Heroes and Villains
“So, do you have a plan?” She didn’t say anything. “Do you know where we’re going?” She didn’t respond. “Do you have any idea what you’re doing?” Rowan asked, exasperated.
“I have a gun.” She swayed it in front of his eyes with a blank expression. “I don’t know how to use it, but I’m sure I can manage.” She put the gun back and grabbed the dagger. It had imprints on the blade and it looked very old and precious.
“Don’t you have too many weapons on you?”
She closed her eyes and leaned against the window. “He is dangerous and he’s not alone.”
“Does this mean so much to you? To the cause?”
She scoffed and threw him a mean look.
“He is not human and not a demon. The World doesn’t need entities like him.”
He raised an eyebrow and took a sudden turn before continuing. “What are you going to do then? Kill him?”
She rubbed her eyes. When she put her hands down, her eyes were a different colour.
For the first time in his life, Rowan knew what Hell really felt like. Her eyes were horrifying. They were reminding him of everything bad he’d done in life and every moment he cried because making a pact with the devil was pretty much getting the life energy out of him.
“I’m going to do what I hoped I wouldn’t. Kill him. I don’t care where he ends up as long as it’s not here.”
Rowan’s eyes widened.
“But Asmodeus will—” She looked straight into his eyes which caused him to shudder. “Right. Kill him.”
He frowned but complied. Rowan parked the car near a park and watched her get out in a hurry. He locked the car and ran after her.
“Wha—” He stopped midway and gulped.
Zoe was on her knees in front of the playground. It looked disturbing and he was grateful that it was really late at night and no one was around. From what he could see, she was using the sign to contact a superior demon, a demon that many were afraid of and would never want to face. She was asking him for a favour.
He walked closer and listened.
“From the second level of Hell
Beyond the darkest corner
I ask of you, Prince of Lust
Find me one of your slaves
For they have mistakenly believed
The commander has no say in your kingdom.”
That sounded quite like a fairy tale, but the sky darkened and a sudden silence filled the park. She grabbed the dagger and cut her palm, right through the sign which made it glow. The temperature dropped and he could see his breath in the air. At one point, Rowan felt like he should take a few steps back; however, he took one step closer, mesmerised by everything. The blood fell on the sand and suddenly a whole address was written from her blood.
“That is really awesome.” He was amazed. Asmodeus actually responded to her request.
“Yes. And owing the prince of lust is every girl’s dream.” She was sarcastic and she disliked asking someone like that for information, but she had no choice. Hans was a secretive guy and he wanted to keep his human life for as long as possible.
After Rowan wrote down the address, he realised it was really hard to concentrate on it. The words were changing and he was getting dizzy.
“Why am I able to see what it says but my vision gets blurry if I stare at it too much?”
“You can read it thanks to your connection to Iaosur, but you are still human and it’s a lot of work for your brain to decipher it.”
That made a lot of sense. It sounded like she was making it up on the spot but then again, Neverland was not a happy place.
“It’s here. I hope.”
He stopped the car somewhere close to the airport. He grabbed his gun and loaded it.
She blinked and tilted her head to the side. “I don’t want you to come with me.”
He narrowed his eyes at her and hit her arm. “Don’t be stupid. Show me the way.”
“Zoe, I’ve been living on the edge of a very thin line for most of my life. I don’t remember the last time I did something noble. If I die tonight, at least I know I did something to help you. Besides, I’m sure you will take care of my soul.”
Rowan smiled and ruffled her hair. “Let’s go.”
He was already walking towards the entrance when she realised what he’d said.
“Taking care of one’s soul,” Zoe trailed, his words echoing in her mind.
That was a powerful statement. She wasn’t God and had no power to judge a soul. Commander or not, she was nothing compared to Him.
“This house is tricky,” he mumbled once she stepped foot inside.
Rowan entered first and looked around. The house looked normal except a few little details, like the moving rooms.
“Wasn’t there a door here?” She found a blank wall.
Zoe tilted her head to the side and touched it. Nothing seemed weird.
“I swear I saw a door here,” she continued.
“Like I said, this house is tricky,” he repeated, taking one step towards her, the floor cracking under his feet.
“It’s magic,” she realised. “The house hears our steps and covers itself. It’s like a way to keep curious humans out.”
“But demons don’t walk. They mostly disappear and appear from thin air or mist. Try it.” She narrowed her eyes at him. He was an idiot, wasn’t he? “Just walk towards me.”
She did. It was very silent but she wasn’t a master in disappearing and she wasn’t exactly dead either.
“You go that way and I will go this way. Let’s see if something happens.”
