Chapter 1:

The light of my Darkness

The light of my Darkness

The demon lord’s reign of terror ended five years ago and yet, his heart still feels hollow. A typical bystander might say that those feelings are false. After all, Lucas saved the world. Why should he feel so empty? He achieved world peace and gained riches far beyond what any commoner would ever dream of obtaining. What more could he want?

Lucas doesn’t know the answer. It eluded him like a boat adrift in a ceaseless fog. And so, what was a hero to do while he was searching for the truth? Random collection quests and other odd jobs. Today, he was busy hacking away at stone deposits in the local quarry.

After collecting the fragmented spoils, he suddenly heard a loud scream. Lucas dropped everything and rushed over to the nearby woods. Hidden within the bushes, he saw a group of goblins and a woman tied to a wooden spike.

“No! Please don’t do this!” she said.

“Shaddup!” the goblin snarled. “We eat you here and now.”

“How do we eat her, boss? Should we boil em’?” said a goblin rubbing his palms together.

“We cook with fire!” the leader cackled.

“Eh? But that would take too long. Need food now!”

The goblins argued amongst themselves, shouting “burn her!” or “boil her!”

“How about you let her go?” said Lucas.

The goblins stopped what they were doing as they saw him appear, sword withdrawn.

“Another human! Get em!” the goblin boss shouted.

Swiftly, he dispatched the goblins closest to him. From the background, two goblins let loose their arrows. His body vanished. When he reappeared, the goblins were kicked midair into submission.


Lucas turned and saw the goblin boss swinging his axes. Lithe as a feather, he dodged his series of attacks. When an opening invited him, he took it. The final blow sent the boss falling to the ground. Lucas sheathed his sword and freed the woman with a knife.

“Come with me, miss,” he said as he helped her to her feet. “We need to leave before more goblins arrive.”

The woman nodded.


Inside a horse drawn wagon, Lucas finished wrapping the woman’s head injury.

“If you keep your bandages on overnight and take this potion, you should be healed by morning.” he said.

“Thank you.” said the woman.

He stepped into the driver’s seat and sat down.

“I’m heading to the nearest town. Once there, I can take you to the Adventurer’s Guild and they can-”

“No, not the guild!”

Lucas glanced at the woman over his shoulder. She wore an expression of anxiety on her face.

“...Are you running away from someone?”

She hung her head low. “Yes.”

“I see. Then, you can stay with me if you want.”


He picked up the reins. “Only for a few days.”

The woman clapped her hands together. “That’s perfect! Thank you, uh, mister?”

“Lucas. What about you miss?”


"Beatrice, huh?"

He whipped the reins and the horses started moving.


“Here we are, home sweet home.”

“Woah,” she said with sparkles in her eyes. “Is this a farm? I read about these in books!"

They pulled into the barn where Lucas stepped off and detached the horses from the wagon.

“Yep. It’s not much, but I like it that way.”

“What kinds of animals do you have? How many?” she said as she followed him inside.

“Five chickens, three cows, one goat, and two pigs.”

“Oh, interesting!”

“Anyways,” he said while storing the second horse. “I don’t have a second bed in my house, so you will have to sleep on the floor.”

“Can I sleep up there instead?”

She pointed towards the hay on the second floor.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah! I don’t mind!”

“Alright,” he sighed. “Better get to work.”

“May I help?”

Lucas stared at Beatrice for a moment. Taken aback by her smile, he gave a smile back.

“Sure, why not.”


A week passed since Beatrice arrived. At first, she struggled to manage farm life. She was chased by the goat and pecked by the chickens. But she adapted to her responsibilities fairly quickly. From Lucas’s perspective, she seemed to be a natural around animals.

"Maybe I should allow her to stay a bit longer."


Lucas threw more wood into the fire. His eyes wandered to the falling snow outside.

“After all this time, I still don’t understand who she is or why she’s running. Could she be a noble? A criminal?”

Neither of those theories made sense. Beatrice was too sweet to ever commit a crime. And her manner of speech never had a hint of nobility. It must be something big. Something so dangerous that it caught the eye of the guild.

