Sometime later

Reina and Donna sat across from each other in a surprisingly normal looking hospital room in complete silence. Ever since she'd witnessed the courtyard meeting between Donna and the Angel, Reina had felt slightly awkward around her friend. They'd talk a short while after Reina had first entered the room, but it quickly turned awkward after that. 

It didn't help that her other friend was currently unconscious on the hospital bed in front of her.

Leon had suffered multiple deep lacerations on his torso, had broken two ribs, and suffered a hard blow to the head which caused a concussion. He was lucky to be alive and if what Donna had told her was true, the only reason he was still alive was because the goddess that kidnapped them had said something about needing an insurance policy.

So, either they were hostages... Or Torga was just so feared amongst the gods that a goddess felt the need to preemptively earn brownie points after possibly pissing him off.

Reina wasn't sure which was more worrying. And if you'd asked her before this afternoon she would have said the first was most likely... Now though, she had a feeling the latter was the case and she wasn't quite sure how to feel about that.

"You saw, didn't you?"


"In the courtyard... You saw us, didn't you?"

"... Yeah. I saw."

Donna laughed depreciatingly and shook her head.

"Were you ever going to say anything?"

"I wasn't planning to." 

"Why not? Aren't you curious?"

"Of course."

"Then why haven't you asked me yet?"

"... Because you're my friend, Donna. If you wanted to talk about it, you would have told me a long time ago."

"Yeah..." She scoffed. "Some friend I am."

"Why do you say that?"

"..." Donna was silent for several seconds as she internally warred with herself.

Eventually, however, she spoke— "It's my fault."

"What is?"

 "This," She waved at the room around them. "Everything we've been through. It was all my fault."

"Donna, I don't understand what you're saying. How was it your fault?"

"... Because I chose you."

"You what?"

"I chose you, Reina. I chose you and... And I failed to follow through. I lost sight of my duties to you and now, because of one mistake, you're stuck here instead of back on Earth with your family."

"Donna, you're really not making any sense. Mind explaining what you mean clearly, instead of dancing around?"

"... I used to be an angel... Well, more specifically, I was your guardian angel back on earth." 

Reina immediately wanted to interrupt her—to ask her what the hell she was talking about, but the dark look in Donna's eyes kept her from speaking.

"I was one of the seven angels of love in service to Yahweh. My duty was to nudge people in the direction of their soul mates and to ensure they found the love they so desperately craved... But when I saw you, when I saw your soul I— I forgot all about that."


"You humans weren't the only ones made in the image of our father. We angels also possess free will... And we also fall in love."

"Wait— Are you saying you... Love me? Like... Actually, love me?"

"...I used to." She sighed. "I originally chose to be your guardian angel on a whim, which wasn't an uncommon thing for me. But... As you grew older, I slowly became more protective of you. I'd chase away a bad influence here, turn away a potential boyfriend there... Then Ken showed up and made my life a living hell."

Reina, despite the sudden seriousness of the situation, snorted at that.

"Yeah, it's funny now, but you should have seen me back then. I tried everything short of outright killing him to scare him off, nothing worked. Every woman I sent after him was turned down, every man I sent after him was either punched in the face or turned down. Hell, at one point I went down myself and tried to seduce him at the risk of falling." Donna made an uncomfortable face the dark look she'd saw in Reina's eyes at this little tidbit, but she pressed on.

"The bastard actually had the gall to take one look at me and say 'No thanks, I don't think I could afford you even if I wanted to.' Can you believe that!?"

"Uh..." Reina laughed. "Surprisingly enough, I do."

"Your husband's always been a dick."

"I'm aware." 

"... He's a good man, though."

"I'm also aware of that."

The two sat in comfortable silence for several minutes after that as Donna tried to recollect herself, and Reina was just happy her friend was talking again.

Was she surprised at this revelation? Of course, but there's nothing she could do about it now.

"After Ken showed up and turned my world upside down. I split my time between protecting you and resuming my duties as an angel of love to get away from the sight of the two of you together... I attended your wedding, by the way. You were so damn beautiful in that white sequin dress with the see-through back."

Reina turned red in embarrassment in remembrance of just what her husband thought about that particular dress. Not seeing the bride before the wedding be damned, he wouldn't leave her alone until he saw her in it... And then they had to buy a second one because he ruined the first.

 "And after you died and I couldn't find your soul I- I lost myself. It got so bad that I began slacking off in my angel duties and the higher-ups noticed. They ordered me to drop the search, to forget about 'one measly human soul' and focus on my duties... I didn't.

