Smiling in the Face of Hell

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Chapter 6

Suddenly there was a loud knock on the door. Scout jumped, wincing at the loudness, it almost felt as if someone had pounded a nail next to her ears.

Lionel scowled at the door, his hand let go of hers to come up and press his palms to her ears, trying his best to block out the loudness,” come in,” he demanded.

Scout closed her eyes, twitching. She had not realized he was whispering to her the entire time.

“We are here,” someone said, opening the door to reveal no one Scout could recall. The tone was clearly no maid, whoever it was sounded too comfortable and casual, and bold.

“Wrath, who told you that you could come barging in where ever you please,” Lionel said, glaring.

Wrath? That was his name, Scout wanted to ask, but instead bit her cheek and listened to the conversation from under Lionel’s hands.

“Well, your maids were being annoying, saying shit like they could not disturb you yet, so I did it myself.”

Scout eyed the man, really looking at him. He had a very cone-like body with slim legs to a pair of wide thick shoulders, rigged with heavy muscles and thick arms that only further emphasized his cone-like figure. Considering where they were and how insanely muscled this man was, Scout somehow did not doubt every single muscle was made of iron that was just covered in skin. His thick neck was lined with veins, just like his arms were. He seemed like quite a scary and intimidating man.

“Well, you might as well go back out and get comfortable, because we are not going to hurry for you, now get out. You can tell your brothers we will be down when we are good and ready,” Lionel growled. By the way the candlelight flickered in the still air made her wonder what Lionel was doing.

The man who had barged in also seemed to sag his shoulders, eyes downcasted.

Scout did not think twice as she lightly smacked Lionel on the arm, making both the candlelight and the man, Wrath, jump.

“Ok, he understands, no need to give dirty looks, right,” she reasoned, watching as Lionel’s hard glare slowly turned to her, softening the entire way until he looked like a sappy pile of happy goo at her strength to talk to him that way.

Wrath scoffed,” that’s gross.”

Lionel looked up at Wrath, a smirk on his face,” oh? Gross,” he challenged, the glint in his eyes had Scout worried,” what about this,” he said before suddenly coming at Scout with a terribly exaggerated kissy face.

Scout shrieked, her hands shot out from the water to try and push him back, her face heated from embarrassment from his childish behavior.

“Will you knock it off, how long are you two going to keep us waiting then,” Wrath fearlessly ground out.

Lionel paused where he was,” as long as we want, plus, no one told you to interrupt our special bath time together,” he said in feign pouting, making Scout stare in absolute amazement, just who the hell was this man to make Lionel act so childish.

Wrath shot Lionel a glare before storming out, slamming the door as he went. She was certain the door was going to break from his brute force.

“Don’t worry, everything in this house is ‘Wrath-proof’, the door won’t be harmed by his petty anger.”

Scout narrowed her eyes, not realizing the candlelight no longer seemed blinding and that Lionel was speaking normally,” how do you always know what I am thinking? Am I really that transparent?”

Lionel grabbed both of her hands that were still pressed to his bare chest and held them gently in his own, thumb stroking her knuckles,” I can often hear your thoughts, yes. Like before when you called me a fine specimen, you, in fact, did not say it out loud, I just happened to hear it in your mind.”

Scout tensed up,” does that mean everyone can hear my mind, or is it just you?”

Lionel kissed the back of her hand, smirking at her heated cheeks as her reaction,” no, your mind is actually very closed off, it seems the Council was extra thorough in making sure there was no flaw. The thoughts I get here and there are thoughts only I can hear because we are soul mates, which weakens the walls of the mind of any kind between the two of us. Soon, once you start getting accustomed to everything, you will soon be able to read mine too,” he said, grinning suggestively.

Scout cleared her throat, looking away,” A-anyway, who was that? Is his name really Wrath?”

Lionel chuckled, hugging Scout as close as possible,” He is one of the Seven Princes of Hell, he is the one that represents Wrath, and no that is not his real name, but like all the Princes, he prefers being called by his title around others.”

“Seven Princes? And one is Wrath? So that means the seven princes represent the seven deadly sins?”

“Correct, in other words, they are my sons, not related by blood obviously. The Princes’ keep balance on earth and in Hell, if I were to die or step down, the seven princes’ will then fight to the death for my spot, where the winner will become the new King and appoint new princes’ for the cycle to continue.”

