"I'll explain." I said, resigned. I was hoping to leave that part of my life behind. I never told Leo about that year at school. About the boy in the tower and about Malbonte.
"But first let's take care of them." I pointed to the children and the Unclaimed. All equally terrified by the horrors they've just experienced.
In a short while, we were able to secure the students in the Library. Not the most accommodating of places but secure and known.
The howling of the hellhounds could still be heard in the large hall.
"Should we go back and help the others?" I asked Leo, unsure.
"Nah, we're needed here." he said, in his nonchalant tone, as if we were not in grave danger. "Fencio is a powerful Angel. He'll find a way to keep them safe."
He definitely wouldn't do that for me. I knew that Fencio still hated me and blamed me for his estrangement from his son. I also knew now that I was not to blame.
I am not responsible for my mother's actions. Or Dino's...
We took turns looking after the young ones. Leo was reading them goodnight stories about Fury and Fluf, the mischievous demon-angel duo who played on Earth. Leo was good at this.
He was great with kids. If only we knew what could happen. We discussed it many times. We knew the risk - children born of angel and demon relations did not survive birth.
But we also knew that I was neither of those things. I was a precedent. Like Malbonte.
The thought of Malbonte immediately stopped my daydreaming. Instead, I chose to focus on the lullaby. My eyes were almost closing when I felt a strong arm on my shoulder.
"Holy." the Demon said. "You need to tell me everything."
I looked into his beautiful eyes. Leo was right. I couldn't keep it hidden anymore. I took his hand and flew to a secluded part of the Library.
We sat down on the floor, as if we were students again, hiding from the teacher.
I gathered my courage and began.
"Listen to me and listen closely, because what I am about to tell you is forbidden knowledge." I stopped. Partly for dramatic effect and partly to emphasize the seriousness of the situation.
"We were swore not to reveal this to anybody for the good of all the living and immortals." A cold chill run down my neck. Leo leaned in closer, as if he was not going to miss a single word.
"You know of the legend of Malbonte." I started, carefully observing his reaction. "But you do not know that the legend is true. Partly true. He does exists.
He existed long before me and you and he lived in the maze of Adam and Eve."
I saw Leo's red eyes go wide. He frowned, probably not sure if I am completely sane.
"Yes, the very maze that is now on the grounds of the Academy." I continued. "Students were never allowed in. And there was a good reason for that."
"The legend says that Malbonte was born of a relation between an Angel and a Demon but it is false. He was born of a relation between a Demon and a mortal."
"What?" Leo's eyes went wide with surprise. I was sure he did not believe me.
"It was Satan himself who did the unspeakable dead. And from that wicked relation, a baby was born. A mortal baby with wings.
He lived his first years on Earth... being ridiculed, called a monster and picked on. The mortals... they were cruel to him. And one day, Malbonte was murdered. Beaten to death for being different.
This broke his mother's hearth and she ended her own life. She loved him very much, so much, in fact, that she had the chance to go to the Academy.
She studied here, the mother, and became an Angel. And, not many know this... but Malbonte also studied here."
"This cannot be." Leonidas was not the one to shock easily. "How do you know all this?"
"A very powerful Angel showed me." I said, trying to avoid getting into details. "We'll get there."
"And so Malbonte studied in the Academy." I continued the story. "But as you can imagine, his time here was not easy."
Leo grabbed my hand and squeezed it tightly. It was not everyday that you find out the legends are true.
"Even in here, Malbonte was different than the other kids. He looked different. His small baby wings never grew. But he developped something else instead. Being Satan's son, he harvested immense power.
Other children were scared of him." Even after all these years, this story breaks my heart. "His father never bothered to meet him and after time, he grew estranged from his Angelic mother..."
"He must have been so lonely." said Leo with empathy, not typical for a Demon.
"Lonely... yes." I said."But also angry. You see, Leo, Malbonte's mother was asked to advance soon after graduating from the Academy.
She would have less and less time for her son and soon, she met another Angel. They started a family, she was pregnant again. And Malbonte, he felt betrayed.
His mother was everything he had and she has forgotten about him. He felt that she has replaced him with this new, better family."
"I'm guessing this doesn't end well." Leo added, squeezing my hand a little tighter.
"You guessed right." I said, a painful sensation running through my body.
"Abandoned by his mother, having no friends, Malbonte turned his attention to the one person he thought, he had left in the world - his father."
"But how could he contact his father?" asked Leo. ,,Only the Seraphim have the right to meet Satan."
"Precisely. How could he?" I paused, thinking about my next words carefully. "You need to understand, Leo, that Malbonte was a very troubled young soul. He never knew warmth and empathy.
All he knew is that he was stronger than everyone else. He valued power because that's all he had.
He wanted to get his father's attention and, in his mind, he could only did so by demonstrating that power. He had to commit an act so big, that Satan himself would have to go to punish him."
"I don't like where this is going." said Leo, hugging me tightly.
"Neither do I, trust me." I replied, locking my arms around him. "After the first war, there was a lot of tension between the Demon and the Angelic fraction.
The Demons felt that the Angels were given too much power. Those were different times, not like now. Angels were not friends with demons. They were almost enemies."
"I know, my grandfather still doesn't fully trust them." said Leo.
"Well then you understand in what atmosphere Malbonte grew up in." I explained. "And so one Christmas, Malbonte went to see his mother and her angelic family.
His mother tried to accommodate him but he did not feel welcome in Heaven. His half-brothers didn't like him much and neither did his step father.
Malbonte felt betrayed and so on a terrible Christmas morning, he murdered them all. Even his own mother."
"That was his great action. The action that was suppose to get his father's attention." I said with a heavy sight.
"He demonstrated his power, and in some twisted way... I think he wanted to show that the Demons are not to be taken lightly."
"So what happened to Malbonte?" Leo asked.
"As I said, Malbonte was imprisoned for his actions. He was confined to live in the maze of Adam and Eve for all eternity." I explained. "The tragedy was, he never got to meet his father.
It was Shepha who confined him and bound him to the maze."
"That is a terrifying story, Holy." Leo commented, turning his head towards me. "But what does that have to do with what's happening now?"
"I don't fully know, Leo." I admitted. "But an Angel flew through my window this evening and said that he was back. He said that Malbonte is back and then sent me, well, here.
He sent me to Hell. And when I finally came back to the Academy... I saw this huge mess. This cannot be a coincidence. It started the same way last time."
"The last time?" asked Leo uncertain what to make of it. "That means he's still alive?"
"Yes." I said quickly. "And the last time he escaped the maze, blood was spilled. A lot of blood."
"And what does he want?"
"I am not sure, Leo." I said, my energy completely drained from recalling this horrible story. "But you need to know something else."
Leo once again leaned in closer to me, his eyes locked with mine.
"It was Angel Fencio and Rebecca, my mother, who let Malbonte out of the maze the first time."