Merlock and Steph were still flailing, and Merlock was trying to hurt the giant creature by burning its tentacles. Whenever he did, it grabbed him in another, and two others would grow back. Zane looked over at Whist.
“I killed one with a Morningstar because starlight is the best way to kill them! But I used up so much energy that I can’t make another one!” Zane yelled. The creature that Jayson was fighting stomped against the ground angrily; Jayson was moving faster than usual. Blake was aware of a glowing rune of Jayson’s leg. It looked like a fancy number three that was tilted with the bottom pointing diagonally left. There was a tail that curved downward at the bottom of the number, making the mark look like a backwards Y.
“He used a speed rune—a celeritas,” said Whist. “The creature will have trouble getting him. Suddenly, the creature Jayson was fighting shot out a dark tentacle at Zane. Blake ran over to him, and he heard Whist yelling at him. He joined Zane, and quickly sliced the tentacle in half just as it was touching Zane.
“Thanks,” said Zane. Almost immediately, Blake was hit by a blur of black force, and was sent crashing into the elevator again. He smacked his head, and everything went black.
Blake looked at Rerilen, whose eyes were golden and luminous. He looked as if he’d just said something, and Blake hadn’t heard. “Blake,” Rerilen said. “You are so powerful, and so level-headed. I wish to bless you with this power.”
Rerilen flapped his large wings, and moved over to Blake. He pulled out a wand-like, white glowing signum, and pressed it to Blake’s skin. He drew complicated lines that curled gracefully and beautifully. He kept drawing, and finished with a flourish. On Blake’s chest, right above his heart was a shining mark. It was a diamond shape, but the top point of the diamond had lines moving away from it, curling down on either side. They formed Js. In the center of the diamond, there was a Star of David with wings that stretched out of the diamond boundaries. The inky rune was amazing. Rerilen stepped back, admiring it. “What is it?” asked Blake.
“I’ll call it an ‘angelus imperium’. Angelic power. It should make you as powerful as I, though you may already be. I just made this, and it shall bring you angelic magic. Also…” He quickly created another rune, this one on Blake’s right arm. It looked like four crossing curls of wind with two crossing tildes in the center. “This is an ‘angelus agnitio’ rune. It means angelic knowledge. You’ll know every rune known to Shadowslayer and Angel, and even ones that haven’t yet been created.”
“How does it work?” asked Blake. “Will it always work?”
“As long as you stay away from where Angels cannot tread, then it shall work.”
“Where’s that?” Blake asked. But even as he asked, he became distant from himself, and a sharp pain began shooting through his skull. “Too much knowledge!” he yelled. He cried out, dozens of pictures flashing behind his eyelids as he shouted…
Blake awoke suddenly, clutching his head. “Are you alright?” asked Whist, who was standing over him.
“I saw… Rerilen…” Blake pulled up his shirt and took his signum out of his pocket. He pressed it to his chest, and thought about the rune that Rerilen had drawn. An unseen force guided the signum that was clutched in his hand gracefully across his chest. He didn’t even realize he was finished until he felt the force flick his wrist across his chest. He looked down at the rune that spread on his chest.
“I’ve… I’ve never seen anything like that… Blake…” Whist whispered. Blake felt the force push his hand to his arm, and in a minute, he’d finished that one too. It was a matrix of swirling lines that curled outward, intersecting each other with two crossing tildes in the center. He felt like he was lit up with divinity and power, and felt both his Contemplor and his new rune prickling. He felt his head crammed with thoughts and memories—some of which were not his own.
“Angelic knowledge and power,” he said to Whist. “Rerilen showed them to me in my dream.” Blake saw a picture flash before his eyelids. It was that of a man with large, outstretched white wings that spread gracefully from his back. He flew quickly across Blake’s mind. Blake shook his head, and the hallucination faded away. He smiled. Angelic power and knowledge, he thought. Knowledge and power.
He was pulled out of his reverie when he saw Alteon pressing Zane against the glass wall, one mighty hand above his head. Blake was there immediately, unsure of how he’d even gotten there. He took his sword and plunged it into the Alteon’s back. Alteon stumbled away from Zane, releasing Merlock and Steph. They began to fall from the high distance. Before they hit the ground, they were hovering, about two inches away from it. Zane flashed a smile at Blake, his hands outstretched over the two of them. Blake returned a thankful smile, and allowed the Angel’s power to take him over. He began to glow golden, his eyes blazing like divine fire.
He felt another consciousness in his body, and images flashed before his mind. He saw Rerilen and himself, both with wings spread wide apart, he saw a city shrouded in mist, and then a formidable marble statue of an Angel, pointing at Blake with a sword, and at the ground. Its eyes looked like they still held a slight fragment of life in them. On his base, it said, ‘All that glitters isn’t gold’. Blake realized the sword it was holding must have been Rerilen’s sword. The hilt had six wings, two of them stuck out farther, which was where the Angel statue held it. The blade was long and looked powerful. Suddenly, the scene changed. There were several men with wings that were flying up into the sky. The earth below them was trembling.
The mirages were wrenched away from him, and his feet were carrying him over to the other creature. He was across the room and next to Jayson in less than two seconds. Jayson looked astonished at Blake’s speed, and began to dodge around the creature. Blake was even faster than Jayson as he ducked, rolled and jabbed the blade through the creature’s skull. He pulled it back, and jumped away from the creature. It collapsed, and melted into a puddle. Jayson stared at Blake in awe, and though Blake knew that it wasn’t him fighting, he felt proud.
He moved quickly back to Alteon, and began clashing with him. His sword sparked whenever he struck Alteon. The Djinni would become smoke and slip away only to reform every time Blake had him backed against a wall. “The Angel has shared power with you, boy. But the question is… do you know how to use it?”
Another memory pushed itself into Blake’s brain. It looked vivid and yet somehow like a Monet painting. There was a creature, exactly like the one that was taunting Blake at the moment. Black as night, frightening as a nightmare; but Blake wasn’t scared of the thought. He watched the mind-clip as a man rolled under the creature and dodged as it shot a tentacle out. He sliced another tentacle in half and then threw fire at it, and it didn’t grow back. The man jumped up, his angel wings blessing him with flight. He lifted himself higher, and then brought his sword down, twirling and clutching it with two hands as he did. He began to spin faster and faster until he was a blur, tongues of fire spinning around him. He looked like a spinning comet—or a falling angel. The falling angel spun down, and his sword made contact with the creature’s forehead. The man leapt off of the monster, leaving the sword still buried in it. The monster shrieked, and its head cracked. It fell backwards into a pentagram that was drawn onto the ground, and melted away.