Scout shivered,” that’s quite gruesome,” she muttered,” so that means before being King you were one too? Who were you before becoming King?”

Lionel grinned wickedly,” what an interesting question, who do you think I was?”

“Well, you don’t surround yourself with a lot of treasures of any kind, and don’t seem to be the kind to care much for any kind of money or anything,” she began accepting the challenge to help pass time with this interesting chatting, using her fingers to tick each of the seven sins off her fingers to try and figure it out,” your head isn’t all that big. You don’t seem like someone to get jealous over anything. You aren’t sex-crazed, in fact, you have quite good restraint,” she commented, biting back a smirk when he buried his face in her neck in embarrassment at her compliment,” I haven’t seen you eat a single thing my entire stay even at dinner I didn't spot anything ate from you, though I haven’t been here long, if you were gluttony I imagine I would have seen you munch more than once and your temper seems well under control too, so the last one on the list is Sloth?”

Lionel chuckled in disbelief,” correct, I was Sloth, however, I thought I have become quite active, what gave it away?”

“You did not seem to ever want to go to work, in fact, you still don’t want to work, you play it off as if the King has a lot of free time when I bet you really don’t, but make free time available anyways, because you are too lazy to care about the consequences.”

Lionel seemed mighty pleased with her words,” you really are something, to think you have gathered all of that in just two days.”

Scout shrugged scratching her temple, she actually had not realized it had already been that long,” I just pay attention to certain things I guess, that’s normal.”

“But I still find it quite amazing. It’s nice to know my soulmate is observant,” Lionel said, smirking.

Scout lightly smacked Lionel’s arm,” it’s really nothing. Anyways, I think I can move, if the Princes’ are here, we shouldn’t be rude right? Plus, no need for them to dislike me already before they even truly get to know me,” she did not even know they truly existed until just a few moments ago, yet she seemed actually eager to go and meet them, she had no idea why she would be excited about that.

Lionel sighed, rubbing water over her shoulder,” don’t mind them, they know what just happened or they would not be here. They felt the presence of their new queen, so they could have the decency to wait, especially since they invited themselves.”

Scout glanced down at herself, taking a solid moment to try and not gag at the sight. The water was a crimson red and her now pale skin was covered in blood and she could have swore she even saw a few clumps of what she assumed was skin, or something.

Lionel reached over and gently pulled her face up, making her look at him,” don’t look down, it will not make you feel any better. Give me some time before we leave, I will make sure you are clean so just close your eyes for now. If you feel sick, just let me know ok?”

His hands began moving again, rubbing water all over, wiping the blood and chunks of whatever off. She did not hesitate to do as he said, feeling her stomach do all kinds of crazy flops, she did not want puking to be the first thing she did as a fresh soul, or demon, whatever she was supposed to be at this early stage.

His hands gingerly touched all over, but she just did not have the peace of mind to think anything of it as she focused on breathing. The longer she sat in the water, the more and more she was becoming aware of the strong smell of blood.

She wanted to hurl, but she virtually had nothing to toss up, she was not sure if she was thankful of that or not, but her stomach soon became unbearable to stand.

Scout gripped one of Lionel’s arm that she was able to find with her eyes closed, swallowing down her bile,” Lionel, I don’t think I can last any longer, the smell-”

Lionel pulled her close, standing from the bath, holding her bridal style,” alright, hang on. Again, just try and focus on me it will make things a little easier.”

Scout nodded, gripping him as hard as she could, she felt her body touched by a breeze from moving, but she had to close her eyes to fend off the dizzy spells that were colouring and disorienting her vision. They were noticeably out of the bathroom, but the stench of fresh blood was stuck in her nostrils, she wished she could not smell at all. She wanted to take a closer look at herself, but she was not sure she could hold back if she saw a single speck of blood, or some form of flesh, yet. She hoped that Lionel was able to get most of it all off, but since she had to leave before getting sick, she was not sure if he was able to succeed.

She felt the soft feeling of the silk covers under her that she recalled being on the bed she was in before with Lionel. Knowing they were in the room, she was able to breath a little deeper, savoring the smell of Lionel that soon was able to break past the blood smell. She was able to hold herself upright sitting on the edge of the bed as he left her side for only a few moments only to return quickly with clothes, but his own instead of the ones she recalled Johan having before she ‘died’.

“Here, my smell will help calm your nerves and stomach.”

