I am scouting through Hell, on route to the birthing pit for demons. I spurned Lucifer even though I was a demoness. I hated the devil and his games most of all, I had been the target of his cruel meddling in the past.
Today the tables would turn.
If I can find the source of his demon spawn, I can stop the armies. Or at least, I can curse them, slow them down, or damage the process.
A hundred years taught me how important preventative measures were and how dangerous blindness could be.
I traverse the grey landscape full of dead trees and dull red wet ash soil, meanwhile I hum protection spells to myself and hold my ribbons close.
The moon was still in the sky in Hell, she was my guide forward.
I had a wish and the moonshine was pulsing me toward it.
“Moon guide me, hold my body and my eye steady,” it’s an easy chant to hone in my instincts, and so far Hell has been an empty sparce landscape. I thought it’d be teeming with demon spawn.
My bare feet squelch through the dirt as it gets wetter and wetter. I feel surges of heat wafting over a small hill up ahead, and I see distinct steam, frothing right before I see blood spurting from hell-geysers into the sky.
I freeze as I watch the red blood fly up, it’s not just liquid but guts and gore mixed in – now raining back down to the soil.
I was accustomed to gore when my Mystifyers were feeling like some black magic, but it was a rare occasion, and now I know where all the sacrificed blood lands.
I guess that means I’ve made it.
Up ahead, I see a warning posted in the ground.
I skip closer to read it, written rough, itched into wood with a sharp object.
Restricted Birthig Lands. Cover tis groud at your wn peril, for tose who enter will be vaqished by the gardians of tis land. No excetins. No mercy.
There are a few spelling errors… haha… many… to be honest… I find it somewhat amusing.
What child guarded this land?
The sign was a farce.
Or an attempt at something.
But it does not deter I, a demoness and Draconess. My jaws could split in two whoever was guardian of this land.
I do not shift into my Dragon yet, however, because I can only cast my spells as a mortal.
I lift my ribbons so they do not trail across the mud, and I double wrap them around my forearms, tucking them in tightly. I wear one silver transparent ribbon wound all around my body. My hair isn’t braided but long and free.
I didn’t have time to be better prepared since I snuck out from my Mystifyer’s bed. Fucking them into a coma was an effort and a half in itself. My legs were sore and my throat aches, but none of it will stop me in my risky search tonight.
I had not done something so foolish in over a century.
But now I dance past the sign.
At the top of the forbidden hill, under the moon’s grace, I look over the birthing pits.
I see springs birthing freshly laid corpses, turning human rotting souls into walking demonized creatures. As bloody and blind monsters fresh out of hell’s womb, they groan and walk around without senses, walking into trees aimlessly.
This was it.
The smell in the air is putrid.
I take a step over the hill, preparing to skid down to the bottom, but the moment I take one step in, I sense that I am watched by another.
I get goose bumps, and my hair stands on end.
I look left, thinking I saw a shadow move within a cluster of dead blackened trees in the near distance.
I wait for more movement, but I see nothing.
I take a step to the left to look where the movement was last. As I walk further, I can see behind the cluster of trees and there is nothing there.
A trick of the eye, maybe some nerves but nothing more.
I slide down the embankment to the crimson springs and I hop along a few boulders to inspect the birthing process. They are wet and slippery but I dance along them with easy grace.
“Gah!” one demon freshly birthed, sees me with a tiny eye trying to peer through crusted eyelids. I hop closer and stand still as the demon puts out a slow hand, reaching for me. Moving his freshly mobilized rotting body, he is also unbalanced, and promptly falls flat on his face next to me, being absorbed back into the ground. I try not to laugh at his unfortunate fall.
“Silly demon,” I whisper with a slow smile. I hop to the next boulder and slow down as I get deeper into the restricted area, now stepping back into the dirt where it’s not so wet. I had used the boulders to avoid the bloody swamp.
Finally, I’ve found something of interest.
