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

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Chapter 80: Pressure in the Night

“Whatever you do, stay behind me. Do not go ahead of me nor leave my side,” Julius said. He had two of his hands placed on the handle of his greatsword and stayed fearless against the night.

Lucy and Lagertha had no weapons to defend themselves because they had no idea how to swing a sword or even use it. Julius would not allow himself to abandon his family as they could hear the demons charge at them with everything they got. The demon hunter was always protective over his wife and daughter, and he would stop for anything that they had to say. But now, things were much different because it had to be some game the new king was throwing at Julius. The knight had everything he needed to fight the night creatures and journey forth to the mountains to keep his family safe.

A large group of demons started rallying up from the shadows and had their swords and spears pointed at Julius and his family. And so, an onslaught between Julius against the night creatures began as the full moon shines in the night sky. Lagertha stayed behind her mother and could see her father getting ready to paint the forest with demon-blood. She could tell it was as the elder wolf and Brynjar predicted that her father would go down a path he cannot possibly return from. Even she might endure such a terrible fate in her life if she stays attached to the darkness.

Two creatures run to the demon hunter to cut him down, but as many times before, they were too slow to give Julius a scar. Julius was always fast with his blade, and he never missed his match against any opponent. Then, Julius swings his greatsword and cleaves two demons open simultaneously; Lucy and Lagertha stand and watch as half of the demons’ body parts start flying up in the air. The demon hunter moves forward as the two monsters lay dead on the floor, with half of their bodies scattered. Then, a few more night creatures started emerging from the shadows and believed that they could take down their mighty foe.

Since it was nighttime, Julius expected himself to stay up all night until every single demon was sliced open. Using his sword against them was the only key to survival and the only method to keep him alive. The demon hunter swung his greatsword again and parried the blows the night creatures throw at him. Their blood always stained his double-edged blade and never resisted from tasting the blood of its enemies. Julius sliced off their arms and legs and decapitated only half of the demonic group sent to kill him.

Lucy and Lagertha try desperately to not step on the blood of the demons that covered the gore-stained floor. The trail was still visible to Julius; he made sure never to step away from the long road, and he turned around to make sure he did not lose his wife and daughter. Then, a few more night creatures started coming towards him, and he was always up for the challenge. For fighting demons, he never flinched nor retreated from the onslaughts he was forced to endure. This time, he walked towards the incoming monsters and kept his distance as the moon never disappeared from the sky.

He stood there and parried the powerful blows that a few of them wrought down upon him, but his greatsword never cracked from the way he defended himself. His blade was made from the most refined metal and the most robust steel from the northern lands, which allowed him to penetrate the armor from most night creatures. Eventually, Julius killed every demon until they all basked in their blood as the night continued. And so, the first onslaught of the night ended because Julius already knew that there would be more coming and ready to slice him open. The demon hunter was breathing very heavily because of how many demons came and how many of them were about to lay their hands on his family.

“There will be even more of them coming. I can feel it just by sniffing the air. Let’s not waste any time,” Julius said. Before he could put his greatsword back into his scabbard, Lucy grabs a handkerchief and starts rubbing Julius’s left shoulder.

The huntsman turned himself around and watched his wife swipe away some blood from his armor. Julius calmed down as he knew his wife would always take care of him if he ever needed it. Then, he places his hand on her shoulder to let her keep doing it before they could move any further. Lucy could never stand the sight of blood, and she could not bear to watch her husband overcome such impossible obstacles. Lagertha continued to feel a powerful presence coming towards her and revolve around her mind; she could feel its intense nature calling her name and forcing her to leave, but she could not do such a thing.

“Hey... your pressure. Are you feeling much better than before? If I have to carry you to the next town, I will not hesitate to do it,” Julius said.

“I... can still try to make it happen. Lagertha and I have all the belongings we need. A chance to start all over,” Lucy said.

“We’ll have all the time we need. As far as I know, I’m already expecting some company from people who may know me as the man who had slain a million demons. This means they might give us a new home and a new beginning for us all,” he said. Even in the hands of defeat, Julius could still grasp the idea of starting a new beginning at a new home that is not part of Midland.

He suspected that the king of Midland could look only for him, but Erica and Brant were no longer anywhere near King Harald. And so, Julius and his family continued walking on the long road and continued hearing even more noises. It was never a good idea for him to put his sword away in the night because of how many unexpected things will come in his direction. Suddenly, Lagertha turns her head and notices Rollo, the elder wolf, standing upon a large stone and looking at the night sky. He was only in his wolf-form and could turn back into a human because of his powerful magic.

A few seconds later, Rollo turns his head and looks at Julius’s daughter as the moon is growing more giant above him. The time of destiny is coming upon Lagertha, but she never knows the day when that will happen to her. She always assumed that Rollo was just telling her some ghost stories made to terrify her and make her believe his myths. Then, a loud roaring noise was completed within the trees, and it caused the ground to erupt.

“Lagertha... your fate approaches,” Rollo said. She heard him say that as clear as a ringing bell in a cathedral, but she could not walk to him because of her father.

Suddenly, a large red flame stood behind Julius, between Lucy, and in front of Lagertha; the flame roared so loudly that they all covered their eyes and ears not to make the fire remove their sight. Then, a loud sound of thunder and swords clinging began being the only thing they would all hear before walking any further. This sound was what giant demons and powerful creatures made if they stood in front of many humans. A dozen seconds later, the fire stopped spewing everywhere, yet the red flame had many fiery marks, and stains appeared all over the floor. Julius and Lagertha stopped covering their eyes and turned to face each other, but Lucy was no longer standing between them.

Julius’s eyes started opening, and Lagertha’s face began turning red from the complete terror she was staring at.

“Lucy...” Julius whispered.

“Mother!” Lagertha shouted. She looked everywhere to wonder where her mother disappeared to, which corrupted her mind to think about how terrible things may get to.

Julius also tries to find her, but he keeps walking forward and tilts his head to find out where his wife is taken to.

“Lucy! LUCY!!” Julius shouted.

“Mother! Mother, where are you?!” Lagertha shouted. Her father stopped moving, and she looked forward and noticed her father was gazing at the shadows.

He had a look of shame and horror as he stared at the noise of the demonic presence coming straight from the shadows. It was not any ordinary demon that would make such a terrible noise because they sounded more generic. This noise was from a mightier opponent and a creature far more robust than the demon hunter will ever be.

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