The time to turn back had long passed. I had paid my price. With one last glance at all I was leaving behind, I stepped back through the gargantuan void as it sucked in all light around it like liquid through a straw. I don’t remember the journey through the portal. Only that it was slow and blistering. Bits of me were singed as I fell from the safety of my place in heavens.
He was already waiting for me… like I knew he’d be. Coughing with the dry heat, I hit the other side of the mist and connected instantly with the hard stone. It stained my white cotton robe with black tar and the blood of mortal men. I did not bow to him of my own will, of course. Demonic force, thick and palpable, seeped from him; it was impressive enough to bend my knee for me.
I couldn’t see his face, the farthest my vision would allow was a broad chest and leaking scarlet cavern walls that hissed with steam and stretched on forever. His heavy obsidian cloak, frayed and smoking at the places where it connected with his fur covered skin, fluttered, though no wind existed in his domain.
I spoke first.
“Is it impossible, then?” My voice came out as a strangled whisper. “Why…?”
“Why what?” Satan boomed from high above me on his throne made of ash and bone held together with dark magic. The walls shook from his low timbre. His sharp black nails gleamed in the red haze as he waved a hand loosely.
“I know you’ve seen this.” I held the unopened letter above my head. “Why even send it back at all?”
“You dishonor me, I am a gentleman if nothing else.” He crossed his massive hoofed legs, easily thrice the size of my full body. “And what does your master think you visiting the likes of my castle?”
I felt my eyebrows scrunch and bit my tongue hard. What an odd time to feel prideful.
“Yes, that is what I thought.” The demonic pressure on me lifted and I was allowed to stand. I did so slowly as to not seem threatening, not that I had any power here. He rubbed his temple as if Satan could get a headache. “Why are you here, Cwn?”
“I wasn’t lying! Why else would I be here?” I shook the letter at him again, but it didn’t escape me that he knew my name. Something in me fluttered.
His face transformed from that of a ram to a more flattering humanoid cut, only his massive horns and swirling red eyes remained the same.“ An archangel falling for the Emperor of Darkness. Oh, how the mighty have–”
“Cut the shit.”
“And she has a mouth too. Is it my birthday?”
“Dare you jest at my feelings?” Angels didn’t cry…but I was an angel no longer. “I have done the unspeakable to prove them honest.”
He cupped his chin with a hand. One long finger tapping his cheek as if to say: so?
It wasn’t like I didn’t know how badly this would end. Why did I even come here? I wasn’t a lovesick puppy. Yet I came. What did I expect…?
“Open arms?” He suggested.
“Stay out of my mind!” Heat rose to stain my cheeks and my fists trembled against my thighs.
“I don’t need to enter your mind, girl. It is written all over your face. How lackluster. How…” His mouth suddenly spread far too wide to be called human anymore. He flaunted white serrated teeth. “ -innocent. Do you understand what I could do to you right here? In front of all my minions? What I could let them do to you in my stead?”
Demons, the slime of the Underrealm, with gnashing rotten mouths and gaping pits for eyes, they sprung forth as if beckoned; their limbs too long for their bodies outstretched toward me.
I burned then grew pale under Satan’s leering gaze. “I have never considered…” My stomach rolled, pressing me to empty its contents at his feet. “-But no matter I made my choice, so, I humbly ask to be accepted among your ranks, Lord of the Night. I will be your soldier of Darkness. I will be the finest warrior you have.”
He met my eyes for the first time, perhaps finally sensing my sincerity.
“…No.” Satan snapped his fingers and the demons swiftly closed in with the force of a tsunami.
End of Part 1. To be continued….