THE SOUL TO TAKE

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN

*

“What have you done!?” Shiva shrieked.

Kyrain's ears rang from the shrill sound of her voice.

“I haven't done anything you wouldn't have done, had you been in the same situation as me,” Kyrain informed her.

Shiva stopped pacing long enough to snap her fingers at one of her servants. On cue the pathetic immortal dropped to his hands and knees before her. She plopped down on his back, crossed one leg, and shook her head while glaring at Kyrain. His stupidity had been taken to a whole new level.

“I would never have done such a thing. You know the rules. I should have you imprisoned for all eternity for what you have done,” Shiva harshly said.

Kyrain rolled his eyes. She looked all high and mighty with her fiery red hair, blazing green eyes, and sheer robe, but Kyrain knew better. She wasn't the true ruler, he was, and it was only a matter of time before her fate would rest in his hands.

“It's not in your best interest to threaten me, my queen,” Kyrain said. His voice sounded deadly.

Shiva didn't dare back down. After all, she wasn't some weak pathetic soul he could intimidate; she was queen and he will show respect.

“It is you who should be worried that you have threatened me. Have you any idea the damage your insolence has caused?” She demanded to know.

“Please! What if a few soul collectors have been going rogue? What if a few unmarked souls have gotten stolen? It does nothing to our world,” Kyrain said nonchalantly.

Shiva had to take a few calming breaths before she managed to explain to him once more the dangers of his actions.

“So what? Wow. I can't believe how much a moron you are. Wait, I take that back. Do you not recall why those rules had to be created in the first place? Why else would I have you enforce them if they were not so very important? Let me break it down for you, and maybe this time, your puny brain might actually absorb this vital bit of information.”

“The most critical rule was and is: DO NOT TAKE A SOUL BEFORE IT’S TIME! Why? Hmm, let’s see here. Oh, I know why! It is because if you take enough unmarked souls, the balance will tip. Then there will be no more good and evil; no more black and white.”

“It's a delicate balance, Kyrain. While it may take a real long time for it to affect the underworld, it would happen eventually,” Shiva hissed.

Kyrain shrugged. He did so knowing it would piss his younger sister off more than she all ready was. He wanted so badly to rub it in her face that she was nothing special, that she wasn't the true ruler. But then, that might upset his plans if she began to suspect him. She had done away with their parents, and he knew she would have no issues doing away with him as well. With that in mind he back peddled.

“Look, I'm sorry. What can I do to fix this?” Kyrain asked in the most sincere voice he could muster.

Shiva's face softened. Kyrain was a weak spot for her. He had shunned every romantic gesture she had ever made toward him, but that only made the challenge so much better. Though, she let him push her often, she had her limits and he was near reaching it. She was not going to let her fondness for him over shadow her fondness for being ruler of the underworld.

She rose, pushing off from her servant’s back and walked over to where Kyrain was standing. Her fingers danced over his broad shoulders, causing him to shiver. Shiva smiled, thinking the shiver was from desire. Perhaps this time he would succumb to her advances. She leaned down and slowly touched her lips to the vein pulsing in his neck.

Kyrain willed himself to stand perfectly still. His anger was rising to a new level, as was his disgust. His ancestors might have had a thing for inbreeding, but Kyrain wasn't into that. Admittedly, he couldn't fault Shiva for her advances; after all, she had no clue they were related. Still, that didn't help the wave of disgust he felt every time she laid her hands on him. Where she saw herself as being seductive, he saw a common hoe. He longed for Anna especially now; she was the type of girl who wouldn't throw herself to some dude with pecks. Well, she did once, but that was nothing compared to his sister who would sleep with anything.

Kyrain assumed that if Shiva knew they were related, it would change her any and she would probably still try to sleep with him. To bad; Kyrain had standards.

Thankfully he didn't have to withstand her touch for much longer because one of the messengers burst into the room right then, unannounced.

Shiva quickly withdrew from Kyrain. If the messenger wasn't already dead, she would kill him; how dare he interrupt her in her private chambers!

She took in the sorry state the messenger was and frowned. From the distressed look on his face, she knew she wouldn’t like what he was about to say.

“Well, out with it then,” Shiva prompted.

“Trouble coming this way my queen...” The messenger squeaked.

“Go on,” she said, her frown deepening.

The messenger looked sideways at Kyrain before focusing back on the queen.

“Intruders in the maze.”

Shiva practically growled at the cryptic message. Must she have messengers that couldn't speak in full sentences?

“And?”

“They’re coming for the unmarked soul,” The messenger whimpered.

At this Shiva's anger overcame her. She glared so hard at the messenger that the insignificant demon went up in flames. He screamed in agony until the flames died down and nothing was left of him but dust.

Shiva made a sound of disgust. Now she would have to find another demon to replace this recently deceased one. That made six in the last two days since the first messenger had told her about Kyrain's little stunt with the unmarked soul.

“Ever hear the endearing term of ‘don't shoot the messenger,’” Kyrain asked.

This time Shiva did growl,“GET OUT BEFORE I FRY YOU!”