I spot an interesting pot of blue fire. No, a cauldron, bubbling – blue fire spinning up and dissipating. It reminds me of all kinds of magic. Fae, demonic, masculine and feminine sorcery. The blue fire was the colour of water, a sign of creation. That is why I know this is what is powering the transformation of corpses to demon servants for the devil.
If I could simply tip that cauldron over, I’m sure the birthing process would be halted, even temporarily.
I find a pathway of cobbled stones and I skip across that, as it winds around and around in a large spiral, a long path direct toward the middle. Going off the path would be more treacherous and potentially laid with traps, so I decide to follow the large spiral instead.
I dance around clockwise, and everything is silent beyond the bubbling of the blood springs and geyzers of blood, but soon I hear something distinct.
Metal on stone?
Or talons on cobbles.
My ears prick at the sound.
I spin so fast, I expect absolutely anything – perhaps the guardian of this land.
However, when my ankle spins and I face the beast, it is not a dragon.
Nor any kind of demon I’ve ever seen before. My moon eyes go wider and wider as I inspect the beast.
I had seen all kinds of animals bound to mortal flesh, but this was not a corpse summoned to do Lucifer’s bidding.
This was something different.
“Moon, what am I seeing?” I whisper uncontrollably, since the moonlight shines directly onto me and I know the moon goddess will answer me.
This creature was 8ft tall, neither man, nor wolf – but perfectly balanced to be both at once. The grey fur was thick, the stance was human, the head was wolf… the fangs looked Dragon-like to me, but they were just… demonically oversized.
A killing machine.
With claws so long they slice and click together, on his feet and on his hands.
So he is a canine with the shine of the luna moon in his fur, and eyes as red as the devil’s. Hellfire eyes.
I gulp down my unexpected nerves at the beast and then the moon tells me what he is.
Lycan, she whispers.
I conclude those claws wrote that sign, and that this one is lanky and thin for a beast his height – he kind of looks hungry.
Lucifer is playing with creation, isn’t he… I think. This beast also has a huge cock, but I really don’t try to focus down there. I knew what it meant, if that was a feature Lucifer delighted to extend. Sigh. No time to worry about that right now, however.
The beast says nothing to me, but it stands as curious as a mortal – as if waiting. As for danger, and whether or not this was a bad demon… I could not tell. I think because he had mortal blood like my Mystifyers, it was confusing to the senses.
I let my ribbons fall off my arms and I curtsy for the beast, bowing my head.
“Hello, how are you?” I speak some welcoming words. I reason I had asked for protection from the moon earlier, so perhaps this was not a threat at all… my moon guide did not warn me to be weary of furry legs. Perhaps he could even be a friend? Maybe?
“Hello,” the Lycan answers me with a growly and deep baritone, a pleasant and deep demonic voice. The Lycan is mirroring me as I test taking a step to my left. He immediately steps to the right, his claws slipping a little on the smooth stone.
I take note of that… how young he is, I can not tell, but he is inexperienced.
But he does do one thing right, he keeps his eyes focused on me at all times.
“What is your name, beast?” I ask gently.
“My name? Onyx,” the Lycan answers me quietly, as if it’s the first time he’s ever said his name to anyone.
“What are you doing?” I whisper and he licks over his teeth, as he tilts his head a little.
“Thinking,” Onyx drawls that word comfortably.
“Hopefully you’re thinking about letting this pretty little moon priestess, do her job?” I ask, batting my eye lids, “Pretty please, beast, I could be your friend… what do you think about that? Have you ever had a friend before?”
“I have seven friends,” Onyx growls a little, annoyed about something, and I’m just wondering why he was so oddly specific, “…why are you so sly… bitch…”
He just –
I open my mouth at his demonic attitude. I was used to demonic temperaments but I was surely his elder and he should respect that!
However, I don’t have time to counsel him!
We both speak simultaneously next – accidentally our words escape together.
“I don’t want to have to kill you,” I grit my teeth as I speak, but so does he.
“I have to kill you for trespassing, witch,” Onyx words his threat slightly different, but the Lycan is taken aback that I also threatened him, “…are… you a…luna..tic…?” he asks, carefully choosing the words, and almost mispronouncing it
“Why would you ask something so strange– I am not crazy,” I whisper, confused and offended.
