Chapter 1: Malthael's Return to the High Heavans
Alexandra, the powerful nephalem wizard, prepared herself for the difficult battle that awaited her past the wall of darkness. She was ready to stop Malthael and bring an end to his slaughter. Yet, she couldn't forget what Imperius had said to her before: "Malthael is my brother. I fought a thousand battles by his side and I care not that he seeks to destroy you and your kind." Imperius started. "But my brother has grown sick and he must be put down for his own sake. Yet I have not the heart to do this." For the first time, it sounded as though Imperius was hurt. All of his normal confidence and pride was gone from his tone, and it sounded as though it was replaced by sadness. Alexandra was not fond of Imperius but after he said those words, she couldn't help but feel sorry for him.
If there was a way, Alexandra was going to redeem Malthael. Alexandra took in a deep breath and stepped into the shrouded arena. Malthael stood in the center of the room, the Black Soulstone in his gloved hand. Malthael slowly looked up at Alexandra. "So... It ends here," Malthael said, his voice void of emotion, or so Alexandra thought. Alexandra drew her wand. "It's not too late, Malthael. You can stop all this and return to the High Heavens." Alexandra said. Malthael tilted his head. "Return? So I can die by my brothers' and sister's hands instead of your own? No, I would rather die by your hands than 'his'..." Malthael said, clutching the soulstone, causing it to crack.
Alexandra lowered her wand. Malthael was in pain and it sounded like he wanted to die all along. Perhaps the massacre of Westmarch was just a ruse. What caused such great pain, Alexandra wondered. Alexandra walked up to Malthael, yet not close enough that he could attack her. "What was the real reason you left the Heavens?" Alexandra asked. Malthael looked down at her in question. "I found pages that described your experiences and for a while, I believed them, but now... Now it sounds like those aren't true." Malthael paused for a long moment. What was the point of telling the nephalem anything? She was sent to kill him and yet, he felt like he had to tell her. "I left to find the World Stone," Malthael said. That was the honest truth but only half of it. Alexandra raised an eyebrow. "And? You sound like you have more to tell." Alexandra said. "And... I didn't want to burden Imperius. After Inarius and Lilith stole the World Stone, I realized something in me. I can not explain it fully, but if Imperius were to ever leave me behind... I would not be able to take it. I would lose my mind." Malthael explained. Alexandra's eyes widened. It sounded like Malthael was fond of Imperius, more so than just a brother or comrade.
"So, you left and set your mind on the World Stone so you wouldn't- couldn't think of Imperius -but why would you attack Westmarch and kill everyone?" Alexandra asked. "So that someone like you could end this torment. Even with the loss of the World Stone and the possibility to end the Eternal War filling my mind, Imperius was still there. I can still see him and it hurts that I can't be there, with him." Malthael clutched his sickle. "Please, nephalem, end my torment. Strike me down." Malthael pleaded. Alexandra stood there, shocked at what she had just heard. "No. I won't do that, Malthael." Alexandra said, putting away her wand. "Why not?! I killed thousands of your kind! You should hate me, want to end me! Take the Black Soulstone! I would gladly be rid of it if it would convince you to strike me down!" Malthael broke his normal calm composure and shoved the Black Soulstone into Alexandra's arms.
Alexandra took the soulstone and put it aside, gently laying it on the ground. She then turned back to Malthael. "I said I won't kill you, Malthael." Alexandra insisted. Malthael grew impatient and drew his sickles. "Then I will force you." Malthael lunged at Alexandra but the wizard used her spells to throw him back. Malthael crashed against the veiled wall and slumped down. He clenched his fists and smashed them against the rock floor. "Why...?" Malthael asked, staring down at the floor. He saw Alexandra's feet appear in front of him and looked up to see an outstretched hand, towards him. "Please, Malthael, come back to the Heavens with me. I promise I will make them understand." Alexandra said, smiling at him. Malthael didn't understand why she would show him such kindness, but perhaps, it was for the best. Malthael took her hand and the darkness, shrouding the arena, lifted, and the souls were released.
Tyrael and Imperius waited for Alexandra outside of the Pandemonium portal, in the High Heavens. When Alexandra stepped through the portal, Tyrael gave a sigh of relief but that was soon replaced with a shocked look. She led Malthael, by the hand, through the portal. Tyrael drew his sword, El'Druin and Imperius drew his spear, Solarion. "Alexandra, what are you doing? Malthael is dangerous. Where is the Black Soulstone?" Tyrael asked. Alexandra let go of Malthael's hand, for a moment and revealed the Black Soulstone to Tyrael. She handed it to him and then grasped Malthael's hand once more. "It's alright, Tyrael. Please, trust in me. Malthael wishes no more harm to anyone. He wishes to come back to the Angiris Council and repent for the sins he has committed. Right, Malthael?" Alexandra looked back up to Malthael. Malthael nodded in agreement.
Imperius wasn't about to believe it so easily, however. Imperius teleported to be in front of Malthael and brought Solarion to Malthael's neck. "What- Imperius, no!" Alexandra tried to defend Malthael but was stopped when Malthael, signaled her not to. "It's alright. I deserve this." Malthael said softly. Imperius moved Solarion closer to Malthael's neck. To a point when it was gently touching his neck. "Why did you attack the Heavens?" Imperius asked. Malthael was silent, a silence that said he was confused and shocked that Imperius would ever ask such a thing. "I would never attack the Heavens... I could never." Malthael said. "Your reapers attacked the Heavens to destroy the Pandemonium portal. Did you not send them?" Imperius asked. "I told them to stay away from the Heavens. No matter what happens, I told them to never set foot in the Heavens. Brother, please, believe me..." Malthael pleaded. Imperius stared Malthael down for a long time until he finally moved Solarion away from Malthael's neck. Imperius turned from Malthael. "You will be judged by the Angiris Council. If we find that you should live, then so be it." Imperius said, before teleporting away.
Malthael walked into the Angiris Council hall. Once, long ago, he stood up there, on those pedestals with his fellow Archangels, judging what to do with the sinners. This time, however, he was the sinner and he was the one being judged for the things he had done. One by one, he looked up at the ones he had called family. Even, Tyrael, who was now mortal, was standing above him. Malthael sighed and waited for his punishment. Imperius stepped forward and looked down at Malthael. "Malthael, you have committed crimes against the Heavens. Although it may not have been your order, your reapers, soldiers under your command, attacked the High Heavens and tried to kill angel forces." Imperius said. Next, Tyrael stepped forward. "We have discussed amongst ourselves what is to be your fate but we find it deemed reasonable for you to have one say before we make our decision final," Tyrael said. Finally, Auriel and Itherael stepped forward. "If there is anything you wish to say that could change our decision, speak now," Auriel said. Itherael simply stared at Malthael, there was no need for him to say anything that had already been spoken.
Malthael's hands trembled as he stood there. Alexandra told him that he had to tell Imperius how he felt about him and why he had done all those terrible deeds. Malthael looked up at Imperius and straightened out his back. Now was the time, no more running and no more hiding. He had to tell him. "The real reason as to why I left, wasn't because of the World Stone or the chance to end the Eternal War. No, those were merely distractions. I left because of you, Imperius." Malthael could feel his voice wavering as he spoke. Imperius flinched and took a step back. "Before Inarius and Lilith left to pursue their 'paradise', I had a chance to talk with Inarius. The things he said, I didn't understand them. As time went on, however, I realized I felt the same about you, Imperius. After that, however, I was afraid that I would fall to madness from these... feelings. And so... I left." Malthael finally said it, and yet, it felt like no one quite understood. Imperius was taken aback, he didn't understand what Malthael truly meant and was unsure how to take it.
"I'm sorry, but can I just say something?" Alexandra suddenly walked into the hall and stood next to Malthael. Imperius shot his gaze to Tyrael. "What is the meaning of this, Tyrael?!" Imperious barked. Tyrael first looked at Alexandra and then back to Imperius, shocked. "Brother, believe me. I told her to wait outside until we were done. I had nothing to do with this." Tyrael said.
Imperius looked back down at Alexandra and teleported to her with Solarion drawn. "Get out, nephalem. This doesn't concern you." Imperius said, his voice filled with anger. Alexandra glared at Imperius but soon replaced it with a smile. "I just want to explain something," Alexandra said. "Let the nephalem speak, Imperius. Her knowledge will be most helpful." Itherael said. Imperius looked up at Ithereal, who looked down at him with an all-knowing gaze. Imperius stepped back and teleported back up to his pedestal. "Then make it quick, nephalem," Imperius growled. Alexandra smiled and nodded.
"What Malthael was describing was something that has never happened in the Heavens before. It happened multiple times on the battlefields of Pandemonium but never in the Heavens. This thing, act, feeling- is Love. Malthael loves you, Imperius. More than a comrade; more than a brother; more than another Archangel. Malthael loves you with every ounce of his being and wants to be with you, always. He is filled with fear when he thinks that someone might take you away from him. He gets sad when he thinks that you might leave him behind. He didn't understand it because he has never felt it before." Alexandra explained.
Imperius looked at Alexandra, questioningly, and then back to Malthael. Malthael had averted his gaze from Imperius, trying to hide the guilt in him. "What is this 'Love'? Why would it cause Malthael to run from me and the Heavens?" Imperius asked. "Love is the most powerful feeling in the world. For us, humans, it can decide whether we die early or live a longer, happier life. Yes, it can drive some insane but it can also heal it as well. It can save lives and help those who have lost their way. Love is what you feel when you like someone so much, you can't imagine living without them. Love can drive you to the edge of the cliff and make you jump, but it can also stop you. Malthael felt that if he had stayed, his thoughts would be filled with nothing but you. He thought he would become reckless and endanger everyone. He thought he would become your burden. That's why he left. He felt like it would be better to die than to get in your way. That's why he did all of this. So, that I, a nephalem, would come to kill him. He never wanted to cause you pain, Imperius, and he still doesn't." Alexandra said.
She stepped back, away from Malthael. Malthael fell to his knees. The truth was out. This was the end; this was 'his' end. Imperius teleported down and walked up to Malthael. Malthael watched as Imperius approached him and knelt down in front of him. "If this is true, Malthael - if you truly feel this 'love' - then tell me, yourself," Imperius said. Malthael felt like his entire world was about to come crashing down around him. He felt like he was about to die, right there, at Imperius' feet.
"I love you, Imperius," Malthael said. There was a moment of silence that struck Malthael to his core, as he waited for a response. Suddenly, the ground trembled and it felt as though the Heavens were in the middle of an earthquake. Once the room had stopped shaking, a peaceful song could be heard from above. To Alexandra, the song sounded like innocence had been captured in a tune. "A new Archangel is being born. Everyone, to the Crystal Arch!" Imperius commanded. Malthael didn't move; he didn't dare move, as he didn't feel worthy of doing so. Imperius grabbed Malthael's arm and wrapped it around his chest. "That includes you, Malthael." Imperius teleported both himself and Malthael to the Arch. Tyrael ran down the steps and signaled Alexandra to follow him. "Let's go. This is something you won't want to miss." Tyrael exclaimed.
