The light of dawn broke through Alexander’s window and shone on Alexander’s face, waking him. Still somewhat groggy and drowsy, he sat up slowly and threw his legs over the side of his bed. He was shaken out of this drowsy state, when he heard a knock on his door.
“Who is it?” Alexander asked.
“It’s me, Azrael.” The voice on the other side answered back. “I came to see if you were awake.”
“I just woke up. What is it?”
“I have some evidence on who is looking for the gauntlet.”
Alexander quickly threw on some clothes and rushed out of the door. He was greeted by Azrael and Anthony on the other side. He was wearing his usual, black trench coat with a black suit underneath.
“Who is looking for the gauntlet and how did you find out so quickly?”
“Our prime suspect is Samael, the former Archangel of Death. I learned this from a demon I killed last night.”
Anthony stood in the background listening silently.
“What demon and what did the demon say exactly?”
“It said it came here to spy on and kill you if it needed to, but it delayed its mission when I arrived. It also said it was sent by Samael. It was stalking the mansion”
“Are you sure about the legitimacy of the information? It was from the mouth of a demon.”
“Unfortunately, no. It’s just a suspicion. I’ll send some Principalities to search for Samael while we search for the pieces.”
“Speaking of the pieces, how do we find them anyway? You said they were scattered.”
“Not all of them were scattered. The first piece is locked away in a magically sealed vault in the magical dimension that comprises Earth. The others were scattered randomly to make sure it would be next to impossible to reassemble the gauntlet.”
“So, basically, both sides are completely in the dark.”
“Not necessarily. I have thought of a solution to said problem. From what I was told before I arrived here, the pieces give off an energy incomparable to any other energy in existence, the very energy that sparked the creation of the multiverse. Using that knowledge, I thought of my plan. After we extract the first piece from its prison, we can take it to a technomancer and have them examine it and construct a machine that can detect the energy given off by a piece.”
“That sounds brilliant.” Anthony applauded. “But, where is the first piece exactly?”
“It’s located on the outskirts of Sircania, the capital of the county of the same name. I can create a portal and take us there immediately.”
“Wait. What about your duties Alexander?”
“You are my advisor Anthony. You are more qualified than anyone else here to take over my duties temporarily. We should only be gone two to three days.”
“But, Sir I-”
“You are an adult Anthony. Please do your best to act as such.”
Anthony held his head down in shame. A small sarcastic smile spread over Alexander’s face.
“Stop holding your head down like a wounded dog. I’ll return shortly, my friend.”
Anthony held his head up. A smile was on his face.
“Don’t die on me sir.”
“I can’t promise that”.
Anthony left the room. Alexander turned his attention to Azrael.
“Are you ready, Alexander?”
“I’m always ready.”
Azrael’s left hand was covered in the same energy from last night. He placed his hand on the wall behind Alexander’s desk. A gigantic, circular inscription, with “Keter” inscribed in the middle, drew itself on the wall. The inscription glowed an iridescent yellowish-orange. A hole in space-time formed in the middle and enlarged until it encompassed the entire area of the circle. Alexander and Anthony could see a megacity filled with advanced buildings and architecture on the other side.
They both walked through the portal. When they stepped out of it, they were greeted by towering skyscrapers and spires. Levitating vehicles flew overhead. Magi walked around them. Alexander stood there in awe. The portal closed behind them.
“I thought you said this was a magical dimension.”
“It is. It just looks like a more technologically advanced Earth because the magi use their knowledge for their own betterment than their own destruction. They learned war is costly, you humans didn’t.”
“You’re such a downer.”
“I’ll ignore that. Now, that we are here, we need to find this country’s lead technomancer, Dante Splithe, so we can schedule an appointment. His office is close to the center of the city.”
Azrael pointed in the direction of the largest crystal spire. It stood in the exact center of the city.
“How are we supposed to get there so quickly? Fly?”
Azrael extended his right hand, which was glowing, out to Alexander. Alexander covered Azrael’s hand with his own. A spark of light flashed out from beneath Alexander’s hand. He removed it and to his surprise, there were 100 tiny gold coins now in Azrael’s once, empty hand. Alexander reluctantly took the coins from Azrael, trying to ascertain whether it was ok to do so.