“I love you, witch,” Onyx smiles, he doesn’t seem to understand what he just said as he tilts his head as he takes a step closer, “But I have to choose… why don’t you tell me what you prefer, bones or blood. I can bleed you, or rip your limbs apart… what will it be… lunatic?”
“I’m an invaluable moon priestess, you silly beast,” I hiss at the Lycan, who just smiles, cocky and amused that I am snapping, “You shouldn’t speak so ruthlessly. I thought we were rather friends?” I narrow my eyes.
“No exceptions,” Onyx smiles wider, but he does seem sad about having to kill me deep down, as he takes a step closer.
“I don’t think you understand what I am,” I snarl, holding out a hand, my unwavering posture causes the young demon to halt, giving us a further chance to discuss our options.
Onyx’s claws click as they slice past one another, in a sharpening gesture, “…what is your name?” he asks, a little awkwardly. Perhaps he has never met his match before.
And I truly wonder how many conversations this demon has had outside being guardian of the birthing pits.
“Chyronex,” I answer… slowly… slowly lowering my hand. Will he mirror me?
He does, he copies, like a young pup.
Onyx mirrors me by lowering his claws also, as he growls quietly with a realization “…that name…I think I’ve heard the devil say something about you…”
“Oh. Good. To spare me. I bet! The devil and I know each other well,” I answer him, bluffing a friendship with the devil, “Be on your way, beast, I am welcome here – and I am not an enemy.”
My instincts were never wrong, and I knew deep down that killing me was now off the table.
I turn my back to him and walk along the path, my eyes focused back on that cauldron.
Surely the demon would back off. There was nothing else to discuss.
Onyx walks forward and picks up my arm by the elbow, almost cutting me, but quickly moving his claws to the side, so they gently caress my skin and do not break the barrier… he… he walks with me.
Aww. I realize what he is doing.
Cute. He is escorting me. Loving the beast’s obsessive attention, I smile at him and keep pace, while I also get a sniff of his smell now that we are closer.
Pleasant. Hmm… I lean even closer and smell again. Oh…
I pull back, a little woozy, as my tongue feels… dry. And I feel thirsty.
Pheromones. Precisely the smell of demonic lusts. It was a dangerous weapon. Especially against witches. Why? It was preventative and disorientating. The devil was getting smarter with his strange creations. I say nothing, however, as Onyx takes me around the spiral, then dramatically off the trail, where I see a makeshift den laid out – full of bones.
To me… it reeks of masculine magic.
A sorcerer’s pit?
Oh. The Lycan was practicing magic, as far as I could tell.
I try to drag my feet but the Lycan drags me with him instead.
I see it too late, only until we have rounded a large boulder does he clasp iron shackles around one of my wrists.
The shackle is cursed to stop my feminine magic from flowing through me.
A simple trick could be the end of me.
My magic goes quiet.
“…ferrum confractus…” I murmur it quickly, but the iron doesn’t break, and before I know it, Onyx has my other wrist shackled. I blurt out, “I will not choose how you wish to kill me, I will not choose blood or bone!”
I didn’t understand.
Someone so young. His magic shouldn’t be this strong.
I was much stronger. Wasn’t I?
But so far, I had only been one thing – one thing which I was not the past 100 years.
I had been fooled.
I trusted the demon. No, rather I trusted the mortal in him.
“I will not kill you yet,” Onyx explains, “You’re my first witch. I will consult the devil,” he steps back, “…Chyronex…” he tests my name.
Before he leaves, I ask him, “How old are you?”
“19 winters,” Onyx tells me, “You? The same?”
I shake my head. I might look that young but I was not.
“I am 122 years old today, and this age is a bad omen for me… although I look very fine, don’t I, beast?” I ask him, “Do you think I’m pretty?” I wonder if I can at least distract him from going to fetch Lucifer. Although I’m sure he tastes my desperation, which would not be sexy.
