Chapter 15 - Of Battles and Boxes

'This hasn't been your week in fairness has it my old friend?'  Gabriel still stood with the arrow aimed at his adversary. 'You thought you had made some angelic new friends just for me to take one of them from you.  Lets be fair however that whimpering poor excuse was only ever going to be expendable was he not.  It does seem a shame not to have his sisters head on my trophy wall too, but there's time for that.  You are the prize, the irritation.  And here I am scratching that itch just like the prophecy predicted.'

Belial yawned theatrically and motioned towards Gabriels bow.

'You disappoint me.  I imagined you always to want the glorious encounter, a clash of metal against metal, a rip roaring tale to tell all the little fledglings in your sadistic little summer camps.  But here you ready to elevate yourself to the heights of glory simply using an arrow because you are afraid of me.'

Every angel standing silently around him in the gawdy regal room shifted slightly awkwardly.  Gabriel was not one to be mocked, Belial would be making his last stand in front of them not dying like the coward they hoped he would prove to be, but showing a tenacity so unnervingly fearless that Gabriels pride was unlikely to escape this unscathed.

'Words words words Belial.  An arrow or a blade matters not, another Demon shall fall.  Are you not aware of how vastly outnumbered your heathen cause is becoming?'  Gabriel flashed a pearly set of teeth as he grinned.

'Yet instead of loosing that arrow you fancy a little chat with me.  You have had this advantage for two minutes now yet you seem unwilling to do it.  Come on super star lets be having it.'

'A couple of questions first if you don't mind satisfying my curiosity.'  Gabriel and his angels were all statuesque.  The four others were looking piercingly from beneath their hooded gowns rigidly rapt by the weakly performed final act they were all quivering before.

'After all these years you wanna get to know me now.  Fine indulge yourself.'  Belial was just as unmoving as his collective adversary.

'Why are you here?  Why have you come to the Netherworld?'  Gabriel spat quickly ignoring the dry quips of Belial.  Instead he simply acted upon the permission he was granted.

'Hadn't had some you know what in a while.'  Belial winked at Gabriel.  'Persephone was always good for a long session of stress relief if you get my drift.'  Belial let his eyes scan the group around him.  No immediate escape route, but if Gabriel wanted to talk sooner or later the opportunity may present itself.

'Shame that, do you think she'll be as willing to entertain now that she is dead?'  Gabriel grinned widely.

This was the second bit of news that Belial had been delivered, first Greaves and now Persephone.  It was not in Gabriels character to lie about such things, gloating was much his forte.  It left some questions wide open inside his mind, strategies falling to pieces and calamities ever pressing.  Belial merely shrugged and returned his grin.

'Prefer them alive Gabriel.  Help yourself if those muscles are a little tight after a hard days swinging off branches.'

'Why are you here?'

'The scenery.'

'Why are you here?'

'A spot of fishing.'

'Listen you...'

'Ah temper temper, don't let it get the better of you Gabriel.  The fact is I have enough stupid answers to that question to keep us here until you grow a beard.'  Belial noticed two of the hooded angels drifted slightly apart leaving a slightly wider gap and a couple more valuable seconds on his sprint to the door.  For the moment he decided it is best to remain standing.

'Let me hazard a guess.  You believe you can gather the five items of power am I right?  You are here for the box.'

'My god Gabriel did you work that out all yourself?  I did underestimate you after all.'

Gabriel let out a growl and raised the bow ready to loose the arrow before pandemonium entered upstage.

The door burst open and a flash and whistle cut the air as an arrow past within touching distance of Belials face.  The arrow thudded into a small pillar inches from Gabriels face.  The Angel was unharmed but obviously startled.

Belial didn't look around to thank Saracen, he just took the opportunity to race forward. 

Everything was happening in a vulgar slow motion.  Belial was racing toward Gabriel.  Two angels ran after Belial to be felled by two very well placed Saracen arrows neatly into their spines.  The remaining two angels turned around to be met by an onrushing Hermione.

The first angel was caught completely unaware and before even having chance to prepare to block Hermione had taken his head clean from his shoulders.  Standing beneath a downpour of liquid rubies Hermione turned around to face the other remaining angel.

The fight was quick.  The Angel sliced and slashed wildly.  Both shots were desperate swats, both Hermione was equal to.  The third swipe the Angel delivered was to be his undoing.  Hermione turned her wrist giving her block an awkward angle.  As it met the blow it slid it away from the Angel opening his body up for Hermione to simply slip her blade between his ribs.

Belial was still pelting towards a confused Gabriel.  There was no time to react, Gabriel nocked the arrow and fired blindly into the onrushing Belials' body. 

Saracen thought the worst, a sickening crunching sound had greeted his ears when Gabriel had let the shot fly.  But Belial did not stumble or falter in the slightest.  Instead he leapt forwards.  Mid air Belial delivered three powerful strikes down toward Gabriel. 

As Gabriel backed off he lost his footing and fell backwards.  There was a momentary explosion of glass as Gabriel fell through the large window he was looking through earlier and down from the suite into the engulfiung darkness below him.

The End

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