He began dressing her, once again. She let him though, not feeling up to exactly fighting it,” how can you be so sure, how do you know it’s not making it worse.”

It was hard to joke when she sounded like some weak, sick woman whose voice was coming out more strained than anything else.

She peeked through her eyelid to see him grinning down at her,” it’s amusing seeing you try and play it off when you know it is actually working.”

Scout groaned, closing her eyes again as he pulled her limp arms through the arm holes of a very soft feeling shirt,” I know, I tried. I’m almost scared to look at myself. Do I even want to know what I was covered in?”

Lionel stood her onto her feet to slip on a very loose pair of pants, tying something around her waist to keep the loose cloth from falling,” don’t worry, I was able to get mostly all of it out. There is a little red here and there, but nothing another bath won’t fix. While we are off meeting the brats, I will have Johan clean the bathroom out so you can have another, proper bath. And no, you do not want to know, I’m sure you can guess, but if it will make you sick, then just do not think about it, it’s done. I realize shoving you out to meet the princes’ like this so soon might be to fast of a pace for you, so tell me now if you wish to rest for a little instead, the brats could always wait.”

Scout smiled weakly,” weren’t you the one saying things like ‘if I do this or that then I will be viewed as weak’? If I don’t go out now then they may never take me seriously. Really, I think I am fine now.”

There was a pause before she felt a familiar pair of lips on hers, making Scout stiffen. His kisses really were sweet and soft, she mused as he pulled back to put his hand on her cheek, pressing his forehead to hers,” I wonder if I will ever get used to you, you always seem to do the unexpected.”

Scout smirked,” wouldn’t it be boring if you could predict everything I do,” she said as she slowly opened her eyes, looking up into his perfect icy blue ones.

“I guess it could, yes, but either way, if it’s you I would never get tired of you,” he said, smirking when she felt a blush touch her cheeks.

“You know, you are too much of a sweet talker,” she teased openly.

He then pressed another kiss on her lips,” only for you. Only for you,” he purred, making Scout’s body warm at the feel of his breath across her cheek.

Her heart hammered, which shocked her, she honestly did not expect to feel something so normal, or mundane after changing, even though it may be too early to really say. She did not expect to still feel such a thing as a heart. Maybe she was expecting too much.

“Don’t worry, within a week you will be properly used to your new body. As cliche as it may sound, demons have hearts too, it’s just metaphorically, most do not.”

Scout grinned, nodding thoughtfully,” I see, well, should we get going, the sooner we get this done the sooner I can clean properly,” she said, somehow not even concerned about how the Prince’s would view her if she was a little bloody, blindly assuming they have seen much, much worse and that they would not really even care much for such a thing.

Lionel gave her a very lustful gaze,” Mmm, among other things.”

Scout was not prepared, her face blew up in colour, her mind went completely blank, she had no proper response to his obvious needs.

Out of embarrassment, she stood to her feet and hurried out,” ok, hurry up and get dressed then and let’s go.”

Once the two were dressed, Lionel lead her out. Many maids, including Johan, approached, asking what he wished for them to do for the Prince’s arrival since they came rather last minute and unexpectedly.

“Go ahead and prepare a feast while we go down and speak with them. Make whatever you see fit for this occasion. Don’t let Gluttony into the kitchen, and don’t let Slot through to the living quarters.”

Scout glanced up at Lionel once the maids all dispersed to do their own thing,” why don’t you want those two to go certain places,” she asked despite it being pretty self explanatory.

“It’s just as it sounds, Gluttony will eat my entire kitchen if I let him. Sloth, that man, he is worst than I used to be, he always tries to sneak away from gatherings like this just to find a comfortable place to sleep. It’s all fun and games until you lose one of the princes in your own home, my home is too large, last time Slot was lost for two week until someone finally found his dumb ass in the boiler room where he found a warm cot to fit his needs. The rest of the princes are just as bad, but it’s those two who concern me the most.”

Boiler room? There was such a room in Hell? She sure did have a lot to learn, it was unavoidable that the surface had much more influence down in Hell that Scout initially thought.

Scout grinned,” I guess I can imagine it. Lust must get mighty close to the maid staff here huh, since as far as I can tell, they are all female?”

Lionel scoffed,” that man, anyone would do, man or woman, beast or humanoid. It’s quite repulsive.”

Scout just laughed,” I see, fun fun.”

