Chapter 6

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Uriel looked at himself in the mirror. He was shocked. It was the first time he had seen himself since his death. He had known his hair was longer, but now it reached his shoulders and the brown was streaked with grey. His hawk-like features were sharper and combined with his hair to give him a wizened appearance. He had a few days growth of beard and his moustache needed trimming. But his eyes were what changed the most. There was a depth to his eyes that did not exist before. They held knowledge, understanding. As he looked at the mirror, his eyes seemed to stare back at him. His surroundings faded to darkness as his face began to change. He was staring into the eyes of Peter before he died, before the sickness appeared. He was mesmerized for a moment and then closed his eyes. When he opened them, the image was gone. He stared at those eyes, his eyes, again and the image quickly began to form. He jerked his head away. By staring into his eyes, actually anybody's eyes—it also happened with the Guardian—he was able to see… What? What was he seeing? What sort of transformation was taking place? Or was it all his imagination? Those thoughts occupied his mind as he quickly bathed and dressed, being careful to not look at the mirror, even when he shaved.


It was purely psychological warfare, as least as far as Uriel was concerned. The Guardians had led him from the dungeons chained and blindfolded. They allowed him to rest after a long trek involving inclines and many, many stairs. Only when he was seated for what seemed like an hour (but in actuality only ten minutes), were his bonds finally removed.

It took Uriel's eyes a moment to adjust. He was seated on a bench at the end of a large wooden table in a circular, stone room and was surrounded by the ethereal floating symbols, the wards. At the opposite end of the table, seven robed and hooded individuals were observing him. Their deep cowls did not allow him to view any of their faces. Their only distinguishing feature was the color of their robes. Three of them wore white, three wore black and one, the one in the center, wore grey. He assumed them to be the Council. Uriel regarded each one, but could only determine the sex of one of them, one of the three in black. His eye lingered on her, her breasts easily discernable under the tight fitting garment. None of them moved and all of them somehow exuded an aura of seriousness and superiority. If they're trying to intimidate me, he thought, it's working.

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