In the Shadows

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Chapter 7

Asmodeus waited by Iselora’s bed day and night, refusing to eat. The beautiful figure before him gave the illusion that she was simply asleep. Asmodeus knew that this was false. He knew what was really happening. The Minders had connected to Iselora’s mind and body through the mandala etched in her back, slowly draining her life force. Asmodeus had attempted to pull Iselora’s consciousness back as he had before when she was in the bathroom but the spell had become more powerful. A knock at the door received a growl as a response. The door opened as the royal doctor cautiously entered. The squat, fat troll hobbled over to the bedside, “Your Majesty.” Asmodeus ignored him in hopes that he would go away. “Your Majesty I understand your concern, but the only possible way to bring Iselora back is to remove the spell.” “BUT SHE COULD DIE”, Asmodeus roared in response. The authority and anger laced in the king’s voice shook the troll to his core. After a deep breath, Asmodeus rubbed his eyes in exhaustion, “you said before that there was no guarantee that she would even wake back up.” Doc nodded in acknowledgement, “But there is still the chance that she will wake up, doing nothing will only guarantee her death, not prevent it.”

A pregnant pause filled the air. “Fine we -” Before Asmodeus could finish Iselora’s eyes slowly opened, searching for something. Asmodeus cupped her face in his hands. “Iselora? Im here.” Iselora found Asmodeus’ eyes and smiled sweetly before a glaze seeped over her face. Concern washed over both men in the room as Doc stepped forward. “Your Majesty, leave. Cerberus,Svila!” Asmodeus looked at the doctor not understanding what was happening, only that he should not see what was about to happen. Cerberus came in with a questioning look as Svila trailed closely behind. “Svila, attend to him. Cerberus, come here.” Svila gently grabbed Asmodeus’ arm but he pulled away, turning to storm out. Before he could exit the room a gasp brought Asmodeus’ attention to Svila and followed her gaze. The scene that played out in front of his eyes would haunt him for the rest of his existence. Iselora’s body was shaking violently as Doc and Cerberus were holding her to her side. Asmodeus quickly turned to leave the room as red clouded his vision. Svila was instantly by his side as he whispered, “ I will kill them all.” Asmodeus could feel himself losing control of his body, heat was spreading from his chest as his aura became so black that it was visible. A flash of light caught his attention, Svila had transformed to her true self.

The sweet, angelic girl no longer stood before him. In her place stood a magnificent, muscled woman wielding a golden spear. Her eyes gleamed with as much hate as Asmodeus felt. Asmodeus had forgotten how powerful a valkyrie actually was. Asmodeus felt a grin stretch across his face at the thought of all the blood that was going to be spilt. He began to allow the shadows to envelop his body as a hand grasped his forearm. “Not right now sir. The time will be soon, the Minders would expect us to attack after this. We must bide our time.” The woman in golden armor spoke truth but Asmodeus wanted to kill something, anything. The woman understood the desire in the gleaming red eyes and nodded her head, “Shall we hunt then? I am famished.” Svila stretched her wings to their full extent, excitement spreading across her face. She knew her mission; keep Asmodeus’ mind occupied until Cerberus came for them, only then would they be safe.

The hunt was brutal and violent. Asmodeus looked for the biggest creature that he could find before killing it on the spot. Svila enjoyed the feast that lay before her, but sadness and anxiety prevented her from fully appreciating the meat to its fullest. They eventually stumbled on a cave that led into the side of a mountain. Svila was wary about venturing in too deep, but showed no fear on her face for that was not the way of her species. The deadly pair began the trek, wondering what they would find. Asmodeus followed his nose, allowing his lust for blood to be his guide. It seemed as though it took a lifetime to reach a wide opening that housed a large, scaled creature. The scales were a scarlet color with a black underlay, the head of the creature was larger than that of a centaur. Wings were cinched into its body, but the length stretched down its body. Eggs could be seen peeking out from the curled, protective tail. Asmodeus and Svila had found a dragon.The dragon lay dormant, sleeping peacefully unaware of the impending danger that had just found her. A design in the scales caught Svilas attention but she did not inspect it out of caution. She knew that she was no match for this beast. All she could make out from the edge of the cavern was the shape of a crescent moon. A whimper escaped the dragon’s throat as if she were having a nightmare. Asmodeus could not believe his eyes, it was an incredible sight, dragons were supposed to have died out centuries before he was even born. He recalled his father boasting about riding one.

Asmodeus inhaled deeply and froze. The scent he had just taken in was familiar, the perfume of wildflowers and sunshine overtook Asmodeus’ senses. The shadows that had surrounded his flesh dissipated leaving a vulnerable looking man, staring at the sleeping dragon in a mixture of desire and confusion. The scent was hers, Iselora. This dragon must be her companion. He thought that companions were just another story his father had told him, but apparently these tales held truth. Asmodeus tried to recall what his father said about them, but all he could remember were the general facts. It was apparently common for Noble Elves to have spiritual companions that ranged in various species. Unicorns were the common companions of water Elves, where dragons were the common companions of blood elves. Elves and companions would live alongside each other, shared mind links, and life force. That means, if this dragon died, Iselora died, and vice versa. Asmodeus’ heart seemed to drop at the thought and decided then that the spell the Minders had cast had to be broken. Doing so could not only free Iselora from their reach, but could awaken her full potential as a pure Blood Elf. The dragon before him was proof of her blood line.

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