Everything seemed to be at peace. I found myself sitting in a small garden surrounded by flowers. I heard the chirps of the birds, flutter of butterflies as they flew from flower to flower. I felt calmness of the surrounding, until sickening feel started at the pit of my stomach as if someone watching me from far. This anxiety stopped just as suddenly as it started. As I looked around trying to pinpoint the source, I saw my surroundings true nature. The green plants and shrubs had lost their color and turned in creeping wines reaching out to me with their thorns. The birds turned out to be blood sucking bats now swarming towards me. Instincts kicked in and I reached for my bow on my side only to come empty handed. I stood up opening up my senses to my surrounding and reaching out to Ralf immediately.
“Were you looking for this my daughter?”
“oh yes, thank you mother.” I said reaching with my hand to take the bow but to see her push it behind her back. Surprised I looked away at the vines that slowly were creeping towards the gazebo we were standing on. Self preservation kicked in and I started seeing beyond the illusion that surrounded me. The façade in front of me transformed to its reality. The blue sky was overcast with dark shadows as if the veil was lifted off its evil face. And just like the glamour faded away from the face of the woman in front of me.
“You are not my mother.” I stated taking stand so that I can make a run.
A futon blood red in color appeared out of thin air, the woman I thought my mother sat on it crossing her legs and her right hand caressing the head of a tiger shaped pillow. As her hand glided down its head, it purred in contentment drawing a gasp from my mouth. The cat’s head shifted and its eyes opened glaring down at me as if I was game to hunt. But it was just the head, as soon as the thought crossed my mind, the pillow was thrown down on the floor and a feral tiger stood few feet before me. As it growled, it canines caught the light in the room, shining as it opened its mouth further. I slowly inched to the centre of the gazebo keeping an eye on the woman and the tiger.
“There is no place you can run.” Said the woman laughing standing next to the tiger ready to launch itself towards me
Knowing I would not win this with fear showing on my face, I took a deep breath and stood my ground. Just then I felt a brush along my shoulders. I turned to see who it was, but found myself standing before a black abyss but the feeling stayed with me. It was menacing but a feeling of support. Then I felt Ralf’s thoughts. “My dear Solange, stay strong. We are coming to you. Tell me what’s happening.”
Not wanting the woman to know I was communicating with Ralf, I kept my eyes anywhere but her, but kept her position in my view to see her moment. I projected my thoughts to Ralf “I don’t know why I thought she is my mother when I saw her in the cave. But now when I look at her all I can feel is anger for I know not what.” Immediately I addressed the woman. “I know you are not my mother, but who the hell are you?”
The woman just started at me keeping her hold on the tiger. “Well what it matters, if I tell you or not. Anyway you will soon be prey to my sweetheart here” Said the woman getting down on her knees and brushing her face against the tiger’s fur. “My name is Maya, Lucifer’s daughter and your mother’s prisoner.”
“You have my mother.” I said taking a step towards her but halting midway on Ralf’s sharp command
“Solange, control your anger. You are projecting your feelings very loudly. Everyone of the guardian here heard your cry of anger. Don’t let that woman know she has the ability to hurt physically or emotionally. Now tell me what she has said.”
Controlling my anger, I took up my position again keeping the tiger in my view. “Ralf, where are you? Tell me what should I do till you come here.”
“My darling, I am not far. I will be with you very soon. Just keep that woman engaged.”
Agreeing to Ralf’s suggestion I looked at the woman and the tiger. In that instant I knew I should be more careful of the animal for it was getting restless and the only enemy it saw in the room was me. Then I saw my bow on Maya’s back. She had not held on to it directly but used a sling of some sort but was kept away from her body. It looked very weird to me and wanting to find out the reason I took a jab at her. “Maya, Lucifer’s daughter, I didn’t know Lucifer had daughter. Everybody only talks about sons of devil. Doesn’t he want others know about your existence?”
Everything stood still. Maya stood up and walked towards me. I checked around for escape routes still holding my ground. She stood barely an inch from my body looking down at me. “You dare insult me you mere mortal. I am Lucifer’s daughter and mother of many his children, who now walk among the man as one. And when the day comes, Lucifer will rise to rule on this world with me as his queen on his side.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Incest, that’s what it is.”
