Worry has been gnawing on me all week, while I should have just been happy. The day I received my seventh star of Virtue and I became an official Sorceress, Solomon and I had officially announced to our friends that we were engaged and we had sent our dear friends Leila and James an invitation to come celebrate the big news with us at our engagement party.
We sent the invitation that same day and I assumed James probably became a full fledged sorcerer that day too. But we never received a letter back. Which is very unlike James or Leila. They always respond to my letters quickly. Then the next day I was looking for a missing earring and noticed someone had broken my reality turner! It was cracked and the reality sand has poured out of it. The sand was dulled, instead of softly shimmering like it was supposed to. I may have overreacted, getting angry and then sobbing over it out of nowhere and even then no one came forward yet to take responsibility or to apologize. Not even after all Lucifer’s threats and punishments. I thought they would feel at least guilty about it, but...
On top of that, when I tried to send another letter to Leila to explain, the letter wouldn’t go. Just like the sand in the reality turner, the usually glossy reality spray now just left a dirty stain on the letter. I’ve been telling myself it’s all some bad coincidence, but I’m afraid something awful has befallen my friends. I can only hope they show up today.
Despite my worry, I’ve been so happy at the same time. Today is our official engagement party. I’m so proud and happy that Solomon is declaring me as his intended, to the Human World’s Magical Society, but I’m nervous too. There will be important people here today from both the Devildom and Sorcerer’s Society.
I’m only disappointed by the way Lord Diavolo reacted to my engagement. I understand how it came as a bit of a shock to my demonic brothers, they’ve always been protective over me and don’t feel anyone will ever be good enough for me. But they supported me nonetheless, knowing my union with Solomon will make me the happiest. But Diavolo practically threw a silent tantrum after hearing our announcement. He offered no congratulations, scoffing something under his breath before growing cold and distant for the rest of the evening. Solomon of course didn’t blink an eye but I found it very hurtful. I had to excuse myself to the restroom when I felt tears welling up over it, I didn’t want his mood to ruin our announcement. I haven’t heard from him since...
I decided that I don’t want to deal with anyone who can’t be supportive of my choices. There was a lot to do before the official party. Thankfully Asmodeus has been in his element and planned almost everything. From our clothes to the hors d'oeuvres so I know we’re in good hands.
And today is the day! Asmo has separated us until the party begins. I told him that this particular tradition was only meant for the wedding day, but he insisted and Solomon agreed to indulge his old friend.
I’m anxiously sitting in the parlor waiting for someone to come collect me, when Asmo says it’s ‘time.’ I smile brightly when I see Mammon walk into the parlor. He looks nervous for some reason and I wonder why.
“Asmo told me to come collect ya…” He tells me, not quite meeting my eyes and rubbing his neck in that way he does when he’s uncomfortable. I take his offered hand and let him pull me through Serenity Manor. We exit through a door that exits into the side garden.
“What’s going on Mammon?” I ask him with a smile and a light laugh. He pulls me back towards him when I start to walk towards the back patio where the party is being hosted. His face is beet red and he looks as frustrated as he does embarrassed. What in the world is up with him right now?
“Lily...I-I…” He chokes on his words, swallowing thickly. Unable to form words. I narrow my eyes, he usually only gets like this if he’s about to confess doing something that’s going to make me really mad.
“Mammon..did you break my reality turner?” I ask him, I feel my eyes begin to water. I’ve been way too sensitive lately and Asmo will kill me if I mess up my makeup. I have a hard time believing that he would have done it though. Even he would not mess with something so important to me. And IF he had done it, he would have confessed already, I’m sure of it.
“NO!” He practically yells in my face, looking extremely offended that I’d even suggest such a thing. “I’M TRYIN’ TO SAY THAT I LOVE YA!” He shouts.
What? I do my best not to giggle at him being so ridiculous. “Mammon..I love you too.” I tell him as I wrap my arms around him in a hug. He sighs and hugs me back, he bends to rest his chin on my shoulder as he speaks into my ear.
“N-no s-stupid...I mean, I really love you...and I don’t want ya to marry Solomon…” He says gently, squeezing me tighter as if he may never let me go. What?! My mind is reeling, I love all my brothers dearly but he sounds as if he’s suggesting something else, something..more. I feel myself going rigid in his arms, not knowing what to say or how to react. I barely notice the silent tears that begin to spill down my cheeks.
“Mammon! What’s the hold up?!” I see Asmo shouting impatiently from over Mammon’s shoulder, having come around the corner of the manor and spotting us.
“It’s always something.” Satan grumbles next to him.
Suddenly the world erupts into chaos. Shouts and a loud crashing sound comes from the backyard, accompanied by the sounds of glass breaking and metal snapping. A flare shoots up into the sky and Asmodeus suddenly doubles over as if in pain, pulling at his hair and wailing in anguish. I feel as if my world has suddenly slowed down.
