Major demons, p.3

Major Demons, page 3

 

Major Demons
 


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  “How long until Sarah regains her memory?”

  “I’m fine, Shadow.”

  Sarah rubbed her head and then attempted to stand. She stumbled and fell back down. Remiel ran to her side and helped her get to her feet. Sarah looked angry.

  “We told you guys to keep the armies a safe distance away. This demon is dangerous.”

  “Well it’s also my job to watch over you so…”

  Remiel quickly pulled an arrow from his quiver and fired a shot at Bumalin. Bumalin ducked under the approaching arrow and rolled towards the angel. He struck him in the head and Remiel fell backwards, unconscious.

  “You guys really need to stop attacking me.”

  Gabriel drew his sword and pointed it at Bumalin.

  “Give Shadow his memories back or I’ll end you’re pathetic existence here and now.”

  Bumalin grinned.

  “Aren’t angels supposed to ask nicely for things? That wasn’t very nice.”

  Gabriel placed the point of his sword on Bumalin’s throat.

  “Can we stop playing this game? If you wanted to kill me, you would have done it already. It sounds like you need Shadow’s memories pretty badly. I’m willing to trade them.”

  Gabriel withdrew his sword.

  “What do you mean?”

  “Normally, I can just take the memories I want. It doesn’t seem like I can today. I don’t favor my odds against Gabriel and Shadow. What I have is important enough that you won’t kill me though. I’m willing to give Shadow’s memories back in exchange for a memory or memories of equal value. We make a trade and I run the fuck away. You don’t pursue me. I continue to feed off of the people, demons, and angels here in the Philippines. Do we have a deal?”

  Shadow crossed his arms.

  “How do we know that the memory we give you is of equal value?”

  “Because I’ll take it from the Archangel.”

  Gabriel shook his head.

  “No you won’t.”

  “I’ve read the minds of the two other angels. There’s nothing that I want in either of their heads. I’ve already taken from Shadow when he was much younger. Your mind is the one I can’t reach. One memory. One secret. For that I’ll give you all the original memories of Shadow.”

  Sarah kicked Remiel to see if he would respond. He didn’t move.

  “I don’t really think we have a choice, Grandpa. We need Shadow’s memories back.”

  Gabriel sighed and thought for a few minutes.

  “Can we find a way to extract the memories if I cut off his head?”

  Bumalin raised one eyebrow.

  “I’m right here. That’s really not cool to say in front of the demon you’re talking about.”

  Gabriel ignored him and looked at Shadow and Sarah.

  “Well?”

  Shadow shook his head.

  “I talked to Jess about it before we left Hell. She couldn’t think of a way to extract the memories. No demon has advanced the power as far as Bumalin has.”

  Bumalin started backing away.

  “I’m not feeling really safe about our deal anymore. You guys are kind of being assholes…”

  Shadow raised his hand and closed his eyes. Bumalin floated into the air, moved forward several paces, and then was dropped back on his feet. Sarah laughed.

  “When did you pick up that power?”

  “A few months ago. Haven’t had a reason to use it. Most demons I interact with don’t get enough time to think about running away.”

  “That’s pretty hot.”

  Shadow grinned and Sarah blushed. Gabriel frowned.

  “I mean… uh… that’s a cool power, Shadow.”

  Bumalin shifted nervously.

  “I really want to leave here. Do we have a deal?”

  “I guess we do, memory thief, with one modification. I have one memory that is off limits. I will continue to lock it down. I will be killed if it falls into the hands of another. It’s the day I was made an Archangel. Skip past it because I will not let you view it or have it.”

  “Killed? That’s pretty dark for the angels. Fine. I imagine you’re powerful enough to put that particular memory on lockdown. Unlock your mind with all the other memories and I’ll pick what I want.”

  “I also don’t want you sharing the memory you take. If it leaves your lips, I will remove your lips from your face with my blade.”

  “Not sure why you hang out with this guy, Shadow. He seems to like to slice stuff and threaten to slice stuff. No worries though, old timer. I’m a discreet memory thief.”

