Mors' body twisted gracefully in the air, completing three rotations before slamming face first into the floor and sliding a good meter away, his back facing the two huntsmen.
As if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, Verz retracted her outstretched fist and analysed the two black dragon wing-like tattoos running down each side of Mors back. "One of the gods must really like him; he has the best dominate traits of each species as well as being a first generation demon. The ability to transform and mutate his body, his stamina and his crazy amount of resilience, the empowering devil markings and... I wonder what his angelic trait will b-," Verz stopped and stared hard at the demon's back with a complicated gaze before and muttering. "Could he acquire... no, of course not." She shook her head as if to dispell her thoughts. "That would be too much of a coincidence as well as heaven definitely convenient."
"So what he has draconic wings; they are nowhere near as versatile as a demon's," scoffed Kelora, ignoring her Captain's mutterings as she started walking towards Mors. "I have to say, you are pretty merciless to someone on the verge of collapsing, but that's what I like about you. If it weren't for the demon in him, he would be as dead as the inhabitants of that village."
Verz shrugged as a mischevious glint appeared in her eyes. "You sure it wasn't his draconic bloodline? Dragons are notoriously difficult to kill or incapacitate compared to a mere demon, and I hit him pretty hard. Much harder than an average copper rank can take."
As Kelora reached out to grab Mors' arm, she looked over her shoulder at Verz and hissed in irritation. "You still went easy on him, and dragons are overrated. The-"
Turning into a red streak, Kelora jumped back with astonishing speed and once she was alongside Verz, raised her hand to her face before looking at it, seeing fresh blood. "Tsk, the little shit."
Verz chuckled with amusement, "What did I tell you only five minutes ago? Do not underestimate anyone, especially that boy. There are too many unknowns and even a blind person with no common sense would have seen that coming, or at least would have been more cautious."
Kelora spat on the floor and glared at her Captain. "You have never failed to knock someone in the first strike before... You knew and purposefully distracted me with that taunt, didn't you?"
Verz stood motionless, her mask hiding, what one could only assume to be, a ridiculing smile causing Kelora to hiss noisily as her red eyes slightly glowed. "Are you sure there is not a demon in your ancestry, you put most demons to shame when you get in that mood."
Mors' tail swayed menacingly in the air, a few drops of blood falling, as he groggily lifted his head, spitting out a mouthful of dirt and blood, accompanied by a sharp, serrated tooth before turning around and proclaimed as proudly as he could in his feeble state. "First blood."
Enraged, the demoness stomped forward as she cracked her knuckles and went to draw the short sword strapped to her side, Verz's voice rang out. "KELORA! Enough, secure the perimeter and make sure there are no survivors. We can't afford a leak."
After watching Kelora sulk away cursing under her breath, Verz turned towards Mors and laughed. "I think you will find that I drew first blood, little demon and that you are far too weak to piss her off. Points for trying, but next time I won't save you."
"You don't count, and I don't need protection," said Mors as he tried to wipe the blood from his mouth before mumbling to himself. "Well, at least the memories and your behaviour are consistent. I guess."
Verz frowned as she took off her cloak, and after walking forward, threw it at Mors and sat down cross-legged in front of him. "While being mysterious is good, I think it would be best if you tone it down a bit. You know too much for a newborn, and you're a angels feather away from being tortured for information."
"Ha," laughed Mors. "You can try. You need me just as much as I need you."
Verz stared into Mors' eyes, and after thirty seconds, the demon looked away causing her to smile. "I doubt you would submit to torture, and you don't have any attachments that I could use, so I guess you are right. However, you are only a potential opportunity and nothing more. If anything, you are currently proving more trouble than you're perceived value. Tell me, why should I waste my time with you?"
Mors' frowned, causing him to wince as the burnt flesh on the left side of his face cracked and started to bleed. After letting out a deep sigh, Mors' shoulders slumped, and the hostility in his eyes diminished. Even though he was extremely prideful, his instincts were screaming at him that if he did not get on Verz's good side, he would not survive long and that time would be even shorter if he went against her.
"Not as stupid as you look," chuckled Verz. "Now, I am willing to let you keep your secrets and help you gain strength on two conditions."
Verz held up two fingers. "The first is that you never, ever mention anything about me other than how awesome or beautiful I am. You have made a few hints at knowing something that would get an ordinary person... silenced and it needs to stop.Now."
"What about cursing?" interrupted Mors, "and threats?"
"... It would be unfair of me to stop you, especially with what I have planned but you must nothing about my... situation or past," replied Verz before quickly moving on. "The second is that you must follow my commands. You're free to question them when not in a combat situation, but expect a beating if you are out of line or in the presence of other Huntsmen."