The growl Mammon suddenly emits breaks my daze and time seems to speed up again, faster than ever as I’m shoved roughly to the ground. I look up at Mammon standing over me protectively, his wings spread wide, just in time to see his eyes bulge in surprise. I barely notice Satan’s demonic roar as his wrathful green flames race past us. My eyes are glued to the point of an arrow sticking out of Mammon’s chest beneath the sternum. A deep red, almost black ichor, drips slowly from the tip.
“MAMMON!” I scream his name as he falls to his knees in front of me. I struggle in my dress to crawl towards him. If I can get that arrow out of him, he’ll be able to regenerate, I know it. Satan’s viscous growls, Asmodeus screaming my name and the other awful sounds coming from the backyard, are distant and far away things.
“L-Lily..” Mammon chokes out my name, his own blood on his lips as he coughs.
The arrow suddenly glows up with what looks like Celestial light. “NO!” I scream but there’s nothing I can do as I see his veins light up from inside of him. Mammon doesn’t even scream, his eyes only look surprised before he falls forward. I frantically pull the arrow out, yowling as the metal burns my skin as well. I throw it from me and I summon fire to cauterize Mammon’s wound before rolling him over.
“No, no, no….you can’t leave me…” I tell him as I place my hands over his heart that has gone still. I need to revive him, I have to try. The green healing aura leaves my hands as I will his heart to beat again. “Please..please…” I pray to whomever is listening. Demons don’t die so easily, this can’t be happening. I dig deeper within and pour everything I am into bringing him back.
“That magic won’t work on us…” I hear someone say, gently, but I ignore them. Digging deeper and pouring more of myself in my attempt to bring Mammon back to life. Like I can do with flowers. Why doesn’t it work the way I want it to work?
“He’s gone Lily…” they say, grabbing my arm.
“NO! He can’t be! He can’t!” I scream, roughly jerking my arm away. I try reviving Mammon again, but I’ve nothing left inside me to give and my magic fails to work as I want it to. “No! No nononono!” I cry as I fling myself onto his body, my ear rests over his heart and I pray and pray and pray that it will start beating again.
Someone is trying to gently pull me away and something snaps inside me. There’s no rational thought left in me as I scream, kick them, and hold onto Mammon with all my strength.
“Lily! Enough!” Lucifer’s commanding, heartbroken rasp breaks me out of my frenzy and I look up and around me. Satan stands close, looking down at me with worried eyes. I don’t fight when he pulls me up this time and finding I have no energy of my own, I sag in his arms as I stare into the shocked, heartbroken eyes of Lucifer, Asmodeus, and Leviathan.
“W-Where a-are the twins? Where is Solomon?” I ask in a voice I can barely recognize as my own. In the distance I think I can still hear fighting. Everyone looks at me with pity, no one speaks, my question is met with silence.
“Let me go!” I snarl as I try to break free from Satan’s hold.
“Lily…” He tries to warn me gently but I don’t want to hear it!
“Let me GO!” This time it’s a command and I force him to let go and dash onto the back veranda. I barely notice how trashed and destroyed everything looks, the pool has been dyed red with blood. My eyes hone in on Belphegor as he carefully lays a body down on one of the pool loungers. “SOLOMON!” I run over and Belphegor catches me in his arms.
“Lily, don’t...” He tries to tell me as I struggle to get past him. I see my love laying there, with the same sort of arrow that pierced Mammon, still embedded in his heart. He must have died instantly. The rush of adrenaline that had suddenly fueled me has fled at the sight of my beloved. This has to be a nightmare, none of this can be real. How could this be real?!
I feel numb and detached, as if I am observing someone else's life.
I clench my teeth and look at my watch once more. This is just an engagement party but it irritates me all the same. I may have come to accept Lily’s choices but I don’t have to be happy with them. I don’t have anything in particular against Solomon, if I am being honest with myself, I don’t think I’d ever find anyone worthy of our Lily.
I look at my watch again, Diavolo is late. I have no doubt that my Lord is having his own private tantrum about Lily’s engagement and his tardiness is on purpose. Lily has been increasingly sensitive lately, fatigued and prone to tearful overreactions. I can only assume it's from all the excitement and perhaps even that Diavolo has hurt her with his selfish behavior. He probably thinks we’ll wait for him to be done sulking. Well this isn’t his world and we’re not waiting a moment longer. I scan the crowd for Asmodeus and give him the signal to get this thing going. I watch as he approaches Mammon and asks him to go get Lily. Hopefully he won’t stir up any trouble, the fool has been slumming around the Manor all week in a depression. I sigh, he may be a fool but I can’t help but pity him.
Mammon leaves to collect Lily, I see Solomon speaking with other humans, laughing and looking at ease. I can’t help feeling a slight bit of resentment towards the Sorcerer. I’ve never had children in my long existence but I feel as if he’s taking Lily away from us, from me...and I don’t like it. Still, if this is what makes her happy...then I am powerless to stand against it. Just like Lilith, she’s always been able to weaken my resolve.
