Thea stood ready, her specially made gunblade in hand. With her were three dozen villagers and another swordsman from her platoon, armed with as much armour as they could gather and wielding the best weapons at their disposal.
She glanced to her side, “Here they come.” She told Victus, her second in command. A large dark-skinned man wielding a shield almost as large as himself alongside a curved single-edged blade he called a scimitar.
The metal gate before them shook, visibly denting. Another two hits, as it bent further. When suddenly a blast of fire blew it off its hinges with great force, sending it flying off and over their heads.
A dozen and a half fiends rushed inside, their charred bodies slowly healing, their hides regenerating through the burns caused by Erik’s spells.
“Vanguard Deployment!” Victus chanted, activating his shield’s magical core. He slammed it onto the ground before himself, as the entire shield glowed a bright yellow. The light expanded before them, forming a barrier of mana between them and the charging demons. Blocking their maddened charge entirely, as they crashed into the light, bashing and slashing away at it.
It slowly began to crack.
“Kim now!” Thea shouted back at their priestess, as she stood at the very back of the group holding her grimoire up before her.
“My lord I beseech thee for purification. My lord I beg for a culling upon these abominations. My lord, bestow to me your light! Holy Text; Purify!” Kim chanted as a ball of light formed before her book of spells, suddenly dispersing into a bright white mist that flowed through everything before her.
Thea felt the holy magic flow by her, strengthening her body, sharpening her mind. She watched as it reached the demons, searing their eyes and briefly blinding them, maddening them as it burned their very flesh. Stopping their regeneration entirely.
“Go!” Thea commanded, and Victus dropped his barrier. She took aim, aligning two demons before her cannon. “Flame burst!” Thea quickly chanted, activating her weapon’s magic core. Flames formed at the tip of her weapon, suddenly bursting forth as a wave of incinerating heat. Boring a hole through both demons, killing them both instantaneously.
Her weapon’s skill needing time to cool down, she charged. Alongside Victus and the villagers she rushed forward, “Blink!” she chanted, teleporting before a fiend as she stabbed her blade deep into its chest. Pushing it back, the demon died as it fell, Thea falling with as she pulled out her twin blade.
All around her the battle finally begun, fiends barrelling through heavily armed villagers on the ground while even more fought up on the wall. Glancing up she saw Erik shout out orders, coordinating everyone.
It elevated her hopes, seeing fiends drop left and right. It renewed her fate in surviving this day.
“You puny maggots dare…” Hissed the goliath of molten earth from outside, ”You dare damage the fiends and shades my liege left beneath my command! You!” Jekozon bellowed in fury. ”You shall pay dearly for this!” He exclaimed, breaking his way through the gate’s tunnel, all too small for his size. The Demon Lord simply walked through anyway, melting the very stone that lay in his path.
Until he was finally inside, standing twenty feet tall and with the muscle to back it up. His eyes glowed a fearsome purple hue, his entire body covered in flowing magma merged with sickly miasma. He pointed his axe over their heads, speaking in an unknown tongue as violet flames formed at the end of his weapon.
“No!” Victus shouted, noticing what the demon was aiming at. He disengaged the fiend he was fighting, “Guardian’s Leap!” he chanted quickly, a bright light engulfing his legs right after. Victus leapt, higher than any man could possibly manage with strength alone.
Positioning his shield ahead of himself, as he flew into the demon’s path. “Holy Text!; Shie-” he began to chant…
“Hell Spike.” Jekozon chanted faster, willing the violet flames to suddenly shoot forwards and take solid form. Piercing right through Victus’s shield, melting the metal before reaching into his flesh and passing through that too. The spike of violet magma shot through Victus with ease, continuing forward even after.
Losing its solid form, as it reached its target. Engulfing Kim in a splash of molten liquid. The priestess had no time to react, no time to even scream as the spell melted her entire being in a matter of moments. Melted even the ground where she stood for several feet below before dissipating.
Thea could only watch in horror, as two of her most trusted fell right before her eyes. And she could’ve done nothing to stop it. Nothing but stare as Kim melted away, nothing but scream at the top of her lungs as Victus fell to the ground with a crash. Both dead in an instant.
“I shall enthral you all, even the hundreds hiding below!” The Demon Lord exclaimed as he stepped towards the fight. The villagers turned tail the moment they saw the two knights fall, while still many fiends ran about, chasing them down and slaying a life with every swipe of their claws.
