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

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Chapter 44: The Magic of Domination

Julius spoke with Stonethorn, saying, “I don’t have the power to kill a god... yet. But most of your kind already hide from me like scared rats. Even the ordinary ones are too afraid to leave their hiding places and fight me. But enough talk, have at you! Prepare to taste my steel!”

And so, a duel between Julius against Stonethorn begins as his men stayed outside of the room. Balvu heeded the words of his leader and made sure nobody went towards the throne room. It was his duty to look after the knights of Midland and make sure they are skilled enough to go through such obstacles. Stonethorn dashed towards Julius and held up his greatsword to sever his head from his shoulders. Julius ran towards the demon king to dominate him and make him part of his army shortly.

On his quest to end the demon race, a king of the demonic legion would prove quite useful as an ally. Julius and Stonethorn began swinging their swords at each other and parried every strong attack. Both swordsmen were very powerful compared to other people of their race as they lived with their kind. Stonethorn fought much harder and more durable than Julius; the knight leader fought much faster and quicker. Both of them had their reasons for ending each other’s lives, but the circle was complete, and the tide formed.

Stonethorn wanted to make sure his opponent was cut to pieces as he dodged every oncoming blow. He would rather die than watch the hands of a human dominate his soul. Julius was a mighty mortal, so he already had the authority to slice them open during the night. He ran towards the demon king and began slicing his weaker parts to damage further the way he moves. The demon was sure he would survive the night and felt like he would be the one who would hold the head of his one real enemy.

It has been way too long ever since he encountered a human of such strength that Julius had. It felt like decades ever since he had a worthy opponent to strike down and use his enemy’s head as a trophy. The head of his foe would also serve as a warning to those who would try to kill him in front of his throne. He had an entire room built only for himself, and no other person would ever dare try to take it away from him. Stonethorn always carried a greatsword made of metal and demon bones that would easily shatter a steel sword to pieces.

Julius and the demon king did not blink their eyes for a solid second as they faced each other in combat. Duels, onslaughts, and battles kept Julius going and not stopping to search for more land to discover. There was plenty of area in the world to be found by some lucky traveler or adventurer. It was during that moment when Julius raised his greatsword and sliced him across the chest so hard that lots of blood splattered. So much of the demon’s blood began staining the solid floor and had plenty of gore falling from his body and landed on the walls.

Julius and Stonethorn swung their blades and clashed with each other as if the walls themselves cracked. Some knights were getting extremely worried about Julius and what he has become. He held up his giant blade and got lots of gore stained on his sword and let it end on his shoulder. He then uses his sword and stabs the demon king in his gullet as he struggled to get back up. Stonethorn gasps for breath as he could feel his blood and gore, leaving their bodies and could not stop the bleeding.

“You cannot kill me. I have told you before that many failed to remove my head from my body. I shall not be your prisoner during this war!” Stonethorn said.

“What you have done and what you’re about to do shall define you for the rest of your life,” Julius said.

“You think you can dominate me? Your dark magic does not frighten me! I’ll let you know this... the deeper you go into the shadows, the more you’ll lose your humanity. If you succumb to power, you will lose everyone you’ve ever loved. You will be cursed to walk the earth for all eternity. You will lose even the ones who have trusted you to the bitter end.”

Then Julius and Stonethorn use their swords against each other one last time, and the ground shakes. The time of the sword is still upon them, as the knights are more anxious than ever. Balvu tells the others to stay right where they are so he can figure out what is going on in the throne room. He knew Julius told everyone, including him, not to enter the room while he was dealing with the demon king. But the dark elf had no choice but to be sure that the leader of the knights is still alive and breathing.

Meanwhile, Julius’s eyes became a different color, and his stability and strength increased. Then, his left hand was on fire, but it was no ordinary fire to light up in a campfire. The flames were red, and they spread all over his arm as he is about to do something that will change the mind and will of the demon king. He placed his left hand on Stonethorn’s head and made the creature bow to him as he stood in front of him. Julius had the power and will to dominate and shame any demon who stands in his way.

“You serve me now!” Julius shouted. And as he said this, Balvu opened the door and noticed that the shadows of the throne room got even more significant.

He could also hear the sounds of night creatures crying out in pain and wailing in fear as if they were ripping their faces off. From a long distance, Balvu could see Julius dominating the demon king and making his soul change from being a ruler to a servant. That was not the order that Harald gave to Julius and his knights as he kept watching the land from the rampart of his castle. Balvu knew the punishment for disobeying the earl is death, but he had other plans going on at the palace. Julius was well known for his skills, durability, and might; Harald might give him some mercy instead of instant death.

But Balvu was afraid of what might happen to his earl if Julius dominated him next, and he could not open his mouth to speak. What he witnessed was too intense to let out to other people who wanted to know what was happening. Julius kept his hand on Stonethorn’s cheek and made his face seem like it was on fire. A few seconds later, the demon king was finally vulnerable against the knight leader.

“You... are mine,” Julius said. He released his hand from Stonethorn’s face and saw him look all over the place to see if he was in reality.

He was no longer a king of night creatures, and he was no longer a demon who would fight for someone whose face is unknown to all. Stonethorn’s mind and soul were now completely different; he now needed to swear loyalty to the one who will rule the earth. Then, he looks up to Julius and sees him for what he is, a leader who will one day be a conqueror of all the lands of the earth. But he will need an army under his dominion and a great kingdom to rule, and he would have to sacrifice so much to get there.

“Julius of Romania. Slayer of demons. Descendant of King Lancelot. The future ruler of the earth. I am now your servant. My life is yours,” Stonethorn said. Balvu could not turn away from everything that was happening before him; Julius was no longer the man he once knew.

Then, Julius spoke with Stonethorn, saying, “As a ruler of demons, you’ll be my bodyguard, and you’ll fight for me in future battles. You will lead your army under my name and be summoned when I call for you. In the greater battle, you and countless others will be at my side to fight our remaining enemies and make them all fear my power. Don’t fail me!”

And so, Balvu turns around and leaves Julius where he is at, and he calls all the knights to follow him back to Loftain. They wondered why their leader would not come out of the throne room, but Balvu would not tell them why.

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