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Krystal Itzume

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #420 on: February 22, 2015, 02:21:27 am »
Israfel knew enough to keep Vastien alive. He continued with this torture, heedless of the demon’s words. What would Vastien be able to do to him, if there wasn’t a soul in his body? He couldn’t escape, and soon Seren would be here. Israfel would get the answer out of one of them.

He was not disturbed again until Lord Asher Young returned. Israfel paused mid-song as he heard the sound of struggles, of chains and dragging feet. Seren was putting on a show herself, and had been loud enough to draw Karna’s attention. Karna, still playing his role as one of the acolytes, had gone unnoticed all this time. Now he ‘helped’ Asher to bring Seren into the room with Israfel, Atreyu, and Vastien.

Karna did wince at the sight of Vastien strung up as he was, and the blood.

Seren tried to stop completely, tried to pull back to run out of the room, but Asher had enough strength to push her forward and force her to her knees. He put a hand on her back to hold her there, and Karna quickly bowed out when he saw he wasn’t necessary any longer, though he did not go far. He stopped in the doorway, certain little attention would be paid to him, and followed the instructions Seren had given him earlier.

“Well, well.”
Israfel was smug. He couldn’t help it. “I thought you knew how to hide better than that.”

Seren looked up from the ground to Israfel, and then Atreyu.
“Why haven’t you killed Vastien?” She inquired, moving her posture so that she was sitting, chained hands in her lap.

“That contract of yours.”
Israfel approached and knelt down in front of her. “It has gotten in the way. Your ties to that demon make it impossible to use.”

“Ah, I see. How unfortunate for you.”

Israfel didn’t appreciate the mockery in her tone, or in her eyes. He reached forward and grabbed her by the chin.

Seren’s façade broke completely. She laughed aloud, to Israfel’s confusion. She did speak, though, and asked,
“How important is this ritual of yours, to you?” The look on her face could have been demonic. “Because you see, I do know how to break the contract—sorry, Vastien,” she lifted her eyes to the demon. She was lying through her teeth, of course. If she’d known how, she would have done it when Lucifer was present. Israfel didn’t know that, of course.

'Be a good demon and play along.'

Or perhaps he'd actually believe her. That would make this matter more convincing.
“I planned to renege on our deal the entire time. I just want my revenge,” Seren cast her eyes back to Israfel. “I just want Atreyu dead. He is the one that betrayed my father. After that, I don't care what happens.”

Atreyu looked aghast, taken aback.

Israfel already believed the worst of the Vesper girl—it was why her soul was perfect, after all, as dark as they came. He had no doubts that she planned to betray the demon from the start, or at least, early on. Her father had been a master manipulator, after all.

« Last Edit: February 22, 2015, 02:25:12 am by Krystal Itzume »


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #421 on: February 24, 2015, 12:52:01 am »
Vastien roared in agony and bowed his pain in exhaustion when Israfel relented and the doors flew open again. While they dragged Seren in, Vastien was contemplating his escape. Being strung up would only get them all killed if everything went south, the binds holding him in place were infused with divine magic.

The only he could set himself free was with a powerful hex, but the demon magic was already draining him and his loss of souls only made him even weaker. He had an idea.

The time spent with Seren, he could honestly say he knew her quite well and she was clearly lying. Convincing nonetheless, Israfel took the bait. Luckily, Vastien could follow Seren’s lead quite nicely. He did feel like if she could actually have broken the contract, she would have done so. Immediately, Vastien began snarling and cursing loudly.

“You rotten bitch! I should have killed you and devoured your soul when I first met you. Once I finish killing everyone else, you’re going to wish you never betrayed me!”

Vastien began struggling in his binds again, breathing more flames onto his surroundings, hoping something would catch and start burning. He had to help Seren sell her lie, a desperate demon fit the role quite nicely. “Release me, damn you! Your soul is mine, Seren!”

What did she plan to do? Surely, she couldn’t maintain the charade for very long without providing actual results.  ‘Which is why I need to be prepared.’[/i]

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #422 on: February 24, 2015, 01:56:20 am »
Oh, did Vastien play along! Seren laughed aloud at his reaction and his curses, which seemed to fuel Israfel’s trust in the matter. There was still something amiss, though. He asked, “How is it broken? Tell me.”

Seren settled her own laughter as Vastien let loose fire and thrashed behind Israfel. Clearly, Israfel thought they were a safe distance away.
“I want Atreyu dead before I tell you anything, angel.”

“You have my word.”

“I’ve met Gabriel. I know how good an angel’s word is.”

They were at a stalemate. Both of them knew it. Neither of them could trust the other on this matter, but Israfel was the one more at a disadvantage than Seren.
“She’s lying, Israfel! She doesn’t know.”

But Israfel said,
“If any human on this Earth were going to know, it would be her.” His gaze tried to seek out whether or not she was lying to him, but he couldn’t get a good read on her. All he needed to know was there, though. She had ideas, and he wanted to hear them. “You will be exalted in paradise as it is,” in truth, he did not need Atreyu any longer, and he was not sure what use Atreyu would be to him.

Atreyu reacted exactly as Seren hoped,
“You would betray me for her? She knows what giving her soul up to us will do! The same as what will happen if she gives it to the demon—if she wanted to escape with an afterlife, she would not give us the soul!” At this point, Karna walked further into the room, his business done. He wasn’t sure it would be necessary.

Atreyu did not need Israfel, either, not with how far they’d come. That’s what Israfel was forgetting.
“I’ve wasted my time with you.”

Atreyu tended to forget that he was dealing with an angel, though. Before he could move to do anything, a commanding word rose from Israfel’s lips,
“Vindl, Atreyu.” And Atreyu froze. He was in no pain, but his will to move seemed to have left him. He dropped to his knees like a rag doll. “Mortals,” his hatred and disgust was expressed in that one word.

He was done with Atreyu. Atreyu, more than anyone, should have known the rewards of the afterlife and should not have cared if his life was to be sacrificed. Besides, it was quite likely Seren would spin out a lie--and Israfel imagined her lie wouldn't be far from the truth. Now he was denied that.

With a motion to Asher, he signaled for the Lord to do away with Atreyu.

Asher let go of Seren and walked around to where Atreyu was.
“Asher.” Seren spoke up as Israfel, also, rose. “If you lay one hand on him, I’ll deny you peace.”

Asher paused, but Israfel didn’t, going back to the book of creation. He was certain there had to be something in here on demon contracts. He hadn’t gotten much time to examine it since opening it, but the book was all about creation! Demons were a creation, their contracts natural—there had to be information. Israfel had them here. That was what really mattered.

“What are you going to do, Vesper?”
Asher asked, taking his sword into his hand. "Don't you want him dead?"

Seren relaxed back on her toes. “You wouldn't understand, Asher.” Her green eyes slid over to Karna, playing the role of quiet acolyte. “I mean it.”

Did he listen? Of course not. He tried to make a show of it by taking hold of Atreyu’s head and tilting it back. He certainly would have cut his throat, were he not startled by the acolyte’s voice. Two words, and Karna’s attire became like armor, and he held a sword in his hand,
“Bet you didn’t think I’d be saving you, eh, Vassy?” And Karna hacked right through one of the chains with the sword Seren had enhanced. Clearly, the divine sword won out against the divine shackles.