Thea turned her shocked gaze over to Jekozon, rage filling her eyes as she took a step forth. “Blink” she chanted with ferocity, teleporting before the demon’s face as she slashed down her blade.
But Jekozon saw her attack coming, slapping her side like a bug, he sent her flying into a building nearby. “Pitiful creatures of day, your magiks are incomparable to ours.” He chuckled in amusement, turning to face Thea as she groaned from pain amidst the rubble, yet forcing herself to rise back up.
“You struggle and you struggle, but nothing can stop us now.” Jekozon warned, as he raised his molten axe with both hands. Suddenly slashing down upon the building Thea resided within.
“B-Blink!” Thea quickly chanted, teleporting herself elsewhere as the monster’s weapon crashed through the wood then brick. Collapsing the rest of the building in a single strike. She stumbled over onto a wall, holding on as not to collapse herself. Just from that one slap, she could feel several broken bones within herself.
“Too strong…” she mumbled, glancing from behind the building she had appeared at, seeing the villagers in the streets run as fiends continued to flow through the destroyed gate. Jekozon stood in their way, chuckling in wicked amusement. Watching the massacre, as nothing more than entertainment.
“You killed many a hell-spawn today, I shall allow you that. Yet victory is far from your path, for you walk the road towards destruction.” The Demon Lord exclaimed, raising his axe forward. “Fiends and shades can be resummoned, you stand…You never stood a chance.”
Thea believed him, watching in terror as more fiends than they could handle flooded into the streets. The villagers on the wall had begun charging down the stairs but even if the ones running away through the street turned around and fought…there was half as many fiends as there was villagers still.
It would take more than three to kill one.
She watched as Jekozon raised his axe towards the stairs, flames forming around it’s tip once again.
Quickly she also took aim, heaving her gunblade with what meagre strength remained in her arms. “Flame Burst!” she chanted, flames exploding out from her barrel then surging forth in a wave of heat and force.
“Hell Spike.” The Demon Lord chanted, as suddenly an explosion of flames collided with his axe, moving his aim over to the gate where his spell fired. The spike of hellfire pierced through stone with ease, melting within the wall and collapsing the gate over the fiends who still poured in one by one.
Killing several and blocking out the rest.
Jekozon cursed in demon tongue as he turned to face Thea, exhausted from her expenditure of mana, broken from her wounds. She stood but only with aid from her blade, holding onto it like a walking stick as she met the demon’s gaze of fury with her own stare of defiance.
“Brave, foolish soul. I shall reward you for the balls it must take to deflect my magic.” The Demon Lord slashed his axe low, “Rejoice for you die by Jekozon’s blade!” crashing the axe’s head through the ground. The blade rising through dirt and stone from beneath Thea, she tried to parry but the sheer force behind the attack sent her rising with.
Her weapon withstood the first brunt, only to slowly crack over and then shatter within her arms as Jekozon sent her flying once more. She screamed in pain as the axe’s blade grazed by her chest, the proximity enough to burn her skin as she flew off.
Soaring through the sky briefly, Thea could barely open her eyes to see the Demon Lord turn towards the wall defenders. Just then she reached the other side of the village, crashing through stone she felt several more bones break within her body. Her armour doing its best to resist most of the damage, yet still all she could do was stay conscious whilst tumbling over stone and then slamming into another wall.
She came to a groaning stop, feeling every part of her back seizing with pain whilst her front burned, an agonizing sense of searing across her flesh. Her eyes were blurry from the tears that she could not stop, wiping them aside she found herself within the village’s wall. Having crashed through the inside and landed within the third floor.
Thea fought through the pain, she wasn’t about to give up now. “Stand!” she ordered herself, “Damnit move!” she commanded her shaking arms and trembling legs. “Not now! Not ever!” she cried, shakily standing up by holding onto the wall. “Not after…they gave their lives!” she exclaimed while falling to her knees, remembering each face, each name. Each person she lost.
“And given their lives they have.” Spoke Erik as he appeared standing before her, gazing down at her broken form. “But for what? For what have you given your lives? Your king? Your title?” He asked, his eyes boring through hers as she raised her face to meet them. “What is this sacrifice for? You could’ve ran, you could’ve left them all behind and escaped alive. Yet here you stand, broken, beaten and bleeding. So I ask you, what for?”