Eventually, I came across a drunk human god from another pantheon at one of the bars here in the silver city that'd been bragging about a human being chosen as the next hero. I offered him everything from gold and jewels to priceless artifacts for the name of the human but he only wanted one thing from me..."

"So you slept with him." Reina said matter-of-factly. She wasn't accusing, mocking, or making light of what Donna was telling her. It was just the conclusion she'd come to.


"That's when you fell?"

"No," Donna snorted. " You can only truly 'fall' if you give in to one of the cardinal sins and allow it to consume you. I 'fell' because apparently the god had a big mouth and bragged about nailing the angel of love. Well, as it turns out, one of the Arch-Angels had had it in his head that my virginity was his, so when my then friend decided to rat me out to the elders in the hopes of earning a promotion. The jealous bastard used his power to have me cast out of heaven in a fit of rage and I've been having sex with as many people as I possibly could out of spite ever since."

"Wait, so... You're doing it out of spite and not because you enjoy it?"

"Oh no, I definitely enjoy it. But if I get to piss off the great big perverted eye in the sky while having a good time, then I'm all for it."

"I guess some things really don't change." 

Donna and Reina jumped up from their chairs and turned to the door in time to see a tall and incredibly well-built angel step into the room. He had bronze colored skin, dark hair, golden eyes, and four massive fiery wings curled up behind him. A few seconds after he stepped into the room, the angel Reina saw with Donna earlier in the courtyard walked in behind him and shut the door.

"Speaking of perverted old men. How's it going Zuriel?"

"Do not say my name so casually, Dohna. I'm still an Arch-Angel."

"That's the beauty of being a fallen, Zuriel. I don't have to give a shit who you are."

"I take it this is the angel in question?"

"Yep. This is ol' little dick himself."

The temperature in the room climbed several dozen degrees instantly as Zuriel glowered at Donna.

"I'll not be made fun of!"

"Bite me... Actually, scratch that. You might enjoy it a little too much."

 A spear made of orange flames appeared in the angel's hand in less than a second and scorched the air around them, making it incredibly difficult to breathe.

"My lord, I don't believe It wise to do that here..."

"Did I ask for your opinion?"

"No sir, but—"

"Then keep your mouth shut unless I do."

Zuriel walked around to Donna's side as she and Reina struggled to breathe and lifted a lock of her hair up to his nose and breathed in.

"Such a pity... And I had hoped to make you my wife one day."

"Not... a chance... In hell."

"I would have taken care of you."

Donna spat in his face, earning her a hard slap to the face that sent her crashing into the wall beside the bed. The angel turned to face Reina and lifted her chin until he could see her eyes.

She stared back defiantly.

"Yes, you'll do nicely. Take her."

Reina whipped out her pistol in the blink of an eye and shot the other angel in the face at point-blank range. The high-caliber magic bullet tore through his head as if it were made of paper and splattered angel brain on the walls and floor. Then she turned the gun on the arch-angel and pointed it at his face.

"I really don't like you."

"That little pea-shooter might do something to a minor angel, but you couldn't harm me with a thousand of those things."


 "Wanna bet?" 

"Wait!" Donna yelled. She climbed to her feet, wiping the blood from her chin as she did, and walked up to stand face to face with the angel. "I've been waiting a long time to do this." 

A spike of ice formed around Donna's hand and she swung it with as much force as she could muster... The angel stopped the ice with two fingers, then easily caught the two rounds Reina fired into his back with the other hand.

"What a pathetic display." he slapped Reina across the face hard enough to send her head crashing into the nearby wall, then one of his wings smacked Donna into the wall behind her. He raised his spear high into the air and just as he was about to bring it down on Reina's head, Donna screamed, "Wait!!" 


"Don't... Don't kill her."

"Why not? She killed one of my angels, so I must kill her in return. Those are our laws, you know this."

"If you- if you don't kill her, you can have me."

"Why would I want a used, worn-out ex-angel like you? I think I'd rather just kill her."

"Oh, that's it, is it? To think an arch-angel would get off on bullying mortals. At least give us a fighting chance you piece of shit!!"

"Hmph, alright, I'm a merciful angel. You want a fighting chance? You've got one." 

Zuriel, Donna, Reina, and the still motionless Leon vanished in a flash of light just before a massive earthquake shook all of Silver city down to its very foundations...

A note from Kenaren

Someone's in trouble now~

Support "A Snake's Rise"

About the author


  • The insane snake handler


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