Once on the boat, Shana noticed quite a few other people on deck.
Archimedes gave a nod to Maskim Xul who had his son Rabishu with him, noticing that apparently, everything had gone well between the two as Rabishu appeared relaxed, not frightened. Maskim gave him a nod in return and then Archimedes gave a nod of greeting to Azra Akhkharu who was standing on the deck with Marcus—Azra’s nephew and Archimedes’s dampyre grandson.
Archimedes’s youngest daughter Crystal was on deck as well but she was standing alone a distance away from the others just staring out at the ocean and she didn’t turn to glance at who had come onto the boat. Archimedes sighed knowing her loathing of herself for what she had become but he was glad that she had decided to return to Sanctuary and would be a part of his life again. There, she could openly be herself, and she already had the bloodstone he had made for her so that she wouldn’t need to indulge her thirst for blood on humans, just as her son Marcus now had.
There was a large group of people on deck, grouped together but away from the others that Archimedes didn’t recognize anyone at first until he saw Jarrel Montavier and his brother Jonathan. But then as the group shifted, he saw his old werebear friend Aberly and he gave him a smile and nod when they met eyes. He could tell that all of the people in Aberly’s group were were-creatures from their auras, except for one that was completely covered in a long, hooded cloak to where his face couldn’t be seen. His aura was different than a normal human but neither was he a were-creature. He was something else that Archimedes had never seen.
Aberly’s attention suddenly went to a young red-headed boy who came rushing up the stairs from a lower deck and his eyes widened as he saw that he was a ghost; a poltergeist if the mischievous look in the boy’s eye was an indication, and a corporeal one at that. Behind him came a taller boy who appeared to be chasing after the poltergeist who Archimedes immediately recognized as a shadow demon. And a moment or two later, Belial stepped onto the deck and Archimedes gasped, not having known that Belial was no longer in Hell.
Belial was using a human body but Archimedes could see what he was because as a Magi he had True Seeing. For a moment Archimedes worried that he was in possession of the poor man but a closer examination made it clear that there was no human soul in the body. Belial was simply using the form and he was sure once they got to Sanctuary, he would discard it. What surprised Archimedes the most was that Belial was not wearing his dark soul crystal. If Belial had it glamoured, Archimedes would see it, and Archimedes knew that no Fallen Angel or demon of stature would be without their soul crystal. So, something drastic had changed. He simply didn’t know what.
There were a few demons on Sanctuary but none from Hell specifically, and Belial, as a Fallen Angel, was trapped in Hell, so to see him walking the earth was quite the shock. Belial turned to Archimedes, recognizing the Magi as he had once, in the far past, interrupted a summons which would have released Belial. Belial smirked at the Magi though he felt no hatred for him. At least not at this point. If circumstances had been different, he might have held a grudge.