Demons, humans, and our two angels are milling about the backyard. Diavolo shouldn't be so against this union when it will clearly help his dreams. Still, it makes me nervous to have so many unknown faces around. I’m scanning over the yard, making sure once more everything is in place. Asmodeus has done an impeccable job, worthy of our family and I can’t help letting myself smile thinking about how Lily’s face will light up when she comes around the corner.
Speaking of which, I glance at my watch once more. What is taking Mammon so long? I sigh and tell Asmodeus to go look for his brother, Satan follows him. I watch them disappear around the corner and then I freeze. I can sense a build of magic nearby. I growl with agitation, if anyone dares to mess up this party I’ll…
It happens so quickly. I sense a release of tremendous magic from two different directions, I’m about to go look for Lily when someone screams. I look to Solomon, but he’s already falling with an ensorceled arrow sticking from his chest, the witch he was just conversing with keeps on screaming.
Chaos breaks out between groups of demons and humans. Some of them instigate the chaos, some of them run around in panic, not understanding what is going on. Then someone I don’t recognize shoots a magic flare into the sky, it’s a signal of some kind. They’re looking for something, another signal I realize as I go after them. But I’m too late: When I round a corner, I see a group of unknown demons and humans disappearing through teleports and portals. Solomon’s death was the signal and who knows what these people plan to do now that he is gone. Someone hidden shoots one of those bolts at me but I easily dodge it. It’s no use going after them, because I now can hear Asmodeus wailing and Satan’s wrathful screams. All I can think about is Lily as the rest of my brothers launch into action.
Arriving at the place where Lily and Mammon were supposed to come from, I see Mammon lying on the ground. An arrow like Solomon’s pierced through his chest. This one has sent something akin to celestial magic through his body, however. The magic must have burned him up from the inside, killing him instantly, but with excruciating pain. Lily is clutching herself to his body. She can not process the loss of Mammon from her soul, an unacceptable loss.
Satan tries to help her, but she won’t accept it. He tries to get her off from Mammon’s body, so we can check if she has been hurt herself in any way, but she fights him tooth and nail. I don’t know where our frail little flower finds the strength. Satan feels helpless, he doesn’t want to force her and hurt her that way.
“Lily! Enough!” I command her with a voice that doesn’t quite sound like my own. But it works. Lily allows herself to be pulled from Mammon’s body now and lets herself be held by Satan.
But then she realizes we’re not all here and panic fills her eyes. “W-Where a-are the twins? Where is Solomon?” She frees herself from Satan’s hold again and rushes towards the back garden where the fighting is just subsiding. Lily spots her beloved Solomon and screams his name with a heartbreaking cry. “SOLOMON!” She launches herself towards him, but Belphegor catches her. Using his magic to calm her down a bit first.
Leviathan carries Mammon’s body and lays it next to Solomons. I see that Barbatos has opened portals in the yard and servants of the Demon Lord’s Castle are taking back the dead and injured demons that litter the yard. Satan begins burning the bodies of the humans where they lie.
“Some of them escaped.” Beelzebub growls as he lands back in the yard. I know they have. I’ve seen them escape. The fight seems to leave Beelzebub’s eyes as he takes in his brother lying next to Solomon. Belphegor has reluctantly released Lily who now kneels at Solomon’s side, her face pressed into the crook of his neck as she sobs uncontrollably. We let her cry, let her anguish pour out and echo what we all feel inside. We lost a sister once, and now, a brother.
“What’s happened here?” Lord Diavolo’s voice elicits a growl of anger from me. I hadn’t even noticed his arrival through one of the portals
“Where have you been?!” I snap back instead of answering him and can’t keep the hint of accusation from my voice. He holds my gaze silently, before his eyes snap back down to Lily, her once hysterically sobbing has ebbed into silent shudders.
Everything inside me bristles as he scoops Lily up into his arms as if he has any right to do so. Lily trembles, her eyes are far away and uncaring of anything that goes on around her. I’ve never seen her spirit so broken. “I’ll take Lily to the Devildom, she’ll be safe with me, while you avenge your brother.” Diavolo tells me gently. As if I would agree to that!
My brothers growl around me, taking Lily from us now is not the wise choice. We need to protect her ourselves, I’ll not permit her out of our sight. “You know she can’t go with you.” Belphegor growls before I can speak. “The Devildom makes her sick.” His ever defiant eyes stare up at Diavolo unrepentant. “She will die down there if you take her.” He transforms back into his demonic form, ready to take back his Lily by force if he must.
“I’ll see to her needs. I’ll build her a whole castle of light if I have to.” Diavolo rumbles back, stubbornly. “Barbatos.” Diavolo calls for his steward as if the discussion is closed with that. “Make a portal for us…”
I’m about to demand our Lily back when we all realize that Barbatos is nowhere to be found. “Who saw Barbatos last?” I demand to know.
“I’m here.” Barbatos replies, stepping through a new sort of portal that has opened up. It is barely visible to the naked eye. But it’s there, as we watch familiar faces follow him through.