The two made their way into a large hall where she saw exactly seven men all gathered around, speaking among themselves, in the background were Maids all running around setting up various things. Somehow she did not think she expected to see any possible females, but she would be lying if she did not feel the slightest bit of disappointment there was not a single woman as a prince, or princess, how ever they would have chosen to be called.

Scout eyed all the men one by one, feeling the weight of all their stares as she approached.

She noticed that all of them were human looking for the most part, give or take a few with pointed ears or long nails, or extraordinary eye colour, much like Lionel. One of them was in a grey three piece suit, his skin tone was a warm bronzy colour. His black hair was cut short and slicked back out of his face, with a single strand that fell on his left side, she noticed, however, that his hair was decorated in gold cuffs that helped hold back the hair. His eyes were a light brown colour and she noticed that instead of a regular circular pupil, his were slit, like a cats. The man was clad in flashy jewelry like a fine looking gold watch, large gold ring that looked similar to a class ring of a sort on his middle finger. She saw the chain of what she assumed to be a pocket watch, that hung from somewhere inside his suit jacket, to the inside of the small pocket in front of the vest, that too also being gold. In short, he looked like a cunning, sly, dirty businessman, who loved gold far too much.

The one standing next to him looked as if he was easily influenced by the first one, with his own navy blue suit and tie. His blond hair was more shoulder length and was of course slicked back as well, he seemed more proud than the one in the three piece, he seemed to have the constant look of looking down on others with that puffed up ego he showed shamelessly all over, even in front of Lionel. His dark blue eyes showed nothing but distaste for everyone around him, clearly looking down on everyone, even the King. He seemed like the boastful kind, which was already a bad first impression for Scout.

Then there was Wrath, standing in his own spot, glaring at Lionel and Scout, his arms were bulging with veins, he seemed very angry already, she wondered if that was because of before, on top of having to also wait for them. His shaggy blond hair was violently shoved back out of his face, his cone shaped body was clad in what looked to be quite modern day army fatigues, with green camo cargo pants, manila coloured combat boots, and a matching olive green tank top that hugged his muscled chest tightly. showing every nook and cranny of that broad chest.

Next to Wrath was a slim figure, the way he dressed was similar to Lionel, with the old timey blouse kind of shirt, long black top coat that was short in front and long in back, even split down the center, he also wore tight leather pants with a pair of stylish black boots with thick silver buckles. His almond shaped eyes were a magnificent glittering purple colour. His hair was a dark black, she almost thought it was blue under certain lights. It was also long, just past his shoulder blades.

Something about him was very confident, and very hungry. He eyed everyone in the room, as if measuring just how much each one could satisfy him. There was no doubt in her mind that he had to have been Lust.

Then there was another slim man, although, he seemed much more unkempt than the others, with wrinkled casual clothes, black tennis shoes. His hair was short, buzz cut style. His face was screwed in what looked like permanent annoyance as he glared at Scout. It was clear he wanted to say something, but one look at Lionel and his mouth was zipped shut with a roll of his eyes.

He struck Scout as a very child like man.

Then there was undoubtedly Sloth and Gluttony. It was painfully obvious with Gluttony’s white tank top and grey sweatpants that were stained with everything that man has ever eaten, that covered his large, round, almost balloon like body. Around his mouth was crumbs and a seemingly large variety of different sauces.

Then sloth, in what looked to be a well worn out pair of flannel pj’s, his long brown hair was slick with grease, enough so it actually looked as if it was wet with water. His body was bony and slim, but it was obvious he hardly ever moved for anything and had the look of exhaustion.

She wondered how he even got here.

Lionel heaved a strange sigh, a smile on his face,” Well, boys, it’s a pleasure to see you all again. I’m sure you can already guess what this is about?”

“We got a Queen, it looks like,” the one in the three piece said, shooting a glance over to his brother next to him in the regular suit, something sinister passed between the two, but it seemed to go unnoticed by Lionel.

“Yes. I will now introduce to you your new queen, and my Soulmate, Scout. As you felt just a moment ago, she has just changed a little bit ago, so I will not tolerate any kind of mistreatment of her. I will only say this once, If anyone brings harm to my Soul woman I will be sure to make you regret it to the fullest.”

Scout stiffened as the air grew thick, just like it did before in the bathroom. The seven princes all stiffened, their heads bowing from the pressure, Sloth being the only one who willingly shrank right into a chair behind him with sagged shoulders.

