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Backstory

        Since Bael left the perch, he had been traveling with Satan. He would do anything to please her in hopes of earning her love. Satan let him follow her to kill time. She enjoyed watching this ‘god’ run around like a clown. He was too weak to be a threat to her anyway. She commanded Bael to make an army glow to attract an ambush from enemies. Later, she asked Bael to hide needles in the fruits, so she could enjoy the twisted faces of people choking on needles. Now she sent Bael to evaporate the streams between two nations to incite water conflicts. From time to time, Bael would oppose Satan in an attempt to impress her, but she never bat an eye at what he did. Repeated failure to seek her attention frustrated Bael. ‘How could I earn her trust? I want her to trust me like how she trusts her demonic sword...’

        A few days ago, Bael and Satan walked past a graveyard, where the tombstones had no names engraved. Some had been worn away from weathering. Some had been left nameless intentionally. Bael pondered and pointed at the graveyard, ‘Do you know why the headstones there have no names on them?’ Satan answered, ‘Nameless stones are common in a mass grave. Nothing special.’ Bael shook his head, ‘The graves contained mythological beasts, not humans.’ The fun fact raised Satan’s eyebrows. He noticed the topic had caught her interest, so he continued, ‘Shall we dig up some of them?’ Satan grinned with a sidelong glance, ‘Suit yourself.’

        After half an hour, Bael climbed out of a tombstone and dusted his clothes. He took out a shiny feather and exclaimed, ‘I guessed it. The body is still intact.’ Satan had been waiting for a while for Bael to come out with something fascinating. She rushed to the tombstone and descended into the grave to take a good look…

        ’Where is it?’ All Satan saw were bones, instead of rare stuff like Pheonix hair and Qilin horns. As she climbed back up in disappointment, strange rays beamed from the grave. Satan quickly jumped out of there. Looking around, she found crosses lying all around the grave and Bael standing on the tallest tombstone. He opened his wings and recited an unsettling litany. Satan noticed things were going south and tried to grab him, but the crosses connected to form a cage that descended upon her.

Satan slashed at the crosses and glared at Bael, ‘I will ruin you, god slave!’ Bael did not care and continued to recite the litany. The crosses sank into herskin, causing immense pain. Satan had only lowered her guard for a moment, which led to her defeat. Her limbs became numb. The sword dropped from her hand and touched the ground. Dazzling lights covered the graveyard…

         As the lights dimmed, the figures of Satan’s sword and a little girl appeared. Bael picked the sword up. The litany covered the sword. He glanced at the girl in Satan’s outfit, which did not fit at all. The girl’s had Satan’s hair and skin color. She slowly opened her eyes, and blushed once Bael came in sight. She asked softly, ‘Brother…? Why am I here?’

        Bael paused. Cold sweat soaked him to the skin. He had expected Satan to jump into his arms, instead of this lost girl wondering where she was. Bael remained in silence. Satan pulled his sleeve and asked, ‘Brother, what do I do?’

        ’...What do you do?’ The passion that had filled Bael moments ago wore off completely. He had hoped to become her sword, but did it even matter in the end? Had he intended to stay with her forever? He stroked Satan’s cheek and wondered which part of her he had gone crazy for...

        He loved not Satan, but the freedom she had granted him and the pleasure from his liberation…


        Bael sighed. He realized how many taboos he had broken. He had to atone for his sins to obtain ultimate freedom.

        Satan was never be heard of again.

        ’It’s up to you.’ Bael did not wait for her reaction and left her alone.

        The burning flame of the sword remain bright even though Bael had walked miles away from Satan. A few days later he reached the far north region where the Sun never sank just like the Sleepless City. The place reminded him of Satan. He stopped at an ice mountain and dug a hole in the ice. The sword dropped from his hands into the hole and froze in a few moments.

        ’Farewell.’ Bael smiled and flew into the sky.

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