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #423 on: February 28, 2015, 10:16:26 pm »
Vastien witnessed the turmoil between Atreyu and Israfel, even the rogue angel's operation was not as steady as he'd wanted. Angels were so damn difficult, it could only have resulted in that.

When he heard Karna's voice, the demon let out a wide smirk. His chains were broken by Karna's sword, he felt the divine energy from the blade nearly cut him but the chains no longer bound the demon. Vastien's wings spread instantly and the demon flew like a rocket at Asher, the young Lord didn't even realize what was going on until it was too late.

Both of Vastien's clawed hands were deep in his stomach and Vastien flew high into the air, removing his claws out of his insides. The impaled and mortally wounded man descended to the ground and crashed not too far from where he had been standing.

"He's all yours." Vastien said to Seren, grinning. Atreyu would be killed by none other than Seren, he promised her that. He had to act fast, Israfel would either try to fight back or flee. Vastien needed his greatsword though. The demon made his own entrances, crashing through walls of the tower until he reached where his armor and sword were being kept.

Two acolytes were standing idly and were helpless as Vastien scorched them with blazing hellfire. They at least had the decency to hang his armor and greatsword up. Vastien felt weak from having his devoured souls destroyed, but there were two fresh souls ripe for the taking. The two acolytes were screaming in agony trying to put themselves out, but the flames did not subside until they were smoldering heaps of meat and bone.

Both souls were instantly devoured by the demon and the power rushed through him like a bolt of lightning. He could not hold back against Israfel, angels were tricky and powerful. Vastien recited the words Balthazar had taught them to harness that destructive power he'd utilized against Lucifer. No one had been prepared for what Lucifer had as a secret weapon however. Israfel had the Book of Creation at his disposal, he could not take any chances what that book could do. If anything could break contracts, it was possible that book knew how. The tattoos and markings on his body glowed, as did his eyes. They were a blinding white.

His voice echoed with a thunderous boom, shouting the words to activate the hex. Pentagrams appeared in several locations, including the ceiling above the Book of Creation. The pentagrams exploded simultaneously, the explosions shook the Tower and debris descended towards the book. If Vastien could destroy the book, it would not be a threat. Not long after a chunk of the ceiling came crashing down, Vastien broke through another wall, flying right at Israfel and he swung the greatsword wide in a horizontal chop at the angel.

With all the commotion, Vastien hoped he could cut the angel down to size with one swing. The power and speed behind his attacks were greatly amplified but Vastien could not maintain this form for long. It greatly taxed his body and he could burn out twice as fast.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #424 on: February 28, 2015, 11:12:47 pm »
Seren returned Vastien’s smile, “Thank you,” that end of the bargain was staying, then. Good. She’d been half-afraid that Vastien would kill Atreyu himself for the soul.

Israfel was too surprised to react immediately, first by Karna and then by Vastien. When Vastien left the room in pursuit of souls, he rounded on Seren. Of course, as soon as his eyes met hers, she spoke a word. The shackles she was in broke, without Karna needing to come break them. Her entire attire shifted, resembling armor more than a Victorian dress. The gloves had become gauntlets, which were far too thick to be held in the shackles.

She rose, and brushed herself off as she heard the chaos Vastien was causing.
“Did I mention I spent time around Michael, too?” She asked Israfel, keeping him from running after Vastien, or even running away. “No?” Evidently not.

Seren wouldn’t ignore Israfel, but her personal goal was Atreyu. Israfel was an annoyance, but Atreyu was the true traitor, the one she imagined as the mastermind who called on Heaven’s help the way that she had called on Hell’s. Israfel was in the wrong place, at the very wrong time. However, when she started to walk, Israfel spoke.

The word of power caused the rocks of the tower to shoot up around her, trying to trap her in a cage of sorts. Karna moved to try and remedy that, but Israfel flung him against a wall with a word, and bound him there with those same rocks encircling his abdomen and arms.

Then, the ceiling started to break. Vastien’s voice put Israfel’s to shame, and Israfel looked quite confused, trying to locate the source of the magic since Vastien himself was not in the room. Seren didn’t care. The falling debris only meant she had limited time, and she found her gun. Rather than try to blow open a hole for escape, or even shoot Israfel, she aimed the gun at the frozen Atreyu.

‘Good night.’
And the bullet went right through his head. There wouldn’t be any lingering it seemed. For that, Seren did feel a twinge of regret. 

The debris fell for the book, at the moment directed. Israfel lunged for it, and managed to draw the book close to his chest and roll forward with it, avoiding harm. Seren aimed at him now, and fired at his back. The bullets loaded were already unholy ones—she had been prepared to deal with Israfel before coming here, after all.

Israfel was just getting back to his feet when it struck, and he turned right back around to Seren, more fury in his gaze than sense. The pain was great.

A wall burst open from Vastien, but the entire tower fell under Israfel’s word, so Israfel was not caught by the full force of the swing since he also fell. He had no wings, thanks to Michael, but he was certain he’d survive the fall and the debris. It was just a bit of pressure, after all.

Then the sword came and cut across his torso. It didn’t dig deep enough until it reached his arm, removing it. The book was separated from him through that, and fell into the mess of rubble.

Of course, so did Seren and Karna, the body of Atreyu, and all the acolytes within the building.

Outside of the building, the reaper Mercury let out a groan at the sight and the death count, knowing it was going to be a long day—and longer if Vassy ate all the souls.


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #425 on: March 02, 2015, 12:16:20 am »
Atreyu was given a quick death, he saw the man's head blow back from the impact, painting the floor red. It was over, Seren had killed the man responsible for her parents' death. Israfel still had to be taken care of though.

Vastien's greatsword met it's mark, the demon had hoped to cleave through him but Israfel's arm was sliced right off along with the book. The foundation of the entire building was falling apart, there was literally nothing Vastien could do. The floor under him collapsed and Vastien was weighed down by the descending debris and rubble.

Once the dust settled, Vastien's roars and grunts were loud. His hands were pressed under heavy debris and with some struggle, he pushed it off of himself. He kicked what looked like a piece of wall out of his way and immediately thought of Seren and Karna. It was deathly quiet, she wasn't dead. He would have been dead if she was.

"Seren, where are you?" He yelled, in some hope that she would respond. Vastien was bruised but luckily, the debris hadn't crushed him. The tower was in ruins, he saw one acolyte pinned under the rubble. He was not brown-skinned however, he could safely assume that wasn't Karna.

Vastien began moving rubble out of the way, searching desperately for Seren and Karna. He wanted to make sure Seren and Karna were safe and alright before having to finish Israfel off.

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #426 on: March 02, 2015, 12:36:02 am »
Armor had been the saving grace of both Seren and Karna. Seren had been smart enough to cover her head and do her utmost to make herself smaller, but it didn’t prevent all injury. The weight of things was less, since she had been on a higher floor, but it was certainly making it difficult to breathe.

Seren tried to move, but found she had a limited capacity for that. Armor was wonderful, but it offered her no strength. In fact, it just added to the issue.