In the back, she saw the maids who were running around still preparing things, collapse to their knees. They seemed mighty prepared for such things and made sure not to spill, drop or accidentally let go of anything in their hands even as they are being shoved to their knees by some invisible force.

Scout was again, unaffected by what ever had everyone struggling, making her eye Lionel,” You’re doing it again. You know you don’t need all the extra effects, I’m sure they understood your words perfectly fine,” Scout said, watching as the air seemed to ease.

Lionel pouted ever so slightly,” but where is the fun in that?”

Scout shook her head, a small smile on her face as she turned to the princes,” Well it is nice to meet you all, I hope we can get along,” she called out politely, not feeling a shred of fear while next to Lionel.

“Feeling is mutual,” the purple eyed man said, approaching to gently take her hand and bring it to his lips, a seductive look on his face,” I hope we get along nicely as well, I am the Prince of Lust. Pleasure” he said, giving her a slow once over, as if he found her in Lionel’s clothes pretty attractive.

Scout laughed tightly, clearing her throat, finding his advances more disturbing than attractive,” Right, pleasure,” she said, pulling her hand back from his overly warm grip.

Lionel responded with a possessive arm around her waist, pulling her right into his side, easing her discomfort instantly,” you got to work on your casual introduction, something like that is just too heavy, you will scare off all your girlfriends like that,” Lionel teased, grinning from ear to ear knowing and taking obvious pride in the fact that the Prince of lust could not get to Scout like he must have gotten to countless others before, Lionel clearly being the only one who had that kind of power.

“How do you know I am not doing it on purpose, after all, she is yours. What better way to repel any future advances by creeping her out?”

Scout scoffed, Lionel did something similar at her side,” You make it sound like I would be the one to come onto you, you sure are a confident one.”

The prince chuckled at her bold response,” it’s nice to know you are not afraid to speak your mind, you will fit in nicely around here,” he said, not even commenting on her light insult, he seemed pleased that she could speak to him normally, despite his underline disgusting thick lustful air that was disgusting to feel up close. As a prince, she imagined that such a thing is uncontrollable maybe, they were just too strong to be held down, and as a prince, he probably felt no need to even try.

She had a feeling that her courage was all Lionel’s doing, she felt fearless around him, she may be done for if he left her side.

“My lord, apologies for my interruption,” a maid came up from behind, making everyone turn their attention to her.

Lionel seemed to harden a bit as he spoke to her, his face void of any emotions,” What is it?”

“The head councilman is here. He says he would like to express his congratulations for finding your mate as well as apologise for the behavior of one of his own. There is him and it seems more are coming to express their congratulations as well.”

Lionel showed nothing in front of this maid, however, she felt him sag in mild annoyance,” Well, I guess it is to be expected, today is going to be a busy day,” he said sighed, looking down at Scout,” I will go take care of them, I will be back quickly, stay here and get to know the boys better, anyone bullies you, just call, I will be at your side within a second to set them straight, promise.”

Scout nodded absentmindedly, not actually thinking that through,” Sure, take care of what you need, if you don’t do it now, they may never go away,” she said, knowing he was contemplating leaving them where they were without meeting them.

Lionel cracked a smile, catching her face in his hands to pull her up for a kiss, catching her off guard once again.

Scout’s face warmed as he pulled back, a knowing smile on his face,” well then, I will be quick,” he said disappearing in a cloud of smoke within single moment.

Scout felt her still damp hair fly back from the small gust of air, her ears popped as if she was in a plane, it was amazing to find him actually gone, as if he was some kind of magician, even though she knew it was real powers, not some cheap trick.

Her lips still tingled from his touch, she wondered if she would always feel that.

She then turned around to find all seven princes staring.

She was now alone, no Lionel to help boost her confidence.

Great.

“So, Scout was it,” the one in the three piece asked, making her nod, trying hard to keep the mask of control on her face.” Where did you come from, this is all very sudden, we heard nothing of you until just this morning.”

Scout cleared her throat, glancing over at the prince of Lust for some reason, as if hoping he was as kind as he seemed before, hoping he would help ease her sudden fear. He seemed to see right through her, which made her realized that meant all of them had, however, he gave her a soft smile, no ill intent anywhere on his face or in his eyes, giving her the strength to answer the man’s question with somewhat ease.

