Chapter 31:

Monkey Business (3)

Mad God


A few kilometers away from the ongoing battle, where the trees were farther apart, stood the lone ape, wearing his bandoliers while surrounded by Ren’s team. None of them said anything as the chimpanzee stood straight like a human, looking around with narrowed eyes.


“You humans won’t let me pass, am I correct?” The ape asked in a calm voice.


“That wasn't part of the plan.” Ren replied.


“You are the leader of this group?” He turned towards her with a surprised light in his eyes.


“What, is it surprising?” She smirked in response.


“Yes. You are small.”


“Pft…” Isha stifled a laugh receiving an annoying glare from Ren.


“Size isn’t everything, you know.”


“In our tribe, it is.” the chimpanzee replied. “The biggest, the strongest leads, the weak follow. I know this goes for your tribe just the same, so you must be strong.”


“Tsk. You got me there. So, why are we talking instead of fighting?” Ren crossed her arms.


“Because both of us need time.” He replied, causing Ren to flinch and make a quick decision, striking out, but the monkey easily deflected her strikes and, with a single move, directed Ren’s body towards Leinor, who was following up with an attack. When he successfully immobilized them for a short period, he did a blind counter kick, aiming toward Isha, who wasn’t far behind with her move.


It only took a few seconds, but he repelled their attacks, using perfectly human-like martial art moves, giving the feeling of a grass blade, swaying in the wind, easily diverting the force of their attacks, before trying to run away. His animal instincts saved his life as he jumped backward only after taking a half-step while a dark red halberd swept across the space before him, leaving a deep gash on the ground.


“It seems you were the one who bought enough time.” the demon sighed while surrounded again by them. Boursat walked out from the trees wielding his weapon on his shoulders, posing the greatest threat to him.


“Boss!” Isha shouted happily, receiving a nod, but his eyes were fixated on the demon.


“Uncle Boursat? What are you doing here?” Ren blinked her eyes with surprise.


“I was asked to come by a friend. Also, I was tasked to keep you all safe. Don’t worry, I’ll be paid handsomely, so I’ll do what I can! Now, the more interesting part is that.” He pointed with his halberd at the chimpanzee. “Those moves you used….”


“I learned it from a human cultivator.” The demon admitted without hesitation.


“From a human, eh?” Boursat mused, “Did you make him teach it to you before killing him or…?”


“It was voluntary, you don’t need to ask too many questions. I was living with humans when I was young. It is there I learned a lot of things before returning to my tribe.”


“Weird, we never heard about something like this… we would if… wait... “ Ren murmured before realizing something.


“He lived within the borders of the Kingdom of Ten.” Leinor finished her thoughts.


“I don’t know their names, but they look different from you, except the small one. Paler skins, lighter hair colors, and smaller eyes.” He confirmed their speculations “They frequently take away cubs and children, raising them as pets or the likes.”


“So you were someone's pet? Harsh.” Poli blinked, amused by the new information.


“Yes, but I was released by my Master. I returned to where I thought I belonged but honestly... They are a bunch of retards. I was working on reforming them slowly, but… you see what happened. They never listen to the smaller, weaker ones. Now It’s the perfect time to take over. Or so I thought!” He sighed, showing the same emotion as any human would.


“So if we let you go, you return, and we never see you again, you will live happily as the new king of the tribe, blablabla, is it? Such a happy ending and everything. Yeah… sure.” Isha moaned, sounding annoyed.


“I like this monkey.” Ren grinned. “You have a name?”


“Had one. Niji was the name they called me back… home.”


“Well Niji, I am Ren. Now slowly remove your bandoliers and throw them to the side. I’m not stupid! You said you are also trying to buy some time. Probably you are already ready for something dangerous, so nicely and slowly toss them- no, scratch that. They may explode. Put them down, arms behind your head, and walk a few steps backward. Deal?”


“You want to take me as a prisoner?” The demon asked, with sharp eyes, focusing on her, but Ren didn’t flinch.


“Yup. Don’t worry, if you are cooperative, we will treat you like a prisoner of war. You won’t be harmed or tortured. If you try something stupid, you may be strong, but we can hold you up, and Uncle Boursat here can finish you off! It would be best for everyone if you don’t do something stupid, Niji.”


