"What? What do you mean?" Serena blurted out.
"You are in HELL. The Underworld. The world of the DEAD." Zein bluntly stated.
Serena couldn't comprehend what Zein said. 'Hell? Me in HELL?! World of dead? Underworld?! Does it mean that I'm dead?!' are the questions that run through her mind and asked herself.
She immediately check herself if she could feel that she's still in flesh. She slightly slapped her both cheeks alternately and took a breath. 'No. I am 100% sure I'm still alive' she assured herself to calm down.
Zein was slightly being amused by Serena's gestures. "Hahahahaha! Don't worry. You're not dead yet."
"Yet?! What do you mean?! I will die soon?"
"Every human dies. In your case, you can take it as an advance visit in afterlife." he's controlling himself from laughing.
"What the hell?! What are you talking about?!" Serena was starting to get furious as she can really see that the man in front of her was making fun of her.
"It's the truth. You should feel honored that I'm the one you're with right now and not just anyone from Underworld. Or else, you're really be dead. No alive human is allowed in Nine Heavens."
"This is really confusing. Nine Heavens? What is that? You said this is the Underworld? What heavens you're talking about?"
"Nine Heavens. Where the beginning and end of all beings belong. The start and end of everything. The realm of spirits. The Underworld is the realm of the DEAD and all dark creatures. Upper Heaven is the realm of all peace and order and light creatures. There are 7 more heavens and you'll know them as you stay here longer. That is if you'll live longer here."
"What about our world? I mean the Earth? What realm is it to your kind?"
"Earth is the human realm which is not included in Nine Heavens as it is created by Almighty as His sanctuary of normalcy. It's just that all creatures there doesn't have cultivation. Your kind doesn't have a core for spiritual chakras. You only have a heart as a core of life."
"Wait? Does it mean you have no heart?"
"We have a heart for our life too. But we have more than that to live."
"That's unfair then—"
"Your Grace. Lord Lucifer wants to see you before the start of Grand Ball. He is in the garden." announced by Dio who is the only one could knock on Zein's room.
"I'll see him on his garden then. I bet he is taming Cerberus to behave for the grand ball later." Zein rolled his eyes and took another sip of his wine.
"You need to come with me. Try not to exist in front of the Lord of Underworld or else he will send you to Hell Level 7 to punish you himself. It's the terror of all beings."
"What?! And why would he do that?" Serena became more anxious.
"What do you expect when a human meets the Lord of Underworld? No good should come to your mind when you think of him as he is not good. He's temper is unpredictably the worst. He means punishment for humans as he can see all your sins insight. And you are a human."
"He's only like that to humans? What about your kind then?"
"He acts as a ruler here for all beings from Underworld. He acts as the Lord of Underworld to other beings of Nine Heavens. All the Dead belongs to his realm."
"And you are what? You're dead then? All of you here in Underworld are dead?"
"All creatures here are dead or half-dead except ME. I am the son of Lucifer. His heir."
"And except me too. I'm still alive right?" Serena asked to be assured.
"Yes. That's why you don't belong here. And you have to come with me everywhere so no one could sense that you're not from here. My cultivation is strong enough to overpower the senses of Underworld creatures. Except for my father." Zein sighed in another thought. "But, too bad you have to come with me now to see Lucifer."
A shiny and reddish feather came out from Zein's hand and put it in Serena's hair which immediately shrinks and turned to a hairpin.
"You can have my Phoenix Feather. My father won't be able to do any harm to you for as long as you have that. And it won't be taken easily from you as I am the only one can touch that."
"Enough of your questions. Let's go now." as Zein said that everything turned to be a dark blur for Serena and on her 2nd breath she can feel an icy surface on her feet.
"Don't look on Lucifer's eyes. He can see all your sins through them." Zein warned her.
A huge figure of a beast like dog captured Serena's eyes. It has 3 heads and it is running towards them. She wants to scream but before she could do that the beast is already in front of them.
It seems excited to see Zein as it's wagging its tail and when its heads turned to her it was as if confused.
"Cerberus boy!" Zein greeted the beast.
Serena stiffened as Cerberus sniffed her. 'He will eat me' the thought run on Serena's mind and she became more scared.
Cerberus turned its attention to Zein to Serena's surprise. 'Maybe I don't smell delightful' she thought.
Little does Serena know the Phoenix Feather also has Zein's smell so Cerberus didn't and couldn't do anything to harm her.
And a tall man with pale skin in his long silk robes with its ends pervades a dark air. It was as if he walks afloat. As he approaches, Serena felt extremely scared to her confusion.
"Zein. You have company." Lucifer asked his son with his low deep voice.
"She's with me." Zein simply answered.
"We have rules." a firm reminder of Lucifer to Zein.
"Let her live. I want to be the one to make her belong here."
"When will you kill her then?" Lucifer gritted his teeth.
"Ki....kill?! Mmm..me?!" Serena exclaimed in surprise and fear to Zein.
"I want to keep her first for my entertainment for awhile. I'll kill her once I get bored of her." Zein replied to Lucifer. It was as if Serena's wasn't with them as he continued his conversation with his father.
"When will you get to used on being in Underworld. This is your realm!" Lucifer exclaimed.
"It hasn't been long since I get here." Zein replied emotionless.
"You! You—" Lucifer sighed "Alright. Do what you want then. Make sure to kill her and she should not return to human realm anymore." he ordered as he gave up the thought of killing Serena right then and there. Lucifer is still in the process of making Zein to like living in Underworld. He could train him hard on Underworld's principles in due time.
"And you. I'll see you in Hell Level 7 once you're dead" Lucifer turned to Serena.
Serena immediately turned her face down to avoid Lucifer's eyes. She did it in fear and not that she remembered Zein's warning earlier.
"She will not see you there." Zein assured Lucifer
"Zein! Stop testing my temper!"
"She has my Phoenix Feather."
"How could you?! How could you disobey me?! I am the Lord of Underworld! The GOD of DEAD! Take the Phoenix Feather away from her! NOW!"
"You know what it means when I, as a Phoenix, gave the Phoenix Feather to a woman."
"She is a human!"
"She is still a woman."
As Lucifer is gritting his teeth in his dismay, Cerberus lay down beside Serena. It was as if the beast was acknowledging Serena as one of his guardians.
"Hell damn! This is a great mockery to Underworld for a human to be your future wife! Think again, Zein! You are my HEIR! You will be the future GOD of UNDERWORLD! This is unacceptable anywhere in NINE HEAVENS!"
"No one in Nine Heavens would dare speak ill to us. They already fear to be on our bad side. They also wouldn't dare to look down on us. No one ever will."
"The UPPER HEAVEN will do that! Our greatest enemy!"
"They won't. Not to me. I'm the great grandson of Almighty. I also belong to Spiritual Bird Family. One of direct spiritual beings created by Almighty as His family and disciples. I am a Phoenix. Don't forget that, Father."
"You don't belong with them now! You only belong to Underworld!"
"Fine. But, Serena will stay here with me. Alive."
"Her name is Serena then. She'll be your hostage in hell as your wife. What a nightmare for her. I like the idea of her lifetime punishment." Lucifer completely gave up on Zein's disobedience. "Just both of you stay out of sight from any creatures on grand ball. Don't attend it. All Nine Heavens Gods and Goddesses will be there for my birthday. Both your identities should stay hidden for now."
"Cerberus will keep us company then. He looks tamed now." the beast dog will serve as their shield from all Nine Heavens immortals, Gods and Goddesses that will attend the grand ball. No one would dare approach Cerberus.
To be continued....
A/N: All Rights Reserved