A Friend and a Shadow
Alistair and Daphne appeared in front of her house.
“Is this where you live?” The warlock asked curiously, looking at the small house that looked so inviting in his eyes. Very different from its owner.
Daphne nodded. “Do you want to come in? Can I get you some tea or coffee?” She really didn’t want to delay any longer, considering the time was running out. But knowing that this Alistair Nox had helped her and seemed kind enough, she at least wanted to show a gesture of gratitude.
“No, thank you. I don’t think you have much time. It was a pleasure to meet you, Miss Brooks. I hope you manage to save your brother”. He placed a kiss in her hand. And for a second, she watched as his purple irises darkened.
“Thanks for the help,” Daphne told him in a soft voice, captivated even by the purple eyes. Alistair smiled and disappeared.
She walked into the house. Unable to get used to it yet, she jumped with fright when she saw the shadows moving all over the place.
The same voices she heard at the Master’s Castle returned.
“What a horrible place.”
“I like our Master’s Castle better.”
“I want to kill. I need to kill.”
Daphne didn’t want to believe that she was losing her mind. She looked at these beings move around and talk. Venturing to prove her theory, she spoke to them.
“You can talk?”
A dark swirl began to move in front of her creating with each movement a dense mass forming almost a body, but without a face, only she could see the red eyes.
“You... can you hear us?” said the shadow figure.
“Yes.” Daphne looked at the shadow with suspicion.
“How is it possible? No mortal can perceive us.”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure either. Maybe because I have a pact with the King of Demons?”
“Maybe. I remember the King of Demons very well. No one dared to contradict him, so scathing. Wherever he went, he brought death and suffering with him.”
Daphne could easily believe that Rothvaln was capable of doing all this, although he had never shown himself to be scathing with her. However, she recalled that he never interfered when Maret broke all her bones, torturing her to learn how to survive and endure the pain. Rothvaln never helped her at that time. And why would he do it anyway?
“Do you know where the Desert of Perdition is?” Daphne asked.
“Yes, we do.”
“I don’t know exactly where that demon will be hiding.”
“We’ll find him for you.”
“Okay. I’ll go change, and we’ll leave in a few minutes.”
“Not so fast.”
“What’s the matter?”
“We must wait for the Red Night.”
“But it’s in three days. I can’t wait that long.”
“On the Red Night, the demons are weaker. They have unlimited powers, but once a year, on the Red Night, the Realm weakens them, taking away almost all their might.”
“No one ever mentioned it to me.”
“Someone made it this way a long time ago.”
Daphne frowned. “Okay, so if the demons are weak, we won’t mind going in and out undetected.”
“Three days, we just have to wait.”
It was the second night, the day before the Red Night. Daphne had barely managed to sleep. Not only was she worried about her brother, but it was almost impossible to sleep or take a bath with the shadows moving around the house. Soon she realized that these beings were out of their minds. Their laughter could be heard all over the place, talking non-stop.
I wonder how their Master can live with them all the time?
Without much desire to cook, she prepared some scrambled eggs with slices of not very fresh white bread, completing her delicatessen with a glass of water. When she was halfway through her meal, someone started knocking at the door.
Without hesitation, she got up and went to open it.
“Hi Freckles” Eve, her friend, who had been missing for a few days, was standing outside her door. With a smile on her face and without the slightest idea of what was going on. “If that’s the face you’re going to be welcoming me from now on, you can forget about seeing this ever again.” She said as she pointed to her body and pretended to be offended.
“Come in.” Daphne took her by the arm.
“What happened? Where is James?” Eve quickly realized that something was wrong.
“James isn’t here. He’s been kidnapped.”
Eve opened her eyes wide, their black color betraying an unusual emotion. Her hair was extended to her waist with orange and blond highlights, like the embracing fire annihilating everything in its path in the open field. Eve, her dear friend, was half-demon and half-human. Her mother had abandoned her at birth, leaving her in the village cafeteria wrapped in a blanket. It was Madame Amelie, another half-human and half-demon who raised her until now. Eve looked like she was in her mid-twenties, when in fact, she was at least a century old.
She had been spending the last few months looking for her mother. Wanting to find the answer to who she really was or rather who her father was. She had no idea which of her parents was immortal.
“Who and how did it happen?” she said, becoming defensive. Like a lioness ready to tear apart, whoever is in front of her.
“I can’t give you details now. It’s not safe. Once I get James back, I promise I’ll tell you everything.”
Eve didn’t look happy that she was left out of it all. But she understood Daphne. It was risky to speak out when the King of Demons could appear at any time.
“Someone is coming,” said one of the shadows.
“Don’t let anyone see you,” Daphne warned them.
Eve was puzzled by the fact that her friend was talking to the air. “Who are you talking to?” She frowned as she looked around. The place was empty.
“Good evening, ladies” Rothvaln showed up unexpectedly.
Eve and Daphne turned around.
Daphne adopted her disguise of an indifferent face. “Good evening, my Lord.”
“How many times have I told you that there is no need for formality here?” The King looked at her with a funny face. Three buttons on his white shirt were unbuttoned. His muscles were fixed to the fabric. His male sexuality was to blame for Eve’s pheromones starting to come loose, revealing her arousing scent. Rothvaln stared into her completely black eyes.
A smile of satisfaction spread on the King’s face, and Daphne watched as her friend’s behavior began to change, sticking out her tongue and licking her lips while staring at the object of her sexual urge. It seemed as if she was about to submit to him, to run into his arms. And knowing her well, Eve was not that kind of woman. Something else was going on here.
Daphne cleared her throat. Eve suddenly began to blink as if trying to shake off the feeling she had just tasted.
“I came to tell you that I have another task for you. The day after the Red Night, you must look for Irene Maximovna in the Realm of the Vampires”.
Relieved that her next assignment would be the day after tomorrow, Daphne nodded.
“All right, I hope that tomorrow you don’t do anything that will put you in danger. If something happens, I can’t come to you”.
“Okay,” Daphne didn’t ask the reason for it. She already knew. If Rothvaln had kept the true meaning of the Red Night from her, then she would still be displaying ignorance about the matter.
“Goodbye, ladies.” The King of Demons vanished from the house.
“What was that?” Daphne asked Eve, confused by her behavior.
“I don’t know when I saw him; I felt the need to mate with him.”
“Mating? Like animals?”
“That’s the way many say it. It has nothing to do with the way the Lycans interpret it. For demons, that story of soul mates works totally differently. You didn’t feel anything?”
“How strange. I don’t understand why he had to do that?”
“What are you talking about, Eve?”
“Don’t mind me. Let’s just focus on your brother. I guess the people who kidnapped him want something from you. When should they let James go?”
“In the Red Night,” Eve said. “Tomorrow, I will wait for you here. Do you want me to sleep with you tonight?”
“I’d rather be alone tonight. Tomorrow I will return with James if everything goes well. Thank you, Eve.”
“All right, tomorrow, I’ll come by in the afternoon and stay here and wait for you.” Eve gave her friend a big hug.
Daphne nodded, trying to smile but in vain.
That night she went to bed hoping that she would rescue the mysterious prisoner the next day and that her brother would return to her in the night.