Amunet faces another sunrise at the remote monastery, the sixtieth at the last count. Due to its location visitors are rare. Those that appear at its gates are there for very specific reasons and she falls into that category. The young man who accompanied her two months ago was meeting his guru at the monastery. Their journey will continue into the far north, deep into the Tibetan plateau. This is the last anyone will see of them. Many of her encounters end in such ways. As for the reason for being here, it has taken months of searching to find a lead, any lead, of the woman known as Seraph. She certainly had a sense of humour taking on that name. It was a little obvious! The monks have found the scroll she was looking for and today is the day its contents will see the light again after seven thousand years.
The library is immense, with shelves packed full with manuscripts and books. Most of which are written in Tibetan and Sanskrit, but in the inner sanctum are items of rare provenance. Treasures hidden from the grasp of greedy tyrants and seekers after power. It’s even whispered that the angels themselves have gifted this place with relics of terrible and prophetic power. These are well hidden, no one, no one has access except for three people, Amunet being one. You may ask why this is so, that may or may not be revealed later in her journey.
Two monks carry the scroll carefully to a desk in one corner of the room and beckon her over. It exudes an energy that isn’t quite comfortable, hence the monks having to wear special gloves. She lays her hands on the document, asking permission to enter into its world. It senses her essence and unlocks the gates to a hidden world:
The Last Battle
These are the last words of the being known as Seraph. My time is nearing its end in this place of darkness, the hordes are numerous and I could destroy them all. Yet, this is not my task alone but for the ones to come. I shall wait as long as I can and no longer, this body is damaged and must return to its elemental home. The spaces between the worlds are widening, like wounds they bleed but it is time and not blood that flows. My kin wait for my signal, ‘not yet’ I tell them.
Bloodshed and hatred spread like wildfire over these lands, the hordes have hearts that are filled with a darkness no light can penetrate. The overlords of such evil stand like sentinels urging their minions onwards. I hear the dripping of poisonous words in receptive ears, what glamour and twisted magic is being wielded to bind and enslave? Have reason and humanity deserted their souls, the ones that are tempted? They would jump willingly into the Pit if ordered to do so. Threads of disquiet spread throughout bodies that appear defenceless. I hear their cries for salvation, trapped they are in realms we cannot go. That task is for our brethren, the ones so called Fallen. In whose eyes may I ask?
This is a battle that has played out for eons. Consisting of games infused with treachery and pettiness. What use is free will if it is twisted to suit the oppressor? Heed my words but I fear they will fall on stony ground. It approaches, like a tide of blood and anger. I hear its whispered threats but fear them not. ‘Come closer’ I urge it, it obeys. It holds aloft the sphere triumphantly, captured through treachery of one no longer alive. We offered the bait and they emerged from the shadows, grasping hungrily. All the knowledge of the Universe is distilled in that sphere, yet none can access its treasures.
It stands over me gloating and baring its teeth. A little closer, yes, believe I have only moments to live. Its breath sears my skin but this body is beyond pain. How arrogant the beast is, even placing the sphere in my hand. My fingers close round it and then it begins. My kin rise like a curtain of incandescent light on the horizon, and sweep across the land vaporising all in their wake. The beast turns in shock. I strike at that moment. It too vanishes, leaving ash drifting in the wind. Now I can depart this body. She lies breathless on the ground, blood and dirt besmirching her features. We gather her remnants and return them to the eternal flame, another warrior passes beyond the Veil. It is done and the relic is returned once more to our possession. This battle has ended but there are more to come. We must be ever vigilant.
Amunet looks up from the scroll to see a figure shrouded in light. They move into view and gaze down at her. Those eyes, they look so familiar. The man smiles and speaks.
That fragment doesn’t give the full story Amunet, but it’s a start. We’ve been waiting for your visit. Are you intrigued?
Intrigued? I think you know the answer. Is it safe?
So far. Yet, I sense the same powers are on the prowl again. The lure of divine knowledge still holds them in thrall.
I think you mean the power it contains is what they’re lusting after. (Smiles).
(Smiles back). That and more. Their natures are unchanging, eternally chained to ravenous beasts demanding more of their souls. It twist and thwarts what grace is left in those fragile bodies. The overlords of the Pit beguile them with beautiful words and false promises. Promises of wealth and status. They feed on ambition, fear and anger.
Once tasted, always hungered after…They seek the light, but can never twist and subvert it. The ancient darkness will lose and realises this truth. That’s why it’s redoubling efforts to push this world into nothingness. How many times have I seen this being played out? It has to end soon, otherwise we will intervene and then there will be nothing left for either side.
I, understand. (Bows and turns to leave).
Seraph, my words may sound harsh but this has dragged on for longer than necessary.
The man pauses and turns. He nods in understanding and then leaves. Amunet rolls up the scroll carefully and waits for the monks. She walks over to the window and looks at the retreating figure of the one who was Seraph. He disappears into the mist that’s descended on the mountains.
The saga continues.