Rowan went towards the stairs while she went towards the empty wall. Surprisingly, the wall split and a door appeared in between. He took one step closer to her and the wall shifted.
“Now keep it like that until I get there.”
She blinked in confusion. How was she supposed to keep the walls split? Rowan took a few steps towards her and the floor cracked under his feet. The walls were slowly covering the door. When Rowan got next to her, the door disappeared.
They sighed. Suddenly, the walls split again and the door appeared. It opened on its own, just like it was inviting them in.
They glanced at each other warily.
“They know we’re here. This is an invitation to something really bad. Who knows if Andy is actually there?”
She glanced at the door and walked through it.
They walked through a wide room before they had to descend two sets of stairs. Her heart was beating faster with each step; it was both exciting and scary. She had no idea what she was going to do and if she was going to get everyone out; she certainly hoped so, though.
At the bottom of the stairs was yet another room. The house was like a maze. She turned the doorknob and opened the door wide. Rowan pulled her back right before she had the chance to enter. He grabbed his gun and pointed it in front of himself.
The room looked a lot like an undercover army base or maybe like a bunker. It was lit by torches, just like in old times. On each side, there were some kind of boxes but they were all covered with black curtains. They walked around and surveyed the place. It looked inoffensive for the moment.
“Isn’t this weird?” she asked him. He nodded.
“It’s too easy.”
She closed her eyes and remembered what she learned. Using the demon eyes while not being a demon yet was exhausting and had a few after effects. It was better if she could use her own senses, like hearing. She concentrated on that and made a sign to Rowan to stop walking. Except their breathing, it was silent.
One knock on her right got her attention. It was soft and it didn’t sound like that person was trying to get attention. She pointed at the box in the far corner. Rowan nodded and pointed his gun at it. Zoe walked there while he stayed behind to watch her back. She grabbed the curtain with shaky hands and pulled it off.
Her eyes widened when she saw him. “Andrew.”
His face was the perfect opposite of hers; he was scared and worried.
“Zoe, this is a trap. You shouldn’t have come.”
She chuckled and placed her hand on the glass. “We’re not in a movie, Andy. I know this is a trap. That’s why I came here in the first place.”
“Did they tell you about this place? Did Hans tell you everything?”
“If by everything you mean the story of the Lost Boys, Eneizar did and I came here by myself. They didn’t act just yet.”
Andy narrowed his eyes at her before he scoffed. “They are hunters. They wait in the dark for that perfect moment to strike.”
She leaned in and stared deeply into his eyes. “And I just gave it to them. Let’s see if they take it and what are they going to do with it.”
Zoe was an idiot, wasn’t thinking at all, and she was reacting on impulse. She grabbed her gun and pointed it at the glass. Much to everyone’s surprise, it broke. Andy was free.
“They’re all in here, under the curtains.”
She nodded and made a sign to Rowan. He was close enough and heard everything so he started to shoot in the boxes and the curtains fell. They were all free.
“Let’s go. If they don’t want to do anything now, they have other plans. Let’s just go.”
The familiars and ghosts either disappeared or walked out. Rowan grabbed her hand and walked towards the door. He could get through it, but Zoe collided into something.
Rowan could easily enter and exit but she wasn’t able to do that.
Andy’s eyes widened. “It’s a seal,”
She glanced over her shoulder and saw a man getting out of his hiding spot.
“But you knew that. You entered fully aware that you couldn’t get out,” the man continued Andy’s sentence.
Once she placed foot inside that room, she felt a vibration in her body. It was just like she walked through water or an invisible force.
“So you let me free them. Now what?”
Hans smirked evilly. Three more men walked behind him with some strange things in their hands.
“Now we play.”
She felt electricity run through her body. She wasn’t sure where it was coming from, but she was sure it was very close. The next surge of electricity was intense and she fainted.
Zoe opened her eyes and groaned. Her body was numb and she could barely make out where she was. She heard people move and whisper to each other. Zoe opened her eyes and moved her hands but couldn’t really move too much because her limbs were chained.
“Good to see you awake, Zoe.”
She frowned and licked her lips before finding her voice. “Where am I?”
He chuckled and walked in her peripheral vision. Hans was dressed in black—completely black. He didn’t look half bad, but he looked evil.
“This is one of the few moving houses.” She furrowed her eyebrows in confusion and listened to what he was saying. “They’re not many and they are barely noticeable, but they’re great assets for evil plans. Right now, we are in the Refuge, a house that hides in itself. But you already know how that works, don’t you, Commander?” he asked, the tips of his lips curling.
“You knew I would come. You trapped me in here and let everyone escape. I can only wonder what you want me to do.”
Hans rubbed his chin and leaned against the bed she was chained to.
