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Authors: George Han

Of Kings and Demons

BOOK: Of Kings and Demons
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Of Kings and Demons

A Novel

By

George Han

 

 

Text copyright 2012 George Han

Cover Design © 2012 George Han

All Rights Reserved

 

Dedication Page

 

To my wife Rachel, for her love over the years.

To my parents for their patience and support.

 

Table of Contents

Prologue

1783, Newburg

Chapter 1

Initial Contact

Chapter 2

Bastion of the
Angels

Chapter 3

Darkness Arising

Chapter 4

Snow in September

Chapter 5

The Chase

Chapter 6

Insanity

Chapter 7

Politicians

Chapter 8

The White Angel

Chapter 9

Primus Inter Pares

Chapter 10

Death and
Resurrection

Chapter 11

The Fire Spreads

Chapter 12

Rendezvous

Chapter 13

Allies and the Ordo

Chapter 14

Encounter

Chapter 15

Battle Begins

Chapter 16

A King in the Making.

Chapter 17

No Love Lost

Chapter 18

Surprise. Surprise

Chapter 19

Briefing

Chapter 20

Firsthand Knowledge

Chapter 21

Conversation with an
Angel

Chapter 22

Temptation of the
Soul

Chapter 23

Mounting Troubles

Chapter 24

Darkness Deepens

Chapter 25

Unfavourable
Discovery

Chapter 26

The Grinding

Chapter 27

Down the Memory Lane

Chapter 28

The Flocking Enemies

Chapter 29

Nightmare

Chapter 30

Ambush

Chapter 31

Dialogue with the
Demon

Chapter 32

An Unexpected Ally

Chapter 33

Success and Plans

Chapter 34

Journey back

Chapter 35

Arrival

Chapter 36

Labyrinth

Chapter 37

Unpleasant
Encounters

Chapter 38

Friends or foes

Chapter 39

Reunion

Chapter 40

Old Scores &
Allies United

Chapter 41

Mayhem and Bloodshed

Chapter 42

Sacrifice and
Miracle

Chapter 43

Settlement of
Accounts

Epilogue

 

Prologue

1783, Newburg

His hands trembled, unbecoming of a man of his stature. A newly born
nation now looks up to him for inspiration and leadership but he was not ready.
They thirsts for his equanimity and wisdom - qualities that helped him united a
fledging army and clinched victory from a grand old enemy.

His decisiveness, needed in the present moment
of chaos, was now in scarcity. All he, the General of the Continental Army, had
now was frail will. Hours earlier an anonymous letter was delivered to him, its
contents pregnant with the threat to tear a nation apart.

General George Washington was torn asunder.

His soldiers, frustrated over unpaid
salaries and delayed rewards had threatened a mutiny and hold congress hostage
for their intransigency. The restive soldiers, in the heat of the moment, had
suggested a restoration of monarchy, with him as King.

The proposition seductive like rich rum was
intoxicating. A kingdom that provided wealth and fame for perpetuity, just like
George III across the Atlantic, was too much for a mortal to resist. However the
proposition will render the sacrifices of tens of thousands, lost in the
defence of liberty and democracy, void and wasted.

Man had given up their property and staked
their families in an act of treason to pursue a dream of a nation free of
tyranny and oppression. Is he going to reverse all these in the name of his
glory? One man’s vanity?

The idea was dark temptation coated with
the sugar of vainglory – King, King George 1 of America. Washington tried to
kill the notion but it seemed to possess the resilience of a slithering serpent,
eluding his best efforts to snub it.

The General was spent. He dropped himself
o
n the bed. He needed a respite, a space for inspiration to seed.

Washington flipped over and dropped on his
knees. He prayed. Through the years of adversity, George Washington had gained
a nugget of wisdom. In moments of utmost desperation, he would pray. What man
failed to resolve, Providence will provide the path was what he was taught to
believe; circumstances has provided that good teacher.

He needed that inspiration to salvage his
torn soul today.

There was a whiff of wind that broke his
concentration. Washington opened his eyes. The room was empty. He had been too
sensitive. George Washington raised himself and sat on the bed. He drew a long
sigh and rubbed his eyes. There was a long moment of silence. Then he felt it.

The presence.

He raised his head and opened his eyes
slowly. Instantly Washington dropped to his knees.  “My dear friend…” he
uttered with unhidden relief. “Old friend.”

Right in front of him, by the window, the new arrival, a fount of light,
smiled.

“Son of Republic.”

 

Chapter
1
Initial
Contact

He smelled a demon.

Unbelievable. He sniffed and
cranked his neck to the sky. It has been almost a century since
his senses encountered
the sulfur-heavy burnt odour of the inhabitants
of hell. The rejuvenating scent of sunlight did little to mitigate the drifting
foulness. Eugene flexed his muscles, the sunlight lent a tone of glimmer on his
sinewy biceps.