Without warning, a resounding thud startled him. When he looked towards the source of the disturbance, he saw Beatrice stumbling inside. Lucas held her steady.

“Beatrice? What’s going on, are you-”

“Kill me.”


“I said kill me, Lucas!”

Lucas was slack jawed. The eyes which stared at him were red instead of gold. Her teeth were sharp and pointed like knives. Beatrice’s vibrantly pale skin looked gray and ashen.

“B-Beatrice, who did this to you!?”

“My father put a curse on me as a child. He said when he dies, my magic would one day go berserk and I- argh!”

Beatrice staggered and gripped her head.

“Please! You must hurry! Kill me, before it’s too late!”

“I,” he choked out. “I can’t!”

Beatrice ran outside. Lucas sprinted after her.

“I hate you,” she shouted. “Stay away!”

“Beatrice, wait-!”

Lucas skidded to a halt. A giant, spectral hand grabbed Beatrice. Laughter echoed from the shadows. From within, a knight with a ball of fire for a head approached on horseback.

“At last, I have found you. And from the looks of it, the curse found you too. Very good! Heh heh heh!”

“Hey,” Lucas withdrew his sword. “Put Beatrice down, evil spirit!”

“Spirit? I am no spirit. My name is Thanatos, god of death!”

“Thanatos? What business does God have with a human?”

“Oh? Do you not know,” he gestured to Beatrice. “She’s a demon. And not just any- she is the demon lord’s daughter!”

“The demon lord had a daughter!?”

“Indeed he did,” the god grinned. “It was a secret kept hidden from the world. But I was an exception. He needed my knowledge of curse magic to enact his final plan: to cheat death and use his daughter as a vessel! Kya ha ha ha!”

Lucas leaped into the air. “No way am I letting that happen!”


Thanatos unleashed a spell that slammed Lucas to the ground.

“Lucas! Save yourself! I-I’m not worth saving.”

“You,” he pushed himself up. “Are worth it.”

Thanatos’s steed trotted ahead. Lucas sprang off the ground. He jumped from tree to tree, cutting the distance between them.

“How can you say that,” tears welled up in Beatrice’s eyes. “My father, my people - we killed humans! Destroyed livelihoods! The world hates me.”

“I don’t hate you!”

Lucas pounced on Thanatos.

“Begone!” said the god.

Magic hurled Lucas into a tree and several others, snapping them like twigs. When Beatrice and Thanatos traveled so far they could no longer see or hear him, Beatrice felt her heart sink. The god of death chuckled.

“The mortal died. Serves him right to challenge me.”

Beatrice cried. “I deserved this. I knew I never should’ve looked his way. Happiness was never possible, only pain and suffering.”

“That’s not true!”

Lucas’s voice echoed. Thanatos stopped his horse.

“What?” said the god.

“Before we met, I felt something was missing. No matter how long I pondered, I couldn’t find an answer. Until I met you. For the first time, I felt like I could smile. Your presence was a light. The light…”

Lucas appeared behind Thanatos. He kicked him so hard, he skipped across the ground. Lucas grabbed hold of Beatrice and ripped her away from the ethereal spell.

“Of my darkness. So please, live! I love you, and I don’t want to ever let go.”

While they descended to the ground, Beatrice was speechless. She could not look away. As their feet touched down, Beatrice leaned in and kissed him. A radiant light sparkled and enveloped around Beatrice.

“Huh? B-Beatrice, you’re back to normal!”

Beatrice touched her face. A joyous chuckle escaped her lips.

“Come on! Let’s-”

“Look out!”

Beatrice pushed Lucas aside. Magic burst from her palm and erased the massive spell heading towards them. It left a gaping hole inside Thanatos’s armor. The god collapsed, evaporating into mist.

“Let’s go home. There is a lot of work to do on the farm.”

Lucas, who was surprised by the sight of the damage, smiled. “Right!”

"Note to self: never get on Beatrice's bad side. And also..."

Lucas held Beatrice’s hand.

“Buy a ring next time I visit the city. She’s a keeper.”

F.C Fondness
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