A very recent short story I finished, it's been far too long since I wrote another story. So, I decided to break my writer's block with a short story involving much of the Occult subject matter I use in my artwork. The story takes place within Hell, where a devil decides to aid a young sinner than punishing it, exposing the more humane side to the denizen of Hell. I only you enjoy the story, and comment with any input, or corrections to any grammar or spelling errors I may've missed during the proofread.
Morality. This conception hardly felt as it promised in the scriptures. It falls to an enigma in which all of mankind must uphold some identity of this virtuous art. Loathing the concept is -- by far -- the most effortless towards those who bellow a beacon of relinquishment from its oppressive grasp. Everyone has a libertine persona amidst the follies seeded within their religious beliefs. It is forfeit though... There is no hope to those who failed to see the true ecstasy within amorality. They clinch to one another for pathetic comfort, in hopes their ambitions as an entirety will be enough to save them from damnation. There is no hope, though... There is no ecstasy as well. There is only damnation. Those who have festered in their pointless virtues failed to see the true ecstasy within amorality. Even as their inquisitor, I refuse to unveil that answer to those who beckon it through their agonizing gulps.
A grave dread engulfs as the ground ignites through a hellacious eruption of blackish flames, spiraling into a vortex of pain and turmoil, a gaping jaw awaiting the peccant. The entire exterior exhibits the gravest of mortal man's nightmares, though, harshly to even bring a stockpile of aghast horror to their present and conspicuous phobias. Hell awaits the new arrival of sinful, their melancholic begs of forgiveness wailing throughout the Lake of Fire, the blackish hellfires that which forged their new lifestyles. The cackles and shrills of the netherworldly denizens greet the sinners as they plummet into clusters and mounts of soulless victims, had already realizing the horrifying realm they now reside.
There were never exceptions toward those who plummeted through the X-shaped crevasses, riddled with formations of twisted arms and grappling hands. Times of unbaptized babies and children falling through their swirling pillars of endless flesh and innumerable flashes of blaze exemplified the most gravest of taboos which the Hells took into their incorrigible imprisonment. Yet, it was not the terrifying arrival which truly embedded the nightmarish realization of a sinner's location. For only the beasts and foul abominations who resided in the bubbling cauldrons of fire were the true inducers to which branded the eternal fear of damnation. These beasts and abominations, separated through the hierarchy assembled within the Hells, were categorized as two branches: the devils and the demons.
Forever, as long ago as the downfall of Lucifer himself, the devils reined as the warlords of hereafter's oblivion. The locale, servants, foot-soldiers – footstools – were historically the demons. The former seraphim deprived the demons of individuality, stripping them down to identical bodily disfigurement. While the devils existed as their own persona of Hell's infamous fury, the demons symbolized their false enfeeblement. The history of Christianity's victories were always against the rise of demons, though, never the devils. They were wise enough to enact their wretched force through the actions of mortals themselves. The demons were mere decoys to the actual threat that which mortal man faced those centuries ago.
Now, though, with time's chronicle of man versus Hell at a frigid still, the forever-burning realm itself was mere boredom. Change was in the air, though. It awaited a particular, even famous devil within the hellish ranks, who grew weary of Satan's absence, and the flood of a damned man's rein. The would-be-Archdevil who affiliated himself with the power of his tyranny over the lesser denizens of Hell was this damned man. It was pure truth that their former ruler still laid dormant in the deepest pits of their hellacious realm, so there was always a sort of crutch for the sum of devils who thought timidly of their own politics.
“A shame for one to possess political dispositions in this realm though...” a gruff, stoic voice speaks, the emits of soot and ash aspirating from his mustached lips.
The jagged architecture of fallen kingdoms and slabs of what once resembled the scriptures of countless ancient knowledge laid scattered about the molten terrain. A darkly man in crimson clothes stands firmly amidst the abstractions of landmarks brought from mortal downfall, his ebony eyes and bloody red irises transfixed upon the new delivery of sinned. He ran through the grunge of his goatee, swaying back his long locks of hair; both as red as his clothes, releasing a grumble as he steps down from the cracked rubble and into the smoldered rocks and bones of innumerable deceased. The clang of his iron foot cuffs echo through the whirlwinds of wails and cries, and the pitiful pleads of the newly arrived. This devil, though, pays no attention to the nightmarish world he had resided within for his past five hundred years. Through that half of a millennium, he grew to participate in encouraging such tormented vocalizations. This devil was known as Meltavius Faustheart, devilish inquisitor to the fifth circle – Wrath and Sloth. The very sins of his circle were easily seen through the sluggish scuffs of his Feet, and the feral libertine nature seen through his aggravated stare. Meltavius' presence was felt by both devil and demon, either admired by or simply despised of. There had not been, at least, one attempt on his life on a daily basis by the demons he passionately detested. Always, though, there never existed one victory in their attempts, for it always resulted in the death to the uncared stockpile of demons. Regardless, ambition was, by far, one of Hell's greatest aspects.
The pools of lava around Meltavius ripple with an immense eruption, unveiling a bundle of feral demons, their anatomy clustered within tumorous boils and entanglement of mort, bloody flesh. Ghastly spheres of yellowish eyes transfix upon the devil in crimson, their jagged claws ripping through their muscled structures, thrusting towards his jugular vein. Meltavius swerves within the perimeter of his ambushers, crouching under two of the demons as they splashed back into the molten rivers. He snatches another by his eyes, digging the ebony talons of his wrinkled, netherworldly claws into its enormous corneas, slashing away its very ability to see. The man in red grumbles to the demon's outcries, chucking it back into the lava with its other two fallen comrades. Meltavius faces the last of his attackers, merely allowing his intimidation of class authority to enfeeble the decrepit beast to flee into the twisted terrain of Hell.
He swerves back within his desired location, noticing the grinning face of one of his own, likely relishing the violence he just witnessed. Metlavius merely remarks with, “You should never smile upon the demise of the immortal. There is no victory in killing the undying.” The grinning devil chuckles maniacally as Meltavius struts passed him, his crimson shags tattering from the jagged stones ripped through the blackish sands.
