Chapter 39:

Mountain View

How I (Accidently) Became a Demon Lord

The third time teleporting was much better then the first, less nausea. Fenrin still couldn't handle it and fell to the floor, Nekra seemed just fine with it for some reason. The castle felt so odd now, empty and cold. They hadn't spent long there, just passing through to the front gate where Malphis pushed it open for them.

They had put on fur coats to brush off the cold, all except Rath that is. Even though it snowed intensely outside, Rath felt warm. He guessed that this was a benefit of his Demon Lord abilities, and he wasn't complaining.

The hike would take less than a day, and they would have to travel across the mountain path that Malphis had identified. They reached the base of the mountain range after only a few hour's track, being able to see it from the castle. The path itself was a steady incline up the side of the mountain.

Rocks were hidden by the snow, tripping up everyone as they walked two shoulder to shoulder. Nekra struggled the worst, the northern snow packing on thick. The snow was almost up to his torso, threatening to drown him. Fenrin didn't seem to mind the trek, and Malphis led a few steps ahead. It wasn't long before Nekra had begun following behind Nasui, whose snake trail flattened the snow for Nekra to avoid his snowy fate.

Malphis at one point stopped them, everyone pressing against the wall of the mountain. They spotted a harpy flying by, an animal of some kind in her taloned feet. The harpy was out of sight before long, leaving them standing awkwardly.

“Why did we hide?” Nekra asked.

“Its hard to tell difference between Augurials and Hapries from a distance. I am trying to avoid fighting them here.” Malphis explained.

“Yeah Fenrin and you don't use range, so fighting on the side of a mountain against a flying enemy would be a negative wouldn't it.” Nasui explained.

“Doubt you would need our help against one.” Malphis explained. “However, they usually aren't one. If you see one Augurial, there are at least two more some ways away. They would be close enough to strike if the lead was attacked.”

“One each.” Nekra joked.

“I would not make light of them Nekra.” Malphis said, looking off into the snow. “You are not shielded like the others, they have a potent poison on their talons. It would paralyze you where you were in seconds.”

“I have scales!” Nekra said a little to loudly.

“Kobold scales are far to weak to stop their talons.” Malphis explained. “Though your Dragon scales would be enough, but for how long?”

They continued to walk after that, Malphis assuring Rath they were close. At one point Nekra tugged at Rath’s unnecessary coat. Rath fell back, letting Fenrin pass him.

“What is it?” Rath asked.

Nekra ushered him to get low, the two stopping and watching the group. Getting close to Rath’s ear, Nekra spoke in a whisper. “How did he know about my scales? I never told him, did you?”

Rath thought it over. “Not that I'm aware of. Though Malphis was the information man for Chaoram I believe, maybe he found that out from other kobolds.”

Nekra looked at Malphis cautiously. “I'm not sure, maybe.” Rath could tell he wasn't convinced.

They caught up with the rest before they even noticed they left, Nekra watching Malphis carefully. The sun began to set infront of them, making them begin to worry about camp for the night. Malphis told them not to worry.

“Why not? Night in the winter with no shelter?” Nekra explained.

“Have you not noticed?” Malphis said, looking back at them as they walked, raising an eyebrow to the kobold. “Have you felt cold at all?”

Nekra thought about it. “Maybe a little but not much, like a wind chill.”

“Exactly.” Malphis began, stopping in his tracks. The rest stopped as well. “Look at the snow around Rath.” They did, noticing how it was beginning to melt around them, starting near Rath. “If we had to camp out we would be fine overall because of Rath’s energy leak.”

“Energy leak?” Rath questioned.

“Oh yes, you're letting your energy flow out of you, hence why it's so warm around you.” Malphis explained.

“Can I stop it?” Rath asked, watching the puddles form at his feet.

“You should, Choaram had no issue that I was aware of. It will probably take time since its a new power to you.” Malphis explained.

“But that doesn't solve shelter.” Nekra said. “The wind chill is still bitter when it blows.”

“Oh yeah, we're almost there so that wont be a problem.’ Malphis said, continuing his walk.

“Why didn't you just say that!” Nekra yelled out. Malphis turned to him, putting a finger to his lips. Nekra silently pouted.

Rath cracked a small smile at the banter. He saw Nasui holding one back as well. Fenrin walked in front of Rath, but his back was to him so he didn't know how he reacted.

“What are you doing here!” Came a voice from their right. The group spun, all but Malphis. They looked out into the snow, seeing Pelone flapping her wings to stay in position. She looked like a bobber with how she would fall for a moment then bounce back up with her wings.

“Good glad it was you they sent.” Malphis said, turning slightly. “Was waiting for our emissary.”

“How did they spot us?” Nasui asked. “I did not see any others approach.”

“We entered their territory, they have scouts.” Malphis explained.

“Are you just ignoring me!” Pelone yelled out.

“How did the loud bird sneak up on us?” Fenrin asked Malphis curiously.

“That I couldn't tell you.” Malphis said.

“Stop ignoring me!” Pelone yelled out again. “What are you doing here!”

“Lords I keep hearing this chirping in my ear, do you guys hear that?” Fenrin asked, turning to them with a wide smile on his face.

“I will throw you over the mountain side!” Pelone yelled out. “What do you want!”

“We came to help.” Rath said calmly, acknowledging Pelone.

Pelone’s face broke from the annoyance and anger, for just a moment it softened, before harding right back. “I didn't ask for your help.”

“We know.” Rath said. “So how can we help?”

She glared at Rath. “You should all come in, you're welcome as guests. We will talk.”

Rath smiled at her. “I appreciate you letting us in.”

“However.” Pelone said, throwing dagger-like eyes at Fenrin. “He waits outside while we talk, he can listen through the window.”

“Oh look it's one of those Augurials, I should kill it right.” Fenrin said, drawing his weapon and walking towards Pelone. He stopped just short of falling off the mountain side as Pelone backed up a bit.

“Stay away from me, bull breath!” Pelone said flying higher. “Stop waving that horrid weapon like that! Who even makes weapons like that!”

“Master craftsmen who are proud of what they make!” Fenrin said, swinging the hammer side around wildly, far away from Pelone. “Dont insult a god amongst men bird poop!”

“Did you call me bird poop!” Pelone yelled out, at this point Rath was laying in the snow holding his sides from laughter. “How dare the manure call me such a thing!”

“You call me almost the same thing!” Fenrin yelled out. “How dare you raise yourself to my level!”

“I surpass whatever small level you're on!” Pelone yelled out.

“Big words for someone who is so flat.” Fenrin called out.

Pelone thru a hand over chest, falling slightly. “How dare you! I'm aerodynamic, you meathead!” she fell slightly, returning to flapping her wings after she got a bit too close to Fenrin’s swing.

“Aero what?” Fenrin questioned. “Does that mean you're small? Cause you are.”

Pelone’s face went red. “Your no bull your a bulls a” She was cut off by Malphis stepping up to the edge.

“As fun as this is, we should get in before the sun sets.” Malphis said.

Pelone stopped and calmed herself, then she began to fly towards where they were heading. “Come along, it's not far.” 

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