In front of his eyes, one of the mythical beasts was flapping its wings vigorously, rising even higher into the infinite sky. Lorcan looked down. The waters of the lake surrounded by splendid and gigantic trees graced the Kingdom’s view at night. Standing, watching from the heights, the demon was pondering.
His indecisiveness was weighing him down. If someone had told him thousands of years ago that he would fall under the spell of a mortal, that he would risk everything for one, he was convinced that without hesitation, that someone would not be walking in any of the Seven Realms today.
Daphne had come to him like thunder, distinctive, complete, like a fierce and unavoidable one in the late afternoon. From the moment Lorcan saw her, when she stepped into that damned cave to rescue him, he knew she was mortal. How could she possibly be able to save him? A weak and inept mortal like him believed that all of her kind were.
And when her voice reached him in a tone of alarm and caution, Lorcan felt gratitude towards her. Though he did not show it, he felt it. And that was something totally new to him.
That gratitude disappeared when Maret opened her mouth. Saying that she was Rothvaln’s whore. He couldn’t help himself. Hate blinded him, hate towards her. Just seeing her reminded him of the past. When that damned woman, who was a witch, appeared in Rothvaln’s life, and he was able to save the one he considered as a friend at that time by exterminating that tribe of mortals. And that was the origin of all this chaos.
But Daphne had proved to be different. To save her brother, she suffered immensely because she kept her mouth shut, obeying him. And that may have been the beginning of a change of heart.
Lorcan saw a piece of him in her.
They both shared that feeling of loyalty. She to her brother. And he to Sorana, who even though she betrayed him, he knew that he would never be able to hurt her. But Sorana had to learn a lesson.
With the face of Daphne in his memory again, Lorcan thought of that exact moment when he kissed her. It was true what Bossurk, his faithful advisor, always said. Once he tasted his demoness, he would no longer seek another to satiate his lust. And he foolishly thought that they were just nonsense.
And now, he could only think of kissing her again. To tear off those damn clothes and explore them with his hands and his mouth. But he believed that it couldn’t be. There was no future for the two of them. But what if there was? And he was making the worst decision in letting her go? Letting her go so that someone else could make her his? Just the thought of another fucker touching her made his blood boil. His gray eyes turned a murderous red.
“My Lord,” Teias appeared at his side. And when he saw Lorcan’s eyes, he wondered. His King would have to be extremely angry, ready to cut off heads.
“What is it?” Lorcan maintained his anger.
“Rothvaln ordered the Master of Shadows to attack the Mortal Kingdom.”
“He is desperate,” Lorcan said, showing no alarm.
“Because of her,” Teias said. It was not a question but rather an affirmation.
“Yes. As Daphne said, he will not stop until he has her with him. That is why he wants to attack the Realm of Mortals.”
“Sir, if that happens. There will be a conflict of interest. The Six Realms have an agreement that mortals should never know of the existence of all of us.”
“You think I don’t know? I was there, remember?”
“What are you going to do?”
“The Master of the Shadows is the one who leads them, the one who possesses the power of its own Kingdom. Breaking a pact with a demon can bring death and destruction. And I gave her my word that I would take care of her and her family”.
“How will you do it then?”
“The shadows were born under my domain. Perhaps I can still command them. I must at least try. I will confront the Shadow Master and try to gain control of the shadows.”
“If you will, you must do so now. The Master of Shadows is in the Realm of Mortals. In the same place where Ragothara used to live”.
“You know what you must do,” Lorcan said to him. Teias knew very well what he meant. If Lorcan was not there, he would be the one who would take care of the others and make drastic decisions in case something came up.
Lorcan disappeared in a flash.
It was just as dark in the Land of the Mortals. There was no one walking around. Everyone must have been asleep. A few lights remained on in some of the houses, but the absolute silence indicated no conscious soul at this hour.
Lorcan stopped in the middle of a street, the main street of the small town in The Crossbreed Land. There was no sign of the shadows.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He exhaled his power with all his might. His red eyes, his exterminating gaze, tried to make those shadows feel the power of their former ruler. Waves of his absolute authority came out of him, calling out to the pesky creatures.
And like the murmur of the wind, shadows appeared. And with them, their Master, the Queen of the Lycans.
Nala appeared in front of him. Her face betrayed the panic she felt, not towards the demon but towards what she was about to do.
“I heard what Rothvaln told you to do.”
“I don’t know how to get out of this. If I refuse, I don’t know what could happen to my family or me.”
“I understand. You realize that if you do, the Seven Kingdoms will be in conflict. None of the other realms want mortals to know we exist.”
“You think I don’t know that? Do you think I want to end the lives of the people who live here?”
“I have an idea, but I’m not sure if it will work or not.”
Nala’s face lit up at the hopeful plan. “Tell me.” She said urgently.
“Command your shadows to destroy the mortals.”
“And when they begin, I will command them to stop, using my authority over them.”
“They only obey me.”
“Remember that they were created in my Kingdom. I was their Master for a long time.”
Lorcan could see the reluctance in her eyes. Of course, she would be like that. What he had just stated was, after all, only a theory.
He said, “Listen. I can understand that you are scared. I gave you my word that I would help you. This is my gratitude for helping Daphne get me out of that place. Once you give the order to your shadows to destroy, you’ll be fulfilling Rothvaln’s pact. I will stop you. And if everything goes as we expect it to, Rothvaln will no longer demand anything from you.”
Nala took a long breath.
“Are you ready?” Lorcan asked her.
“I am not. But there’s no other way.”
Nala looked up. And with her mind, she called out to her shadows. A dark cloud, resembling a mass of smoke, gathered above their heads. Nala glanced at Lorcan again, and he nodded, reasserting, and projecting confidence in his plan.
“Destroy the Mortal Kingdom.” Nala’s voice was strong, full of destructive, unrelenting power. It was the voice of the Master of Shadows commanding destruction.
The shadows began to laugh at each other and let out cries of contentment. Screams and laughter that could only be heard by their Master and the demon.
Those dark and fearful creatures began to move frantically, seeking out victims to satisfy their hunger to kill.
Cries began to be heard, the prayers of the innocents.
Lorcan closed his eyes, summoning up all his power in one word.
“Stop” The word came out of it in a low tone but undeniably potent.
Nala watched as her shadows seemed to doubt what to do, and in the next second, they continued to attack.
“Lorcan, it’s not working!” Nala shouted at him.
The Demon King’s red eyes were fueled by violence and impetus.
He raised a hand in the air, using his power to draw in the forces. He even lured some of the creatures like black smoke, which moved vertically towards him. Two red holes appeared in the shadows. And looking directly at them, a horrible, high-pitched scream came from within. Then Nala noticed long, gigantic horns protruding from Lorcan, and his skin seemed to be darkening.
“I said, stop!” Nala shuddered at the incredible power of his voice.
That command of destruction, fortunately, lasted a short time. The shadows stopped at once. Retracting themselves from wherever they had threatened innocents.
From the screams of the victims, only cries and whimpers remained.
Only Nala could hope that no victim would be fatal. And yet, relief came to her. The demon’s plan worked.
The lights in the houses began to come on, fearful eyes peered out of the windows. Others opened their doors in fear. And all they could see at that moment was just an empty street.