Soaring above the warriors, I survey the land, searching for any sign of life, whether it be a rustle of leaves or scents being carried by the wind. Through the brush, I spot a few groups attempting to disperse; they all wear expressions of sheer terror as they hear the sound of the Kings army advancing on them.
Cowards, Raven growls.
I spy the remaining traitors attempting to hide within the tree line, the dumb fucks don’t realise the tree leaves haven’t provided them much cover, so I can still very clearly see them. It looks as though they’re plotting to attempt a surprise attack. Though, their little ‘surprise’, isn’t going to be much of a shock!
I mind link Zeke and the warriors a brief update, directing two groups who have the quickest and easiest routes; to apprehend those that are fleeing… we might be able to use them for information at the very least.
I also notify Zeke of the whereabouts of those that have stood their ground to fight, directing them to split the group and surround them. Once everyone is in formation, I glide down and trot to my mate’s side, rubbing my head along Blades silver fur in greeting.
Zeke mind links all of the wolves – traitors included.
“We have you surrounded. I am willing to give all traitors a kinder sentence for treason if you willingly hand yourself over now, if you hand yourself over, you will be under the protection of the Royal Pack until your sentencing. Failure to do so means your life will end here, today. I will give you 10 seconds to make your decision”. He states coolly.
The wolves, who, from the look of their dirty, tatty, fur appear to be mostly made up of rogues. All look to each other, carefully considering the proposition.
Most hold an expression of anger and malice; their mind is already made up. Whereas a handful of the rogues step forward sheepishly, heads lowered into submission. The other rogues growl and snap at them for leaving the group.
One rogue tries to launch themselves at the back of who they deem to be a traitor.
With a flick of my wrist, I toss out a dagger-like flame. It finds its target in the rogue’s eye, the one trying to harm those handing themselves in.
The rogue drops to his knees before falling forwards. Dead.
A couple more rogues step forward cautiously, a smart decision if you ask me, they would surely be dead shortly, along with their fallen comrade otherwise.
Blade looks to a group of pack warriors and points his head in the direction of the wolves that have given themselves up. They quickly trot forwards, meeting the traitors halfway. The traitors lay on their stomachs before shifting back to their human forms and placing their hands behind their heads; their faces look beaten and defeated. I’m sure some here today didn’t even wish to fight but were beaten into submission.
As soon as they’ve been taken away, Zeke howls, signalling the start of the battle. We charge. Not much can be heard over the sound of the thundering of paws and snarling.
I know that son of a bitch, Jasper, is here somewhere. Scanning our opponents, I try to locate him, but I can’t see him. He shouldn’t be too hard to find; Hector had mind linked us that he broke his leg, he should be limping, the movement should be standing out in the crowd.
So where is he?
Probably hiding somewhere like the pathetic maggot he is, Raven snarls.
Igniting my body in hellfire, I propel myself like a bullet to the rogues. Knocking them down like skittles in the process, making them easy pickings for our warriors.
Hellfire trails down to my front paws, creating larger, clawed flaming weapons. Ever since I defeated Asmodeus, this has been a favourite hellfire weapon of mine.
Rogues make an attempt to surround me. I slash at them, once, twice, thrice. Making contact each time, they yelp and scurry backwards, to regain some composure - before stalking towards me again.
This time, I make no effort to keep them at bay.
You see, I can see what they can’t. I see a very pissed off Alpha King and two seething Lycans... closing the distance to my pursuers.
They seem to have pieced it together that something is amiss. Perhaps the victorious smug smile that Raven has plastered to her face.
Their steps halt, trying to sense the danger, but they are too late.
A large silver wolf grabs one by their throat, throwing them to the Lycans to finish off. He chomps down on the other neck, snapping it instantly. Blade is an enormous wolf, even by werewolf standards. He measures up to more of a Dire Wolf than a werewolf. The Lycans finish the wolves with ease; it isn’t difficult for them... they merely swipe their long claws at rogues as they come hurtling towards them.
Slashing them with deadly precision to the neck. The wounds are so deep the rogue’s head has almost been severed from its body. From a movement that looked as though the Lycans were simply swatting a fly, the simple action is deadly... yet highly effective.
The remaining wolf lowers his head into submission, but it’s too late now… he had his chance to leave.
Blade gestures to the wolf, signalling the Lycans can do as they wish with him; in a blur of honey and black fur, they’re all over him, toying with him, enjoying their next kill.
I search the surroundings again, looking for that particular movement.
Finally, I find what I’m searching for.
The hobbling traitor, attempting to flee after leading his followers to their demise.
Yipping to Zeke, we charge towards him, trying not to alert him to our impending assault.
Before I can comprehend what is happening. A portal appears before my eyes, right where Jasper stands.
I have seen enough demon portals in my time. Thanks to a rebellious teen, to know a demon portal when I see one.
The edges have black smoke and green hellfire, all swirling around each other, whereas the middle is a black abyss, ready to take you to literal hell on Earth.
NO!! I yell, only in my mind.
Jasper takes one last look over his shoulder; he smirks arrogantly at us as he gives a patronising wave; before disappearing into the abyss.