Alexandra ran alongside Tyrael as they climbed their way to the Crystal Arch. When they arrived, the rest of the Angiris Council were already standing around the Arch, which was playing a peaceful song. The song grew louder as a bright light began to shine. Alexandra looked on in awe. She was the first human to ever witness the 'birthing' of an Archangel.
Everyone waited patiently as the song played on. Malthael looked up at Imperius, who was gently holding his hand. As the lowest notes played, the ground trembled, as if to add effect to the already amazing song. Finally, the song ended and from the light, emerged a small angel with tiny wings and a long staff in her small hands. Normally, new angels were adult-sized suits of armor but this new Archangel was very small and short, around the size of a 7-year-old child. The small angel's weapon was a staff, which was much larger than herself, reaching up to Imperius' height. The little angel looked around her, gazing at the people who surrounded her until she saw Malthael and Imperius. She stared at them for a long while before letting out a small giggle.
Auriel floated over to her and knelt down. "Tell us, little one, what is your name and why has Anu sent you to us?" Auriel asked. "My name is Amoriel, the Archangel of Love. Um..." Amoriel paused, taking a moment to look at the bigger angel's big, glorious wings and then looking back at her own, small, underdeveloped wings. "Why are your wings so big and mine are so small?" Amoriel asked, her voice was filled with sadness. Auriel picked Amoriel up and held her in her arms. "We do not know, little one, but Anu made you and sent you to us for a reason. We are filled with joy that you are here. So do not fret, the answers will come in time." Auriel said.
Amoriel hugged Auriel and again, looked back at Imperius and Malthael. Imperius stepped forward but did not let go of Malthael's hand. "What is it, Amoriel? Why are you so intrigued by myself and Malthael?" Imperius asked. Amoriel asked for Auriel to release her and walked over to them. "It's because I can see your love for one another. I mean, you all love each other very much but between you two, it's stronger. I feel like I could soar through the skies when I feel the love you two share." Just as Amoriel said that her tiny wings grew to the same size as the other Archangels. Her wings were delicate and flowed at the mercy of the wind. Their color matched her aspect; pale pink with bright pink streaks throughout her wings.
Everyone gasped at the sight of it. Amoriel turned to the rest of them. "What?" Amoriel asked. Itherael stepped forward. "It appears that your power is directly linked to the love that is shared in the Heavens and those that surround you," Itherael explained. Amoriel looked up at her own wings and realized that they had grown. "Oh. How wonderful." Amoriel said with a small giggle. Amoriel floated up and flew around a bit before landing in front of Tyrael.
She tilted her head as she inspected him. "You're an angel too, or used to be. And... you also loved someone, but they died, didn't they?" Amoriel asked, sadly looking at Tyrael. Tyrael smiled and knelt down, giving Amoriel a pat on the shoulder. "Yes, they did, but it is alright-"
"They can come back. They will, one day." Amoriel said. She then turned to Alexandra and tilted her head multiple times before speaking. "What are you? You aren't an angel. What are you doing up here? Where did you get that pretty wand? That stuff on your head is also pretty. What is it? You are really pretty. I like you." Amoriel said, hugging Alexandra's leg. Alexandra was taken aback by Amoriel's string of questions.
"Well, to start, thank you and I like you too. Secondly, I'm a human wizard and I came here with Malthael to tell Imperius that he loved him. I found my wand in a chest on one of my adventures and that stuff on my head is called hair. Hair is something humans have to keep their head warm. Does that answer your questions?" Alexandra asked. Amoriel released Alexandra and nodded. She then walked back to Auriel, who picked her up again and wrapped her in Al'maiesh's embrace. Amoriel held her staff tightly the entire time, but now snuggled in Al'maiesh, Amoriel lost grip of her staff, which fizzled into light particles and disappeared. Amoriel soon fell asleep after dropping her staff and held onto Auriel's robes, like a child holding onto their mother.
Auriel quietly left with Amoriel, taking her somewhere quiet to rest. Itherael teleported down from the Arch and Tyrael guided Alexandra down and out of the Heavens.
Imperius stayed behind with Malthael, who was clutching Imperius' hand tightly. Imperius turned to him and rested a hand on Malthael's darkened face. Malthael trembled under Imperius' touch but hoped that Imperius did not notice. Suddenly, Malthael swore he could hear his own song being played from the Arch. He went over to one of the spines and when he touched it, he could feel pieces of his very being returned to him. Pieces that he felt were lost and gone forever. Malthael fell to his knees and succumbed to the overwhelming feeling that the Arch threw onto him.
Imperius watched as Malthael's grey, twisted wings turned back into their original purple. Once the transformation was completed, Malthael was blasted away from the Arch and laid on the ground, utterly exhausted. Imperius went to his side and picked him up, holding him in his arms. Malthael looked up at Imperius and reached up to place a hand on Imperius' helmet. Imperius sat down, laying Malthael in his lap, and took off his own helmet. Malthael hesitated for a moment but Imperius grabbed Malthael's hand and placed it on his own cheek. Malthael rubbed Imperius' cheek with his thumb until pushing himself up to kiss Imperius on the lips. Imperius waited until Malthael was finished before he returned the kiss. They never said a word to each other; they never needed to. They already knew what they meant to each other.
Chapter 2: Malthael's Wisdom
Malthael followed Imperius into the Halls of Valor, floating closely behind him. He was happy that Imperius finally knew of his feelings and that he felt the same. Yet, it felt as though this was all a dream. That it was just a vision of wishful thinking and Malthael would wake up and be back in Pandemonium again. Malthael stopped and stared off into space as these thoughts filled his mind.
Imperius turned back to see that Malthael had stopped following him and walked over to him. "Malthael. Why have you stopped?" Imperius asked. Malthael looked up at Imperius and stood on the floor, no longer floating. "I don't feel as though any of this is real. For so long I had thought you would hate me if you knew, but now to know you accept me and feel the same... I don't know what to do or what I should think." Malthael said. Imperius took Malthael by the hand and pulled him in. Malthael's chest was pressed against Imperius' armor and using his spare hand, Imperius held Malthael's back.
"You are a fool to have thought such a thing. I will admit, when you left, I thought nothing of it but when I heard you had gone insane, I was deeply hurt. I felt it my duty to kill you myself, but I never had the heart to do such a thing and I still don't. I could never hurt you, Malthael..." Imperius trailed off as he released Malthael's hand and cupped his cheek. "I didn't say this before but now I feel like you need to hear it. I love you, Malthael. Stay by my side, always." Imperius said. His tone was harsh but Malthael felt the love Imperius was conveying to him. Malthael's entire body shivered as Imperius ushered the words and Imperius held Malthael tighter. "Imperius, let's go to your private chambers," Malthael whispered. Imperius didn't hesitate in teleporting them both to his room.
Imperius looked down at Malthael, who he still held in his arms. "Malthael, for the time being, you will stay here with me until we can decide your role," Imperius said. Malthael stared up at him. "You mean, I'm accepted back into the Council?" Malthael asked. Imperius nodded. "You helped a new Archangel come into this realm. You have more than earned the right to come back to us- to me." Imperius said. Malthael kissed Imperius. "Even if I never get a role, even if I lose my wings or if I lose my everything, I will always be by your side," Malthael said. Imperius tightened his hold on Malthael, embracing him. "Let us hope it never comes to that..." Imperius said.
Malthael walked through the streets of Heaven until he was stopped by Tyrael. "Malthael," Tyrael said, walking up to him. Malthael turned to him. "Yes, brother?" Malthael asked. "Your reapers are still killing people endlessly. As soon as we kill one, six more appear. Someone is resurrecting them. Can you help?" Tyrael asked. Malthael nodded and drew his sickles. "Let's go," Malthael said.
Arriving on Sanctuary, Tyrael led Malthael through Westmarch and they soon found Alexandra, desperately trying to fend off multiple reapers. Malthael didn't hesitate and lunged towards the scene. "Reapers. Your Archangel commands you to cease your attacks, now!" Malthael said. The reapers paused and looked at Malthael, before attacking him instead. Malthael defended himself and killed the reapers. "What has gotten into them?" Malthael asked, pulling his sickles out of one of the bodies.
Alexandra ran up to Malthael. "Malthael! Thanks for the help." Alexandra smiled, blood running down her face. "Alexandra, you're injured! Return to camp and get your injuries checked out." Tyrael said. Alexandra shrugged. "I get hurt all the time. Don't you think I come prepared?" Alexandra said as she pulled out a health potion and drank it. Her wound magically closed and Tyrael's jaw dropped in surprise. "Where did you get those?" Tyrael asked. "At the shop. At camp." Alexandra said. Tyrael was shocked. "You will have to show me once we are done here. Be on the lookout for the source of these reapers." Tyrael said. "I suppose we should start there," Alexandra said, pointing to an eerie light peaking out above the buildings.
Malthael readied his sickles and charged ahead towards the light. Alexandra and Tyrael followed after him. Waves of reapers emerged from the light, constantly trying to keep anyone from reaching it. Malthael cut them down effortlessly as he continued onwards. Finally, after weaving through the tight alleyways, Malthael was finally able to see what was causing that light.
A Death Maiden, who once went by the name Hezdra, was resurrecting the reapers. Malthael rushed towards her, which, upon reaching her, a gate closed behind him. "Malthael!" Alexandra called out as she attempted to open the gates. Tyrael asked El'druin to help him open the gates, but it seemed to have no effect. "Hezdra, stop this! I no longer seek to reap souls. I command you to stop this. Now!" Malthael yelled. Hezdra turned to him, her scythe bloodied from reaping souls for the resurrections.
Hezdra stepped lightly, her body in a spirit-like form, towards Malthael. Malthael threw a sickle, like a boomerang, past Hezdra. He missed her on purpose and it returned to Malthael's hand. "That was a warning. Stop this or I will cut you down." Malthael said. Hezdra stopped in her tracks but it wasn't fear that caused her to stop. "You have grown weak, Malthael. No... You have always been weak." Hezdra said. Malthael didn't flinch, however; he stood fast. "Kill him. We no longer answer to him."
Suddenly, reapers came out of nowhere and attacked Malthael. He did his best to defend himself but they outnumbered him. A reaper swung at him, from above, and his scythe went through Malthael's back and exited his chest. Malthael grunted as the scythe ground against his chest armor. The angelic, white blood covered the scythe. "Brother!" Tyrael yelled. Tyrael tried to no end to open the gate and help Malthael. Alexandra had to force Tyrael to stop, his hands were bleeding from the rusted and broken gate. "There's nothing I can do... Brother, I'm sorry." Tyrael said as he stood there, watching helplessly.
"I'm not dead yet, brother." Malthael raised his sickles and attempted to strike at the reaper but two more appeared behind him and pinned his arms, from the shoulders, with their weapons. The scythes went through his shoulders effortlessly but forcefully, blood flowing down his jacket. Malthael fell to his knees from the initial pain. A forth reaper came forward, his scythe drawn and ready to reap Malthael's soul.
