Zoe was in a complicated situation. She didn’t know where Andy and Rowan were, but she hoped they were close by. She really needed some help.
“Everything is ready, Hans.”
She glanced at the youngest hunter. He caught her curious gaze and chuckled before he walked closer and took the cloth from her mouth, throwing it aside.
“What’s ready?” she mumbled.
Hans sighed happily and turned the bed towards a specific box. Her eyes widened. Rowan was inside that box.
“He’s asleep now but I invoked a demon. In no time, he will wake up ready to kill anything and anyone he sets his eyes on. Isn’t that thrilling?” Hans exclaimed with excitement.
She didn’t even glance at him, her eyes being on the innocent human.
“His soul is already corrupted by darkness. He made a pact and he was lucky enough to have Iaosur in charge of it. But lower demons are different. They don’t care about laws or boundaries. They have one reason to exist and that is to kill.”
Zoe could feel the fear crawling under her skin and not because of the information, but from Hans’s tone.
They stayed there, watching with amusement, as Rowan started to move. At first he moved his hand in a way that looked like his muscles were contracting. Next, he opened his eyes and inspected the place he was in. He was confused but he could still recognise Zoe. Before her eyes, he started to have incredible pains; his eyes widened and he spilled a few tears while looking straight into her eyes. He started to have spasms and in the end, his pupils rolled into the back of his head.
“Here comes the good part,” Hans whispered to her.
She had never seen such a savage way to possess someone before. Rowan’s eyes closed and he fell backwards. She licked her lips and witnessed her former trainer fighting for his body.
“He’s quite strong. If it was anyone else, the demon would have taken control already,” another hunter commented.
On the other side, Iaosur felt like he got punched in the gut. His eyes widened and he got on his feet quickly. He disappeared in a second and appeared before his contractor.
“What’s going on? Why can’t I enter the box?” He turned his head and noticed Zoe. He appeared right in front of her. “What’s going on? Someone’s erasing my stamp! Tell them to stop!”
She was already trembling in fear and shock. Her eyes moved to Iaosur for a second. “I can’t,” she whispered.
Iaosur glared at the hunters before his eyes became fully black. His features became animalistic and he growled again.
“Control yourself or else they will send you to Hell,” she mumbled.
The demon took one last look at her before he launched himself at the others. Iaosur screamed in pain when one of them threw holy water in his face. It was really hard to watch as two acquaintances were fighting for their existence. The guy with the scar opened a book and covered Iaosur’s eyes. He started to say some entangled words that sounded a lot like an exile spell. The demon screamed again before he vanished.
“One is down,” Hans started, a wide grin on his face that reminded her of a dangerous and rabid cat. “One to go,” he added, turning to Rowan.
“Oh my—” She couldn’t finish her sentence.
The demon fought a little, but in the end he got Rowan’s body. Her eyes widened when he started to move around chaotically, pushing and hitting the glass like a furious animal.
Hans smirked and grabbed something from the table. It was Rowan’s gun. He shot the glass and the demon got out.
“Let’s see if you can kill your friend to save your life.”
She frowned and turned her head in order to see where the other men were. They had vanished. She had no idea where they disappeared to, or how. Hans ran out and left Zoe all alone with Rowan’s possessed body. She swallowed and squirmed.
The demon was getting closer to her. She was the only person in the room and she was chained to a bed. Zoe needed a way to free herself in order to fight. Rowan growled loudly and sniffed around. His eyes landed on her and she swore he smirked. He was coming towards her and she had no way to protect herself.
She remembered the gun and where it was; she could hardly get to it, but it worth a chance.
Zoe squirmed and moved in order to get to the gun that was safely placed behind her. She used all her power to get it. When she touched it and finally got it out, the demon was at her feet. He sniffed her and grinned because he knew who she was and he had the pleasure of torturing her. Zoe gulped and closed her eyes, uncertain if she should pray for her life or not.
The sound of two bullets being shot echoed in the room. Rowan’s shadow disappeared and she heard a low moan. She opened her eyes and saw Ezekiel with a gun in his hand. Zoe sighed in relief, but panicked when she realised what had happened.
“Get me out of here! He’s going to wake up! He’s not dead!”
Ezekiel couldn’t even move. He’d just shot someone. He froze and his brain blocked.
She squirmed again and looked at him desperately. “Ezekiel! Help me!”
He blinked quickly before he dropped the gun and ran to her.
“I got here just in time.” She scoffed and pulled on the chains. “I can’t break them.” He started panicking.
“Then move aside.”
