✍️✍️✍️✍️ The Crown's Obsession Chapter 501 - 510 ✍️✍️✍️✍️


Prayers of peace- Part 2

"Did the Devil say anything?" questioned Beth. 

Madeline shook her head, "We haven't seen him since that day in the forest." If only Vladimir would have agreed to help them without any deal, she thought to herself. It wasn't just angel's but also the devil who was being difficult. 

"I see," murmured Beth. "What happened to Paschar?" With her mind consumed with the murder that took place by her hands, Beth had not found the time to ask Madeline about what happened. 

"For now they seem to have disappeared like the demons and fallen angels," replied Madeline. At least that is what she believed. 

"Maddie...I know I said I would stay here with you for some time, but I think it is time for me to leave," said Beth to her. "Not to the place where mama and papa are because I don't want to endanger their lives because of me."

Madeline frowned, hearing this, "Where would you go then?" 

"I was thinking about going to the North. I heard from Raphael that there are people who have learned to control their werewolf instincts," Beth stood up from her seat, taking a few steps towards the plants that had flowers bloomed in them. "It is not safe, me staying with mama and papa, or with anyone until I learn to control myself."

"It's not safe," Madeline didn't want Beth to go alone because she didn't know how safe it was for her to travel alone.

"Don't worry, I will be fine," Beth turned her head to offer Madeline a smile. "I don't think I am as strong as you to carry a person's death on my shoulder. It will break me." 

Madeline got up from her seat and walked to where Beth stood. She could sense Beth's resolve to leave and the heaviness that her sister carried in her heart. "I will ask Calhoun to send someone reliable with you. I doubt I would be in peace by sending you alone by yourself."

Beth didn't refuse it, and she gave a nod. "Who knows I might find Mr. Heathcliff there," she said.

Madeline gave Beth the space she needed to gather her thoughts and emotions by leaving her alone, while making her way to the young vampiress' room. Two guards stood outside the room, and on seeing Madeline appear in front of the room, the guards bowed their heads. 

The doors opened, and Madeline stepped inside the room to see Lady Lucy, who was awake and sitting on the bed. Theodore wasn't there with her, and instead her cousin Ethan Moryett was keeping her company. They both bowed their heads in greeting.

"Good morning, Lady Madeline," they wished. Ethan said, "I will leave Lucy in your care, milady," and he left the room. Lucy saw the back of her cousin as he disappeared behind the doors. 

Madeline sensed the slight tension in the room before the vampire left and she said, "I hope I wasn't interrupting anything important."

Lucy was quick to shake her head, a smile appearing on her lips, "Never, milady. Please have a seat."

"How are you feeling, Lady Lucy? Calhoun mentioned you gained consciousness last evening before falling back unconscious," though Madeline had tried to heal Lucy, the vampiress still looked pale, and she was being fed with blood every one hour so that it could compensate for the blood loss as her body was taking its time to heal. 

"Much better, Lady Madeline. Thank you so much for saving me," from where Lucy had been sitting with her back against the headboard of the bed, she offered Madeline her gratitude with a deep bow. "I heard from Theodore what you did, risking your own life to save me. I will forever be indebted to you for what you have done for me."

Madeline smiled at Lucy, "You don't have to feel that way. We are all just glad that you are alright," and alive, thought Madeline in her mind. 

Back there, on seeing the amount of blood on the floor where Lucy was dead, Madeline had turned desperate to save the vampiress. She had used all her strength to heal, while shooing away the Salvette Mortem from the place. 

Madeline took a seat on the chair that was near the bed before she had arrived at the room. 

"It was a night that I didn't expect would happen, but I am glad that it is over now, though we lost many people from the castle," whispered Lucy pressing her lips in thought. "Theodore wanted me to leave the castle that night, but I think no matter what I agreed upon, fate would still play the way it is written in our destiny, milady." 

Hearing this, Madeline confirmed Theodore's feelings towards Lady Lucy. The man had been hovering in and around the room, looking after Lucy. "I don't think any of us expected Samuel to come and hurt you, to be part of the group who were hunting me." 

"Please do not feel bad, Lady Madeline. As I already said, it was just something that was supposed to happen. Theo wanted me to lock the door, but even if I did, it would have been broken," said the vampiress, and Madeline nodded her head. Lucy had been found in the same corridor where her room was located. 

"I hope you will stay here longer, Lady Lucy. We will be able to take better care of you," said Madeline. 

Lucy had a thoughtful expression on her face.

The vampiress said, "I considered to stay back here for some more time. Sometimes we don't realize the importance of time. Not knowing when it will slip through our fingers, where we might leave certain things unresolved, and take it to our grave. I had a nanny named Ruby," the vampiress shifted the subject effortlessly, "She looked after me, and I spent more time with her than with my mother. She once told me that people who have secrets in them, not telling it to at least one person, would turn to ghosts, floating forever as they live alone in the middle world. She said it was the space between the living and Hell and Heaven. She used to have wonderful things to say, but she passed away…"

Prayers of peace- Part 3

"She must have been a wonderful woman," Madeline had often wondered how Lucy had turned different compared to the rest of her family members who were conniving, while she was humble. Now she understood it was because Lucy had been brought up in another person's shadow who wasn't related to Lucy's family. 

"She was," agreed Lucy with a smile. After a few seconds, the vampiress said, "So are you, milady. Forgive me for my words beforehand. People might perceive you to be...ignorant, but I think you are amazing the way you are because they don't know you." There was a hint of admiration in Lucy's eyes for Madeline, and Madeline didn't know how to receive the generous compliment, and she smiled. 

"You too, Lady Lucy." 

Madeline spent some more time with Lady Lucy before she left the room to see if Calhoun finished his meeting in the court room. She headed in the court's direction and saw Calhoun be the first one to step out of the room, and he was accompanied by the member of High House, Daphne. She was glad to know that Helena was supporting Calhoun instead of putting up charges on him. 

Suddenly a man walked past Madeline in a hurry to meet the King.

"Milord!" the man bowed his head deeply.