The demon folk was hesitating, watching them, thinking about many things before letting out a defeated sigh. He slowly took off the bandoliers before stepping backward, surrendering to Boursat, who was surprised as he expected a fight.


“Guard him.” Ren commanded as the others, without saying anything, were still surrounding him. Niji kept a calm expression while Ren checked the bandoliers.


They had different little vials in them, filled with some funny-smelling liquids and, in others, some rubber-like balls, next to some broken vials, now soaked by their contents.


“Your decision was right. If you mix the two and the ball violently impacts, it combusts and explodes, making a chain reaction. If more than one is thrown out... Only it needs time to soak it up, and then it can be used before the liquid evaporates. I need time to crush the ones next to the balls and let them soak it up.” Niji explained, now that he was already captured.


“What are these?” Poli asked curiously, holding one of the vials and smelling the liquid.


“Back in the tribe, we have an old shaman, a bit crazy if you ask me, but a good doctor. It’s his invention. I don’t know what the balls are made of, but the fluid is his piss.” He added with a smirk, and Poli immediately dropped it, retching loudly as he tasted the smell stronger than before, knowing now what it was.


“Careful, you idiot!” Zern scolded him, catching the vial before it could crash to the ground. “You act as if you drank it. Grow up!” He rolled his eyes while Isha laughed loudly, yet still, wiping her hands onto her trousers after touching the vials.


“Interesting.” Ren murmured, holding one of the soaked balls without disgust, then threw it out, and when it hit a tree, it exploded with a very bright flash, blinding them.


Only boursat kept his calm, still fixing his gaze on Niji, holding the blood halberd towards his throat. Niji did flinch, almost taking up the opportunity to flee but held back, especially after organizing his thoughts.


“Woah, they don’t explode as violently as I expected, but those flashes are blinding!” Ren moaned, rubbing her eyes.


“Fuck, I see dark patches everywhere now!” Isha cried out, flailing around as Zern came up, calming her down.


“Relax, it will go away.” He patted her back.


“They are excellent weapons.” Leinor commented, who was the first to recover as his eyes adapted almost a second after the flash.


“Collect up his stuff, and let’s head back. We need to report this as soon as possible!” Ren ordered in a happy, good mood as they started the trek back to the main forces.


….

…..


“Waaaaah, Big Sis!” Rem cried out as she saw Ren, who arrived back at the Pass, quickly flying to her, almost crashing into her, and hugging her tightly.


“Ahaha, calm down, calm down! I told you there won’t be a problem!” She laughed, patting her head. “How's the rest of them?”


“They choose to move to a nearby place. It’s beside a clear creak! It’s not far, I can show you!” She replied happily, full of energy, whizzing around Ren as her beautiful wings fluttered quickly, spraying shining, reddish dust everywhere, releasing a calming, sweet scent.


“We will visit them, but not now. We are tired. Let us rest first!” Ren giggled, stroking her head gently as the others nodded, approving the thought of relaxing a little as their nerves were stretched thin even if they didn’t show it.


After a good meal, they were lazing around in their room when a soldier came, asking Ren to meet with her father. When she arrived at his office, Xendar, Anya, Boursat, Feynor, and Dermitos were already in discussion when they stopped, looking at Ren.


“Woah… Did I mess up something?” She blinked her eyes with a surprised expression, playing with her hair, trying to seem innocent and fragile.


“No.” Dermitos answered, revealing a smile. “It’s about the prisoner you took.”


“What? Is he dead? Tell me we didn’t kill him…” she sighed, rubbing her neck.


“Why would he be dead?” Xendar rolled his eyes. “Stop spewing bullshit before knowing anything!”


“Oh, that’s a relief. Then?”


“He won’t talk. He asked for you.”


“Me? Why?”


“He says he will only talk with you. Anything we want to ask or know about, he just sits there like a mute.” Xendar finished instead of the Emperor.


“Huh. Interesting. What do you want me to do?” She looked at them, scratching her chin with a dozen ideas going through her mind but waited for their explanation.


“Make him join us. We want to make use of this!” Feynor explained, “It's a great opportunity. Humans raised him! We need someone we can reason with and build bridges between us and their kind. Let him reform their tribe and take control, and work with us! We can exchange resources for technology. There are a lot of things that can only be found in this forest. We want to establish a stable trading route! Knowing that our neighbors started to take an interest in demon folk and who knows for how long, we can’t lag behind.”


