In Our Image

In Our Image – Volume 5 Chapter 4

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Author’s Note: Sorry for the long absence, school has really been eating into my time lately. Expect a post about the schedule for the coming month’s soon! Thanks for the patience!

Volume 5 – Chapter 4

The angel sat in a delicate metal chair, arms folded as he curled a lock of his golden hair between two fingers. In front of him, a small basket full of bread rolls sat–an appetizer he had ordered less from hunger and more from habit, although he was currently chewing absentmindedly on his second.

Glancing around, he appraised the other customers of the small cafe, silently assessing their mannerisms, determining whether they posed a threat to the secrecy of his upcoming meeting. He had learned long ago that one could never be too careful in such matters, and so was very thorough in his observation, but eventually he let it rest–they seemed to be nothing more than average humans.

Finally, with that squared away, he turned to look across the street, and he waited.

It took longer for his companion to arrive than he had expected, and as the angel made his way across the street ten minutes late, adjusting his sunglasses and scanning the area, Barachiel decided he would have to get to the bottom of the uncharacteristic tardiness.

But that must be put aside until later. Today, he had something much more important to discuss.

The angel reached the table, and took a seat across from Barachiel. Removing his sunglasses, revealing vibrant brown eyes, he raised his eyebrows.

“Did you order all of this bread for yourself?” he asked, while simultaneously raising his hand for a nearby waitress and ordering a cup of coffee. Smiling as she walked away, he ran one hand across the dome of his shaved head and picked up a roll with the other. “Or did you just want to leave with takeout?”

“We have something we need to discuss, Eremiel,” Barachiel said, ignoring his comments. “I am going to need your assistance in furthering our plan.”

Faster than lightning, his expression changed, his eyebrows furrowing, his mouth closing in a straight line as he rested his chin in his hands. For all of his jokes, Eremiel knew when to get serious, and Barachiel had always felt that many of his other companions could learn from following in his example.

“Ah.” Noticing that the waitress was approaching once again, he waited until he had prepared his drink–more cream than coffee–before continuing. “I had meant to ask how they were progressing. I haven’t felt anything strange in some time, so I assumed nothing had changed, but the fact that you called me out here is making me think a little differently.”

“That is correct,” Barachiel said. “If I’m being honest, things have been moving at a much slower pace than we would have hoped, which explains why you and the others have not felt any changes since the initial surge. However, I have been watching them closely, and have seen their development first hand. No matter how slowly, they are coming much closer to realizing the full extent of their abilities.”

Eremiel nodded, and took a sip of his coffee. “Well, that’s good news, I suppose. Would you say they are close to opening the gate, then?”

Barachiel tore off the end of his third roll and began to chew, mulling over his response. Eremiel had a special knack for asking the very few questions that Barachiel did not have an answer to, a quality which, although one of the many reasons he kept the sharp-witted angel at his right hand, never ceased to annoy him.

Finally, Barachiel sighed, leaning back in his chair and running a hand through his hair.

“Truthfully, there is no way to know,” he admitted. “But, if you are asking for my personal opinion on the matter, I believe that they are very close.”

“Hm, well, I’ll take your word for it.” Eremiel seemed impressed, and Barachiel drew no small amount of satisfaction from how quickly he accepted his word. Then, finishing off his drink, the angel laid his hands flat on the table and met eyes with Barachiel. “But, I must admit, I am a little surprised to hear that we are so close to completing our goal, even with Ambriel’s interference.”

And there it was, the other reason Barachiel tried to allow Eremiel to do his work alone–he had a way of reminding Barachiel of his greatest failures, even if he didn’t plan to. Barachiel coughed, and glanced at the ground.

“Ambriel’s betrayal did come as a shock,” he said slowly, measuring his words. “However, there is no way such a small setback would impede our plans. Even without Ambriel’s help, we are now closer to achieving our goal than ever.”

Eremiel nodded, although he didn’t seem to feel the need to add any more, simply waiting for Barachiel to speak. Yet another admirable quality he possessed.

“Still, this does not mean that Ambriel’s weakness has not had its negative effects,” he continued, paying close attention to Eremiel’s face, just in case it changed from an unreadable mask. “The Leviathan brought them close to reaching their potential, but due to the interference of our former ally it was not to be so. Because of this, we are going to have to turn to more…volatile assistance to bring forth their power.”

There was still no change in Eremiel’s expression, although Barachiel did catch a faint, almost unidentifiable gleam in his eye.

“What exactly do you mean by ‘volatile’?”

Barachiel closed his eyes and sighed.

“I simply mean that certain individuals have had trouble controlling them in the past,” Barachiel said. “That is all. For someone with strengths such as yours, they will pose no threat, I am sure.”

“Hm.” Eremiel scraped his spoon on the bottom of his cup. “So I’m going to be dealing with them, then?”

”You’ll be watching over them,” Barachiel clarified. “Hopefully you will not need to intervene, but on the chance that they go too far you must put a stop to them. It would be unfortunate if they were to kill them and start it all over.”

With a nod, Eremiel reached for his sunglasses.

“Is that all for the orders?”

“Nearly,” Barachiel said. “There is just one more. I need you to tell them what they are.”

For the first time, Eremiel’s expression altered, his eyes widening slightly, but he controlled it quickly. With a small smile, he leaned back in his chair.

“You’re sure?”

“Of course. I have been watching for some time, and am sure that this is what must be done. They need to know,” Barachiel said. “If they do not, it will be much more difficult to convince them to lend us their aid.”

With that, Barachiel stood, the metal legs of his chair scraping on stone. Placing one hand in the pocket of his trenchcoat, he grabbed the bread-basket with the other. Across from him, Eremiel followed his example, placing his sunglasses on his face and fishing out some bills to cover the tip.

“There are your orders,” Barachiel said coolly, glancing around at the other customers once again. “I will send a messenger with their location, and we will meet again when the mission is completed.”

“Understood,” Eremiel said. “Although, I do have one question.”

Barachiel was almost surprised.

“Yes?”

“How do you know they will open it?” he asked, his expression plain. “Nothing so far has pushed them to that point. What is to say that anything will?”

The angel was turned around, golden strands of hair flowing in the breeze, and Eremiel couldn’t see him grin.

“There is no need to worry,” he said, resuming his stroll away from his subordinate. “Legion will succeed. We will make sure of it.”

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