As terrified animals stampeded away from the small village and dark, foreboding clouds hung low, just above the forest canopy, two streaks of black and silver shot through the dense underbrush with incredible speed and agility.
Dodging to the side as a large, rhinoceros-looking creature with two rows of tall, horn-like spikes sticking out from either side of is back charged past, the hood of one of the figures dropped, revealing long silver hair.
"Well, his aura has definitely grown stronger now it isn't restricted by that manastone cave," chuckled Kelora, dropping her own mantle and allowing her red hair to flutter in the wind as she leapt over a fallen tree. Adjusting her leather adventurers disguise mid-air, as if she was doing nothing more strenuous than going for a light walk, she continued. "If I had known he was going to pick a fight, I would have changed into something more comfortable and tagged along. Those Vonian guards weren't even a warm up."
Verz let out an irritated sigh, which was barely audible over the whistling wind as they raced through the trees. "We need to keep as low profile as possible. Two demons running around terrorising the countryside so close to the summoning site would cause us nothing but trouble, especially as you're pretty notorious, even for a 'civilised' demon." The beautiful silver eyes of the half-masked wolf-kin, Verz, left a blurred after image as she quickly dodged through a herd of water lurkers, large creatures with snake-like, extendable heads and jagged teeth, as they fled in the opposite direction. "And I am sick of telling you to not underestimate your opponents. If we had engaged those knights in a fair fight, we would have suffered a few casualties. The winner is always the one who acts first, has the most hidden cards, and doesn't give their opponent the time to act. Even gods can die, and we are no exception."
"Who said anything about fighting fair? I just said it was boring and not even a warm up," replied Kelora as she rolled her eyes. Suddenly a wicked grin appeared on her face, turning to a beaming smile. "By the smell of things, it seems the party has already started... Even though demons rarely get on with each other, I am starting to like this kid. He doesn't mess about and wasn't stupid enough to start something on his own doorstep."
Verz snorted, "Started? It was reaching its climax a ten miles back. Since then the air has become thick with blood and burnt flesh and the screams stopped a few minutes ago."
Kelora faltered slightly. "Sigh, you beastkin always astound me with your senses. Anyway, how did he get past the barrier Velcea set up without her knowing? Or get so far away?"
"Probably some sort of movement skill linked with one of his affinities. Vel did mention that she sensed him trying out his abilities and thought he had tired himself out and was taking a nap as he is so young," said Verz as she frowned. "One demon was enough trouble, now I have two of you to keep in check."
Attempting to look hurt, Kelora looked at Verz. "Aww, come on Captain, it's not that hard to keep a demon happy, feed us, let us fight, throw us a powerful mate that won't die at the best bits, and every now and again, a little slaughter and may-"
The pair burst through the foliage, into a large clearing, and came to an abrupt halt as they were bathed in a warm, orange glow as the village in front of them was engulfed by a towering inferno, illuminating the clearing and the bottom of the clouds.
Kelora scanned their surroundings and noticed charred bodies littering the area and shrugged her shoulders. "OK, make that a large slaughter and a lot of mayhem in his cause, maybe even a village or two."
As she continued to scan for threats, the demoness spotted a clump of dismembered bodies that had fallen with their backs to each other, surrounded by shattered spears and shields, in what looked like a relatively heroic last stand and let out a sharp whistle. “Got to give the brat credit, any demon would be proud to have him as their offspring. They would have to kill him of course, to ensure their own survival and dominance, but proud nonetheless."
Verz shook her head. "I am amazed your race hasn't already wiped itself out with its maternal instincts let alone by the hand of the other races. Enough idle chatter. Secure the perimeter and ensure there are no information leaks, I will find th-"
Before Verz could complete her sentence, both of their heads snapped towards the centre of the village where a shadowy silhouette, easily disguised against the burning buildings started to move towards them.
As the figure got closer, it's shape condensed to that of a young boy and withing a couple of seconds he stepped out of the inferno dragging the remains of what appeared to be a corpse.