Meltavius is stopped by the devil though, gesturing him closer to his face. The devil grunts and complies to his brother's request, staring into a reflection of himself from the mirror-like surface of the devil's oversized monocle. A crooked array of fangs greet Meltavius as the devil points upwards to the crowd of mortal dead descending into their territory. Meltavius merely shakes his head in disinterest, shoving his devilish brother aside so he may continue in his stride to the very location. The fanged devil chuckles from behind him as he follows along, unable to help his desire to converse with the topic.
“Come now~. Melativus. You and I both know this means for more splendorous torture. Why, even I--” the devil's voice is shut silent by Meltavius' brandishing claws, allowing his say in the irritating chitchat.
“Know well this, Abaddon. You are a simple newborn, compared to number of us who have witnessed better leadership than this fool of a current Archdevil.” he growls, his mockery of their ruler sending a flurry of laughter from the mirthful devil.
“Heehaahaaa~! Meltavius~! What intolerable judgment! I would never tell the Archdevil though, for it simply ruins the enjoyment in watching you run from his authority. Face it though, Meltavius. What word of order you had known is a remnant now. Think on it carefully. You are allow existent do to me. Heeheehee~.” Abaddon remarks back to him, chuckling obscenely to the devil's protest. Meltavius grits his fangs as the giggling devil strolls in front of him. Of course, Abaddon and he were never on good terms, despite the negative nature their kind exemplified in their existence. Abaddon would wear the uniform of the new Archdevil's authority: a nobleman's wardrobe. The attire was utterly nursed from the mortal nature of the Archdevil, as only a mortal would be seen in such ridiculous clothing. Meltavius always wore the clothing he died in, the very set of clothes he descended into a devil as. Regrettably, this meant nothing to the chuckling Abaddon. “Tell me an answer to this question, Meltavius.”
Meltavius eyeballs Abaddon angrily, suspicious of what brought this about. Regardless, he replies, “What is it?”
Abaddon averts his face as he holds it in the twitching laughter cackling from his curled lips, “What if you are forced to torture another child's life?”
Meltavius twitches from behind, his eyes widening with rage as the devilish nobleman ahead of him laughs. He maintains his composure though, “I will treat them as any other who is sentenced to my circle. There are fewer devils here as there used to be, so I must uphold what I always knew I would carry out.”
“Yes yes! I know all that drivel you constantly tell me of! What I want to truly know is: what you will do if they cry out for their parents~? Hehehehehehahahaa~!” Abaddon replies, his cackles wearying thin on Meltavius' patience.
“THEN--! … then I tear out their vocal cords. They may obtain immortality in the afterlife, yet their bodily weaknesses are as actual as they were when they were alive.” he proclaims, the echoing growls of his devilish nature brooding toward the cackling devil that mocked him.
Abaddon nods proudly as he succeeded in discomforting his devilish, though lesser brother. He smirks as he speaks, “Thank you for answering that curio of mine, Meltavius. I will make sure to report I never saw you walking towards the Cauldron Gates when I speak with the Archdevil.”
Meltavius growls silently to himself as they meet with the towering arches of the Cauldron Gates. Here, was where the sinned were separated into the nine circles of Hell, where the eyes of the demons – their only true usefulness – perceived the crimes of their sins and where they would cast them into. The wails and whimpers of mortals echoed through the enormous arches as they are dragged off into separate jagged pits, transporting them into their declared circles through spiraling combustions. The X-shaped crevasse could be seen above as more crying damned fell into the front of the Cauldron Gates. Abaddon mockingly points towards the obese women being taken into his circle; Gluttony.
“Ahhh~. There is nothing more rewarding from our Unholy Lord then supplying us with new contributions to our circles.” Abaddon blissfully sighs, strolling behind the struggling obese women who were pulled into the spiraling combustion by anorexic, though upper strong demons.
Meltavius waits for the crowds of damned to be taken by the rest of the devils and their demonic minions. All he laid responsible for now was to exhume his circle's victim for Wrath's fury. He scuffs into the curving steps of the Gate's catwalk, glancing around for whom or what his sinner was. There seem to be something wrong though, as his sinner was nowhere to be found. Meltavius balls his claws as he continues downwards into the depths of the molten catwalk, the luminance of the Hells shining through his bloody red irises. The malignant eyes spot his prey, only for the small mortal to scamper away from its intimidating gaze. Meltavius growls with his devilish bellows, charging into the girding darkness for his circle's contribution.
“Do not consider yourself fortunate within the shadows, little one. I am made from their very essence.” the man in red grumbles, thrashing his claws into the darkness, touching what felt like a small breast. “Foolish mortal!” He drags the sinner into his tyrannic gaze, blinding the soulless mortal within his vile presence. Meltavius stands silently as he feels the shivers of the cold deceased's body, no blood dripping from the gashes scratched into the targeted shoulder. The devil's smoldering breath exhales onto the damned soul's face, causing it to cough in reaction. Meltavius suddenly drops the sinner, not a single sense of hesitation as the small mortal flees back into the darkness. Without no attention to his responsibility, Meltavius sits down within the curving pit, having his face mesh with the orange glow of the lava lakes above. His crimson eyes bathe in the malignant colorations as they gaze upon the cowering sinner. “Of all kinds... I am forced with another child.”
The cowering sinner is revealed as a black-haired, Caucasian female, likely around the age of fourteen, as the development of puberty could be seen upon her smoldered, ashy husk, though, the touch of life still present within her sky-blue eyes. The devil sneers with his fangs , refracting the scarlet glow of his irises onto her naked body. She tries to move towards the catwalk, though, the devil quickly halts any attempts of fleeing with a ferocious stab to her leg. Crippled and limping, she plummets towards the floor, her eyes filled with tears as pessimism sets in. Though, she instead collapses into the cowled torso of Meltavius' chest. The damned girl peers at him with speechless awe as he eyeballs her with his stoic expression. He grabs her by the arm, forcing her to walk up the catwalk and back to the Cauldron Gates. Her fears of eternal torment and anguish set in as she struggles to squirm loose from the devil's grasp, yet to no prevail. The girl's fears are shattered though, as Meltavius steers away from the jagged pit that would have taken her to the circle of Wrath. Her hollowed irises gaze widely upon the silent devil as he takes her into the maze of old ruins and jagged rocks that claimed this part of Hell as their home.
