Even though Mors' words had been spoken in nothing more than a whisper, they echoed in the ears of everyone present, especially Ryen's, who seemed to be on the verge of a breakdown.
Tears and snot streaming down her face, the ice demoness could do nothing but stare in terror and fall backwards, onto her rear, as she attempted to drag herself away from Mors. "P...p...pleeaassee spare me."
Although it appeared that she was talking to Mors, Ryen's eyes were glazed and unfocused, darting about as if seeing something no one else could.
The menacing glow in Mors' eyes intensified, his abilities feeding off the demoness's fear, as he slowly lifted his leg and stepped forward causing the demoness to flinch. His footstep reverberated outwards as if it bore the weight of a mountain, while he maintained his haunting, cruel smile.
By his second step, Ryen was practically sobbing, prompting Markek to shake his head and let out a depressed sigh. "To think that he was a wrath demon and that his aura was strong enough to generate a domain. My little Ryen had no chance once he got serious. It has been an age since we trained in that kind of warfare. Most wrath demons are nothing but shells of their former glory; not even fit to carry the name, making them extremely easy to kill."
Verz nervously chuckled as her hand subconsciously reached for the sword at her waist. "You're not going to do anything...rash, are you?"
Noticing the movement, Markek sighed. "Don't do anything foolish Huntsman. Although the pact between us stops me from killing you or any of your kin, it will not save your comrades or that boy. Besides, I think having a wrath demon with the sin of pride owing me a debt, could come in handy one day... Even if he has just pretty much destroyed any chance my granddaughter has of being able to stay in the main family without being killed by her siblings."
"I guess this is why you are have retained your position as Patriarch of the Ice Clan for five hundred years. Despite your look's, you have some intelligence," replied Verz, a hint of relief in her voice. "This demon is important to me and my goals. I would appreciate it if this matter was... kept discrete. In exchange, I might be able to offer a solution to Ryen's problem."
Markek showed a mirthless smile. "Of cou-"
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. STAY BACK!" Ryen's scream interrupted their conversation.
Mors was standing just five feet away from the demoness, looking down at her like a predator that had corned its prey. Slowly, a small, light blue puddle formed under the demoness, spreading outwards.
As the rest watched the scene unfolding before them, Ethemeusa's reptilian eyes were locked onto Mors' body; concern etched on her face. "Captain... when can we interrupt the duel?"
If Verz had looked over, she would have seen Ethemusa's expression and realised that something was wrong, however as she was too intent on watching the fight, prepared to jump in and stop one of them launching a lethal attack; she responded without thinking. "As soon as one of them surrenders and the other accepts or they try to kill the other."
Upon hearing Verz's words, Ethemeusa ground her teeth and edged forward, impatience clearly showing on her sharp features as she muttered quietly to herself. "You demons and your damn rules, no wonder you're going extinct."
Ryen, who was feebly attempting to move backwards, but had seemingly lost the strength to, started begging profusely, her subconscious latching onto Verz's words, igniting the spark of hope. "I surrender... I give up... I will do anything... What do you want? Please? Just stop."
"What do I want? Well... that's easy," said Mors in a icy tone. "I want everything and, I want nothing."
As Mors went to take another slow step forward, Ryen did something that was almost unheard of for a demon, especially of one from the Ice Clan, renowned for their stoic personalities.
After releasing a small whimper, she threw herself onto her stomach, laying in her urine as she raised both her feet, so her heels were touching her backside. At the same time, she stretched her arms out to her sides and raised her palms skyward as she slammed her forehead into the floor. "I..i..ssuubmit. I offe.. I give everything I have."
A snapping sound resonated out from Markek, as he shattered one of his teeth, his crystalline face contorting in an expression of disbelief.
Even Verz was utterly flabbergasted by what she was seeing. She had been expecting the demoness to berserk, as her kind was prone to when facing such a crushing defeat, and utilise her bloodlines powerful abilities or for Mors to attempt a finishing blow but not this, not complete subjugation.
The only time a demon would submit in this fashion, was when they were totally and utterly defeated and there was not even a slight chance of their survival if they continued to struggle. Only with these conditions met, could they throw away their pride and innate instincts. It was something of a survival mechanism for their race, a trait that offset their brutal, bloodthirsty nature, and one of the few reasons why they had not wiped themselves out yet.
Mors glare intensified as he spoke with short, shallow breaths. "Stand... fight... this is not how it ends."
Ryen remained motionless on the floor, small sobs coming from her as her body trembled.
Mors continued to glare, swaying slightly, but his aura significantly diminished as he found that the thought of killing her in this state, slightly repulsed him.
"Idiot, she knows we would have stepped in and saved her," hissed Markek, still reeling from the shock of what his granddaughter had just done. In demonic terms, total submission was like a form of slavery or a one-sided demonic pact. "Just how powerful is his domain to utterly dominate a pure blooded ice demoness?"
"I have seen many demon's auras and many domains," said Kelora, not speaking to anyone in particular, looking more shocked than the rest of them. "But I have never felt one like that. It was if I was standing in front of an army of millions, but at the same time, they were one... like an insectoid, hive mind with a single, terrifying goal."
Markek briefly looked confused, so Verz explained. "Kelora here is a reader or sorts; she has the ability read auras, passive effects and any skill as long as she can see it."
"I have never regretted having this ability until now," interrupted Kelora. "Captain, that imp... he isn't normal."
Verz finally turned to look at kelora, revealing a mocking expression. "Scared?"
"...Yes," replied Kelora, repressing a shiver, no hint of anger at the mocking question in her voice. "A demonic domain is created when a demon's aura is so strong; it creates illusions and warps the reality of anyone who is entranced, however, that felt real, as if he was just revealing his true self. It that is the case, then his aura has been enhanced by something else, and that should not be possible."
Verz frowned as her gaze returned to Mors, who was still swaying in front of the prostrating demoness. "Why are you acting so shocked? Nothing about that boy is normal."
Glaring down at Ryen, Mors felt nothing but contempt and disgust. Pathetic. Utterly pathetic. Is this what the world fears? Is this why I was persecuted so violently? Is this what others see me as? Some weak, snivelling coward who, to save their life, would roll in their own filth.
Mors wanted to spit in disgust, but he was barely standing, the numbing cold rendering his limbs almost immobile. Although he disguised it as best he could, Mors doubted he would be able to utter another sentence or continue to mask the fact that the reason he was swaying, was that he feared that his joints would completely lock up if he didn't keep them moving.
Overwhelming tiredness assaulted his senses, but he continued staring at the demoness... the warm, pulsating orange and red glow radiating from her body drawing him in, offering sweet warmth and release from his fatigue.
Mors' vision kept blurring in time with his slow, steady heartbeat as he came to a shocking discovery. I'm dying.
The feeling, now so familiar to him due to his memories, caused Mors to briefly panic before the sobbing of the young woman in front of him, refocused his mind. Verz advise resurfaced, causing him to try and chuckle. However, no sound escaped his lips and as he couldn't feel his face, he wasn't sure what facial expression he was making. It looks like I will live on in that girl's nightmares so this is not a complete loss I suppose but... I wonder what killed me? It feels as if my body is shutting down.
As Mors' thoughts drifted, his vision tilted backwards, and he heard the whistling of the air as he approached the floor, however instead of hitting it, it seemed like he fell through into a world of complete darkness. Bah... couldn't even die on my feet... Pathetic.
- 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]