“Take these and rent an Icarus Cycle from the vendor behind us.”
Alexander looked behind them and saw a magus on the corner behind them. He was selling, what looked like hovercycles. He returned his gaze to Azrael, a look of disbelief on his face.
“Is that a-”
“Yes, it is a hovercycle. To be more specific, it’s an Icarus Cycle, a vehicle that has an engine composed of meteoric iron.”
“Meteoric iron is a metal known for its room temperature superconductivity, meaning it allows electricity to flow without resistance and it also repels magnetic fields, however, should a superconductor stay with a magnetic field long enough, the magnetic field passes through the superconductor and the superconductor levitates above the magnet or below it depending on its position. Using these properties, the magi created the Icarus Cycle. The ground we stand on has a very powerful magnet beneath it. The Icarus Cycle levitates above this magnet and allows for transportation throughout the city. This transportation is essentially frictionless. It does require propulsion of some sort, so it has mana gates attached to the sides to collect mana and use it to power the mechanisms inside that allow it mobility. I think you know what the rudders do.”
“I asked was it a hovercycle. I did not ask for a science, magic, and engineering lesson.”
“You merely ask the questions Watson and I answer them.”
“Is that so Sherlock?”
“If you’re quite finished, go rent an Icarus Cycle.”
Alexander turned around and walked towards the shop of magus vending the Icarus Cycles. Behind the man, there were 10 or so Icarus Cycles. The sleek metal of the cycle’s chassis gleamed. They all appeared to be in top condition. It had a motorcycle-like chassis minus the wheels. Instead of wheels, it had a chuck of constantly rotating meteoric iron in the shape of a cube, it gave off an iridescent blue light. On both of its sides, there were two vent-like apertures. Mana gates, Alexander thought to himself. The chassis had lines of a blue energy running over it. He approached the man. The man had a faux smile on his face, as all street vendors do. The man greeted him.
“Hello. How may I help you today?” the man asked.
“I would like to rent an Icarus Cycle.”
“For how long?” the man inquired.
“That would be 100 gold please.” The man told Alexander.
Alexander handed over the gold that Azrael gave him. The man took the gold and walked behind his stand and handed Alexander an Icarus Cycle. It’s surprisingly lightweight.
“Please do come again!”
Alexander walked over to Azrael with the Icarus Cycle. Azrael was smiling.
“Nothing. Do you know how to ride a motorcycle/operate an airplane?”
“Yes, I do. Why?”
“You’ll have no problem operating this piece of magitech then.”
“How fast can this bike go?”
“It can reach excesses of 170 mph.”
“What are you going to ride, Azrael?”
Azrael turned his back on Alexander. After he did so, a divine light took on the shape of four wings on his back. It solidified and became just that. His wings were pure white, except for the tips, which were a magnificent crimson. They shone in the light of the city.
“I need no ride.”
“Do you really think you can keep up?”
“I can do more than that. Now, stop asking questions and get on the Icarus Cycle.”
Alexander hopped on the Icarus Cycle and flipped the one switch. The meteoric iron engine started without a sound. It began rising slowly and was soon suspended 10 feet above the ground.
Azrael flapped his wings and was soon at the same height that Alexander was at.
Alexander revved up the Icarus Cycle and took off in the direction of the center of the city. Azrael was right beside him, going the same speed. The air rushed past them and through their hair, ruffling it. He and Azrael zoomed through the air at breakneck speeds. He looked at the speedometer. He saw that he was going 160 mph, close to the top speed. How am I still breathing at such a speed? Alexander looked over to Azrael.
“How am I still able to breathe while going at such a speed?”
“There is a mechanism within the Icarus Cycle that creates a protective barrier around the rider after it passes a certain altitude and velocity. This barrier allows air in slowly so that the rider can still breathe.”
Azrael surpassed Alexander’s speed. He became nothing more than a blur, a trail of white and red. In mere moments, he was miles ahead of Alexander. Alexander looked ahead of himself, in awe at Azrael’s speed.
“He is faster. Oh well, I can catch up.”