Vastien’s voice could be heard, so she imagined she wasn't buried deep.
‘Damn you, just deal with the angel.’ Maybe he had? Something suggested she’d know if that were the case, though.

Her hands were near her head. There was no hope of pushing the tower debris off of herself, so she struggled instead to pull her arms closer to herself, letting go of her gun in the process. She could hear the sounds of others struggling to get out. Karna was, in fact, one of the lucky ones. He’d been pinned to a wall, and so much of the debris didn’t cover him since he hadn’t been centrally located.
“Oi, I could use your help!” Seren heard Karna clearly.

“I got him!” Mercury said, and added the unhelpful, “Seren’s not dead,” as if the demon wouldn't know that. Mercury flew over; he might have twig legs, but he could lift a rock from Karna. Or roll it, anyway. Karna assisted the reaper in freeing himself.

Karna was mostly pinned by a bit of debris that rested upon his abdomen. He had shaken off the lesser rocks on his legs, and pushed off the ones that tried to crush his head. He, too, had covered it with his arms. They were torn up and bloody now, but he was alive.

Another voice made itself known as Seren’s fingers found the necklace around her neck.

Israfel was not dead. His voice caused the debris to fly off of him and in a myriad of directions, letting him get free.

Seren felt the weight of some of it fall upon the rocks above her, and force them down more. One hand was sufficiently pinned above her head by the new weight. The pressure atop her chest increased, and one rock landed a bit more painfully at her ankle. Shallow breaths were the only thing possible then. She tried to sink down deeper to help get the necklace off, now that one hand at least had a hold of it. Of course, movement was dangerous. It threatened to spill more rocks down upon her, and a wrong move could be quite bad. Still, she knew she couldn't shout. Not enough air.

When Israfel saw Vastien alive and well, he continued the trend of speaking Enochian. He no longer had the book, and he wasn’t too concerned with killing Vastien any longer since everything had been ruined. He’d just have to try again in the future. So, his words started to meld the debris together to serve as weapons. The debris began to take on the forms of horrendously long and pointed weapons of stone. He’d use them to pin the demon down so he wouldn’t be much of a threat, and then he’d rend all the souls from the demon and be done with him. 

At least, that was the goal.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 12:54:28 am by Krystal Itzume »


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #427 on: March 08, 2015, 02:15:48 am »
Vastien witnessed Mercury assisting Karna, at least he was alright. But what about Seren. In an instant, Seren's location became known to the demon. She must have removed the necklace. Just as he was about help her, Israfel made himself present again.

He was missing one arm but something told him Israfel had no need for his arms, his words were power.
'I should have cut his damn head off.' Vastien pointed to a stack of debris and rocks.

"Seren is over there! Go help her, I'll take care of the angel once and for all." When he began to speak Enochian and the rocks were sharpened into weapons, Vastien was impressed, his armor was good but not that good to absorb a full hit from those sharpened rocks.

Pebbles and smaller debris hovered around the demon, the immense power he was generating was drawing them to him. But how long would this power last? He was running on very limited time, every second counted and he'd be completely drained once the energy from the souls were burned out.

"You really don't expect to be able to hit me with those, do you?" That was the thing about Israfel, he could not fly but Vastien could. The demon took flight, he wasn't sure how fast Israfel could launch those rocks but he gave himself enough distance to manage a dodge or a counter.

He took a big breath, sucking in gusts of air into his gut and the demon held it in.  A blanket of hellfire spread as it descended down to the angel. The flames would form a tall, fiery ring around Israfel, essentially trapping him. His flames burned hotter and longer, unless Israfel extinguished them, he could not move.

"You're finished!" The demon roared, flying like a rocket towards Israfel, attempting to impale him with the greatsword. Getting hit by one those rocks would surely knock Vastien off course and even seriously injure him.

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #428 on: March 08, 2015, 02:43:56 am »
Of course Israfel expected to hit Vastien with the rocks, he wouldn’t have bothered creating them if he didn’t think it was possible. The first spire of death was launched at the demon before he took flight. Israfel cursed him for it, but sent all the others up after him, not considering it was all a plot to have Israfel miss. After all, he just shifted the course of the spires when they missed, and sent them right after Vastien. He wasn’t losing any ‘ammo’, as it were, in this.

He noticed too late what Vastien planned, and the fire surrounded him—not that he could have run fast enough to get out of it.

The song shifted. Israfel instead focused on diminishing the fire. The spires of rocks fell back into the pile from whence they came.

The fire did extinguish. There was enough room for Israfel to flee, but his timing was poor. As he moved to run, to prepare a new spell, the greatsword went through him, down his shoulder, through the majority of his chest, and out near the small of his back. Israfel’s one arm lifted to the greatsword, as if he could possibly have the strength to lift it out of him. As if it mattered.

His vision blurred in and out. He could feel the ichor leaving his body, but he couldn’t taste it.
“Ors.” The demon was still enough, holding the sword in Israfel, that he was able to focus on a soul in the demon. He knew the demon had to be drained, had to be exhausted, after all Israfel had already done to him. He didn’t know if the attempt to destroy one more soul within would matter, but he was certainly going to try not to die in vain. Before he could say the word again, though, he felt the ichor in his throat, in his mouth, and felt his body start to dissolve into its more natural energy form.

It wouldn’t last, of course. It would blacken and decay, leaving behind remnants that would float away like dust.

While Vastien dealt with Israfel, Mercury took Vastien’s direction to find Seren. Karna also followed, though with a bit of a limp. He had underestimated the damage the rocks did, and his left leg was absolutely killing him.

Rock after rock was removed by the two of them. Seren felt the weight lessening overall, though one of them was adding to the pile that was threatening to break her ankle.
‘Swear to god….’ It was almost worth laughing over as the thought crossed her mind.

Light reached her, and she forced the hand she’d moved to take the necklace off with to move. More rocks were disturbed as she reached it towards the light to signal better where she was. Someone wrapped their hand around hers, and she smiled at the contact. Then, it was released, and they hastened.
‘Son of a bitch.’ Pressure released on her chest enough, “One of you is going to break my ankle!” And Seren motioned with her hand the general direction of it.

“Sorry!” Karna, of course.

She felt the pile destroyed, weight lifted, and started to help in pulling herself from the rubble. It cut her hands, bruised her body, to try and pull up from the rocks when not fully dug out, but she didn’t care. She could hear the fight, and she was going to see the end of it. If the tower hadn’t fallen, she would have helped.
‘If it isn’t over, I could.’

Karna grabbed her suddenly under the arms and pulled her back a step, only to topple when he applied too much weight to his injured leg in backstepping. Seren fell with him, but it was the lesser of two evils. A spire shattered on the spot where they had been earlier. Some of the debris struck them as the spire came apart.

Seren muttered as she moved off of Karna, and offered him a hand up. He accepted it, and leaned against her as they looked to the diminishing fire, and then, to the impaled angel.

It was all Seren could do not to laugh. Mercury had to look away—he didn’t like seeing angels impaled. He didn’t like watching something die when he knew there was no life force to take, either…it was…utterly depressing for him to think of the oblivion that had to follow such a death. God had been cruel in making angels and demons that way. 