  Bumalin put his hand on Gabriel’s forehead before the Archangel could add any more conditions. There was silence for a few moments and then Bumalin grinned. He removed his hand and a white mist swirled around his hand and wrist. He put his hand up to his ear and let the memory enter his own head.

  “Interesting stuff. Does she know?”

  Gabriel drew his sword.

  “What did I say, stupid creature?”

  “I didn’t reveal anything. Just a general question.”

  Bumalin put his hand back to his ear and withdrew the memory. He put it in a jar and a small demon ran to his side to collect it. The demon grabbed the jar and ran off into the jungle.

  “That’s my insurance. If I’m killed, that gets sold to the highest bidder.”

  Shadow stepped forward.

  “We aren’t going to kill you this time. Hand over my memories and I’ll give you time to run away. We have no interest in interfering with your business here.”

  Bumalin put his other hand to his other ear and withdrew a red mist. He walked up to Shadow and placed the mist on Shadow’s forehead.

  “Give it time. They’ll eat away at the fake memories. It’ll take a minute or two.”

  Bumalin turned to run and Sarah cut him off.

  “You’ll wait until Shadow remembers. You don’t get to run off just yet.”

  Shadow pressed two fingers to his temples like he had a severe migraine.

  “Oh God.”

  Sarah looked over at Shadow and Bumalin took the opportunity to run. Sarah started to run after him but Shadow caught her arm and stopped her.

  “It’s ok. I remember. Let him go.”

  Later that night, Sarah, Shadow, Gabriel, and Remiel sat around a fire. A crow flew towards them and landed on Shadow’s shoulder. It looked like it was speaking to Shadow before it took off again. Remiel looked confused.

  “Is it normal for birds to speak to demons on Earth?”

  “That wasn’t a bird. That was a demon that has a vested interest in pretending to be dead right now. He was checking in and letting me know where Bumalin is. I may need to use Bumalin’s power again at some point.”

  Sarah scooted next to Shadow.

  “So are you going to tell us what was in your memories?”

  “It’s pretty lame, actually. All of my memories of my father were fake. I never knew the guy. He came up from the lowest circle for a day because Persephone pleaded with the Dragon. He impregnated my mother. My uncle fed me lies and then trained me to be a weapon, hell-bent on freeing my father. Cain never expected me to find any of this out and he definitely didn’t expect me to live after I freed my father.”

  Sarah intertwined her fingers with Shadow’s and rested her head on his shoulder.

  “I’m sorry, Shadow.”

  “I think I may have something that’s helpful though. I now have a memory of sneaking into my uncle’s armory. There were two swords on the wall. One of them was Michael’s short blade.”

  Shadow reached into his cloak and produced the sword.

  “I have that one. Cain gave it to me. The other was a short blade that was as dark as this one is light. I remember asking Cain about the two swords. He told me it was the Dragon’s short blade. Apparently Abaddon had both at some point and Cain took them when Abaddon was dragged down to the lowest circle. All of those memories were pulled from me by Bumalin. Now that I have my memories back, I know that
the Dragon’s short blade is no longer in Cain’s armory because I’ve been there since his death. It would make sense that Abaddon has it again.”

  Gabriel thought a moment and then asked a question.

  “Can I see that sword?”

  Shadow was taken aback by the request but Sarah nodded at him that it was alright. He handed it over to Gabriel. Gabriel looked it over with interest.

  “I haven’t seen this weapon in a long time. It is Michael’s and I had heard it was given to Abaddon.”

  Gabriel tossed it back to Shadow.

  “I know it will be safe in your hands. Thank you for letting me see it.”

  “No problem. Any comment on the memories?”

  “Well it makes sense that Abaddon would have Satan’s short blade. He would have access to lots of weapons with Azazel at his side, but that would be the most powerful. Abaddon likely reclaimed it shortly after he was freed. There’s not much alive that could have stopped him or even slowed him down. I think he may eventually come after you to reclaim his other short blade. I imagine if he plans to kill Michael, he’ll want to do it with one of Michael’s swords.”