"Raise," Calhoun ordered, and the man stood straight, "Speak." 

"Milord, there has been some commotion going on next to the Carnival village, in Holcott," informed the man. Holcott? Wasn't it the place where Calhoun used to live with his mother before he came to live in the castle? Asked Madeline to herself. 

"What is the commotion about?" Calhoun inquired. The man had a perplexed look on his face with a deep crease on his forehead as if he didn't believe the news that he heard. 

The man wrung his hands, opening his mouth to speak, "There has been talk about the previous King Laurence and mother Queen Morganna who appeared in the village yesterday." Hearing this, Calhoun's eyes narrowed. 

"Are you drunk, Marcellus?" questioned Calhoun and the man shook his head vigorously. 

"Milord, I swear, everyone has been speaking about it," Marcellus' rushed his words. "They also said a man appeared with them, and the man made the mother Queen lick his boot before they were beaten by the villagers." 

Calhoun stared at Marcellus for a few seconds and believed the only way the two of them had appeared back in the living world was by the help of Vladimir. What was the old bat thinking bringing the dead into this world?

"Did you find out what happened later? Where are they now?" questioned Calhoun and Marcellus looked taken aback that the King believed this crazy information. He was sure he would lose his neck, but he wanted to relay the information as fast he could to the King. 

"The villagers said the previous King and Queen Morganna disappeared after being beaten by the villagers. I did try finding the whereabouts of the three of them, but no one saw them after that," Marcellus promptly replied. 

Calhoun's lips twisted, and he waved the man to leave from his sight. The High House member didn't comment on what was just spoken, and she bowed her head at the King before leaving the corridor. Both his father and his grandmother's soul must have gone to Hell for the sins they had committed, and Vladimir must have decided to torture them by bringing them here. 

"Do you think he took them back to Hell?" Madeline asked, coming to stand next to him. 

"Seems like it. The angels, who have not only tried to hide their existence but also the existence of the demons along with the fallen angels are going to fail badly, thanks to Vladimir," commented Calhoun with a serious look on his face. 

The angels were trying to balance and protect the living world, while the Devil intended to create chaos. It wasn't like Calhoun wanted to do anything with the angels or with the Devil, but fate had turned in such a way that he had fallen in love with the girl who was a dark angel. And he was the descendant of the Devil. 

This only complicated things for the angels.

As much as the angels thought that Madeline was harmful, Calhoun thought it to be otherwise. Because if Madeline was going to destroy and kill people, he believed the first person in line to be killed was him because of the amount of sins he had committed. 

"Anyways, it is something between the Devil and the Angels. Let's not get ourselves involved in it and stay away from it," stated Calhoun and Madeline agreed to it. 

In the carriage, Calhoun, Madeline and Beth left the castle, making their way to the graveyard where both Calhoun's mother as well as Raphael was buried. 

Beth was the last person to get down from the carriage. Two days ago, when she had visited this place, everything was a blur and the only significant vision she had was the blood on her hands. She followed the couple, offering her respects and prayer to the late lady, before heading towards the other grave.

Reaching the grand cemented coffin, Madeline stayed behind, letting Calhoun take his time as the woman in there was special and meant a lot to him. But when she stopped walking, Calhoun's hand reached out for hers, holding her hand and he tugged her along with him.

Calhoun had pulled her to stand next to him as if it was the most natural thing to do.

They placed the flowers on the grave, and Madeline folded her hands close to her chest to pray, hoping wherever Constance was, she was at peace. 

Not too far away from where the couple was, Beth's feet slowly reached the grave, and she stared at it. She held blue flowers in her hand with yellow in the centre. Noticing some of the dried leaves that had come to fall on top of Raphael's coffin, she leaned forward, blowing it away before placing the small flowers that the demon had asked before his last breath. 
Devil and Angels- Part 1

Music Recommendation: Windmills by Ludwig Goransson


'For the love, you have showered on him, for the way you have protected him when he was little, I promise to watch over him, and love and cherish until the very end. I will do everything in my power, and always be there for him both in the happiest time of light, as well as in the darkest hours of his life,' Madeline silently whispered in her mind while she had her eyes closed, standing in front of the closed grave. 'Thank you for protecting him as much as you could, Lady Constance.'

When she felt a breeze move across where she stood, Madeline opened her eyes and noticed that the atmosphere had turned gloomier. When she turned her head, she noticed Calhoun was standing away from the coffin, looking in another direction. Walking towards him, Madeline placed her hand on his shoulder, and he turned around to meet her eyes. 

"Did you ask her for her blessings?" asked Calhoun, turning his body entirely so that he could face her. His eyes looked softer than they usually did with his features calmer, almost like he was in a tranquil state and at peace with himself. It made Madeline wonder if it was the presence of his mother that made him feel like that.

In the midst of cold weather, she offered him a warm smile, "I did. I wonder if she can hear me. I mean because she is in Heaven." Madeline hoped that Constance heard her prayers because she didn't know if they would ever get the opportunity to meet and get to know each other. As Madeline was part angel, she hoped that her words reached Calhoun's mother. 

Calhoun's hand reached out for hers, to hold it in both his hands. "She must have heard it. Whenever I needed her to hear me the most, she always heard."

Madeline didn't need to meet Constance to know how wonderful of a mother she was to him. Every time Calhoun spoke about Constance, his words were filled with deep respect and admiration towards her. It only made her wonder how much he missed his mother. 

Letting go of her hand, he fished his trouser pocket and pulled out red berries from there, and it made Madeline smile whilst her eyebrows furrowed itself. "It is the strangest thing I have seen. A vampire carrying berries in the pocket," said Madeline and Calhoun grinned at her. 

"I think you had that same look the first time when I offered them to you," replied Calhoun, fondly remembering the memory. "I don't exactly carry them in my pocket." Saying this, he closed his hand, and when he opened it, the berries had disappeared. "There are things that can be pulled from the air," and he pulled a single berry from nowhere, offering it to Madeline. 

