I didn’t know what to do, we had all been lead to rooms and left with our champions but no one had told us what we were supposed to do next. We had just been told to wait and that someone would come soon, that had been over an hour ago.
Evo Nightborn hadn’t said anything since I had summoned him, he would send me glances occasionally but that was all. I didn’t know what he thought of me, but his eyes didn’t have any of the disgust or hate I was used to watching. Honestly I wasn’t even sure what I thought of him, he was supposed to be a terrifying monster that would kill as easily as he would say hello. The only records of survivors from his campaigns were those women he had taken a liking to, there were even some texts that claimed he ate the corpses of the people he killed.
Yet somehow he makes me feel safe, reassured… I looked over at him again as he sat on the only bed in the room looking down at his hands, he seemed lost in thought. He doesn’t look at me with disgust or hate… I found myself standing up and moving closer to him. He could be a monster, a devil… I stopped in front of him and tried to find the courage I thought I had inside me. The angel said he was the same as me deep down, the other side of the same coin… I spoke up.
“Um… Mister Evo?”
His gaze popped up in surprise and as his eyes meet mine I flinched. I looked down, I couldn’t stand meeting his gaze when there was that strange warm light in his eyes.
“Yeah kid, what is it?”
It was the moment I heard his voice, it was warm and comforting. It gave me the confidence to ask my question, the question whose answer I dreaded. If he really was a monster and a devil like he was said to be in history texts then what did that say about me?
“Um… are you really a devil?”
He looked surprised, but a smile began to grow on his face. It was a kind looking smile, one that made my heart lurch and my breath hitch. I hadn’t noticed until that moment but Evo Nightborn was very handsome and he was very close. Wha… What is this?
“Nope I’m not a devil, in fact I’m about as human as a person can be.”
I felt a moment of relief, if that was the case and Evo Nightborn was really human... If he’s human and we share a soul…
“Oh, that’s quite reassuring to hear Lord Nightborn…”
I sat on the bed quietly next to Evo Nightborn and tried not to look at the noblewoman. I wasn’t stupid, they were laying a honey trap. A beautiful woman who was also a member of Avalon nobility, it would be hard for any man to resist especially when they had only a monster like me to look at since they were alive. Evo Nightborn had said he didn’t want her right now, but I thought he might be lying.
I peeked at the young man beside me from the cover of my long bangs, he seemed relaxed.
“…So we are unsure about the specifics of your death, Lord Nightborn. In fact the exact details of your life are fairly distorted as most records of you were taken by your… enemies. There are some details in the Lowe demon empire, but the former queen Nalitessia had many of the records destroyed after the twenty year war you died in.”
Evo Nightborn stiffened beside me.
“Former Queen Nalitessia?”
I looked back at the brown haired woman sitting calmly at the desk across from us.
“Yes… There was speculation that you had relations with the demon queen, but…”
“We were betrothed. Now tell me what happened to my fiancée, and keep in mind that if you lie to me… Well I’m sure you know a few stories don’t you?”
I felt a chill go down my back again, his voice wasn’t the cold menace I had heard from him before it was almost casual how he had threatened the noble. The noblewoman had clear fear creep into her eyes, it was an improvement over the strange fascination that had been shining in them before.
“I… Um, Yes… Queen Nalitessia ceded her throne to her daughter a two centuries ago and has resided in a private villa on the border of Hearth in the Mistlands ever since.”
Evo relaxed beside me.
“So Nali is ok, good… I wonder who she had a daughter with though…”
Evo let out a sigh.
“Alright down to business, what do you want?”
The noblewoman’s green eyes shifted once more, now they had a sharpness to them that was almost scary.
“I merely want to be of use to you Lord Nightborn. It is my sole desire to fulfil your own desires in any way I…”
Evo Nightborn shook his head and let out a tired sounding sigh.
“Haah, cut the crap. For one thing I’m sure that I’m no longer the lord of Hearth so you can drop the formalities, call me Evo or nothing at all. Secondly, I buy that whole “devoted servant” act about as much as I buy the fact you misunderstood what I meant when I asked you that question. So let’s get to the point, what does Avalon want with me?”
The noblewoman looked at me for a moment before her gaze went back to Evo Nightborn, there was no disgust in her gaze but the sharpness unnerved me more.
“Very well Sir Evo, I shall cut to the heart of the matter then. You are one of the six champions that were promised to us by Gaia, you were brought back to life by the maiden sitting beside you. You were brought back to life because all of Gaia’s children are facing a threat we cannot face alone, an evil god…”
I knew this part, it was the story of how Amon came to invade our world.
“Heh, an evil god huh? Than I’m guessing you want me to band together with the other five champions to defeat the evil god, right?”
The noblewoman looked taken aback.
“Well, yes, that would be ideal.”
Evo nightingale gave a charming smile as he leaned back, I felt his hand on my shoulder and jumped slightly from shock. He was touching me, willingly touching some filthy half breed like me. I didn’t hate this feeling.
“Well Lilith, there are two problems with that. One, I’m a mercenary so I won’t fight for free. And two, I highly doubt you have anywhere near enough authority or pull to negotiate my terms. So how about this, I’ll stay here while you find someone with enough pull to negotiate with me…”
The noblewoman leaned forward with an almost predatory look in her eyes.
“Lilith Baum, first daughter and acting heir to the Baum earldom, future high marshal of the Avalon Kingdom, Future commander of the dragon order knights, and twenty first in line for the throne. I believe I’m more than qualified to handle the negotiations of your contract with my kingdom and the Unity Alliance, do you feel the same… Evo?”
I looked at the woman in surprise, she was far more important than I had thought. I felt like I was being disrespectful by not immediately bowing down.
“Yeah, that’ll work fine Lilith. Hey do you mind if I call you Lily? Yeah, I’m liking Lily a lot…”
Evo Nightborn just leaned forward with a grin while I felt my heart jump into my throat, he wasn’t showing her any of the respect her position demanded. The noblewoman didn’t seem to mind though, she just returned his grin.
“If that is what you wish to call me, Evo.”
Evo Nightborn clapped his hands with a wide smile.
“Wonderful! Then lets lay all our cards out on the table then shall we Lily? I’ll go first. I can offer you and your kingdom quite a bit, but as I am right now what I can do is fairly limited.”
The noblewoman’s gaze hardened.
“And why is that?”
I felt more than saw Evo Nightborn tense.
“Oh, that’s because I was apparently reborn with only a small portion of my original power. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still probably one of the most dangerous people in this entire palace. I just won’t be at the level of those other people I saw in the temple, at least I’m not yet.”
I watched in surprise as the noblewoman’s face went through a series of quick changes before settling in a sort of pleasant neutral expression.
“Oh, I see… And how long would you expect it to take you to reclaim your full power?”
Evo Nightborn just smiled as he stared the noblewoman in the eye.
“Well, that’ll depend… As things are now it could be a year or a decade, I just don’t know. But if your real question is how quickly I could prove to be useful, well…”
I felt a breeze caress my cheek as Evo Nightborn’s arm moved. I looked at the dagger embedded into the wall behind the noblewoman who now had a line of blood dripping down from a shallow cut on her neck. The noblewoman’s eyes were wide and colored with fear and something else I couldn’t recognize.
“I’d say I could be plenty useful…”
The noblewoman simply nodded.