"That's enough!" Just then, a bolt of blinding, golden light crashed to the ground, landing on top on the reaper, killing him instantly. A figure, bathed in the golden light, rose from the impact and revealed Solarion. "Imperius..." Malthael whispered. Imperius slid Solarion through the first reaper's chest and then moved to the other two, killing them easily. Imperius removed the scythes from Malthael's body and helped him to his feet.
"Hey, I thought you wouldn't step foot onto Sanctuary," Alexandra yelled from beyond the gate. Imperius kicked the gate open and pointed Solarion towards her. "I only came here for Malthael. I could care less about what happens to you." Imperius said. Alexandra made a wicked grin and snickered. "This is what love does to a person. Makes them do things they normally would never do." Alexandra said a wide smile on her face. Imperius attempted to thrust Solarion into her but Malthael prevented him from doing so. "Stop, brother. She is my... friend? Is that correct?" Malthael asked. "I'm your friend, Malthael? Aww!!" Alexandra squealed with glee.
Malthael tried to push himself away but Imperius forcefully pulled him back in. "You are coming back to Heaven with me," Imperius said. Malthael shoved him away. "I am not. I have unfinished business." Malthael said. Imperius tried to grab Malthael's wrist but Malthael dodged him and ran off in the direction Hezdra had left. "Malthael!" Imperius flew after him. Tyrael was about to follow but Alexandra stopped him. "Let Imperius handle this. We need to get you checked out before your hands get infected." Alexandra said.
Malthael ran as fast as he could, not even thinking to use his wings. Imperius flew closely behind him. Every time he thought he had caught Malthael, he would dash farther ahead. Finally, Malthael had caught up to Hezdra and he lunged towards her. Hezdra whipped around and cut Malthael's arm off with one swing. Malthael grabbed his shoulder and hit the ground with such force, that it caused him pain. Malthael watched as his arm and sickles fizzled away. Hezdra walked up to him, ready to give the final blow. "You are weak. You are nothing to me anymore."
"You sacrilegious bitch! Get away from him!" Imperius lunged Solarion into Hezdra, killing her on impact. Imperius' weight caused Hezdra's lifeless body to fall forwards, landing next to Malthael. A pool of black, unholy blood began to gush from underneath her. Imperius removed Solarion from Hezdra's corpse, before looking to Malthael, who laid on the ground, clutching at where his arm had been cut off. Imperius dropped Solarion and immediately rushed to his side.
Imperius took Malthael into his arms. "Malthael... I'm so sorry. I wasn't fast enough..." Imperius said and gripped Malthael tightly. "Why are you so sad, Imperius? I am not in pain. My arm and wounds will heal. Do not fret, my love. You saved me." Malthael said softly. Imperius shook his head, slightly angered by how calm Malthael was. "Fine, I will take you to Auriel. However, you are not to leave my sight when we return." Imperius picked Malthael up and carried him all the way back to the High Heavens, where he sought healing from Auriel. Auriel looked to be displeased when Imperius entered the Gardens of Hope with Malthael in hand but healed him regardless.
Imperius was displeased by Malthael's recklessness on Sanctuary and thus forbade him from leaving his sight. Every time Malthael attempted to wander elsewhere, Imperius would grab Malthael and forcefully take him to his private chambers. There, Malthael would not be allowed to leave until Imperius found it was alright to. Malthael wasn't too fond of the idea of being treated like a prisoner but he was grateful for Imperius' love because the only real reason Imperius was doing this, was because Imperius cared about Malthael and didn't want to see him get hurt.
Malthael sat silently, looking at the Archangel of Valor, in front of him. Imperius had his arms crossed, displeased. Just a few moments before, Imperius was training the new angels and Malthael had gone inside to sit down, without letting Imperius know. Once Imperius noticed Malthael was not by his side, he had a moment of panic but soon realized Malthael was just on the other side of the wall, waiting for Imperius to finish the training. Imperius scolded Malthael before taking him to his chambers, locking the door from the outside and returning to train the troops. Though, soon after, Imperius became even more anxious leaving Malthael in that room alone and ended the training early. Imperius had returned to his chambers to find that Malthael had taken a seat on the floor, waiting for his return. Imperius was relieved to see Malthael wasn't unhappy and decided to stay in the room with him.
Now, Malthael was waiting for Imperius to allow him to roam the Heavens, with or without the Archangel of Valor present. Malthael stood up. "Brother." Malthael started. "I wish to go see the Pools of Wisdom." Imperius sighed and placed a hand on Malthael's shoulder. "I will take you there but it is not what it used to be. It has changed... and not for the better." Imperius said.
Imperius waited outside the pools, to let Malthael look around. Malthael walked through, observing the emptied pools. He looked forward to seeing the fountain, that once showered the ground with crystal clear water. On the other side of the fountain, was Tyrael, looking at the empty Chalice of Wisdom. "Brother..." Malthael said softly. Tyrael jumped out of surprise and looked back at Malthael. "Ah, I'm sorry, brother. I was just looking..." Tyrael said.
Tyrael couldn't stomach the sight of the dark and empty pools. "No, this is your place now. You belong here." Malthael said. Tyrael shook his head. "I know, but it feels as though this place doesn't agree. The water is gone from the chalice and I don't know if it will ever come back." Tyrael said. Malthael looked down at the empty chalice, in Tyrael's fist. "May I look at it?" Malthael asked. Tyrael handed Malthael the chalice, without hesitation, and the moment Malthael's fingers touched it, water began to fill the cup. Once it was completely filled, Malthael moved the chalice over to the fountain and turned it over, allowing the water to pour out.
The water continued to pour out endlessly and soon the fountain was once again filled to the brim with water and began to shower the ground. The water, from the fountain, eventually reached the pools and filled them completely. Then, Malthael turned the chalice upright, once again, and presented it to Tyrael. "Malthael..." Tyrael whispered. "Take it, brother. You are wisdom; you should have it." Malthael said. Tyrael shook his head and looked at Malthael, giving him a sad smile. "No, brother. I think this is proof that you are the true Wisdom and I..." Tyrael paused, his emotions beginning to affect him. "I have outlived my time as an Archangel," Tyrael said as he began to leave the Pools of Wisdom. Malthael grabbed his arm, trying to keep him from leaving, but Tyrael shrugged him off. "Goodbye, brother." That was the last thing Tyrael said before leaving the High Heavens for the last time. Imperius watched as Tyrael left and began to suspect something had transpired between Tyrael and Malthael. Imperius grew worried from this thought and went to look for Malthael.
Imperius found him sitting on the now flowing fountain, staring into the Chalice of Wisdom, in his hands. Imperius didn't say a word as he took a seat next to Malthael. There was a moment of silence before Malthael looked up from the chalice. "What happened?" Imperius asked. Malthael set the chalice down and placed his hand on Imperius', searching for some sort of comfort. "Tyrael left. He is never coming back." Malthael said. Imperius noticed the sadness in his voice and looked at Malthael. "What do you mean?" Imperius asked. Malthael tightly gripped Imperius' hand. "He has transferred Wisdom to me..."
Chapter 3: To Love and To Live
Amoriel was flying around Heaven, testing her new, bigger wings. When she looked down, for a split second, and saw Tyrael take the portal to Sanctuary. This wasn't abnormal for him to do since he had to work with the Horadrim in Sanctuary, but something felt different. Amoriel then turned towards the bright, gleaming light at the Pools of Wisdom. It was Malthael and Imperius, she knew that for sure. Amoriel flew over to the pair and felt the sadness, surrounding them. Amoriel landed in front of them, but they didn't look at her.
She tugged at Malthael's jacket to get his attention. "Big brother? What's wrong?" Amoriel asked. Malthael looked at her. "Tyrael is going to live in Sanctuary," Malthael said; his voice was filled with sorrow. "What? Doesn't he already live in Sanctuary?" Amoriel asked. Malthael didn't say anything. It was hard for him to explain it to her. Imperius placed a hand on Malthael's shoulder. "Amoriel. Tyrael isn't coming back to the High Heavens. He has left for Sanctuary for the last time... He will not return to us." Imperius said.
Amoriel took a step back. "What? He's an archangel; this is his home. He has to come back. He just has to!" Amoriel started. Imperius tried to reach for Amoriel but she stepped back further. Amoriel turned her head from Imperius' hand. "He left because you yelled at him, didn't he?!" Amoriel yelled. Imperius and Malthael were shocked by the pain and frustration in her voice. "You're such a meanie, Imperius!" Amoriel yelled and turned away from them.
Then, she flew off the platform, flying out of Heaven and straight down to Sanctuary. Malthael turned to Imperius, who flew after her. Amoriel was just recently born, he couldn't let her go to Sanctuary. He didn't know what she was capable of or was even sure if she could defend herself. He wasn't going to let his new sister get hurt. Especially not over a misunderstanding. Amoriel flew very fast for her small figure, fast enough to outmaneuver even Imperius - at first. Imperious straightened out his body, making himself as thin as possible, in order to catch up to Amoriel. As Imperious inched closer to Amoriel, he began to see the land of Sanctuary come into focus. Even if he caught Amoriel, they were going to make impact, he had to think fast.
Imperius reached out and grabbed Amoriel, clutching her tightly into his chest. Amoriel kicked and squirmed but Imperius' hold was too strong for her to escape. Then, Imperius turned around, his back towards the ground. Imperius slammed into the muddied ground and Amoriel was thrown from his arms. Amoriel landed on a bunch of tall grass and laid there for a moment, before getting up. She looked at the motionless Archangel of Valor and ran towards him. "Brother? Big brother, wake up." Amoriel said, shaking him. She received no response. Amoriel sat on her knees and stared at Imperius' face.
"No..." Amoriel said. "Big brother..." Amoriel's wings started to shrink and then they disappeared completely. Amoriel's hood fell off her head and her face lightened to show her light skin and deep blue eyes. Her hair was unnaturally pink and curly. "I'm..." Amoriel started, tears forming in her eyes. "I'm so sorry!!" Amoriel cried loudly. She dug her face into Imperius' chest armor and tried to reach around him with her short arms. The sudden shifting and scraping of metal armor caused Amoriel to perk her head up and back away quickly. It took Imperius a couple of seconds to free his wings from the thick mud but once he did, he immediately noticed Amoriel had become mortal. "Amoriel..." Imperius started, rising to his feet. "Why did you remove your wings?" He asked. Amoriel stared at him for a moment, her tears still flowing. "But... I didn't..." Amoriel said.
Imperius looked behind her and saw the wing casings, still attached to her armor. "How?" Imperius asked. Amoriel shook her head. "I-I don't know. I was scared and I thought you were dead when you didn't answer me. I... I thought I had-"
"That's enough," Imperius said, picking Amoriel up and holding her in his arms. "It will be alright. We will figure this out. Come, let us find Tyrael. He can help." Imperius said. Amoriel snuggled her face into Imperius' chest armor and held tightly onto one of his fingers. Imperius looked around and instantly realized that he had no idea where he was. However, he wasn't going to let Amoriel know that, not when she had just calmed down.