Thea’s gaze fell to the ground then at her bloodied gauntlets, she had lost the feeling in her fingers hours ago yet still they moved. Why did she do all this? Why did she and all her comrades bet their lives? The answer was clear, as clear as it ever was. She simply couldn’t understand how Erik did not already know. “I do this not for K-King or title. I do this for my people, for the innocent lives that have done nothing wrong to be punished so. People that work every day just to stay alive. Civilians who’s every morning is a struggle.”
Thea forced herself to stand, sheer will allowing her to resist the pain her body was in. “I…We do this not for glory or fame. We do this to save f****** lives.” She said, raising her head once more to meet his solemn gaze.
“I do not understand.” Erik responded, sighing as he glanced back at the horrors happening below. “But if you still wish to fight, who am I to stop you?”. He turned back, his eyes changed from their previous blue to his now bright gold. His eyes shone with power, as the very air around him radiated the same. His dirty, short blonde hair rose with the pressure too, standing on edge but flowing freely.
Thea was lost in his eyes, as he approached her. She felt her entire body was frozen, sensing the power that emanated from him, she dared not move. For she felt that this being before her was no human, nor mortal.
“I won’t stop you from risking your life. It is not mine to command.” Thea felt in the presence of a god, “But as things are going? I cannot help further.” as it spoke to her with a voice that resonated raw power. Erik smiled, a cold and demeaning smile as he stared back at her. “Unless, of course. You wish for me to command you?”
He approached her further, now standing before her. Raising his left hand, Erik wiped some blood off her left cheek. “If so, lady knight. Speak so, pledge your life to me. And I shall bestow you power beyond your imagination.”
“Pledge…my life?” She asked, staring up at him as if she was being met by a divine being. Feeling the energy flowing over her skin, as she melted at his touch.
“Your soul, will be mine to do as I wish. In turn you will have access to my mana, to my elements and to my boons. No demon will stand before you and survive. With time, even Devils will flee.” Erik explained, “What shall you do?” he then asked once again. His eyes, mere centimetres away from hers.
Hearing the cries and crashing from outside, Thea’s heart clenched at the thought. “If my soul is what it takes to save so many more, then take it. It is yours.”
Erik’s smile faltered, “And here I was expecting you to decline in defiance. My how you humans love to surprise me.” He said sourly. “But if a contract is what you wish for, I have no qualms. You better have no regrets either.”
He raised both hands to her face, placing his palms on each of her bloodied cheeks. Staring straight into her eyes Erik chanted, “You creature of new, being of crafts and community. Pledge your very existence to me, and have a taste of my own. Speak my name, for I speak yours Thea Selene. Speak my true name.”
Thea felt his mana flow through her cheeks, touching her mind in small waves. She stared into his deep golden eyes, frozen, as his name appeared at the very tip of her tongue. She spoke it, “Erikathyr.” Coming out like no other, the word itself was imbued with power. “Erikathyr.” She spoke it once again as more words followed, “The destroyer, the guardian, the white.”
“Then it shall be, my servant you now are!” Erikathyr exclaimed, “And a Dragon’s servant requires a Dragon’s name. Yours shall be…” he moved in closer, “Theaviss” he whispered the name just before their lips met.
Thea could not even react with a blush at her first ever kiss, only astonishment and surprise as mana surged through Erik’s playful tongue and into hers. Filling her body, touching even her soul and imbuing her with power beyond anything she had ever dreamed of.
Like a raging fire it burned within her, sizzling where her blood met air, regenerating her wounds in a matter of seconds. Her entire body fully recovered as Erik pulled away. She stared into his dimming eyes, as his very expression paled before her.
“Go my champion. Eradicate those vile vermin.” He ordered, stepping aside from her path.
“Yes, master.” Thea responded with pride, clenching her fists she took a step forward. No pain, no weariness within her now. Only raw power, strength that demanded to be released. She approached the hole her body made in the wall only moments earlier, looking out and into the village below.
Her eyes shone, the previous brown being covered entirely by a bright golden glow. Thea took a deep breath, surprised by her new senses, tasting the very air gave her more information than she could process.
Exhilarated, she couldn’t wait any longer. “Blink.” She chanted, picturing the spot she would appear at, normally several dozen meters too far yet…
Thea appeared before Jekozon as his axe descended upon a group of villagers, she raised her right hand up. The molten blade befalling onto her gauntlet, the iron melted and parted, the enchantment nothing compared to the demonic weapon.
