Major demons, p.10

Major Demons, page 10

 

Major Demons
 


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  “I’m going to get out of here when the Dragon returns. He’ll free me and I will torture you for months before I kill you.”

  “I wouldn’t be so sure that the Dragon cares about you that much. You were an interesting toy in his collection. He found your staff powerful and your immortality intriguing. Both of those things remain the same with you in a cage and a more powerful sorceress wielding your staff. I’m going to try to merge it with my scythe when I become a major demon. Good luck taking it away from me after that.”

  Jess turned and started to leave. The monkey king screeched.

  “Leave me with something. Water. Food. A better staff than this broken stick.”

  Jess didn’t turn back.

  “You tried to kill me. I’ve been more than generous.”

  As Jess exited the cave, she saw Aim waiting for her.

  “What’d you do to the monkey?”

  “I gave him what he deserved. A cage.”

  “Pretty harsh, sis. We even now? I had your back.”

  “Yes. I’ll let the fact that you’re a dumbass go for now.”

  “That’s all I ask.”

  Jess laughed. Murmur, Gangrene, and Lilith approached. All three of them were bloody and covered in dirt. Murmur cracked his knuckles.

  “The next time you need a favor, remind me to say no.”

  Lilith held out her scythe and Jess took it.

  “I’ve held up my end of the bargain. It’s your turn.”

  Jess took her scythe in one hand and her new staff in the other. She muttered words and her eyes glowed red. Both weapons started to heat up and glow. She brought them together and the two weapons fused.

  “It’s so nice to have a staff powerful enough to tap my full potential. A lot of the spells I used to cast were well beyond the power of my staff and they drained me.”

  Aim decided he couldn’t help himself.

  “So Shadow has two scythes and he calls it Damnation. Nightmare has a scythe fused with the berserker staff and he calls it Rage. You have a scythe fused with the immortal monkey king’s staff. What do we call it? Poop flinger? Banana slicer?”

  Jess waved her scythe and Aim hit himself in the head with the butt of his gun.

  “The name isn’t important right now. If you start calling my scythe ‘Poop flinger’ I guarantee bad things will happen to you. Now, Lilith, I have a spell that can enhance Leech’s energy stealing power so that he’s able to regrow his limbs and body. He’ll come back to life. The problem is that we’ll need someone powerful enough to fuel his return. I was thinking that Murmur could give it a shot.”

  Murmur nodded.

  “I’m willing to help out. I’m clearly the most powerful demon here so there’s no point in anyone else trying.”

  Gangrene looked like he wanted to say something but decided against it. He decided he didn’t want to make a new enemy over his ego. When Murmur failed, he would show everyone that he was more powerful.

  Lilith removed Leech’s head from the bag on her belt. The eyes were still glowing a faint green. Jess cast the spell with her scythe and the green light emanating from Leech’s eyes grew stronger. Murmur lifted the head. Nothing happened.

  “So um… why isn’t it…”

  Murmur cut his sentence short and dropped to one knee. He grunted as Leech’s head stole his energy and strength. After a few seconds, Murmur dropped Leech’s head. Gangrene picked it up.

  “So clearly Murmur wasn’t strong enough. Let me give it a shot.”

  Once Leech’s head started to drain Gangrene’s strength, he dropped it even quicker than Murmur. Murmur was breathing heavily, but he grinned up at Gangrene. Lilith hung her head, what little hope she had mostly extinguished. She retrieved Leech’s head, put it back in the bag, and reattached it to her belt.

  “I guess I know what I need to do. I’m going back to Earth. I’m going to find Shadow. He can help me bring Leech back.”

  Gangrene fell over but responded in between heavy breaths.

  “I’ll go… with you…”

  Lilith shook her head.

  “Murmur, Jess, and Aim need you down here. Aim doesn’t have a scythe. Nightmare is dumb, but he’s eventually going to figure out that Murmur tricked him. Stay down here and keep the two sides balanced. Thanks for your help, Jess. Good luck running the department of lust.”

  Lilith turned and headed back towards her house to talk to Raven.

