VALENTINE’S PAST: BEGINNING (part 1)
“What is the difference between good and evil?” asked Azazel.
“What’s with the random question?” asked Barrel.
“Yeah, none of us angels are suppose to know,” said Dominel, “the gods believe that we’ll be corrupted if we do.”
“And that would be against the will of the Holy Lord,” added Samyaza.
“Stop with your idle chatter!” ordered Kokabiel, “pay attention in class.”
Azazel, Barrel, Dominel, Samyaza, and Azriel wree in one of the towers of Atlantis, home of the gods. All angels were required, even archangels like Azriel, were required to attend lessons to learn about the universe. It was all written in the Holy Lord’s will. Kokabiel was the astronomy teacher.
An hour later, class was over. Samyaza and Azriel left to speak with Nathaniel, a low-class angel. Azazel, Barrel, and Dominel met up with Penemue, Muriel, and Barrel’s twin, Akirael.
“I hate these stupid lessons,” said Azazel.
“It’s the law I’m afraid,” said Barrel, “well, Holy Lord’s will anyways.”
They all knew the stories. An entity called Holy Lord created the heavens and the universe. In his quest to create a perfect utopia, a demon appeared. It was called Blue Satan. Blue Satan corrupted Twilight, the dimension in which the heavens use to be at. When the heavens were transferred to Za World, Holy Lord confronted Blue Satan in Twilight. Neither had been seen since. But Holy Lord had left a will which instructions in how he wanted the heavens to be run.
“I hear Eon (a Dynasty Elder God) finally finished his story,” said Penemue, “want to check it out?”
“Sure,” said Azazel and Barrel. Akirael nodded.
Dominel and Muriel had other plans. They waved goodbyes and left.
Azazel, Barrel, Penemue, and Akirael went to Eon’s chambers. Inside Eon was talking to archangel Uriel, who was with his assistant Shamsiel, a former guardian of Eden.
“The other archangels will want to see that later,” said Uriel. He noticed the new comers. “It appears that you have visitors, I’ll be on my way.”
Uriel and Shamsiel left.
“Want to read it?” asked Eon.
Eon handed the Epitaph of the Holy Lord to Azazel. Azazel, Barrel, Penemue, and Akirael read it.
“How do you like it?” asked Eon.
“It’s really good,” said Barrel and Akirael.
“Yeah,” agreed Azazel, “I really like the Words.
Michael and Azriel walked in.
“Eon,” said Michael, “we need to talk.” He noticed the four angels. “…privately.”
Four years passed. Azazel, Samyaza, Kokabiel, Shamsiel, and Penemue were selected by the Dynasty Elder Gods to be part of Grigori, the “watchers”. Other members were Araquiel, Armaros, Barquel, Ezequeel, and Sariel.
Eon and Elder God Izen organized the “thorns”, the guardians of the Mu, the bridge between heaven and earth. It consisted of Flamel, Carmel, Barrel, Muriel, Nathaniel, and Dominel.
“Come in,” said Azazel.
Barrel entered Azazel’s dorm. Azazel seemed depressed.
“did you hear about Gabriel’s findings?” said Azazel, “apparently the creatures of Za World have sinned so much that their souls don’t always go through heaven. For some reason evil souls pass though a dimension that Rafael has nicknamed the Death Dimension. Luke (a Dynasty Elder God) wants Grigori to explore it.”
Barrel began laughing.
“Wha-what’s so funny?” asked Azazel.
“You’re letting Samyaza’s words get to you,” said Barrel, “just because an angel is exposed to evil doesn’t mean they’ll become corrupt.”
Barrel put out a hand. “Even if you get trapped in that hell hole, I’ll get you out of there.”
“Then it’s a promise.”
VALENTINE’S PAST: BEGINNING (part 2)
Akirael entered his and Barrel’s tower. Barrel was inside playing a piano to a melody called Nostalgic Melody. He noticed Akirael and stopped.
“Azazel and the others have changed, haven’t they,” asked Akirael.
Barrel looked at the ground. “Correct, ever since they explored the Death Dimension two years ago.”
Nathaniel came in running. “Come quick!”