But with her now bare hands, Thea stopped the attack. Clutching the weapon, her skin touching the hellish metal yet not a burn appeared on her fingers.
“What in hell…” Jekozon was surprised, he stared down at her with utter bafflement as she held the weapon that would melt steel. He tried to pull it back, but her vice grip kept him from retrieving his own weapon. Using both hands while she only held the blade with one. “Impossible.” He spat, trying to pull once more.
“Impossibility is only the limit at which your miniscule mind can grasp.” Erik spoke yet was nowhere to be seen, his voice flowing through the air like a breeze.
“You’d dare…” The Demon Lord hissed in fury, “In the name-” he began only to be cut off.
“In the name of my master, I claim your corrupted soul, foul beast.” Thea exclaimed with an all too loud voice, the shockwave sending the villagers behind her onto their asses. Right after, she let go of the demon’s axe.
Jekozon retrieved his weapon and took a step back, readying to strike but was all too slow as suddenly Thea stomped onto the ground and leaped forwards. She crashed right into his gut, her fist denting his chest armour and pushing the massive demon off balance.
Jekozon moved back, regaining his balance as he spun his axe down upon the mid-air Thea. He bashed her into the ground, raising dirt and sending a quake across the village. He grinned widely, what was a human before his raw strength?
But once the dirt cleared it revealed Thea still standing, holding up the axe’s blade with both hands as she rose, arching back slightly and raising Jekozon off the ground.
Immediately after she threw the axe, Demon Lord and all, she threw Jekozon at the collapsed gateway. The goliath of hellfire and magma crashed through the stone as more fell upon his form, briefly crushing him beneath rubble. But the Demon Lord wouldn’t fall that easily either, roaring out in fury as the pile of rubble upon him exploded outwards.
Jekozon’s now even fierier form rose from beneath. “I know not from which font you gain your power, human. But you shall not best me!” He exclaimed while a second axe appeared in his left hand, forming out of violet flames he now wielded two of the hellish weapons. “Cease to exist before my wrath!” he raised both axes towards her, “Hell School; Hellfire!” he chanted ferociously as out of each weapon a concentrated breath of violet flames rushed forward.
In response Thea raised both hands up towards the demon, chanting as the words appeared in her mind. “Draconic School; Eruption!” She spoke them, as out of her palms burst forth golden flames.
The two blazes met at the centre, sparks of violet and blue energy forming about their collision point, as each flame fought for dominance over the other. At first both flames seemed equal, but ever so slowly the golden fire began to grow vaster and vaster, to the point that it engulfed the hellfire whole and rushed around. Exploding into Jekozon.
The Demon Lord was yet again sent flying back, but the fire did not end. Thea moved forwards, flames continuously gushing out of her palms. She engulfed the demon in dragon fire even as he lay sprawled out on the wall, the blaze’s sheer force pushing him deeper and deeper into the stone as he screamed in agony from the flames burning his outer shell.
“S-Stop! No! Nooo!” Jekozon screamed, the golden blaze incinerating even his hellfire body on contact. As it got hotter, fiercer, stronger by the second. Until finally the demon’s screams ended, as he had no mouth remaining to scream with.
Jekozon stopped resisting, as he had no body remaining to resist with. Incinerated beneath a flame comparable with a drake’s breath.
Sensing that the monster was gone, Thea ended her rays of flame. Stumbling back, her arms fell uselessly by her side, her expression pale as she stared at the charred wall. “He…” her voice, returning to normal as she spoke out of bafflement. “He’s gone…” she said, both in disbelief and in relief.
“He’s…gone.” She repeated, then losing all feeling in her legs. Thea fell forward.
“He is.” Said Erik, appearing then before her and letting her fall into his arms. She gripped onto his chest, breathing heavily, her entire body trembling from exhaustion. “It’s over, my champion. You’ve done well. Rest now.” He told her softly.
And Thea did not argue, her eyes closing before she could choose whether to or not. So worn out that her mind simply shut itself off the first chance of solace it found.
Erik lowered himself with her, sitting on the ground while resting her head on his lap. He stared down at her with great interest, never before had he imagined that Erikathyr, would make a contract with such a being.
But if he meant to study her race, this was a sure way of gaining a specimen. And judging by the flames she summoned, and that her body was still whole? A fine specimen this one was.