Chapter 52:


The Scorned

Stepping up to the other demon, I said, "I am going to need you to follow me. I have a few questions for you."

Turning to Beyla, I asked, "Would you mind keeping an eye on Selene and making sure she doesn't get too carried away while I am gone?" Beyla muttered a few choice words under her breath that sounded like things a princess shouldn't say, but went to join her father, leaving the two of us alone.

"Let's go outside and see if we can find someplace quieter."

Walking next to this demon was interesting. She was clearly stronger than Selene, but she lacked the personality that Selene had. She just quietly followed me without questions. There was no complaining, or whining, or even attitude. It was just silence, and I was not a fan.

Stopping in the middle of the now dark street, I stated, "I don't enjoy seeing you like this. So we are going to change that right now. We will not take another step until you tell me your fake name and do something demon-like."

"Umm, what do you mean by my fake name?"

"I have absolutely no idea what Selene's demon name is. She made up Selene, and it stuck. I am not going to call you girl or demon, so you need to pick a name. And no, I am not going to pick it for you. You need to do this on your own."

The demon seemed overwhelmed by my request, but I remained silent. This is something that she needed to do to become her own person.

After what felt like an eternity, she quietly replied, "I like the name Veronica."

Giving her a supportive smile, I said, "All right, Veronica. Now you just need to do something reckless, and we can start our conversation."

Looking unsure, she said, "I don't know if I can do reckless." Shrugging, I replied, "That's fine, then show me something that you can do. I'm not a fan of seeing someone this strong act so meek."

Veronica looked confused, but walked over to an empty stall and proceeded to gently turn a crate onto its side. There was a brief pause, then a single orange slowly rolled out. Veronica and I stared at the orange in silence as it moved at an incredibly slow pace, until it bumped into my boot.

I stared at this orange, entirely at a loss for words. I had asked for reckless and something a demon would do. Instead, she gently turned over a box and moved a piece of fruit.

What the hell. Close enough.

Letting out a sigh, I said, "Not what I was expecting, but sure. It's my fault for thinking every demon should behave like Selene. So, do you have any problems with being linked with Beyla?"

"Not at all! The more I talk to her, the more I look forward to it. If that is alright with you, of course."

Shrugging, I replied, "This is up to you. It's your future. If you have any problems or concerns, this is the time to speak."

"I mean what I said. I would look forward to being linked with Beyla. I do have questions, but they all revolve around you. Are you really the Archdemon who will kill all humans and unite the demon lords?"

Staring up at the sky, I said, "I have no idea what I am. Believe it or not, I am human, or at least I was born human. You call me an Archdemon. Is that the mythical demon that Selene said was above the demon lords?"

"Yes. He is the strongest demon to ever exist. Every demon feared him, so he was able to keep the demon lords from fighting each other. However, when he died, all of the demon lords started fighting for power, and the underworld became a warzone. The strong were supposed to protect the weak, but once he disappeared, the weak were merely tools."

"If he was the strongest to ever exist, how did he die?"

"No one knows. It sounds dumb to say, but one day he was just gone."

"And now he is somehow manifested inside of me?"

"I would say yes, but to a point. I believe that he is dead, but you have his power."

Hearing this, I thought for a moment, then asked, "Would it be possible for him to somehow be alive in me? My right arm has acted on its own multiple times, and I think at one point, someone even spoke for me."

Veronica was quiet for a long time as she thought about what I had said. Eventually, she said, "I still believe that you only have his power, but maybe the power is trying to take control of your body? I am only guessing here, but maybe if his power takes full control of your body, he can keep control, and it becomes his body? Again this is all hypothetical, but I think it is safe to assume that power is waiting for you to lose control."

I didn't like that option, but it sounded plausible. It seemed like when I got mad, the Archdemon's power took over. Letting out a sigh, I said, "So if this is true and I can keep my anger in check, then I can use the Archdemon's strength. If I lose my temper, the power can control my body, and I may not get it back?"

"It doesn't sound great, but I think that is your battle."

Nodding my head, I asked, "So I have the power of the Archdemon inside of me. Why were you almost able to kill me?"

"I almost killed you while you were fighting as a human. But, when you switched to fighting like a demon, I learned you were unstoppable."

Letting out a chuckle, I added, "You seem to be forgetting the fact that me switching to a demon almost killed me. That being said, if you were the Archdemon, what would you do with your powers?"

This seemed to catch Veronica off guard.

"Umm, I am not sure. You said you weren't born with these powers, correct?"

I nodded my head, so she continued.

"Well, the person who gave you these powers clearly had an idea in mind, but that doesn't matter anymore. If it was up to me, I would help those who can't help themselves. With how my last master treated me, I would want to make sure that no demon would have to go through that."

Turning to look at Veronica, I asked, "How did you and your old master meet? I happened to find Selene in a cave. Are all encounters along that line?"

Shaking her head, she replied, "No, encounters like that are very rare. There is a small island to the far north that no one knows about. It is surrounded by a strong magical barrier that masks its existence. That island is where demons can be bought and sold by humans. That is where my master found me."

Hearing this, I got lost in thought. An island like that sounded horrible, but at the same time, that would be the best spot to look for Selene's friend. Either way, that island would soon be the focus of our next adventure.

Giving Veronica a smile, I said, "I am sorry that you had to go through that. If it makes you feel better, though, I am going to visit the island, and I promise to kill everyone involved there."

With her first genuine smile, she replied, "I would appreciate that."

Before we could continue our conversation, a loud crash came from the building Selene was in.

Letting out a sigh, I said, "I guess that is our cue to get back inside before Selene gets too wild. Come on, let's get you linked with Beyla."