The human nodded and let Eneizar dissolve the chains. She got on her feet quickly and touched her chest. Her heart was beating incredibly fast; it was crazy.
“They placed a demon in Rowan and—” She stopped and fell to her knees.
Ezekiel and Eneizar glanced at each other; she was having a panic attack. Zoe grabbed her head in pain.
“They sent Iaosur back and destroyed his contract with Rowan. They killed two birds with one stone.”
Eneizar looked at Rowan’s injured body. He went there to check on him while Ezekiel started to rub her back in comfort.
“He’s not dead. You have to send him back.” She glanced at Eneizar when he started speaking. He had a troubled expression. “But Rowan’s soul will go along. You have to kill them both.”
She glanced at Rowan before she turned to Ezekiel, who was scared. The situation wasn’t as scary as the state she was in, though. She was unstable.
“Do it,” Ezekiel spoke firmly.
She was looking at him for help and that didn’t sound like help at all.
“But he’s innocent and—”
Ezekiel shook his head and hugged her tightly. “It’s all right. He knew what was going to happen when he decided to help you. Do it.”
Zoe remembered what Rowan had said when they were in the car. She would have never expected that to become real; she hoped no one was going to die.
She took a deep breath and walked towards the demon. With every step closer, memories of their time together appeared in her mind. Zoe closed her eyes and bent beside his body.
She opened her eyes and grabbed him by the forehead. The sign started to glow and she heard Rowan scream in pain. His eyes rolled in front and for a fraction of second, she saw him. Unconsciously, she started to cry while sending him to a very nasty place. She noticed tears leaking on his cheeks and bit her lip.
Once the screams stopped, he was dead. Both of them were. The job was done. She gulped down an excess of saliva and fell back.
Eneizar tilted his head and watched the wide-eyed corpse.
“Well, that was it.”
She glared at him from the side and barely got on her feet. Zoe stumbled to Ezekiel and fell into his arms.
“It’s all right. It’s not your fault. You had to kill him.” She heard Eneizar hum. “His contract was destroyed and Iaosur was sent to Hell. He was going to die anyway and it was going to be slow and painful. You did him a favour by making it quick.”
That still couldn’t compensate for the guilt she was feeling over killing someone who did nothing but help her.
She was already very tired and wanted to go home, but she couldn’t. Of course she couldn’t. It wasn’t that easy.
They heard applause and they looked up. They’d planted cameras and speakers in an ancient supernatural house.
“I have to admit, Zoe. You never cease to amaze me or amuse me.” She mumbled a few swears under her breath but no one heard them. “But the fun is not over! Eneizar and Ezekiel; how nice of you to join us at such a crucial time. Let’s see just how good you are when you’re in a room with two demons and have to kill one to save yourself.”
They froze. Ezekiel’s head turned out of reflex towards Eneizar.
The demon raised his hands in defence. “I didn’t do anything yet.”
Ezekiel scoffed and pulled Zoe behind him. “Yet.”
The pride demon narrowed his eyes and took a step towards them. Ezekiel raised the gun and pointed it at Eneizar.
“You can’t kill me with a gun. Remember who I am. Besides, he’s bluffing. We don’t have to kill anyone in order to escape.”
Suddenly, Zoe screamed and fell on her side. The males frowned and ran to her side.
“What’s going on?”
The speakers made a high pitched noise and Hans’s voice resounded in the basement.
“I implanted a special chip in the back of her head. When I push a button, a surge or electricity runs up to her brain. She can’t fight it. She’s still human and she feels atrocious pain. I will push the button as many times as I see fit.”
Ezekiel helped her back to her feet before he turned towards the speakers.
“What do you want us to do?”
Hans chuckled. “I want you, Ezekiel, to kill Eneizar.”
The two frowned.
“I can’t kill him. I don’t know any spells to kill demons or send them to Hell.”
Hans clicked his tongue and moved around.
“The dagger she has was made especially to kill entities like Eneizar. Take it from Zoe and plunge it into his forehead. That way he will get a ride back home.”
Eneizar looked warily at Ezekiel, completely taken aback by the turn of events..
“Good luck, Zek. I’m sure you’ll do it!” The speakers turned off and the two males looked at each other.
“You don’t have to do it. She can take the pain. She’s the commander,” Eneizar explained calmly.
Suddenly, Zoe screamed in pain and grabbed the back of her head. Her vision was getting blurry and she couldn’t make out what was going on in front of her.
“She’s still human. She’s not a demon yet. They’re going to kill her slowly and fry her brain,” Ezekiel mumbled, rubbing his forehead.
