The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 16-Brotherly Love

Elaine knew Colt wanted to leave, but she wanted to spend another day watching over her parents just in case they woke up.

Lorcan didn’t mind the idea.

However, Colt told her he would wait in hell in case the guards showed up at the house. He also wanted to check on Viktor just to make sure he was where he should be.

Cordelia was asleep in Elaine’s room upstairs and Lorcan was sleeping on the couch. Elaine had taken up the small hammock in the corner of the living room across from him. Colt wasn’t certain if Lorcan was asleep or not, but his eyes were closed.

“Are you sure you want to go alone? Shouldn’t we all go together?” Elaine asked Colt.

“It’s too risky. Besides, Cordelia would refuse to go. I know it’s only a matter of time until she turns on us and I wouldn’t be surprised if she already has.”

“Colt-” Elaine started.

His voice turned to a hushed whisper, “No, it’s fine. Viktor won’t be able to hurt me where he is now. I’ll be back in the morning and I do mean morning. I’m not going to leave you waiting,” Colt told her while glancing at Lorcan.

“Okay, we’ll be waiting...be careful.”

“I will.”

He tried not to be affected by her soft sleepy gaze. She watched curiously as his shadows collected in the center of the room. He gave her a light-hearted smile and then stepped into his makeshift portal.

***

Colt had teleported himself right in front of Heslin’s manor. The door was left open and he walked inside stepping over the black marble floor. His shadows searched the grand estate for the ancient demon, but they found no one.

The dark-haired demon continued making his way around the old demon’s home smiling bigger and bigger as he heard a certain member of his brethren below screaming. The sound was muffled through the thick floors, but Colt knew when he descended into the dungeon it would be loud enough he’d have to cover his ears.

The floor was built to refract the sounds of the demons being tortured below. It was all in an effort just so the old owner of the dungeon, and ruler of this portion of the domain, could occasionally get some shut-eye when needed.

Just like the good old days, Colt mused while taking his good old time over to the center of the lobby of the manor. A giant black brick square wall was in its center and reached to the ceiling.

He tapped a silver button on the wall and the steel doors opened rapidly. He jumped forward and unleashed his wings hearing the metal doors slam shut behind him as he descended into the pit. It was the biggest pit in hell. Heslin prided himself in owning it.

Colt had to cover his ears hearing the chorus of deafening screams of his brethren, but still smiled as he flew lower. Each demon was chained to the very top of the ceiling.

On each level of the dungeon, the demons hung upside down like bats in a circle. The chains were wrapped around their bodies and burned their skin with eternal hellfire. The first level was a mile high, and as one descended lower down, the gaps between each level increased tenfold.

After Colt passed the first level, he was no longer able to see anything because the darkness below devoured the glow of the hellfire burning his brethren. The air smelled of rotten flesh and it was only natural he vomit.

The foul odor had long since been saturating at the very bottom of the pit as the decomposing flesh at the bottom had been compiling for years and years. It formed a liquidy pool of mush that was warmed by the excruciating heat trapped in the pit.

Colt was already covered in a layer of sweat and soaking wet. He had yet to even pass the first level. It would take him six hours to reach the bottom and another six to get back up to the top, and that was flying as fast as he could as he was now.

All the dirt and bone embedded in the walls of the pit were constantly being chipped away at as the demons swung back and forth trying to break free from their chains. The walls shook around him as he reached the second level.

He had been in the pit visiting Viktor on occasion for the two had once been friends and then turned enemies. Most demons were not so volatile as Viktor and did not mind living in hell, but Viktor hated the realm since he had entered it. He survived off of eating his own kind -- a fact Colt refrained from admitting to Elaine. It was why his powers in hell changed so frequently. Demons commonly killed each other to change up their powers. They acquired the powers of their brethren after slaughtering and eating them.

Most demons didn’t try the tactic more than once for they lacked the mentality to do the deed twice. It did a lot to the body and mind. Made them become no more than rapid power-hungry animals.

Somehow, the more Viktor devoured, the more tolerant he became to the taste of the flesh of his own kind.

Colt eventually passed the second level and tuned out the deafening screams. His ears hurt, but they always did beyond this point. Covering them would do no good. For the remaining duration of his long descent to the bottom of the pit he focused his thoughts on Elaine. He wouldn’t have much time to visit Viktor and he already knew he was down there having recognized the loudest voice screaming. He could just end his trip early if he wanted, but he had things to ask of Viktor.

***

Hours dragged by.

It was only until he finally reached the very bottom of the pit that Viktor quit screaming. He could hear the sound of Colt land in the puddle of decaying flesh and blood somewhere in front of him in the darkness that he knew so well.

