Chapter 33:


The Scorned

Selene continued to lead me through the desert, confident that we were heading in the right direction.

Eventually, my curiosity got the best of me, and I asked, "How do you know we are heading the right way? Everything looks the exact same. There are no landmarks or anything to keep us moving in a straight line."

Selene's only response was to point up at the sky. I looked up at the stars as she said, "They will always tell you where to go. It was the same in my world."

I was silent for a moment, then asked, "What was your world like? When I think of demons, I think of a world filled with fire and pain."

Hearing this, Selene began to laugh and said, "I believe you are thinking of something entirely different." I couldn't help but laugh along with her as she continued, "My world is straightforward. As I have said before, it is all about power. The more you have, the more important you are. If you have power, you live like a king with everything you could ever want. And if you don't, then you live like trash. Unfortunately, it is as simple as that."

With a scoff, I said, "Sounds just like humans." Selene simply replied, "Just like the Queen said, those with power get what they want." I nodded my head and asked, "Are there different types of demons?" Selene replied, "I would assume so, but I can't really say for sure. Like you, I was forced to grow up in one area my whole life, so there is a lot I don't know. Why do you ask?"

Looking up at the stars again, I said, "As you said before, there is so much we don't know. The two of us feel invincible now, but what if someone appears who is stronger than us? What then?"

Selene just shrugged and said, "Compared to other demons, I am considered average. More than likely, some people are stronger than I am. There is no doubt in my mind that there are other demons here. It will only be a matter of time before we come across one."

I walked in silence, lost in thought about what she had said. I looked to Selene and asked, "How do you become stronger?" With a smirk, she replied, "I think the same way as anyone. I have to train."

I paused for a moment, then asked, "You're okay with that? You don't strike me as the type of person who is okay with being considered average." Selene let out an angry growl and yelled, "Of course I don't want to be average!"

Hearing this, I asked, "Why don't you train now? We have nothing else to do."

Selene stopped walking and asked, "What did you have in mind?" With a shrug, I replied, "Not sure. Fighting is more of your area, but you have time and a partner who can't get hurt. I think this is as good of a time as any."

With an amused expression, Selene asked, "You don't think you can get hurt? I remember our fight a little differently." With a laugh, I replied, "That is true. But we both know that I won the fight, and it wasn't exactly close."

Hearing this, Selene got upset and stared daggers at me. I put up my hands defensively and said, "I'm not trying to make you upset, but it is the truth. I am just trying to help you out." Letting out a deep breath, Selene said, "You're right, but I still don't want to admit it. Can we stop for the night? I really don't feel like walking anymore."

I was surprised at her sudden change in attitude, but nodded my head in agreement. The two of us built the prince's tent in silence and soon entered the spacious area. I sat down on the sand and watched as Selene paced back and forth. Eventually, I asked, "So are you going to tell me why you are so upset?" Without stopping, she replied, "I don't want to lose again. I lost my friend because of it. I hate being weak. I just feel so useless."

I reached out and gently pulled Selene onto the sand next to me. She seemed annoyed by my touch but didn't fight it. Staring at my arm that had changed, I said, "Every person I have ever cared about died in front of me. While you were sleeping yesterday, I was thinking about how to keep you safe. While that change was excruciating for me, it's something that I am willing to go through again. I just want you to know that you don't have to do this alone."

Selene didn't respond at first; she only reached out and touched my arm. Still staring at it, she said, more to herself, "So you really went through all of that for me. I knew that, but it is still nice to hear. I hate to feel weak, but I do feel better knowing that I have you to protect me." Smiling again, Selene hopped to her feet and said, "I feel much better. Are you ready to walk more?"

I stared at her for a long time, then asked, "We just put this tent up and you already want to take it down?" Selene only shrugged, and with a big smile, replied, "Yes, please."

I hung my head in defeat and mumbled out, "I feel more like a pack mule than your ultimate protector." With a laugh, Selene replied, "If it makes you feel better, I think you are the ultimate pack mule." I tried as hard as I could to frown at Selene, but I quickly broke down in laughter.

Throwing the now disassembled tent over my shoulder, I said with a smile, "Come on. Let's get moving before it gets too warm for you."