“Well, I was working as Gatekeeper for the Council before, however Lionel spotted me and pulled me down. After some explaining and convincing, he convinced me to agree to him changing me to a demon to make things easier for me down here,” she said, losing her confidence again.

When it was said out loud like that, it really does seem pretty fast and bad, she was amazed with herself how smoothly things went over after hearing herself explain.

“Wow, so he just took everything from you and you let him? I guess you are much more easier than you let on,” the man in the navy blue suit said, looking smug as he looked down on her blantly.

Scout winced, she had nothing to argue about that, she did give in easily, because she had nothing really to lose other than her slavery contract with the Council and the non existent life she had on the surface. She had nothing else, so giving in so easily only benefited her in the end, so far at least. However, she did not need to hear that from someone else.

The three piece scoffed, approaching Scout with a slimy smile,” to think dear father would pick up human trash to bring down here to dare present to us as our queen, he has no taste really,” he said, reaching up to grab a strand of her damp hair in two fingers, giving it a disgusted look,” she can’t even clean herself properly,” he mocked fingering the dried blood that still remained in possibly much of her hair still.

Scout felt infuriated. Her anger spiked through the ceiling.

Suddenly Lust came through, unexpectedly, not looking please with the two at all,” Greed, Pride, you two are going to get us all in trouble if you continue your rude slander to the queen.”

The three piece suit stepped back, his smile never falling as he dropped her hair, wiping his fingers on the jacket Lionel lent to her as if it was a napkin,” Slander? I am only speaking the truth. Don’t tell me you accept this woman as your queen, Lust? Look at her, she is a mess, and on top of that, she is nothing but a weak fresh demon, human until a couple of hours ago. What about her could possibly be a queen?”

Scout saw as Sloth, Gluttony, and the one she assumed then was Envy, all looked away, as if not arguing with his word. Wrath looked pissed, but it was virtually impossible to know whose side he was on. Scout clenched her jaw.

Lust reached out and grabbed Three piece,” Greed, if you do not stop speaking rudely, I will beat you to a pulp.”

The man, Greed, put his hands in the air, his face still screwed in sick amusement and had that same look the other in the suit had, that look of superiority.

“Right, because in a fist fight, you are so much stronger than I,” he stated in a dry sarcastic tone, daring Lust to lay his hands on him first.

Scout opened her mouth to speak, but she took too long as the other, Pride, spoke, scoffing with a mocking grin,” oh, watch out, she’s about to tell on us.”

Scout lost it.

“Shut the hell up you pieces of shit,” she said as she felt a sudden release, as if her anger suddenly was a heavy hand, shoving everyone in the entire room to their knees once again, just like before with Lionel, except the prince’s other than the two in front of her were for the most part unaffected, or just safe from the focused power she put all on Greed and Pride.

Lust let go of Greed just to keep himself from being pressed completely flat to the ground after Greed who fell from the unexpected force. Her eyes zeroed onto Pride and Greed, increasing her anger to find it increases the pressure. She found that the pressure seemed to ease off the others as they returned to their feet, staring incredulous at Scout who did not dare look away from Greed and Pride.

“I don’t need a couple of men in suits with a terrible superiority complex to tell me how young I am. Yes, I was human just a couple of hours ago, what of it,” she said, putting her hand to her ear as if trying hard to hear something,” What? Got nothing to say now, come on, I want to hear more of your loving remarks, please, enlighten me,” she said, crouching to look them both in the eye as they were completely flattened on the floor, unable to hold themselves up at all.

When they did not speak, she tapped Pride on the cheek,” hey, what’s wrong? Still think I need Lionel now? Come on. With all that talk, surely you have to be better than this? You are talking about what a mess I am when here both of you are, kissing the ground at my feet. If you ask me that’s pretty messy, and dirty.”

Lust then snorted, biting back his grin as he watched from the side, she bet he was very glad he chose her side.

Wrath also looked like he was to burst with laughter, she wondered if he was on her side to begin with, or she just did not give him a chance for him to express his feelings before she snapped. Whatever it was, she was glad she got her point across.

Sloth, Gluttony, and Envy all just stared, mouths slacked, their bodies stiffened when they spotted her looking at them.

