Fear: That Demon WHo Walked on Ash
Chapter 1By: Justin
Blood dripped down the creature’s face, penetrating his dark blue eyes as he labored across a decrepit bridge, failing to notice its state until he already was a third of the way across the bridge, and his deformed foot feeling air. He tried to see if he could make it back but the bridge collapsed, his body descending into the deep sea.
He awoke with a startled expression. It changed to fury once he realized his claws and feet were bound on a cold, dirty wall.
“Awake freak show?” The creature looked to see a small, dishonest looking boy staring at him. He promptly spit in his direction. The boy unsheathed his sword and stabbed the creature’s leg. “I dare you to spit at me again! I dare you!” The creature closed his eyes, sighing heavily. He then spit twice in both of the boy’s eyes. The boy screamed and, after trying to wipe the spit out in vain, wildly began stabbing the creature’s legs repeatedly. When he was satisfied, the creature’s legs oozed with blood. “Bastard demon!”
The creature’s legs slipped out of the chain.
“Bastard human…” He lifted them in the air, the momentum breaking the chains on his wrists. Terrified, the boy attempted to run away, but was immediately stabbed in the back. The creature took off the boy’s clothes and wrapped them around his ankles. When he finished, the door opened down the hall.
“That spoiled brat! If I find him down here messing with that demon, I swear I’ll kill him!”
“Too late,” thought the creature, busting the wall and descending into the trees. He landed on solid ground and ran out of the area. He ran for close to an hour when he stopped by two road paths. He stood, considering which option. He decided to take the right path. When he got arrived at a decimated town, he grumbled.
At least 20 demon soldiers, with one large demon, clearly standing out with his girth and color, were walking towards him.
“Fellow demon brother,” yelled the obnoxious towering orc demon, “Are you ok?”
“I have human clothing as bandages and I just cheated death. What do you think, dumbass?” Is what the creature wanted to say, but instead said, “I’m ok.”
The orc’s one eye blinked three times in three seconds.
“Are you sure you are ok?”
“…I could use some fo—” The orc patted the creature’s back.
“Well that’s all you needed to say! Come to our base! We feast you tonight! WAHAHA!” The creature’s eyes looked pained as he walked with his fellow race.
He instantly regretted coming with them.
The base, which happened to be located in a cave, had a deplorable stench to it; bones of humans and animals were littered all over the entrance, demon soldiers stepping right on it without notice. The inside was worse: there was hardly any lighting, it was too small for even a hundred demons, and they all had a very distinctive, if very disgusting, smell.
But those were the least of the creature’s worries.
“I’ll…eat right here…” The creature sat down and leaned against the tunnel wall.
The orc blinked ten times in fifteen seconds.
“Because if a human learns how idiotic you were to hole up a sizeable pack of demons in a fit to be tied cave, then they bring their spell casters and use their magic and kill you all off, I’ll able to sense it and leave before they do.” Is what the creature wished to say, but said instead,
“I feel all right here…I don’t want to trouble—“ The orc patted the creature on the shoulders.
“Oh you want trouble us! More demons, more better! WAHAHA!” The orc leader walked away carelessly and carefree.
When he came back, he threw a plate with a couple of uncooked meats and one human leg haphazardly at the creature. When the creature looked, it was the orc again.
“Eat, eat!” The creature begrudgingly ate the food. It tasted like it was a couple years old. “Good food, huh?”
“…Horrifying…” thought the creature as he nodded.
“So, what were ya doing at that…building?”
“…I was looking for some humans…”
“You think they would hide in there? It’s narrow!”
“…Well, the humans like narrow.” The creature forced a smile.
“Ah, those humans so dumb! Hiding in building. There’s no point! I’m mean, I mean…” The orc began to ramble foolishly. The creature closed his eyes.
“I wish those humans would show and get me out of here…” He thought. “Bethumet…I don’t know what you had in mind when you created us…I’m sure this was it, though…” He reopened his eyes.