Alexander sped up, achieving the cycle’s top speed. After 15 minutes, he saw Azrael hovering in mid-air, grinning at him. He slowed the Icarus Cycle down to a stop. He grinned back.
“As I told you, I can do more that keep up.”
“I saw. So, is this the place?”
“Yes, it is. His place of work is directly below us.”
Alexander dipped the nose of his Icarus Cycle downwards and flew in that direction. When he was near ground-level, he turned off the engine and stepped off the Icarus Cycle. It hovered two inches above the ground. On the ground with him, was Azrael, who was now wingless again. Alexander looked up and read the title sign of the building.
Dante’s Technomancy Emporium.
They both entered the building. On the inside, were strange machines, some glowing and some not. Mechanical wurring and whistling filled the room. Across from the entrance was a desk, behind it sat a young woman, that could be no younger than 16. The young girl had black hair and deep, blue eyes. A genuine smile was on her beautiful, perfect face. Her skin was unblemished, except for one mole on her left cheek. She wore a yellow dress that began around her shoulders. Around her neck, was an amulet that had a mystical air about it.
“Hello. My name is Elizabeth, I’m Mr. Splithe’s assistant/apprentice. How may I help you?”
“We wish to schedule an appointment with Dante Splithe.” Azrael proclaimed. “Is he here at the moment?”
Elizabeth grabbed the pen from the corner of the desk and positioned it above a sheet of paper.
“May I ask you your names?”
“Our names are Azrael and Alexander Hellsing.”
Elizabeth began writing on the sheet of paper. She looked up and smiled at them.
“Good news, Mr. Splithe is here at the moment and we have an opening available right now. Would you like me to summon him for you?”
Elizabeth grabbed hold of the amulet around her neck. It began glowing a pitch black. An amorphous darkness shot out from the amulet and began talking form. The darkness gradually took a humanoid appearance. Human features began to show. After a minute or so, a man in his late twenties appeared. The man had brown hair and blue eyes. His brown hair was unkempt. He wore an all-black outfit. He looked similar to Alexander in physical appearance, except Alexander’s hair is cut short and is kempt. The man stared Azrael and Alexander up and down, studying them. He then focused his attention to Elizabeth.
“Hello Master Splithe. Good afternoon.”
A confused expression spread across Dante’s face.
“To what pleasure do I owe, for you to summon me, while in the middle of hunting dragon scales?” Dante asked.
Elizabeth sank down in her chair, trying to make herself disappear.
“Sorry, but these two gentleman wish for your assistance.” Elizabeth stated in a low voice.
Dante walked over to the desk and took the paper from it. He read it silently. He looked up from the paper and switched his focus to Azrael and Alexander.
“What is that you need for me to construct for you Azrael and Alexander?
“We need you to construct an inter-dimensional energy locator that can pinpoint the can exact location of the energy it’s attuned to.” Azrael stated.
“Ha! That is child’s play. What energy does it need to be attuned to?”
“We will come back to you and bring you a sample of the energy.”
“This energy is like no other. It is special. That is all I can tell you.”
“You have intrigued me. I’ll be here waiting for you then. Don’t make me wait long. I hope for a challenge.”
Alexander and Azrael left the building. Alexander hopped onto his Icarus Cycle. He revved up the engine.
“Where do we go next?”
“We need to go to meet an old friend of mine. She will be needed to gain this piece and the others.”
Azrael pointed across the street to the giant spire. His smirk unwavering.
“That is city hall. It is the headquarters of Sircania’s central government. She is part of said government. She can help us later on.”
“Why do we need her?”
“The first piece is locked in a magically sealed vault only an Archangel can open. The government of Sircania considers that a national treasure and a point of interest. With her, it will be easier to gain access to the vault and possibly other pieces. She is also destined to be one of the most powerful magus in existence, so she will also be useful in combat situations.”
“I understand now. Let’s go.”
“You don’t need that Icarus Cycle anymore.”
Alexander switched off the engine and hopped off the Icarus Cycle.
“What’s her name?”
“Her name is Elena Drathan.”
They both strolled across the bustling streets and sidewalks and made their way to the government building. On the other side, they that saw a young woman was walking towards them. This woman had a peculiar hair color, purplish-blue. Her eyes were yellow. Her skin was fair, however, she had a birthmark that resembled a circle with arrows coming out of it in the cardinal and ordinal directions. She wore a purple dress with a golden trim line. When she finally reached them, she hugged Azrael and kissed him on the cheek.