Suddenly, Imperious heard the sounds of battle in the distance and ran towards it. If his suspicions were correct, then it was a battle between the nephalem and some native creature. She always seemed to be at the source of trouble. Imperious tred through the bushes and confirmed what he had predicted. As always, Alexandra was in the middle of a fight against several goat men and giant bugs. Imperious waited patiently until she had killed them all, not really seeing a point to interfere.
Once, Alexandra had killed the final bug, she looked behind her and finally noticed the two archangels. "Oh! Imperious, what a pleasant surprise!" Alexandra said, with a cheerful smile. Amoriel looked up at the wizard and smiled. "Alex! Do you remember me?" Amoriel asked. Alexandra tilted her head at the sight of the small angel and had a sudden realization of who it was. "Amoriel?! What happened? Why are you mortal?!" Alexandra asked, starting to slightly panic. Amoriel frowned. "I-I don't know..." Amoriel said. "We are trying to figure that out, nephalem. Amoriel didn't remove her wing casings and yet she is a mortal. I was hoping to find Tyrael, so he may help us." Imperious paused. "You wouldn't happen to know where to find him... would you?" Imperius asked. Alexandra jumped in excitement at the chance to help the adorable baby angel. "Yes! Follow me!" Alexandra said, leading the pair out of the marsh.
After about 3 hours of walking, the trio arrived at the outer gate of the city of Westmarch. Alexandra knocked on the gate and a soldier appeared from behind a wall. "It's me, Alexandra, the wizard. I need to get into the city and talk to Tyrael." Alexandra said. The soldier nodded slowly. "I know who you are, wizard, but who is the big guy behind you? Can he be trusted?" The soldier asked. Imperius was insulted by the soldier's ignorance and it was not helping with his attitude, either.
"You-" Amoriel cut Imperius off, hushing him with her small hand. Then, she climbed up his armor to whisper in his ear. "Let's let Alex handle this. If you scare him, he may not let us in." Amoriel said. Imperius tilted his head. "I could just fly over the gate and find Tyrael from above," Imperius said. Amoriel frowned and pulled on Imperius's helmet forcefully. "We aren't leaving Alex behind. She is our friend and you don't abandon your friends." Amoriel growled. After getting her point across, Amoriel released Imperius and sat quietly in his arms, once again.
"He is Imperius, the Archangel of Valor. He is not someone you want to piss off, so you'd best just let us all in. Okay?" Alexandra said with a wicked smile that spoke of death. If the guard were to refuse her, he would surely meet his end. Imperius noticed Alexandra's 'death smile' and, surprised to say, was impressed. Imperius didn't like the nephalem that much, but ever since she brought Malthael back to him, Imperius had started to notice her achievements.
The soldier quickly opened the gate and let the trio pass, fearful for what Alexandra might do to him if he didn't. The gate closed behind them and Alexandra took the lead, guiding them through the city's maze-like layout. "Impressive work with the guard, back there," Imperius said. Alexandra cheerfully looked back at him. "Really?" Alexandra asked, with a wide grin. Imperius realized that he had just complimented the nephalem and retracted it. "No," Imperius said. Alexandra frowned and turned around. "Oh... Okay..." Alexandra said.
Amoriel looked up at Imperius, with a less-than-friendly stare. She climbed up Imperius' armor, once more. "You really hurt her feelings, big brother... You should apologize." Amoriel whispered. Imperius shook his head. "I will not," Imperius said. "I'm starting to see why the humans don't like you..." Amoriel said, a frown forming on her face. "Oh, and why is that?" Imperius asked. "It's because-"
"Here we are," Alexandra said. Imperius and Amoriel were so distracted by their conversation, that they hadn't noticed that they had arrived at the nephalem's camp and were standing a few feet away from Tyrael.
Tyrael looked at Imperius, shocked by his presence but soon noticed the mortal Amoriel, in his arms. "Brother... Amoriel... Why is she?" Tyrael asked. "Mortal? I do not know, brother." Imperius said, setting Amoriel down. Amoriel immediately ran up to Tyrael, giving him a big hug. Tyrael kneeled and returned her hug, but was severely worried as to why she was in her mortal state. Then, Tyrael noticed her still-attached wing casings. Tyrael sighed with a breath of relief. "Good... So, you didn't forcefully remove your wings... Good, good. That means we can reverse this. Somehow..." Tyrael sighed and hugged Amoriel tighter.
"Big brother..." Amoriel said, her voice soft and quiet. Tyrael released Amoriel and looked at her face, which was full of tears. "I thought you left because Imperius was mean to you again. Big sister told me you guys always fought and I... I thought Imperius made you want to leave again..." Amoriel cried. Tyrael frowned and hugged Amoriel once more. "No, Amoriel. Imperius didn't make me leave. I had my own reasons for leaving. I..." Tyrael paused. "I'm sorry for making you worry," Tyrael said. Amoriel wiped away her tears and Tyrael, once again, released her.
Amoriel looked into Tyrael's eyes. They were filled with a certain kind of sadness, one that only she could see, and her eyes began to glow. "You doubted yourself because you couldn't fill the Chalice of Wisdom like Malthael could." Tyrael was shocked by Amoriel's sudden shift in tone. It was as if she was in a trance and was saying what was in Tyrael's thoughts. "How-"
"Combining that with the fact that you weren't able to protect the one you loved, you felt unworthy to carry the title of Wisdom or any archangel title. You feel useless and unwanted. That is why..." Amoriel's words trailed off and she stopped talking. "Amoriel... How did you know that?" Tyrael asked. Amoriel stepped back from Tyrael, still staring him down. "Even in my mortal state. I am still the Archangel of Love. I can still see love and the problems caused by and the lack of it." Amoriel's eyes stopped glowing, ending her trance.
She then fell back onto her bum. She had a pounding headache and held her head to try and reduce the pain. "Owwie... My head hurts..." Amoriel whined. Alexandra instinctively picked her up and carried her over to the campfire, where her companions sat. Together, they swiftly made a make-shift bedroll for the little angel. Alexandra laid Amoriel's head on the pillow and wrapped her up in a blanket, tucking her in. "Shh... Rest for a bit, Amoriel. You've been through a lot, today." Alexandra said softly, as she brushed the hair out of Amoriel's eyes. Amoriel smiled and slowly drifted off to sleep.
Alexandra then returned to Imperius and Tyrael. "Thank you for doing that, Alex. She was probably exhausted by this whole ordeal." Tyrael said. Alexandra nodded. Alexandra was silent for a moment, Amoriel reminded her so much of the little sister she had left behind, to become a wizard. Then, Alexandra realized something and looked at Imperius. "I think I know why Amoriel lost her wings," Alexandra said. Imperius crossed his arms, obviously skeptical. "It's just a hunch but I think it has to do with what happened before you guys found me. Imperius, I need to know what happened when you found out Amoriel had become mortal!" Alexandra said. Imperius was hesitant to tell her. This was a matter for the Angiris Council to solve; this was supposed to be between family... But Imperius hadn't the slightest clue on what caused this or how to fix it. If the nephalem could figure it out, then he had to try.
Imperius told her and Tyrael, what had happened up until he and Amoriel had found Alexandra.
Alexandra nodded her head and closed her eyes, delving into deep thought. "From what Imperius and Amoriel said, it all makes perfect sense now," Alexandra said, opening her eyes. "How so?" Tyrael asked. "When Amoriel freaked out and flew from the High Heavens, she thought that Imperius didn't love Tyrael as a brother, anymore," Alexandra explained. "That is ridiculous." Imperius started. "She has the power to see love, she would have known the truth," Imperius said. "Unless she truly believes in the former. Think of it, if she could see the loved shared between two people, regardless of what she thought was true, then why did she question Tyrael? If she honestly knew that you two still cared about each other, this wouldn't have happened in the first place." Alexandra argued. Imperius was ready to argue against her but knew that there was truth in Alexandra's words. He knew that she was right and stepped down.
"That answers some questions... But, if she now knows the situation between myself and Imperius, why is she still mortal?" Tyrael asked. Alexandra sighed. "I think it has to do with two more factors. One: I think she may doubt the love between herself and Imperius, much like Malthael did. Two: she might be subconsciously noticing the lack of love in Tyrael, or to put it bluntly, she can sense the pain coming from Tyrael's broken heart. After all, she did say that she is still the Archangel of Love, even as a mortal." Alexandra said.
"Come now, Alex. I don't have a broken heart, nor do I lack love. That's ridiculous..." Tyrael said. His words betrayed the expression he wore and the actions he made. Alexandra was not convinced. She glared at Tyrael, for the lies he spoke were the cause of his sadness. "What about Leah? You can't hide it forever, Tyrael. We all know how much you cared about her..." Alexandra said.
Tyrael remained silent for a long time, before speaking. "Even so... Leah was used as Diablo's vessel. There is no way for her to come back..." Tyrael said. Alexandra shook her head. "Wasn't she the 'person you loved'? Amoriel said that when she was born." Alexandra said. Tyrael's eyes widened. "If so, you remember what Amoriel said? 'They can come back. They will, one day.' She didn't even know who Leah was. How could she have possibly known that she existed, without you or I telling her? Amoriel just knew that you loved her and that she was dead. I think Amoriel will be able to bring Leah back, and in doing so, will restore your broken heart and the relationship you had with her. And if Imperius apologizes to Amoriel and she forgives him, Amoriel will get her wings back and become an angel again!" Alexandra said, proud in her revelation.
Imperius and Tyrael looked at each other, shocked by Alexandra's thorough explanation. "That... That's a lot to be hopeful for, Alex. Amoriel may not even have enough power to do a resurrection..." Tyrael said. "Have a little faith, Tyrael. You are doubting her too much!" Alexandra said. Imperius nodded. "As much as I hate to admit it, the nephalem is right. When Amoriel wakes, we will tell her what we have discussed." Imperius said. "Yes, but I feel like we should relocate to New Tristram. At least there, Amoriel can sleep on a bed that didn't once have a rotting corpse on it." Tyrael said. "Yeah... It's probably not good for her to sleep on the ground either." Alexandra added. "That is fine, but I will be the one to carry her," Imperius said.
Amoriel slowly opened her eyes and found that she had been moved to a big bed. She then realized that she was in an enclosed room and there were a lot of voices coming from the other side of the closed door. Amoriel shifted out of bed and walked towards the door. She pressed her ear to the door and listened carefully. There were too many voices talking over each other and she wasn't able to isolate nor recognize any of them. Amoriel was frightened to open the door but she did so, anyway. She stepped into the lit room and noticed that the room became silent in her presence. Amoriel hesitated at the sight of so many people staring at her.
Tyrael entered the building through the door, on the opposite side of the room, and immediately noticed Amoriel. "Amoriel, your awake. Come, sister. Imperius and Alexandra are waiting for you, outside." Tyrael said. Amoriel quickly made her way to Tyrael, who picked her up and carried her out of the inn. Tyrael approached Imperius and Alexandra, who looked at her, specifically. Amoriel was confused by the amount of attention she was receiving, at first, but then she remembered the situation she was in. "What's going on?" Amoriel asked. "The nephalem thinks she may know how to make you an angel again," Imperius said. "Really?" Amoriel's eyes lit up in response. Alexandra nodded. "Yep. All you have to do is revive Leah and tell Imperius how you feel, so you can love him again." Alexandra said.