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #429 on: March 09, 2015, 10:02:25 pm »
Ichor splashed on the demon as he felt the greatsword penetrate Israfel's body. Even then, the angel attempted to fight back by mouthing some more Enochian. "Fuck you." Vastien growled, twisting the blade within him to kill him faster. He could feel the souls within him begin to stir.

Israfel started becoming more energy than physical form, that's when Vastien knew it was over. He stepped back and raised his leg to press it against Israfel's midsection.
"Get the hell off my blade."
Vastien pushed Israfel's body forward until it fell off the sword.

"I told you, you should've killed me when you had the chance." Not far from where Israfel has resurfaced, he could feel the immense power radiating under a pile of debris. Vastien began tossing rubble and rock aside and clearing the pile until he found the Book of Creation. It was dusty and a little mangled up but the book was still intact.

He flipped through some pages and saw a particular section which made him shake his head and laugh. He couldn't believe it.

Vastien proceeded to walk towards Seren and the others, the markings and tattoos on his body ceased glowing and the extreme exhaustion settled in. His legs felt weak and Vastien nearly collapsed face first but he had planted the greatsword into the dirt first.

He leaned against the tall sword for support, dropping to both knees, lowering his head to catch his breath. Vastien's eyes no longer were glowing either and his voice returned to normal.
"It's finally over.." He said to Seren, raising his head to look at her with a smile. He slid the book to Seren and was open in the section that Vastien had skimmed through.

Demons. Not too far down, it dove into the topic of demon contracts.
"I think this is what Israfel was looking for." He continued to laugh nonchalantly as if he hadn't just finished a long, grueling battle.

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #430 on: March 09, 2015, 10:41:26 pm »
There were many things Israfel should have done. Now, he couldn’t. He could only dissolve, and Vastien could do his best to swagger away. He was injured quite severely, but the task was done.

The end.
What a pity.’ Vastien Baal, the demon from the start, dug through the rubble to claim a book that he could probably use to destroy all of creation, or at least, earn favor with the angels. Well, favor via threat, but he ought to be used to that method by now.

“You shouldn’t have that!”
Mercury said to Vastien, and Seren was the one to send Mercury a dirty look this time.

“You hush.”

The pout on his face was priceless, some mix between indignant teenager and adorable kitten. Seren could tell him that Vastien wasn’t likely to keep it, in the end. Vastien wasn’t like Lucifer. Demon, yes. Most definitely demon, but the sort of demon Gabriel would have trusted before the fall of Lucifer.

He drew closer to them and slumped against his sword. His knees buckled.
“Should I get the carriage?” Karna asked.

‘No point.’ Seren wanted to tell him, but said instead, “Yes. Go with him, Mercury.” The contractual mark made itself known, now on her chest, but it did not hold her in place. There was no need at that moment, since she hadn’t defied it. It was simply a signal, to alert the demon that all was done. The soul could be claimed.

Karna and Mercury did leave to fetch the carriage. Seren spoke a simple word so that the armored appearance of her clothing faded, before she met Vastien’s smile,
“It is over. Thank you.” She had to wonder if many humans, at the end of the line, thanked the demon who helped them. For some reason, she imagined it was rare. More than likely, they tried to beg or fight for their lives.

Seren would do no such thing. She had prepared herself for this, as best she could. She had her revenge. The world The emotions she’d feared would follow arose—hope. Seren had told herself it would happen, time and again, for she was only human. Of course when this was all over, she would dare to dream of life.

Even so, feeling it was different than imagining it, and there was a crushing weight to the knowledge that this was it.

Oblivion, too, was still desirable in its own, twisted way, but that was...eternal. Of course, it would be the best sleep in the world, and she craved sleep more than anything in that moment. Rest. It was all over...for once, there'd be no nightmares. There wouldn't even be the fear of nightmares.

‘New life.’

Seren took the book to look at the page Vastien had found. She couldn’t deny being tempted.
“What do you know. One of my theories was right,” one of the planned lies. “Wouldn’t be good for you,” she chuckled. Of course she’d thought up something ‘brutal’ to ensure Israfel would be happy. The soul that made the contract, Emil’s, remained within Vastien until the end serving as the ‘lock’ of it. Seren had hypothesized as much. Destroying that soul would destroy the contract. It wasn’t the only method. There was one about replacements on the list as well.

Seren shut the book.
“Don’t do this to me.” It wasn’t a plea for life. “I’m sure I deserve much torment from you for these past months,” the bunny suit came to mind, “but don’t tease me now.” Seren held the book out to him. She was in no position to ask for anything, but of course, she would. She was still proud.

And that pride wouldn’t let her cheat him, either.


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #431 on: March 13, 2015, 03:47:27 am »
He smirked when she thanked him, that was definitely a first. Usually at this point, the humans further deluded to themselves into thinking sympathy would save them. It was expected, after all they had deluded themselves into thinking trusting a demonwas a good idea.

Seren did not plead for her life, he had actually anticipated she might, a human's true character always revealed itself at the end. Seren's character did not falter, she was the same young woman he'd grown to know and find so interesting these past months.

She was actually pleading for him to get it over with it. The marking on his chest came to life, he too had felt that sensation in the past. Now he knew it was truly over. The contract had to be completed, Seren's soul was the final bargaining chip.

"You are the first human I would be fine with letting live," The demon reverted back to his human form, at least the last face she'd witness would be a familiar one. The armor felt very heavy, his human form could not carry it. He removed the chestplate and gauntlets, the crude steel ringing as it clashed on the floor. "Alas, this contract is a double-edged sword as you know. Still, I don't know what this time with you has done to me but I don't just see a soul when I look at you anymore."

 He took the book from her and flipped back to the section with the demon contracts. After a few seconds of reading, he grinned. "I could break this contract, it wouldn't be difficult.." He raised his hand to touch her cheek, reading her face for an answer.

"But you've already made up your mind, haven't you?"
Seren had achieved what she wanted, she avenged her parents and even foiled Israfel's plans which would've been catastrophic for everyone.

Could he really gift her with another chance at life? What was left anymore? His presence in London alone had brought the guilds down on Seren, something that still might have occurred whether he showed up or not.

"If this is what you want, take my hand. It won't be long and painless of course." He held out his hand to her, the end was literally a handshake away.

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #432 on: March 13, 2015, 05:57:17 pm »
Could Vastien lie now?

Seren had to wonder as he expressed how she would be the first he’d let live. Even if he could, Seren didn’t think he was.
“You’re too kind,” she told him, and meant it. To pass up her soul would be agonizing, wouldn’t it? Except, he suggested otherwise, and she smiled, bowed her head a bit.

In their own ways, they had both changed. The fact she could even see a future was proof of that. Not here, of course. She’d have to leave England. Raphael could spirit her away to France, to America—to anywhere, if she asked.

Vastien spoke and she looked up to see he’d opened the book. Her arms moved behind her back, one clenching into a tight fist, and the other wrapping calmly around it. The war within was sincere.

His hand touched her cheek, and she knew that she didn’t want a life on the run. She craved rest as strongly as ever. Her calm façade seemed to fool Vastien into thinking her mind was made up, and she tilted her head towards his hand,
“You’re going to miss me.” She let her eyes shut.

