Chapter Forty-Two – Love is Blind
“So, Eldrian’s been hanging out with this girl pretty much non-stop. I have no idea where Deena went. She just kind of disappeared off the face of the planet. Now I’m bored. Hopefully Eldrian doesn’t keep spending all his time with Zayna,” Kevin explained as he lounged on his sofa.
Joining him were Daveon and Arlandria. It had been a couple days, and thankfully, nothing crazy had happened to them otherwise. Not all of their friends were present, nor were they obligated to inform them of everything that was going on with their lived. Deena was always mysterious. She often did disappear for fragments of time.
“Are you jealous of her?” Arlandria asked.
“What? No!” quickly replied Kevin.
Daveon crossed his arms and shook his head. “I can’t believe you’re so calm about this. Both of you. You said she had grey skin, horns, a tail, and more. It’s a demon. This Zayna is clearly from the Demon World. You know, the demon Eldrian was probably out to hunt? You don’t think this is a cause for alarm?”
“I’m just not sure what to do about it.”
“Demons are always bad news. Dark magic leads only to danger, and now that danger found Eldrian. You’re not just a normal man anymore, Kevin. You have a power we don’t.”
“I just figured that if it was really bad, Deena would have said something. She did seem to know her for some reason.”
Daveon sighed. “I don’t hate Deena, but she’s not the most trustworthy person, especially if she actually knows a demon so casually. She’s too soft with those creatures. What if Eldrian is being mind controlled, just like what Xeno would do?”
“You’re freaking me out. If he’s being mind controlled, why hasn’t he done anything? Wouldn’t she get him to like, attack people?”
“Let’s go find out.”
“Hey, Arlandria. You’re staying with Deena. Has she said anything?”
The elf shook her head. “No. She seemed distraught before her disappearance, but she’s like a closed book. I haven’t a clue where she went, or why, but I certainly don’t trust Zayna either. She may indeed have an influence over him. It could only be a matter of time before something terrible happens.”
Kevin toyed with his magic rings. There were suddenly responsibilities that came along with his new-found power. Before, he knew he could do little but help, yet now, he was capable of combating wizards better than the rest of them. He thought that would instil him with comfort—confidence. But it only made him more afraid. People relied on him more. He wondered, in that moment, if Eldrian felt this way every day, and if so, how he dealt with it.
On the other hand, Daveon seemed so certain of his goal. There was a great distaste for dark magic behind his gaze, and rightfully so, but it was also true that Daveon felt fear he didn’t show. He always seemed so confident, but he knew his place even less so than Kevin. His greatest fear in that moment was that he cared less about saving Eldrian than stopping this demon.
Arlandria was caught between conflicts involving others not even from her world. But with a man out to potentially kill her, and herself trapped on Earth, she had to make do. She felt a comfort with the others, and a need to aid them in any way she could for all they’ve done for her thusfar.
“Let’s go then,” Daveon finally spoke. “Call Eldrian. Tell him we want to meet with him and his girlfriend. We need to find where they’re staying.”
The ginger boy nodded and reached for his phone. He mustered up the courage, and called up his friend in hopes he’d answer, but also worried about what would happen if he did. In a way, he’d be lying to his best friend.
Someone picked up.
“Hello?” came the voice of Zayna instead.
“Oh. Hi. Eldrian’s with you, I guess, huh?” Kevin asked.
“He is. Do you need him?”
“Uh. Actually, I was wondering if I could come over and actually meet you. I’m his best friend, so you know. It makes sense.”
“True. That does make sense. I don’t see why not. We’re not doing anything important at the moment, so come on over. I’m sure he’d be happy to see you.”
The three of them stood outside the door of the supposed home of Zayna the voluptuous demon. Kevin stood in front, and with a deep breath, he knocked his knuckles against the wood. He waited, but soon it creaked open to reveal an inspecting eye.
She saw it was him, and opened it the rest of the way to beckon them inside, and so they did. However, she didn’t seem expecting of more than just Kevin. Once they were inside, she closed the door, and looked rather nervous.
“You brought friends,” she muttered.
“Yeah. Sorry,” replied Kevin. “We’re all Eldrian’s close friends.”
Zayna glanced at Arlandria behind them and took a step back towards the coffee table. If it was possible to her to go pale, as if she saw a ghost, then she would have.
“An elf? Here?” she asked. “How and why?”
“I apologize for my intrusion,” said Arlandria. “I know my presence is odd.”
“Very odd! Even more than my own. Since when did elves even leave their world? I thought they hated Earth.”
“Strange circumstances led me to this place, but truthfully, it’s not so bad.”
“Well, I promise that everything is fine. There’s no need to bring an army to my house. Eldrian! They’re here!”
Coming from the kitchen was the wizard. However, over his regular clothing, he wore a bright pink apron, and in his hand was a dusting brush, like some sort of maid. When he saw his friends, he put on a wide smile and approached.
