The Demon Wolf (Book 1 of The Devil and the Huntsman)

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Chapter 25: A Secretive Debt

“Hey, Lagertha. Who is this?” Julius asked.

“Father, this is Brant,” she answered. Julius stood there and looked at Brant for a long while as Lagertha was trying to get a clue on what is happening.

“Wait. I know you. You’re Harald’s son,” Julius said. Brant stayed silent as he realized his father’s general was also his uncle, and he took a short step back from Julius.

“Oh, yes. Nice to meet you,” Brant said.

“Oh, come now. I don’t bite. I trust you and I could get along nicely. Your father used to talk to me about you all the time,” Julius said.

“Yes, that’s quite nice. It’s honestly been so long ever since I’ve last seen you.”

“You were just an infant the last time you’ve seen me. I’m sure you know by now that there are far too many demons out there to hunt and leave alive. Occasionally, your father requests that I continue my job as a knight leader and a demon hunter. I’m honestly quite surprised you don’t even get to see me, especially when I’m at the palace. You know, you can always start a conversation with me, and I will not hesitate to start it.”

“It’s honestly really great to see you in person. Maybe when my father allows it, I can know what you usually do other than just hunt demons.”

“Well Brant, you’ll know that I’m full of surprises. Do you drink tea? Ale? If so, once I’m back from the hunt, maybe that might be an excellent time for us to talk about anything. And if the conversations get along extremely well, maybe I might allow your father to visit my home. It’s just about ten miles outside the city.”

Brant went from being afraid of such a powerful man as Julius of Romania to being astonished by the way he spoke to him. He was usually not used to talking with a large group of people all at once, and he was never one to start something that would last about an hour. Sometimes that hour could be worth it because Julius was always the person to meet for hunting night creatures. He would go in such a poetic manner about many things concerning demons and servants of the night. Then Julius looked at the large windows and saw that the night was getting even darker.

“Well, it was nice seeing you after all these years. Tell your father I said hello. I must take my wife and daughter back home. Anyway, good night,” Julius said.

“Good night,” Brant said. Then, he walks back upstairs to go back to his room and get some sleep after having such a long night.

Julius sees that Harald and Erica were going back to their room to receive lots of rest and start a new day.

“Alright, let’s head back,” Julius said. Then, he leads the way out of the great hall as Lucy and Lagertha are following him from behind.

Lagertha watched as the candles were still on and everything was still intact and nothing terrible seemed to pass. Then, they all make it outside as the night was already upon them and the moon was already out. Everyone in Loftain was already home or was getting home to make sure that it was all worth it when they slept. Then, Julius spoke to nobody as he was leading his family back to his house, and he wanted to escape the night and not put up with fighting the demons. It was too good of a night to be spent on killing night creatures and spurring the ground with their own flesh and blood.

Then, the guards noticed that Julius was with his wife and daughter on this special occasion and had no other choice but to open the city gates. The gates were there to keep all strangers and newcomers away from the city during the night. Then Julius could pass through the city gates as Lucy and Lagertha were catching up to him. It felt a little satisfying being able to walk on the grass and not on hard concrete and waiting for something amusing to happen. Then Julius followed the moon to get back home and not get himself lost by some obstacle on the trail.

Then, Lucy walks closer towards Julius to speak with him as the night is getting even darker than usual. It was only two hours before midnight and nothing abysmal was occurring before their sight as they continued walking on the road. It was a normal road for everyone to be walking on, but not as normal to do it before the middle of the night. The day was already almost over, and every single person who lived in the country of Midland was already asleep. Lucy had only a few questions to ask her husband regarding how well the feast went and what else lies in store for them.

“Julius. I want to talk to you about something,” Lucy said.

“Sure. What’s on your mind?” Julius asked.

“It’s not really on what’s on my mind, but there are quite several things that I would love to know,” she said.

“Very well. What do you want to know?”

“I want to know how much you know about our family relatives. I know there may have been a day where you told me half of only what you know. But there comes a certain time where I want to know more and understand how it all comes in a full circle. I already know about Harald with his wife and son. But there are days where I think you haven’t told me enough about it.”

After she said this, Julius was looking down at himself and was feeling a bit remorseful after not telling her so much about anything. What he has done so far for his wife only brought so much confusion to where she would have to learn these things by force. Every time she asked him these kinds of questions made him shiver for a few seconds because of how much horror can be inflicted upon him. If he told her a couple of days ago, she would have come to her senses and never bother him about the same topics.

Then, Julius answered her, saying, “I know these things because they have shared it with me ever since I was a child. They probably told me something about not asking them about such things. There must’ve been a feud between my grandfather and those who desired the throne for themselves. It comes full circle because of how much he must’ve endured by keeping it all a secret from his friends and his wife. They say that it was by some luck or miracle that told the first king of Midland that he and his descendants must rule the kingdom for all eternity.

“It’s as if my brother is forcing me not to tell anyone about the secrets of the kingdom. Everyone already knows that all the kingdoms of the world are being controlled by the kings of the demons. I can only tell you this, our family’s feud is kept a secret because of some debt that Lancelot must’ve owed to someone else of a higher power. That alone must’ve been the reason my brother and I were separated, and it is by law that the eldest son of a king must take his father’s place as ruler. That is why I am constantly getting out of my house and going back to the city, hunting demons, and learning all of their secrets. Well, if that doesn’t answer your question, I don’t know what will.”

Then, Lucy stared at Julius for a long moment as they continued to walk home and get some rest. They definitely needed lots of sleep if they wanted to start a new day; they could not forget all the great things that occurred this night. It was a night for everyone in Loftain to know, and it was a time for those to remember what they have done and tell stories of it in mead halls. The people of Loftain would always remember and never forget these kinds of days and would tell others about it. It was at this moment when they finally reached their home and Julius opened the door for everyone to go inside.

Then, Lagertha goes to her room and gets some sleep as Lucy and Julius make sure that all the candles are not lighting. Julius waits for his wife to close her eyes and get some sleep, but he could not rest so easily. Unlike his wife and daughter, he was having a bit of trouble trying to rest himself because of all the visions that occur in the night. The night’s shadows were not enough to make Julius feel uneasy and terrified as he remained with his wife in bed.

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