“Hello Azrael.” The young woman said.
“Hello to you too Elena.”
Elena shifted her gaze to Alexander and studied up him and down.
“Who’s the human?”
“His name is Alexander Hellsing, a renowned demon hunter in the human world. He’s helping me with a mission currently. I also require your assistance.”
“What do you need?”
“Access to ‘The Impenetrable Vault’. It’s of the utmost importance. I intend to open it.”
Elena’s face lit up with joy.
“Come with me.”
Alexander and Azrael followed behind Elena as they walked inside the beautiful, gigantic crystalline spire. The inside was as beautiful on the outside. Ornate gold trims ran along the walls. Exquisite paintings hung from the walls. Bouquets of red roses filled the room. The inside was also busy with magi. Papers were being carried, calls were made, etc.
Elena pointed them in the direction of an intricate pad on the floor in the back of the room. They walked over to the pad and stepped on it. In an instant, their molecules were disassembled and reassembled 10 floors above them on an identical pad.
They stepped off the pad and looked into the dimly lit room they stood in. Six magi were sitting, illuminated by ball of energy, at a long table with seven seats. The six magi looked very old, distinguished, and educated, half of them were female and the other half were male.
“What took you so long council member, Elena?” one magus asked.
“Sorry, I was preparing my subject that I wish to present for today’s meeting.”
“Just because you’re the Chaos Magus, do not expect special treatment. All members must be punctual regarding meetings.” the old man rattled.
“Give her a break Zachariah. She is but a child.” An older female magus responded.
Zachariah stopped talking, obviously beaten.
“Thank you for defending me, Zarella.”
“You’re welcome child. Now, please present your item first. Then we can get on with the rest of this meeting.” Zarella said.
“Of course. As you all know, the Impenetrable Vault has been an issue on our agenda for an indefinite period of time. We have tried every magic knowable and have failed at opening it. But, a new possibility has come to light. I have a solution to opening the Vault.”
“What is this solution to our troubles?” the other magi asked, intrigue and doubt in their voices.
Elena pointed directly at Azrael.
“Our solution is an Archangel. He says he intends to open the vault.”
“Impossible! No one has opened this gate. I doubt a being, such as he, can open the Vault.” Zachariah exclaimed.
Azrael’s smirk grew wider.
“Make no mistake old man. Don’t dare question my power. Life is fleeting, Death is eternal. Has old age granted you no wisdom? I intend to and will open that vault. An object containing unimaginable power lay within that vault and I will protect it.” Azrael proclaimed.
Zachariah once again became quiet.
“Can you really open the vault, Archangel?” Zarella asked.
“Of course, I can. I just need your permission to do so”
“All who wish to grant Azrael permission say ‘aye’.”
“Aye.” they all said in unison.
“It is decided then. You have our permission to do so. Godspeed, Azrael.”
“Of course. God bless all of you.”
Azrael straightened himself up and walked over to the pad with Alexander and Elana. Alexander, Azrael, and Elena stepped on the pad and were back on the first floor in an instant.
“I’m sorry about Zachariah. He can be a bit of a grouch.” Elena apologized.
“It’s okay Elena.” Azrael said.
“If I may, what is a Chaos Magus exactly?” Alexander added.
“The Chaos Magus is very special being. The Chaos Magus is born with the ability to utilize Chaos Magic, a Primal Magic along with Void Magic, it is the originator of all other magic. Chaos Magic is the magic of probability. Chaos Magi tend to become beings that can alter probability on a cosmic scale, possibly infinite scale. They can learn any and all types of magic, except for Void Magic. They can create new types of magic. They transcend the very nature of magic which is equivalent exchange, for something to be created, something of equal value must be sacrificed. A Chaos Magus is born every thousand years. She is the fourth.”
“You weren’t kidding when you said she was powerful.”
“The only thing holding her back is her faith in her ability to use Chaos Magic, her strongest form of magic, yet also her most unpredictable.”