The man in red drags the damned soul amongst the razor-tipped stones, afflicting minor scathes on her tender feet as they traversed into the unknown; or so what the suspicious girl could only piece together. For why did this inflicter of moral and mortal damage, instead of torturing her through which his pact authorized him to perform; in turn, potentially bring her to her salvation? The blackish sands become heavier to trudge through as her thoughts drift back into reality, for what remainder was left of it within this hellacious realm. Meltavius halts her by a forceful tug to her arm, pushing her behind him as several enormous orbs of yellow illuminations wisp westwards.
“Demons...” the devil grunts to his contribution.
The girl murmurs with a frightened gasp, the tales of demonology and her Catholic teachings forewarning her of the dangers that demons possessed. Though, an enigmatic relief filtered through her as she peers upwards to the pale, dark skin of her devilish wrangler, noticing an equal caution within his brooding irises. She attempts to speak, yet denied the opportunity as Meltavius swings her into a pile of ebony bones and tattered sheets of broiled flesh. The girl could feel her bile upsetting within her stomach, despite her inability to vomit as she stood frozen in the deteriorated scraps. Though, through gazing passed the dangling heaps of flesh, she discovers the man in red being girded by the spherical eyes of yellow lights.
Their yellowish observation upon the devil had him stand his ground, clinching his blackened claws as his wrinkled veins pulsed readily for an assault. The demons encircle him through their clawed thuds, their mort flesh stripping as additional debris to the heaps of skin already around them. A stern concentration sparks within the devil's eyes as the crooked bearings of the demons' fangs brandish towards him. The devil hunches over, his knees separating to a half kneel as the demons approach more closely to his ground. An eerie silences falls over the molten lakes, as the slurps of the blazing bubbles gurgle from the melted bedrock and sinners' ashes. From afar the girl watches on as the four demons and one devil face with a presence of intimidation. At last, though, the demons are the first to strike, trampling the bones and flesh beneath them as three of them leap toward Meltavius. The devil grabs one of the beasts by its arm, snapping it out of its joint, as the demon stutters in its churning screams. A swift slash of the devil's claws silences the agonizing cries, as Meltavius withdraws them from its forehead for the other two attackers pouncing from behind.
The devil unveils a new weapon from his arsenal. A sickle. Its silvery gleam intrigues the concealed girl, as its polished edge splashes with the sanguine liquid of demon's blood. The two slashed demons' corpses smash against the jagged pillars of a decrepit mausoleum, the gargoyles atop its mounts dislocating and impaling through both of the demons. Meltavius hears the bloodcurdling bellow of the next demon, nearby the bloody, mangled corpses of its brethren. The man in red gestures for its strike, the demon viciously obliging as it leaps from stone to stone, reaching out for the devil with its twisted claws. Meltavius, though, slides over the demon's back, stabbing his sickle into the gut of the mort beast. The sickening splatter of its entrails spilling out echoes through the hollowed caverns, as the inner workings of the demon decorate the blackish sands, the remaining sum plashing into the immolating waters.
Meltavius swings his head in the perimeter of the girl's temporary safe haven. She responds by returning to his side as she notices stick-like creatures scampering towards the fallen demons' husks. The man in red pulls her by the arm once again, dragging her back along the ridged pathway, her last sight of this place being the stick-like creatures injecting some sort of antibiotic into the demons' bodies, seeing how all four reclaimed their footing, stomping back into the darkness. She faces the devil as he speaks, “Those are the Spindle. They are the reason why no demon is left dead by my kind's hand. An encounter, as you just witnessed, is the basis to a devil's lifestyle within the Hells. I found it obvious you question me after watching such slaughter.” The girls persists to speak, regardless of his information, though he halts her by the taunt of his hand. “Secondly, I rather hear your voice when the eyes of the Unholy Lord are not watching us. And this is not in regards to the Archdevil.” These said words sent an undesirable terror through the girl as they arrive at Gibbet Hill.
Nearly nothing more than the construction of torture devices, the entire makeup of the terrain's structure was formatted with the mortal means of torment which devils found a mockery to their unimaginable methods of inducing anguish. Meltavius carries the girl by her bare body within his arms, as she avoids the touch of Heretic's Forks jutting from the sandy slabs. Their hooked edges could be seen with the ageless drip of blood, as broken, iron crucifixes surrounded a majority of the pathway that vaguely appeared amidst the torturous devices. Guillotines stand sprouted above the duo as they traversed through their overshadowing heights, their curved blades fixed for the quickest of decapitations. Meltavius gestures towards the Bronze Bull that laid present within the middle of the hill, surrounded by Judas Cradles, their iron chains dangling from an unknown surface as the darkness allowed no sight to the source of ash raining over the inquisition tools. “Approach. And do not regard the Iron Maiden who guards the Bronze Bull.” Meltavius forewarns her, shoving her into the center of the hill, only meters away from the Bronze Bull that stood broodingly as the blackish embers beneath it flare wildly outwards.
The young sinner slowly approaches the crooked steps leading to the Bull's centerpiece. An array of echoing wails thunder throughout her as her nude body stumbles against the jagged rocks. She grits her teeth as the shocking sensation of pain returns to her nerves, yet without a single blood stain as she limps towards the Bronze Bull. The ground begins to shake violently underneath her cold toes, an eruption breaking through the prongs and shears scattered about the sands. An iron maiden gleams with its malignant, ebony texture, demoralizing the girl from treading any closer towards the Bronze Bull it guarded. The female simulacrum opens from its crevasses, a withered bony hand clanging its elongated fingernails against the ebony iron, embedding its crooked impressions as an ancient fog emits from the maiden's coverage. An anorexic, giant corpse arises from its crouching within the iron maiden, presenting its grayish, skeletal anatomy and decrepit, white ponytail to the young sinner before her. The undeath's saggy breasts wag against one another as she kneels down to the girl's height view. Her shattered mandibles unleash a choking cloud of carbon monoxide as the thick substance swirls around the damned soul and away into the endless darkness.
“Why has another among the damned approach my Bull? My husband. MY TREASURE!” she snarls, rearing her elongated neck, as her twisted, aged bones crackle and creak against their surfaces.
