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

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Chapter 94: A Reality in Darkness

Julius saw that Erica had much different clothing than she is used to; she no longer wore a royal dress because she decided her life as an earl’s wife was over. Even if she sees her husband again, she becomes frightened about the answer that Julius might give her. The demon hunter stood there like a statue and remained calm while Erica walked to him. She wanted to see with her own eyes if she saw a spirit or an actual person who has the same might and strength that Julius has. Of course, it would seem like neither Julius nor Lenora had any reason or any honor to be standing before Harald’s wife.

“Julius, is that you?” Erica asked.

“I am here, Erica. I’m here to tell you some things before I leave again simply,” he answered. But while he is standing there, Erica rushes to the demon hunter and wraps her arms around him.

She hugged Julius because she felt as if it had been so long ever since she saw any other family members. She also hugged him because she loved him and her husband during these dark and disturbing times. Erica does not notice the vampire standing beside Julius as the day continues, and the time grows shorter. Lenora stood there and understood that there was still love in the world, and the demon hunter had some redemption left in his heart. Then, Erica releases Julius from her grasp and takes one step back as she was ready to hear whatever Julius needed to say.

“Julius, what do you need to tell me? Does it seem as if you’ve seen many evil spirits lurking around? What has happened... and who is that lady with you?” She asked.

“I have far too many things to tell you, and I cannot go an inch further in wasting time. If I don’t tell you now, I never will get the time to do it. This lady with me... she’s a friend,” Julius answered.

“It seems like we are both well-traveled. But you look like you’ve seen better days. Why don’t you come in? My room has plenty of space for the two of you,” Erica said. She steps aside and allows Julius and Lenora into the hotel as many people turn around and look at the two newcomers.

The vampire and the demon hunter differed from what the village is used to; it was scarce for them to see such powerful mortals in the town of Jorvik. Some men sat down and were suspicious, while the women were too nervous about what Julius and Lenora carried with them. Erica and Brant led them up the stairs and walked to the end of the hallway, for that was where their room was at. Mostly, the hallways were silent, and most people who rented the rooms in the hotel wanted some peace. What they did not know is the fact that they are acquainted with two people who may be a threat to their tiny village.

Then, Erica pushes the door open and allows Julius and Lenora to enter her room before even more suspicion grows on her. It would not be a simple idea to introduce them to the people and have them decide if it is worth it for them to stay in Jorvik. She holds the door until Lenora steps inside the room, and everything is settled as the morning ends. Julius and Lenora were kept safe from eyes that lingered to bring them in and question their presence in their village. The short town had its own rules and laws for everyone, even newcomers, to follow as they live there, yet it would take a few people some time to get used to those laws.

Of course, if everyone made up their laws, there would be anarchy; massive outrage and fear would spread when they had other problems to deal with. Erica walked in front of Julius and stood behind a window as she was waiting for the demon hunter to speak his mind and made it quick.

“Well, Julius. What is it you want to tell me? Knowing you, I know that you don’t like it when other people spy on you when you talk to me,” she said.

“I’m here to tell you everything that has happened. I cannot waste breath on those who refuse to understand my words. But I know what you must know during dark times like these,” Julius said.

“I am here, Julius. If what you’re going to say is just mere secrets, I promise I will keep it all inside my mind. If it’s essential and I should know of it all, I will remember everything and never forget it,” Erica said.

“Of course. I’ll do my best to make sure you’re not lost.”

He stood there and could feel himself trembling as he was getting ready to tell Erica everything and hold nothing back. Lenora turned to the window and felt as if the wind she commanded taken full effect. She could also feel a bit cold, as if nothing was expected to take effect while she stood beside Julius. The demon hunter was getting very fearful of what will happen to himself if he tells her what happened to her husband.

Then Julius spoke with Erica, saying, “Erica, your husband is a king now. He defeated the demon king who took the life of King Lancelot and sat on the throne of Midland. It may seem as if Loftain fell that night, but there was something inside his mind that forced the city to be raised back up in its former glory. But he betrayed me. He took a sample of my strength and made it his own. But he has never returned from that castle to see you.”

Julius stood there and looked down at himself after telling Harald’s wife the whole truth, and he felt deeply saddened while telling her this. The harsh reality was enough to make him think disturbed; it unexpectedly escaped his mind. Lenora and Erica could see that he was anxious about how things turned out, and it left him no choice but to take action against Midland. His army would count in the hundreds because of the power he gave to Stonethorn and the magic he received from Helvegen.

“My husband... my family. Was it all worth it? Is this all I am to him?” Erica asked.

“He chose this. He started this. I’ll end it,” Julius answered.

“What do you mean? Any ordinary man would’ve been dead if a certain person took a sample of another person’s power. What kind of blood flows inside you? Tell me. I need to know!” She said. She spoke in a manner that made him seem like he was getting ready to be pinned to a wall.

She spoke to the demon hunter in a severe tone that would make anyone say something without really thinking.

Then Julius answered and said to her, “I... I have darkness inside of me. There is no redemption from such power. There is no way for anyone to be saved from such torment. It is a burden they shall carry forever. Harald has turned his back on you and his whole lineage. And I have to put an end to all of it.”

“Impossible. If that’s true, I cannot stay here. I can’t settle here when my husband is in great peril,” Erica said.

“If you come with me, you will die. You will just stand in the way. You will only lead you and me into greater darkness. Stay here with your son,” he said.

“Julius, let me be with you. I’m still of royalty, even if it was stripped from me. Like you, I will not stand and watch more of my people suffer,” she said.

“They are not your people anymore. Harald used my power and dominated all of their minds. You were not there when it happened, and that makes you lucky above anything. You would be treated like a slave and bow your head to him if you stayed there and waited for him to dominate you and replace your mind. I’m going back to Midland. I have to finish it.”

“No! I’m still a part of your family, am I not? You’ve always been loyal to me and would do anything in my name. If either I or Harald commanded it, you would instantly do it without saying a word. And yet, my heart throbs to know one thing. Where is Lucy? What happened to Lagertha?”

Julius’s eyes began being watery, and it seemed like he was about to break down into tears as he tried to tell Erica about his wife. Brant stood there and demanded to hear what happened to Lagertha since he knew her as his best friend.

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