Major Demons, page 9
“Fine. Gangrene can take on this giant and the three of us will move on. Go ahead.”
Gangrene started running towards the giant.
“I really need the two of you to shut the fuck up now. I’m tired of listening to you. It’s time for you to die.”
The two heads looked at each other.
“Can we eat him?”
“Of course we can.”
“But is he lunch or dinner?”
Gangrene slashed at the giant’s foot with his scythe. It didn’t draw blood, but the giant started hopping around and clutching its foot. Jess, Lilith, and Murmur used the opportunity to sneak by unnoticed. After a minute of running, they felt the ground shaking. Jess, Lilith, and Murmur snuck up on the second giant. The giant was larger than the two headed giant and was skipping while chasing a vulture. The ground shook every time gravity brought him down. He was also singing.
“Birdie! Birdie! Birdie! Birdie!”
Lilith put her fingers on her temples.
“Wow. This is worse than that two-headed idiot.”
“So you want this one then?”
“Sure. Why are the giants so annoying? No wonder they all got sent to Hell.”
Lilith ran towards the giant. The giant saw Lilith approaching and changed his direction and his song. He started running at Lilith and yelling.
“Demon! Demon! Demon! Demon!”
Jess and Murmur ran past the second giant. A short time later, they saw a large ball rolling around in front of the entrance to a cave. Jess pointed at it.
“I think that’s the third giant.”
Murmur looked at her skeptically.
“That rolling ball of fat? It’s going too fast. How am I supposed to stop it?”
“You’re the major demon. You tell me.”
“I guess I’ll find a way. The staff is in the cave?”
“If Aim’s intel is accurate. So… who knows?”
“Well good luck then. I’ll go take on that rolling ball of fat and see if I can put a stop to it.”
Murmur ran towards the rolling ball and readied his scythe like a baseball bat. When the ball got close enough, he swung as hard as he could. The ball unfolded itself and fell over. It was the third giant.
“What did you hit me for?”
Murmur wasn’t sure how to respond. He decided to answer with a question.
“Why were you rolling around like that?”
The giant scratched his chin and thought for a moment.
“I… I don’t know.”
Murmur rolled his eyes.
“Talking to you is a waste of time.”
“Oh… alright then. I’ll go back to rolling around.”
Murmur struck with his scythe and Jess ran past them. The cave had very little light but Jess was accustomed to seeing in the dark. She occasionally thought she saw little creatures running around in dark corners but tried to ignore it. She wasn’t afraid. When she came to the end of the tunnel, she stepped into a large circular room. A small fire spread in a circle, blocking the way she had come. The light from the fire showed what the little creatures were that had been following her.
“They’re cute little monkeys! How adorable!”
The monkeys ran to the center of the room and started climbing on each other. They merged into a larger monkey with a staff.
“I am the immortal monkey king. It’s rare that I have visitors. Those idiot giants outside usually annoy everyone away. Who are you and what are you doing here?”
“My name is Jess and I’m… uh…”
“Here to steal my staff?”
“Not steal. I didn’t know you existed. I’m a sorceress and I need it for something very important.”
“Well… it’s mine. Are you going to try to take it from me?”
Jess thought for a moment before responding. She had assumed the staff would just be waiting for her unguarded in the cave. Count on Aim to not find all of the details when it wasn’t something he was personally interested in.
“Like I said… I need it. There’s a demon that’s in between life and death right now. I need to bring him back.”
“And you need my staff for the spell. I see.”
The monkey king looked as if he was considering the request. After several moments of silence, he shook his head.
Jess waited for him to elaborate. He didn’t.
“That’s it? No?”
The monkey king seemed to get a little annoyed with her response.
“No… let me tell you what is unacceptable, Jess. It’s unacceptable that the Dragon took away most of the giants he promised would guard me here. It’s unacceptable that you somehow got through the three giants that were left. It’s unacceptable that you entered my cave and it’s unacceptable that you are trying to steal my staff.”
Jess readied her staff.
“I guess we don’t have anything further to discuss. I was willing to make a deal.”
“No. No deals. No. No. No.”
“You sound like the giant out there that’s chasing a bird. He doesn’t have much of a vocabulary either.”
The monkey king’s eyes turned red.
“No… once again you don’t understand your situation. It is you who has a lacking vocabulary. I’m the immortal monkey king. Immortal means I can’t die. Wandering in here hoping to kill me was incredibly foolish. Attempting to steal my staff was an asinine idea. I will place your rotting corpse at the entrance of this cave with a sign that says ‘I was dumb enough to attempt to steal from the monkey king.’”
Jess went with her go-to first attack, corpse hands reaching up from the ground grabbing at anything they could reach and pinning them down. The monkey king flashed briefly and then disappeared. Moments later, Jess felt something fall on her shoulders and hit her hard on the head. She felt dizzy and fell over.
“I won’t even need to use spellcraft to slay you. You are a novice. I’m still immensely surprised you made it past the giants given the state of your sorcery.”