The girl faces Meltavius for confidence. A mere nod of the devil's head complies her to speak toward the grotesque cadaver. She tightens her chapped lips, before yelling out, within a proud voice, “I've come to reclaim what's mine!”
Her voice splinters the girding wails, as they disperse back into oblivion's shadows. The enormous undeath creaks backwards, stumbling over her iron maiden from the amazing outburst. A pair of malicious blue eyes glare the girl down as she rises back to her clawed feet, throwing forth her writhed fingernails around the girl's throat. She chokes from the stifling grasp as her body is effortlessly lifted from the blackish sands, stopping as high as the guillotines that stood broodingly above Gibbet Hill's terrain.
“You. Will. Not. Reclaim what was yours!” the unholy cadaver bellows, throwing her body onto a Judas Cradle. The chains above latch around her arms and legs, as her body is pushed against the wooden point that jutted from the four wooden legs. Screams splinter her passed words as the undeath continues on. “You have sinned! You have thrown your salvation away! So you will NEVER reclaim what was yours! Never will you see the light of the Heavens! NEVER WILL YOU SEE YOUR PRECISE GOD!” The undeath's unsavorily protests ignites alongside the girl's agonizing cries as the Judas Cradle's wooden point digs into her stomach, blood beginning to appear from nowhere. Stampers of the skeletal female giant closes on the victimized sinner, relishing her anguish with each painful yelp and scream. “Yes~... SCREAM FOR THE MAIDEN!! SCREAM FOR THE ARCH--”
A violent jab crushes through the undeath's ribcage, five blackish talons dripping with the sanguine liquid of her ancient bone marrow. She gulps a flood of blood as it oozes from out her shattered fangs, her eye sockets releasing ebony droplets, as she plummets against the iron maiden. Atop her twitching body, Meltavius pulls his claws from her spinal cord, grumbling with disdain. “You are but a pathetic guardian. The law of your damnation was to allow passage of my sinner's reclamations. You have no choice in this matter.” his snarling echoes command, sharpening bellows emitting from his chest. The undeath merely upchucks more heavy quantities of scarlet blood, her eye sockets going dim. Meltavius leaps off the undeath's back, aiding the girl from out the Judas Cradle's chains. The girl is filled with heavenly relief as her scars disappear.
“W-why?” she sobbingly questions, peering to the man in red besides her.
“She is the Iron Maiden. Once a committed lover to her husband, she burned innocent mortal lives within her oven to feed her starving spouse. Regrettably, this led to her damnation here, and she was to eternally allow all to the burning Bronze Bull for the reclaim of their passed humanity. Only this would be allowed by the sinners who gained consent from their devilish masters. An act of such has not been enacted until now.” Meltavius replies, glancing aside toward the molten lakes as their potent fumes set ablaze the darkness.
“Why would you...? And for m--” her words cease by the devil's claws.
“I am a devil. The urge to bring punishment upon the sinned who are purged from the Heaven's Gates are my everlasting responsibility. I was reborn in Hell to create and face the change I will soon manifest. You, though, are not a part of this plan. For that reason...” he faces the girl, brushing aside her black strains of hair with his wrinkled fingers, “you must not be here. Even though my kind are solely expressed with nothing more than negativity, my humanly sense of pity remains with me. Therefore, I will return you to your soul.”
The girl stands flabbergasted, undecided to reply with any sense of thanks, or even praise for this devil's astonishing endeavor. Regardless, the question remains ever present as she worryingly yelps, “How can you even do that?!”
Meltavius then holds out a jagged crucifix, his crimson irises affixed with ambition. “With this. They are forbidden from the handling here, yet the possession of His symbol is allowed. This is the sole reason I remain unseen by the Archdevil's observation. He cannot sense the presence of holy entities. That is why I am weary of all other devils than myself. The Archdevil controls all but this place of Hell. Even my circle; Wrath and Sloth, is victimized by his unrelenting awareness.”
“Still... thank you. By the way, my name is Madelin, but I suppose that's all that matters to you, huh?” she replies, attempting a slight sound that could be thought as a chuckle.
Meltavius nods. “Correct. I care little for your world, and even less of your kind within it. I am merely helping you through progressing my own endeavors. Now, take this.” He hands Madelin the crucifix. She could feel the coldness of the wood as it sent an almost comforting numbness throughout her palms. “I will not be seen by the Archdevil as long as I remain here. And as you are my property, you shall remain here as well.”
Madelin smirks. Despite all the nightmares and pain she has felt here, she finally found herself comfortable to exclaim her expressions. With this sensation of content, the one bothersome question plaguing her mind finally unveiled itself as well. “May I have some clothes, master?”
The man in red raises an eyebrow to the odd request. “What ever would you need clothing? Hell has no shame, you thoughtless mortal.”
“Heehee. I know, but the thought of strolling around naked is embarrassing to me. I know how to make clothing, if you're worrying about making it yourself.” she giggles in reply, her paleness withering away from the warm blush on her face.
Meltavius huffs with discontent, though, gestures towards an old tower. “There. Once the home to an imprisoned princess thought a harlot to your God, all that you desire for attire lays inside.”
“Will you come with me then?” she requests, addressing him with a teasing smile.
The devil sneers at this refreshed attitude, though, unhesitatingly nods, following with her to the crumbled tower that laid near the edge of the molten lakes.
Molten fragments of lava smash and dissolve against the broad stone stacked within the tower's construction, through its shattered windows, Madelin and the man in red settle into the dusty interior of the tower's only bedroom. Madelin explores the ebony tapestries and withering curtains; which hung against the walls, surmising what would prove the most promising for clothing material. Even despite her bare appearance, the girl reacts eerily gleeful, in fact, rapturous in her opportunity to craft a dress for herself. Meltavius merely grumbles in his devilish growls, echoing his discontent downward the tower's thousand-stepped stairway. The melody of tearing and nipping through fabrics dance about and even outside, into the melancholic wails of the Hells themselves, completely mocking their eternal existence for not being a place for such enjoyments as sowing. Regardless, Madelin happily protests against the realm's darkly purpose, excluding herself from its suffering masses, as the shimmer of a lively grin curls from her pale face. She holds up her newly crafted dress, extending its unique stylization onto the devil's glancing view.
“What do you think?” she questions, the glimmer of mirth sparkling within her widened, excited irises.
