The king was angry; in fact, he was furious. Even furious would be an
understatement. He had to find the satanic deserter and the other one before they got away.
“Did you find them?” He barked at the soldiers who had just returned from the search.
“No your majesty.” One of them had the audacity to say those words.
“Have them flogged” The king screeched at his guards.
Another pair of soldiers walked in, bowing when they saw the king.
“You better not disappoint me or you will face the same fate as your predecessors.”
The guards rushed outside. The king was desperate now to find those deserters. He had to show the kingdom what would happen to people who had forsaken Satan.
Damn that assassin. The king could never have guessed he was a she. He should have asked her to remove her cloak and show her face. It was his biggest mistake.
The king had first learned about Satan when he was a little boy. There had been a troubadour. He had sung songs about Satan, rattling the bones he wore around his neck.
The young prince had been intrigued at that time, and also very curious. After a few songs, he had silently gone to the troubadour and asked him what his songs were all about. The prince learnt that the songs were about the demon. At that time, he hadn't understood the meaning of those words. He never would have, if not for the death of his father the very evening.
As his father lay dying on his bed, the young prince had seen a red creature swoop into the room. It was the devil, who had explained that the prince was the chose one to carry out his deeds.
And so, the king had come to accept his role. He had become an ardent and fervent follower of Satan, and in the process gathered a band of followers and believers.
The king smiled in reminiscence as he thought of his early days in the archives, worshiping the demons, gathering supporters. Now, his task was almost complete. The demon could finally rise. But first he needed an angel. An angel to fall. An angel to die and a demon to be reborn.
The king went into his chambers; he was going to rest for a while now. He gestured to his handmaidens to rub his feet as he relaxed on his feather bed.
He had never taken wives, and he didn't plan on taking any. Well, that was a story for later.
Suddenly, a few soldiers walked in. Your majesty the archive guards are here to meet you.
The king sat up. Surely nothing was wrong, nothing could get past those guards. He had overseen their training himself and they were completely flawless.
“Sir, we found this old man inside the archives on the bottom most level. He did not get in past us, that is for certain. We think he may have entered through a secret entrance.”
The king stood up. It was time to see what the problem was. With that, they walked towards the archives, the guards leading the way. The archives were the kings and the kingdoms most valuable possessions. They contained numerous voluminous books, manuscript, parchments and scrolls that spoke of lands and kingdoms far away.
Outside the archives stood an old man, his gnarled face and wrinkled face clearly visible.
“What is he doing here?” The king asked the guards. “We found him in the archives as we told you earlier.” The king looked at the old man.
“How did you get in?” The king asked the old man.
The old man remained silent, defiantly keeping his mouth shut.
“Alright then. Don't speak.” The king said to the old man. And then to the guards, “Find out who he is. Maybe his wife and children will be more in compliance.
The king walked into the archives, deciding to spend a little time on level five. As he was going, he noticed some different footprints. They looked as if someone smaller had also been here. How many people knew about this? He had to find out immediately and seal the entrance.
The king descended onto the fifth level and started walking around, his guards following him.
And there he saw it. Satanic Verse was there on the floor. The king picked it up, wondering why it was on the floor.
“Why is this here?” the king asked his guards in a fit of anger.
“We don't know your majesty. We didn't see it before.”
The king leafed through the book, wondering what he would find. He turned to page three, and it dawned on him that there was no page three. Someone had torn it off. No one had ever done that. Tear something out from his precious archives. He would find the culprit and torture him the most unpleasant way humankind had ever discovered.
The king walked up and down, staring at sections of books. Suddenly he noticed that in a certain part the books were placed unevenly. The king knew everything about the archives. Every nook and corner except this. He uncertainly took down some books, and peered behind them. He noticed an opening. The king stared ahead, so that was how people had come in from.
“Lead the way” He ordered the guards.
And with that they entered the tunnel, all because the king wondered where it leads to.
As they went inside, the king stared around him at the walls. They were lit by some chemiluminescent substance. The king looked at the Satanic history, in wonder that he had missed seeing something so beautiful up until now.
Unlike Eris who was distasteful of the gruesome and grotesque imitations of Satanic rituals, the king was in fact aware of all them, having performed almost all of them himself.
The king remembered the time he himself had been accepted into it, having to drink from the chalice. He had relished the opportunity to joining the cult, and had soon risen to high priest himself, training and accepting in new recruits.
Well more to that later, they could see the sun shining now. The tunnel was coming to its end. It was time to face reality and find out where they had come.
The king walked out into the sunlight, the warm rays of sun falling onto his face.
He was at the outskirts of the kingdom, a good two three hours from the forest. He had passed this cottage in the morning. He screamed in anger. So close yet so far.
This was his life. He had always been close. Always.