The monkey king brought his staff down hard, aiming at Jess’s head. She brought up both hands in an attempt to block it, unsure of where it actually was because of her dizziness. The staff connected hard with one of her forearms. She ignored the pain and quickly grabbed it with her hand. She started muttering a spell and the staff began to heat up. Fire shot from the staff up the monkey king’s furry arm. He kicked Jess hard in the face, threw his staff across the room, and then rolled around in the sandy cave floor until the flames on his arm were extinguished.
“Well that was… unexpected. I guess I misjudged you. I don’t come across many demons who can summon flames. It was a miscalculation on my part… one which I won’t repeat.”
The monkey king ran across the cave and touched his staff briefly before withdrawing his hand. It was still too hot. Jess knew she had a limited window of time to act. She shook her head, hoping to clear her vision, and grabbed at her staff. Jess summoned a snake that slithered over to the monkey king and wrapped itself around his body, pulling his arms to his sides. The monkey king laughed.
“I’m a monkey. My feet work the same as my hands.”
The monkey king grabbed his staff, which was now cool enough to handle, with his feet. He cast a spell and the snake turned into a string and fell off him. Before Jess could get back to her feet, the monkey king attacked.
“Were you followed here?”
Muan shook his head.
“I wasn’t. We’re good.”
“We’re good until Gabriel comes after us. Why didn’t you take out Remiel? He nearly shot me!”
“Couple of things, Shadow. First, I was dropping off your army with Gangrene and then I came back as soon as I could. Second, he didn’t almost shoot you. That clumsy oaf couldn’t hit the
“Right… well… you’re the Medic’s son. What’s wrong with Sarah?”
Muan took a moment to look at Sarah and check a few things. He produced a vial, opened Sarah’s mouth, and poured the contents down her throat.
“She’s burned pretty badly but I would think she should be waking up any…”
Sarah opened her eyes.
“What… what happened?”
Sarah tried to get up but Shadow held out his hand, letting her know that it wasn’t a good idea. She laid her head back on the ground.
“What do you remember?”
“I fought with that nephilim. I think I won. Then I blacked out. Then Grandpa was casting some sort of spell on me.”
“Right. That makes sense. She looks burned but not enough to be knocked out cold for too long. I figured Gabriel did something.”
“What did you give me?”
Muan looked at Shadow, not wanting to answer.
“A shot of adrenaline mixed with a small amount of cocaine.”
Muan held up both his hands in self-defense.
“I want you both to keep in mind that it worked. She’s awake.”
Shadow waved Muan’s statements away. He didn’t care. There were more pressing things that needed to be dealt with.
“Why would Gabriel cast a spell to knock you out? Why did he need to get you back to Heaven so badly? I really don’t think it was out of concern because you did great in your duel with Scapegoat.”
Sarah sat up.
“Wow. Yeah. I can feel that shit you made me drink. It packs a nice kick, Muan.”
Muan grinned sheepishly.
“I think I know what it was, Shadow. Grandpa is still trying to keep something from me. I think he might have been worried that I would try to find Bumalin and figure out the memory he stole. It’s been bothering me. I think you’re right. It was a memory about me.”
“Muan? Do you know where Bumalin is right now?”
“Yup. Want me to lead you there?”
Shadow helped Sarah to her feet. She jumped up and down several times and then stretched her legs.
“Yeah… lead the way Muan. We need to figure out what Bumalin knows.”
Muan turned into a crow and started flying. Sarah and Shadow followed.
When the demons arrived at the mountain where Bumalin was trying to hide, he looked seriously annoyed.
“Aw… fuck me. I thought I was done with you guys. I didn’t tell anyone anything. Why can’t you just leave a guy alone?”
“We need you to tell us about the Archangel’s memory.”
Bumalin rolled his eyes.
“Right. So he can pop out of the bushes and kill me? I don’t think so. I’d really rather keep my mouth shut.”
Sarah grabbed Bumalin by his cloak and lifted him into the air.
“I nearly died killing a nephilim. Then my grandfather tried to drag me back to Heaven so I wouldn’t find out what was in that memory he gave you. After all that… you see that crow up there?”
Sarah paused so that Bumalin could look up. He did and then nodded.
“He made me swallow a shot of adrenaline, drugs, and probably other things he isn’t telling me about. I’m not in the mood right now. Tell us what was in the fucking memory.”
“You have five seconds before my boyfriend cuts your head off. Five…”
“You’re insane. Crows don’t poison angels.”
“Come on. Be reasonable. I can give you some other angel’s memory. I get angel memories from time to time and…”
“I can’t have that Archangel coming back here and…”
“Fine. Put me down.”
Sarah dropped Bumalin and let him brush himself off.
“You’re sure another angel’s memory won’t…”
“Shadow… kill him.”
“No. Ok. Fine. Have a seat and I’ll tell you.”
Bumalin sat cross-legged in the dirt. Shadow and Sarah sat on a pile of cut bamboo.
