the shady file III
the DEMONS and the LAST FAIRY
The Demon Lord held on to the lesser demon’s horn as he exited the throne room. He eventually lowered his left hand once he started walking through a large corridor, and yet, the lesser demon was unable to touch the ground. The pain the lesser demon felt was sharp, and it felt like his horn would snap into two any time, but he did his best to stay as still as possible. The lesser demon knew that fighting or struggling, even just a little, would only anger the Demon Lord. And so he distracted himself by observing the intricate artwork of the large statues they passed. The statues were made entirely out of differently colored fire and lava. The base of each statue burnt a bright orange or yellow, and the details, mostly in the form of different patterns and runic symbols, burnt a subdued, yet bright, blue or green. The statues on the left side of the corridor were portraits of the Demon Lord’s various predecessors, while those on the left paid homage to the legendary creatures and races that the Demon Lord and his predecessors had culled over the years.
The Demon Lord suddenly turned right and entered a room whose doors the guards flung open. He threw the lesser demon across the room’s floor. The lesser demon coiled into a ball the second he touched the ground, and began rolling, hoping that the momentum of the Demon Lord’s throw would soon die out. A large foot stopped the lesser demon’s roll midway. The lesser demon looked up and saw an old, wrinkly face smiling back at him.
“What have you brought me, my Lord?” the thin, fragile, dark orange skinned demon asked, as his black eyes gave the lesser demon a once over.
“Show me what he’s seen, mind reader,” the Demon Lord answered.
“Right away, Sire,” the mind reader replied, as he tapped the lesser demon with his leg and motioned for him to stand up and follow.
The mind reader led the lesser demon to a large fountain of dark red lava.
“Do not question what happens next. And most importantly of all, do not resist. Allow me to enter, and this will be relatively painless,” the mind reader said, as he put his right hand on the lesser demon’s forehead, and his left into the bubbling lava fountain.
“Do not resist!” the mind reader screamed, as the lesser demon shrieked in pain. “Think of something to distract yourself with. The more you question my presence, the more pain you bring yourself.”
The lesser demon did as he was told. He went back to thinking about the rewards the Demon Lord would bestow on him, and it made him completely forget about the hand on his forehead, as well as the alien presence that had started to enter his mind.
“Much better. This one can distract himself easily,” the mind reader said, smiling at the Demon Lord.
The mind reader closed his eyes and focused on the lesser demon’s mind. He took over completely once he had penetrated it fully. Using the fingers on both his hands, the mind reader simultaneously created a number of runes within the lava, as well as on the lesser demon’s forehead. Soon enough, the lava parted and a blank space formed within it, one that represented the lesser demon’s eyes. The mind reader created two final runes - one within the blank space, and the other on the lesser demon’s forehead - before he let the lesser demon go. Thin, black strings of lava shot out of the rune in the blank space and attached themselves to the final rune on the lesser demon’s forehead. The strings soon began to shine a bright yellow, and they lifted the lesser demon’s body. Eventually, once the strings were at their brightest, they let the lesser demon’s body hover a few feet above the red and golden tiled floor. The blank space began to light up. The mind reader played the strings of lava in a specific pattern, and began arranging the memories he had parsed.
“Here it is, Sire,” the mind reader said, once he was done, motioning for the Demon Lord to come over.
“Begin,” the Demon Lord said, as he peered into the lit up space.
Images began flashing within the lit up space, slowly at first, rapidly thereafter, until the space became the lesser demon’s eyes. The Demon Lord and the mind reader watched carefully as the fountain showed them what the lesser demon had been up to for the last few fortnights. They saw the lesser demon and his clan sneak into hostile lands and bribe, torture and pillage various towns for the information the Demon Lord had been after. Most of their attempts were unsuccessful. The information was nowhere to be found. And yet, that didn’t stop them from enjoying themselves. They slaughtered the denizens of the towns with glee, and took whatever, and whoever, they pleased. They left nothing, except for large piles of ashes, in their wake. The Demon Lord laughed as he witnessed the destruction they had caused.
Finally, one of the lesser demon’s oldest informants struck gold. She told the lesser demon about a rumor she’d heard. The lesser demon hadn’t put too much stock into what she’d told him, but he was desperate for information by then, and thus, in a mental state where he’d been willing to follow every lead brought to him, no matter how farfetched or improbable. He dispatched a few of the trackers in his clan to promptly follow up on his informant’s lead. A bat had brought him a message from his trackers two fortnights later, the contents of which had sent him and the rest of his clan scurrying to their location.
The lesser demon and his clan had surrounded the forest the trackers had pointed out in their message, as soon as they had reached it. The lesser demon had then taken out the strange device the Demon Lord’s wizards had given to every demon clan, and walked around the forest’s periphery with it. The device had shone a bright white, which had confirmed the presence of the Demon Lord’s target within the forest. The best mages in the lesser demon’s clan had then sealed the forest with the greatest spell they were capable of reciting, and the lesser demon had immediately made his way back to the Demon Lord’s castle via a series of portals.
“He wasn’t lying then,” the Demon Lord said, as he pulled away from the fountain.
“It would seem so, my Lord,” the mind reader said, as he used his sharp nails to cut the strings that still connected the lesser demon to the fountain, whose light had now begun to fade. The lesser demon fell to the ground when the last string severed his connection to the lava fountain.
“What… happened…” he asked, groggily, as he attempted to sit up.
“You did well, child,” the mind reader said, as he helped the lesser demon stand up.
“My… my Lord…” the lesser demon blurted out, as soon as he realized that the Demon Lord had started walking away.
“What is it now, pest?” the Demon Lord asked, without turning to face the lesser demon.
“I was… hoping… I mean… I thought that…”
“Blurt it out. Now!”
“I… my… reward…” the lesser demon mumbled, with great difficulty.
“Reward?” the Demon Lord screamed, as he turned around and marched towards the lesser demon. “You want a reward?”
“My Lord… I just… I just thought…”
“What makes you think that you deserve a reward, pest?” the Demon Lord bellowed, as he picked the lesser demon up once more, but this time by the neck.
“I found… I found her…”
“You were supposed to find her years ago, pest. She’s been eluding all the demon clans for too long now. There are so many of you, and just one of her. And yet, here we are!”
“I just… I just thought that since I…”
The Demon Lord strengthened his grip on the lesser demon’s neck, and motioned for him to be silent. The Demon Lord scratched his chin as he thought.
“You are right,” he finally said. “You are incompetent, but not as incompetent as the other clans. You did find her after all. You deserve a reward, one that matches your achievement.”
“Thank you, my Lord,” the lesser demon mumbled, as best as he could, while he continued to gasp for air.
“Send word to my succubi,” the Demon Lord told the guards in the room, as he let go of the lesser demon. “Tell them to pleasure this pest,” he said, before he looked at the lesser demon and returned the wide smile that had formed on the lesser demon’s face. “Tell them to pleasure him until the pleasure is pleasure no more, and is pain instead. And tell them to continue to have their way with him until he begs for death. And when he begs enough, tell them to grant his wish, in the most pleasurably painful way possible.”
“My Lord! Please!” the lesser demon screamed, as he put his head on the Demon Lord’s feet, after his wide smile had disappeared.
“You wanted a reward, here it is,” the Demon Lord muttered angrily, as he turned around and started walking to the room’s large door. The lesser demon tried going after the Demon Lord, but the guards in the room pinned him down immediately.
“Send my generals to the war room,” the Demon Lord said, flashing the lesser demon one last smile, before he walked out of the room.