Meltavius could not even regard this type of mirth in any way similar in the fashion Abaddon would express it. Quite not familiar either, as this form of mirth was far too... mortal. He swallows his disdain though, examining the dress from top to bottom. The entirety of the dress itself was a piercing black, blacker than even the shadows that girded the Hells. Though, the ends of the dress protrudes numerous, spiked talons; perhaps from the stockpile of stalactites the young damned had found behind him through her initial search. A pair of pitch black bracelets and boots were set underside the darkish gown, with white inner layouts for cushioning. The most signifying trait of Madelin's dress had to be the enormous, white crucifix stitched into the center of the chest and stomach area. This sends an irritated scowl towards the icon of just faith. Meltavius erupts from his seating, smacking the black dress onto a disrepaired desk, the image of the white cross intensifying through the broken mirror's reflection above. The devil's scowl grimaces, his blackened fangs brandishing towards the black dress as he charges towards it, emitting an unholy roar from his echoing voice.
Madelin, though, sidesteps in front of him, immediately stopping him dead in his vicious pursuit. He grabs her in turn, pressuring the ghastly pain of his claws into her arms, blood oozing from them as she is picked up from the wooden floorboards. “WHY!?” he growls, the haunting whispers of his devilish bellows ravaging through her ear drums.
She glances aside, averting the sight of the enraged daemon. “I believe in Him far too much to forget about him. Even in a place like this...” Madelin's voice pierces the devil's bellicose straight through the heart, dropping her out of his grasp in reaction. He returns to his seating, running his talons through the rich crimson hair and the sprinkles of blood from his past kills. Madelin retrieves the dress, digging into a makeshift pocket-like compartment, withdrawing the crucifix Meltavius had given her. She reveals it to his crimson eyes, having him stare off into the wooden craftsmanship and ruby sculpted in the form of an eye. “Tell me you hadn't forgotten this? This was what reminded me of my faith. Master... my faith was the only part of me that was my humanity. What I retrieved from the Bronze Bull back there wasn't my humanity. It was my religion.”
The room falls into silence as the sentence writhes through Meltavius' mind, his mentality uncovering the dusted memories with which “religion” had once associated with him. He rises to his feet, clamping his palms over the girl's slender shoulders, allowing her to feel the slight shivers of his malignant anatomy. She attempts to consult him, though, denied by the blazing body heat igniting from him. A blackish aura of wild flames separates from his clothing and body, melting the surroundings of tower's interior. Meltavius' sudden outbreak of laughter astonishes Madelin, even having her fall back into her dress as the hilarity within the devil erupts. His laughter continues on for several minutes before he finally retains his disposition, motioning his soulless glare upon the awed sinner. “Even a devil can laugh, little mortal.” Madelin's imagination must have invaded at that moment, as she swore she noticed a smile on the devil's stoic face. Meltavius holds out his hand, lifting her back to her feet. He allows her to fit into her new gown, even his consent progressing into the dress' excited flows as the girl spins around within it. Though, he gestures her to cease in her silly behavior, as their final destination awaited them: Virgo Phasmatis.
All of Hell, solely the entrance of the nightmarish realm, lacked most Christian architecture. Though, a small fragment of the Pit of Flames still retained its structure to the heavenly Lord; God. Virgo Phasmatis. Dubbed through its Latin name, the true identity of the structure was “Virgil's Spire”, of which all denizens of Hell averted from approaching its walls. The construct, though, had been stripped of its cathedral prowess, as only the stained glass windows of the Thirteen Saints of Jesus were all that remained standing. Though, and yet without surprise, the glass window of Jesus always laid in shards of aged glass, nearly engulfed by the blackish sands which put in the endeavor to swallow the remainder of this religious beacon of hope. The only true structure of this sepulchral church was the gigantic, silver spire which protruded through the jagged stones and ebony sands that the hellish terrains equipped. Tales of earning sinners ambitious enough to venture to this holy place could reclaim their salvation to the Heavens. Though, only those truly unneeded within the caverns of Hell could pull such a miraculous act successfully. None attempted the action through Hell's eternal history, until today.
Meltavius and Madelin approach the outskirts of the cathedral, the devil averting sight of the Thirteen Saints that seemed to press their judgment upon. Madelin ogles at the man in red, shoving him to the church, only for him to halt in her pushes with his girth.
“What's wrong with you? A church shouldn't scare someone like you that easily. Wait--” she breaks off as the devil nods in reaction.
Meltavius glares upon the church, as though it seemed to do the same as the Saints' eyes stare into his hellacious eyes. “Jesus himself once stood the grounds surrounding that remnant. It was those grounds which he led the unjustified sinned to your Lord. I was never a devil at the time, so I was not there when the original Archdevil rampaged, do to the outrage. Some say that was the reason which He separated the devils and demons, favoring my kind over those disgusting beasts who failed to stop the messiah. As it should have been, though. A good demon is an oppressed demon.”
“I thought the saying went, 'A good whatever is a dead whatever.'?” Madelin replies in confusion.
The devil addresses her with his cold eyes, “You cannot kill what is eternal.” He then struts towards the church, Madelin in hand as she watches him worriedly, her black gown fluttering alongside the winds of soot and ash.
They face the spire of Virgo Phasmatis, Meltavius experiencing an unbearable agitation within his bowels. Madelin understood the opposition of their alignments was too much for the devil, as she strides on ahead, reaching the stairway mounts of the silvery spire. She reaches out to touch the spiraling formations of the construct, noticing the sensation felt similarly to petting the wings of an eagle, or anything with smooth feathers. Meltavius remains distant as she strolls around the enormous structure, keeping sight of any approaching demons. Or devils.
Madelin discovers an odd engravement on the east corner of the spire. “Master! I understand you hate to step on these grounds, but can you take a look at this? I believe it's Latin!” she cries, only for the devil to remain where he stood.
“Fool, I will not step on the grounds that could immediately incapacitate me. Merely read out what the etching says!” he grunts back, fixing the ruffs in his red chest cowl.
“Alright...” she mutters, kneeling down to the forceful letters defaced into the silver spire. “Preterea... oblivio!”
