"Oh God..." said the sinner. "Oh please, God, make it stop!" The sinner
closed his eyes and curled into a fetal position, trying to ignore the
illusionary flames encircling him.
"Did your victims beg like that?" the angel said, his voice like a lake of ice. "As they scream, do you find joy as you tell them how worthless they are, as you beat them?"
"Leave me alone..." the sinner cried. "Just leave me alone..."
"Zendile, that's enough!" The Elohite's human companion pleaded. "He's..."
"You think he's suffered enough," Zendile said, a statement, not a question. His voice was just as frigid as before. His bright green eyes didn't move from the sinner, who was now nothing more than a pathetic wretch, sobbing uncontrolably. "The ones he hurt, how much have they suffered? How much has his selfish pleasure hurt them?"
The flames dissapeared, as they had never existed, and Zendile walked up to the wretch and lifted him by the collar from the ground. "Zendile!" the Soldier said.
"Please..." the sinner said. "Please don't hurt me..."
Zendile stared into the sinner's eyes. "Never go near any of those girls again," he said. "Or I'll come back." He threw the human to the ground, and walked away. The Soldier followed him, out the door of the man's apartment.
"What a strangely cruel man," the angel said. "He needed to destroy another's psyche to feel valid."
"How can you talk about that so...casually!? You practicaly tortured him!" The Soldier spat.
"Remember, I am an Elohite," Zendile said. "I cannot act on my emotions."
The human grabbed his arm, his face flaring with anger. "You could at least shown some remorse...some sympathy!"
"Sympathy?" Zendile turned his face toward his companion. "Do you understand that the very emotions he leaks into the Symphony is part of my very being? That I punish those like him knowing this?" The angel closed his eyes, as if regret. "The only thing keeping the flames of his emotion from consuming me is knowing those he has harmed may yet heal."
The Soldier lowered his head and looked at the pavement in shame. "Don't feel ashamed," Zendile said. "You have much yet to learn. Unfortunately, you will become used to these punishments. The cruel are everywhere, and it seems each one that is burned only has two more rise from their ashes. Tomorrow you should visit his victims in the hospital, then talk to that servant of Khalid's to see if that Balseraph has left behind any trace of his activities."
The Soldier nodded. "Zendile, I..."
"No need to feel sorry. Like I said, you have much yet to learn."
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