“Let’s get started, shall we?” Asmodeus asked.
“Of course,” replied Azrael.
“Stop,” said Chelsea, “there’s one thing I don’t understand.”
“What’s that?” asked Asmodeus, stroking Kaleb the Hellhound.
“You two are getting along all of a sudden. You tried to kill him yesterday, now you’re getting along. Why?”
Asmodeus looked at Azrael. Azrael nodded slowly. Asmodeus sighed and stood up. He looked at Azrael again. He nodded faster this time.
“They want you dead,” he said, getting straight to the point.
“Who?” asked Chelsea.
“Angels and Demons. Although Azrael has come up with a theory that the baby is... special somehow. One side wants to protect it, and the other wants to kill it. Though now that I think about it, it’s quite a good theory. The next Messiah, come to save the world? Or the Antichrist, come to end it?”
Chelsea looked stunned, speechless, scared. “What if the baby is just Nephilim? What does that mean?”
“If it is simply Nephilim, he or she will have some of the father’s powers, be able to cast simple spells and maybe have a few tattoos,” said Asmodeus.
“Then why do the Angels go and kill them?”
“They tend to be impulsive, they tend to advertise their magic, they’re much stronger than their father, even at a young age. And they almost always become a Demon.”
“So whichever turns out to be the truth, the baby’s dead.”
“Pretty much. Though selling your soul to the Devil isn’t as bad as people think apparently.”
“Not the right time, Asmodeus,” said Azrael.
“Are you okay, Chelsea?” asked Azrael.
“I’ll be alright,” she said. “You get on with doing whatever it was you were planning.”
Chelsea sat down and pushed herself backwards until he back was against the wall. Azrael opened his rucksack, keeping a careful eye on Chelsea, and got out the glowing boxes. He dropped them on the floor. He picked them up one by one, holding them in between his hands. The boxes became weapons again.
He spread them out and picked up Morslammae in his right hand and the mace in his left. The etched flames glowed blue. He smiled to himself and stood up. Asmodeus stood not far away with two long daggers – his favourite type of weapon.
Asmodeus and Azrael stepped forwards. As Asmodeus lashed out with his daggers at Azrael, Azrael stepped back. His eyes went blank and the weapons fell from his slackened grip. The clatter of the metal rang out through the silence.
“No,” he murmured, “no, it can’t be. Please, no, no, no.” His incoherent babbling made Chelsea look up from the Hellhound at her side.
“Azrael?” asked Asmodeus.
“The prophecy,” he mumbled.
“What prophecy?” asked the Demon, shaking Azrael’s shoulder. “Azrael, what prophecy?”
“Roughly translated: A mortal shall birth three children. One shall be Angel, one shall be Demon and the last shall human. These children shall be stronger than their father and shall be the ruin of mankind if not guided,” he said, ending in a whisper.