“…Somebody made him leader? Stop talking about the past! Humans are coming!” The orc heard that last sentence.
“What?” He sniffed the area. “Humans are coming! They’re coming here! How they know we here?”
“I know, but there’s no point in rehashing it,” thought the creature who instead said, “Forget that! We need to kill them!”
The orc jumped up abruptly and hurried to his men.
“Soldiers! Humans are approaching base! Let’s kill them!” Grunts and gas were let out by the demon soldiers. “Charge!” They all screamed gallantly as they ran out of the room…
…Only to get stuck at the room entrance.
Just as the creature thought.
“S-stay calm! Try to get yourselves out! I’ll hold off the humans as much as I can!” He ran towards the cave entrance, sensed that the human army was coming north, and promptly went south. As he got far away, he smelt fire wafting past his nose. He clenched his claws and snarled at the sky.
After running for close to an hour the creature leaned against a tree, and after looking around, sat down to rest.
“This is just…” He knew what he wanted to say. He knew there was no point in saying it. The only thing he needed to know was that he had to survive at all costs. Even if that meant sacrificing his own race.
A wailing sound alerted the creature. He hid behind the tree and saw a village man carrying a small boy in the middle of the road. The man looked enraged. The creature assumed the boy did something wrong and was about to be punished. His assumption was right…in a way he didn’t expect.
“That’s enough,” growled the creature as he held the man’s arm, confiscating the dagger that he was about to use on the boy in his other claw.
“D-demon? Freak! Let me go!”
“What do you think you’re doing?”
“Stay out of it!” The man attacked the creature, but missed with regularly. The creature sensed other humans heading in his direction. He thought about running away, but couldn’t leave the kid with that man.
“It’s a demon!” screamed a village lady, who, with two village men, ran towards the demon, small daggers in their hand. The man hit the creature squarely on the back, causing the creature to “fall” face first on the ground.
“He tried to kill this child!” said the despicable human who grabbed his dagger, then stabbed the creature, who “yelped”.
“Damned demon! Curse you and your race!” screamed one of the village men, who began kicking the creature.
“Go back to your orgy-infested beasts!” screamed the woman, stabbing the creature. This seemed like it would continue for hours until an unknown voice screamed,
“Cursed humans!” Suddenly a towering orc appeared, terrifying the humans and forcing them to run. Once it disappeared, the creature looked up and saw a red haired figure step out of the bushes placing its human like hands on the kid’s head, chanting something from its mouth. The kid fell to sleep. As the creature stood, the blue colored demon walked towards him.
“Are you all right?” He spoke in an imposing voice, “Why did you allow yourself to get thrashed like that?”
“I was just acting…those humans couldn’t kill me no matter how hard they tried.”
“Why didn’t you run away?”
“Like I wanted to leave the kid to get stabbed by that disgusting human. If nothing else, I can take solace in the fact that I might have prolonged his life at that moment.” The figure laughed. “Yeah, I know…some demon I am, huh?”
“No…that’s not why I laughed! It’s just…you’re not like any of the demons I’ve encountered. They were either dumb or impressively dumb…”
“That’s because they can only think about ripping human’s heads off than think about how to walk…I wish I knew why this war ever took place.”
“I wish I knew as well. I do know one thing: you seem to share the same views I have of Bethumet.”
“…Nice to finally meet someone like that,” the creature extended his claws to the figure. “My name is Cizard. I am honored to meet you.” The figure grabbed Cizard’s claw.
“My name is Tomestorm. It’ll be nice to have someone watching my back for the first time.” They both shook hands.
“Can’t we find a town that’s bustling with people, rather than see humans and demons spread out like dominoes?” asked Tomestorm while he and Cizard were eating food from a decimated house. Cizard was already sitting down on a chair, eating an apple, when he said,
“War…takes…all…and if…we…do find…a place…” He stuffed the apple in his mouth, chewed it five times, swallowed, and continued speaking, “With peace loving humans, it would be refreshing but altogether strange.”
