[i Habit two: Begin with the end in mind. Start with a clear destination in mind. Use your imagination to develop a vision of what you want to become and use your conscience to decide what values will guide you.] Laxis skimmed through the pages, scanning the other habits quickly. Habit six was synergize, whatever the hell that meant. Did humans really think about these sorts of things? Flipping the pages to return to habit number two, he read about ways to practice the habit. [i Visualize in rich detail your own funeral. Who is there? What are they saying about you?] The demon couldn’t stop himself from chuckling. Some humans were so obsessed with their image that they were actually concerned with what others would say after their death. The whole concept was amusing.
There were definitely demons who cared about their image, but it was a bit different than worrying about what people would say in the event of their death. How many legions one controlled came up a lot. It represented power and influence. Laxis didn’t usually concern himself with the politics of Hell. He got along well with the Kings and didn’t really have the ambition to question their authority. Even with his detached demeanor he somehow still managed to become tangled in the mess of the uprising, unaware of the ambitions of others.
Engrossed in his own thoughts, Laxis failed to notice someone else entering the space. He heard the man before seeing him. [i “Not worth reading if you ask me.”] The comment didn’t seem to be aimed directly at him, but he heard it nonetheless. Dark eyes looking up from the book, finding the owner of the voice. A tall man with dark hair and an unsettling air about him seemed to be the only one around. Something inside Laxis pleaded that he ignore the man but he had never been good at listening to his instincts. That's how he had ended up on earth after all. Besides he figured if his instincts were warning him about a human, his instincts were out of whack. Maybe he was already losing his shit. He eyed the man for a few more seconds before chuckling and returning to his book, although the pages seemed even more dull now that he had a new subject of interest.
The demon’s attention was drawn away from the book again when he noticed that the male from earlier had started searching through the shelves nearest to him. He studied the male closely, taking in his facial features and the way he scanned the books. There was something alluring about this man. Just the thought of being interested in a human seemed laughable to the demon, but he had a hard time looking away. Never in his entire existence had he thought of humans as particularly interesting, so what was the deal with this one?
Laxis stole glances from the corner of his eye, watching the books pile up in the man’s arms. Right. They were in a library and people checked books out from libraries. He had no official address to his name which made it hard to acquire a library card. Besides, he liked people watching at the library which also gave him time to catch up on his knowledge of the human world. At one time he had know loads, but that was back when most of his orders involved possessing humans.
It wasn't long before the mysterious human had a tall stack of books. The demon watched as a book from the top of the pile tumbled to the floor. Laxis expected the man to set the books down before attempting to pick up the fallen one, but was surprised to see that he decided to squat down with the pile of books balancing in one arm.
Before he had time to think about the decision his legs were already lifting him off the couch and towards the book. Slowly, the demon bent down and plucked the book off of the floor. His eyes studied the cover and he smirked. [#123456 “Hm, not worth reading if you ask me,”] his deep voice purred, copying the words that had come from the man.
[size17 [IM+Fell+Double+Pica+SC Carter Jacobs wasn't your average parish. Carter hadn't always followed the Christian or Roman Catholic faith. When his parents perished that was when he turned to God for hope. God had always answered his prayers; one way or another. God always spoke to him in one way or another. Whenever he asked for a sign of something, nothing short of a miracle happened to him when he was still in training to become a priest. Shortly after his parents had passed, his world spiraled downwards.
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." -- Isaiah 66:9
This specific bible verse, he held very near and dear to his heart. It was this verse and speaking to a priest three times a week that helped him see the light even in the darkness that shrouded his life. Carter was never one for giving up. His parents would be proud of him to see the man who he had become. He was also proud of himself for making it this far. At one point he didn't see the point in living or continuing on. That's when God came into his life and showed him that there was indeed, a light at the end of the tunnel and that life was still worth living, even if his parents were dead.
Carter folded the book he was reading and taking notes on, closed and put it in a small drawer. He checked the small watch that he kept in his pocket under his gown and looked at the time. He was surprised that it was already almost 5 o'clock in the evening. It was his time to leave his study room and go to the library to pick out a few new books for himself. Carter loved to read and often times would sit for hours on end just reading. He had always been content to just spend time at home, in his lounge and read. Depending on the thickness, the size of text and number of pages, he could easily finish books within a few days, the most time he had taken to finish a book in the past was a month. That was because the book was relatively thick and had very small text.
Pushing himself from the desk, the chair he sat on slid across the tile floor with ease. He stood and used the desk to help him push himself up from the chair. He walked slowly over towards the door and stripped off his robes. He neatly hung them up on one of the coat rungs that protruded from the wall. He checked his watch once more and sighed quietly. He wouldn't have much time at the library tonight. That didn't bother him quite as much as it would if he missed going to the library entirely. He opened the door to leave his study and left the room, closing the small, wooden door behind him and locking the door with a special key that he kept on his person at all times. He didn't like people snooping around in his private study room.
Carter descended the stairs quickly and left the church through an old door that was to be used by the priests only. Since he was in training to become a priest, he didn't see it as a big deal to use the door. He slipped out and pulled the door behind him, closed. Taking in a deep breath, he filled his lungs with as much fresh air as he possibly could. Letting out all the air in his lungs, he was relieved to be out of that small, stuffy room. No matter how much he enjoyed being by himself, he was always relieved when he had the ability to leave the quarters. His practices were getting to be more serious and he was spending less and less time with his friends and family and more time practicing, reading, copying pages of text or talking with his elders.