  CHAPTER 23

  “So what do we do now?”

  Shadow shrugged.

  “The plan hasn’t changed. Kill Azazel. Kill Abaddon. Kill the Dragon. Kill anything that gets in our way.”

  “We don’t know where any of them are. How are we supposed to kill them?”

  Muan had been running around as a leopard. He was still worried that Sarah wanted to kill him for the concoction he used to bring her back. He turned back into a demon and held up both hands in a defensive manner.

  “I’d like to speak because I have a lead. If you’re going to hit me, slice me up, or throw things… Please tell me now so I can turn back into a leopard and run away.”

  Sarah smiled and spoke through gritted teeth.

  “You have a lead for where we can score more cocaine? Is that what you have a lead for?”

  Muan sighed.

  “Right. You’re clearly still pissed. I’d like you to remember that I did save your life though.”

  “No. Shadow saved my life and he didn’t inject me with anything. That’s how you save someone’s life, Muan. You get in the way of what’s about to kill them. You don’t force a cocktail of ‘Muan’s best drugs and booze’ down their throats.”

  “There was barely any booze. Small bit of adrenaline. It was mostly drugs.”

  Sarah started advancing towards Muan but Shadow cut her off and held her back.

  “Let’s hear your lead, Muan.”

  “I think I know how we can locate Azazel.”

  “We’re listening.”

  “Well you killed Scapegoat. Scapegoat worked for Azazel. If he had something on him that belonged to Azazel, I can create a potion that will lead us to him. I think. My dad did it a few times. I’ve never made it on my own.”

  “Shouldn’t be a problem though, right Muan? It’s probably just meth mixed with marijuana and crack. Maybe some chili pepper for flavor.”

  “Wow. I didn’t know angels had such a hard time letting things go.”

  “I’m not an angel. I’m a nephilim. I can be as pissed as I want.”

  Shadow hit Damnation against the ground and the Earth shook.

  “Enough. We should follow Muan’s lead and go find Azazel. Since I know where Scapegoat died, we can just save time and teleport back. Come on.”

  Sarah and Muan each placed a hand on one of Shadow’s shoulders. He teleported the three of them back to the site of Scapegoat’s death. Muan started searching among the small chunks of burning remains.

  “It needs to be something that was clearly Azazel’s. If you see any kind of mark that leads you to believe that…”

  “What about Scapegoat’s sword?”

  Sarah pulled the sword from her belt.

  “He told me it was forged by Azazel in the heavens.”

  “Sure. That’ll work if you’re ok with me grinding it up and putting it in the potion.”

  Sarah sheathed the weapon on her own belt.

  “I kind of like it. Let’s call that our backup plan. I’d like to keep it if I can.”

  Muan nodded and the three of them started searching. Sarah thought she saw something on Scapegoat’s shoulder.

  “Help me get his armor off. There’s some kind of mark on his right shoulder blade. Maybe it’ll help us figure some things out.”

  Shadow and Muan removed Scapegoat’s breastplate. They looked at the marking and then at each other. They looked disturbed.

  “I don’t get it. What does it mean?”

  Shadow looked at Muan. He assumed Muan could explain it better.

&
nbsp; “That’s a devils tongue marking. Black speech. It’s a mark we use to…”

  Muan looked at Shadow and Shadow nodded as if to confirm that he should continue.

  “… a mark we use to brand our slaves. Demons in training who never make it beyond that rank. They’re sometimes marked by minor demons, middle demons, and major demons. It basically just confirms that Scapegoat was Azazel’s slave. It actually explains a few things, like why he never tried to escape and why he did everything Azazel told him to without question.”

  Sarah looked at Shadow, hoping she knew the answer to what she was about to ask.

  “You never… marked anyone… like that. Did you?”

  Shadow shook his head.

  “Everyone who worked for me did so of their own free will. Branding marks isn’t my style. I have to admit that I almost feel bad for the guy. He could have done pretty well if he wasn’t enslaved by a creature of Azazel’s power. Scapegoat probably could have climbed up to the rank of middle demon in Hell without any issues.”

