The Dark Bloom (The Faery Meadow Book 2)

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Chapter 18-Rekindled Resent

After arguing with Lorcan for some time about Colt staying with them, Elaine went upstairs to discuss things with Colt.

He was sitting on top of the quilted blanket of her bed gazing out the window as if in deep thought. Elaine smiled despite her concern.

“Do you want to talk?”

Colt looked over his shoulder at her. “Nope,” he answered flatly. “I wouldn’t want to waste time making you listen to my thoughts about Lorcan. I’m pretty sure you already know how things are between us.”

Elaine folder her arms feeling a little nervous to ask Colt about something else that was bothering her beside his wellbeing. Colt never really told them in detail about his checking up on Viktor.

All she knew was that he was “locked up in hell” as Colt had put it. She knew the two had talked from the way Colt described their discussion, but she felt like he was glossing over some important details.

She also wanted to know just what kind of demon Colt was too.

“Are you a royal demon?”

Colt held back a laugh and faced her fully. “No, I am more like a demon lord...similar to Heslin. I happen to be his subordinate though. Stronger demons are often given the duty of watching over portions of hell to provide some amount of order. It’s pretty much a joke, but I don’t mind having my own castle.”

“Oh.”

Colt shrugged his shoulders and continued shining the sword in his hands. Elaine watched the sunlight shine off it. She folded her hands behind her back and walked over to the window watching the sunset in the distance.

Colt set his sword on the bed and walked over to meet her by the window.

Elaine glanced up into his pale eyes. “What did you and Viktor talk about?”

“Not much,” Colt muttered shortly. He figured the question was going to come sooner or later from her, but he was still unsure of how to go about explaining the ways of his kind.

He felt like she could see right through him -- the demon he sometimes really acted like. It was Viktor who always brought out the worst in him and he wanted to do everything he could to make sure Elaine would never see him act like his brethren. His knuckles turned white while he clenched the edge of the window in his hands.

Even now though, he could feel himself changing. The anger he felt toward Viktor was for so long left boxed up neatly in the back of his mind, untouched and forgotten.

While Heslin gave him his duties in the human realm, Colt had grown confident the nasty demon was taken care of because he knew Viktor didn’t organize his emotions or plans. He was spontaneous and it made him just as dangerous as it did make him reckless.

Colt knew Viktor was obsessive over his wants. It was what made the demon so driven to eat his own kind on his never-ending hunt for the greatest power of all. Colt didn’t know what Viktor thought that power could be exactly, but he knew he had yet to find it. He also knew his destructive behavior took its toll on everyone surrounding him.

He hit not only physical but psychological highs and lows as he cycled from dungeon to dungeon across hell. Gaining power then being captured and placed in dungeons where he would then be reborn. The coward demon lords who owned the dungeons he was in would always let him go free after finding him eating their other prisoners.

He had been in Heslin’s prison the longest as far Colt knew. Demons didn’t escape Heslin’s prisons.

The old demon made sure everyone knew it too. It just made Colt wonder why Heslin would bother letting Viktor go free and then lock him up again as if changing his mind. He knew there was more too it than that and it made him all the more eager to return to hell and demand answers again.

He steadied his voice to hide his own anger, “He refused to tell me anything. He’ll have a lot of time to think about the damage he has done -- especially to you. Don’t think for a second that subhuman is related to you. I have known Viktor for years. Believe me, we are much, much older than you.”

Elaine wondered if Colt knew that the fae were old too. They aged slow, but in their culture having several children was a rarity. She was starting to see why with her own parents being more invested in their jobs and each other. Her parents even admitted to her they were over three hundred years old.

She knew cameras didn’t exist so far back though and it made her pleasantly surprised to find Colt was probably right. The photograph had to of been taken less than a century ago and they didn’t even know if it was a boy or girl even.

“Maybe it really was Lorcan in the picture, but Lorcan said himself there was no way it was him. Why are they lying to me?” Elaine wondered out loud.

“We’ll find out eventually,” Colt replied, but Elaine frowned noticing how he left out mentioning her parents.

She remembered him saying how the only way they could make them wake up was when Viktor quit dreamwalking in their heads. Maybe he never would, or worse, maybe he already had and placed them under some kind of sleep spell.

In the room next over, they were lying unconscious for just over a day now. The memory of Viktor grabbing her mother’s head like he was ready to rip it off if she didn’t stay still crossed her vision. Elaine remembered watching Viktor violently attack her father too and sending him sprawling back on the coffee table.

Then he came for her.

Colt saw Elaine’s eyes glass over as he guessed her to be remembering the encounter with the demon they were discussing. He knew she was suffering more than any of them. He wasn’t good at being emotionally supportive though.

“I know you’re not ready to leave again today. You should sleep in here tonight so you’re well rested tomorrow. I don’t think we should stay any longer. Lorcan thought he saw little goblin or something wandering around the town about two miles east of here,” Colt admitted.

“A goblin?”

“Well, let’s be honest. It could have been anything. It was only just one small fae though so there’s probably nothing to be concerned about.”