Eneizar was confused. Zoe was the commander, even if she was still human; that was only a shell. She had the potential to be a great leader and she was going to die anyway.
“Let them kill her,” the pride demon suddenly said.
He didn’t have a heart. He was an evil creature and didn’t have empathy. When Ezekiel grabbed the dagger, Zoe stopped screaming. She stumbled onto her feet and found the table, barely able to lean against it.
“I can’t do that. I have a heart, unlike you.”
Eneizar glared at the human, raising his head and stretching. “You don’t stand a chance. I will kill you in a blink.”
Ezekiel took a step closer and gathered every piece of forgotten courage he had in his body. The adrenaline was already kicking in, and that was good for him.
The human launched at Eneizar, but the demon moved aside quickly. Ezekiel glanced at Zoe’s dizzy figure and closed his eyes tightly. Eneizar chuckled and crossed his arms behind his head. The demon was looking down on the human because he knew he had no idea how to fight.
Ezekiel was weak, but he could use that in his favour. He turned around and faced the pride demon. It seemed like he was giving up, so he threw the dagger to the side and took a step towards Eneizar.
“You’re right. I’m weak. I can’t fight a demon.”
Eneizar raised an eyebrow and smirked, walking towards Ezekiel without thinking about it too much.
The demon placed his hands on his shoulders and leaned in.
“Do you think I believe you after a year and a half around you?”
He bent quickly and hit Eneizar in the side.
He threw himself after the dagger and grabbed it before the demon, but Eneizar was fast and hovered over him. He caught the hand that was holding the dagger and held it against the ground. Ezekiel squirmed under Eneizar and hit him repeatedly. The demon groaned when Ezekiel hit him in the groin; his human body was weak in that spot. That gave Ezekiel an opportunity and he grasped it.
He pushed the demon down and plunged the dagger in the middle of his forehead. The demon glared at Ezekiel before he moaned in pain and fell limp.
Ezekiel was out of breath and couldn’t believe what just happened. He killed a demon for Zoe’s sake; maybe he was crazier than he gave himself credit for.
He fell on his back and dropped the dagger, wanting to go home.
“Ezekiel, I’m amazed. You actually exiled a pride demon. I always knew there was something evil in you.”
Ezekiel scoffed. “That’s all, isn’t it? Now let us out.”
Hans laughed loudly.
“Good joke, good joke. It’s not over yet. I’m surprised just how many people are ready to sacrifice themselves for a weak girl. Zoe’s the commander, but only with the name; she doesn’t possess any control. She trained with someone who hated his title, not with someone who treasured it. Do you really think you can be like Beelzebub? Don’t make me laugh!”
She grunted and somehow walked to Ezekiel. She helped him get up and almost fell back in the process.
“You have no power, Zoe.”
“You’re pissing me off,” she mumbled.
Ezekiel watched her with pity. She was barely able to stand and really looked powerless. But she wasn’t. He believed in her before and he still trusted her with his life; he became her best friend and they shared good and bad moments, but that only added to their experiences.
“I believe in you.”
She raised her head and looked at her friend. Ezekiel’s puppy eyes had a positive glint that made her smile.
“It’s your choice, isn’t it? If you want to be like Beelzebub or not. I will accept your choice, no matter how bad it’s going to be,” Ezekiel comforted her.
Zoe stared at him in amazement. She chuckled and hid her face in the crook of his neck when realisation hit her.
“You are something, you know?”
Ezekiel started to laugh with her and rubbed her hair.
She sighed and closed her eyes. “Very well, then.”
He raised an eyebrow and got confused when she pushed him away.
Zoe looked up and smirked, her eyes looking like a cat’s. She had a plan.
“Enjoy the show,” she spoke cockily.
Zoe noticed the dagger lying tauntingly on the floor. She took it and cut the back of her head open under Ezekiel’s widened eyes. He took a step forward but two hands wrapped around him before he could get closer. The human glanced over his shoulder only to meet a pair of cold eyes.
“She’s going to kill herself! Let me go!” He was squirming in vain.
Mehrdir wasn’t a low level demon. He was powerful and his grip on the human was very strong.
“Watch and be amazed, puppy.”
The human frowned and turned his head to her.
Zoe cut the back of her head open and searched for the chip. A wave of electricity ran through her body and she closed her eyes tightly. It hurt, but she had to continue. The electricity was more and more powerful and intense but she had to fight it. She touched something metallic and pulled it out screaming. That chip was connected to her brain. She practically pulled it off her brain and it freaking hurt like Hell.
