Amidst the labyrinth of small streets and houses that was One City, a game of hide and seek was underway. An angel was "it," and everyone else was out to kill him.
With his most powerful weapon wasted on the heartless Demon King, Cupid hid within the slums covering himself with rags and dirty blankets in order to hide his wings.
‘It’s just… a temporary setback,’ he reassured himself. ‘As soon as I figure out what happened, I’ll…’
Suddenly, he felt danger from above and rolled to the side. A knife bent against the stone paved ground where he had been standing just a second prior. A young demon, no older than 14, was licking his teeth.
“Found him!” he shouted.
“Fudge nuggets,” cursed the angel before sprinting down the alley. 3 more demons appeared at the other end, but they were just teens. He slipped through their attacks like flowing water and vanished between the myriad of houses.
“I need a proper hideout,” Cupid muttered after stopping inside a small alleyway to catch his breath.
“Then, you've come to the right place,” a slithering voice reached his ears.
To his right, the crooked wooden door he had thus far ignored started opening with a screech. The angel stepped back and prepared for combat.
“No worries little one.” Lady Isabella came out to greet him. “I am opposed to murder.”
The old woman had more in common with snakes than with humans. Her eyes were sharp and pointed downwards. Her hair was so red it might as well have been burning. Her lips curled upwards forming a permanent sneer.
“Why should I trust you?”
“You shouldn’t,” Isabella chuckled. “But, I have food.”
As if on cue, the angel’s stomach started growling loudly. Being forever stuck in the body of an 8 year old meant his appetite was always that of a “growing” child.
“Come,” beckoned Isabella. “I promise it won’t be poisoned.”
Her subsequent laughter didn’t add weight to her words, but Cupid didn’t care. ‘I dare you to try,’ he scoffed while following. As a servant of God, there was nothing he couldn’t purify, although the Demon Kind seemed to be an exception.
Once inside the dilapidated building, three henchmen appeared out of nowhere. Isabella pointed towards the rag one of them was holding and then towards her eyes.
‘How silly,’ chuckled Cupid. ‘You can’t blind me.’
However, these thoughts did not stop them from trying. After three rows of cloths were placed on his head and his weapon was confiscated, Lady Isabella and her lackeys took him to the basement.
There was an entire labyrinth underground with so many tunnels, twists, and turns that a normal human had no hope of remembering everything. Except, Cupid was not normal or a human.
“Was this really necessary?” the boy smirked once they had finally taken off the blindfold. He was in an underground hideout, a bunker of sorts, and the main headquarters of Isabella’s operations.
After a few more doors, they arrived in the dining room, a huge chamber with over 20 tables placed side by side with chairs all around them. From a small door to the side, a red cheeked woman in her thirties brought them steaming stew. After saying a prayer to Mercury, the God of thieves, Isabella invited Cupid to take a bite.
“A thief must protect her secrets first and foremost.” she finally explained. “Unless it’s to her advantage of course.”
“Hmph,” Cupid scoffed with his mouth full. “You can’t fool these eyes, lady. I know exactly where I am.”
“Do you?” Isabella raised an eyebrow before more than 30 of her subordinates rushed into the room. “Then, I take it this will be your final meal.”
“Ha,” the angel scoffed while spitting a piece of potato across the table. “I know you’ve poisoned the stew, but it’s not gonna work on me.”
“Actually, it was merely laced with truth serum," Isabella shrugged. "But, tell me…”
“Are you also immune to pain?”
The angel stopped eating.
“Will your nails grow back if I rip them off? Do crushed toes not cause you any sort of distress?”
While Lady Isabella walked over, Cupid’s face turned whiter than it already was. He stopped chewing his food and the accumulated drool was threatening to spill out.
“What do you want?” he mumbled with his mouth full. Lady Isabella placed her skinny arms around the boy and hugged him from behind.
“I want us to be friends,” she whispered into his ear. “I’m sure we can… Ew!”
Feeling something wet falling all over her arms, the queen of thieves pulled back in disgust. Drool mixed with half chewed food had spread over her nails like vomit.
“You disgusting little…”
“Friend?” The angel grinned revealing the pieces of celery still stuck in his teeth. “I'm willing to listen if you get rid of your goons.”