The Courts of Heaven laid in the upmost level of Atlantis, the capital city. All the Dynasty Elder Gods were present. Luke and Elder God Ppelono were running the trial.
“Grigori, the “watchers”, you have been charged with corrupting a civilization in the dimension of The World. Already plans to cleanse The World with a flood is underway,” said Luke, “how do you plea?”
None of Grigori spoke.
“He ke he, as for all of you Grigori, you shall be banished from the heavens,” said Ppelono, “forced to wander in the shadows for eternity.”
Samyaza slammed his fist against the guardrail. “This is blasphemy! All we did was teach the civilizations of The World things Za World already knows. What is wrong with having them equal.”
“Atlantis rests in the boarders of Za World so of course Za World will be more advanced than The World,” said Izen from the crowds.
Luke raised a hand to quiet the masses. “Enough, Grigori, you acted without permission which is against the law anyway. Since we gods are merciful, we shall grant you one day to get things in order before you are banished. Court dismissed!”
Barrel walked into Eon’s Tower. As he expected, Azazel was there.
“Not much of a trial was it,” said Barrel, “didn’t even let you defend yourself.”
“Oh… hey Barrel,” said Azazel lazily, “I guess you were there then.”
“Yeah. Sorry to hear about your banishment.”
“When I was in the Death Dimension, I found something.”
Azazel took out a glass orb from his cloak. Inside were four glowing black marbles.
“Eon said it’s called the Oracle. If what the Epitaph of Blue Satan is accurate, inside are four Waves created from Blue Satan’s soul.”
Barrel began laughing.
“What’s so funny?” asked Azazel.
“The Epitaph of Blue Satan is just a story Eon and Nathaniel wrote.”
“Have you heard of what the Oracle can do though?”
“The Oracle has the ability to affect the past by changing the future.”
“That’s a paradox in itself!”
“But think about it. What if the Epitaph of the Holy Lord and Epitaph of Blue Satan are true. What if Blue Satan used this to send fragments of his soul to be found by others. To create another Demon Lord.”
“And what do you plan to do with them, if they are fragments of Blue Satan then?”
“I myself tried to synchronize with the fragments but I’m not compatible. They need to be hidden. I can’t take them with me so the best choice is to leave them with you.”
“Me! Do you know how much trouble I’d get in if I was found with this?”
“You and Akirael are one of Luke’s favorites. You’ll be okay.” He began snickering. “You know, there has not been a Demon Lord since Blue Satan.” Azazel began laughing hysterically.
“Azazel…” said Barrel cautiously.
Azazel faced Barrel. “With my Fall, I shall discard the name Azazel. I shall be called…” Azazel thought for a second. “…Draethius.”
Draethius, the Demon Lord. A false protagonist from the Epitaph of the Holy Lord. It was the true identity of the second Wave, Athius, the Word of Trickery.
“To rebel against Holy Lord’s will will be a challenge,” said Barrel, “you’re gonna need an army.”
Azazel/Draethius grinned. “I’ll get an army alright. And no one will stop me. Not even you.”
An angel named Yusel walked in. “Azazel, it is time.”
Fifty years passed since Grigori’s banishment. Eon kept an eye on them until they suddenly disappeared. No one knew what happened. Akirael and Yusel were sent to find them but with no luck.
Luke sent for Barrel and Dominel.
“You called?” asked Barrel and Dominel.
“An organization called the Fallen Order has infiltrated Mu,” informed Luke, “as the “thorns”, it is your duty to stop them.”
“As you command,” acknowledged Dominel.
Dominel bowed and left. Barrel stayed behind.
“Something bothering you?” asked Luke.
“No, just thinking,” said Barrel.
“What the universe would be like without the Elder Gods.”
Dominel, Barrel, Muriel, Nathaniel, Carmel, and Flamel teleported to the Mu. They were accompanied by Azriel.
“Let’s try to take care of this before Michael gets here,” said Azriel.
“Why?” asked Nathaniel.
“Because Michael hates missing out in the action.”
They an injured angel stumbling towards them. One of his wings was crippled and he looked beat up.
“Azriel…” moaned the angel.
Azriel knew that voice. “Samyaza!”