“Look, I don’t expect you to respect me right off the bat, I get it. I’m a stranger, anyone would be weary of having someone they do not even know lead them,” she said, showing them a soft smile as she stood to her feet her anger still high,” however, I will not allow any talk like this. I don’t care if you don’t like me, I don’t care if I’m not the queen you envisioned, however, if you dare open your mouths without knowing every single detail first, then I will not tolerate it, do we have some kind of understanding now?”

The three nodded quickly, Wrath and Lust both said with a smile on their face,” Yes ma’am.”

When she did not hear or see any response from the two still plastered to the floor, she brought a foot up to stomp on Greed, feeling satisfaction looking down on them like they had been doing to her since the moment she walked into the room,” Well? I can’t hear you,” she said, using Greed as a stair to lift her other foot to stomp it onto Pride, putting her on top of both of them. She was sure she didn’t do any real damage anyways, since she weighed so little, however it was all about the being stepped on that she was going for, ego damage points.

“Hello, I am talking to you two. Do. You. Understand,” she said, increasing her pressure with a smile as she put her hands on her hips to lean forward to look down at them.

“Yes,” Greed quickly said, his voice strained and seemingly in pain.

She removed her foot from Greed’s back, rewarding him for his cooperation, however, just because she felt like it she kept her pressure on him,” And you? Pride? Oh, this must be much more painful than being seen laying on the floor. To be forced into submission, I bet your pride is slowly peeling away. Well, you can either hurry and say you understand, or you can continue kissing the floor until I see fit that you are ready to get up. Think about it.”

Suddenly there was a light pop in her ears as Lionel reappeared, gaining everyone’s attention.

He did not seem all that surprised at her anger, however, finding Greed and Pride on the floor seemed to be the real shocker,” I felt the shift, so I hurried back, I did not, however, expect to find two prince’s floored already.”

Scout kept her foot on Pride, smiling sweetly at Lionel,” we are just coming to an agreement, isn’t that right,” she asked, looking down at Greed who happily answered,” Yes, Yes of course.”

Scout let Greed up, only to press all she had onto Pride, getting sick of his stubbornness, “I’m still waiting, I can do this all day buddy, if you want to test me, then be my guest,” she said with a shrug.

Greed quickly jumped to his feet, quickly dusting off his three piece suit, fixing himself as if he wasn’t just floored and stepped on.

Lust childishly pointed and snickered, agitating Greed further, making him shoot deadly glares to him.

“I will never,” Scout heard, making her look down, finding he actually had the strength to still hold up,” Accept a woman like you as my queen, you human trash.”

Scout’s anger flared once again, except she had a little more of a handle on her powers from the very brief practice and pushed all the anger outwards, using it to crush the man under her until the floor cracked and caved, she never thought she had such strength before, or such hidden anger, she wondered if it was because Lionel was there that she had no wish to hold back any longer.

Scout stepped off, letting her pressure up, noticing how everyone in the room instantly looked relieved, even, dare she say, Lionel himself. Pride strained to sit up, blood dotted his nostrils, his hair was messy and in his face.

“I’m not going to force you further, but I’m not going to beg either. Don’t respect me, fine, I don’t care. Do a hunger strike, I don’t care, starve. But whether you like it or not, I am your queen, so figure it out on your own, because I am not going anywhere.”

“You little bitch, don’t you dare look down on me-”

Scout turned and kicked Pride right in the head, sending him flying across the room until the wall on the other side stopped him, the collateral damage was extensive. The room was silenced by her unexpected strength, even Wrath was shocked as his brother whizzed past his head, only inches from catching him in the sheer force of her strength that sent his brother flying almost too fast for any to truly get to see.

“I said I will not force or beg you, however, I am pretty sure I just said I will not tolerate filthy words towards me either. Go ahead, say more so I can beat the shit out of you,” she threatened, moving to stomp over and peel Pride from the wall when a pair of strong warm arms circled her, lifting her off of her feet to stop her from doing just that.

“Now, now, I’m sure he gets it now, if he is even alive,” Lionel mused, his breath tickling her neck.

Her anger immediately simmered down by his touch, she shamelessly leaned into him, enjoying the feeling, thankful he was able to pull her out of her rage with only a touch, even if she didn’t yet understand fully exactly why that was.

Only then, the first time ever in her life, was she worried she might have a temperament problem. She never got that angry before.