"Thank you," whispered Madeline, not forgetting her manners. Putting it in her mouth, she crushed it, tasting sweetness burst on her tongue. 

Suddenly next to them, a fire lit itself that was as tall as Calhoun's height before it extinguished and Vladimir appeared with a wide smile on his lips as if he had brought some good news. But everyone knew that one had to be wary when the Devil smiled. 

"Good morning, Calhoun and Madeline! I wondered where you both went and thought I would come and visit the graveyard. And voila! Here you both are!" came the excited and loud voice of Vladimir. 

Madeline bowed her head, greeting Vladimir, "Good morning, Vlad." 

Calhoun gave his grandfather a stare before asking him, "What are you doing here?"

"I wanted to have breakfast with my grandson," Vladimir stated as if it was the most natural thing to do. 

"You brought the previous King and the old woman back to the living world," Calhoun's eyes narrowed at his grandfather. "Thanks to you, people are going to wonder if ghosts exist."

Vladimir didn't look one bit guilty, and he only smiled like he had woken up on his good side this morning, that was if morning existed in Hell, which Madeline doubted. He appeared to be wearing clothes that weren't the old ones, but belonged to the present time. 

"Isn't it wonderful that people will have better things to speak about, than talk about the useless matter," Vladimir clapped both his hands together, and he walked past them, making his way towards the grave where Constance laid. "I didn't know what I wanted to do with them because chopping people and then burning them in the molten iron is meh. It is the most common thing we have been practicing in Hell. I wanted something new, so I decided to restore their memory before breaking it down. It was fairly enjoyable."

The Devil then touched the cemented coffin, feeling the soft crackle of lightning run up his fingers. "Why is your mother lying in a grave that doesn't have her name?" questioned Vladimir, the smile turning upside down and he looked back at Calhoun. 

"It was safer to keep her here, where people wouldn't move her, believing it was the great old King who was inside. Also, this particular grave has properties to preserve the body without rotting," replied Calhoun. So he threw his great old grandfather out of the cemented coffin to be replaced by his mother. 

"Hm," responded Vladimir, "Seems fair," and he went to the front where the man's name was engraved. With one snap of his finger, the stone turned completely blank with no name on it anymore. 

Beth, who had finished praying, was making her way to where Madeline was when she noticed the Devil standing next to them. Sensing Beth's presence and the scent of light werewolf in the air, Vladimir's eyes narrowed. 

"While I was in Hell, I heard something very interesting about you," said Vladimir, looking at Beth who seemed jittery in his presence. "Heard that you were going to poison my grandson," his eyes turned utterly serious, and if it was possible, the clouds turned darker. 
Devil and Angels- Part 2

"It was a misunderstanding," Madeline tried to intervene, and Vladimir raised his hand for her to stop defending her sister. 

Beth pursed her lips. The way the Devil was looking at her right now, she was sure the death reaper would appear and drag her to Hell. She repented meeting Markus, believing his and Rosamund's words, and she wondered how long it would take until she would be forgiven for her actions. 

Not knowing what else to do, Beth bowed her head, "I apologize for my mistakes. I would never do anything like that ever again. My loyalty lies with my sister and the King of Devon." 

Vladimir didn't lift his gaze away from her but only stared at her.

Beth raised her head, while feeling the tension in the air. 

"How strange," murmured Vladimir and everyone's eyes fell on the Devil. "I would have enjoyed seeing you poison him," an instant smile appeared on his face, without bothering to explain his first words. Hearing this, Calhoun's eyes narrowed again. It wasn't just one or two screws that were loose in this man's head, but a dozen of them. "I mean, I would have found out earlier Calhoun was my grandson. It would have been a quick process."

Beth wasn't sure if Vladimir was angry or happy, but she decided to keep her guard up for now. 

"How are you feeling? Any feeling where you want to tear and rip people into pieces?" Vladimir hummed the question. 

"I haven't turned to a werewolf for the last two days," answered Beth. 

"And how do you find the transformation with a few werewolf abilities in hand now at your disposal?" the Devil asked with a glint of curiosity in his eyes. 

"I have been able to control it," Beth didn't know why, but it felt like Vladimir was trying to look deep into her soul as he was barely bothered with her answers. It made her uncomfortable, but she answered his questions. 

When he took a step closer to Beth, Madeline's own body turned alert and tense. Whatever happened was in the past, and she had no idea what Vladimir was up to. She quickly glanced at Calhoun and saw he still had the same composure as before. Beth, in the meantime, noticed how dark the Devil's eyes were. It was like a dark abyss that didn't have a way out. And suddenly for a second, she noticed a corpse that stood in front of her, and her eyes widened in fear. 

"Stop trying to scare her," Calhoun rolled his eyes at Vladimir. 

Vladimir slowly smiled before retrieving back his steps from where Beth stood. Beth blinked her eyes, "W-what did you do?" she asked in a shaky voice. 

"Ole me didn't do anything. What had to happen has already been done," Vladimir looked left and right like he was enjoying the view around him. 

Calhoun sensed the change in Vladimir's tone that held a tinge of aloofness in it. Beth's heart was beating loudly as if she had seen a ghost. He asked, "What did you do to her?" 

When Vladimir didn't answer right away, Madeline's face marred itself in worry. The Devil then turned around, a coy smile on his lips. 

The smile on Devil's face filled itself with mischief, making Madeline question what Vladimir had done to Beth. He had handed the antidote to them willingly after telling them he wanted to be part of their family. 

Vladimir said, "How do you think the antidote has been made? It isn't easy to acquire something so delicate and precious which many men and women have tried to get their hands on. Let's keep the details out about how the antidote was made, but I must tell you, there was a pinch of venom that was dissolved in it. The venom belonged to the first turned werewolf, and during the making, the acquired venom was mixed with my blood." 

Beth felt her blood drain from her face, turning pale as she stared at Vladimir. 

"Venom of the first werewolf? Isn't it only going to make things worse?" questioned Madeline alarmed, glancing at her sister. 

"Does it have any side effects?" inquired Calhoun.