The Guardian Angel, part of the
vanguard of Heaven, mentor to the kinglings - the future leaders of mankind, usually
spends his Sunday mornings at the Brooklyn Bridge. Seated at his favourite spot
on the Bridge Tower, Eugene engaged in his favourite pastime – saving the souls
who have been attrited by the rigours of life and chose to end their lives in foolish
suicides.

However, this sunny September
morning, instead of the emanation of heavy scent of human depression, Eugene
detected the foul odour of demons.

Then a waft of ocean breeze injected
lightness into the ambience. Suddenly everything seemed normal. Maybe he was
just paranoid. With the increasing decadent affairs of mankind, Eugene could be
forgiven from thinking the Demons had made a comeback.

Eugene leapt to his feet, his
wings trembling with verve. He planned to take a flight over the entire stretch
of the bridge but paused. There was a chill on his shoulders. Eugene checked to
find a shower of flakes.

It was snow.
Snow in
September?

Eugene searched the skies,
scanning every inch with burning intensity, for an answer but none was
forthcoming. He was prepared to investigate when a sharp shrill seized his
attention. A call of distress, a human life in jeopardy.

His senses picked up the origin
of the shrill like with radar precision. Stretching his wings to full splendor,
Eugene leapt into the air with athletic suaveness. He dived in like a rocket
and soon spotted the falling figure. His eyes illuminated like torches as he
zeroed in on the distressed human.

With steady hands, Eugene held
the figure by the feet. They were only a couple of feet from the surface of the
waters. With aplomb, Eugene twirled the body over and sat the human easily in
his arms.

It was a female, a teenage with
disheveled hair and a pallid face, torn by fear.

“My lady, what were you
thinking?”

The girl trembled in silence
and choked on her words.

“Suicide. That is being careless
with your soul.” Eugene rapped gingerly but the girl continued to be silent, her
eyes fixated on Eugene’s wings.

“Angel?”

Eugene smiled. He placed his
hand over the girl and brought on a ring of warmth.

“Do you desire death now?”

The girl shook her head.

 “Death by suicide condemns you
to hell. Why do you crave death? How old are you?”

“Fifteen.”

Eugene shook his head and took
hold of the golden cross that all Guardian Angels wore round their necks. He
mumbled his prayers –
Angelus Triumphanus.
A yellowish glow sprouted
from his palms and travelled down the shoulders of the girl.

“Find the sunshine in life,
avoid the darkness. “Eugene advised, his tone carrying silk over steel “Treasure
life, every breath of it. Let not the dark moods drive you to forfeit this
gift.”

The girl whispered. “Yes Angel.”

Eugene gleamed,
his snowy white wings
in
full span. He shone with rich satisfaction at his success in saving a human
. Then he paused. He sensed the passing of dark
vibes. Two, maybe, three hundred yards. A pair of them? A surge of odour rammed
up his nostrils and triggered a klaxon on his sensory radar.

Demons!

The sheer velocity and mass told
him it was a certain foe. They were a species banished from domain of Earth unless
the dark vibes of humans had created a hotbed for their emergence.

He must investigate.

With a flap of his wings, Eugene
churned a spiral of air and delved into hot pursuit.

 

Chapter
2
Bastion
of the Angels

Aachen Cathedral, Germany

A figure raced down the alley of
the Aachen Cathedral as the first light of dawn stole into the corridors of the
historical monument.
H
is
hurried
pace was out of sync with the tranquil ambience of the surroundings. The
man
,
born with lanky limbs
,
made big strides with
his long legs.

Father Michael Bellator seemed
too bothered to care about aplomb and hide
his anxiety. It was uncharacteristic of him for he had
witnessed the ebb and flow of history, not least the rise and fall of
many
Kings of Men -
Napoleon and Hitler to name a few
.

The Aachen Cathedral was one of
the most holy sites of Christianity in Europe. A durable witness to the
turbulent history of mankind and angels, and built by the great Charlemagne, one
of the greatest King of Men. Charlemagne, who brought law, order, and
civilization to the disunited domain of Europe, lay buried there. His reign
ended the Dark Ages when Demons roamed free and mankind was enslaved by bigotry
and hatred. The greatest conqueror of his time, he stays as one of the
quintessential models of Kings of Men, the pride of human civilization.

Aachen was the bastion for the
Guardian Angels, forces from Heaven and soldiers of God, to coordinate and
conduct their affairs in the realm of Earth.

Deep in the Cathedral,
segregated from the areas open to tourists, laid a secret network of catacombs
that housed the bulk of the operational quarters for the Guardian Angels.

Father Bellator soon reached
the end of a long corridor lighted by huge windows. He exited on the left,
through a small passage camouflaged with the ingenious use of the uniformity of
stone walls. He never failed to marvel at the ingenuity behind this
architecture, the ambience of ancient, the whispers of men and angels and the
scent of prayers of sorts. What magnificence!

