Chapter 44:


How I (Accidently) Became a Demon Lord

Nekra was called into the war room. Malphis, Pelone, Nasui, and Fenrin all followed after Nekra. After several minutes of waiting Rath came in, Yaki behind him.

“What's going on?” Nekra asked.

“I'm going to Pierce.” Rath stated.

Everyone seemed abruptly surprised. “You sure we should talk about this in front of her?” Malphis said, nodding towards Yaki.

“Doesn't matter.” Rath stated. “I'll be leaving today, so if she is a spy she wont have the time to stop me.”

“Yaki is not a spy, Yaki serves Master Rath and Criss.” Yaki stated, she spoke so oddly in Nekra’s opinion.

“Hence why you're here.” Rath stated. “I don't fully trust you but you'll be needed for this.”

Yaki tilted her head in confusion.

“The goal will be to negotiate with King Pierce.” Rath began to explain. “Should that not be possible, or should negotiations go bad, I will need to deal with the king. Yaki you are a master of stealth based on what I have seen, do you think you could help me sneak in if needed?”

“Yaki can do it.” Yaki said, straightening joyfully. Nekra wondered what was behind the mask?

“Good, the rest of you will stay and protect Criss incase of Tirim attacking while I'm away.” Rath said.

“No need.” Pelone said, she lounged at the table, her clawed feet up “My sisters returned from their scouts. Greywatch and Kyrit haven't mobalized yet, probably a month away from any kind of fight. No other armies have gotten close at all. Send your best.”

“I still want people to lead.” Rath explained.

“I have several people that can handle our responsibilities.” Malphis explained. “It is best to take a small force with you in case of trouble.”

“I agree, Master.” Nasui said. “I would accompany you either way.”

“You know I'd be going with!” Fenrin yelled out.

“It would be a stealth mission.” Nekra sighed. “Can you even be quiet?”

“Sometimes.” Fenrin said, as if it solved the issue.

“I'll go too.” Pelone said a bit too quickly, almost as if she was trailing Fenrin’s words.

“Sounds like everyone is going.” Malphis said, followed by all eyes turning to Nekra.

“I'll go.” He said. He would go west, towards that pull.

Rath sighed. “I won't fight this, we must act fast.”

“Why?” Nekra asked.

Rath remained silent for a long while. “We will move in a few hours.”

Mirv found Rath finally, he had run off so suddenly she couldn't catch up. He walked with Yaki beside him. Rath had a determined face, was he serious?

“Rath.” She called out. Rath turned to her. “Are you really going?”

“Yes.” Rath explained. “I have to finish this.”

Mirv stood in stunned silence, he was leaving again. “Let me go with you.” She found herself saying the words before thinking them.

“Your place is here.” Rath said with a smile. “There may be a battle, it's no place for you. Keep Turv alive okay?”

A battlefield was no place for her. He always said that, when she wanted to fight, he discouraged her. She knew he was just being protective, but she hated this, being left behind. Rath was right, she did need to stay to help Turv, but why couldn't she fight? He was taking Yaki, why not Mirv?

I have magic too, Mirv thought, I just don't know how to use it.

She gave Rath a warm smile. “I will, hurry back okay? Alive.”

“Of course.” Rath said fondly, then moved on.

Mirv waited till he was out of sight, then ran home. She dug in her drawer, pulling free the twig she had gotten from Wynna. It felt warm, was that the magic inside it? Gripping it tightly, Mirv thought it over. She would be in the field tonight if I snap this, she thought to herself, she could teach me, I could learn to fight in the druid way.

She snapped the twig.

Nasui was gathering his things, he didn't need much but he still packed. Maski was in the room, she would lead worship while he was away. Currently Nasui spoke aloud instructions and Maski wrote them down for him.

“Nasui.” Maski said. Her voice surprised Nasui, causing him to stop what he was doing and face her. She sounded like something was bothering her. She had set down the paper and was fidgeting with her fingers. “Could I ask you something?”

“Of course Maski.” Nasui said. “Now is a good time, I may not return if things go south. If that happens I ask you to take up the prayer permanently if that is okay.”

“That is kind of why I need to ask you now.” She said sheepishly. “They say that warriors fighter harder if their is something for them to return to.”

“I have something to return to.” Nasui explained.

“Do you?” She said, not meeting his eyes. “I heard about what happened, you went after the Dial even though it could have killed you. Are you fighting to survive? Do you want to live?”

Nasui paused before fighting. He wanted to return, but he wouldn't have left that Dial if he could avoid it.

“I just, wanted to give you something to return to.” Maski said. Nasui tilted his head at her. She seemed to grind her smaller teeth on her lip. “I want you to be my mate.”

Nasui felt a sudden shock. “Why me?”

“You are the greatest of our people.” Maski stated. “Anyone would want to mate with you. And as the lead priestess I think we would have the strongest offspring that our people could produce. Besides, I want to be with you.”