"I am going to die," whispered Beth. 

"One question at a time children," responded Vladimir, "My blood has stayed in Elizabeth's body for hours now, this means she has turned to one of my underlings. Of course, it isn't just blood, but also a word of a spell that was whispered during the making of the antidote. Spells of some goodness, and a bit of curse. I also had to sacrifice a couple of lives who were innocent," seeing the two horrified faces of the girls, Vladimir chuckled. "I am the Devil. You should not expect anything less from me."

Vladimir then continued to explain, "The first person who had turned into a werewolf, I was able to acquire the venom from him before he could turn to dust. It was told that the person who initiated the transformation of the human to a werewolf, had also prepared an antidote for his test subject. But it got wasted when the tower exploded in fire. No one knows if there was more than one antidote created by the man," the older vampire clicked his tongue. 

"What do you mean by your underling?" asked Beth. 

Vladimir offered her a bright smile, "It is simple. You shall be able to do my bidding in the living world. It is why you saw my true form and what a privilege it is. Though there is something that is bothering me," he looked down at Beth, his smile lowering down from his lips. "I can sense the guilt that you carry in your heart and in your mind, for the sins you have committed, but I am unable to see them. I wonder if it has anything to do with the antidote."

"You have no claim on her as your servant," commented Calhoun, barely bothered by what Vladimir just said. "For the Devil to be able to control a person from the living world, that person should accept you as his or her Master, until then, the soul is free."
Devil and Angels- Part 3

Vladimir was unhappy that Calhoun had taken his joy to torment someone. "And where might have you heard this?" 

One side of Calhoun's lips pulled up, "From my mother."

Beth let a sigh of relief through her lips. She had been worried that something bad was going to happen. It seemed that she was part of the living as well as belonging to the underworld because of the Devil's blood coursing through her veins. 

Vladimir chuckled, "I saw Michael yesterday. What a nosey angel he is, always trying to keep an eye on what I am doing. He came to me with an offer, an offer much better than what I gave you all when it comes to the demon's life. Did you find an innocent soul or have you decided to let him rest in peace in the coffin?" Vladimir turned his head to look in the direction where Raphael laid in the cemented coffin. 

"Your offer was so amazing that we thought it was better to let it pass," commented Calhoun with sarcasm. 

"I never make offers to bring back souls from the dead. It is one of those rare offers that comes once in many decades," smiled Vladimir. 

It wasn't easy to get an innocent soul to Hell as it went to Heaven. The easiest way to get an innocent soul to Hell was by making a deal with some of the high-level demons or the Devil. 

"We would prefer not to take away someone's life. Why not pick the worst or corrupted souls?" questioned Madeline. 

Vladimir nodded his head as if in agreement with Madeline's words, and then said, "There are too many of those kinds in Hell. I would like to have some innocent ones instead."

Hearing the old bat shift the conversation again, Calhoun asked, "What did Michael offer you?" 

Vladimir folded his hands behind his back, he took a few steps away from them and walked towards Constance's grave. He ran his hand on the top of the cemented lid where his daughter laid, "Why don't you take the opportunity to kill someone if you have a chance to get someone dear back in your life?" he didn't look at them and continued to stare at the grave. "After all, that person is a stranger."

Madeline didn't know what Vladimir was going on about, but she said, "It doesn't matter if we know someone or not. Taking away someone's life is wrong."

"Spoken like a true angel," commented Vladimir. Feeling the glare coming from his grandson, Vladimir said, "I was offered Constance, who will get to live again, and breathe just as she used to, but in return-"

"They want Madeline," completed Calhoun, his lips twisted in distaste. 

At this revelation, Madeline's eyes widened. Never would she have thought that the angels would do something like this. Calhoun was indeed right. The last time they had spoken with the angels, they were all just words. In the end, they still wanted her to come to Heaven.

"And what did you say?" asked Calhoun. 

"Well, I said I would give it a thought," Vladimir shrugged his shoulders, "I believe one should always think before answering. Don't you agree?" 

"I will fucking kill you," Calhoun threatened his grandfather lowly. 

Vladimir showed Calhoun his fangs. "I didn't tell him anything, though it is very enticing and hard to refuse, as he said he could send Constance. It isn't like I haven't thought about the con side of it," he gave out a dramatic sigh as if he was torn between what to do.

Beth who stood next to Madeline had heard never to make deals with the Devil, which was why she hadn't spoken much in his presence, not to forget, there was something very eerie about the man. 

Vladimir smiled in glee. He said, "You should know that the angels can be very persistent, especially when it comes to the righteous path they want to lead the world in. I am just paving a path for everyone, letting them know what exists." 

So that was why Vladimir had brought Calhoun's father and his grandmother back to the living world? It wasn't just about torture, but an act that had possibly provoked Heaven. Vladimir was instigating a war between Hell and Heaven, and it made Madeline wonder what the outcome would be. 

Out of curiosity, Madeline asked, "If a person enters Hell, can they return to the living world again?" 

"Entering Hell is probably the easiest thing, but getting out from there is impossible. When it comes to Heaven, entering and leaving is both difficult as the gates of Heaven are secured by the archangels," Vladimir answered her question, "In Hell, you remember every single sin you have caused, while in Heaven, the angels find it quite convenient to erase the soul's memories. They call it to be the Wiping. A person who enters Heaven doesn't remember anything from the living world, and can live there in peace."

Madeline pursed her lips. 

"There was something I wanted to ask you," said Madeline and Vladimir stared at her, "Do you know a person named Marina? She is a demon." 

Vladimir tilted his head to the side. "There are too many demons, with many names. Why do you ask about her?" 

"Marina was Paschar's lover," stated Calhoun and Vladimir raised his eyebrows. 

"I thought his lover was a fragile human," murmured Vladimir. 

Madeline shook her head, "I don't think Paschar ever found out that she was a demon, and I would prefer that you keep it that way. Please," she added when she noticed the glimmering mischief appear in Vladimir's eyes. 