“I never knew about this.” Anya added quietly, but Xendar smiled, holding her hand. “Nobody said anything about this to me.” she continued, looking at them.


“Yes, you were sent here young, so don’t worry about this!” Dermitos laughed.


“I get the gist of it and about what the Kingdoms are doing, but they approach this from the wrong side. They are taking adolescent demon folk to raise and brainwash them. What did they think? The parent demons won’t be angry? Won’t they see us as their lifelong enemy? They may stay silent about this for now but give it a few centuries... Pft, thanks to them, we may have much more trouble if we want to establish a peaceful border with them! Especially if they don’t differentiate from one empire to another and just see us as humans. Just like how we see them as only demons.” Feynor grumbled.


“I agree…” Ren sighed. “But changing the perception of common folk will be a slow process. Anyway, we are working on that.”


“There is another thing.” Dermitos said, “Ren, what you will hear now is confidential. You can’t speak about this to anyone.”


“Not even Leinor?”


“No. I’ll tell him myself when I judge that he is ready.”


“Now you got my attention, Uncle~” She smiled innocently, making him chuckle.


Dermitos laid out the rough plans of what the Forefather wishes to establish when he comes back while Ren listened with interest, showing a small smile.


“I’ll be honest. I was thinking the same. It was just… still far away from me. It’s good that someone has the same thinking. Now I can be freed from the hassle of thinking about how to build up a Sect! Yey~ More free time!” She laughed as she stretched relaxedly, surprising the others, especially Dermitos. “Thinking about the foundations, the money needed, teaching, where to build it, all this work… booooooooring! At least I don’t need to manage everything, and others will do it for me; yay! Also, if he comes back and we establish a Sect, we can take in demon folks as members too!”


“What?” everyone asked in unison, still just taking in her words that were shocking enough as she dropped another bombshell at the end.


“Why not? Isn’t it the Forefather’s idea that a Sect will be above the common norms? Outside of mortal’s reach and jurisdiction? Then why not? Still, for starters, I would need to learn more about their evolution and how they train, they are different from us, so it would be interesting to study them. Oh, yes, I’d like access to some of the corpses we brought back. I need to study their physicality!” she added with a nonchalant expression and voice, counting on her fingers.


“You are a weird kid….” Dermitos murmured but then nodded, “I grant you full access. Do as you see fit, and I want a copy of your results!”


“Naturally.”


“Let’s end the meeting here. Everyone needs some rest.” Dermitos looked around before coming to a decision.


“I’ll visit Niji. Now I’m pretty curious about what he wants!”


“Do that. Feynor will accompany you. He is well-versed in how the Empire works, and he will help you clarify all the details if you agree.”


“That would be a big help!”


“My pleasure Lil’ Sis.” Feynor laughed. “And you can tell me about my Lil’ Brother. I haven't seen him since he was a little boy, and now we have time to catch up~” she patted her shoulders as they left the room.


“You two made a special one, huh?” Dermitos looked at Xendar and Anya with slanted eyes.


“Ahaha, sure we did!” Xendar laughed proudly while Anya just silently smiled, leaning against him.


“She’s grown up. I’m proud of her but also sad… I feel she will not rely on us as much as a child should… haaah… she started to get independent too early! I still want to cuddle and play with her, yet she acts like a grown-up since she was young….” Anya lamented with a small sadness in her voice.


“Tell me about it!” Dermitos rolled his eyes. “She corrupted my baby boy… look at him, wagging his tail at every word of hers and being defiant against us since he started to hang out with her!”


“You were the one who made the arrangement. Remember?” Anya snapped at him.


“Yeah, yeah… I do… that damned boy! He acts like he is the bride who will be married off. Honestly, he makes me so angry sometimes!”


“So? What’s the problem? Let him marry into our household! No problem, we are happy with it!” Xendar laughed with a provoking voice.


“Fu- Never mind… let’s go, have a rest, you two. I also need some relaxation.”


“Relaxation, sure…” Anya rolled her eyes as they started to leave.


“Look who’s talking.” Dermitos retorted, only making Anya blush a little, and even as she stood with her back to Dermitos, he could see her slightly redder ears now. “Anyway, good work with everything. Let’s hope she can make a deal for us with our new guest.” He sighed, looking out of the small window, towards the deep forest.