If nothing else, she would never be forgotten by him. England would write her out of history. It would erase all of this as best it could, the way Egyptians used to break statues of those they hated, or the Romans condemned people to damnatio memoriae. Seren was fine with that. Her life, and her wealth of knowledge, were never meant for others. Her memory did not matter. She wouldn’t be around to care.

His hand drew away, and he offered her the choice. Seren looked down at his hand, then to the face he had crafted for all of their adventures together. Another day, she might have told him to just be honest, but not then.

Seren was bone-tired, and she knew it showed. Yes, she had made her decision, she knew it as the fist unclenched and her hands returned to her sides.

Vastien was using his limited energy to give her a familiar face at the end. He was too kind. She’d call the action sweet, even. Despite her exhaustion, her smile was bright,
“I loved you best, Rottweiler.” Necessary, in a strange way, to reach back to their first encounter. Perhaps it would make it easier for Vastien, too, to remember before they got on so well, when he’d tried to trick her.

To the very end, she’d be honest with him.

Seren didn’t let herself think, she let herself feel the joy of everything being accomplished, and of the restful oblivion she’d long desired. Long it wouldn’t be, but Seren knew there would be pain. She’d seen Vastien take enough souls to know that.
“Don’t you dare forget me.” No matter how long he lived. 


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #433 on: March 13, 2015, 07:05:39 pm »
The more he looked at her, a storm of emotions began raging inside the demon. He figured all the time he'd spent in his human body had changed him. It was not just a disguise anymore, but these feelings were never so intense until now. For one of the first times ever, he felt human.

When she told him not to forget her, the demon looked away, he felt weak and didn't want her to see him that way. He composed himself and looked at her again, smiling and he shook his head.
"Never." He promised her it'd be quick and painless.. well physical pain anyway.

He did not know how much emotional pain he was causing her, he was about to lose his most sacred friend. For her, he didn't have to mortally wound her. Her soul was his now, all he had to do was recite the words to seal the contract. They weren't too different from the ones he had recited to open the contract.

There was something he had to do first. It would forever kill him if he didn't. The intense emotions continued to rage inside the demon. His fingers wrapped around the back of her head and he searched her eyes for protest. He saw none. Without another thought, Vastien pressed his lips against Seren's and at that moment, he would've her to live.

However, he respected her wishes and when their lips parted, he smiled. He whispered in his demon tongue and moved his hand down her eyes.
"Sleep. When your eyes shut it will all be over, I promise." He slowly lowered her to the ground.

In moments, her eyelids would get very heavy, she could resist it but eventually the demon magic would overpower her will. He closed his eyes and began reciting the words in his demon tongue, hot tears dripping off his face. Still, his voice never trailed off or stopped, he continued speaking. He placed one hand over her contractual mark, gripping at it and he held off on the last word.

"Thank you for everything.." Vastien said sadly, reciting the final word. The contractual mark on his chest finally embedded itself permanently on his skin, something to always remember her by. Her soul would willingly leave her body and this in itself would kill her. There would be no pain, she would be quiescent by then.

A sudden lightning clap was followed by heavy rain, the skies were gray and grim. Almost like they knew. When her soul emerged from her body, it was supposed to be the most evil, darkest soul according to Israfel and Atreyu. Vastien had never seen a more beautiful soul.

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #434 on: March 13, 2015, 07:27:38 pm »
Seren was breaking in the seconds between, her strength of character never leaving her, but it hurt to see Vastien look as if he might regret this. Hand in his, she didn’t resist when his hand moved behind her neck, but rather tilted her head up and met the lips of the demon. Death didn’t greet her there, but somehow, she knew it wouldn’t. Vastien wasn’t going to plunge his hand through her chest and rip the soul out.

He couldn’t have.

It was the lack of cruelty that was killing her, so much so she almost wanted to yell at him, but she wouldn’t. The last memory would be good, for his sake. He was the one that had to live with it, not her.

When they parted, she let her eyes close with the motion of his hand. It covered the watering of them nicely, and she trusted Vastien to lay her down upon the rubble.

The soul that once might have struggled to live, as any sane soul would, did not. Seren’s force of will kept it quiet, and in peace, as the demon’s language washed over her and worked its magic. The mark warmed, but it did not burn or scald. It was almost comfortable, since the weather had cooled in preparation for the storm. If anything hurt, it was Vastien’s hand over the mark. He held on as if it were the last thing in the entire world to hold on to.

Right before the end, he spoke English. A small chuckle followed, a smile, and then that last word was spoken. The last sleep was given to the body, and the soul parted from it, to be granted its own ‘last sleep’, as well. Black was the color of absence, and Seren’s life had never had absence. Her soul was full, and white, a deceptive hue. Thunder clapped. Horse hooves echoed in the distance.

By the time Karna had gotten a carriage, the deed was done, and he could only look upon the body that remained as the rain fell. He had known, but somehow, he hadn’t guessed it would occur so soon…hadn’t guessed he wouldn’t get to say goodbye.


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #435 on: March 13, 2015, 08:57:03 pm »
When Karna found them, Vastien was holding Seren's lifeless body in a tight embrace. She had a gone pale white and she was not spared the red lesions and markings that infected her milky white skin. The stinging rain and thunderclaps did not drown out the demon's sorrow. His wings stretched out as he was about to take flight, her body slumped into his arms.

He faced the young Indian man and one could mistake the tears on his face as simply the rain streaming down his cheeks. The pain of loss was as clear as daylight though.
"She's gone, it's what she wanted." He looked down at her, parting the blonde locks matted on her face. She was still beautiful, even postmortem.

"Where will you go?"
"I will bury her. Somewhere with rich soil."
"You won't find any richer soil than India. I'm sure she would've loved it there." 
"Perhaps you're right." Vastien set her over his shoulder and held out his hand. "You are a good man, Karna. I never thanked you for saving me."
"Don't mention it, Vass—err Vastien." Karna smiled, shook the demon's hand. "Take care of yourself."
"We will meet again one day, I am sure of it."

The two nodded and parted ways, but not before Vastien fetched the enchanted dreamcatcher from the carriage. Vastien regurgitated her soul, it was too perfect for him to devour. Its white glow never faded and it was still whole. One of the three feathers withered and fell off the dreamcatcher, the pendant in the center went from a clear color to a bright white.

He would forever hold her soul as a memory, after all she was his ultimate prize.

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #436 on: March 13, 2015, 09:02:59 pm »
~*Alternate Ending*~

Seren would not delude herself, and she chuckled at Vastien’s confession. There was no point to lying now. He did not act as if he wanted to avenge himself against all the slights. At the end, he was not senselessly cruel. He took the book back.
“I believe you.”

At the end, she believed quite a bit. From the start, she had deduced Vastien was the only one she could trust. That held, even as she thought of Karna, Raphael, and Mercury. There had been too many betrayals, Atreyu and Jean-Baptiste the ones that lingered near the surface of her thoughts.

Yet, it was over, as Vastien admitted. Seren smiled and gave a nod.
‘I know.’ Yet she heard him open the book, and she lifted her head to observe him looking it over. Her expression was passive, finding little desire to speak out and shift his opinion. After all, she didn’t know what it was she wanted. Not completely.