Kyrain shrugged. He didn't race from his sisters chambers. Instead, he took his sweet time.

Once he was gone, Shiva started to pace again. She shouldn't have turned that messenger into BBQ before she got the rest of the information out of him. She didn't know what these intruders looked like or who they were or even what they could do. She stopped pacing and turned to her servant.

“Round up the assassin demons. I want these intruders taken care of,” Shiva spat.

The servant scrambled to his feet and practically flew out the door to do her bidding.

Kyrain teleported to his chambers. His room in the underworld was much less impressive than his house in the mortal realm. This was a small room with only a bed for furniture. He didn't care. It gave him the one thing he needed most right now- privacy.

Just as he had planned, his Anna had come for Sin. She was on her way to them right now and he couldn't have been more thrilled. But before she caught up with them, he and his brother needed to have a little chat.

Kyrain pulled the tiny box out of his pocket and laid it on the floor. He mumbled a few words and the box grew and grew until it was his height. After mumbling a few more words, the box became transparent and Kyrain could see Sin sitting on the floor.

Sin shielded his eyes from the brightness that had suddenly invaded his area. When his eyes had adjusted enough that he could see, he looked around to find Kyrain staring right at him. Sin jumped up and rushed toward Kyrain only to be knocked back by some invisible force. He walked towards Kyrain and placed his hand on the invisible wall.

“You like that?” Kyrain taunted.

Sin kept his face schooled. “What is this?”

“Something akin to Pandora's box. You do know the story of Pandora's box, no?” Kyrain asked.

Sin gave Kyrain a dirty look before he replied.

“Pandora's box held death by all sorts of means- plagues, diseases, famine, Etc. Zeus tricked Pandora into opening the box and releasing the evils into the world,” Sin said.

“That's a version of it, yes. But the reality is Zeus knew Pandora would open the box, because of her natural curiosity. Though she did feel bad and shut the box, the damage had already been done,” Kyrain said.

“Where are you going with this?” Sin asked impatiently. He was ready for Kyrain to let him out already so he could open up a can of whoop-ass on Kyrain.

Kyrain was silent for a moment while he observed Sin. He could tell from the way Sin was standing and holding himself that he wanted to fight. Kyrain was more than happy to oblige him, but now was not the time.

“I'm using you to get what I want, just like Zeus used Pandora to get what he wanted,” Kyrain replied.

“And what is it you want?” Sin asked even though he didn't care.

“I want Anna. I almost had her once. Did she ever tell you that she and I once had an intimate relationship? Or how when she was on the mortal plane she had to come to me to get skin to skin contact because you couldn't cut it?”

“Anna was always meant to be with me. It is written that she will come to my side and together we will rule the underworld,” Kyrain said. He was of course telling a white lie, but Sin didn't need to know that.

Sin knew Kyrain was baiting him and it was working, he had a tic in his jaw, and his muscles became tense. The problem was, he believed Kyrain. Not the part about him not being good enough, but the rest he did believe.

Kyrain smiled. He knew he had gotten to Sin. Torturing Sin was the most fun he had had in centuries, but he needed to get down to business. With a wave of his hand, the box shrunk back down to the size it had been. It was also no longer showing through. Kyrain bent down and picked it up. He placed the box back into his pocket and sought out Shiva. It was time she knew who he was since he now knew Anna was on her way to him.

Shiva was still pacing in her chambers when Kyrain walked in. She stopped pacing long enough to give him a hot lustful stare.

“Can I help you?” She asked, meaning it different than it had sounded.

Kyrain gave her a malicious grin and stopped inches from her.

“Unless you want to give me what is suppose to be mine, then no,” Kyrain said mysteriously.

Shiva tilted her head at him. She didn't have a clue what he was talking about, but from the way he was smiling she had a feeling nothing good could come from his words. Her senses went on high alert and she narrowed her eyes at him.

“What are you talking about?” She demanded to know.

*

Orphie managed to bring Anna and Sira to the edge of he city without further incidence. Alas, he was feeling a bit blue since this was where he would have to leave them. As soon as they stepped foot over the line between the maze and the city, he would get whisked back into the statue until the next set of beings came along. He tried not to think about how long the time frame between beings passing the riddle was becoming. Out of all the beings he had met, it was Anna that left a lasting impression on him. He was going to miss her, but he was glad to be rid of the demon. She had been so quiet that it had freaked him out, a task that was not easy to accomplish.

“Good luck, ladies,” Orphie said.

Anna glanced down at Orphie and before she could stop herself she flung herself down and wrapped her arms around his neck.

“Thank you so much,” She said. Her words got muffled in Orphie's fur.

Sira looked at the display of affection in horror. Unable to stomach the sight of Anna and Orphie, she turned her attention to the hive. They were currently standing on the border line. The hive seemed a little too quiet for her taste. The last time, and only time, she had been in the hive was when Kyrain and Sin were born. Back then it had been bustling with beings; now the streets were dead. You could probably hear a pin drop that was how silent it was. Sira didn't like it.


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