“Yeah… it’s me…”
He fell down. Muriel caught him in time.
“Who did this to you?” asked Dominel.
“So that’s where the traitor went,” said Penemue.
Ezequeel and Penemue had flown over to them.
“Looks like we can’t let you leave here alive,” said Ezequeel.
VALENTINE’S PAST: BEGINNING (part 3)
It didn’t take long before the “thorns” had a war on their hands. Azriel returned to Atlantis with Samyaza to inform Michael.
The Fallen Order was a large army, mostly of demons, hybrids, and fallen angels. They were in large numbers. The leaders appeared to be the Grigori members with Azazel/Draethius and Shamsiel as their head. As Barrel fought Penemue, he looked for signs of Azazel.
“I know you and Draethius were friends so I’ll kill you so he doesn’t have to,” said Penemue.
Penemue took out a gourd full of ink. He tossed the ink into the air. It morphed into the shape of a spear.
“Die!” yelled Penemue.
Barrel took out his Azure Nine. He cut the ink spear in half. Penemue grinned.
“You fell for my trap,” snickered Penemue.
The ink hardened and pelted at Barrel. Barrel blocked most of it with his Azure Nine but he still received some damage.
Barrel charged at Penemue. Penemue flung a paper bomb at Barrel and dentonated it.
“This was hardly a challenge,” said Penemue as he turned to find another opponent.
“I’m not dead yet!” yelled Barrel.
Surprised, Penemue turned around. Barrel rushed out of the smoke. He had used two of Azure Nine’s swords to deflect the explosion. With another Azure Nine sword in hand, he stabbed Penemue. Penemue coughed up blood.
“Now I see,” said Penemue, “Draethius, no, Azazel, is waiting for you in the tent.”
Barrel took out his blade. Penemue died.
Barrel looked around to some more. Flamel had just killed Ezequeel and a horde of demons. Muriel and Dominel were taking on Kokabiel. Carmel was in a duel with Armaros. Michael and Eon were fighting Araquiel and his soldiers.
“Barrel!” shouted Yusel.
Barrel saw Yusel, Nathaniel, and Uriel coming towards him.
“We’re going to break through their defenses and find their leaders,” explained Uriel.
“Count me in,” said Barrel.
They charged at the oncoming attackers.
Shamsiel was pacing back and forth in the Fallen Order’s command tent. Draethius was in there, observing the Oracle.
“We still have time to stop all this, Azazel, we should retreat now,” pleaded Shamsiel.
Draethius didn’t seem to notice. His eyes fixed on the Oracle.
“I just can’t figure out why I can’t use the Waves,” muttered Draethius, “there must be some secret I’ve yet to find out.”
Sariel ran in.
“Sir, four angels have broken through our defenses,” reported Sariel, “they’re on their way here.”
Draethius snapped out of his daydream. He suddenly got serious.
“Who are they?” ordered Draethius.
“Archangel Uriel with two “thorns” and a low-class angel,” informed Sariel.
The name Uriel took Shamsiel by surprise.
“Uriel is coming?” asked Shamsiel.
“Affirmative,” confirmed Sariel.
“Shamsiel, go to him if it is what you desire,” said Draethius.
“Thank you,” said Shamsiel. As he left, he added “…Draethius.”
“Sariel, which “thorns” are coming?”
“Nathaniel and Barrel.”
Barquel surprised Uriel’s party. He swept past Uriel and attacked Yusel. Barrel blocked it.
“Thanks,” thanked Yusel.
Barquel, frustrated, attacked again. Uriel threw him to the ground. Nathaniel cut off Barquel’s head.
“Nice teamwork,” said Shamsiel.
They looked up to see Shamsiel flying overhead.
“Barrel, Nathaniel, Yusel, go on ahead,” said Uriel, “I’ve got a bone to pick with Shamsiel.”
“We’ll be back,” promised Nathaniel.
Barrel, Nathaniel, and Yusel ran towards the velvet tent. Sariel ran at them. Yusel went to accept Sariel’s challenge.
“I’ll be fine,” said Yusel, “go!”
“Don’t die,” said Barrel.
Yusel continued to fight Sariel. Barrel and Nathaniel ran to the velvet tent. A fallen angel with a demonic aura came out.