What was even left for her?

When Vastien lifted his hand to her cheek and said he could break it, she smiled ruefully.
‘I told you not to tease me.’ But he wasn’t. That was the terrible, heart-breaking, thing. Had she ever told Vastien how cruel hope was? She’d meant to. Best torture, really. It was such an exquisite pain that was masked beneath that smile as he drew his hand away, thinking she’d come to any decision.

Even so, he wanted her to say it. He offered his hand, and Seren’s green eyes shifted down to take it, then lifted to that familiar, composite face. She canted her head. He was burning up his energy, to wear that fake form, for her. This wasn’t how she expected the end at all.
“I’ve wanted oblivion since I saw hell all those years ago. That’s never going to change, Vastien.” She was not destined for heaven, and didn’t want it anyway. The only good fate she had, at the end, was oblivion.

Rest eternal.

Her eyes strayed again to the hand that promised it.
“But I know that if you gave me just a day, I’d take it. There’s nothing here for me, and yet,” and she met his eyes, “there’s nothing here for me.” It was emphasized as a good thing.

She was free, for the first time in her life. Neither hate nor love held her to anything. She had no duty to the queen. She had no duties to herself.
“If you would free me, then free me, but,” she bit the inside of her cheek against the words she wanted to say, and said instead, “don’t be a stranger.” She wanted him to stay. The prospect of figuring out the world without him was terrifying, and she knew she wasn’t about to find trust in humanity anytime soon. Karna and Raphael would help with that, but she’d always wonder….

“One day I’ll have lived enough, and I’ll want you to take my soul. It should be quite corrupt by then,”
as if it could be more corrupt. She had helped destroy a church, burnt 19 children to a crisp, denied an angel’s goals of purifying the world, assisted in killing Kali, and sold her soul to a demon in the first place. Genocide was probably the only way her soul was going to get more ‘ripe’.


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #437 on: March 16, 2015, 08:59:14 pm »
She had truly changed him, he was not the ruthless demon prowling for souls that despised humans. Not all humans were bad as he could plainly see with her and those he'd encounter in his adventures with her. But was this truly the end for them? The demon didn't realize it but he'd grown attached to his human charge.

"I will free you, Seren." He could see she was holding her back true feelings, he knew it was possible she'd also grown accustomed to her demon. He could see it on her face, she didn't want him to go.. to forget her. No one could expect to keep a demon tied down, it was not in their nature but Vastien seemed to be the exception. "I will never be far from you, Seren."

He memorized what had to be done, he placed a hand on her contractual mark and one hand on his own. He chanted the words and he could feel one soul in particular trapped in his bowels stirring. Vastien seemed like he was gagging and like he would throw up.

Out of his mouth emerged Emil's soul, it was the soul that had bound them together. The soul looked rotten and decayed. Vastien enclosed his hand around and squeezed, when he opened his hand again, the soul was gone. The marking on his chest began to fade and so would hers.

"In my time with you I've realized something. I may be a soldier but in the end I will always be a servant. To serve is my duty and I will continue to serve until the end of my days," He looked at her and smiled. "If you will have me, I would gladly serve you again."

He liked the idea of finally taking her soul when her natural time to oass was due. Before she could answer, he continued. "Besides, you've upset a lot of people here in England. Wherever you go, they may try to find youNot to worry, no demon tricks or strings attached this time. All I need from you is this." The demon held out his hand for her to shake.

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #438 on: March 16, 2015, 09:47:18 pm »
No demon tricks at all.

Vastien went about it the ‘hard’ way, rather than condemn innocents in her place. She took a step back as he ejected Emil’s soul, and she glared at the rotted thing. It didn’t remain in sight long. The traitor’s soul was dealt with by Vastien’s hand, and Seren’s posture relaxed.

No, she wouldn’t be getting on with humans well for many years, and Vastien was no doubt right. It wasn’t just England that would be looking for her. She had a feeling she’d made quite a name for herself in the world of demons, angels, reapers, deities, and supernatural creatures alike. The Vesper always did, though.

‘And I’ve learned I’m not so good at being a servant.’ Seren had defied the Queen, the guilds, and so many others. She didn’t truly think of Vastien as a servant, but she did believe that some were meant to lead, and others to follow.

She fought back many reactions as Vastien pledged himself to her again.
“Of course I will,” Seren took his hand, held fast as she took a couple of steps closer, to reclaim the space she’d been before Emil was ejected, and one step more. “I’ve grown fond of you, Rottweiler. I don't want you going back to Balthazar so soon,” it came with a laugh, for she definitely didn’t see him as some obedient dog, but she couldn’t forget how this all began. Demon tricks and insults. “We’ll see the world, Vastien, until the end.” Her eyes held some light at the prospect, a joy that hadn't been there in a long, long time, not at all muted by her exhaustion.


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #439 on: April 26, 2015, 07:46:20 am »
Peace between Heaven and Hell would resume, Balthazar would now reign as supreme ruler in Hell and he had no qualms with the angels. Vastien knew his home was in good hands and there'd be no rush nor real need for him to return unless Balthazar's reign was overthrown or unrest in Hell began.

Rottweiler. She hadn't called him that since the beginning, but he knew she only said it to reminisce. It hadn't been a long time periodically but all they've been through, it felt like a lifetime and now it would be. He'd watch over her now, young and beautiful until she'd become old and withered. Even then, he'd remember that blonde hair and those emerald green eyes.

"As have I, human. Something I never expected, whatever you did to me it worked. You saved yourself and got your revenge," There was no serious tone, he was clearly happy to have met her and to still be by her side. He wrapped his tree trunk-like arms around her and embraced her tight. The demon at least let out a huge sigh of relief. "Yes, we will."

For the first time ever, Vastien Ba'al was truly happy.

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #440 on: April 26, 2015, 08:19:51 am »
Peace in Heaven and Hell would reign, but peace on Earth was a far cry from ever happening.

Seren Vesper made sure to travel it, after she got her affairs in order with Viscount Trepe regarding her business and her faked death in the United Kingdom. That didn’t last, of course. Seren was always too proud for her own good. They caught after an incident in Egypt involving another so-called deity named Set.

He met the same fate as Kali. Seren learned there was quite the bounty on her head, but it made no difference to her.

Through her travels, she compiled many books on the strange and wondrous things of the world, though they would never see true publication.

A third guild was erected in the ruins of the Vesper, but Seren wouldn’t hear of it until she went to India and met the head of it. Needless to say, that guild didn’t last long. It was destroyed in India, and Seren made sure to write a polite letter back to a Sir Winston Churchill.

Viscount Trepe died. If Seren had one regret, it was being unable to attend his funeral. Noel’s children inherited her company from the Viscount, to the eternal irritation of Trepe’s own children, who would never understand that this had been agreed upon years before they were born. They, of course, had no idea that the Lady Vesper still lived.