As soon as he is gone, the portal closes. Nothing but trees and dirt are in this area now.
FUCK! I scream mentally.
How the fuck did he make a portal!? Does he have help? I think frustrated.
After finishing up the remaining traitors, we head back to the Palace. The traitors that handed themselves in are now awaiting trial in the dungeons.
They will be thoroughly interrogated before any decisions are made as to their punishments.
One of the rogues that were caught fleeing is only thirteen years old, his parents were killed and he was taken in by the rogues, he says he didn’t wish to fight but felt he owed it to them for helping him… then the time came... and he just couldn’t do it.
We need to decipher if anyone else deserves some leniency as we feel this young wolf does.
Following my goodbyes to Mae, I notify Ozzy of our new mission. For someone usually so dark and mysterious, he didn’t hide his emotions this time; he was beaming, full of excitement to be visiting the demon realm again.
With a wave of his hand, the portal opened before us; he grabbed my hand and dragged me through as if he thought I would change my mind at any moment.
As soon as we enter Ozzy’s portal, we are pulled into the embrace of my parents – Sasha and Dominic. My father is currently warming the throne for Ozzy until he is old enough the take the throne.
“Livi! Ozzy!” My mum squeals, “oh my gosh! It’s so good to see you again!”
“It’s only been a few months since we last saw you, mum”, I chuckle. She’s still as dramatic as ever.
Her chestnut hair has a large silver chunk of colour right at the front. She’s lucky really, it looks as though it’s been placed there on purpose.
My father has a few extra crow’s feet by his eyes, although, to me, it just makes him look even more cheerful and friendly, it still amazes me what a stark contrast my father is to Asmodeus; you would never have thought they were related in a million years.
“Oh, my word and you! Look what a handsome young man you’re turning into!” She says, pulling Ozzy in for another bone-shattering hug. Ozzy isn’t really one for physical contact. He only allows family and a couple of close friends the privilege of being allowed to hug him.
My father pulls me in for a hug and kisses the side of my head. “So what brings you here on such short notice, my dear?” He questions.
With a sigh, I respond. “Mae was attacked by a pack member”.
Mum gasps and covers her mouth. “Mae? Is she ok!?” She frets.
I nod, “she’s fine… but he escaped through a demons portal. I was hoping we could somehow track the energy and find out where he went”.
My father nods his head thoughtfully, “Yes, it’s possible… we will need to search for the exact place they entered our realm to be able to trace it. It may take some time to find. We would then need to try and replicate the energy to figure out where he went”.
“What if we call in some more help?” Ozzy asks.
“You read my mind, my boy!” Dad grins dotingly.
As he opens his mouth to make the call, Ozzy beats him to it.
He whistles at such a high frequency it cannot be heard to the human ear.
I narrow my eyes at Ozzy.
“What?” He shrugs.
“You aren’t King just yet, young man”, I scold.
“Ahh, let him be! He’s been a great help to me over the years, keeping some of the more volatile demons in check”. Dad pipes in proudly.
“A few more years, then you can take on your duties fully... if that’s still what you want”, I offer.
He smiles cheekily back at me, “Thanks, mum!”
My gaze flits around the demon Palace. It is still decorated with blacks and charcoal greys. There are golden metal stands with hellfire flames burning brightly as the lights; in fact, all lighting in the palace - chandeliers included, all have hellfire to emit the light.
There is a new throne situated on top of the staged area of this room; I believe my father chose it with some input from Ozzy.
It looks as if it is made out of thick woven branches or roots, winding all the way up to the high back - it is, of course, black to match the décor.
I notice a skull sitting on top of the throne, like a trophy… or a warning.
My father notices me looking and comes to stand with me, “I kept it as a trophy of your victory”, he states.
“My victory?” I question.
Oh… That’s all that’s left of Asmodeus. I think as realisation dawns on me.
I smile darkly, “I think he makes a wonderful piece of furniture, dad”.
“I thought you might like it”, he chuckles darkly.
Demons have a habit of collecting trophies of their kills; although I haven’t collected any before, it does fill me with an odd sense of satisfaction to see it sat there in prime position for everyone to see.
Scuttling can be heard coming from the walls and ceilings; it’s too dark to see up there until the demons crawling about suddenly appear from the black void.
Demons are funny creatures; you will get some that look more ‘demon’ than others, you know… pointy tail, sharp teeth, horns and wings; they usually have skin in deep shades of red or purple. But, then you have some, like me, who can appear human, but hold other powers. Usually, the demons that look more demon-like are the soldiers of the demon realm. While the other more ‘human’ looking demons are the Lords or Ladies… they’re essentially the Alphas of the domain.
They all come to a stop, eyeing us sceptically, wondering what our request from them is today.
Ozzy steps forward, “A werewolf passed through this realm using a demon portal; we are not sure if he is part demon or if he has help. Search the realm, report back any scents of werewolves should you come across anything. Do it with haste”, he orders. They nod in unison and scuttle away in different directions, all eager to please their future King.
When did my baby get so grown up?! I wonder, feeling a little emotional.