"Things have turned interesting," hummed Vladimir staring at the dark angel. "I was hoping to spend some time with you children, to bond. To hunt some old demons or humans who have sinned. Let's go to Hell," decided the Devil and he raised his hand to open a black portal at the nearest tree, "And see if we can find your mother if she's truly a demon."
Trip to Hell- Part 1

Music Recommendation: No need to come back by Hans Zimmer


Madeline looked at the black circulating portal that had been opened by Vladimir on the bark of the tree. It looked nothing less to a pit of blackness, and it was hard to believe that this was the way to enter Hell. Since the time she had seen her mother in her dream, she had wanted to know more about her mother. She had somehow learned about the beginning and the end of Paschar and Marina's love story, but what happened in between? According to Paschar, the woman who had visited Marina had killed her, but how far was it true?

She wanted to learn more about her mother, and like Paschar who had come to know about Marina, Madeline believed her mother was not a demon but a human. 

"You are the King of Hell, shouldn't you have all the details about the demons who are in there?" questioned Calhoun, he looked at Vladimir with distrust in his eyes. 

The Devil only smiled at Calhoun's words. He expected nothing less from his grandson. "I am not the guardskeeper of Hell to keep a register in my hand, Calhoun," Vladimir paused before saying, "There's a person who has sinned to the point where there was no return. Though the person is not a prisoner, but the warden of the prisons. He's the one who has the names," he showed his fangs to them. 

"You didn't punish him?" inquired Madeline. 

"There are only a few people whom I get along with. I thought he was an excellent person to take care of the sinners in the building of torture. How about we step in, and we can continue our discussion once we are in Hell?" Vladimir raised his eyebrows. 

Madeline wondered if it was safe. Since the Devil was related to Calhoun, the possibility was high that Vladimir could keep them in there forever so that no angel would be able to come and disrupt their lives. Not to forget, it seemed like the Devil was waiting to have Beth in his collection of servants. 

"Do you not trust me?" questioned Vladimir. 

"No," Calhoun didn't hold back his answer, and his response only broadened his grandfather's smile. 

"Do you know how proud I am to have you as my grandson? Constance was brought up with such sweetness, but I don't see it in you unless your eyes fall on the girl," stated Vladimir, his eyes coyly fell on Madeline. "I can tell how much you treasure and love her." 

Vladimir's eyes shifted back to look at Calhoun, both of them staring at each other intensely. It was apparent that it was hard to trust the Devil or the angels. Each had their own cunning and the righteous path that they wanted to follow, and the best one could do, was to be on guard. 

"Just remember to stick by my side, and you will be safe. We are going on a short vacation, and I hope you will enjoy it as in the future, I would like to see you rule it with me," informed Vladimir. The Devil took the initiative to walk in the front, and he went towards the bark of the tree that had opened the portal to the underground world. Vladimir disappeared in less than a second, leaving Calhoun, Madeline and Beth in the graveyard to follow him. 

"Let me go first," said Calhoun so that he could receive the two girls in Hell. Though the Devil was his grandfather, Calhoun couldn't help but be cautious around the man. 

Madeline saw Calhoun disappear into the black portal, and she turned to look at Beth, "You don't have to come if you aren't comfortable." 

The last time when she and her sister had tagged along to go to the Cossington village, they had met with bad fate and Beth had been bitten by a werewolf. Madeline hadn't questioned or stopped Beth last time, thinking spending time together would reconcile their lost sisterhood, but who would have thought that they would end up losing a good-hearted demon. 

Beth pursed her lips. She couldn't deny the tension she felt around Vladimir, who had told her, that his blood coursed through her veins. "Will we come back unharmed from there?" asked Beth. 

"He said to stay near him. He owns Hell, so it shouldn't be a problem, but if you still feel uneasy, go back to the castle, Beth. I will be with Calhoun and will be fine," promised Madeline. Like last time, they were going for her sake, and she didn't want Beth to feel compelled to come along. 

"Do you, do you think he will be there?" asked Beth. Her heart was heavy, but the thought of him being there, she couldn't resist herself from not seeing him. 

Madeline didn't need to question Beth about whom she was talking. "We can try." 

"I will come," Beth made up her mind. 

"Okay," Madeline offered Beth a smile, and she got inside the portal.

Madeline stretched her hand in front of her, and she felt a hand caught hold of her hand. When she finally stepped into Hell, Madeline saw Calhoun waiting for her. She looked around the place to see the limitless dark sky and below her feet, there was smooth sand. Soon they were joined by Beth, who came from the portal and once Beth moved away from it, the portal automatically closed itself, disappearing from the place as if it didn't exist. 

"As everyone here has wings, I will meet you in the tower of Sin," informed Vladimir, and in a blink of an eye, he turned into a bat and flew away from there. 

"He speaks as if it is a tower where we usually meet and that we know of," muttered Calhoun under his breath. "It would be best if you don't show your wings here. Demons hate angels with passion," and then he looked at Beth, "You should check if you have wings." 
Trip to Hell- Part 2

Beth had a startled look on her face, "W-what?" she whispered.

"If what Vladimir said before is true about his blood in the antidote, then that only means that you might turn into a demon. Or you already have, considering how many hours have passed since you took the antidote," explained Calhoun. Even though his mother didn't receive the wings from Vladimir because of the generation skip, Calhoun was able to acquire them. 

Madeline didn't like the fact that Beth was turning into a demon, but it was much better than her sister turning to a full werewolf who would be part of the wild animals. 

"Doesn't it take time to get wings?" questioned Madeline before looking at her sister. "Did you sense any pain in your back since you returned to the castle?" 

Beth shook her head. 

"How about you first take Beth there, and I will wait for you here?" suggested Madeline. "There shouldn't be any trouble here." All her eyes saw was a vast desert with not a single soul around except for them. It was as if they were left in the middle of nowhere. Vladimir could have made them enter the building directly instead of dropping them in here. The devil had left them far away from anything. With the portal closed, there was no way for them to get back to the living world. 

As if in realization, Madeline said, "Does this mean...not being next to him equals getting into trouble?" 

