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

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Chapter 79: Never Know What’s Coming

“We’re leaving, Lagertha. This place... isn’t ours anymore. I just want you to know that,” Julius said. Lagertha nods her head and moves out of the way for her father to lead the way back to their house.

She remained silent and said nothing to her father until the night came for them, and she started seeing a dark vision of what would happen. An idea that told her that her entire life would change on this night as she walks with her mother and father. Lagertha could sense the intense danger she will be forced to face as her family takes the journey to another place. Her home meant nothing to her now; eventually, the knights will hunt her down and take her in along with her mother. But Julius refused to find himself in the chains that King Harald has set for him if he ever returns to the castle.

Then, Lagertha joins Julius and Lucy as they walk down the long road, and she remains silent. The demon hunter could hear his family’s footsteps; he hoped that they would survive the journey along with him. Julius kept his hope next to Mephiles as he remained attached to the soul of the mighty knight. Eventually, they make it to their house, and Julius waits outside as they find their belongings and finish getting packed. Julius never had a bag or a personal case to take with him because all he needed was his greatsword, his armor and cloak, and a large bag of coins.

“Are you sure you know what you’re doing, Julius? You know, the knights will look for you. Even if you’re a hero in the people’s eyes, you’re still a wanted man,” Mephiles said.

“My soul burns, Mephiles. Even if I go somewhere safe, they will send every man in Midland to hunt me down. They will not stop until I have returned to them myself,” Julius said.

“You still have the fire in you, I can tell by how much you push yourself into these battles. But now, you drag your wife and child into this madness. You’ll lose them, Julius. They cannot survive this nightmare you’re forcing them to walk into. You’ll only be by yourself, and nobody will congratulate you. Your daughter will still stay away from you, and your wife will probably not survive this night.”

“Enough! You know nothing, Mephiles! This has more to do with me, not you! This is for the survival of humans, and I will not stop until your kind is eradicated! If my family must die, so be it! Only you and I will remain if it has to be this way.”

“By the gods. I’ve never seen this fire in you before. Is this you talking, or is it your massive blade? Is this the man who wishes to save his people, or is this an imposter? You now speak like a conqueror, not a noble knight. Must I release myself out of you, or will you need more of my help on your perilous quest?”

“YOU WILL STAY SILENT! You will never leave your master’s side, devil! I will not give my family up to a man who has already lost any chance of returning to the light! He has dishonored his kind. His family. His wife!”

Julius and Mephiles had this massive argument with each other, and both of them questioned their reasons for being with each other. They already went through this topic before, but it seems as if they have abandoned the loyalty they swore to each other.

“I’ll give you this one warning, Julius. Once you go into the forest, there will be no turning back. There will only be death. They... are no longer your people to save,” Mephiles said. Julius looked at himself with lots of guilt in his eyes, and he regretted ever having the dark creature roam inside his soul.

He may have had his reasons for despising Mephiles, but Julius needed him so they could finish what they started. A few minutes later, Lucy and Lagertha came out with everything they needed for the long road ahead. The road is dark and full of dust and shadows; it could take them almost an eternity to stay on the trail and stay focused. It could last a lifetime for Julius to realize why choosing to become so powerful can lead to the fates of those who loved him. It was at that moment when his wife and daughter stood behind him and waited for him to walk in the night.

They were ready for these sleepless nights to be over, but Julius knew he would never find peace. He knew that he would risk his life so that his wife and daughter will be protected from the ones who serve the night. It now seemed clear to him that King Harald used his power to make the people help him, even though his power comes from a mighty demon. Julius led the way to the mountains, where he believed his family would be safe. He thought they would be defended from both the night creatures and the knights of Midland.

His might was intense, and his will is strong as his nordic greatsword remains by his side. On this night, he would have to do more than protect himself and his family from whatever stands in their way. The night came sooner than expected because of how much Julius has gotten used to hunting demons and saving human lives. That was the only thing the demon hunter ever cared about in his life; he had both the strength and courage to fight back against any dark force that may seem keen on destroying him. Lucy and Lagertha could hear the night voices and a few chanting sounds as they entered the dark forest.

Only King Harald knew what Julius was up to, but Balvu and his men were confused about where the huntsman would lead his family. Only the new king was lucky enough to find out what Julius is doing and what he is about to do with his family. As they walked on the trail, Julius could hear what Lagertha thought when she walked with him. He assumed that she was trying to find some forgiveness in her heart for what she did after hearing his intentions. He felt like he was blaming himself for letting his true nature be known to every person in Midland.

“We’ll be out of these woods in about six miles from now. And if you need to stop for anything, fine by me,” Julius said. A few seconds later, Lagertha walked closer to her father and thought she had more things to say to him.

She could not wait for herself to speak until they all made it out of the forest, and she was afraid of her father.

“How can I help you, Lagertha?” Julius asked. For a split second, she was frightened of what she might say, yet she could not resist herself from speaking her mind.

“I... don’t know if you’ll make it. I’m still not sure that my mother will make it out of this place,” Lagertha said.

“Don’t lose hope, Lagertha. I’ll be alright. I just need a day’s rest,” Lucy said.

“As long as you’re with me, I will protect you and your mother from everything. I will not hesitate to fight back against anyone standing in our way,” Julius said.

“But what if that person is not a demon? What if he is just a normal human being?” Lagertha asked.

Then Julius answered her and said, “That’s the point. You’ll never know who is coming and who isn’t. You’ll never expect the day that comes when your enemies will hunt you down like a predator. And when that day comes when they are prepared to fight back, you must defend yourself to the last breath. Lagertha, the way to Hell is paved with blood and darkness. When you live by yourself, you mustn’t go the path of hatred and contempt.”

Hatred and contempt are only for the demons and only for those whose souls are tempered with eternal darkness. The day will surely come when Lagertha will have to pick a side for herself and be sure never to trust anyone. A few seconds later, Julius’s wife kept up with her husband and daughter, and she heard voices. Somehow, she listened to the sounds of demons shrieking and sharpening their blades as she stayed behind the demon hunter.

“Julius, do you hear that?” Lucy asked. He stopped moving and began looking around to see where the demonic sounds are coming from.

Then Julius pulls out his greatsword and holds onto it as he sends a large presence coming towards him. Another onslaught was about to endure as the mighty knight stayed firm to defend his family from all the demons.

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