Blood fell from up above like a light drizzling rain as it hit the pool around him. The flesh fell in shreds of ashes having been burned off the demons above as it drifted slowly to the ground like snow.

An inch of the cruddy substance coated Viktor’s face -- the rest of his body was cocooned in the burning metal. The ash and blood landing on his chains burned up into nothing against the chains already burning him. The chains were made to burn just enough so that the skin could heal at its very weakest point. When the skin healed, the hellfire would begin blazing through it again in an endless cycle of torment.

Viktor could not physically look up at Colt from the position he was hanging in. So instead, he looked down. He was used to the cocoon of metal and smoldering fire that licked his skin unlike the demons above him. He was at the lowest point so the pressure from this depth would weaken his body and keep him from trying to sway back and forth like the thousands of demons above him were doing.

Colt stepped forward through the pile of rotting carcasses. It was inevitable that his feet fell through the mushy pool of decaying flesh and blood. He was forced to use his wings to fly upward constantly; all just to avoid getting sucked down into the bottomless pit. There were said rumors that there were even more monstrous demons buried somewhere far, far beneath the pool of decomposing flesh.

“Where is Heslin, Viktor?” Colt sneered against the putrid smell. The darkness of the pit kept him from seeing the look of misery on Viktor’s face that he so craved to witness.

He was met with silence and Colt gave him a few minutes to answer before doing anything. He knew he could not imagine himself the amount of suffering that the demon in front of him was going through. Sometimes it kept Viktor from talking or moving at all, but Viktor hadn’t been in the dungeon long enough to be that weak yet.

Minutes passed and Colt knew he was losing vital time. Viktor chuckled as if reading his mind. He was answered by a violent kick to the face. He choked on the ash covering his face and wheezed as his body slammed into the wall of the pit. The chain his body dangled from creaked loudly.

His crazed chuckle turned into a roar of laughter when he swung back forward. Colt kicked him again with all the force he could muster. He felt bone crunch beneath his boot and then the demon went swinging backward mute.

The wall of the pit hissed as the blazing chains around Viktor hit against it in the dark. Then Viktor’s chained body swung back toward Colt again. He kicked Viktor again in the face and this time met was met with a monstrous growl. The devilish noise made the demons above them pause in their screams and cries as they listened to the wicked demon below suffer.

Colt snickered knowing he was finally getting somewhere with him. He would smash his demon brother’s head in like a pinata until he found the answers he came to get.

“Where’s Heslin?” Colt grunted. He stopped Viktor from swinging back and forth with a tap of his boot on the side of Viktor’s face. “Tell me or you know what comes next.”

Viktor groaned in pain. He opened his mouth and could only make out a wheeze. He was met with another kick to the face. He flew backward and felt the bones in his back smash against the wall.

The force was enough to burn the remaining portion of his flesh. His blood oozed out as the magic embedded in the chains worked to stitch his skin back up just enough to begin burning through it again.

“Tell me!” Colt screamed just as the demons above them resumed screaming and moaning in their misery again.

Colt held his foot out to catch Viktor’s head when he swung back toward him. He was expecting the demon to make a pained noise, but Viktor was quiet as he was reduced to internally screaming in agony for his throat was too weak to carry out any more sound. He was kicked in the face again and saw red despite the blackness around him as his body crunched against the brick-like wall.

Colt’s foot caught his face and it fell flat against it. He knew he had smashed all the bone in that he could.

Fuming, Colt walked up to the hanging demon and knelt down speaking in a mocking voice, “Viktor, you must speak if you wish this to end.”

Viktor opened his mouth to respond, but could only make out a breathy incoherent sound that sounded more like a grunt than a word. Colt grimaced growing impatient. He grabbed the demon’s face for it was the only thing he could touch without burning to ash. Then he trudged forward and smashed Viktor’s head against the wall of the pit feeling it crush and crack like an egg.

He let the corpse swing back forward knowing Viktor’s soul was still trapped snug inside it. He would be reborn in the dark of the hellhole and suffer again and again until he gave Colt the truth.

Colt flew upward in disgust feeling he had wasted his time. He needed to find Heslin and knew the very demon was the one who initially freed Viktor from the dungeon. No one else could touch the chains without dying, but him. Heslin was there to put Viktor back where he belonged, but again, he had vanished and Colt felt like he had just missed the elusive demon lord.

At any rate, Viktor was back where he belonged. Colt knew the next time he visited his brother he would do a little search for Silvia too to ensure he made some progress. He didn’t like the fact that he had to return to Elaine with no useful information gained.

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