Amoriel was silent for a long time, a look of utter disbelief on her face. "Well..." Amoriel started. "The second one is easy..." Amoriel said. "Really? Amoriel, what do you think of Imperius? Be honest." Alexandra said. "He is an asshole and I don't like him anymore," Amoriel said. Imperius and Tyrael flinched, while Alexandra's jaw dropped. "Amoriel! Where did you learn a word like that?!" Alexandra asked. "I read it in one of Itherael's books. He told me what it meant." Amoriel said. "You can't call people that, Amoriel! It's not nice!" Alexandra said. "Can't help it, if it's true," Amoriel said, before pouting.
Alexandra sighed. "Okay, listen. What makes you say that?" Alexandra said. "Big- Imperius is mean to everyone, even Tyrael, and Malthael," Amoriel said. "I have never mistreated Malthael!" Imperius retorted. "Yes, you have! You say you love him, but you treat him as though he is a prize or a beast that needs to be controlled. You are so rough with him, it makes me sick to even watch. I know he won't argue with you since he is so blindly in love with you, but you aren't supposed to treat the ones you love like that!" Amoriel yelled. Imperius shifted uncomfortably. "You're supposed to be gentle and take care of them..." Amoriel began to tear up. "Furthermore, you treat everyone else, who isn't an angel, like an enemy. Even the people trying to help you! Earlier, I could tell you were genuinely impressed by the way Alex handled that guard in Westmarch, but you hurt her feelings just because she is a 'nephalem'."
Tears started rolling down Amoriel's cheeks, as she spoke. "I know you can be a good person, Imperius. You have always been nice to me, so why can't you show that to others? You can't keep going on like this, Imperius. If you do... One day, something really bad will happen and no one will come to help you... Big Brother... I only want the best for you but I can't do anything if you won't try..." Amoriel cried. Tyrael looked at Imperius, who was completely silent. Imperius was stunned by the level of emotion Amoriel had shown him. He wasn't aware of Amoriel's feelings and that only made it worse. He had to apologize, even if it was his first apology ever, she deserved it.
"You're right. I'm sorry Amoriel, and I'm sorry to you, nephalem, for earlier." Imperius said as he turned to face the nephalem. Alexandra smiled. "Thanks, Imperius, but I don't think you are that bad, honestly," Alexandra said. Amoriel stopped crying and looked at Alexandra with curiosity. "Really?" Amoriel asked. "I think, the reason why Imperius acts like that, is because he wants to protect everyone. He loves his family very much but doesn't really know how to express it. Up until now, Imperius didn't have anyone to tell him how to love. So you have to teach him, ok?" Alexandra paused and Amoriel nodded, with a smile on her face. "Also, Imperius doesn't want to grow attached to anyone outside his family. Before I fought Belial, the Lord of Lies, he took the shape of the Prince of Caldeum and tricked me into trusting him. If Imperius saw me as his friend and someone used my body to do terrible things, Imperius wouldn't be able to do the right thing or it would take him too long to notice before it was too late. Imperius has to distant himself so he can protect the people he cares about... and inadvertently protect the ones he doesn't necessarily care about, as well." Alexandra said, winking at Imperius. Imperius grunted and crossed his arms at the gesture, not too fond of it. "And, honestly, if something bad were to happen to Imperius and he needed help? I'd come to his aid." Alexandra added. "Really?" Imperius asked. Alexandra nodded. "Yep, and you don't have to agree, but that's what friends are for," Alexandra said. Imperius scoffed. "We are not friends," Imperius said. "Of course we aren't, big guy," Alexandra said, in a joking manner.
Amoriel smiled and reached out her arms for Imperius. Tyrael handed Amoriel to him and Imperius held her in his arms, cradling her. Amoriel hugged Imperius' helmet. "I love you, big brother," Amoriel said. "I love you too, Amoriel," Imperius said. Suddenly, Amoriel's staff fizzled into existence and dropped on the ground in front of Imperius. "Your staff... Amoriel, perhaps you should keep it with you." Imperius said, setting Amoriel down to allow her to pick up her staff. Amoriel picked up her staff and inspected it, before looking back up at Imperius. "Big Brother, I think I can do it now. I can revive Leah!" Amoriel said. "Are you sure? What do you need from us?" Imperius asked. Amoriel pondered for a moment. "I need to go to the place where she died. I feel like she may be there." Amoriel said.
Everyone else went silent. They weren't quite sure where she 'died'. "Well... That's..." Alexandra muttered. "Her body was used as a vessel for Diablo after he became the Prime Evil. We aren't quite sure if she died when he took over or if she died when he did." Tyrael said. "Oh..." Amoriel said, disappointment riddled her voice. "Thankfully, we know where each of those events happened," Alexandra said. "Really?! Take me there!" Amoriel said. Everyone followed Tyrael, as he went through the town portal to Bastion's Keep.
Tyrael led the way to the spot where Adria committed that horrible ritual. "This is it... This is where..." Tyrael tried to recall the event, but Amoriel stopped him. "It's ok. I know what you mean..." Amoriel said, before closing her eyes and trying to focus onto Leah's soul. "I sense a lot of residual pain and fear here... But she isn't here. Where did Diablo die?" Amoriel asked. "On the Crystal Arch, right between the two spines of Anu..." Imperius said. Amoriel nodded. "Take me there," Amoriel said.
Amoriel stood between the spines of Anu, while everyone else stood by the portal. Amoriel had her staff ready and closed her eyes, to begin the resurrection. Amoriel focused very hard on her surroundings, trying to locate Leah's spirit. After a long moment of silence, Amoriel raised her staff, pointing it to the sun, and channeled the magic within and around her. A mixture of all the virtues in the High Heavens, gathered around her staff and so did Leah's spirit. No one else could see her, except for Amoriel. "Don't be scared. This won't hurt, I promise." Amoriel whispered to Leah. Reassured, Leah's spirit became still as Amoriel continued. Once Amoriel's staff had absorbed the virtues, Amoriel pointed her staff at Leah and shot her with a beam of pure magic. Alexandra looked on in awe. It was unlike any of the magic she had ever used or seen before. The virtues wrapped around Leah and with Amoriel's staff acting as a tether, Amoriel pulled Leah out from the ethereal realm. The virtues combined to create a new body based on Leah's previous mortal appearance, clothes included. Tyrael's jaw dropped as Leah appeared before Amoriel. Leah slumped to her knees, gasping for air, and Amoriel stepped aside.
Tyrael rushed to Leah's side and she looked up at him, still trying to fill her lungs and get back into the habit of breathing, once more. "Tyrael...?" Leah breathed. Tyrael hugged Leah. "You're alive, Leah, and you're safe. It's ok now." Tyrael said. Amoriel smiled and brought her hand to her chest. A dim light radiated through her fingers and Amoriel's hood lifted up to cover her head. Her face darkened once more, and her wings grew out of their casings. Imperius watched as Amoriel turned herself back into an angel. Just like that, the whole ordeal was over. A simple solution for a seemingly terrifying problem.
Imperius walked over to Amoriel and picked her up. Amoriel looked at Imperius and let out a giggle. Imperius nuzzled Amoriel's nose, in a manner that was much unlike him, and hugged her tightly. Alexandra just stood there, admiring the adorable show of love between the two pairs. Then, Malthael flew down and landed next to Alexandra. "Where have you been?" Malthael asked, his arms crossed to show his displeasure. Imperius looked back at Malthael, with Amoriel held tightly in his arms. Amoriel looked up at Imperius and tapped his chest armor with her tiny hand. Imperius looked down at her and nodded, before looking back up at Malthael. "Malthael... I have something I need to tell you." Imperius said, his tone much softer than it had ever been.
Malthael uncrossed his arms; he was surprised by the way Imperius had just spoken to him. Imperius approached Malthael. "I..." Imperius hesitated, which annoyed Amoriel. Amoriel sighed. "Imperius is sorry for being such a doo-doo head and wants to learn how to love you properly. Right, big brother?" Amoriel asked. Imperius nodded, admitting his defeat to both of them. Malthael was silent, unsure of what to say, and just replied with a small nod. Amoriel giggled at their shy interaction. "Also, I want to show you guys a new trick I learned just now," Amoriel said.
Everyone stopped to look at Amoriel and gathered around her. Imperius released her from his grasp, allowing her to use her wings to hover. Amoriel went over to Tyrael and placed her small hand on his chest plate. Suddenly, his armor began to glow and his hood lifted, on its own, and covered his head. Tyrael's shoulder armor and wing casings fizzled back into existence and his wings regrew. Finally, his face darkened and Tyrael's feet were lifted off the ground. Leah watched in amazement as Tyrael became an angel, once more. Everyone was shocked. What was thought to be permanent, was undone before their eyes. Tyrael stared at his hands for a long time, before looking at Amoriel.
"How...?" Tyrael asked. "Now you can be mortal and an angel whenever you want." Amoriel smiled, shifting back into a mortal for a moment, then back into an angel. "We all can," Amoriel said. "But...how?" Tyrael asked, once more. Amoriel flew over to the spines of Anu. She turned back to the group and pointed at one of the spines. "He taught me how. When I resurrected big brother's friend, I heard someone talk to me. When I responded, it seemed like time just stopped. Then, I heard him cry. He was sad for me because I was sad before. Then he said that I could become an angel again if I really wanted to and that everyone else could to if I showed them how." Amoriel explained. Tyrael was silent. Imperius was too baffled to speak and Malthael was so confused, he couldn't find the words. Alexandra and Leah walked up to Amoriel. "So, Anu spoke to you?" Leah asked. "Isn't Anu dead? How could he have spoken to you?" Alexandra asked. Amoriel pondered for a moment. "Maybe it wasn't him. Maybe it was just my imagination or a dream. I don't really know who it was, but..." Amoriel paused, looking past the two girls, to her family. "I'm glad they reached out. If I wasn't able to get my wings back... Then..." Amoriel began to choke up, causing the other angels to take notice. "Then big brother Imperius wouldn't want me anymore..." Amoriel cried and her wings began to shrink once more.
Imperius immediately teleported to her side and picked her up. Amoriel was so surprised by his swift actions, that she momentarily stopped crying. "That is not true, Amoriel," Imperius said, holding her close to his chest. "You are still my sister, with or without your wings, and I will always love you," Imperius said, comforting her. Amoriel smiled and her wings flourished into their max wingspan. "I love you too, big brother," Amoriel said. "That is why Anu sent you to us, sister." Amoriel looked up at Imperius, shocked by his words. "To remind us of the bond and love that we all share for one another," Imperius said. Amoriel smiled and snuggled herself into Imperius' arms.
Chapter 4: Fate's Hope
Amoriel is displeased by the lack of love shown between Auriel and Itherael. She has seen the obvious glances of affection they share for one another, yet they fail to recognize it. Thus, Amoriel decides to take it upon herself to push them into ever-lasting happiness.