“Call it what you want. It’s now time see your mother” Saying Maya walked with the tiger at her side expecting me to follow her. As I took one step Ralf called out to stop as it could be a trick. But I needed to check to make sure, so I followed Maya into the darkness that would clear only for her.
“No, do not go with her” I screamed out loud with anguish
“Ralf, what happened? Where is Solange?” asked Uriel and Michael at the same time
I didn’t wait to answer but commanded all guardians to follow as it was crucial to reach Solange at the earliest.
“Ralf, my brother, what has happened? Share with us.”
“It’s Maya. Solange is with her.”
Michael stopped in his tracks lost. “Michael what happened?” I asked stunned by his reaction
“I should have known. Maya would do anything to hurt me. Now she has my mate and daughter.”
“How do you know Maya?” Uriel and I asked
Michael didn’t answer instantly. Sensing his reluctance I asked the guardians to scan the caves for any traps. Sensing the urgency in my command, they immediately left leaving only Urile, Michael and I in one of the caves we were in.
“Few centuries ago, I met Maya when I had gone to train with Ares, god of war. She was his apprentice. She was developing her skills in illusion and spells. Ares had taken her in for he considered the child of Lucifer shouldn’t suffer for his sins. I had always considered her a child alone among guardians, who wouldn’t accept because of Lucifer. We trained together under Ares and our friendship grew. But Maya mistook my friendship and assumed I would accept her as my mate. When this came to notice and Ares, he banished her to earth. She pleaded with Ares, but he wouldn’t listen to her or me to forgive Maya. Then Maya blamed me for her punishment with promise of retribution. I knew not what happened to her after that day. I never anticipated her to go after my family.”
“Her foolishness has led her to do what she is doing, but I wouldn’t let her harm Solange” I said walking as fast as I could towards Solange.
I knew not how long or how far I walked in the dark behind Maya. As I started doubting if we were going in circles, Maya stopped at a door way about twelve feet tall. The door was filled with intricate art of wars and two door men standing facing each other with axe in their hands. Maya stood still in front of them. Her hair fell free of the band holding it up dropping like a black snake slithering across the ground. Her tiger stood aside now watching my every move. She called out to the doormen in to open the gates. There was no response, nothing happened as I waited watching her. She shouted to let her through to her father and master. Her anger got the best of her and the tiger disappeared. Just that instant Ralf called out to me saying that Maya was a master illusionist. Knowing it was the best time I could ever get, I grabbed the bow still on Maya’s back and pulled it free of the sling she had it in. My action got her attention and she turned immediately to grab the bow only scream as her hand burned the minute it came in contact with the bow directly. Having grabbed the bow, I ran away from her into the darkness, only to smash myself into a wall jutted with rocks. As I fell down, I held onto my bow hoping to find some arrows else it was of no use. Then I heard the growl, Maya’s tiger was back. I looked around myself trying to pinpoint its location, but the growls seemed to come from all directions. I stood up holding my defend myself. Suddenly a paw almost hit my face. I immediately crouched down and moved aside reaching for the wall to support my back. As I supported my back and held on the bow, I felt a gush of air coming to right and in trying to save myself I pulled on the string of the bow. Sudden light washed over the spot I was standing in and the bow glowed. As I pulled the string further, an arrow formed glowing golden illuminating my surroundings. Taking aim, I let the arrow fly at the tiger. The illusion glowed before turning black falling down as dust to the floor. Maya screamed and ran towards me, but a dagger came flying out of a corner hitting her in the heart. She looked at me “No one can save you. You have been marked by Lucifer’s children. They will find you.”
A hand held Maya by her throat and as I looked up, Ralf held her with menacing eyes “If anyone even looks at my mate, they will get worse death than you are getting now. What do you want do with her Michael?”
As soon as father came in front of her, Maya cried out “My beloved, see what they have done to me, to us. We were meant to be together. Save me Michael.”
“Ralf, we need her to know the whereabouts of Black ones. Let council decide what they wish to do to her.”
“No, I need her.” I cried out running my hands over the inscriptions on the door. I knew not how, but I understood the scripture on it. The doormen although seemed to be the key to open the door, but they were just misdirection. The real key was the lady who was sitting in meditation pose on top of the door. A safeguard was placed around her which formed intricate guard around the borders of the door snaking in multitude of directions before going back to her feet.
