In the realm of darkness and fire, where the blood-red walls eternally echoed with the screams of souls damned to suffer forever, Lilith slithered stealthily through Hell's corridors. She moved in the shadows, steps lighter than feathers, staying unseen by mortal and demonic eyes alike, as she descended down the deepest part of Hell, into the place where traitors were punished. Into the Ninth Circle of Hell.
Entering the Ninth Circle, Lilith shivered. Unlike the rest of Hell, where fiery heat scorched everything, where the infernal flames burned since the beginning of time, inextinguishable, where molten lava flowed in streams, the Ninth Circle was a world of eternal cold. In the deepest part of Hell reigned the most bitter winter. The place of traitors' punishment was a kingdom of ice that never melted, a frozen prison. Everything was ice and snow.
Lilith disliked this place. While in Hell, she spent her days in the Second Circle, where she reigned as queen, reveling in the suffering of mortals who had spent their lives consumed by lust, letting their passions dictate their actions and committing crimes in their name. She had no interest and no desire in stepping into this frozen, desolate world. Yet she had, several times lately. But this was the last time. The last time she was sneaking inside the Ninth Circle to meet the demon who, in his blind ambition to rule the mortal world, had betrayed his own king.
An unnatural silence dominated this part of Hell, as though the cold devoured the screams of the sinners. The demoness snaked through giant ice stalagmites and craters puffing out sulphur. Finally she reached his cell and wormed her way through the ice bars.
Her bare feet stepped on the thick ice as she entered the big cavern. Her crimson skin, used to the heat of the Second Circle, beaded in the icy air that would freeze the lungs of any mortal. Icicles hang from the ceiling and underneath them, in the center of the cavern, on his knees and hunching, was the demon she had come for; Abaddon.
The demon was naked, his raven hair pooling on the ground as his head bowed down. A golden collar encircled his throat. From the back of it sprung chains that looped around his waist, his wrist and ankles, securing him to the ground. Between the pair of stumps his wings had left behind after being severed, his back was shredded by vicious lashes the spiked whip had left. Lilith had heard rumors that Lucifer himself often came to deliver the harsh punishment. She had never asked Abaddon.
As she walked inside the frozen chamber, the demon's head reared up. His hollow eyes glinted at the sight of her. "Lilith…"
She stood before him, placing an elegant hand on her hip. Grunting, the demon struggled to stand even as the golden chain weighted him down. Those were Metatron's chains, chains strong enough to contain even a powerful Demon Lord. They had burned his skin wherever they touched him. Lucifer had himself requested them from the angel to make sure Abaddon had no chance of escaping.
Managing to stand, the demon peered at her broodingly. He looked ragged and worn out, almost broken after merely four years of imprisonment. Four years… For a demon that lived a neverending life that was but a passing moment, a blink in time, yet as she studied Abaddon, she thought he looked more like someone who had suffered an eon of torments.
"So?" the demon grumbled.
"It is arranged."
"Yes. It will be done tomorrow."
The demon's face contorted in a demented grin. His fists clenched and unclenched fitfully. For a moment he looked feverish, lost in himself as he muttered something under his breath. "What about the guards?" he asked abruptly.
"Leviathan will not be there," said Lilith. "I took care of it."
The demoness gave him a sardonic white grin. "The usual way. You think Leviathan has no weaknesses? He does. It's the same as any other's."
"Even the mighty Leviathan is willing to risk his skin for you, then," he mused. "Is there anyone you cannot manage?"
She shrugged. "There's you." She paused before adding. "Suriel will be there, though. You will have to go through her in order to cross the Gates to the material world."
His laughter came out strained and crazed. "Suriel? Of course I will defeat that puny angel. I will crash her, I will tear her apart! And then I'll be free at last!"