“Naturally, I tried to grab the memory of when he became an Archangel first.”
“But you said…”
“I lied. I knew it would be a juicy memory and I couldn’t help myself. It was blocked off. I couldn’t get at it. So I started looking for something interesting… something gossip worthy… something I could use as leverage against the angels.”
“And you found?”
“Your birth. Gabriel showed up unexpectedly. Your mother had gone into labor and a demon kept trying to get in and…”
“Yup. Gabriel threw him out. After your mom had you, she told him not to be angry. Then she revealed that the demon was your father.”
Sarah stood and drew her sword. Bumalin held up both hands in defeat.
“I’m not. I can give you the memory briefly so you can see for yourself… as long as you give it back when we’re done.”
“Fine. Do it.”
Bumalin pulled the memory from a vial and placed it in Sarah’s ear. Moments later, she was able to see everything from Gabriel’s perspective exactly the way Bumalin had described it. Bumalin removed the memory from Sarah’s ear and put it back in the vial.
“I thought you had a demon run off with that.”
“Slide of hand. Something this good was worth keeping on me at all times. Now I’ve held up more than my end of this bargain. How about you guys give me a head start? I need to get the fuck out of here and hide before Gabriel finds out.”
Bumalin turned to leave and then turned back to look at Shadow.
“If I see that crow ever again, I will have him killed. Don’t follow me. Don’t keep tabs on my location. I may not be as powerful as you but I have memories hidden that would destroy both the Heavens and the Underworld. Don’t make me use them.”
Bumalin turned and ran away. Shadow looked at Sarah with a mischievous look.
“Since when am I your boyfriend?”
“It was the cocaine talking.”
Shadow gave her a look that let her know that he wasn’t convinced.
“Shut up, Shadow.”
Jess knew she was in over her head. The monkey king was toying with her. Any spell she cast was countered by the monkey king. He laughed and ran in circles around the room. Eventually he would get bored and kill her. Her only hope was to last long enough that Lilith, Gangrene, or Murmur had enough time to kill their giant and go looking for her in the cave. She knew even then they wouldn’t be able to kill the monkey king. Still, she fought on, wanting to delay her inevitable death.
Jess conjured a banana. The monkey king laughed and ate it. She shot fire from her staff. The monkey king conjured a stick with a marshmallow at the end and cooked it. She was running out of ideas.
“Well… this has been fun but I think your time is up. Would you like to pick the way I kill you? We can go for something really creative.”
Jess didn’t respond. She backed up against the wall and closed her eyes. It was over. The monkey king laughed.
“No suggestions? Fine. I’ll make it quick.”
Jess waited. Nothing happened. She thought about opening her eyes but didn’t want to risk viewing her own death. Finally, she heard a gunshot.
Jess didn’t feel any pain. Maybe she was too shocked and numb to feel it. The monkey king had been true to his word. He made her death quick. Several seconds passed and Jess felt something being shoved into her hands.
“Open your eyes. We have to get out of here.”
Jess opened her eyes and saw Aim. Aim was shoving the monkey staff into her hands. The monkey king was lying on the floor of the cave in a daze.
Jess gripped the staff and Aim started running. Jess lingered. She waved the staff at the monkey king and smiled before casting a spell.
When the monkey king regained consciousness, he wasn’t sure what to expect. He sat up and realized that the room had returned to darkness. He started to walk towards the cave’s entrance and ran into something solid. He turned around and went backwards, only to run into another barrier. Suddenly, two flames appeared and the monkey king saw Jess standing in front of him, grinning and holding the flames in her hands. His staff was secured on her back.
“I wasn’t sure what to do with you after my brother shot you.”
“What the fuck did he shoot me with? A cannon? I’m not used to going down like that.”
“White Death, the legendary sniper rifle. We picked it up for him before we came here. I hear it packs a punch, even when it hits an immortal. He got you between the eyes?”
Jess looked closer and saw a red mark in between the monkey king’s eyes and laughed.
“He used to be a really sucky shot. I have to admit he’s really good now. Maybe the best in all of Hell.”
“Give me my staff back.”
“I don’t think so. I like it. In fact, I used it to cast a spell on you. After Murmur killed off Belial, I started reading through the sorcerer’s texts and scrolls. There were some great spells in there but most of them were too powerful for my skill level and for my staff. I learned them all anyways on the off chance I would need them someday. There was one I found particularly interesting… one that creates an invisible cage. You can be immortal all you want… you just can’t leave the cage I’ve put you in. I wonder how hungry you’ll be in a few hundred years.”
The monkey king punched at his invisible barrier and pulled back his hand, shaking it.
“Tell you what… I’ll be kinder than you were to me.”
Jess took her old staff, broke it in half, and hit the pieces inside the invisible cage with her new staff.
“If you’re really the great sorcerer you claim to be, you’ll be able to get out of there with a broken staff with limited powers. That… or you can eat it when hunger starts to drive you insane. Whatever you want.”
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