Elena was rubbing her right arm nervously. She was blushing red. Her head was down, staring at the floor.
“Can we go now?” Elena asked.
“Yes, let’s go.” Azrael said.
They all walked outside the building and stood next to the doors.
“Why are we just standing here?” Alexander asked.
“I was about to create a portal before you said anything.”
Azrael turned his back on the government building and faced the street. His left hand was covered in a familiar pale yellow energy. He snapped his fingers. In front of him, a gigantic, circular inscription, with “Keter” inscribed in the middle, formed an inch above the ground. The inscription glowed an iridescent yellowish-orange. A hole in space-time formed in the middle and enlarged until it encompassed the entire area of the circle. On the other side, there stood two metal doors with Latin inscriptions on them, in the forest on the outskirts of the city. A golden light escaped from the cracks between the doors.
They stepped forward and walked through the portal one at a time. After everyone was on the other side, the portal closed behind them. The forest was teeming with fantastic animals that Alexander could only dream about. The forest was filled with lush evergreen trees. The vault doors stood in front of them. Azrael placed his left hand in between the doors. The Latin inscriptions began glowing a fluorescent dark blue. His left glove glowed the same color. The inscription on his left glove moved from the glove to in between the doors.
“Open.” Azrael commanded.
The large, metal doors gradually slid apart, generating an annoying scraping sound. In mere moments, the doors were open. The inscription was back on Azrael’s left glove. A vivid, striking golden light pulsed from within the depths of the vault. Azrael walked inside and retrieved the piece from its stoop.
After that, he walked outside to find Elena, Alexander, and Dante being held hostage by a group of men in dark cloaks and robes. The one who appeared to be the leader approached Azrael. The leader had a smirk on his face.
“We are the Princes of Oblivion. We were sent by Lord Samael. My name is Xanatos.” the leader said. “I wish to conduct a business transaction with you Azrael.”
“That piece for their lives.”
The cloaked men positioned their hands directly in front of Elana’s, Alexander’s, and Dante’s face. The hands of the men were surrounded by a dark purple energy.
Azrael’s normal smirk turned into a snarl of anger and hate. His right glove was surrounded by pulsating dark energy. The leader took a step back. The men shook with fear, but tried to act as if they felt nothing. They were paralyzed moments later as Azrael’s anger grew in magnitude.
“All of you, die!” Azrael yelled.
Azrael snapped his fingers. The men were permeated by that dark energy and began exploding one by one, sending blood, viscera, and limbs flying. Some tried running away but that failed. Elena began crying as the men holding her and the others exploded into chunks of bloody flesh. Alexander and Dante stood there in shock of what was occurring, utter horror and terror on their faces, staring directly at Azrael. Blood sprayed out and covered everything within two feet of the explosions. Blood dripped down from the leaves in slow moving strands. Blood covered all of their faces and clothes. Azrael eventually calmed down. The energy dissipated.
Azrael looked down and saw their faces, how they looked at him with disgust and fear. They feared him. They were disgusted by him and his actions. Using the power of the piece, he wiped all of the blood covering them from reality.
“How could you kill them in such a way?” Alexander asked, his voice shaking.
“That was brutal. No being should die in such a manner.” Dante added, his voice low.
Elana said nothing, she was still in shock, tears dripping down her face.
“They were going to kill you if I didn’t hand over the piece, which I wasn’t going to do! The only logical choice was to kill them!”
“Monster.” Elana said, while pointing at Azrael, her hand shaking. “You’re a monster.”
Something inside of Azrael broke. He began cackling like a madman, his laugh echoing throughout the forest. His face was evidence of his madness. This scared the three of them. He then stopped laughing. He gave off no emotions. All he felt was void, yet he was smiling.
“You call me a monster!? HA! HA! HA! That would imply that I’m an evil creature, which isn’t true. There is good and evil in this universe, white and black. I’m a being that is good. They were evil. Good and evil war against each other. It was only natural that I kill them.”
They said nothing and just listened to the lunacy spewing from his mouth, their jaws dropped.
“See all of you at the emporium. Have an excellent day.”
Using the inscription on his left glove, he created a two portals to the Emporium, one for himself and one for the others. After he walked through his portal, it shut behind him.