ENTICE ME

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Prison of Thorns

“What the hell is going on?” Although the question came out of her mouth, it was only meant for her.

There was nothing she could do. How to fight the shadows? How to defend Bossurk and the young demoness? Daphne watched them again, both still unable to enter the rocky cave of Bossurk, their ears covered in an attempt to ignore the maniacal voices that filled the citadel.

Daphne turned around and found an army-of-demons in the distance, commanded by the bastard who had whipped her under Rothvaln’s orders.

Her legs backed up a few steps.

“Still here?” Maret appeared beside her. “Good thing I got here in time to save your ass.”

“Maret!” Daphne exclaimed in surprise.

“Come on!”

When Maret went to touch her on the shoulder, Daphne broke away from her. “Take them away first!”

Maret’s gaze reached the rapidly approaching army. Her mind slowly grew confused. She shook her head, closing and opening her eyes, trying to focus.

“Maret?” Daphne called to her.

“We have to go now! If I don’t take you with me, Teias-” she stopped again. Her senses were slipping away.

Daphne looked up where the shadows were moving, and the voices were still singing. It was evident that they were affecting the Demoness Lord. Daphne looked at that army again, which seemed to be unaffected.

She took Maret, placing one arm on her shoulder. The demoness was getting weaker. “Hold on here.” Daphne put her hands on Bossurk and the young woman. “Let’s go.”

“I have to take you back.” Maret shook her head again.

And Daphne’s voice came to her like a distant echo.

“I will go with you. Now!” Daphne ordered her.

And like a flash, they all vanished from there.

***

“What is this?” Teias asked. “Maret, are you all right?” The demoness now regained her senses.

“Teias”

The shape of Bossurk caught the attention of the General of the Legions. “Bossurk, it’s been a long time, my friend.” he greeted him with a smile.

“Where the fuck is she?” Maret asked violently.

“Who are you talking about?” Teias looked at Maret.

Maret’s eyes fell, fists clenched. “Daphne”

“Where is she?!”

“She got stuck in The Wicked Land,” Bossurk spoke.

“How could you, Maret!” Teias shouted at her, extremely irate.

“She told me she needed to go there. Her brother asked me to help her.” She merely justified herself.

“Shit! And since when do you take orders from mortals?!” Teias ran his hand over his hair. “Shit! Lorcan will be furious. If anything happens to her, we’ll all be in the Abyss. That’s for sure.”

“Teias, maybe Rothvaln won’t do anything drastic yet,” Bossurk said.

“We don’t know that Bossurk.” Between Bossurk and Maret, Teias finally noticed the young demoness. “Who is she?”

“Daphne saved her” the shy young creature kept her head down.

“Maret, take her to your room, make her comfortable, leave her there, and return immediately.”

“Yes, sir.” And she dutifully did so without objection, aware that the worst was yet to come.


In the Realm of Demons


“Let’s go!”

With hideous breath, one of the demons was gripping her arm tightly. She felt her blood start to slide down her skin because of the yellowish claws of her captor.

When Maret disappeared with the others, she was almost immediately captured. Shadows had invaded that forgotten piece of land where the exiles waited for the return of the rightful King.

Daphne felt like her face was becoming swollen. The beating she had taken when she was captured had left her practically unconscious. It was only when the foul smell of her surroundings brought her back to her senses little by little.

Looking around cautiously, she was sure that it was the first time she had ever stepped foot on this moist, black ground.

A sort of mist crept upon them, wrapping around them. When looking to the sides, the cells were located close to each other. The doors were made of rocks and flanked by blackthorns. Keeping the prisoners away from the entrance. Before she knew it, Daphne was trying to wipe the sweat drops from her face, which splashed on her cheeks. Each time she wanted to do it with her shoulder, the sweat was still there, falling on her face.

“MOVE, BITCH” the demon that was dragging her around shouted at her again.

On the last attempt, she again brought her shoulder close to her face. And that’s when another drop fell, this time not on her face but on her arm. The drop was not clear as water, but dense as blood, and the liquid’s shade was hair-raising familiar. She looked up, and that’s when a thunderous screech exploded near her face.

One of the creatures she knew so well was crawling on the roof of the tunnel. From its monstrous mouth, blood was trickling, like threads descending from its teeth. She did not want to know where so much blood came from. The demons that accompanied her began to laugh at the terrifying expression on her face.

After a short time, they stopped in front of the door of one of the cells. The demon cut off some of his skin and spilled blood on the top of the infamous thorns. The cell entrance made of rock and thorns began to open, and without warning, she was thrown in, stumbling and falling hard to the ground.

“This time, I hope the King will reward me when he finds out that his whore is back. If you think you can escape, forget it. No one but me can let you out”. Said his captor.

“I guess today is not your lucky day,” another demon said and was followed by a few chuckles.

She stood up. The walls of her dungeon were made of thorns. Only the front door and the back wall were made of rocks with the same thorns on them.

Daphne sighed as she brought her fingers to her face near her right eye, felt her skin swell, and hissed in pain as she touched the sensitive part.

There was no light in the entire dungeon, no windows, nothing. She was grateful now for the ability to see in the dark.

The ground on which she was standing felt soft. The nasty smell she had felt before lingered in her cell—the scent of decay, of blood, of dirt.

She slid to the floor, sitting down. No matter how muddy the ground was, she probably had to save energy for what was to come next.

The place was quietly cold and heavy.

“Hello?” A faint voice came from one side.

“Hello.” As Daphne’s eyes looked again for the direction the sound came from, “What’s your name?” she replied to the voice.

“Why are you here?” the same voice asked again.

“I did something I shouldn’t have done,” Daphne answered.

“What is your name?”

“Daphne and yours?”

"Da.ph.ne,” the voice repeated her name slowly as if it tasted every syllable. It was a bit frightening.

“Why did that demon say you were Rothvaln’s whore?”

“Because that’s how many see me.”

“And are you? Are you and Rothvaln together?” Daphne felt that the female’s voice was unique. More because of the kind of questions she was asking. Somehow, she could sense that her answer would have a special meaning for the stranger speaking from another cell.

“No. I have nothing to do with that traitor. I just work or rather worked for him.” With the answer came a silence. “Will you tell me your name?” For a moment, she thought that the female would not speak anymore.

“Sonara,” replied the demoness.

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