“You smell okay,” Onyx admits, sniffing near me, he licks my cheek and I pull back because it tickles and in this position, closer to his… well his…
I stare down.
Oh, my goddess… those balls were massive.
He probably fucked for days.
On second thoughts.
“Go fetch the devil then,” I gulp in the face of his pheromones and I close my eyes tight as I choke the words out, oh dear.
Oh, moon, protect me – except she can’t hear me.
I think I’m going to cry, the lust is so potent as he stands so close.
We both hear encroaching demon spawn.
I go to open my eyes, but before I know it – I feel something hot and warm slide across my face.
I keep my eyes shut, my breath still – as the warmth is gone and I open my eyes to glare at Onyx.
But all I see is thin air.
He’s gone – and there are demons wandering into the pit, looking for me.
One has a squinty eye. The one who face planted trying to reach for me.
The demon walks over so slowly, while I panic because I can’t move!
My magic was cursed into silence.
The Lycan left me to die.
And my Venatores did not know I was in Hell.
If I died like this, it would be the worst way to go.
They’d cut me open and feast on me while I witnessed it all.
“ONYX!” I scream for him to come back, as the demon spawn lunges for me.
It trips and falls next to me, but it slowly brings up its head and the red fleshy nostrils smell me.
I hear claws tap along the boulder above my head.
As the demon crawls past me, suddenly completely disinterested, I look up.
Right above me the Lycan watches.
Onyx is peering over the boulder, and his slobber drips down off his fangs, into my hair and onto my cheek.
“My balls saved your life,” Onyx laughs demonically, and I only laugh because I can’t believe that’s actually why I am alive.
Then I realise what he did.
“DID YOU PUT YOUR B –”
“Yes, slut, shut up,” Onyx snarls so rudely and moves off the boulder, I hear him although I cannot see him, “I will speak to the devil.”
I dare sniff the air… he is gone, and I am left shackled to the rock.
I really couldn’t believe my luck.
100 years ago, I secured my freedom from the devil’s eyes.
The last time he had an eye for me, he caused the worst mayhem I’d ever experienced in my life. Turning me against my own friends. Causing pain. Making me a whore. Driving me to hurt those I loved and myself.
I was not taking second chances after a hundred years of peace.
I wanted to protect what we had built. Me and mine. My Venatores was in the long-term employment of Auguzt. While my mate had once ruled a third of the land for 80 years, Zarcar discussed with all of us what was offered by a newcomer two decades ago.
Generous, generous gold and treasure and riches.
Auguzt was a mortal but he had offered to buy his way to kingship.
And we just happened to like the mortal man, who was popular with everyone – and most people on Earth were mortal. Mortals craved mortal rule, not supernatural rule.
Zarcar, my mate, had mostly been feared.
Auguzt was loved.
Now Auguzt also had my Venatores’ loyalty and our friendship, we all agreed to protect him. Demons protecting a mortal King. But we were good demons. We were an Immortal Vampire, two Mystifyers, a Split Soul, a Centaur and a Draconess; me!
Our job was really simple, kill bad demons. Protect mortal kind.
Meanwhile we lived in none other than Uldaya territory.
Torrent… Zarcar’s elder brother… well, he disappeared from the Uldaya throne. We weren’t really sure what happened to him. Zarcar casually took over his Kingdom too, and by the time Auguzt befriended us, he was then ruler of all.
Uldaya’s Palace was our home and Auguzt was the good mortal Emperor.
So why was I in hell?
I had found my way down here, looking for the bad omen I knew would besiege me after a hundred years of peace.
I may have found it.
In a birthing pit of demons, I found a new demon with mortal blood… that only meant one thing, like the demons I was mated to – the Lycan was bound for Earth.
I didn’t know what that meant.
But the cauldron may not be my problem. Nor the newblood demons.
But the Lycan; he was something else and he would not be constrained to hell forever.
Sooner rather than later, he’d be roaming above. In my lands.
I had to warn my Venatores.
But first I had to escape.