Demons have always been thought of as myth, a tale told to young
children to frighten them into behaving. But sometimes, myths turn out
to be reality.
Two such creatures were fighting in a room carved from the very rock of the earth.
One was a female humanoid with skin the color of an amethyst, garbed in a flowing and elaborately designed dress of blue and gold that hid most of her body, including her feet. Her deeply riveted ashen horns curled gracefully from her temples to form an arch, from which hung a large crystal by chains of gold only inches from her swirling mass of violet hair. Her lavender eyes, filled with disdain, surveyed the male bent double before her. Crimson blood dripped from her talons to pool upon the stone floor.
The male was also a humanoid, but his skin was a dusty purple rather than amethyst. Garbed in a white muscle shirt, a black bomber jacket and black pants; they were less than, regal tattered and speckled in blood and scorch marks. A tail the length of his body with a vicious looking spiked tip was posed above him like a snake about to strike. The upper portion of his face was covered by a metallic mask, held in place by his forward-facing s-shaped horns that started at his temples. The left side of his face revealed a piece of a strange tattoo that ended at his collarbone. His claws, shorter than the female's, dug into the stony floor as he gasped with pain.
Matriarch Lasandra of the Zhugoth Clan took a step towards her son. "Are you finished yet?"
"Never!" he hissed, glaring defiantly through steely, pain-filled eyes. With great effort, he got himself to his feet, using the nearby wall as support.
"Come now, Beelzebub. The more you fight, the more hurt you become. I do not go easy on anyone, especially for defiance."
"I will never protect a human!"
Lasandra's eyes flashed dangerously. "This is your mission! You will carry it out."
"No!" With a growl, he lunged at her.
She easily side-stepped, leaving him to claw only at air and land face-first on the hard floor. "Tut-tut. To think your powers have fallen this far, Beelzebub. You were once one of my Elite. Now you are nothing more than a lowly Grunt."
"Shut up!" he snarled, struggling to get on to his knees.
His tail lashed out at Lasandra, but she caught it firmly in one hand.
He winced as she gave it a swift yank. "Let go!"
She lightly set her claw-tip against the skin. "Will you surrender now and do as I asked?"
"Hm." She slowly drug her claw down.
He grit his teeth against the sting of her claw. Spurred by anger, he attempted to get up. He had barely lifted himself an inch from the floor when he was forced down again by Lasandra's taloned foot on his spine.
She moved her claw just above the first mark and started another.
"Ow! What in Hell are you doing, Mom?!" he demanded, glaring at her over his shoulder.
"If you want me to stop, then just say so."
She smiled sweetly, flashing a pair of fangs. "Oh, but where are your manners, my son? Surely I taught you better than this." She scored another mark on his tail.
"You're just being irritating!"
"Am I?" She muttered an incantation under her breath and a purple fireball erupted from her palm. She held it under his tail.
"Give up now?"
"Nooo!" he howled, writhing in anger and pain. He knew she was merely torturing him, forcing him to endure embarrassment to grate at his pride.
This is far too amusing. a voice said from the back of his mind.
Leave me alone, you worthless Ghoul.
It is you who is worthless, Beelzebub. Bested by your mother, tsk tsk.
Beelzebub growled and shut his eyes, trying to push the voice away.
"It's quite a simple task, Beelzebub. Why do you refuse?"
"I will not deal with a human!"
"You are too damn stubborn for your own good, just like-"
"Don't you dare even mention him!"
Lasandra sighed. "Please, Son. You must understand that you are the only one I can entrust this mission to."
"What about Valenthia or Calenth? They've dealt with-owwww!"
Lasandra had used his tail to extinguish the flames. "Neither are currently available. Nor do they have time to deal with this matter. It is very delicate and requires more time. You, on the other hand...have plenty of time."
"And what makes you think that?!"
"Why...because you have no missions, as you once did."
"And WHY would you think I would be most...appropriate? Jukan still resides in my body."
"Yes, yes, that is true."
A petty human would be a fun play-toy.
"It would be unsafe."
"She would be safer with you than if she were back in the care of Baron or Nathaniel."
"You actually entrusted a human to Baron?!"
"He was all that was available at the time, I had yet to locate you."
Oooh! A female human!
"Wait...a female?" Beelzebub groaned. "Oh come on!"
Lasandra ground her foot into his spine, causing him to yelp in pain. "Stop trying to point out why I should take back my decision, Beelzebub."
"Mother, I am serious about Jukan."
"Yes, I know. But we were able to lock him away well enough."
Oh, but for how long?
Beelzebub scoffed and shook his head at the Ghoul.
Lasandra gave his tail a hard yank. "Do not scoff at me, young demon."
"Yes, you did."
"It was towards Jukan, damn..."
Lasandra raised an eyebrow. "Really now?"
"Hm...I'll let it slide this time. Back to the matter at hand, will you carry out this mission?"