She was the secret thorn in England’s side while she stayed in India. She was reviled by some who knew her as the killer of Kali. Others imagined Seren would be reborn as Kali, to which Seren could only laugh. As her hair turned gray, Seren became more well-known as “that eccentric English witch”. People sought her out for cures to maladies. Karna had apparently spread the 'good word' about her. He had settled down, of course, and seemed to be happy to be in India. He certainly didn't appear to miss all their travels, and whenever he spoke of them, he always sounded weary.

Seren saw the irony of her status as a 'healing witch' as she sat across from Churchill, one bloody handkerchief tucked away in a pocket. One hand moved a piece on a board,

Churchill looked at the board in disbelief,
“There’s no—” but his eyes showed him the truth, and he looked back up to glare at the woman sitting so smugly in the chair before him. All the years had never taken the mischief from her green eyes. If anything, they added to it.

He wrinkled his nose in disgust and rose.
“Will you answer me now that the game is done?”

His Majesty George VI had requested Seren return to London, and return all the property she had ‘stolen’. Apparently, everything Vesper was property of the Crown, especially all of her own recent writings which held ‘guild secrets’. None of it was for them, though.
“My answer is no.” Seren told him as she, also, rose.

She still wore the fashions of Europe rather than India, and she walked around the desk. It was she who offered Winston an arm, rather than the other way, though he didn’t accepted it.
“You know what this means.”

“Oh yes,”
Seren smiled, “More assassins, right? Or perhaps you’ll try to talk the Indian government into returning me?” Both options were hilarious.

Seren was well-liked by plenty in India for all of her letters harassing the British government for India’s freedom. She had walked alongside Ghandi and learned quite a bit from him.
“I wish you,” she stifled a cough as best she could, “luck,” she said as she opened the door for him.

Standing on the doorstep was no one she expected.

The sight of the angel with the lavender hair nearly stole her breath. Unfortunately, it also had the result of throwing her into a fit of coughing. That startled Winston from his confusion, and he looked to Seren, thinking to get the better of her while she was coughing.
“I’m not fin—”


Winston looked at her strangely as he heard the word escape her bloody lips. For a moment, she did not look so old, and yet at the same time—she looked a thousand years older. Play no longer glowed in her green eyes, but the serious expression seemed to wipe several of the lines off her face.
“I’ll be back tomorrow,” he said instead, and walked by the man on the doorstep who seemed to have changed her mood.

Gabriel followed Winston Churchill with his gaze for only a moment, then turned to look at Seren,
“May I come in?”

“I wish you wouldn’t,”
but Seren didn’t deny him. She took her handkerchief in hand and wiped it by her own lips. She then stepped aside to let him enter. Gabriel shut the door after himself, and then followed after Seren as she walked from the entrance.

Not a word was spoken until they were back in the lounge, and he noted the chessboard,
“Still an avid player,” he commented.

Seren poured herself a cup of tea, and then took a seat behind her desk once again. Gabriel didn’t sit.
“Why are you here?”

“You know the answer to that.”
Seren sipped at her tea, and feigned ignorance by not answering. “You’re dying.”

“Been dying for a while now,”
she said as she set the tea down. Tuberculosis. Just her luck. She hadn't been able to cure herself of it. Her body was too old for any of her methods to take. “I’ve been dying since we met.”

Gabriel smiled,
“It is true, but you were not my concern then.” He held out a hand, and Seren eyed it as if it were an atrocious thing. “Don’t make this difficult.” He knew if anyone would, it’d be her.

She, however, shook her head.
“Not you.” Gabriel blinked in confusion. “I’m not your concern. I am to die today?”


“Then I’ll die today, but I will not be going with you, or Mercury.”

Gabriel was about to open his mouth to question it, but then he remembered who still traveled with Seren.
“Ah.” He understood. His hand lowered. “You have six hours, or I’ll be back.” He informed her, and then turned to exit the home Seren had made for herself in India.


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #441 on: May 27, 2015, 03:55:25 am »

Vastien had devoted his life to serve as Seren's sword and shield, the demon did not regret any of the adventures and if Seren was not handicapped by her humanity, more adventures and memories could be created. They had to flee London, the aftermath of Lucifer's attack on Earth and Heaven drew attention and somehow blame was placed on the Vesper heir.

Kali had not been the last of the supernatural to fall to his blade. There had been a rebellion in Hell and Balthazar reached out to Vastien as he felt he could trust no one. With Seren's leave, he helped Balthazar reverse the rebellion along with other loyal demons and peace returned to Hell.

Peace in Hell varied in definition, as long as their was not a civil war brewing, that was peace. Vastien was offered to take Balthazar's throne when he would step down but he refused. He had made a promise to an old friend and he would see her to the end of her days.

He never left Seren's side since after the rebellion. There were times when he would just watch her, as she aged, his human form did not. The few photos that were taken of Seren throughout various points in time, no matter how she aged, her giant of a bodyguard still held onto his youth. Seren would be long dead and gone by the time someone pieced together that it simply was not possible for Vastien to remain youthful while Seren did not.

When they finally settled in India in her later years, Vastien found himself spending most of his time in his human disguise. He maintained it so well, the amount of energy to keep it was at an absolute minimum. He could keep it for months without having to ingest a single soul. The longest was nine months without having to devour a soul.

As elderly as Seren was now, she relied on him more than ever. It saddened him to see her so aged, but he would never trade the lifetime they spent together for anything. If demons were incapable of loving humans, Vastien was the exception. It didn't have to be a romantic love, he loved her being as a whole. He had learned so much from her and vice versa.

All the years they spent in India, Vastien had become quite fluent in Hindi. He was carrying paper bags of groceries while on his way back home. Seren tired easily now, even a walk to the market exhausted her. It was no short walk but for someone of her age and condition, it was too much. He had not mentioned it because he knew she'd pay no mind to it, but she was ill.

He would overhear her coughing roughly at night and had found bloody handkerchiefs and napkins thrown away. There was nothing Vastien could do to cure of her old age. When Vastien walked through the door, he smiled at Seren and set the groceries down. Something troubled him.

"Someone was just here.., a divine scent." It could only have been Gabriel. There was only reason why he would've descended to Earth and not to say hi. "Oh Seren, no.."

He softly embraced her and sighed as he held her. "You turned him away." Gabriel wouldn't just leave so willingly for anyone, the angel must have understood. As he let go, Vastien set a record and lowered the needle. The needle scratched the record and a familiar tune played. It Never Entered My Mind by Frank Sinatra and the demon offered his hand to her.

"May I have this dance? That is, if you still got it in you." Vastien knew the end was near for her but instead of dwelling on sorrow, he wanted their final moments to be a happy one. Back when she was younger, she had taught him how to waltz and they made quite the dancing couple.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2015, 04:15:49 am by Silentslash »

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #442 on: May 27, 2015, 04:29:16 am »
It didn’t even take Vastien an hour to return since Gabriel’s departure. There was nothing for Seren to prepare. Though she wouldn’t say it, she had known she was dying. She did her best to hide it, to always appear in control, but she was only human.

Even Vastien knew that one day, this day would come.

When he returned, his knowledge let itself be seen by his reaction. He understood there had been a divine scent, and Seren nodded, rising slowly from the chair she’d been sitting in,
“Gabriel,” she confirmed. Then again, it could have been any reaper, and he would have known.

No reaper but Gabriel would have come for her, though.