Mors stared at the floor for a few moments before looking at Verz as she stood up and took a step back.
"Well, what is your decision," questioned Verz, her hand resting on her sword. "Since you were greedy and hogged all the fun for yourself, I am getting bored.
Anger swelled up inside Mors, but he soon pushed it down. Even though he felt as if everything was conspiring against him to make this decision, Mors knew that he only had one choice and if he was honest with himself, which he wasn't, he really needed someone he could depend on.
Mors' entire life consisted of a bloody pit in the earth, a village trying to kill him, thirty minutes or so of memories and emotions of his previous life and reliving thousands of painful, horrific deaths. He felt so alone, confused and isolated that it hurt more than the excruciating pain his body was in.
After taking a few deep breaths, resisting the urge to close his eyes as the haunting visions would surface, Mors felt like he was torn in two, one side wanting to fight and rage at the world, burning it to the ground and the other wanting a warm embrace and to sleep.
"Bah, I'm pathetic," muttered Mors, deciding to go with the easier option seeing as he couldn't even stand, as he raised his hands out to Verz, signalling for her to pick him up.
Confused, Verz stood there for a few moments before realising what Mors' action meant. "I'm the Captain of the Huntsmen, not a mule."
Mors' arms remained in place as he stared into her eyes. This time, Verz was the first to look away.
"Fine, but only this once," said Verz as she stepped forward, and after making sure Mors was not going to try to attack her, awkwardly picked him up, letting his head rest on her shoulder after deciding she didn't trust him enough to sling him over her back.
Without another word, Verz turns around and walks into the woods, soon realising the extent of Mors' condition. Every muscle shaking for exhaustion and overuse. "I thought you were just faking it to get some attention, but it seems you really couldn't walk."
Mors growled as he internally raged at being so weak he needed to be carried. "If I waited any longer you would have made that red head carry me, and that would have ended badly for all."
The moment Mors decided to put his faith in Verz, and she picked him up, a strange wave of security washed over him, rapidly dissolving his willpower and allowing his mental and physical exhaustion to take over, causing his head to nod as he fought to stay awake.
Unbeknown to him, as they walked through the dark forest, the surroundings were faintly illuminated by a white light emanating from Mors' hair. Verz, watching out of the corner of her eye showed an expression of bemusement before clearing her throat. "Appart from the obvious 'You would have killed me', for a demon, you seem very accepting of us. Initially, when I found you in the summoning chamber, I thought that, given half the chance, you would have killed us on the spot. Why have you decided to trust us?"
Mors started to fall into a daze as he struggled to stay awake. The comforting sense of safety joining forces with his exhaustion tugging on his weary mind. "There is no 'us'. I barely trust you."
"Oh," responded Verz, her voice containing a small amount of happiness, "and why is that?"
Mors took a deep breath, waking himself up just enough not to mention Grim. "In this world, that I barely understand, you are the only person who has not tried to kill me on sight. For better or for worst, you're the only one I can depend on... I have no one else in this world and am completely alone."
Verz's steps faulted momentarily as she felt a strange tugging sensation in her chest. After a few breaths, she regained her composure. "Flattery will get you nowhere, little demon, especially with me although it is rather refreshing. Most cower in fear."
Mors' eyebrow twitched in annoyance as he regained some of his senses and thought about what he just said. "I don't even like you, I just need you to get stronger, and we have the same enemies."
"Sure," sung Verz in a melodic voice, "You just can't admit you fell for me at first sight."
Mors ground his teeth in irritation, but it wasn't long before he drifted off to sleep.
About half way back to camp, Kelora rejoined Verz and noticed Mors' hair and sneered in disgust. "I hate angels... and how in the seven hell's did you get him to make an angelic pact?"
Verz shrugged her shoulders, causing Mors' head to sag awkwardly to once side. "Hell if I know, I tried asking him without letting him know as I felt like that information would push him over the edge, but he gave me some soppy excuse about having no one else."
Kelora smiled mockingly at the demon. "Awww, wittle babby has mummy issues. Well, it will take a few good slaughters for him to recover any respect I had for him... which wasn't much to start with."
Still, asleep Mors grumbled as he wrapped his arms around Verz's neck and buried his face into her shoulder "...I will rip your beating heart out..."
"Still talks the talk, though," said Verz.
Sniggering Kelora falls in beside Verz, her expression turning serious. "If he is that willing to make an angelic pact without even knowing you, even if it is subconscious, is he really going to be useful in this war?"
Verz laughed, causing the Kelora's hairs to stand on end. "Oh, I wouldn't worry about that, I will take him as my first adept. By the time I am done with him, forget backwater villages, even cities will shake upon the mear mention of his name."
- 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]