Artemis, a werewolf in the service of David, hunched down to look into his daughter’s eyes, happy to see her. Even if there were laws, people in every realm find ways to take advantage of others all the same. It’s quite simple, it’s because his master was lacking manpower right now.
“Daddy, I was so scared.” (Polona)
Artemis looked at his daughter with sad eyes. He recalled the days that he and his family were chased out of their home when he was discovered to have contracted lycanism. He never wanted to feel again what he did when he heard his daughter crying.
“It’s alright Polona, I’m home now.” (Artemis)
Artemis then looked up at his wife, who had a worried look on her face. Artemis knew that he and his daughter were straying closer to the lands reserved for the divine. They usually played near the border because he still didn’t trust the demon’s lands as much. In fact, his daughter is technically a follower of the divine, so it could technically be fine to play around in the neutral areas as long as they weren’t caught by a superior. He was glad that his wife didn’t just speak about what she was thinking about right now when she saw her daughter crying. She looked at her husband with a questioning gaze, but he didn’t have a reasonable answer. Will everything be alright? For now, all he can do is hope and pray.
Artemis and his family lived in a small shack of a home on the edge of the residential area that bordered the demon and divine residences. It wasn’t extravagant by any means, but it was still their home. While he acted as a messenger between the demon forces and the town, his wife worked as a barmaid. She wasn’t overly attractive, and while he worked, she had to keep Polona with her to keep her out of trouble, as there weren’t that many children in town for her to play with. With the exception of when Polona was with her parents, she was at the pasture during the daily teachings. It was a balanced life for Polona right now. Artemis and his family just finished their dinner during his day off, so the three of them then went to their respective beds. Artemis and his wife slept in a larger bed, and Polona slept in a smaller one. For a time, they rested quietly until they were sure Polona was asleep before speaking softly to one another.
“What’ll happen to us?” (Wife)
Artemis had no answer to give his wife.
“I don’t know. If we’re lucky, you won’t be exiled again, and….”(Artemis)
He paused, thinking about the best to worst case scenarios. He remained quiet for a moment as his wife thought the same.
“Hellena, promise me that you’ll continue to care for Polona. No matter what it takes.” (Artemis)
Hellena looked at Artemis, suspicious.
“You don’t mean?….” (Wife)
He looked seriously and sadly into her eyes.
“No matter what!”(Artemis)
She only nodded her head as he put his nose to her forehead. How many months has it been since he was last intimate with his wife? To not even be able to kiss her in fear of passing his curse onto her. After a moment of embracing, Artemis got out of bed and began to get ready for work.
Artemis arrived at the cave and the mansion’s construction site, then walked to the worker’s camp where all the demon’s minions normally set up. He was nervous, as word about what happened with the angel the day before has spread already. He eventually decided to face his fate as he took his position as messenger much earlier than normal. As he waited, another minion of the overlord turned towards him.
“Ah man, you’re so screwed.” (Wolf Minion)
Artemis looked at him with no voice for objections. Another minion moved towards him after that. As the previous one was a wolf type like himself, this one was a bear type beastman.
“Ha, being caught touching a divine child. Serves you right.” (Bear Minion)
Artemis clamped his teeth together tightly. The one that spoke was one of the builder minions. Physically, he was superior to him. Mentally, he was an as*h***. The one that spoke to him before turned to the bear minion that just spoke.
“Hey man, lay off. That’s his daughter, you know.” (Wolf Minion)
The bear minion shoved the other one away before grabbing the groin area of his pants.
“I’ll show his daughter what a real man is by playing touch.” (Bear Minion)
That was the last straw. Artemis finally snapped. Normally, he would usually endure the verbal torment and many of the other minions thought him lesser for it, but not this time.
Unlike the other minions that were mainly just beastmen, he was a cursed lycan. One of the things about them is what is called beast mode. Like all wolf type minions, Artemis had hair all over his body, but he kept it as clean and short as he could. His daughter loved stroking his head, and he enjoyed it as well. However, in that moment, Artemis entered his own beast mode. Something he has never done before. He leapt at the minion that mocked him, then took him down by the throat with his right hand, surprising everyone around them.
He then hit his captive with his left hand.
With each yelled word, Artemis landed his left fist on the minion’s face. After the sixth and final word, he felt better enough to realize what he was doing and immediately backed away, still in his beast mode. His fur had grown several inches and his fangs grew longer. His height grew nearly a foot and his muscle tone seemed to double. It was such a difference that his running clothes were mostly ripped apart at the seams. The other wolf minion looked at Artemis, before checking on the downed minion.
“You broke his neck and destroyed his skull.” (Wolf Minion)
Artemis was dejected. He was certain that death will await him now.
“Nice job man! It’s about time someone put that prick in his place.” (wolf minion)
Suddenly, Artemis was very confused.
“Aren’t I going to be punished?” (Artemis)
The other wolf minion laughed while slapping his arm.
“Oh, come on, you aren’t divine anymore. We break the rules all the time. I got a girl I ‘chase’ around town also, if you catch my drift. Good for you though that you finally stuck up for your family, man! To that bastard, no less. More importantly, you never said that you could go full beast mode. You holding out on us?” (wolf minion)
Several of the other minions started gathering around Artemis now. He was still processing all that had happened, so he couldn’t help but have a few drinks of whatever alcohol he was handed as congratulations. As quickly as the impromptu party started, it seemed to stop.
Almost in unison, all the minions around him took a knee and bowed their heads. Artemis quickly turned around and did the same thing when he saw who was standing there. A dragon was towering over all of them, which was a majestic sight to behold for most beings, and to the lower rank minions, it wasn’t much different. Normally, the great Luna only dealt with the chiefs of an area.
“You, you seem to be showing your airs off well tonight. To be able to escape from an angel and enter into your beast mode….” (The Great and Majestic Luna)
Artemis almost seemed to miss what she said. It was almost as if the great Luna was impressed. She then wandered off, losing interest and having to do other work, before the party started up again.
On this day, Artemis was considered a full fledged follower of David the Demon. In time, his loyalty will extend to even his family, and his bloodline will serve a great role in the future.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.