"Mors?" Shouted Verz as her eyes narrowed. As a silver wolf, her senses were unparalleled in the natural world and although the boy standing before her looked, smelt and felt like Mors, at the same time he seemed completely different.
Kelora had an entirely different reaction, as her eyes went so wide they seemed too big for her head and were about to explode. "Captain... those are devil markings. He has devil markings... Devil Markings."
Calming walking out of the flames, Mors' reptilian eyes locked onto them, and he forced a smile as he lifted the burnt corpse slightly and shouted, in a horse voice. "Roast priestess anyone? No? Well, how about a BBQ'ed villager? Or a case of... WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU GUYS BEEN? I mean who lets a three-day-old demon, one pulled from a bloody hole of corpses, probably the target of the Sun Clan and whatever backwater kingdom this is, wander around in an area full of zealots and religious nutters that are of the 'string him up and burn him' persuasion."
Somehow, Mors knew they had not followed him and highly doubted Grim was stupid enough to suggest he 'make nice' with them if they had been watching from the sidelines, but the lingering pain from his awakening and his muddled emotions from reliving so many deaths made him want to lash out.
Both of the Huntsmen were shocked at the sudden outburst. Previously, Mors had asked a few questions and declared that he needed some time to himself, and that was already strange enough for one so young, but now they were getting fearlessly berated by a kid who didn't just destroy a village, he virtually wiped it off the map.
Verz was the first to recover, and the muscles behind her mask tightened in what appeared to be a smile. "Ahhh don't be such a baby. You're obviously OK, or you wouldn't be able to moan that effectively. So what ha-"
Mors' face twitched as he glared at Verz. “I am three days old… threeee daaaysssss… Those bastards wanted to burn me alive to 'purify' me in the name of their goddess or whatever crap they believed.”
Verz laughed. “You're a demon and a draconic one at that… a little fire isn’t going to hurt you, and you used the most important tense, they 'believed'. Looking around I think you showed them the error of their ways and sent them to their gods.”
Mors' fake smile dropped. "Oh, you mean that orange stuff behind me… yeah, harmless, I was just enjoying its warmth. Now if you're talking about that golden ‘holy’ light stuff that this bitch. " Mors lifted the charred corpse up by its only remaining, tattered leg, "used to try and incinerate me, which reacted quietly violently with my darkness affinity. " Mors rotated his head, letting the firelight fall on the left half of his of his face, revealing it to be severely burnt and blistering. "Then no, that stuff is not harmless, it's bloody lethal and if you disagree, let's go find someone to throw some at you. I bet you will change your mind pretty quickly especially with your... disposition."
Luckily for Mors, by this point he was finally close enough for them to get a good look at his body and Verz was distracted by the large, painful looking burns littering his body alongside multiple injuries caused by both blunt and sharp weapons. However, this was quickly forgotten, mainly as it didn't seem life threatening, as they focused on his short, glowing snow-white hair.
Kelora spat on the ground. "Urg, he just had to have their hair... I hate angels."
Verz analyses his hair before looking directly into his eyes. "Seem's like you're bloodlines have been forcefully awakened. There's no doubt about it now, you're a first generation draconic demon,” said Verz in a slightly awed tone. "Turn around."
Mors looked down at his naked body, his temporary clothing long since burnt to a crisp. "I really didn't expect you to be a pervert."
A sudden gust of wind hit Mors' head causing him to look up and see Verz's fist inches from his face. "You are lucky you are too weak and injured for me to hit, but I will not hold back again. Turn around."
"Great, I survived all that to be beaten to death by some molesting old grann-"
- He who stares into the abyss
Bio: Company Director, Software engineer, gamer, snowboard instructor, proud father of two insomniacs and all round philomath. My Works: The Book of Mors: Summoned [http://royalroadl.com/fiction/8312/the-book-of-mors-summoned] The Summoned: [http://royalroadl.com/fiction/11348/the-summoned] The Forgotten Hero: [http://royalroadl.com/fiction/11721/the-forgotten-hero]