Aksinya and Natalya are inspecting the house the demon procured for Aksinya. The final step is to see the workroom--the cellar prepared for sorcery.
Asmodeus stepped beside her, “Would you like to see your workroom, Countess?”
“Not particularly, but I suppose you will whine until I do.”
The demon bowed. He led them back down the stairs and to the kitchen. Aksinya had a moment to note, it was a very fine kitchen. The door to the cellar was there. The demon preceded them down. There was a fire and lamps lit here too. It wasn’t too dark nor too light. The high windows were blocked with stone.
Asmodeus made a large circle around the dank room and bowed, “Welcome, countess and my mistress, my compatriot in evil. Welcome to your own place.”
Aksinya’s books were set on a beautifully carved bookshelf at the side. All her items were carefully arranged on tables and on shelves. They were all laid out. She didn’t have enough room for them all to be out at once in the guesthouse cellar. The mahogany book stand the demon had stolen for her was in the center of the room on the floor. Everything was in position ready to be used. And Aksinya felt a strong desire to use it.
The demon sucked at his fangs, “Go ahead, countess. Everything is ready for your work and study.”
Aksinya laughed, “Not tonight. It is enough to appreciate your work, demon. You have done a fine job.”
Asmodeus lowered his head so his face was close to Aksinya’s. She tried not to tremble. The demon spoke kindly, “Since you did a bit of sorcery already tonight, I shall not insist, but you should plan what work you will do, Countess. That is the point after all.”
Aksinya remembered her first halting and painful steps at sorcery. The yearning to power. She remembered and was drawn to it. She desired it like she desired nothing else in the world. Yet, she grasped her mother’s crucifix under her dress and pressed it’s burning metal against her breasts. She would not work sorcery again tonight. This she promised herself.
Can you see the demon as he looks at Aksinya? What does he expect from her? Does he know the fight within her soul against him? Look at her response to him--it is so typical Aksinya. And we see the demon is back to being a servant. The environment is perfect for sorcery and built for secrecy.
The demon welcomes her as his compatriot in evil. He welcomes her to her own place. These words are very important. I hope you are sucked into this trick as easily as Aksinya is. The demon has prepared well. Everything is arranged perfectly for her to use sorcery. I show you the bookstand the demon stole for her. See how Aksinya is tempted to do sorcery. In this one thing she has true power.
The demon encourages her--this is called temptation. Asmodeus let her off the hook tonight because she already was tempted and succumbed. The demon is so cunning. He will provide her more opportunities to sin. We shall see.
He tells her again to plan what work she shall do--that is the point. Then we get a memory that allows us to see a little deeper into the mind and past of Aksinya. We see that sorcery is her desire--this is the thing that tempts her and empowers her. But that desire is contrasted with the crucifix that constantly burns her. She is like most of us, drawn to some sin and unwilling to give it up. We promise, unsuccessfully, just this time, just this time, we will not sin. This is like Aksinya, tempted but determined to resist her sin.