“What do you see daughter?” asked father
“Many safeguards which have been drawn…” before I could finish my sentence, Ralf stopped me. He signaled Irin to take Maya away. As soon as Maya was out of earshot he said, “Sorry darling, but I don’t trust her even if I could cast a stone in her direction.”
Nodding my understanding I explained my observations. Until I reached a small inscription at the foot of the lady, I was lost. “I don’t know what this means.” I said looking at my father and Ralf
Father touched the inscription, looking at the pattern. After few minutes he started laughing loudly. At our bewildered looks he said, “Your mother is very clever my dear. She knew I would never give up looking for her. The inscription here is a poem I had written for her, when we first met.”
“What poem father?”
“Nights are unfolding to beautiful lit sky
But, it is lonely without you,
darkening my life forever.
Oh darling I wait to be with you forever,
The key to my heart now lies in our blood.”
“Someone had managed to decipher her inscription, else how would they know about Solange?” stated Ralf
“It has to be Maya. Only she knew about Savita and me and the ancient language used by Savita here is only known to Ares and his disciples.”
“Then how was I able to read it?” I asked
“Well only your mother can explain it.” Said father “Come my dear we need to find a way to release your mom.”
“I think I know how to do it.” Saying I took a knife from Ralf’s belt and drew blood from my hand. Immediately I placed my hand on top of the safe guard leaving my body as soon as the first drop touched the crease on the door. I heard gasps as all witnessed my soul leaving the body. I directed the blood flow along all the creases on the door until it reached the foot of the lady on the door. The blood filled the veins of the lady on the door. I came back into my body, now held in Ralf’s arms. I rested my head on his shoulder’s looking up the door. The lady’s figurine started converting into flesh slowly and a blue light formed around the door. Fearing the worst I stood straight thinking of all wards I had seen on the way here. Ralf and all guardians stood up battle positions with me at the centre. The light intensified and then a lady stood in front of us.
“Savita, oh I prayed for this moment for so many years.” Cried out my father running to take the lady in her arms
We all stood aside as they embraced each other. I turned my head into Ralf’s shoulder as tears of joy started flowing. He held my tight saying soothing words.
“You must meet our daughter. Solange come here child meet your mother.” Called father
“No no, I can’t embrace her yet. Although I am back in flesh, I am still holding this door to Lucifer’s dungeon. If I touch her, she will become part of the safeguard instead of me.”
As soon mother uttered the words, Ralf pulled me behind him fearing I might sacrifice myself to save her. I glared at his back and hit his head from behind. He turned back glaring “how dare you hit prince of Empyrean.”
“Oh shut it Ralf. I am done with your machocism and gorilla behavior.” Saying I addressed mother
“Mother, I have longed for this day for many years and I plan for all of us to be a family again. So believe me when I say I will not take any stupid steps.”
“I believe you my child. What do you suggest?” said mother
I thought for few minutes until I saw Maya being brought by Irin towards us. A thought struck me, “I think I know what can be done” and instructed Irin to bring Maya to be brought near the door next to mother. Maya drew out her claws when she father holding mother, but I immediately bound her hands behind her back casting a spell forcing her to knees. As she kneeled, I moved behind her and drew blood again from my hand and mothers did the same. We combined our hands and let the drops fall in Maya’s open palms at her back as mother casted a spell
“With this spell I bind thee to this portal to hell. Bound forever to serve until released by blood of thou child born of innocence and free of dark heart.”
As mother was casting the spell, the door burst with energy from inside emanating black smoke from its pores, but spell immediately locked the safe guards pushing it back inside into its dark depth and turning Maya into a statue bound to the portal to hell.
It hardly had been a week since we had returned from China binding Maya and Lucifer to their own prisons. The palace was decorated in its full glory for the wedding to be held after many centuries. As I walked with mother into the Athena’s temple, I couldn’t stop the elation I felt. Father was standing with Conall at the dais waiting impatiently for mother.
As father and mother took their vows, Ralf whispered “My dear angel, it will soon be us. I can’t wait to make you my wife in true sense. To love you forever and watch over you with my life.”