Meltavius remains standing, his thoughts colliding through his memories as the translations of the foreign words comes to mind. His eyes rattle with an unsettling shutter, hastily darting towards the girl and the spire she stood near. The devil's mandibles race in bodily movement, as he drools out saliva from them, driveling onto the blackish sands as he breaks into a panicked stance, screaming “GET A FROM THE SPIRE!”
Madelin softly gasps, curious as to why he demoralized into such terror. As her mind compiles the predictions encircling the calamity and chaos building within her mind, the sands beneath her swivel ferociously, the dire vigor of their miscellaneous debris pricking her with minor scathes, though, enough to have her tumble to her knees as the sands open further. A giant hand encumbers her neck, dragging her into the ground, smoldering ashes exhausting as the spire around the sands creaks disproportionally. Meltavius refuses to approach the church still, knowing it mean immediate eradication of his existence. Though, his ambition to return the unjustified sinner stand true, as he brandishes his claws behind his waist, thrusting them forwardly as his devilish roars echo, “Rise my demons!”
The Lake of Fire surrounding the small fragment of terrain erupts around it, the rising waves of lava girding into an eruption of figures. These figures stand as bipeds, entanglements of mort flesh forming their three clawed toes; rising towards the cloth-like wrappings of skin which coiled around their thighs and up around their torsos, only for their hunched backs to tatter the sheets of flesh into shredded pieces. Meltavius stands broodingly as his command as their overlord points them toward the vicinity of Virgo Phasmatis. The figures, now fully identified as demons, crackle with whisper-like hisses, emitting from their shack-like heads, with two clawed hands hold them from the corners of their grotesque scalps. Trails of yellowish eyes flare wildly as they dash towards the sands that sucked in the girl. The remaining sum gird around their devilish overlord as he watches on the four that use their shack-like heads to slowly withdraw the girl from the enormous hand that refused to release her. Meltavius' ebony fangs grit as two of his demonic minions falter into the sands, spewing out as entrails and organic remains. Despite the appearance of defeat, Madelin finally pulls from the sands, the hand releasing her as it vanishes into the blackish depths.
“Master!” she cries, dried tears staining her cheeks as she runs to him, her black gown in tatters and covered in quantities of soot and ash. “T-there's someone down there!”
Meltavius' suspicions, unfortunately, prove true. They were followed.
“Appear now! Devil!” he roars, his demons hissing for the concealed attacker underneath them.
The sands breech outwards as an enormous behemoth of Hell's devilish ranks lands in front of them. A menacing pair of crimson eyes glare them down as the shadowy beast stands to his full height. Overshadowing even Meltavius' malice, the devil's wrinkled mandibles grins with an array of crooked fangs, blackened as the shadows surrounding him, though, as well stained with the blood of Meltavius' demons. The giant devil appears in the same nobleman uniform all current devils were to wear, though, this particular one laid in disrepair, as the edges of it were tattered violently, possibly from the staggering muscles present on the devil's anatomy. His enormous hands, equipped with wrinkled fingertips and jagged claws, were wore over by a pair of fingerless gloves, colored in navy blue and jet black; just as was his waistcoat and tattered trousers. The sands sizzle into ebony glass as the heat of his black monk shoes stomps them into glassy shards, leaning towards the rancorous glare of Meltavius' irises.
Hell's darkness lifts from the devil, his dark-skinned, Caucasian-like face greeting the man in red with his malicious grin and heavily wrinkled brows. “Salutations, fellow devil.” the devil's grounding, though rumbling voice curdles. Meltavius snuffs with disdain towards the exhaust of smolder from the devil's stifling breath. The devil rises back to his full height, extending his enormous, gloved hand towards Meltavius' equally sharp claws. “A greeting among brethren should not go without a handshake. Take my hand, Meltavius. I hope to make up for my rude impression upon your contribution over there.” He finishes with a mocking smirk, leering his head downwards, his swayed-back locks of gray hair curling into splinters of bangs.
“I never shake the hands of a devil who blindingly believes He will come back from following His every request.” Meltavius growls, swatting the behemoth's claws from his crimson clothes. The devil, though, withdraws with demented delight, humored by his brother devil's decline. “Leave us now, Lord of Flies. I will not brandish my claws to the likes of such repugnant trash.”
“Tahahahahaha! You address me by such formalities. How adorable.” the devil chuckles, tilting his terrifying face rightwards, to peer menacingly toward the frightened sinner behind her protector. “You carry around your cattle as some form of companion, Meltavius. So, I could not help in attempting to cease her life in turn. Sinners are, after all, meant to writhe in anguish within our realm, Meltavius.”
Meltavius pushes Madelin further behind him, his demons concealing the rest of her from the sides. “She is mine, Beelzebub. If your intentions are to take her, then you shall be dealt with as the other foolish predecessors who have tried before you.”
Beelzebub leans backwards, cackling with his malignant laughter, leering back with his wrinkled smirk. “Your 'predecessors' from before were demons sent by me.”
Both Meltavius and Madelin twitch with shock, though, only the man in red to truly take it as a personal insult. “How dare you...! I care not if you were among the original four devils He brought with him to this realm. I AM AS DEVIL AS YOU ARE!”
Meltavius feels the staggering impact of his lungs clasping in as Beelzebub's giant fist sends him throttling into a stone pillar. Madelin screams as she watches his body limp amidst the destruction of rock. The demons surrounding her counterattack the enormous devil, tearing through his waistcoat's sleeves. Beelzebub turns in their direction, watching as they pounce for another assault. He undoes his fist, throwing forward his claws towards both demons, reaping through their bodies as spews of blood splash against the blackish sands. Their ripped remains set ablaze within ebony flames, as they dispersing into nothingness. Meanwhile, Madelin helps Meltavius rise from a bloodied stone, only for her to bear witness to the regeneration of his wounds. “H-how... did you--?”
“Within these pits of fire and brimstone, a devil is at the peak of his strength. This moronic devil fails to realize that. Or... he is merely playing with his food.” Meltavius growls, having Madelin cringe over the fact he addressed himself as “food.” He sits her onto a rock slab, kneeling to her eye view as his crimson irises face her sky-blue irises. “Remain distant. I will remove this obstacle in our way. Remember, I promised I free you of this place. Hell does not take the unjustified. Even as a devil, I will not permit this.”