  “Can we cut the marking off his shoulder and use it in the potion?”

  Muan nodded.

  “I’m sure it was accompanied by a powerful spell. Scapegoat was Azazel’s property. It should work.”

  Muan approached Scapegoat’s corpse with his knife. Sarah turned away as he started slicing into scarred flesh. He put it in a small bowl that he produced form under his cloak and mixed in several ingredients from vials and bottles. When he was done, he poured the potion on the ground. Sarah looked confused.

  “Why did you pour it out? Did you mess something up?”

  Muan shook his head.

  “Just wait for it.”

  “Wait for what?”

  The spilled potion rose up into the air and formed a black dog. The dog didn’t look at them. It just started running. Muan pointed at it.

  “Follow the dog. It’ll take us to Azazel.”

  “Muan, you’re really creepy. You know that, right?”

  Muan grinned.

  “What you call creepy, I call awesome. Witch doctors are awesome. Now start running. We can’t let the dog get too far ahead of us.”

  Muan turned back into a leopard and started running after the dog. Shadow and Sarah followed. After a few minutes of running, the dog disappeared. Muan went to the spot where it had vanished and looked confused.

  “That doesn’t make any sense. It should have kept running until…”

  Shadow saw a flash of light in the air above Muan’s head. It was descending towards him. He shoved Muan out of the way and brought Damnation up to meet the blade. He recognized his opponent.

  “Raphael. So you didn’t go home with Gabriel. Attacking me was a stupid move.”

  Raphael backed up several paces and laughed.

  “I only come to Earth for one reason. To hunt demons. That’s all the three of you are. I found out Gabriel’s secret from Bumalin. I’ll start with the small witch doctor. Then I’ll cut Gabriel’s bastard offspring in half. Finally, I’ll pierce Abaddon’s son through the heart with my blade. Gabriel was protecting you but he isn’t here anymore.”

  Sarah and Muan started advancing towards Raphael, weapons in hand. Shadow held up his arms and they stopped. He pointed Damnation at Raphael and grinned.

  “My scythe hasn’t had the opportunity to bathe itself in Archangel blood yet. Thank you for the opportunity.”

  CHAPTER 24

  Gangrene had been waiting outside Lilith’s house for what felt like hours. Raven and Lilith were still inside, hugging and crying. He had thought about entering several times but he knew how crazy the half-sisters could be when they were emotional. He sat on a rock outside and polished his scythe, hoping they would hurry up. When he heard something shatter inside the house, he jumped up and ran inside.

  “What’s going on? Is someone attacking you?”

  Gangrene scanned the room and saw Raven breathing heavily and the shattered remains of a vase on the floor.

  “Gangrene, tell my sister she’s not going to Earth alone. We’re going with her.”

  “I already offered. She said no. She wants me to stay down here and help Murmur.”

  Lilith raised her hands in submission.

  “Hey. There’s no need to throw things. Let’s just sit at the table and have a mature discussion about this. I’m willing to listen if the two of you are.”

  Gangrene and Raven stood where they were in stunned silence. They had never heard Lilith say the words “mature discussion” before and neither of them had any idea how to respond.

  “I made some tea. It’ll help calm everyone down. Sit at the table and have a cup.”

  Gangrene shook his head.

  “I’m perfectly calm. There’s no need to…”

  Lilith cut him off, shrieking.

  “Sit at the damn table and drink the tea!”

  Raven and Gangrene sat at the table. Raven was still pouting.

  “We can drink all the tea in Hell but it isn’t going to change the fact that you aren’t going back to Earth with my niece to look for Shadow. Not without us. I talked to Gangrene a while back about letting you go if it came to it… but I can’t do it. I hate all of my other sisters. I can’t let you leave.”

  Gangrene raised an eyebrow.

  “You’re taking your daughter back up there? I think I’m going to have to agree with Raven. That world is crazy enough right now with all the nephilim running around, not to mention the Dragon has most of his forces up there. I’m going to have to insist that…”

  “How do you like the tea?”