“Besides that once we show up all that peace would be shattered!” Tomestorm sat on a chair that looked like it could break at any moment.
“…Is there such a thing as peace?” Tomestorm shuddered slightly at Cizard’s question.
“I think peace can be attained…question is whether we’ll live to see it…”
“I’ve always wondered if that statement is true. The war’s been going on for two years now. No one has the advantage in this war.”
“I disagree: the demons have the advantage now. Sure the humans have won some battles, but overall the demons have captured some pretty potent places. In the end the demon’s strength is too much…” Cizard closed his eyes and slumped on his chair.
“It doesn’t matter how much of an advantage the demons have. In the end it comes down to this: what happens after the war? The demons will seal the remaining humans in that accursed Varusch Dungeon then attempt to take over many of Bethumet’s lands. I guarantee you the demons will not lead us to peace.”
“You think the humans can lead us to peace?”
“They’ll do the same thing…and the same thing will happen.”
“Then…how? How do we achieve peace?” Cizard was silent. Tomestorm looked at him staring at the purple colored sky, waiting patiently for a response.
“Peace can be achieved…if the two can work together…” Tomestorm twitched. “Don’t trust humans?”
“Of course not! How can you?”
“I don’t either. But in the end, a person can only grow with the support of all around him. The human and demon race can only support each other if peace is to be achieved.”
“But…again…how do we achieve it?” Cizard got up from his chair, grabbed Tomestorm, and said,
“A power…a power so cold…so mindless…so destructive…that it would kill because that’s all it knows…it would kill so much that the war would have to stop…and force the two races to wound their ego and swallow their pride…” Cizard let go of Tomestorm, dusted his clothes a bit, and said, “We have to keep moving. Spending time in a desolate place scares me…” Tomestorm, somewhat unsure of what just happened, grabbed an orange and followed Cizard.
After walking around for a few hours Cizard and Tomestorm stood standing on a secluded mountain area.
“I guess this where we sleep for today…” said Cizard leaning against the wall inside a cave.
“Well now that I have a partner in arms, I can probably sleep without worry…” said Tomestorm, who already closed his eyes, lying comfortably on the ground.
“W…why do I have to stand guard first?”
“Don’t worry…” Tomestorm sounded like he was already sleeping, “I’ll…take…over…next…time…”
“…You sure sleep fast,” thought Cizard, although that might have to do with having someone he trusts, he believed. He perched himself at a spot where he could survey his surroundings and not get seen by any one, then stood there like a statue, glaring angrily at the sky. “Bethumet…you know that I hate you. I bet you hate me too…unlike your other creations, I happened to realize there’s nothing to fight for.” The creature shook, then slumped. “I…I have lived in constant fear for my life since this war began…I now wonder if I can go on living this way. I want to live because I want to be there when the land is peaceful. I want to live because I want to be the one who managed to survive a deplorable war…” Cizard sighed. “…I want to live…mainly because…I’m afraid to die…but…but…” Cizard suddenly arose. “T-Tomestorm! Wake up!” It was too late. Before Cizard could see if Tomestorm ever got up, he blacked out instantly.
Cizard woke up with a look of defeat.
He found himself chained and imprisoned behind bars. The walls were made of a strange silver…he couldn’t tell what it was. A magical barrier surrounded his cell. Cizard never cried in his life. He wished he could cry right there.
Cizard began to think about how this could have been avoided. He thought that maybe he should have joined the war. Would he have survived? Would he be in this mess? He then thought of Bethumet.
Cizard burned with fury.
Cizard felt it: Bethumet was laughing at him. He knew that whatever play was on, Bethumet thought it was funny. He thought of him as an innocuous, petite bug that he noticed while watching his creations slaughter each other mindlessly, and stepped on it. Nothing registered in Cizard’s mind other than an anger that would grow without resolution.