Madelin grasps his hand before he turns away. “Wait! What happened to 'not a part of this plan'?”
Meltavius gazes upon the sands and jagged rocks before facing her eyes again. “It has become more than that now.” He then shakes off her small hand, only for her to clinch it as he dashes off to the hellish behemoth that awaited him.
Beelzebub's patience for his opponent's arrival proves fruitful as Meltavius comes at full impact against his wrists' guard. Blackish flames ignite from them both as their crimson eyes brandish grimly to one another. Their devilish howls erupt throughout the dark caverns as they slug each of their faces with a staggering blow, sending both sliding to the edges of the small island. Meltavius reclaims his foothold first, leaning back as he launches himself at the rising devil. Beelzebub snatches him in his punch though, impaling through his whole hand as he runs through the sands, Meltavius' face the one to become aggrieved by the jagged stones beneath. He lifts the man in red from the darkly sands, relishing the blood oozing from his deep facial gashes. “Truly, devil, your face is something out of Hell. Tahahahaha!”
Meltavius silences the behemoth with a sideways kick across his jaw, enjoying the snap of his joints as the enormous devil face plants into a rocky slab. The man in red dashes hastily towards the grounded devil, stabbing his claws back and forth throughout the girth of his back. Beelzebub, though, reaches over his muscular spine, grabbing the devil by his neck, snapping it easily in his tremendous claws. Meltavius drops motionlessly as his regeneration abilities try to recover him quickly enough for the brooding devil's next assault. Luckily, the devil recovers steadily enough to grasp the bottom of Beelzebub's monk shoe, shoving his claws through his shoe and the foot inside with his blackish talons. Beelzebub cries out in rage as he holds the bleeding foot, only for Meltavius to continue with an uppercut to his regenerated jaw. Again, it snaps sickeningly. The enormous devil roars outrageously, snapping the bones back in place, spews of blood shooting from the normally deathly operation. He charges towards the radiating devil, falling to the consequences as the devil's sickle rises from his rippled sleeve, tossing it forward from a reddish attachment from his clothing.
The Lord of Flies feels the terrifying strength of the sickle's curved edge, the craft of iron and Hell's own titanium: black bone. Even with the devil's four layers of anatomy, the sickle easily slices through each, slashing into the vulnerable part of a devil's body – his black bone skeleton. Beelzebub grabs hold of the shattered bones, his regenerative abilities worthless to such an immense wound. He tosses his worries aside though, stomping towards the man in red, regardless of the multiple slashes to his black bone. Meltavius stumbles at the astonishing assault, his body being smashed into the sands as the devil's ungodly fist encumbers him. The pressure of his giant fist intensifies as he leers towards the shocked sinner from afar. Madelin could only watch in horror as both of the devils slaughter one another with their belligerent onslaughts.
Meltavius slashes his sickle into Beelzebub's forehead, gaining leverage to his backside, sliding down his spine as the sickle drags from above, elongating an unimaginable laceration that spewed endless flows of blood. The Lord of Flies refuses defeat from the staggering blow, swerving around just as Meltavius rises back to his feet. Beelzebub balls his fists together, slamming them downward against the devil's back, breaking it immediately and sending him face-first into the sand. He drags him along the terrain, and drowning him in the molten lake. Meltavius' face sizzles and peels apart from the vicious temperatures of the Lake of Fire. Though, he finally senses the Lord of Flies' hold release from him. He quickly throws back his head from the lava, his face reclaiming its refreshed condition through his regenerative abilities. Meltavius worries as to why Beelzebub had relinquished his hold. He races to Madelin's position, only for the dreaded realization of the situation to appear right before him.
Beelzebub proudly holds the pale-faced sinner in his enormous claws, her dress half pulled from her body by the mighty hold he had on her limp body. Behind the devil, though, aggravates the man in red. An immense tear in the atmosphere itself reveals an endless black void, accompanied by numerous crimson eyeballs, bulging outwardly toward the girl that was held in the middle of the void. Four insect-like feelers cling to the sides of the rift, one gigantic eyeball emerging from the ongoing darkness.
“Stop this, Beelzebub! NOW!” Meltavius protests, swinging his sickle in opposition.
The Lord of Flies merely laughs, the gash from his forehead to waist opening further. “Gaa—hahahaha! I will not be upstaged like this, you outcast! You ran from us all these times, even before Faust! If I even allow one chance for you to destroy all that our kind stands for, Lord Satan will never forgive me!”
“Satan?! Satan is a memory, Beelzebub! He is nothing but an empty rapture you continue to be drunk by! Look to the truth, you fool! He will never take you back when He returns!” Meltavius howlers, slowly approaching the rambling devil as the rift begins vacuuming the terrain, the bulbous eyeball within the center of it violently yearning for Madelin's life.
Beelzebub gazes upon the void and excitable eyeballs within its increasing girth, holding the girl closer to its extending feelers. The pincers at the ends of the hairy appendages cling together as they clamp around her arms and legs. All of Virgo Phasmatis begins to be engulfed into the rift's vacuum pull. The Lord of Flies turns back to Meltavius, his inner madness finally seen in full. “Witness His might, outcast! Witness what it is to be the Lord of Flies~!” Beelzebub's body clusters within sickening horseflies and other winged pestilence, maggots dripping from the moving crusts of insects; only the enormous devil's maniacal, though enraged grin is seen through the nightmarish encasement of flies.
“Release her!!!” the man in red thunderously roars, his vocal outbursts blowing the terrain to crumbles as his clothes spiral around him. Meltavius bare body hunches bestially as his clothing weaves together, into long tatters and shredded ends of bloody shrouds, covering the front of his anatomy as the ebony wrinkles on his hands and feet mature to his forearms and ankles. The ground beneath the man in red explodes into tarnished, circular smolders as he approaches the Lord of Flies. Meltavius struts with an unbridled malgniance, enough so that even the voids' eyes shutter upon the unholy aura radiating from the devil's presence. Madelin peers towards the blinding crimson illumination, barely able to decipher her protector within the intensifying acrimony of his devilish form. The breath from Meltavius' mouth exhausts as black fire, trailing behind him as icy smoke, as he stands over Beelzebub. “Again, devil. Release her.” Beelzebub is confused and frustrated by how solemn and stoic the devil speaks against him - the tide of intimidation in favor of the man in red now.