  Gangrene and Raven looked at the table at the cups Lilith had placed in front of them.

  “Lilith, tea isn’t going to change my mind either. It’s irresponsible to take an infant…”

  “Try it. The two of you need to calm down before we discuss this.”

  Raven looked at the tea.

  “It’s a trap.”

  Lilith laughed.

  “How is this a trap?”

  Raven looked over at Gangrene and then back at her sister.

  “You’re trying to drug us so that you can run away.”

  Lilith looked at the floor.

  “Well shit. Why couldn’t you just drink the tea?”

  Gangrene stood, looking outraged.

  “You were seriously trying to drug us so you could sneak away?”

  “That was Plan A. I guess I’m going to have to resort to Plan B now. Jess…”

  Jess entered the house from the back entrance. She waved her scythe and four shadowy figures crawled up from holes that appeared in the floor. They grabbed Gangrene and Raven’s arms and took their weapons.

  “Sorry about this, guys. Lilith and I made a side deal since I wasn’t able to bring Leech back. No hard feelings. Just business.”

  Jess turned and left. Lilith went to Lucia’s room and wrapped her in a blanket. Raven and Gangrene continued to struggle to free themselves.

  “I’m really sorry guys. The next time I ask you to drink tea, please just do it.”

  Lilith carried Lucia outside and placed her in the saddle addition Leech had designed to securely carry the baby when Lilith went riding. Lilith then mounted Keshi and rode towards Jess.

  “Hey, Jess. One more quick favor.”

  “We already made our deal, Lilith. I don’t owe you anything else. They’re going to be pissed enough that I just did what I did. You realize Gangrene is a major demon now, right?”

  Lilith shrugged.

  “So are you. Thanks to me. I handed over my scythe. I know you’ve been helpful but I want one more favor.”

  Jess sighed.

  “What is it?”

  “I want you to cast a spell to make my horse talk. I’ve always wondered what he’s thinking.”

  “I can’t do that.”

  “Can’t or won’t?”

  “Pick one.”

  “Why not?”

  “Because no demon sorcerer has ever been insane enough to come up
with a spell to make horses talk.”

  “Can the angels do it then? I can ask one of the angel sorcerers when I make it to Earth.”

  “I don’t know. I’ve never asked one. I don’t know if you know this or not, but most of us don’t get along with demons well enough to chat with them.”

  “Fine. If I can’t have that then I want a different favor.”

  “I never agreed to give you a favor. Our deal is done. Bring Leech to Shadow and he should be able to draw enough strength to come back… plus I just attacked your half-sister and a major demon. No more favors.”

  Lilith looked at Jess like she was going to scream. Jess returned her agitated look.

  “What? What else do you want?”

  “A spell of protection for Lucia.”

  Jess softened a little.

  “Well that’s way less stupid than making a horse talk. Of course I can do something like that.”

  “Curse her green blanket so that anyone that picks her up other than a demon will have their life force stolen.”

  Jess nodded and cast the spell.

  “Cool. Thanks, Jess. I’m off. Tell Gangrene and Raven not to be too pissed. Tell them it was all my idea and you didn’t want to help but I threatened to kill you.”

  “But you didn’t threaten to kill me…”

  “Oh good. You never got my note. Forget I said that. Just tell them it wasn’t your fault.”

  “What note?”

  Lilith kicked Keshi and the horse started sprinting. Jess watched them go and tried not to laugh.

  “That girl is fucking insane. I hope she stays safe up there.”

  CHAPTER 25

  Shadow started circling Raphael and Raphael started circling in the opposite direction. Sarah tried to diffuse the situation.

  “Raphael, please don’t do this. I won’t tell Grandpa. Just go home. We don’t have a problem with you.”

  “You’ll address me as Archangel Raphael and I don’t care what Gabriel has to say about this. One of his bloodlines is corrupted. He doesn’t have the strength to do anything about it so I’m doing him a favor by cutting off the mutilated branch. He has other sons and daughters to succeed him if he ever tires of being an Archangel. Why he chose you as his favorite never made sense to most of the angels anyways.”

 
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