  “Where the hell is Michael, by the way? Does he not feel responsible for any of this mess? Abaddon is his son… or does he still not believe that?”

  “It’s… complicated, Shadow. I think he believes Abaddon to be his son but seeing him is too painful. It reminds him of the night he lost Persephone.”

  “He needs to get the fuck over it. I don’t want to be cleaning up this mess any more than he does. I don’t want to be up here hunting my own father.”

  “It’s not that…”

  “It’s that simple. And you know what? If Abaddon picks a fight with Michael, I will not intervene. Abaddon can kill Michael for all I care. One less Archangel to worry about.”

  Shadow stood and started walking down the mountain. Gabriel sighed and shook his head.

  CHAPTER 6

  Jess threw a bottle of beer at Murmur’s head. He narrowly avoided it and it shattered on the wall behind him.

  “How could you kill Muan? He never did anything to you! Of all the stupid shit I’ve seen you pull…”

  “Calm down.”

  “I will NOT calm down!”

  Jess waved her staff and Murmur saw his armor start to glow. As he looked down, he saw the word “DUMBASS” appear in red, dripping letters on his armor. He laughed and defensively held up both hands.

  “Jess, it wasn’t Muan. I’m positive.”

  “How can you be sure of that?”

  “First of all, I don’t think Nightmare and Astaroth capable of catching the little bastard. He’s quick and he’s currently with Shadow. He’s in command of several armies. The Archangel Gabriel is there with them. How in fuck’s name would they have pulled that off?”

  Aim walked into the room.

  “He makes a good point, sis.”

  Jess waved her staff without looking at her brother. Two pieces of duct tape in the shape of a letter “X” floated towards his face and attached to his mouth.

  “Second, the demon wasn’t wearing that necklace Muan has. The one that lets him change into animals.”

  “The necklace of Iktomi?”

  “Right. That thing.”

  “And it didn’t occur to you that they could have simply taken it away from Muan after they captured him?”

  Aim made a bunch of unintelligible sounds and then struggled to remove the duct tape from his mouth. Jess’s spell kept it in place.

  “Third, I have spies watching Astaroth. She’s been experimenting with black magic that allows her to briefly make a demon look like another demon.”

  “That’s some advanced spellcasting.”

  “She’s a generally a poison-brewing bitch but I know she’s experimented with magic before to aid her poison making. I trust the reports I’ve received.”

  “I’m not convinced.”

  “Fine. Fourth, Shadow told me Muan is still alive. He’s currently taking the form of a crow and following a memory stealing demon named Bumalin in the Philippines.”

  “Oh. Well why didn’t you tell me that to begin with?”

  “Watching you be angry is amusing and I needed a good laugh.”

  Jess waved her staff again and stomped out of the room. Murmur looked down and saw the lettering on his armor change to the word “ASSHOLE.” He laughed. Aim finally removed the duct tape from his mouth.

  “Look, I know you’re friends with Shadow but we really need to consider accepting Nightmare’s offer. We’re outnumbered down here and Shadow won’t be coming back to help us any time soon. Have you thought about what we’re going to do if Nightmare and Astaroth combine forces and attack us?”

  “I know you like giving strategic advice and you’re worried they’ll figure out where my loyalties lie, but they still think I’m on their side. I told you there plan. They don’t plan on doing anything until Shadow, Leech, and Lilith return. They might be prompted into action sooner if they receive word that one of them has died. All things considered, we’re doing alright for right now though.”

  “So no backup plan? What if they figure out that you played them? What if they go back on the deal they offered you? What if they just wake up one morning and decide they want you dead? What then?”

  “Then we need to be ready. Thoughts?”

  Aim nodded.

  “I’ve been thinking about what we can do to even the odds. While the Dragon is on Earth hunting down Abaddon, his legendary weapons are left basically unguarded. I mean… I’m sure they’re guarded, but nowhere near the point that they usually are. Nightmare took the berserker staff and fused it with his scythe. We need to make sure we start collecting similar items that would turn a battle in our favor.”