Calhoun's eyes looked around the desert, where the sky was starless with a blanket of darkness in Hell. 

Leaving Beth alone here where she didn't know how to protect herself was not safe. "If anything happens, call my name, and I will be here," he said to Madeline, and she nodded her head. His black wings spread wide on his back, he picked up Beth to fly in the direction where Vladimir headed in earlier. 

Madeline could hear and sense the silence that started to wrap around where she stood. It was strange to think she was in Hell even though she wasn't dead. 

She felt a strange prickliness on her skin as if her body was trying to resist the atmosphere of Hell. But what was not known to the living mortals, was that compared to Heaven, the place of Hell was inhospitable when it came to welcoming living beings. And it put a time limit on the living things that entered Hell. One had to leave the place soon unless they wanted to be part of the Underworld, never to be mortals again. 

While Madeline stood in her place, waiting for Calhoun to return as she had been told not to bring out her angelic wings, she stared up at the sky, and at the same time, one step away from her feet, the sand started to shift and move. 

Slowly something stuck out from the ground, and it was a hand made of bones that started to move towards her leg, ready to grasp her ankle and pull her inside the sand. But in time, Madeline moved away as she saw Calhoun coming for her with his wings flapping in swift motion. 

The boney hand that had tried to get hold of Madeline, it slowly dipped down into the sand.

Calhoun took Madeline in his arms, carrying her as they made their way away from the desert, she noticed an orange light from a far distance. In time, she noticed a large wall that surrounded a vast land that looked bigger and bigger with every second. There were plenty of buildings made out of rocks, but they were all broken. There was fire everywhere, and before they even entered the place that was surrounded by walls, Madeline heard the souls of people screaming and crying continuously. It was something uncomfortable to listen to. 

She then caught sight of demons, who were not like the ones had ever seen before. 

The true form of the demons were strange in appearance, and it was evident that they didn't belong to the living world. Some of them had one horn or more, and some didn't have any. But apart from the demons, Madeline's eyes fell on the creatures who didn't have skin, and the creatures had hollow eyes filled with reddish-orange light in them. The light could be seen from their nose and mouth along with parts of their body that was torn to emit the light like fire as if its body was burning from inside. 

As Calhoun's wings flapped towards the tallest tower present in there, the demons who were on the ground caught sight of the black wings on the person. The demons turned curious as to who this person was. 

Reaching the tower, Calhoun let Madeline down on the ground. Beth quietly stood at one side, her face slightly blank as if she was in deep thought. At the same time, through the large spiral stairs, Odin stepped down as quickly as he could, almost losing his footing, but he quickly got hold of his balance. 

"Welcome to Hell, Master Calhoun, Lady Madeline and," said Odin, and his eyes fell on Beth. "My apologies to you, milady." Odin didn't know the news about the werewolf's death, but then he hadn't seen her name in the new arrival list of souls in Hell. 

"She's not dead, she only turned to a demon," Calhoun commented at Odin's words, and the servant demon's eyes snapped at Beth. 

"No?" But the girl smelled like a demon. He quickly bowed his head, "My apologies for thinking it so." 

Madeline couldn't help but wonder how Odin was a demon because his mannerisms were very polite. "Master has been waiting for you. Please follow me." 

Calhoun and the other two followed Odin, making their way through the dark passages of the building, whilst they heard the souls that were being tortured screaming in agony, their voices echoing through the place. 

When they finally reached the hall where Vladimir sat in his throne, Madeline noticed he wasn't alone but he had company.
Trip to Hell- Part 3

When Calhoun arrived in the Grand Hall where Vladimir sat, he hadn't expected to see the familiar faces of the people whom he had thrown in the coffin with little to no remorse for the dead. His eyes and face held no emotions, and they were as blank as an untouched canvas back in the Hawthrone's castle.

"I thought you would love to meet your father, and your grandmother," Vladimir clapped his hands together, his eyes full of delight and amusement. 

In the room apart from the living mortals, the Devil and the demon servant, there were three other people who were on the ground, on their knees. Morganna and Laurence had a look of shock on their face, while Markus' eyes fell on Beth, whom he hadn't seen on the day he had been executed in the living world. 

Morganna wanted to strangle Calhoun for what he had put her through, but with the series of punishments she had received from the Devil, she didn't dare to utter a word. 

"Beth," came the whisper from Markus, looking at green eyes and Beth's face hardened. 

"Oh, I forgot you are here," murmured Vladimir and then spoke to the other sinners. "Is there something you want to say before you return to your exclusive rooms?"

Markus smiled at Beth, but she turned her face away from him. For the mistakes she had committed in the castle, Markus had flamed the fire and made her stand against her very own sister. 

Laurence pressed his head against the ground and said, "Forgive me! I never meant to hurt you or your mother, Calhoun. I have never mistreated you. I have always put you first. I knew what I did in the past was wrong, but I sent my very own mother to the dungeon!" 

Calhoun closed his eyes, a faint smile appeared on his lips, "Is this all you are capable of?" It made Laurence wonder what Calhoun meant. Did his son want more apologies? He would do that! But then Calhoun turned his head to look at Vladimir. The question wasn't for Laurence, but directed at Vladimir. 

"Odin," Vladimir called his ever-faithful servant. "It looks like Calhoun is not pleased with the punishments given to these rats." Hearing this, Morganna, who was busy cursing the boy who had sent her here, her eyes widened in terror. 

"W-what do you mean by that?!" questioned Morganna. 

Madeline looked at the two people she had only seen in the portraits of the castle, and they looked just like that. But the only difference was that the expressions of arrogance and pride had been replaced with fear and dread. 

"We did everything you asked! We even told the villagers the truth of what happened and how we are the ones to be blamed! Our name has been sullied-" Laurence words were interrupted by Calhoun.

"Yet you have the audacity to speak right now." 

The faint smile disappeared from Calhoun's lips, and he glared at the man who was his father. Making his way to stand in front of the sinners, he stared at the man and the old woman, while ignoring Markus completely. 