Wrath came around, looking over at Pride, who slowly peeled back and fell to the ground limply,” He’s fine, he probably passed out from disbelief that he was getting his ass handed to him by his queen he rejects so much,” he said scoffing, glancing over at Scout,” I like her,” he said bluntly, not in the ‘I like her as possibly my woman’, but ‘I like her as my queen and I accept.’

Scout then was lifted again, pulling her away from Wrath,” she mine,” he said childishly, making her roll her eyes, tapping his arms.

“Oh stop acting like a kid,” she said with a genuine smile, earning her own smile from Lionel.

“Fine, fine, whatever you say my queen,” he purred.

Wrath scoffed, his smile from before fading,” seriously, get a room, that lovey-dovey crap is annoying.”

She saw it coming, Lionel puckering up his lips, threatening to plant sloppy kisses all over just to irk Wrath, but she smacked her hand over his mouth, pushing away,” Damn it, Stop it, not in front of the kids,” she then said, could not resist from saying it with a bubbly giggle when the others burst out laughing, other than the sulking Greed and past out Pride.

“Sir, the feast is now ready, whenever you are ready,” said Johan who came in, smiling at the atmosphere.

Lionel did not harden this time as he nodded,” then let’s be off, enough standing around, let’s go eat and enjoy ourselves,” he said, putting Scout on the ground to pull her to his side, leading her and the princes’ through the home.

Greed branched off to help the servants and maids pull Pride from the wall, and that was the last she saw the both of them for the rest of the day.

Her, Lionel and the prince’s actually really did enjoy themselves. After Scout’s display of power, the others seemed more welcoming towards her. She and the prince’s hit it off surprisingly nice, and she did not feel threatened by any of them. It was clear Greed and Pride were on their own plane, they will either come around eventually or just hate her forever, either way, she did not care.

She was able to hold Sloth’s attention for more than two hours before he got bored and tired, which is apparently a world record, beating the last record by an hour and 45 minutes. Wrath also had a record of the longest he was able to hold in his temper before he blew over something small or completely reasonable by four hours and 23 minutes. His last record was only 30 minutes, which meant he threw a tantrum every thirty minutes over something, anything.

How interesting.

Lust was quite a charming guy, but too bad for him Lionel was better, or in Scout’s mind he was, and whether that was the soulmate bond or not, did not matter, she had Lionel and that was the only thing that mattered. After getting past that Lust was one of the more normal of the seven, she was able to actually hold a decent conversation with him without him dozing off, getting pissed, or just getting bored.

Gluttony was also not half as bad, it was difficult to talk to him when he was constantly snacking on something, even after dinner, he was pulling random foods out from various places that Scout did not even want to know existed. It was also difficult to get too close with that disgusting smell of all the food that has crusted onto his clothes that she doubted he had ever washed, or even took off, in months.

Envy was a difficult one. He knew better than to bad mouth her, after seeing what she had done to Greed and Pride. He made it clear he did not particularly like her, and did not wish to speak to her. However, unlike the other two who clearly hated her, to an extent, he was respectful about it and kept his mouth shut, he kept his distance and mostly spoke to Gluttony, which was fine, since he seemed to be alone for most of the time since his friend Sloth was knocked out on the couch.

Scout noticed Lionel stood close by but not overbearingly close, he seemed to be marveling over the fact she managed to gain the respect of five of the princes so quickly and easily. It seemed like no one had a problem with the barbaric and violent way she handled things, instead seemed far more acceptable than trying to verbally come to an agreement. This was Hell, after all, words probably worked as well as a 'please' here. Perhaps it would do Scout good to remember that and not let her newfound violent and temperamental make her feel too bad since such a thing seemed far more acceptable than peace ever would here.

Johan also stuck close, by Lionel’s orders, being he seemed to recognize her comfort with the little demon, who too also seemed shocked by the docile, and happy attitudes of the others. Said itself that they were shocked Wrath and Lust were on her side seemingly from the beginning. Johan also said that it was rare to see all of them in the same room, said it was sure the mood would be down in the dumps had Greed and Pride come back to join them. Which made it clear that those two were a problem with any and everything, not just Scout.

When night rolled around, the remaining Princes excused themselves. As they were leaving, she found herself standing face to face with Wrath,” If you want any muscle training, come around, I can train you,” he said, seemingly proud of his undoubtedly vast knowledge on building muscles.

Scout did not expect that at all,” Yeah, sure, I will look you up then if I need, thanks Wrath,” she said with a smile as he nodded and walked off, content with her answer.

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