  “I have Dragonscale and Cain’s armor.”

  “Yes… you have those things. What if Nightmare kills you? We’re kind of screwed at that point.”

  “I honestly don’t care what happens to you dumbasses if I’m killed. I’ll be dead. Kind of pointless to try to care about things when you’re dead, right?”

  “That wasn’t my point. My point was to fortify the rest of your army with gear that will keep them alive longer than the other armies. Jess and I still pretty much have shit for gear. No offense… but your entire army pretty much has shit for gear.”

  “What can we do about that? I don’t know where the Dragon hides his gear.”

  Aim grinned and handed Murmur a scroll.

  “I found this in that massive treasure heap Leviathan kept under his throne. It’s a list of weapons he wanted but didn’t have the power to acquire. Think about it. This is the department of jealousy. Leviathan will have had this list looked over hundreds of times. These are the valuable shit he couldn’t get. We have a chance to go get them.”

  Murmur finally took an interest in Aim’s ramblings.

  “Alright then, what should we go after first?”

  “Probably the weapon at the bottom of the list. That weapon will be the least protected.”

  Murmur scanned the list and then arrived at the bottom. Murmur grinned when he saw what it was.

  “White Death, the legendary sniper rifle. How convenient for you, Aim. Any idea who I should give it to if we get it?”

  “Obviously the best sniper in the army. Last I checked… that would be…”

  “You?”

  “We don’t have to go after White Death first. Let’s pick a weapon from the list at random.”

  Aim grabbed the scroll from Murmur and placed it on the ground. He closed his eyes and pointed at the bottom of the list.

  “Well… it looks like I’ve randomly selected the White Death sniper rifle. Looks like that should be our first acquisition.”

  “I’m not agreeing to that yet. Have you scouted out the location on the scroll?”

  “Yup. The scroll said at any given time the Dragon had 5,000 demons guarding it. We might have been able to take it but with severely heavy losses.
I scouted the area with my sniper team. Less than 500 demons. They all carry guns. I’m sensing a theme.”

  “Do they have armor?”

  “Generally no.”

  “So we’re literally just killing them to get their guns and a sniper rifle you want? Aim this is the definition of being a selfish asshole.”

  “Well I could point out how hypocritical that sounds coming from you, with your Dragonscale shield and the ever-bleeding armor of Cain, but I imagine you’d kill me. Come on, boss. We need to get this army better equipped. I can pass my rifle down to one of the other snipers and then teach a group of demons how to shoot with the guns we take from the corpses of the cowboy demons.”

  “Cowboy demons?”

  “That’s kind of what the demons guarding White Death looked like. Cowboy demons.”

  “And we can pull this off without Nightmare and Astaroth figuring out that we took one of the Dragon’s weapons? Explain that part to me.”

  Aim was silent for several seconds.

  “I hadn’t thought of that. Um… we make sure no one is watching us and leave no survivors?”

  “You pointed out that Nightmare fused the berserker staff with his scythe. What if Nightmare goes after White Death and finds no weapon and nothing guarding where it’s supposed to be?”

  Aim was silent for several seconds.

  “Murmur… I really, really want this sniper rifle. I want to break the record for most confirmed kills in a major war in Hell. This thing…”

  Aim held up his sniper rifle.

  “…is a piece of shit. I always have to aim three feet to the left. The bullets don’t always put down my target so I consistently have to double tap with head shots. It’s ridiculous and frustrating.”

  “Maybe you’re aim is just three feet off.”

  “Fine! You want to joke around and be a jerk when I’m trying to strengthen our army then I won’t help you anymore!”

  Aim stomped towards the door and then stopped. He waited there for nearly a full minute before turning around.

  “You were supposed to stop me.”

  “From throwing a tantrum? I’d rather just let you stomp out of the room.”

  “Please. I need this sniper rifle. It will pay off for you. I promise.”

 
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