“Well, you see, there’s a problem with that. It seems Beelzebub was quite intrigued when you suddenly vanished, and he tried to look for you but he couldn’t find you.”
She scoffed. “You’re telling me that somehow, I managed to hide myself so well that not even the almighty demon of Gluttony could find me?”
Hans raised an eyebrow and clicked his tongue. “No. That’s impossible. I think someone placed a spell on you. No one could find you because he erased your existence with a spell for a certain period of time. If I have the right information, only one person can do that.” He narrowed his eyes at her. “The Inheritor.”
She chuckled at first but it eventually became a joyous laugh.
“You mean I met the inheritor? Sorry, but where I was, there was not even one young guy.”
Hans didn’t seem amused.
“Not this inheritor. You met the one from fifty years ago, the one who married the commander and hid. They never did anything bad in life. They were good people with bad destinies, but then you appeared: the next commander. You were born just a few days after the last one died. Isn’t that just perfectly planned?” She didn’t respond. “You are the first commander in a long time that actually enjoys his destiny. You love being the commander, don’t you, Zoe?”
She’d heard that before from different people.
“What if I do?”
Hans seemed taken aback by her response. She was bluntly agreeing with him.
“Then you should tell me where the inheritor is.”
She sighed and laid back, her mind going on autopilot.
“As you said, there are two inheritors right now, the one who’s over fifty years old and the one who’s younger. But the old man doesn’t have much time left to live. It’s like you said, he never did anything bad in life, so he will definitely not go in Hell. Once he dies, he dies.” She was talking slowly and was accentuating what she thought would annoy him. “But the next inheritor, he hides really well.”
Hans hovered over her and stared into her eyes. “Where is the young inheritor?”
“Do you really want me to believe you don’t know when you came in contact with someone from his family?!”
She shrugged innocently.
“Bloodlines are tricky, aren’t they? You never know where your ancestors lived and how far they came. But you should know that best. Your ancestor was a Lost Boy.” Hans’s features tensed and he backed off. “You are nothing but scum.”
Another man, much older and with a scar on his face, grabbed her chin and forced her to look at him.
“You don’t know anything about us or our ancestor.” Her face was blank and it only annoyed the older man. “You know nothing about the Lost Boys and the Hunters,” he said through gritted teeth.
“Then should I close the Hell Hole and see where that will get you?” she taunted.
The older man growled. Hans placed a hand on his shoulder and glanced at her.
“Don’t do anything that would cause trouble. Without her, we can’t find the inheritor.”
The man mumbled something under his breath and walked away.
“So what? You want to kill the inheritor when you don’t know if he’s innocent or not?”
Hans sighed and rubbed his temples. “You became very talkative, didn’t you?”
He made a sign to another guy, who was visibly younger and cleaner than the first. That one grabbed a piece of cloth and shoved it in her mouth. She glared at the man before she turned to Hans.
“Hear this sound, Zoe? It’s the silence before the storm.”
She mumbled something, but the cloth made it impossible to understand.
“She’s not back yet,” Ezekiel stated. He was worried and couldn’t stand still. “Rowan didn’t come back, either.”
“Calm down, puppy. She knows what she’s doing.”
Ezekiel glanced at Iaosur and sighed.
“They probably caught her and keep her locked somewhere,” Eneizar added.
He was playing with her phone. It was funny how her desktop picture was with some guy who looked remarkably like Mehrdir. Eneizar chuckled and threw it at the subject. The greed demon caught it easily and threw a confusing look at the pride demon who urged him to look at the phone. Mehrdir’s eyes narrowed when he did. He scoffed and threw the phone on the couch.
“Aren’t you worried, Mehrdir?”
The demon stared at the human blankly. He was unimpressed with the events.
“She’s been trained by someone who knows well how this dark side works. You can’t go and be the hero when your role is the villain. That’s exactly how it works. She’s the villain and she went to fight against smaller villains. She’s not the hero.”
Ezekiel frowned. “What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means she has high chances to die,” Iaosur continued. “Villains always die or get caught in movies, don’t they?”
Ezekiel’s eyes widened. “Then go and help her!”
Eneizar shook his head disapprovingly.
“Little puppy human, you still don’t understand. She’s not the hero. She has to die. She went there prepared to sacrifice her life as a human for the inheritor.”
Ezekiel ran a hand through his hair and continued to pace in the living room.
“Is this inheritor worth that much?”
The demons scoffed.
“Without the inheritor, low class demons will rise and come to Middle Earth. Do you want that?” Eneizar yelled at the human, who only bent his head, embarrassed. “Then shut up and let her do what she has to do.”