Chapter 14:


The Scorned

"Growing up in the underworld was horrible, nothing like how humans grow up. For as far back as I can remember, I have been on my own. Scavenging through trash, trying to find meals. I quickly learned how to fight, the product of living in a kill or be killed world.

At first, I killed only to defend myself or to earn my next meal, but I quickly discovered that I had a talent for it. And the more I killed, the more I realized that I enjoyed doing it.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had caught the eye of a few high-ranking demons. One day I had just finished killing someone over scraps, when a huge demon appeared before me. He told me that I was wasting my talent, and he could make my wildest dreams come true. Being the defiant kid I was, I tried to attack him and was knocked unconscious, before I finished taking my first step.

When I came to, I had no idea where I was. It seemed like a bunch of murderous orphans had been gathered together. The huge demon then appeared and told us that we would go through training to become proper assassins. We were all great killers, but thanks to him, we would move up in the world. The lucky few who made it to the top would get to work for him and receive anything they could ask for.

Everything started off great. I was more skilled than most, so I didn't have to worry too much about being killed. Because of this, I tended to stick out, and most tried to be my friend. I always refused, though; I felt it was easier to be alone. Looking back now, I guess I was scared to get attached.

There were a decent amount of adult demons continually watching over us, so while we would fight to train, we weren't allowed to attack each other after training. Every time someone died in training, a new face was brought in. One day we were training in our 'home' when I was paired up with another girl I had never seen before. She had an attitude that reminded me of myself, and the two of us began to fight.

At first, we hated each other because we were both trying to be the best, but we soon realized that we made the perfect team the more we were together. The two of us graduated from our training and got to go on actual assassination missions. I guess because they considered us beginners, they gave us targets at first that were extremely easy.

We went on countless missions together, and everyone was an outstanding success. Thus, the two of us started to grow close, and unfortunately, we became great friends. Hell, I would even call her my sister even though we weren't blood-related.

Eventually, the demon who took me in acknowledged our work, and we became official assassins. Our missions became exponentially more problematic, but my friend and I always managed to get the job done. Everything went great for years until one mission. I still run it through my head every day and can't figure out what happened. It was as if the target knew we were coming and had a trap set for us.

We were sneaking onto the target's property in darkness, when suddenly we were surrounded. The two of us fought with caged-animal desperation, but eventually, my friend was captured. Usually, if a partner was caught, we would leave them to die and complete the mission. But I just couldn't leave her. I chose to save her over the mission, and it was safe to say that it was the wrong decision. While we were able to escape with our lives, things would only go downhill from there.

The two of us were severely physically punished repeatedly for our failure, until one day the demon appeared and stated that he had a way for us to redeem ourselves. We followed him into a small room, and he placed a dagger between us and said that we could only regain his trust if we fought each other to the death. I instantly grabbed the blade and tried to kill him, but he was ready for it and struck me down. Before I lost consciousness, I heard him say, "I hope you two have fun in the human world. If you're strong enough, we may meet again."

When I came to, I was stuck in the cave where you found me.

I know my friend is stuck somewhere in this world, and I have no idea where. I felt so helpless, not being able to find her. Then I met you, and I could tell that you were different. You didn't make me change or use me for what you wanted. You let me be me.

You were right. I was watching you and trying to figure you out. I thought with your power, we could find her, but I didn't want to bring it up and have you say no. I don't know what else to say. I have no family, and my only friend is gone, and I feel so damn helpless. What if she has a master who isn't like you and uses or abuses her? All I want is to find her."

Finishing her story, Selene was crying uncontrollably, and I wasn't sure what to do. I was used to the confident and strong-willed demon, but now that she had opened up, I was lost. I wanted to say something to make her feel better, but all I could do was sit silently.

Eventually, she calmed down and gave me a sad smile, and said, "Well, now you know my plan. I will do anything to find her. That's why I didn't accept my freedom, because I need your help. Is there anything you want to ask me?"

I had a lot of questions to ask, but the sun was slowly starting to come up. Turning to Selene, I responded, "Yes, but we have a lot going on today, so let's hold off. I think it's time we find the King."