Author's Note: I'm restarting. I didn't really like the flow of how this story was going, so I apologizing for doing this. Hopefully, this will be more towards my liking and will seem better to everyone. Nothing character or plot-wise has changed drastically (if at all), so hopefully the only difference is that I'm writing better.
Thanks, everyone. :)
Chapter I - In Inceptum Finis Est
"Why do you linger here?" His voice was not angry or annoyed, just honestly curious.
"It is where I belong, my lord."
"True," The feeling of an embrace. "But that doesn't mean you can't leave."
"I have no desire to distract myself from my reality."
A click of the tongue. "So pious even in punishment."
"You do not leave often, my prince."
"That is because this is my kingdom. But I do leave, from time to time."
"… Why are you asking, my lord?"
"I worry about your health, dear brother. That is all."
"Do you not like my company?"
"Oh, I enjoy it immensely." A tender sensation of affection. "But you should roam."
"You disagree with me."
"There is nothing out there that I desire."
"You do not know that until you look."
"I have looked, my prince."
"Then you must look again." Another soft touch. "The world of Man is always changing."
"You need to stop wallowing in your own self-pity."
"Follow your brothers and do something about your misery. Nothing is accomplished while you linger here."
"… If that is your wish, my lord."
"I do not enjoy seeing you like this."
Silence. The faint sound of wailing and screams echo about.
"You are wise, my lord."
"It is why you follow me, yes?" The gentle caress returns.
"Yes, my prince."
"Do as you wish, dear brother." He turned away, fading. "I've said what I wanted to say." And he left.
"Did you talk to the prince?" He confronted his brother. For whatever reason of his, he resembled the physical forms he would take on Earth even here.
"Just the usual greetings and small talk." He replied back. "Why?"
"He was urging me to leave. I thought that you may have voiced your opinions to him."
"Ah." He raised a hand and scratched at his chin. "I did at one point, but you know that he is hard to persuade or anticipate.
"But are you thinking about finally leaving?" He voice was hopeful.
"I have left before. It was unprofitable."
"Blah, blah, I know. You know what I mean."
"… The prince seemed like he wanted me to."
"You know that he loves us mixing with Man."
"He said I was wallowing in my own self-pity."
"You are. At least the rest of us are trying to find peace and happiness."
A fierce expression, but his brother just let it roll off his shoulders without a problem.
"Even our lord leaves this place when the fancy strikes him."
"You are right."
"When would you like to leave then? To where?"
"It doesn't matter to me."
"Would you like to try your hand at what I do?"
"I would prefer to just follow you."
"Are you at least going to materialize while there?"
"I don't want to interact with Man."
"Then you're missing the point. Besides, sensitive people will still feel you anyway. Best to be physical and confuse them; they're easier to trick that way."
"We will see."
The lost soul of a woman wandered close by. Human souls always took on physical forms in this realm, despite losing their bodies; a person was just incapable of removing their physical identity from themselves and always projected themselves as they were in life. She had been here for a long while though and her existence was growing dull. But that was what she did, move forward endlessly in a space that was both infinite and yet confined, dragging her feet slowly and looking with empty eyes that could not see. The only sounds she made were the soft weeping that she wailed continuously; she never spoke.
Both knew the woman well, and the one who had a body furrowed his brow in pity.
"Let us go now, if you're ready."
Nice, France. 1810. Winter, but with an early spring approaching. The time was dusk. Tredecim had relayed the information to him but other than the season, nothing else held any significance to the devil. His brother walked about in plain sight, looking very much like a man with his curly black hair and wine color eyes and behaving so naturally it confused him. He chose to shadow him, just like he said he would.
'You would be having a much more fun time if you would interact with the people, Septem.' His mouth didn't move, but he needn't to in order to his partner.
"It looks tedious from where I am." He couldn't take in enough of the sights of Earth to settle his mind down. The tall buildings, the long and wide roads, the stalls and signs hanging from poles and walls, the unusual smells of the sea water, perfumes, and food wafting in the air, the peculiar looks and features of the people, and of course the strange clothes they wrapped themselves in. What did God create here? It could be overwhelming.
'We are just taking a stroll; how can you find this tedious.'
"The daughters of Man seem very interested in you." Every once in a while, a woman or three would emerge from the shadows and try to attract Tredecim's attention with calls and gestures; they had a rougher appearance to them than the ladies who were walking in the lamplight with their arms linked to each other or with gentlemen.
'That is because I am walking alone; they're just prostitutes.' He stopped and rested himself on a lonely wooden bench, halting his charming promenade. The trees next to him gave a distinctive rustling of leaves as a chill air blew by, causing his coat collar to sway like the limbs of the trees. He seemed unfazed by the cold breeze as several women passing by huddled their shoulders together to stave the gust off. 'I wouldn't have that problem though if you were walking by my side.'
"It doesn't look like a problem for you. Don't you try to gain people's attention anyway?"
'Prostitutes do not give me what I seek from Man.'
"You move too slowly."
'The Earth and its people are not going anywhere, Septem.' The devil heaved a physical sigh. 'It's not like you're going to die from lingering here.'
"I'm going on without you." He was getting tired of his brother's chiding.
'You don't need to follow me; it was your idea, not mine.'
Septem huffed and slithered away bodiless. Tredecim gave another sigh and leaned forward on his walking stick, placing his chin on top of the silver crow head handle. He is hopeless, he thought.
The devil darted down streets, between alleys, up walls and over ditches in search of… anything. But no matter which way he turned, he could not find what Tredecim and his prince was fussing about. Nothing about Man impressed him and seemed worth to be meddling in. For a while, he followed a gentleman from his home where he enjoyed a plentiful dinner with his wife and child, and leave afterwards to meet up in some building of drink and lodging only to lose a large quantity of money in a game of cards. He spent some time watching a small, grungy looking street urchin walk quietly behind better dressed adults and pick their purses and wallets. He would return with the money to a smaller group of kids and give it to them, sending them away. When he was finally caught, he received a strike from an old, portly man's cane to his head so hard that a crack was herd and blood gushed out of his ear; he managed to run away before being captured.
'Man doesn't even need our help to do harm against himself.' Septem left again in a less than enthusiastic search for his brother. He could feel that Tredecim was close, but moving.
"Oh," A small voice breathed out. It caused the devil to stop. He looked around the dilapidated side street as to who the voice belonged to, but only saw a stray, mangy cat dart against the side of a building and a little girl sitting on the warped, woody porch of some abandoned house. It was unnerving how she managed to look at Septem even though he had no body for her to see. But her eyes focused on him, fading in and out.