Vastien was before her, and hugging her, almost as soon as the name slipped her lips and he realized what it meant. She didn’t return it at first, but let her head just rest against him and listened to his heartbeat. Once, she never would have believed a demon had a heart, but she knew much better now. She knew so much more than any one person should have ever known.
“Of course I turned him away,” as if he were foolish to think otherwise. She had told Vastien before that she would always crave oblivion, and she had not lied.

Seren did lift her arms to hug him, then. He still resembled that young man who had been escorting her in London. She knew he would never age, and it never struck her as odd. Karna had commented endlessly on it, even in front of his kids. His kids were going to be some of the most well-educated kids in the universe, on all things earthly and unearthly, when Karna was done with them.

Seren felt his grip around her loosen, and so she dropped her arms. One hand went back to the desk, and rested on it, remaining there to give Seren balance as Vastien went to the record player.

She couldn’t help the chuckle that rose as he put on Frank Sinatra. Ah, to be alive in this era! The music was much better, she’d admit. Frank Sinatra was just so sad, sometimes. This song was no exception, as it wove Vastien’s future out.
‘No.’ Seren denied as she shook her head, not in denial, but in exasperation that Vastien would even ask. ‘Vastien will have company in hell.’ Balthazar was still a friend.

Vastien would heal in time.

Seren wouldn’t feel anything, ever again. The touch of his warm hand would be one of the last sensations, as she accepted his invitation for one last dance.
“Just be slow.”

To dwell, she’d tell herself, but it was a half-truth. She didn’t want to get out of breath and cough, didn’t want Vastien to see the blood. To the end, she tried to keep her dignity, and suspected she’d done better than most humans.


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #443 on: August 10, 2015, 10:29:03 pm »
"Of course." The demon said softly. Vastien led the waltz at a gentle and mutual pace for them, her grip on his hand became weaker by the second but she somehow still held on. 'A lifetime of memories.' the demon always liked to think, she could not let go of her life companion.

Frank's calm yet melancholy choice of words set the mood beautifully. In their silent and synchronized dance, they both reflected on their lives together. As the song ended, he slowed the pace and felt her grip was going to give. With one arm he supported her frame and his other arm with its extensive reach dragged a chair over to them.

He led her down to sit gently and knelt beside her.
"Seren, I'm here. I will not leave your side." The last thing she would see and hear would be his face and voice respectively. Vastien ground his teeth angrily, knowing there was nothing he could do to stop the end. "I tried.. I can find cures for most diseases but I cannot cure you of your humanity.. I'm sorry."

It was pointless to be upset over that, but the demon could not let his friend go. He had not given much thought as to what would become of him after Seren passed. He surely would not bind himself to another human like her and especially not for a lifetime like he had with Seren. He could return to Hell and become Warden like Balthazar had asked him to be but Vastien did not want to be in charge of the same prison he'd desperately tried to escape.

"Is there anything you need me to do after.. you're gone?" Death never bothered the demon, but thinking of Seren's death bothered him.

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #444 on: August 10, 2015, 10:49:53 pm »
A lifetime of memories indeed, a life Seren hadn’t meant to live when she was so much younger. There had been moments, slips in the road still, where she’d considered letting it come to an end, but she held on. There was more to see. More to learn. More time to stay with Vastien. It was a strange love for him that had her wanting to live until her natural end.

There’d been a time when the dance could have been more showy—and a time she would have done just that, if only to show off. There was no need now. Through weakness and through pride, there was no longer a need to hide, although it wouldn’t be her if she didn’t try. Her grip failed her, though, and it loosened as Vastien reached for a chair and let her slide down.

Seren shut her eyes against her own weakness, but let the anger fade to a chuckle, that became a cough as Vastien told her he couldn’t fix humanity. She lifted her hand to cover her lips and felt the blood, which she then closed her fist around.
“Stupid,” not to him, not really, “You could have found a vampire.” But when she opened her eyes and fixed them on him, it was clear she would have cursed him all the more for immortality.

He was so angry. She could tell him to rage against God, sic him after Gabriel, but to what end? She reached out to his face with the non-bloody hand, held his cheek,
“I was happy, Vastien. I never thought I’d be happy again, when we first met, but I have been happy. I want you to be happy, after this.” He’d understand. “So just grant my last request. Don’t let the disease end me.”

One thing had never changed. Seren didn’t want her soul going to either heaven or hell. She’d made a promise years ago, and she’d keep it to the end. It was meant to be the final promise, after all.
“It’d be…embarrassing for the last Vesper to die to some stupid disease.” Even if it was the disease prompting her to this end, it was not the disease that would be the cause. Not in her mind, anyway, and that was all that mattered, at the end. 


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Re: Stained-Glass Souls [Closed]
« Reply #445 on: August 13, 2015, 07:57:20 pm »
For some reason, her final request was something Vastien should've expected but he hadn't. He knew Seren better than she knew herself sometimes and this last request was classic Seren Vesper. He had to be strong for her, he had spent all these years protecting her and now he would be the cause of her death.

The irony was cruel. Vastien said nothing, he stood up and helped her up off the chair.
"Come with me." Of course, he wouldn't let her walk on her own, he used his body to support her towards her bedroom. They moved to her bed and he motioned for her to lay down.

He waited for her to lay down and get comfortable. He would honor her last request and he knew he could make her final moments painless.
"Seren, you've lived a long life. You've given me some of the best years and memories of my life and I will never forget you. Thank you." His hand gently stroked her cheek and though he was smiling, the sorrow was clear as day.

"You've earned this long rest.." Vastien began whispering in his demon tongue, low enough so it wouldn't hurt her. "Sleep, my dear." His hand moved from her cheek to cover her eyes and his free hand grasped her hand tightly. She wouldn't fall asleep immediately, but her eyelids would grow heavy with every second. When he moved his hand away from her eyes, he knew it wouldn't be long before she became dormant.

Seren was a fighter, she could keep the inevitable sleep from affecting her but eventually she'd give in. He lowered his head and continued whispering in his native tongue. Just like Reapers could draw souls out so could demons but it was a tedious process, most demons would rather kill and take the soul by force.

At least this way she would feel no pain. Hot tears descended onto Seren's hand, but the demon pressed on. By the time her soul emerged from her body, she would just had fallen asleep.
"I love you, Seren. Goodbye, my friend."

Her soul was different. It was beautiful and dark, unlike any other soul he had seen. Her soul rushed to the demon as he had drawn it out of her body. Her grip on his hand was no more and it was a ghastly cold. She was gone. Quiescent.

He felt a hand on his shoulder, suddenly sensing the presence of two other beings in the room. Gabriel and Mercury. No one said anything for a while, they all watched her in silence.

"That was beautiful, Vastien. Capable of love, you truly are the strangest demon I've ever met."
"We were watching the whole time, Vassy. Gabriel and I know how much she meant to you."
"Thank you for everything, you two."

Gabriel and Mercury watched him as he picked up Seren's cold and frail body in his arms. The two never saw the demon again after that. It took some time and convincing, Vastien had buried Seren next to her parents. The demon was never alone however, while Seren was gone physically, she was still with him.. deep inside.