“Long time no see, Barrel,” greeted Draethius.
VALENTINE’S PAST: BEGINNING (part 4)
“This is what has become of you… Azazel,” said Barrel. He added “Azazel” to annoy Draethius.
“It’s Draethius!” roared Draethius.
Barrel laughed. Draethius then noticed Barrel had been messing around.
“You seriously know how to get under my skin,” said Draethius.
Both Barrel and Draethius laughed. Nathaniel felt uneasy.
“Nathaniel, stay out of this,” said Barrel, now serious, “this is my fight.”
“But-” protested Nathaniel.
“Do not interfere.”
Nathaniel backed off. Barrel turned his attention over to Draethius.
“Time to end this,” said Barrel.
“Let’s” agreed Draethius.
Uriel knocked Shamsiel’s sword out of it’s owner’s hands. Uriel put his scythe by Shamsiel’s throat.
“Make it quick,” said Shamsiel, “I must atone for not being able to stop Azazel.”
Uriel put his scythe down and walked away.
“Why won’t you kill me?!” pleaded Shamsiel.
“Because,” said Uriel, “living shall be your punishment.”
“Fatal Attraction!” shouted Barrel.
Draethius dodged Barrel’s attack. Draethius fired a Swath of Destruction, a tornado of hellfire, at Barrel. Barrel tried to block it with Azure Nine but he was thrown into the velvet tent. It collapsed and caught fire. Azure Nine went flying and was caught by Draethius.
“For some reason you seem weaker,” said Draethius.
“Maybe you’re just stronger,” suggested Barrel.
“Doesn’t matter either way.”
Draethius released another Swath of Destruction. As it neared the injured Barrel, a jet of water extinguished it.
“I’ve got you’re back,” shouted Nathaniel.
Draethius vanished. He reappeared behind Nathaniel.
“Fool,” said Draethius.
Draethius stabbed Nathaniel in the heart with Azure Nine. He took out the blade and let Nathaniel fall.
“I’m… sorry… Bar… rel…” muttered Nathaniel.
He closed his eyes and died.
“You went to far Draethius!” yelled Barrel.
“Don’t worry, you’ll see him again,” said Draethius.
Draethius unleashed another Swath of Destruction. It froze in midair.
“Impossible,” said Draethius.
Draethius noticed something in Barrel’s hands. It was the Oracle, which Draethius had accidently left in the tent.
“How did you do that!” demanded Draethius.
A vortex opened. It was pulling Draethius in.
“I’m being merciful, Azazel,” said Barrel, “a favor between friends.”
“But how can you use the Oracle when I couldn’t?!”
Barrel, unaffected by the vortex went over to Draethius and whispered something in Draethius’ ear.
“Don’t worry,” said Barrel, “I’ll keep my promise.”
Draethius was sucked into the vortex.
VALENTINE’S PAST: BEGINNING (epilogue)
The Fallen Order’s siege, now known as the Battle of Swawns, ended in the Fallen Order’s defeat. All the Grigori members had been either killed, captured, or banished to the Death Dimension like Draethius.
Michael’s army had taken severe loses. The most tragic was the death of Eon. Another was Nathaniel.
Samyaza was hospitalized and put under the supervision of Azriel. Samyaza changed his name to Damien.
The “thorns” were greatly awarded. While the Battle of Swawns had been taking place, a person codenamed Nemesis had destroyed the Obelisks which monitored the Balance of Good and Evil. In need of containers, Luke decided to have the “thorns” become SALIGIA. Each “thorn” became a Sinner for a different deadly sin. Flamel became Ashley de Superbia, the Sinner of Pride. Carmel became Diva de Luxuria, the Sinner of Lust. Barrel became Valentine de Invidia, the Sinner of Envy. Muriel became Dominique de Gula, the Sinner of Gluttony. Dominel became Dominic de Avaritia, the Sinner of Greed. For atonement for his crimes, Shamsiel went blind and became Leonardo de Ira, the Sinner of Wrath. SALIGIA made their base at the Mu. Yusel and Akirael went to aide SALIGIA and changed their names to N.V. and Kira.