Blood was dripping down her back and it was so bad that she could feel herself getting dizzy again. She was partially numb and felt like she didn’t have much time to live.
Zoe did what she had to do. She cut her wrists with the dagger and gasped when she plunged it in her side. The bleeding was going to kill her. Thankfully, the dagger she used was the one with strange inscriptions on the blade.
“Keep him here. I’m going up.”
Ezekiel watched his best friend run, covered in blood, to the door. He tried to push Mehrdir away but he wouldn’t budge.
Zoe got out of the basement thanks to the blood. The hand with the commander sign was still unharmed; good. She needed that and the black crystal.
The seal wasn’t working as long as she was using human blood. Just like before, the colour of her blood was black, which wasn’t surprising. While going upstairs, she noticed her veins were swollen. She barely made it up when she found no door towards the hall. Zoe concentrated on the centre spot and kicked it. Since she was going through some changes, the wall broke with or without a door.
She inspected the hall and living room, she entered the kitchen but no one was there. The house shook a little but that was fine, the house knew who was inside; it recognised her. Zoe leaned against the wall and breathed heavily, using all her energy. She found another set of stairs and ascended them, leaving a trail of black blood behind her.
“Just like Gretel, huh? Leaving a trail to find my way back home.” She chuckled.
It was funny for her messed up head. Her home was Hell. That blood was leading to the basement; to the world below.
Upstairs was a long corridor with doors on each side. The floor wasn’t cracking under her feet; instead it seemed like the house was trying to be silent and not get involved. She touched one wall and left a trail of blood on it until she got to the end. She did the same on the other wall when she came back. Zoe inspected every door closely and noticed the blood coagulating around a certain door.
The door opened with a cracking noise and she found three men with guns, horrified. She was the definition of a scary movie villain. She wasn’t going anywhere until her job was finished.
They shot her with silver bullets and holy water. The bullets hurt her, going through her body, but none hit her head. What started like a chuckle became a loud and evil laugh. She was laughing so hard that it sent chills down their spines.
Zoe was insane. They hoped she was going to give up and give them the inheritor. She wasn’t that weak, it seemed.
They stopped firing when they ran out of bullets. Her eyes fell first on the man with the scar.
“You sent my demon to Hell.”
His eyes widened when he witnessed the change in her orbs. The yellow was mesmerising yet dangerous, and he could sense the darkness gathering around him. She took one step towards him and raised an eyebrow.
“Who gave you the right to send Iaosur back?” she asked in a low and more masculine voice.
The windows broke and they realised what was going on outside the house.
“It’s a hurricane,” one of them whispered after they noticed the harsh wind and the rain pouring heavily.
She glanced at that guy from the corner of her eyes. “And you haven’t seen the half of it.”
The youngsters gulped and took a few steps back. The corners of her mouth quirked and her eyes looked like they were going to come out of their sockets. She looked wicked. The colour in her cheeks faded and she suddenly became very pale; they could see the bone structure of her face. Her fingers became longer and the nails transformed into claws.
While watching the two young hunters, she grabbed the elder by his neck. She moved her attention on him and snapped his neck. He died instantly, but that wasn’t enough. She took the black crystal and plunged it into his heart. Nothing happened, but they could all feel it.
“Neverland,” the hunter gasped.
The others were scared. She stepped over the dead body and walked towards them.
“Where is Hans?” she growled.
They glanced at each other and nodded before they turned to her.
“We will gladly sacrifice our lives if he gets to live and continue the bloodline,” the young hunter mumbled with the few sparks of courage he had left.
That was funny. In her head, their words were getting mixed up. She was on the verge of losing consciousness and had no idea how she could still move.
“Well, if that’s your wish, who am I to go against it?”
In two swift moves, she plunged the crystal in the heart of the right guy. He screamed and his eyes burned; he died.
Zoe turned to the last man who wasn’t older than her. She could sense it in his life energy.
She put her palm against his forehead and her sign shined. He flinched and felt how memories of people who died got into his mind.
“Tell Hans everything. Don’t miss any detail. He ran and left you here to die a painful and pitiful death, but it’s not over. It will never be over.”
Zoe didn’t kill him, but he fainted after he got overwhelmed by the hatred.
With the little power she had left, she walked down the stairs and collapsed in the middle of the hall.
That was how Zoe Lestrade’s fights and doubts regarding her destiny vanished and the Commander finally awakened; everything in one night.
Doomed souls can’t fight against their fate.
They cannot die because that would cease the sufferance easily.
They have to live knowing they cannot be saved,
They have already fallen into darkness.
THE END OF THE FIRST PART