Chapter Forty-One: Leaving
When he finished speaking, Darius simply vanished again, I couldn't be certain, but I felt like he wanted to hide the fact that reminiscing about my mother was something painful for him. He had never stopped loving her, even when she chose a demon over him...
We walked back home from the parking lot without much chatter, James tried to talk to me, but I was too busy replaying Darius and Cieran's words in my mind to listen much less respond. When we entered my place, which was closer to school than James', Tom was already there, sitting on the couch, eating pizza.
"Evening, Mates." He said, waving at us from behind. "Food's on the counter."
I went to take a piece, just like the others and James picked the soft drink cans. "Amy, do you want a coke or a cruu-shhh..." He said, the last word becoming deformed, like I was hearing it in slow-motion. I looked at him and eventually his lips froze mid sentence, just like everything else. It was like time just froze, Anna and Tom both seemed affected but I didn't feel anything.
There was a light knock on the door and I slowly walked toward, it grabbing the sheathed sword hung on the coat rack next to it. I looked through the peephole and I saw that Dylan was waiting on the other side, impatiently tapping his foot on the ground, he seemed unaffected by whatever was going on.
I opened the door and he exclaimed. "Finally, girl. I was wondering if you were going to leave me rotting until the morrow." He unceremoniously stepped inside without waiting for my approval.
"Do you know what's going on?" I asked, closing the door behind me, locking it.
"Indeed I do. Because I'm the cause of it."
"What, why? You know what, Never mind, unfreeze them!" I ordered, almost snarled.
"Not yet. We have things to go through first." He said, making me snarl instinctively. The irritation from the situation rousing the the ichor in me.
"What is it that you want?"
"In case you forgot, there's an archon now roaming this world, Ahriman which I tell you wants you rather badly. You have a few days at best to prepare and might I add that your chances of success on this particular endeavour are quite slim to say the least." He explained, going to the counter and grabbing a slice of the pizza. "Vegetarian, my favorite."
"Alright, what do you propose?"
"I can help you develop your powers, but there's a rather problematic flaw in the logistic of that."
"There's always a catch. What is it?"
"You'd have to come to Gehenna with me. I can't use my powers without shattering this envelop of flesh, In the lower worlds, I do not have to push through to have access to ichor, the stuff is literally just floating about in the air."
"There's no way I'm coming with you down there. Do you think I'm stupid."
"You'd be even stupider to not accept and face Ahriman in your current state, girl. But here me; I've always played strait with you, I told you about your parents, I gave you a weapon that could slay me and I've answered all the questions you've asked me and I shall continue doing so."
"Alright then, what's your game? Don't tell me you're doing a favor for an old friend, I know you have ulterior motives."
"Ah yes, my devious plan... Well, if it's what it takes to convince you of my good intentions. You, Amelia, are the rightful heir to Rex Mundi, not merely because of blood ties but because of what you are. Although it is true that I am more powerful than you, like most archons, it is because of age, I have over seven thousand years on you. But you have the potential to dominate all the archons, to be a true Rex Mundi, perhaps even becoming Rex Universum." As he spoke, small cracks began to form on his face from which shadow glowed, impossibly radiating.
"What does Rex Mundi even mean in this context?"
"The Rex Mundi is the king or queen of a plane, the entire world bend to his or her will. It takes on the shape that he/she imagines it. That is the post of Rex Mundi. It's from your father's vision that the lower world formed. Do you understand?" He face was by then distorted in effort and pain.
"I'll go, but James is coming with me."
"Sorry, but he can't. If he goes there he'll either change into a spawn gradually or he'll begin to wither into nothingness. None of your friends may come, for if they do, they won't make it out alive..."
I looked down and bit my lips, hard enough to draw blood. Dylan was looking really horribly by that point. I picked up a pen wrote down a message for James...
I'm sorry, I can't tell it to you directly, but I must go, it's important and I don't have time to explain now... I took the sheet and set it in James' immobile hands.
"How do we proceed?" I asked, feeling guilty already.
"Just take my hand." He instructed and I did.
I felt vertigo and an array of feelings hard to describe; I felt like I was floating weigthlessly in liquid. All I could see were chaotic array of colors hung in an ebon void of emptiness. I could feel and knew that all those different blobs where paths to other places, other worlds, even other times. It was a feeling that can hardly be explained, to be outside of space and time, just floating.
I felt something thug at me, Dylan, not from anywhere in particular but rather from all sides at the same time. He gently dragged me down toward what I presumed was the lower worlds. I slipped through the barrier between it and the ether and I was suddenly assaulted. Not by people but by loud music and dizzying flashes of lights.
I didn't know what I expected from hell exactly, torture pits, fire, damnation or something, what I wasn't expecting was a freaking night club!