Madeline, who stood next to Beth, noticed how Calhoun's entire demeanour had changed from calm to something very sinister. It reminded her of the time when Calhoun had cut people's head right in front of her eyes. 

Gulping, Morganna said, "We have done everything to make it right-"

"You did? I don't think I got to see it," responded Calhoun. "Anyways I will deal with these people later," and Calhoun turned to Vladimir, "You know why we came here. Don't stall it." 

Vladimir grinned widely, and with one snap of his fingers, the sinners disappeared from the room. He ordered Odin, "Make sure they are turned back to flesh before the keepers decide to inflict pain on them."

"Yes, Master!" Odin bowed his head, turning into a bat and flying out of the Grand Hall. 

Vladimir then snapped his finger, and a Salvette Mortem appeared next to Madeline, making its way to stand in front of Vladimir, and it bowed its head. 

"Do you know all the Salvette Mortems?" questioned Madeline. 

"They belong to me, so yes, I do," responded Vladimir. 

"There's a Salvette Mortem that is still lurking in the castle. It felt like...it came for me…" said Madeline, looking at the older vampire who stared back at her. 

"I heard one of them went missing. Didn't know it came to see you unless it decided to spend its time in the castle, after the hours it spent in there. But then, it could be there, waiting for you to die," came the thoughtful answer from Vladimir. "It won't take your soul away from the living world. Even if you die, I would prefer you to come to Hell, but for that, you must have sinned." 

"My mother. I want to meet her," Madeline changed the subject abruptly. She didn't want to be part of Heaven or Hell. 

"Of course," said Vladimir, and he got up from the throne-like seat, stepping down. "Follow me," and Vladimir started to walk. 

Madeline and the rest followed the Devil and they got down at the lower base of the stone building. The place was dark, and the only thing that kept it bright was the flames coming from the torch. She felt her heart race with every step she took forward, not knowing how her mother was doing. Was her mother being tortured because the tower was called the tower of sins? But strangely the screams lowered down as it only got quieter. 

"Where are we?" questioned Madeline. 

Vladimir didn't reply right away, but when they reached the ends of the stairs, she noticed the change in the light of the torches compared to the ones that were burning yellow and red flame earlier on the walls. These were blue and purple. 

Madeline noticed a river not too far away from them.

"This is the place where the souls reside. A mixture of souls of demons, some who are good and some bad. Demons who were killed by other stronger demons," explained Vladimir before bending down near the river where they could see the souls floating. "I heard that your mother was killed by another higher level demon, hence her soul must be somewhere here."
She loved me dearly- Part 1

Madeline looked at the river where the water looked like any other normal water, but when Vladimir used his hand to dip it in the water, she noticed his hand changed from flesh to bones. He wiggled his fingers as if calling the souls that were floating, and he then turned to look to his right. Turning to see what he saw, Madeline noticed a soul floating towards them, and she saw the woman who had golden-blonde hair. 

"Is this the person?" questioned Vladimir, and Madeline stared at Marina without a word coming out of her mouth. 

"Is s-she dead?" asked Madeline. 

"Well, she's in Hell and floating in here. She is very dead," replied Vladimir. Madeline stepped towards him, taking a seat next to him while looking at the woman's hair waving in the water. "Souls like these are the ones that are used to feed the existence of Hell. Every land needs something to feed on so that it can flourish. What happened to her?" he asked Madeline, looking at the woman whose eyes were closed. 

"She was killed," whispered Madeline. "By a demoness named Astrate. They were trying to lure Paschar to turn against Heaven."

"Looks like the demons failed," Vladimir harrumphed.

Calhoun who stood behind Madeline, he noticed the resemblance between Madeline and the woman, the colour and texture of their hair were similar, and so were their features. The mysteries that revolved around Madeline twisted only further. 

"What does it mean? To be an offspring of a demon and an angel? Is this why Madeline is a dark angel?" demanded Calhoun. Most of them, including him and Madeline, had come to believe that the reason why Madeline had wings and abilities to kill people was that she was cursed for Paschar's actions, but it wasn't so anymore. 

Vladimir turned to look at his grandson from where he sat on his heels. 

"I don't think demons and angels have ever tried to live together. I believed you were the first ones, but it seems like it was her parents," Vladimir jerked his head towards Madeline. "She's a demon, how did Paschar not know?" the Devil smiled, wondering if Paschar had been stupid and blind in love. "So what happened?" he inquired with curiosity. 

Madeline tried to put her hand into the river, and she noticed the way even her hands turned to bones, the prickly feeling she had been feeling on her skin since she had entered Hell increased and she took her hand back before she could touch her mother. 

"I don't think Paschar wanted to get involved with anyone, or even with her. He said something about hunting demons, which was why he came to the living world. The place was in the town where Beth was kidnapped and taken to," explained Madeline. 

"Hm, I think I have a vague memory of Paschar when he was sent to the living world," Vladimir said with a thoughtful look on his face as if he was recollecting the past memories. 

"It was before I left Heaven. Yes, that's about right. Because he was the first one to leave Heaven and he didn't return for months. There was an uproar about it in Heaven," the Devil chuckled to himself. 

"No one fought on his behalf? Is an angel never to have any feelings for anyone?" asked Madeline. 

"Heaven has strict rules, dear," stated Vladimir, "If the angel doesn't follow, people turn very, very upset with the angel. The reason things are not strict in Hell is that the underworld is for sinners who cheat, and lie, and do everything immorally."

"It doesn't sound like a good place," Madeline murmured to herself, speaking about Hell, and she noticed Vladimir offer her a smile.

"Paschar was hard-headed and difficult to persuade. It was one of the reasons why they sent him down to the living world to hunt down some of the demons. No one knew that a human could make Paschar leave Heaven to pursue his life as a mortal. It was before I claimed Hell as my own. The demons turned humans to another set of demons. The ones you see in the living world are mostly those turned offsprings, while only some original demons still live there," said Vladimir. He then continued, "But now we know she was never a human, but a demon."