"Free? At last?" the demoness stared at the demon with a sullen scowl. "Do you even realize what you're about to do, Abaddon? You think crossing the Gates will grant you freedom? You think that is the hard part? Once in the mortal's world, you will be hunted down by angels and demons alike. Along with Metatron, Lucifer will not leave a stone unturned until they find you. And sooner or later they will." She snorted and shook her head. "Escaping Hell will be child's play compared to staying out of it for long. Lucifer's hounds will soon ferret you out. And have you any idea what he will do to you then?"
"I have a plan," he reminded her broodingly.
"Yes, a plan. But what if the king finds you before you find the Spear?"
"Right… And what if you do find the Spear first? What makes you so certain he will forgive you and let you be in exchange for it?"
"He will. I know how much he yearns to finally possess and yield the Spear of Destiny. He believes it will make him invincible."
"I don't know and I don't care." His chains rattled as he paced in a small circle.
"I still think what you're about to do is madness. Oppose the king even while his wrath for you is still fresh? You should just stay here and endure your punishment for the remaining two centuries of your sentence before dreaming of roaming to the mortal's world again."
"Have you no faith in me, Lilith? Then why are you helping me?"
She shot him a sidelong glance. "You know why I'm helping you."
"Then remember your promise," she warned. "Remember what you promised me in exchange for my help, Abaddon. If you cross me, you will regret it." Her voice, usually low and velvety, was now firm and threatening.
The demon snorted, a mirthless snarl twisting his lips. "Are you threatening me, Lilith?"
"Yes, I am."
His eyes darkened suddenly. Lunging forth within the limits of his bonds, he grabbed her by the throat. Bringing her face an inch from his, he squeezed. "You think this chain around my neck can keep you safe from me?" he rasped harshly. "Even in chains, even in this state, I am a hundred times stronger than you!" he hissed angrily. "Do not issue empty threats at me!"
The demoness said nothing, she made no attempt to escape his iron grip. She only stared into his eyes coldly until his fingers relaxed and he released his hold. Stepping back, she rubbed her throat. "Save your roughness for Lucifer's demons, Abaddon."
Silence fell between them. Abaddon retreated, his sudden anger washed away as he returned to brooding. After a while he spoke again.
"If you think this venture is madness, then why do you want me to drag Incubus with me? Why risk Lucifer's fury turning towards him?"
Lilith's shoulders rounded, her face softening. She averted her eyes. "Incubus wouldn't challenge Satan. The deal our king made with the angels was to keep him in Hell for a century. And Incubus will abide by that decision to avoid any further trouble. But he is not happy here. He is withering away… He must return to the human world." She turned to him again, eyes set. "I'm putting my neck on the line to arrange your escape, Abaddon. I expect you to keep your end of the bargain. You will take Incubus with you and as long as you're there, you will protect him. If they catch up to you, you will say it was you who forced him to go with you. This was our deal." Her tone was absolute.
Abaddon said nothing. The demoness folded her arms across her chest.
"You never told me why you are so desperate to go back to the mortals' world. I guess you have abandoned your plan to conquer it?"
"I have…" he confirmed moodily.
"Then? What is there for you in that world?"
"That's my business," he growled.
Sighing, Lilith extended her hand towards him. Resting on her palm was a tiny golden key. It was the key that fitted into the tiny keyhole of his collar, the key that would set him free of Metatron's cursed chains. Abaddon took it.
"Good luck, Abaddon," she said. "And remember our deal."
The demon's eyes steeled. His smile was bittersweet as his fist tightened around the key to his freedom. "Don't worry, Lilith. This time around… I mean to close all my deals."
Hello, there! It's been a whole year since I posted the last chapter of 'The Devil's Own'. And now I'm back! :D So, as you probably realized already, this is the sequel to 'Deal with the Devil'. I'm excited about this new story – and also very anxious! I know some people have been waiting for it and I really hope it will live up to everyone's expectations! ^^ This was just a short prologue. I will try to post the next full chapter within the next couple of weeks. Review and let me know what you thought of it, okay?