So it may seem like the Angiris Council acts differently around Amoriel, that's because they do a bit...
To summarize it:
Imperius - Protective Brother/Fatherly Figure
Malthael - Kind Brother (the one that plays with Amoriel when they spend time together, weird right?)
Auriel - Supportive Sister/Motherly Figure
Itherael - Informer Brother/Teacher Figure (Although Amoriel knows alot for her age, there are certain words and ideas she hasn't grasped yet)
Tyrael - Worrisome Brother (mainly because of Imperius)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Amoriel watched from the bushes of the Garden of Hope, a look of displeasure on her face. Amoriel had turned herself mortal - using her new found power - to avoid detection by the other angels. If she had stayed an angel, her large, bright pink wings would have easily given her away. The last thing she wanted, was to be found by her target - the Archangel of Hope, Auriel. Auriel was busy speaking with a normal angel. Amoriel did not care about their conversation however and simply continued her watch. Then, out of the corner of her eye, Amoriel spotted Itherael leaving the library. Amoriel waited in anticipation as Itherael made his way towards Auriel. Auriel stopped her conversation and sent the other angel away, before looking to Itherael. Itherael noticed her gaze and bowed his head to her as he passed by. Auriel did the same, before looking away. Amoriel frowned in disappointment. C'mon, seriously? Amoriel puffed up her cheeks and released a loud grunt, one that was far louder than she had intended. Before she knew it, she was snatched from her hiding spot and cradled in Auriel's arms.
Auriel looked down at the much smaller angel and Amoriel could tell she was smiling, despite the lack of visible facial expressions. Amoriel shifted back into an angel and Auriel released her. "Sister, why were you hiding? Did someone scare you?" Auriel asked. Amoriel grunted once more. "I'm not a baby, big sister! I'm not scared of anything! Besides, I was spying on someone..." Amoriel said. Auriel tilted her head slightly. "Who might that be sister?" Auriel asked, still oblivious to the whole matter. "It..." Amoriel paused, realizing how disturbing it was. "I was spying on you! You and big brother Itherael!" Amoriel said. Auriel was confused. Does she believe I have been replaced by demons? She worries so much. Auriel thought to herself. "My dearest sister, what ever for?" Auriel asked. Amoriel moved her face closer to her older sister's and whispered so that only she could hear. "I know you love big brother Itherael. I can see it, feel it even. Yet, despite your obvious lovey-dovey acts towards one another, everything stays the same. This is unacceptable and as the Archangel of Love, I refuse to let this continue!" Amoriel said. Amoriel, quite sure Auriel would give in at this point, relaxed and waited for her sister's reply. Auriel was silent for a moment before speaking. "It is good that you are taking your role seriously, sister, but you are mistaken. There is nothing like what Malthael and Imperius share, between myself and Itherael." Auriel said. Amoriel was dumb founded. Auriel rejected Amoriel's claim and her own feelings all in one go. "However..." Auriel paused. "If you truly feel that is something you must intervene on, then by all means; who am I to say you are wrong? You are Love, after all, and this is what you were born to do." With that, Auriel left Amoriel's side and went about her business.
Amoriel flew through the crowds of angels towards her brother Itherael. Itherael stopped, sensing that he was being chased, only to have Amoriel latch onto him from behind. Itherael looked back at the smaller Archangel. "Yes, sister?" Itherael asked. Amoriel wrapped her arms around Itherael's neck, to keep herself attached to him. "Big brother, I have to talk to you. It is very important and can not wait." Amoriel stated. Itherael, slightly disappointed in the fact that his own business would have to wait, teleported himself and Amoriel to his office in the Library of Fate. Amoriel released Itherael and floated around before turning back to him. "Big brother, you have not been doing your part to keep Love in the Heavens. I know for a fact that you love big sister Auriel, yet you do not act on it. Do you truly not know this or do you refuse to know it?" Amoriel decided to change up her tactic this time around. Itherael was silent, as his usual behavior but this time Amoriel could sense the confusion. She knew he wouldn't understand right away, no angel would. Love was an entirely new concept to them. Amoriel waited patiently for Itherael's response. "No," Itherael said. Amoriel was not pleased, that did not answer her question. Amoriel was about to retort when Itherael continued. "There is nothing between us," Itherael said, a hint of disappointment in his tone. Amoriel caught onto that. "You're lying, big brother..." Amoriel paused and Itherael seemed to be bothered by her words. "You can't honestly look upon me and think you have zero chance with big sister." She said. Itherael knew she was right. She was the embodiment of Love itself and yet... "No. You are mistaken sister..." Itherael said, before teleporting out of the office. Amoriel stood there, shocked. This was worse than she had initially thought. It seemed she had to take drastic measures.
Amoriel floated into the Halls of Valor. It didn't take her long to find her brother, the esteemed Archangel of Valor, Imperius. As usual, he was training the angelic forces, preparing them for the next assault in Pandemonium. Amoriel didn't want to waste time, however - though it may have seemed foolish in the long run - and interrupted their training session. Amoriel ordered them out and approached Imperius. Imperius crossed his arms as he looked down at her. He was displeased, yet curious. Amoriel was never one to command anyone or interrupt his training sessions before. She must be upset. He thought. "Big brother, I'm sorry for the disturbance but this is an emergency." Amoriel paused. Imperius was silent. If he was truly angered by her actions, he would have said something as soon as he had the chance. Amoriel took this as a blessing. "Both Auriel and Itherael have kept me from doing my role. I have spoken with them individually, voiced my concern and yet they persist. I need to call for the Council, big brother!" Amoriel said. Imperius unfolded his arms and Solarion appeared in his hand. "I understand, sister. The Council will be called. Meet us in there."
The Judgement Hall had changed since Amoriel's arrival. There was one more pedestal, on top, next to Imperius'. Amoriel wondered how a building could change on its own like that but proceeded up to it and take her spot. Soon, the rest of the Angiris Council teleported in. First, it was Imperius, of course. Next came Malthael and Tyrael. The last to arrive were Auriel and Itherael, no doubt reluctantly. Everyone looked down at the empty hall and soon confusion struck the Council. "Brother, what is going on? Why were we called if there is no one here?" Tyrael asked. Imperius said nothing and simply looked to Amoriel. Everyone turned their attention to the Archangel of Love. "We are judging someone - well, not we; I am, but I wanted you all to be here. It seems that I alone cannot convince these two that they are meant for each other and since they will not admit it, I'd like you all to help me." Amoriel said. "Then call them, sister. We are wasting precious time." Malthael said. Amoriel nodded and looked to Auriel and Itherael. "If you two would teleport down... I want to show you something." Amoriel said. It took a moment of silence between the two Archangels before they teleported down. Amoriel, with her staff in hand, lifted it off the ground and above her head. She waited a moment before slamming it down on the ground. A shock wave erupted from it, though it didn't hurt anyone - only passing through them and revealing a bright line extruding from their body. Everyone looked at their lines. Imperius and Malthael were connected by theirs and Tyrael's line seemed to head straight for Sanctuary, no doubt to Leah. Itherael and Auriel looked at the link between them. Imperius looked to his younger sister. "Sister, what is this?" Imperius asked. Amoriel sighed. "This is what I see every day. The lines you see between you and Malthael represent the true love you feel for one another." Amoriel looked down at Auriel and Itherael. "Don't you see now? You do love each other and now you have proof..." Amoriel said. Malthael looked down at Fate and Hope. "Listen to her, she understands this better than anyone," Malthael said. Itherael and Auriel looked at one another and seemed to gravitate to each other. "Auriel..." Itherael paused, he was hesitant. "Quiet you fool..." Auriel said, before kissing Itherael and pulling him into her embrace. Itherael returned her embrace as their kiss ended. "I love you..." Itherael said. "I love you too," Auriel replied. Amoriel smiled and signaled for Imperius to end the council. Itherael and Auriel eventually left the Judgement Hall... After they were finished showing their love.
Side note: the Angiris Council didn't stay and watch Itherael and Auriel do their thing and they closed the door. ;p
Chapter 5: A Necklace of Fate
A short chapter but I assure that this is anything but filler and once you read it, you will understand why I was avoiding the end... Soon, Amoriel's story will come to an end.
Amoriel browsed the small shop stalls of Caldium, with Auriel close by her side and Imperius lagging behind. Imperius was not pleased to be on Sanctuary, once more, but with Tyrael unable to fully dedicate his time to watching Amoriel, he didn't want to risk not being here. Auriel, on the other hand, was requested to come by her younger sister. She found herself unable to say no to her sister's requests as of late. That, however, did not bother her. She was unable to spend much time with her in the High Heavens and thus sorely missed her company. The people of Caldium had grown accustomed to seeing angels walk their streets and were not surprised to see the three. Tyrael had made it a popular activity with Amoriel to travel to the city and peruse the shops. This time, however, Amoriel was actually able to buy something. Leah had given Amoriel an allowance for doing simple chores while she was on Sanctuary. Amoriel thought it was far more practical for her to receive money for work. She had even earned a total of a hundred gold! Amoriel was so proud of herself.
Amoriel stopped at this one jewelry stall and looked on in awe at this gold chain necklace. There was a heart-shaped pink gemstone encased in gold attached to it. Lining the gold chain were purely white pearls, making the entire piece a thing to be marveled at. She then looked up at the merchant who happened to be non-other than Covetous Shen. A friend of Alexandra's and her personal gem crafter. "Mr. Shen! Did you make this necklace? It's really pretty!" Amoriel exclaimed. Covetous Shen looked upon the Archangel and smiled. "Oh, the baby angel! Sadly, no, I did not make it." Shen shrugged, still smiling. "It is an ancient artifact that bears a troubled past. Every previous owner has had a mysteriously tragic end, but it's probably just a coincidence. I mean, here I am, with it in my possession and I'm alright." Shen chuckled. Amoriel giggled. She loved talking to Covetous Shen. He had so many stories of ages past and it made her days in Sanctuary very pleasant. "Can I buy it then? Since I'm an angel and can never truly die, I should be fine, right?" Amoriel asked. Covetous Shen nodded excitedly. "Oh, yes, of course! Before me, only normal old humans had owned it! Of course, you should be perfectly fine!" Shen laughed. That was one thing that confused Amoriel about Covetous Shen, though. He never grouped himself with other humans. He always talked about it as though he was something other than a human.
Shen pondered for a moment, before speaking. "Because you are my very special friend, I will give you a discount."
"Oh no, please don't spoil me! I get that enough from my family!" Amoriel said. Shen frowned. "But without it, I doubt you will be able to afford it." He said, pointing at the price tag. Amoriel read the tiny sign and was shocked at the amount. It was far more than she could ever possibly make on her own. Amoriel sighed in defeat. Shen smiled. "Now, for you, it'll only cost you fifty gold," Shen said. Amoriel, still upset that she needed a 'friend' discount, counted out the coins and handed them to Covetous Shen. Shen, in turn, took the necklace, placed it in a wooden, felt-lined box, wrapped the box in paper and placed it in a small bag with handles. Amoriel took the bag and bowed her head. "Thank you, Mr.Shen," Amoriel said, before flying back to her siblings. Covetous Shen waved goodbye, never dropping his cheerful smile. Auriel was waiting patiently next to Imperius, who never once took his eyes off of Amoriel. Amoriel floated up to them and showed them the bag. Both of them nodded at her, knowing that their trip to Caldium was coming to a close.