“My parents told me faeries usually travel in groups. I bet it’s lost. Why didn’t Lorcan help it?”

Colt picked up his sword from her bed and walked over to the door to leave. “It ran away when it spotted him flying above it. Anyway, don’t even worry about. Just go to sleep now, it’s getting late.”

“You’re going to visit him again, aren’t you?”

“Yep, I’m also going to do a quick search for Silvia as well. I’ll be back in the morning.”

“Why don’t I come with you-”

“No!” Colt winced not meaning to yell. Then he continued, “No, I mean...it’s a very dangerous dungeon. It’s not meant for people like you to see.”

Elaine considered his words, but was left puzzled by what he meant. What did he mean people like her? Did he think she was too afraid?

She grimaced, but didn’t argue against it. She suggested something else instead, “Please take Lorcan with you then. I know you don’t get alone with him, but I would feel better if he went with you than no one. It would help give you two some time to...bond.”

Colt knew the two would never bond or agree on anything like she was hoping. He smirked knowing Lorcan would have a heart attack the moment they entered the bottomless pit. It would be a burden to drag the faery to hell with him and an even greater burden to make sure they both left the pit together.

Besides, he didn’t want Elaine stuck in the house with Cordelia either. That was a whole other problem in itself.

“As much as the thought entertains me, I don’t think that would be a good idea for your sake. I’ll be back in the morning,” Colt answered quickly while disappearing into thin air.

***

Six hours had come and gone before Colt landed in the pool of the pit. Again, Heslin was nowhere to be found.

Colt was glad he left the house a little earlier this time and planned on saving the extra hour to search for the witch. He had a feeling she would still be in his castle so it wouldn’t be too difficult to find her. The chain Viktor dangled from creaked sharply as Colt sent him flying backward without greeting.

The demon was being awfully quiet still and Colt had already waited a few minutes for him to start talking.

“Where’s Heslin, Viktor?” Colt yelled while steadying his foot against the demon’s forehead.

The pool of rotting carcasses and blood was passed Viktor’s forehead now. Colt’s wings flapped behind him as he steadied himself in the disgusting swamp.

Viktor’s voice no longer had an ounce of humanity in it. His vocal cords were still being mended by the magic of the chains around him. They, and a few of his organs, were still growing back as his body was just about done reforming.

Colt didn’t understand what he was saying. It sounded too raspy and ragged to understand. He actually thought his demon brother was simply growling and refusing to cooperate. So he kicked him again sending him flying backward against the pit wall.

Viktor felt the impact just like he did all the others, and now, since his vocal cords and throat were fully working, he let out something between a scream and roar feeling his newly constructed bones burn and char as the chains burned right through his skin.

His entire body convulsed against the smoldering thick chains around him and he growled biting into Colt’s boot for it was the only offensive measure he had. Colt laughed and easily got his foot out of the demon’s mouth.

Viktor clenched his jaw sensing another kick coming. However, Colt changed his mind and decided to taunt the demon instead since he was getting nowhere being physical. He kept the heel of his boot on Viktor’s face while speaking.

Colt remained quiet, listening to the demon howl in misery as he sent him sailing back again.

“I always was the smarter of us. We could be running this dungeon by now if you hadn’t gone off the rails. Now, you get to spend eternity in here knowing that somewhere above I’m practically free of my fate. You’ll never know what could have been, but you don’t need to. You already know what is...and that is that I have bested you.”

He bent down in his own anger. Then the demon gripped the top of Viktor’s head. He tugged, unknowingly straining the rusting bolt of metal keeping the chain attached tot he ceiling somewhere far above.

Viktor’s head was forced under the rotting slop of the blood pool. Colt felt bubbles coming up around his hand in the liquid as Viktor struggled to breathe. Not only was he being burned alive, but he was now drowning at the same time too.

Pain exploded in his chest and then burst as his lungs collapsed, but something else collapsed too. In Colt’s own fury, the chain holding Viktor in mid-air had snapped off from the ceiling. The pit became silent as the chain hit the blood pool sending a wave of the liquid high up on the pit walls. Many demons above got splashed.

The burning metal plunged deep down below the bottomless pit into the miles of mush. Viktor was tugged right along with it.

“Well, this trip went better than I expected,” Colt said, but his voice dripped with venom.

No answers had been found from this trip either.

Viktor and the rest of his restraints were somewhere far below now.

Unfortunately, what Colt did not know was that the pit wasn’t bottomless like he thought. Far down at the very bottom, the flesh and blood that had piled up for millennia had hardened into a rocky floor which Viktor collided against. His chains snapped against the surface. He was not at the bottom very long either as the pressure sprung his body upward like a rocket.

He was free, and although he couldn’t fly or crawl up out of the pit, he had another method. He still had the mirror shard that got him out of hell in the first place.

Before arriving in Hunrel and being cast away to hell, he had swallowed it as a precaution. It was lodged in his stomach and had survived with him during his rebirth for his stomach was never completely burned through.

The mirror was protected. All he had to do was snack on a bit of the mush below him until he either vomited or pooped it out.

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