Inhaling deeply, Nasui spoke. “I'm sorry Maski, I cannot do that.”

“Why not.” She said, her face lighting up in shock.

“I just, do not feel that way.” Nasui said slowly. He bit his lip.

“But who else in our people would be a better mate for you than me?” Maski asked. She was right, it would make sense for them to breed, there was just a problem.

“No one.” Nasui explained. “I do not feel that way about anyone in our people.”

“How is that possible?” Maski asked. “You are a man are you not? Shouldn't you have thought of a mate at this point?”

“I have tried.” Nasui said. “When I do it feels I am simply forcing myself to feel that way, not because I actually feel it. I do not know why I feel this way but I always have.”

Maski slithered back a step. “I apologize.” she said, looking low.

“I appreciate your intentions.” Nasui said, his voice soothing and caring. “Do not fear, I shall return.”

Nasui did not explain it fully, nothing attracted him. He had heard from other males that most females would attract him to some extent. However, it never happened, he never felt like he wanted to mate with anyone. It would be frowned upon, he was expected to reproduce to make stronger Nagas for the future, and yet he could not.

“Why do you follow me!” Fenrin yelled out.

Pelone flew just behind Fenrin, then paused at his yell. She dropped a few feet before lifting herself back up. “I'm just going this way too!” She yelled out. She was lying, she didn't really know what she was doing. Her sisters were already given instructions while she was gone, she didn't have anything to pack so she just wondered. Now she was with Fenrin.

“Sure.” Fenrin said, annoyed. “Don't you have a weapon?”

“Don't need one.” Pelone said proudly. “My talons are my weapon!”

“I saw you fighting with a spear not long ago.” Fenrin said, annoyance spreading across his face. “Why not use one?”

“Hard to transport.” Pelone said. “I'd have to carry it in my talons the whole time, not a fan of it.”

“A bow?” Fenrin questioned. “You don't wear armor, fighting up close is dangerous, you don't even have a shield.”

“It will be fine, I can fly.” Pelone said. “I'll dodge enemies.”

Fenrin’s eyes turned to a glare. “We are going to the capital of this country, the belly of the beast. Take this more seriously! They will have spellcasters! Do you think everyone will fight at close range?”

Pelone was caught off guard. “You worried about me?”

Fenrin turned forward, continuing to walk.

Pelone smiled slyly, flying sharply towards him. “Aw, you're worried about me! I'm so flattered!” she said playfully.

“I could care less if a bird drops dead.” Fenrin said, annoyed.

“You're lying!” Pelone said. She felt her cheeks getting hot. “Your worried about me! Don't deny it!”

Fenrin turned towards the blacksmith, Peel’s shop. He walked in, Pelone following curiously. Peel’s shop was open, the shop and the forge in the same room. Peel sat hammering at a blade when he caught Fenrin’s eye.

“Ah come for your order?” Peel asked.

“Yes.” Fenrin said. Pelone looked at him confused.

Peel pulled out a long bag and presented it to Fenrin. He set the bag on a counter and unfurled it, revealing a strange looking double sided spear. The spear had a thick part in the center, why was it like that? For balance?

Fenrin picked it up, gave it a quick swing, then tossed it to Pelone. “Try it.”

She caught it in her hands, it felt heavy. Her hands were always weaker than her feet. It swung well, though she felt awkward using her arms for something her legs should do.

“It's a good spear, I didn't think you'd ever want one.” Pelone said, handing it back to Fenrin.

Fenrin refused it. “Yours.”

“What?” Pelone asked curiously.

“It's your spear.” Fenrin said. “The middle part lets you split the spear in two. Peel said it also has a spot for a strap so you can carry it easier.”

Pelone felt her heart skip several beats. “You got this for me?”

“Shut up.” Fenrin said, turning back to Peel. “Got mine?”

Peel pulled out another weapon, it looked alot like Fenrin’s weird axe/hammer weapon, except the heads of the weapon were on a long chain. Fenrin lifted it, the chain was a long length of steel, too long. Fenrin smiled widely.

“Why did you get that!” Pelone asked in surprised.

“Deal with the fliers.” Fenrin said, taking a strap from Peel to attach it to his hip, the other side still holding his normal weapon.

Pelone was astounded. “Thank you.” she said.

“Thank me by not dying, and staying out of my way.” Fenrin said. The two left the shop after Pelone grabbed the strap from Peel. She didn't like using weapons, but she enjoyed the feeling of this one on her back.

Nekra was the first to reach the west exit, the meeting point. Malphis was the second. The two still didn't talk all that much, Nekra just couldn't shake that he was hiding something. Rath and Yaki arrived next. Then Nasui, and last was Fenring and Pelone.

“Everyone ready?” Rath asked them. They all nodded in agreement. “Alright, off to war we go.” He began to walk, the rest following behind him.

Nekra felt the pull harder as they walked westward, maybe he would pass it on the way? If he could get that power before they fought he would be invaluable. 

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