That’s why Cizard had a shocked expression when he noticed blood gushing out of his claw. When he looked, an armored human, smiling disgustingly at the creature, stood in front of him.
“Deaf ass demon. Get up!” Cizard slowly got to his feet, not caring what happened to him anymore.
Once they exited the prison room, Cizard looked at the pure white walls, incapable of knowing how they were made. When he got down to the hall and entered the door, he was in disbelief.
Cizard never stared at the black and gold coated humans.
Cizard didn’t gape at seeing a strange looking building with black rope assimilated into the dark blue wall, moving back and forth every second.
Cizard hardly noticed the guard who brought him, and the guards approaching him.
He stared at demons.
Encased in a strange, cylinder looking tube.
There was one tube that had many different demon arms floating in the water; another had mangled, torn demon private parts; another had a row of demons all encased in the similar tube.
Cizard forgot that he didn’t care about what happened to him; he desperately wanted to live at any cost. But he suddenly found himself on the ground, blood seeping to his legs. He looked around, noticing many different humans staring at him. He realized that he was screaming without even hearing his voice. He could see that his body was being carried somewhere. He almost blacked out, but when he reopened his eyes he found himself lying somewhere, faces staring at him, with strange shaped items in their hands.
Cizard finally realized it:
He was dead.
He didn’t want to die really. He wanted to live in a place in peace. He only killed not because of want but because of need.
Cizard tried to close his eyes, but for some reason he couldn’t do it. He could only watch those faces torturing his body. Before he realized it, he found himself encased in the same tube the demons before him were in. Suddenly humans grabbed his body. He eventually found himself staring at the white walls again. Then he stared into a blazing fire.
As his body was tossed into the fire, Cizard had one thought,
“If only…I had…the power…” As the fire began to engulf him, he repeated, “If only…I had…the power…” Once the fire covered his eyes, he repeated for a third time, “If only…I had…the power…” And as everything seemed to disintegrate around him, he thought one last time, “If only…I had…the power…”
You want power, right?
Suddenly, eyes opened, burning bright red. Fire circled around the body. Its shoulders grew larger; it looked more muscular; its claws grew sharper. When the fire died down, the humans stared at a black trench coat wearing creature with four cryptic, black wings.
The creature happened to be the last thing they saw before the fire engulfed the building…
“The demons are approaching!” yelled a scout soldier as the human army stood outside a desolate town, weapons in hand as they waited for the enemy army. As soon as the demons were seen in their view, the human army charged at them. The humans had the early advantage, using arrows and magic to slay many of the demons, but when they got into close range combat they were at the mercy of the demons, their strength and durability proving too much for them. But it was an even battle at first, as neither side could take the upper hand.
That changed when rumbling shook the area.
The demons and the humans stopped, wondering what was going on.
“There’s something coming!” screamed a demon as he looked in the direction across the river, trees falling to the ground. Another rumble shook the area. When the last tree cleared, everyone looked to see an unknown creature walking in their direction. The humans cowered, seeing that it looked like a demon; the demons were at first flabbergasted, not sure what to make of it. When they finally realized what it was, they got back to what they do best: killing humans.
It didn’t take long for the creature to join them.
First an arm, then a leg: half of a body, then half of their vitals; in five seconds, at least 50 humans were either killed or had lost multiple body parts before being killed by the creature. The tide of the battle stunningly shifted in the demons’ favor. The humans had no choice; they had to retreat.
The creature denied them that right.
In three minutes, human bodies were strewn on the ground. The demons couldn’t believe their eyes. As soon as the battlefield was cleared of humans, they instantly ran towards the creature to salute him.
They all saw a wide smile on the creature’s face, then saw their lives flash before their eyes. In ten minutes, the sortie was over, with one survivor.
The creature walked forward, blood covering its body and dripping like mad to the ground.