Back at New Tristram, in Leah's Inn, Amoriel sat with her siblings: Auriel, Tyrael, and Imperius. They were sitting at the bar, Amoriel needed a few books to be able to see over the counter. Leah was also there, washing the dirty mugs, while also listening in on the conversation. Amoriel placed her bag on the counter and unwrapped the box inside, before pulling it out and laying it out. Leah took the bag and placed it beneath the bar, to probably reuse it later. Amoriel then opened the box and delicately held it up. Leah looked up and was in awe by the beautiful necklace. "Oh, Amoriel, that looks wonderful! Do you want to put it on? I can help you..." Leah asked. Amoriel nodded, handing the necklace to Leah. Amoriel shifted into her mortal form and waited patiently for Leah. Leah unhooked the necklace and placed it around Amoriel's neck. Imperius, of course, was watching Leah carefully. Hooking the necklace once more, Leah goes and grabs a hand mirror and gives it to Amoriel. Amoriel makes a wide smile and turns to her siblings. "I love it! What do you think?" Amoriel asks with wide, bright eyes. "It looks lovely, sister," Auriel says with a loving tone. Tyrael nods in agreement. "You look wonderful, sister," Tyrael adds. A brief moment of silence passes before Imperius speaks, that causes Amoriel to worry. "It... suits you, sister." Amoriel is ecstatic with Imperius' reply and throws her hands up in the air. "Yay! I have to show big brother Itherael and Malthael!" Amoriel exclaims. With that, the Archangels, exempt Tyrael, left Sanctuary for the High Heavens.
Once there, Amoriel immediately showed her new prize to the remainder of her family. Who were just as impressed with it as the rest of the council, except for one. Itherael stared at the necklace for a long while before turning away and teleporting back to the Library of Fate. Amoriel, saddened by her brother's reaction, just simply stood there. Imperius was enraged by Itherael but knew all to well that the Archangel of Fate never did anything without reason. Imperius was about to follow him when Auriel signaled his attention to Amoriel, who was still stunned in place. Imperius immediately went to her side, to console her, as Auriel, herself, went to the Library of Fate.
Auriel floated into Itherael's office to find the Scroll of Fate almost completely unraveled and rolled across the floor. Itherael was leaning over his desk and looked rather distraught as he stared down at a portion of the Scroll. Auriel floated closer but soon stopped in her tracks. "Ever since she was born..." Itherael started. Auriel tilted her head; has Itherael been worried about something for a while? "I have been searching for her in the Scroll..."
"Searching? You mean, you didn't know about her beforehand?" Auriel asked. Itherael reluctantly nodded before turning to face her. "Sister... Amoriel isn't in the Scroll of Fate. I've known this and still..." Itherael's tone was filled with fear and hesitant. "And still you accepted her and remained silent." Auriel was displeased by Itherael's dishonesty but somehow, could sympathize with him. "But," Auriel refocused her attention to the Archangel before her. "I've seen that necklace before..." Itherael stopped and moved his hand over a particular part of the Scroll. Itherael didn't move, still facing Auriel, he didn't need to read it, he could just feel it. The one thing that would tear his family apart...
Chapter 6: True Love
“What did the scroll say?” Auriel asked as she tilted her head and slowly approach Itherael. Her movements were rather threatening as it became evident that she was making it impossible for him to get out of it. Itherael shivered as he realized he had no choice but to tell her. He sighed ever so quietly. “It’s a soulstone,” He whispered. Auriel leaned closer still. “A what?” Itherael looked behind him, out the window, to see Imperius had successfully calmed Amoriel but more importantly, saw the necklace begin to glow. “It’s a soulstone! Sister, we have to get her away from it-” Itherael shouted as he drew his sword but it was too late. He watched helplessly as Amoriel was thrown back, he necklace shattering and a powerful demon releasing from its weakened shackles. Itherael and Auriel wasted no further time in teleporting back to their siblings, their weapons ready.
Auriel immediately went to Amoriel’s side to check if she was injured. Amoriel dazed yet not hurt, looked up to her older sister and then to the demon that begun to take form. Imperius summoned Solarion and was joined by Itherael and Malthael as well as the surrounding angel soldiers. In the time it took for the demon to materialize into its complete form, every angel in the High Heavens had surrounded it. Itherael was hesitant to say it but he turned to Auriel. “Take her to Sanctuary. Tell Tyrael to bring reinforcements!” Auriel nodded and picked up her sister and left for Sanctuary. Imperius scoffed at Itherael’s command. “We don’t need the nephalem to deal with one demon.” Itherael looked at Imperius with a puzzling look. “You would rather endanger our sister by keeping her here?” Imperius growled but looked back at the demon.
The demon looked down at them and laughed. “I’m surprised the Angiris Council wouldn’t take an advantage when they see one… Why didn’t you attack me?” Imperius huffed with a mocking undertone. “Only a fool would attempt to attack you when you are clearly shielded.” Itherael elaborated his brother’s claim. “Not just any shield but one that would mind control the attacker.”
The demon huffed and crossed her arms. “So boring. Mind control is such a pathetic means of influence. I prefer to use your emotions against you.” She made a wicked grin as she looked at each and every angel that surrounded her. She looked a little flustered and she continued to scan the group. Malthael didn’t like the fact that it seemed like she was looking for someone in particular.
“Where-” She paused as she searched the crowd a third time but then became angered. “Where is she?!” She screamed, erupting a shockwave from her body. It didn’t hurt anyone, just causing some of the lesser angels to be pushed back. Imperius had a sinking feeling that she was referring to Amoriel and looked to Itherael for confirmation. Itherael didn’t move a muscle and stared down at his sword before glancing back up at his brothers.
The furious demon looked down at the three Archangels and slammed her fist down onto the ground next to them. The shield she wore, almost touched Malthael and caused him to back up. “She was just here! Where is she now?!” Imperius knew he wouldn’t be able to fool the demon before him as it was clear that she was no lesser demon spawn. She was large, much taller than he and almost rivaled Diablo’s height. Still, he knew who she was searching for and was more than eager to end her.
“Lower your shield and perhaps you won’t have to worry about that.” Imperius threatened. The demon didn’t react well to his taunt and moved to grab him. Imperius jumped into the air and dodged her hand but she sent out a bright red rope from her palm, which wrapped around his leg and quickly pulled him into her hand. Malthael looked on in terror as her shield engulfed him. “No!” The demon looked down at Malthael and smiled. “Aw, look. He loves you. How adorable.” She put her face next to Imperius as she spoke. Luckily for Imperius, his overall strength and pride made it very hard for her mind-controlling shield to immediately overtake him. Yet, it was taking all his strength to protect him and it would not be long before he would be in trouble. Imperius struggled to look up at her. “How… do you know?-”
She tossed Imperius around as she laughed. “Oh my, that’s funny…” She wiped make-believe tears from her eyes. “How do I know? Because I am Love, deary. The Lord of Love, Karasev.” Imperius became still. Of course, it was a fact that every Archangel had an opposing Lord of Evil but he hadn’t once taken into account that his beloved sister would have her own counter evil. Not just any Evil but one that shares her title. Karasev noticed Valor’s broken mind state and squeezed him, which caused Imperius to groan as he felt his armor cave in on itself. If this continued, it wouldn’t be long until he would succumb to her mind control. He wearily looked up at the portal to Sanctuary, only half-consciously awake as he watched Tyrael, Alexandra, Auriel, and Amoriel appear before it.
“Let him go!” Amoriel yelled as loud as she could, holding her staff close to her chest as she flew up to meet Karasev’s eyes. Imperius looked up at the little angel and finally realized that it, indeed, actually was her. “Amoriel-”
“Silence!” Karasev yelled and threw Imperius onto the ground, pinning him there with her hand. The surrounding angel soldiers looked down at their commander and tried their hardest to help him. Itherael and Malthael stopped them but couldn’t help but feel just as helpless.
“You came back… How nice,” Karasev grinned a nasty toothy smile. Amoriel wasn’t afraid of her grotesque looks, however, and stood her ground. She moved her staff into a defensive stance and put up her own protective barrier. “I told you to let him go. You don’t need him; you only want me.” Amoriel said. Karasev sighed. “Really, dear? I thought you of all people would be into the idea of a little fun…” Amoriel scowled. “Not when it comes to hurting the people I love!”
“Love, you say? Let’s see about that?” Amoriel gasped as she realized her folly and looked to Imperius.
Karasev seemed to have no trouble in extinguishing the remainder of Imperius strength and allowed her magic to completely overtake his mind. She then released him and let him wander out of her bubble. Malthael grabbed him as he stumbled into his arms and held onto him tightly. “Brother…” Imperius whispered and Malthael tightened his grip, letting his guard down. “Yes, brother, I am here,” Malthael said, dropping his weapons and comforting Imperius. Itherael watched as Imperius raised Solarion and sink it deep into Malthael’s side. He wasn’t fast enough to stop it but he attacked Imperius and managed to throw him off of Malthael. Malthael didn’t attempt to move away as his white angelic blood gushed from his abdomen. His mind was not where it needed to be as Imperius ruthlessly fought with Itherael and attempted to kill his own soldiers. Malthael was too out of it to notice that Auriel and Tyrael had come to his aid and pulled him into the Library of Fate to heal him.
Amoriel watched as her brother’s mind was warped to attack the ones he cherished, instead to protect them. She flew down to him, in the hopes that she may release him from the spell but Karasev grabbed her. She held the little angel like a ball, unable to break her protective shield with her bare hands. “Aw, what’s wrong? Hate to see your family fight each other?” Karasev chuckled as she juggled Amoriel from hand to hand. “Sorry to say, dear, but that’s what love does to people. The longer you hang around them, the more you begin to hate them.” Karasev laughed as Amoriel regained her balance and became angered by the hurtful taunts. Karasev failed to notice the power Amoriel was charging until a giant pink shockwave blast threw her. Karasev was pushed back, her shield and the spell controlling Imperius being broken on impact. Amoriel was released from her grasp and she was finally able to make her way to her brother. Imperius shook the remainder of Karasev’s magic from his body and looked to Itherael and the angels around him. He shuddered as he realized what had happened. “Malthael, he-”
“You attacked him, brother,” Itherael said softly.
Imperius gripped Solarion with a frightening amount of strength and turned to the downed Karasev. He marched towards her, his soldiers moving to clear his path. “Hurting me is one thing,” Imperius jumped to land on top of her and stick Solarion in between her plates of armored skin. “But using me to hurt my family?!” Imperius shoved his spear into her but felt no resistance. Solarion was sharp, sure, but not that sharp.