Beelzebub refuses to release his hold of the young sinner, though, determined to sacrifice her for his own enjoyment. Meltavius sneers, the blackish flames flaring ominously as he disperses within a fiery eruption. The Lord of Flies gasps in awe as he is nowhere to be found, only so for the devil to appear from behind. Beelzebub swerves back, throwing forward his opposite fist. Meltavius effortlessly grabs the fist, his completely blackened claws locking the hand within them. His fulgurating eyes ignite as the devil's whole hand is teared from the bone. Beelzebub roars out in pain as he topples to his knees, his bloody gash splitting entirely open, his black bone spine exposed to the terrifying crimson devil standing before him. And still, Madelin remains in the dying devil's arrogant grasp.
“Think well over your condition, Beelzebub. I could easily shatter your spine, now that it is completely exposed.” Meltavius' stoic warning haunts the Lord of Flies' mentality, having him finally drop the innocent damned into the crimson shrouds which encircled the bleeding behemoth. Beelzebub addresses the solemn, malignant devil, spitting upon his jet black feet. Meltavius scoffs at the Lord of Flies' misery, as his crimson shrouds stifles the rift, breaking its manifestation as it is vanished back into the deepest realms of oblivion. The devil holds the unconscious Madelin in his arms, glaring towards his rising devil brother. “I am ashamed to have once called you a brother. Leave me to my solitude for the rest of your eternity. If I am to suffer your presence without it through my decision, I will finish what you brought upon yourself.”
Meltavius begins to make his stride to the spire, yet Beelzebub grabs his shoulder with his bloody nub. The devil glances sidewards with his piercing eyes. Though, the behemoth holds his hand in disagreement. “I submit, devil. Obviously you enacted your true form. Amazing though. That you were capable of such an endeavor. You realize that Faust will notice, though?”
The man in red sneers with his blacked fangs bearing. “I care little for that insect. He will simply burn if he inclines to approach me with opposition.”
Beelzebub grins through his bodily gashes, some already completely recovered from. “As does for me. Hell was a far better place when He ruled over us. Was it not, True Devil?”
Meltavius could not help but smirk menacingly, “Aye. I suppose the jest of it all is we were better off with an angel ruling us, than a petty mortal man. Regardless, I am returning this mortal to her rightful place. She was never meant to be here.”
“I will no longer stop you. I misjudged you. Perhaps that is all I will face as folly to you. But... you have a long road ahead of you, if you persist with this plan of 'change.' Then again, I suppose you already know that.” Beelzebub chuckles, grinning as the fires of Hell engulf him, vanishing from the devil and the young sinner sleeping in his arms.
Without a reply, he scuffs towards the remains of the Virgo Phasmatis, the holy magic attempting to eradicate his devilish existence, only for the Thirteen Saints within the stained glass windows to be shattered by the jagged edges of the devil's crimson shrouds. “Not even God will stop me in my desire.” he proclaims, walking up the long stairway of the silver spire. The devil reaches the top of the structure, gazing upon the feathery nest that hung from the flat mount. He places Madelin's pale body into the nest, stepping down from the spire as the caverns' ceilings crack open, a holy gleam of golden light shimmering down upon the young girl's awakening body. Her eyes flash open as she realizes her transcendence. Madelin scurries to the edge of the nest as the light begins to lift her upwards.
“W-wait! No! I don't want to go! I want to stay with you! Master!” she cries, tears finally raining down her smoldered face, as the light of her humanity returns to her. Madelin's dress then glistens from its darkly appearance, to an inspiring silvery white. The crucifix within her pocket falls out of the light, and onto the ground. She whimpers aimlessly as she watches the devil's body miniaturize from the skyward height. Meltavius merely stands silently below, as the devil within him returns to slumber, his shrouds reforming into simple clothing again. He regards the sad, crying girl with a smile. Her eyes widen with awe as the devil's stone cold face warms with the emotion only a human could express. In spite of all that is thought of his kind, Madelin pays witness to the unthinkable, perhaps even the impossible. Regardless, her tears turn to those of endless joy, as she waves goodbye to the smiling devil below her, as her ascendance is greeted with the shimmering figures of the Angels.
The gleaming daemons peer towards the devil that looks back to them. One points towards the crucifix laying beside him, as the other angel nods, merely facing Meltavius as they lift Madelin into the brightened clouds, cushioning her shimmering body onto their fluffed surface. The very Gates of St. Peter open as Madelin slowly approaches them, though, taking a second to gaze back upon the devil who watches her angelic transformation. “Thank you... Thank you for everything. You showed me back to my faith. Back to my loved ones. Back to God.” And with the last of her tears flowing down her blushed cheeks, it drips into the molten Hells, onto the crucifix the devil held in hand. Meltavius grips it tightly, withdrawing it back into his crimson clothes, turning away from the Virgo Phatasmis, and away from the truth that Hell cannot hold all who beckon their God for forgiveness.
Morality... Perhaps I was wrong? Who can say, for there is no say in the realm I reside. This will all be thought as an enigma in the end. Though, I will still have my memories of the experience. I will still have the my memories of the work I stride for. My Cynicism was founded upon the constant follies of both mortals and daemon. We are not truly segregated by our differences in worlds, nor power. We both feel pain and anguish, as well as we feel the propensity to afflict them. Weakness is what drives both of us to avert from our follies, though, this will never come to pass. 'God' will never allow it. It is not the time for all our worlds' perfections. He, though, will allow the selected subjects to his faith to feel this sense of utter perfection. I have no need for it, fortunately. My eternity is to be spend on the opposite of his faith. My faith is having no faith. Mine is merely to destroy faith, and emerge the hatred towards it. I am a devil. But 'God' is God. I will eternally loose in the fight against Him. Yet, I will never care. I am content in what I am. As is everyone who has seen existence for what it truly is: opportunity. I sought mine, and in turn gave it onto another. It is only right she had it instead. My life as a devil will continue on, as the rest of the world is either sentenced here or reach their perfection with their God. I will not interfere, though. This but the cycle existence was founded upon, and we all must perform what we were founded to do, until the sands of time cease to drop.