"She loved him. I think they both wanted to stay away from the world they came from," said Madeline, her eyes falling back on her mother in the river. "She was too scared to let him know about her being a demon." 

"Because she was aware that he would leave her immediately," stated Vladimir. "Angels and demons are arch enemies of each other."

Madeline wondered about it. She wondered if Paschar would have left Marina if she had told him the truth, or would he have continued to love her unconditionally? 

"And here you are accepting Madeline with open arms," murmured Calhoun, his eyes not leaving Vladimir.

 "Madeline might be an angel, but she's also a part demon. Maybe not as potent as the rest, but she's still the daughter of a demoness, which means she can be turned into a complete demon if guided in the right direction," Vladimir let out his thoughts. 

"She's not going to turn into one," Calhoun's words were firm. He knew Vladimir had something up his sleeves. It was why his eyes didn't move away from the old bat. 

"Aw, why not?" asked Vladimir, "Wouldn't it be wonderful to spend time with each other in Hell? Having dinner and torturing people together. I know, for one thing, you will enjoy this place, Calhoun." 

"You can rule this place by yourself. If you want to spend time, the gates of the Hawthrone's castle is always open for you," said Calhoun, his eyes glaring at Vladimir. 

"That I already know. Mere metal objects like gates and doors cannot stop me," snickered the Devil. "But it would be wise to have Madeline turned to one side, unlike the angels' I won't hound her to come to Hell."

"That's because she will have nowhere to go, but to end up here," deadpanned Calhoun. 
She loved me dearly- Part 2

Music Recommendation: A plea to Fate by Lorne Balfe


Vladimir couldn't stop the grin that spread wide on his lips. He was proud that Calhoun was not a dimwit, but it also put him in quite some trouble here. 

"Do you think the angels are going to let it be? Until Madeline is an angel, they will always want her. And it doesn't matter to them if she is a part demon or has only a drop of demon blood. They believe in saving souls," explained Vladimir, raising his eyebrows at Calhoun. 

"I thought there were rules if one wanted to enter Heaven," said Beth after hearing what Vladimir just said. 

"Like what?" questioned Vladimir. 

"To never lie, to never kill, to never have...sex," Beth cleared her throat. 

Vladimir threw his head back and started to laugh as if he had heard the best joke. His laughter continued to echo in the place, and he finally said, "If all those were true, then that's like telling the old men and women who had children are not worth entering Heaven and are thrown in Hell. I said they were strict, but on rare occasions, some rules are bent to let the souls into Heaven."

Somewhere in between, Madeline had stopped listening to them and was busy looking at her mother. 

"Does this mean she won't wake up?" Madeline had hoped to speak to her mother, to hug and know her.

Without a word, Vladimir twisted his wrist and the woman who was sleeping, opened her eyes, and she stared at Madeline. "She won't be the same if she steps out of the river. If a living person steps into the river, they will turn to nothing but bones in appearance, but if the dead souls get out of the river, they will turn to bones."

For a moment when Vladimir had opened his mouth to speak, Madeline was sure he was going to tell her that she wouldn't be able to speak to her mother or look into her eyes. She could feel her heart race again, this time in nervousness as well as in excitement. She moved closer to the river, her upper body leaning forward to look at her mother, who stared back at Madeline with her brown eyes. 

"Mama," whispered Madeline, and a sliver of confusion appeared on the woman's face before her eyes widened. 

The surface of the water was like a thin glass that separated the mother and daughter. Marina looked at Madeline in fascination, and she stretched her hand to place it on the other side of the surface of water and Madeline couldn't resist, but placed her hand back on the surface of the water as if they touched each other's hands. A rush of memories started to flood in her mind, and Madeline saw flashes of images that rushed in front of her eyes, while they continued to keep their hands connected. 

In the flash of images, she saw Marina trying to get something by bending towards the ground before a small cry escaped her lips. 

'Why do you do that?' Madeline saw Paschar move to where Marina stood near the window. 

'I thought I could get the comb, but it looks like a woman's body does turn inflexible,' Marina smiled, her eyes falling on the floor where the comb laid. Marina had a large baby bump, and she placed her hand on her back. 

'Why don't you sit down, and let me help you,' offered Paschar, helping Marina to sit on the bed. He bent down, getting hold of the comb and he said, 'Let me comb your hair. You should be relaxing, instead of trying to bend and try to break your back. You're a human."

Hearing this, the smile on Marina's face lowered down from her lips which Paschar overlooked as he helped her in combing her hair. 'I am stronger than any human…'

'That you are, and you will have to be stronger for the baby. How is the baby doing?' questioned Paschar.

Marina's eyes fell on her baby bump, and she ran one of her hands to caress it with love, 'The baby has been quiet. Must have taken to you.'

Paschar chuckled, 'It would be lovely to have a small one just like you. Our child,' murmured the man with gentleness in his voice. 

Marina smiled, but the smile slowly started to lower down from her lips out of worry. It would be good if their child turned to be like Paschar and not like her, a demon because the world was harsh for demons. She protectively held the baby bump in her hand. 

Madeline could tell that her mother was worried about Paschar finding out about who she was, the lie that she had hidden from him for a long time. 

The surface of the river wavered, and Madeline's attention was brought back to the present, away from the past that Marina showed her. There was a smile on her mother's face as if she was fascinated to see Madeline right now. Years had passed one after another before Madeline was brought to the living world. 

Madeline didn't know about her mother. She didn't even think about meeting or finding out about her mother until she had seen Marina in her dream. Even though Marina was in the water, Madeline could tell that tears appeared from the corner of her mother's eyes because the colour of the tears changed before dissolving in the water. Madeline felt her heart squeeze, and her lips pressed itself while her own eyes blurred because of the tears. Her mother loved her, and so did her father. 

With their hands still connected, Madeline was taken back to the past to see what had occurred. She was once again taken back in time, coming to stand next to a river she once had visited in her dream. She heard,

"You have stalled and tried to hide, but your time is up, Marina. And a baby?" asked the woman named Astrate, "Moving from one village to another, did you think you could hide?"