tides shifted. Her soul was extraordinarily strong and beautiful. He had seen many souls, but he had never seen one like hers. The light shone like facets on a diamond-like prism, giving light to all that it touched. Tendrils of light threatened the darkness hidden deep in his soul and it had bothered him, to the core.

This beautiful dark-haired skinny waif had a soul unlike any other. Hidden in the depths of her grey eyes were many secrets; secrets which he was going to dig out, piece by piece.

Azrael remembered how her creamy pale skin glowed as her jewel of a soul released a massive amount of energy. Her shoulder length black hair blew violently from the force of it, showing her soft feminine features. Lila was born to be a model that could pull off the innocent part and do it well.

Her grey eyes, dark slashes of brows, and her plumb lips had popped out like a beacon. This dark-haired beauty now slept in his guest bedroom and he had no idea what caused her soul to go berserk.

As soon as he brought her into the Between, the space between time and space, her soul cracked open spilling all of the energy within. The energy had enveloped her body, forcing its way into her body, and reforming to be even more astonishing. Such a strong force had caused her to suffer a lot of pain momentarily, but she quickly recovered and looked to him for answers, her grey eyes pleading.

Then there was the fact that she was alive like she hadn’t died. She physically was alive and well, albeit for some bruises from the fight for her life. He had felt her pulse when he inspected her ankles, momentarily becoming fascinated with her tale. Later on, he planned to rid her of the debilitating condition of her bones, and he figured it would weird her out if he did it right away.

For such an old god, he was kind and generous, even in his sullen moods. He had felt sorry for Lila as he felt how brittle she actually was. On the outside and soul-wise, she was strong, but inside she was hurting emotionally and physically.

Sighing, he levitated a notebook and left the library with the notebook following him closely behind. He made his way toward the room he had put Lila in and walked through the door, making his body an invisible specter.

Doing this made him invisible to any living being, sentient or not. This power came in handy frequently.

Although it was considered creepy to watch someone sleep, he was researching.

Lila lay sleeping under the sheets, her slender body curled in a fetal position. She was sound asleep, but her soul illuminated the dark room, throwing shadows around. Through her eyes she wouldn’t be able to see it, but he could.

He held his hand over her sleeping body, feeling the power emanating from her soul. The force made him shake and he had to withdraw.

She was strong, ten times as strong as he was, which was really unheard of.

Azrael was the strongest of all. He was also the most powerful.

Until now.

He was no longer at the top. She was.

This fact unnerved him, and he had no idea why she had so much power. Power that surpassed his own.

Compared to him, she was a baby. She was but a speck in the cosmos, yet she had power that surpassed his own. He withdrew further from her, crossing his arms as he thought about the implications.

Azrael paced about the room before stopping in front of the window, staring into space as he thought.

The only conclusion he could come up with was that Lila was a goddess. A powerful goddess who didn’t know the scope of her own powers and yet, didn’t know she was a goddess at all. She was destined, for either greatness or to destroy the world, the latter he hoped would not come true. Even where he stood, feet away from her, he could feel the tendrils of the power she held within her soul licking at his aura.

Never before had he felt a power such as this.

The level of power depended on where the deity stood on the hierarchy of the cosmos. Age was a big factor in power. The older a god was the more power he harnessed.

Azrael had discovered all of this after much experimenting and digging around. He met with other deities daily since they came to him for help. Being at the top had its cons while the pros weighed at about the same.

He was like a father and all the lower ranked gods were the children.

He stretched his arms and yawned.

All of this thinking and recent revelations were making him sleepier than before.

When he had gone to gather Lila’s soul, he had wanted to speed things up so he could go home and sleep. He hadn’t had sleep in two days and even gods needed sleep.

He especially needed sleep.

He was always running around the past week and a half after a tsunami in the Orient.

Normally, he has a system that automatically reaps the souls and sends them on their way. The past few days he had decided to reap souls for old time’s sake, not like he never did it anymore.

Azrael walked to the edge of the bed Lila slept on and held his hand over her forehead and sent a pulse of energy into her brain. He manipulated her brain to help her rest easy and gain the rest she needed for the following day. The poor woman had suffered enough.

This was the least he could go for her. He could do so much more, but he was too wrung out of energy to do much else at the moment.

He quickly left the room, phasing through the door again, and headed to his own room.

Sleep nagged the edges of his body and mind. The idea of finally getting rest was exciting to his tired body.

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