Away from the eyes of humans, Father
Michael found himself staring at a winding spiral of stairs where a junior
priest stood in anxious guard of the entrance.

“What happened?”

Father Colin Sands, a
twenty-year-old Irish shook his head

“He ordered me out of the room!
He locked it!”

“Locked?” Father Bellator
repeated, intrigued. Beads of sweat had broken out over his forehead as he
raised his head towards to oak door at the end of the flight of steps. He was
perplexed.

“What is it, Colin?”

“The book. The Libri…”

Colin Sands was referring to
the
Libri
, the Earth Book, a leather-bound volume unearthed by the
Knights Templar when they guarded over King Solomon’s Temple in the twelfth
century. Gold-framed, and seven inches thick, it was thousand-page thick. The
relic of God was subsequently lost in battles of tussle and priests of the
Ordo
of Tutor Fides
recovered in the fifteenth century.

The artifact had long held the
imagination of Angels and Demons alike with its powers to manifest events of
the past and future legendary. This very quality made its possession in the
hands of demons too dangerous, and so the fraternity of Angels guarded it
vigilantly. Despite its reputation, few had witnessed the Libri’s prowess and only
the more senior of Guardian Angels were able to ‘master’ the effects of the
Libri
.

Despite its thickness, the
pages were all blank. The book will manifest images of the future when the
interactive effect of a certain factors resulted in the fundamental shift of the
course of history. Should those events be benign and normal, the book remained
shut and only one of the Guardian Angels could remove the crimson ropes that
held the book shut. If any catastrophic event was about to happen, the book will
display violent manifestations that even the most senior of Angels will find it
testing to control.

The powers of the
Libri
were
assessed to be too important to fall into the hands of the Demons, who would
manipulate the book, without hesitation, in furtherance of their cause. With
enormous effort, and considerable loss in lives and property, the book was brought
to Aachen Cathedral, where it was held in custody by the Angels.

“The book has come to life
and…” Sands was cut in midsentence by an explosion. Father Bellator was not
waiting for any more answers and had sprung up the steps. In one determined
search, banged against the oak door, whose deep lines spoke of age and history.
His shoulder ached but he kept trying and the door gave way at his fifth try.

A burnt stench assailed his
nostrils and he was greeted by a slew of thick white feathers on the floor.
Then Father Bellator was stunned to witness the esteemed Guardian Angel slumped
on the huge chair, in front of the leather-bound book which was sending out a
trail of smoke.

“Lord Jin.”

The Guardian Angel was
unmoving, like a statue. His well-chiseled face, usually tan and fine, was
coated in dirt. His iris that always shines like black pearls, framed by
snowy-white eyebrows, was now clouded in shock. He had never seen a Guardian
Angel in such a state.

“Are you fine, my lord?”

The Guardian Angel shook his
head. “The
Libri
has spoken.”

Bellator swallowed hard as the
Guardian Angel raised himself, a grave facial expression. Jin once hailed from
the southeast Europe, enslaved by the Mongolians, but he displayed unusual
courage and faith in an act of sacrifice. Archangel Michael raised him from
death and for fourteen centuries he had been the steadfast soldier of Michael,
unwavering in the defence of human civilization.

He folded his wings which blended
seamlessly into the skin.

“The book unleashed a ring of bluish
flame. It was a terrible insight.”

Between intermittent coughs,
Jin tried to normalize his breathing “Deaths and bloodshed. Demons—legions of
them who had started a mayhem, a rampage.”

“Good lord,” the priest crossed
his chest.

“Yes, you should really call
for Father.” Jin looked to the ceiling in reference to Heaven. “A war of sorts
between Angels and Kings is about to begin. I saw—” Jin gasped before
continuing. “A fallen crown.”

“Fallen crown?” Bellator knew a
fallen crown denoted a setback for the race of man, the clan of Kings in
particular. The leaders of human civilization are in jeopardy.

“There are going to be terrible
attacks on Kings of Men, kinglings, children of all races.”

“But there were no significant signs
of demonic activity.”

Jin shook his head “Precedent, Father
Michael. The Demons operate with stealth and treachery. An episode of grave
turmoil is about to unfold.”

Jin eyed the
Libri
with weariness.
“Mobilize your warriors,” Jin said with calmness. “We are going to need
numbers.”

“Destination, Lord Jin?”

“Please check out these numbers:
39.6 N, 75.2 W.”

Father Bellator nodded and went
to the large world map that hung on the opposite wall.

“It’s the North American
continent
, at
a location that lies b
etween
New York and Delaware.”

“United States.” Jin said.

“The new battleground?”

The Angel nodded with
resignation.

“We must act before it is too
late.” Bellator said.

“We might already be too late,
my friend.” Jin sighed as a ripple of light emanated from his wings.

BOOK: Of Kings and Demons
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