Karasev laughed and her body began to glow as red light shown through the cracks in her exoskeleton. Alexandra, who had helped to distract Imperius before, immediately teleported to his side and teleported them both away. “Nephalem?” Imperius asked quietly, before realizing that the demon was exploding. He turned around, his back facing the explosion and shielded Alex, as well as Amoriel and Itherael. The other angels that were caught in the blast, were annihilated on impact and fizzled into light particles. Imperius grunted as his armor took another big hit and caved into him. The dent was massive and even being impaled by Diablo didn’t hurt as much as this did.
Alexandra looked like she was truly worried about the Archangel. “Imperius, you need to go back. You’ll be killed if you stay.” Imperius didn’t make an attempt to heed her warning and simply readied his weapon again. “Nephalem, if that should come to pass, use it as a final chance to kill her. Do not hesitate.” Alexandra wanted to argue but knew that he wasn’t the High Heavens commander for a reason. She readied her wand and stood beside him. Amoriel wanted to cry as Itherael joined them. “No, you guys- You can’t do this! She just wants me, only me!”
“That’s exactly why we will stand and fight.” Amoriel looked back to see Tyrael, who had now taken his angelic form once again, Malthael and Auriel float passed her and stand beside Imperius. Amoriel’s urge to cry became greater as Karasev reformed herself and her siblings and friend did not waver. Imperius didn’t look back as he spoke to Amoriel. “Sister, do not fear. Your family will fight for you.” Karasev rose from the crater she had created and turned to the Angiris Council. “Touching…” She smiled and lunged for them, using only her long sharpened claws as weapons.
Amoriel cried on the sidelines, having to only dodge the occasional stray spell from Karasev, as her friends and family fought to protect her. She cried not only because she had to watch them fight through their pain but also because she felt truly unable to help. She didn’t take the time to learn how to use her staff like Imperius had asked her to. She regretted it fully now. All Amoriel knew how to do was shield herself and show the love lines, as if that would help her now.
Imperius was the most hurt out of the bunch, though she was sure that one good hit from Karasev would end him. Tyrael had done his best to protect Imperius, taking unnecessary hits for him. Auriel and Itherael did their best to try and cripple Karasev, but her exoskeleton was proving hard to penetrate. Maltheal kept close to Alexandra, assisting her as she seemed to do the most in hurting Karasev. All this, however, was just delaying the inevitable, Amoriel knew. She could see that there was no way they could defeat Karasev on their own.
Amoriel grasped her staff tightly as she watched Karasev disarm Tyrael, El’druin landing close to her. Amoriel attempted to lift it and throw it back to him but it was far too heavy for her and Tyrael and Imperius were, both, thrown into one of the towers. Solarion was thrown from Imperius’ hands and it too landed next to Amoriel. Tears began streaming down her darkened face as she tried to get Solarion out of the ground as well. I can’t do it… Amoriel thought, sitting on her knees next to Solarion. I can’t do anything!! Amoriel cried as she looked down at the ground. They’re gonna die… They’re all gonna die because I can’t help them! She slammed her staff onto the ground and shoved her tiny fists into her face as she cried harder. Who said you can’t do anything?
Amoriel shot her head up and looked around. She could have sworn she heard someone talking but wasn’t sure where it came from. A small light shined from her staff and caught her attention. “What?...” Amoriel asked out loud and picked up her staff once more. What has gotten you so upset, little one? Amoriel instantly recognized the voice and wiped her tears away. “Um, papa, she’s going to kill my family but I can’t do anything to help them…” Amoriel waited for a response but was beginning to think that she was going crazy. My dear, I don’t remember sending you to cry… All you need to do is show them what true love is… “True love…” Amoriel felt like the word along had power woven into it. “True love,” She said again and soon her body was enveloped with a bright light. Yes, of course, She thought as she remembered how much better she felt when she realized that her brothers, Imperius and Malthael, loved each other. She also recalled how much stronger she felt when Imperius said he would always love her, no matter what appearance she took. Amoriel closed her eyes and smiled. “I see now,”
The light grew brighter, interrupting Alexandra’s spell as a blinding light caught her attention. Everyone stopped fighting and looked to Amoriel, though it was near impossible to see her and look directly at her. Karasev covered her eyes. Amoriel emerged from the light, no longer a small angel but around the same height of Auriel. Imperius and Tyrael pushed their way out of the rubble and looked down in awe. They both called their weapons to them but they didn’t budge. Confused, Imperius tried again but nothing happened.
Amoriel looked up at them and shook her head. “Sorry, big brothers, but I’m going to need these.” She moved her hand to lift them with her own magic. Although her wings were more than strong enough to lift her, she did not fly. She walked towards Karasev, pointing Solarion to the sun and El’druin to Sanctuary below. “Love is a double-edged sword. It can kill, it can save. It can hurt and heal. It can create as well as destroy. You exist to instill false love. The kind of love that controls and confuse. I exist to reveal true love. The kind that shows you just how important you are to the people around. The kind of love that can and will save you.” Amoriel did not flinch as she stood before Karasev, unwavering and unafraid.
Karasev smiled and stood to face her, ignoring her other attackers. “You finally figured it out. Now you see why I want your power,” She paused to laugh. “It will be so much easier to become the Prime Evil when I convince your precious family to hand over the Black Soulstone.” Amoriel shook her head. “You’re a fool,”
“What?! Why you little-”
“You want my power? Then take it!” Amoriel shoved all three weapons into the ground, an impenetrable shield emitting from them and covering Amoriel and Karasev. “No!” Imperius yelled and flew down to her, yet was stopped by the barrier. Alexandra also attempted to reach her but was also halted. She attacked the bubble but her spells just bounced off. Everyone watched helplessly, while also trying to lower the barrier, as Amoriel looked to them. She mouthed the words, It’s okay , before Karasev gladly grabbed her and fused with her.
Imperius banged on the barrier to no avail as he watched his precious sister disappear. Karasev seemed so pleased with herself before an agonizing pain ripped through her entire body. She fell to her knees and coughed up what looked like internal organs mixed with bits and pieces of muscle matter. The disgusting pile bubbled and soon broke down into a puddle of vile blood. Alexandra could only imagine what sort of agony could come from such a process happening in one’s own body. Karasev’s red eyes had lost their glow as she crumbled down onto the ground and began to rapidly decay before them.
Alexandra turned away as the sight became even more gruesome, looking to Tyrael, who had landed beside her. Tyrael had also looked away, only to look back moments later to see the empty husk of the once powerful demon. Shortly after, the barrier had lowered and Imperius and Tyrael were free to collect their weapons. Imperius looked down at Amoriel’s staff and noticed that it had failed to disappear. Perhaps there was a chance that she was still alive. However, it was plainly obvious that Amoriel was at least not within the demon’s shell, as when Imperius touched it, it reduced to dust. Amoriel was not there. Her staff was but he did not want it, he wanted her, his sister.
Imperius fell to his knees and stared at the dust before him. “Amoriel… She’s-” Everyone went silent as Imperius looked back at her staff. The color had faded from it and it looked more like weathered stone rather than angelic steel. Imperius was wary to grasp it, but when he did, it was cold to the touch and much heavier than it would have been normally. Imperius released Solarion and held the staff with both hands. He made a strained fist around it and lowered his head. “I was supposed to protect you. I-” The words became stuck in his throat as he held her staff. Finally, he was joined by his siblings, while Alexandra stood back and wept her silent tears.
Malthael sat next to Imperius and rested his head against his shoulder. “We all were…” He sighed and pushed his face into him. Imperius couldn’t shake the overwhelming pain he felt in his chest cavity, even though he knew that he hadn’t sustained any injuries there. He looked to Alexandra who was now completely crying, for answers. “Nephalem, tell me,” Alex looked up at him and did her best to wipe away her tears. “What is this feeling? Why does my chest hurt? Why-” Imperius went silent when she began to choke on her tears, trying her best to answer him.
“It’s love, Imperius.”
Imperius gently laid Amoriel’s staff onto its pedestal in the Halls of Valor. It seemed only fitting that she received a spot in those gilded halls after she had sacrificed herself to save them. Imperius smiled as he remembered her asking if she could wear his crown. He frowned when he remembered that he told her that she couldn’t. Oh, how much I would go back to change that, sister… Imperius thought as he stepped back, joining his siblings. They all remained silent as the sun’s rays shown through the windows and down onto the staff. Imperius had hoped the sun would have somehow rejuvenated the weapon to its former glory, just as it had down to the High Heavens following Diablo’s defeat but the staff remained as it was.
Slowly but surely, the Angiris Council said their farewells and left the Halls of Valor one by one. Malthael was the last to leave, next to Imperius and walked up to him, an item in his hand. “Brother, I know this is the last thing you may wish to look upon but,” Malthael presented a replica of the heart-shaped soulstone necklace to Imperius. “She loved it. Perhaps it will bring you some comfort.” Malthael’s voice was strained, the sadness he felt was taking a toll on him as well. Imperius looked at the jewelry and took it from him. “Where did you get this?” Imperius asked. “Alex requested I give it to you,” Malthael said before slowly leaving the halls of Valor.
Imperius looked at the perfectly made gemstone a moment, before wrapping the necklace around his wrist. He then looked back at the pedestal one last time, before leaving the Halls as well.
Imperius trained his newly reformed troops but wasn’t quite feeling his usual prideful self. He looked down at the necklace that Alexandra had made for him and sighed. It was hard to go a day without thinking of the sister he had lost but that day was exceptionally harder for whatever reason. His mind was riddled with the image of her mortal form smiling at him and he could feel his strength leave him every time he saw it. Imperius dismissed his soldiers and decided that distraction was not going to help him. He looked up at that cloudy sky above him and watched as they would cover and uncover that bright sun.
In the past, Imperius had never seen flying to be anything more than a means of transportation but of course, Amoriel changed that. She had called it fun and showed them just how much fun they could have weaving in and out of the clouds. Imperius sighed again and thought of how much he didn’t want to have fun unless she was there. He turned around and leaned his back against the railing. The brisk wind rushed past him, blowing his wings in their direction.
Imperius was no fool but he could have sworn to have heard her voice just then. Perhaps it was just a vivid memory. He had those a lot when he was alone. He didn’t pay it any mind until another gust of wind blew past him. “Big brother?” A shiver ran down Imperius spine and he looked around. No… Imperius thought to himself and shook his head. He wasn’t hearing anything. It wasn’t real, he was just wishing he heard it. He ignored the disembodied voices and turned around to look down over the High Heavens.
Imperius was taken aback when he noticed little balls of light appear all across the heavens and watch even more shoot up from Sanctuary. Imperius was absolutely still as he watched the lights fly to the Crystal Arch. “Big brother…” Another gust of wind flew past him and Imperius was almost scared to follow it, but he eagerly jumped up into the sky and flew with it. His siblings were quick to join him in flight and this time they all heard that sweet voice.
“I love you,”
As the sun broke through the clouds and shined down on the High Heavens, it built a structure in its heart. The staff that rested in the Halls of Valor, too, shined brightly once more...