"Fiiiiine!" he grumbled.
"Good boy!" She released his tail and removed her taloned foot from his spine, stepping around him towards the entrance.
Beelzebub sighed in relief as feeling returned to his legs. It quickly changed to a groan of pain as his mind caught up with the damage that was fully done to his body. He struggled to sit up, his breath coming in short, painful wheezes.
He managed to raise his head when he heard footsteps that did not belong to his mother, these were more cautious and quiet without the clicking of the talons.
Anger flared in his eyes at the sight of a raven-haired human female making her way towards Lasandra, who was a few feet out in front of her son.
Lasandra turned around to face him. "Beelzebub, this is your Charge, Shiona."
"Damned human." he grumbled, then coughed.
A shudder ran up his spine, suddenly. He looked up at Shiona, noting that her muddy green eyes were watching him intently, lit with both fear and sympathy. They seemed to be probing his mind and even his very soul.
Such lovely energy! This only comes so strongly from a Psychic.
Lasandra moved closer to Shiona, causing the human to jump violently. "No, no. Don't be afraid."
Shiona trembled like an animal cornered by a hunter, her body tensed to run if frightened further.
"Shiona, dear. You know I will not harm you." Lasandra said reassuringly, giving her a gentle smile.
The human female nodded slowly, but her body did not once stop its tremors.
"Now dear, I need you to do something for me, all right?"
She nodded again.
"I need you to go to my son and help him with his pain."
Shiona and Beelzebub's eyes locked as they looked at each other.
"Stay away from me." Beelzebub managed to growl through labored breaths.
Lasandra moved closer. "Oh, he's quite harmless. All bark, no bite. He's certainly in no condition right now to prove otherwise."
Beelzebub ground his teeth, knowing that what his mother said abut his condition was true. Even if he wanted to harm the human, he did not have the strength to do so.
Shiona seemed to realize the truth as well, for she slowly made her way up to him.
Beelzebub glared her down with as much venom as was left to him. He bared his fangs at her when she knelt down in front of him.
Shiona squeaked and pulled back.
"Well, I could just let her leave you in your current condition, Beelzebub. However will you get home?"
"I can-" He was cut off by the air forcefully leaving his lungs. He collapsed from the fatigue of holding himself up.
Shiona moved closer and placed her fingertips against the knuckles of his left hand.
Beelzebub unwillingly stayed still, having used all his energy holding himself up, he was not even able to flinch when her warm skin made contact with his.
Oh this is the most wonderful sensation I have ever had!
The demon was rather astonished when the pain began to recede and he could take in deeper breaths.
After only a few more seconds, the pain dissipated entirely. He noticed the tingling sensations that prickled at his skin as he moved. His limbs seemed lighter and less responsive as he got to his feet. "What...?" He flexed his claws experimentally.
Shiona was still sitting, her eyes downcast.
She hurriedly got to her feet, keeping her eyes down as she did so.
Now that the pain had been taken care of, Beelzebub took a closer look at his Charge.
Her raven hair hung loosely about her face and shoulders as her head remained bowed, obstructing the rest of her face. She was dressed in a semi-long-sleeved blouse, denim capris, and white sneakers. He noted that any inch of skin that was visible held a bruise in different stages of healing and several gruesome looking scars. Her wrists revealed partially healed burn marks, such as those inflicted by a rope.
Isn't she just so beautiful? Such a tormented little soul. Jukan sighed.
No, she ain't. Now shut it.
Lasandra came up near Shiona. "Do you see now why I wish for her protection?"
"She blocked off the pain, no big deal." Beelzebub said with a shrug.
"She can do far more than that, my son, far more. But her powers are not fully under control. I am having my Elites search for a master Psychic in order to train her."
"So why don't she just stay here?"
"With Valenthia and Calenth gone, our Clan is more vulnerable to attack. Dracoser knows of her, I am most certain. With her maturing abilities, he would surely take advantage of them for his diabolical plans."
Beelzebub nodded. He had never faced Dracoser in battle, personally, but had learned all he needed from speaking with his battle partners, the dragonoids Valenthia and Calenth, and from his mother. "So...you think that having her with just me would suffice?"
"He would not think to look for you. He does not know that one of our kind is exiled to the human realm."
Beelzebub clenched his fists, his body shaking with supressed rage.
Lasandra gave him a look of sympathy. "You must stay calm, Beelzebub. I apologize for mentioning it, but you must learn to overcome it."
"If you're done, we're leaving."
"Allow her to numb your pain until you are healed sufficiently, my son, as I know you will not allow Allarah to tend to them. Be gentle with her, the abuse she has endured has made her very skittish and she may use her powers purely by accident."
Beelzebub tucked his thumbs in the loops of his pants and started towards the entrance. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll keep that in mind.”
Lasandra watched her son and Shiona until the pair had disappeared from view. “I do hope Jukan will remain under control...”