Even though it was only the early evening, the air still had a slight chill to it. He buttoned and zipped his jacket up a bit more and started on his way to the library. Many of the people who frequented the church knew who he was and bowed their heads slightly when they passed him. All he could do was smile and keep on walking. He didn't like being treated like he was some higher powered person that deserved the upmost respect. Even though he was training to become a priest, he still felt that his treatment by the locals was a bit much. Some even offered to buy him food or tea before and that to him was just too much. He didn't have the heart to accept what they were offering because he felt like they deserved it as much as he did.
Soon, he ended up at the library. He grabbed the handle and pulled the door open just as an elderly gentleman with a cane was coming out. They both nodded to each other and Carter walked in after the elderly man had cleared the door. A familiar ding sounded through the library and he took another deep breath in. He found comfort in books and always had, even when he was growing up. Carter slowly walked through the library and climbed the stairs up to the second level of the library where there were less people. He liked to read by himself and not with a lot of people around. He started to look over the countless shelves of books. He turned to the next aisle and glanced at a tall male with short black hair and a muscular build who was reading a book that was well known to him. He chuckled under his breath and smiled. [#4682B4 "Not worth reading if you ask me,"] he mused mostly to himself, hoping the other man would not hear his comment.
Carter went back to scanning the book shelves, hoping that something would jump out at him, catch his attention, or really anything, but most of the titles he was seeing were either ones he had already read or ones that he wasn't interested in reading. He decided to take a chance. He casually walked to where the male on the couch was sitting and look at the books on the shelves by him. He was looking for certain titles, but he was looking for one on demons, but also just books he could read in his spare time. There wasn't much to choose from, but he kept looking. There were a few titles that popped out at him and so he grabbed them and held them while he looked for more. Time passed and by the time he realized what he was doing, he had about seven books in his arms, all of which were different sizes and thicknesses. He sighed, frustrated and shook his head. [#4682B4 "This will surely do me for at least a month..."] he mumbled to no one in particular and carried the books off. He took a step backwards and turned on his heel. One of the books fell as he turned and dropped to the floor. He rolled his eyes, clearly annoyed and squatted down to pick the book up while still balancing the rest of them in one arm.]
A tall man with dark hair and a brooding expression watched the other library patrons over the edge of his book. Everyone was going about their business, only a few noticing his intense stare before quickly pretending as if they hadn't. Laxis had become fond of the library. He liked how quiet it was. The stark contrast between the atmosphere among the shelves of books and the atmosphere in a nightclub intrigued him. Some of the same intellectuals that could be found studying among these books also frequented the bars and clubs in town.
Who knew humans were so complex? He was only used to interacting with foolish humans who liked to use ouija boards or pledge their allegiance to Satan. Mostly he was tasked with collecting souls and making deals with humans who were foolish and vain. Not much different than some demons if he was being honest.
Despite his growing interest in humans, he would much rather be in Hell than on Earth. Not much time had passed since his banishment, but it already felt like an eternity. It didn't help that he had no idea of when he would be allowed back. Maybe never. Though he hoped that once everything blew over his banishment would be something they could all laugh about.
The demon flipped through the pages of the old book in his hands. A book about demons. Laxis liked to read about the knowledge humans had gathered, or thought they had gathered, about Hell. Though as he read the familiar names a pang of home sickness swept over him. He shut the book, the faded pages eliciting a soft thud as they met. Sighing, he stood up from the wooden chair and made his way back to the shelf from where the book had come. [i Is this my fate? Reading about my home in libraries, dreaming about the day I can return?] His face twisted into a scowl and he quickly put the book back.
Some demons would rejoice at the chance to live among humans. Taking great pleasure in killing or sowing discomfort. Laxis had no desire to kill, however he had sown his fair share of discomfort. Mostly harmless. Meaningless. But he could see himself wanting to act out more the longer he was stuck in this world. A small part of him wondered if his punishment time would decrease if he collected a large amount of souls. Something to please Lucifer. However, no deal had been struck and Laxis didn't want to waste his time doing all that work if there would be no reward.
Dark eyes scanned the shelves. Shitty mysteries, predictable romances, informational books about how to fix up a house. None of the titles called out to him. He wandered the first floor of the library before deciding to head up to the next floor. There were fewer people up there. A woman clutching a vampire romance novel locked eyes with him as he passed her table.
Smirking, Laxis backed up and took a seat at her table. [+green "Is that book good?"] He looked sincere as he leaned in and motioned for her to do the same. The girl complied, blushing as she leaned her ear close to his mouth. [+green "Can I let you in on a secret? I know quite a few things about creatures of the night."] Laxis spent some time toying with the girls head but quickly grew bored by how easily she put her trust in him. Weak. That's what humans were.
After excusing himself and leaving the bewildered girl to return to her reading material, Laxis found a small corner with a comfy looking couch. He grabbed a book titled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" and settled in. Judging by the title the book was going to tell him how to be the best version of himself. A load of bullshit.
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