“Welcome, my friends,” he said with glee.
Daveon squinted at him. “Hey. You’re acting different today.”
The demon backed up into the entertainment center behind her, and tried to fade away into the backdrop. She was noticeably worried about the amount of people in her home for more reasons than one. They out-numbered her, but also, the more people that knew of her presence led to a higher chance of her being found out by someone who’d want to drag her back.
“I am?” Eldrian asked. “I didn’t think so.”
“Why so nervous, Zayna?” Daveon pressed.
“You don’t disguise yourself in front of us. You obviously control one of our minds, and expect us to believe you’re not. How did you even get out of Hell? You’re either extremely lucky, or you’re way more powerful than you lead on.”
“Who summoned you? What evil deeds are you going to commit with our friend’s body?”
“No evil deeds. I swear!”
“Then who owns this home? I don’t see the Macleans anywhere.”
The room went quiet. Zayna swallowed awkwardly, and tried to quickly think of a response. She could tell her hesitation spoke volumes. By the time she opened her mouth, she knew that it was too late.
“I never even thought about that,” spoke Kevin. “Do you think she got rid of the people who lived here and took it as her hideout?”
“I didn’t kill them!” she blurted out.
Daveon stepped closer. “So where are they?”
“I convinced them to go somewhere else for awhile.”
“And how’d you convince them?” he barked, taking a few more steps towards the cornered woman.
“That’s none of your business.”
“You made it our business!”
As he moved forward again with arms up and ready to capture this demon, his wrist was grabbed by a hand that didn’t belong to her. Daveon looked to the side, and Eldrian’s free hand had stopped him where he stood. A focused glare came from his eyes.
Daveon backed away. “This isn’t you.”
“Keep your hands off my mistress,” Eldrian replied.
“You’re being controlled.”
“She’s my friend.”
“She’s an abomination!” Daveon yelled.
With a quick whip of his hands, Eldrian had already projected a spell. It was a simple bolt of flames, but it came from his palms to hopefully collide with the shouting druid. Daveon ducked back, but before it hit him, a magic ward manifested itself in front of him to take on the full force of the blast. He turned his head to see Arlandria behind him with both of her arms extended.
Kevin came running at him next. Eldrian snarled.
“I’m so sorry for this,” Kevin cried.
As they neared one another, Kevin brought back his arm to prepare a punch. Meanwhile, Eldrian brought up his palms, and before himself came a ward of his own. It was easily enough to absorb the fist of his friend. However, Kevin’s blow crashed through the shield, causing it to disappear in its entirety.
Eldrian clearly didn’t expect this. His eyes widened. It was too late. Kevin’s fist exploded over the side of Eldrian’s head, causing him to fall back against the shelves behind him and ragdoll to the ground.
The demon looked terrified. “An elf, and a spellbreaker? This is a nightmare. None of this is happening. How dare you break him free of my enchantment!”
“So you admit it,” Daveon said.
“Yes, but—” she mumbled as she backed up next to the unconscious Eldrian.
“It seems we were correct,” Arlandria explained. “She was controlling our friend, and she likely did the same with the owners of this home. This was how she was planning on remaining undetected. She’s able to change the minds of others. They often refer to this kind of demon as a succubus.”
Daveon clenched his teeth. “I’ve heard of that. Not as a wizard, but from folk tales. Demons who bed people, and either kill them in their sleep, or turn them into slaves. In the stories, they’d kill hundreds, and devour their flesh.”
“Eldrian told me he’s never received a mission from Lucy to specifically bring back a demon. It was always either to bring it back, or to slay it. I don’t think she cares. But, still, I feel wrong doing it. She hasn’t done anything that we know about.”
“Besides take over our friend’s mind,” Daveon said back. “I’ve seen what demons and demon summoners can do. Let me take her down. They’re an affront to the natural world, but if you don’t feel comfortable, I’ll do it.”
They looked to one another for a moment. It was an unsettling scenario. Soon, however, Kevin swung out his hand and called out, “Summon sword, Drodias!” to manifest the glistening blue blade. He handed it to his friend.
Daveon took Drodias and took a readied stance.
“Get back!” Zayna cried out as she pressed up against the wall. “I’m not going to die here.”
“You won’t hurt anyone anymore!” Daveon yelled.
“I’m not going down without a fight!”
From the wall behind her came something she didn’t notice. Vines exploded out and wrapped around her ankles and wrists. At least for the moment, she was completely trapped in place and unable to dodge the incoming magic sword. Daveon had her right where he wanted her. Though he was no expert in swordsmanship, he thrust the sword forwards towards her heart.
Despite it halting, a spray of blood covered the carpet around them. A gasp came over everybody, even Zayna, before the room became silent. They looked to the sword to see something incredibly shocking.
Eldrian, from the ground, grabbed the blade in his hand.
The druid’s hand shook. “I’m so sorry. Why?” he whispered.
“Eldrian!” screamed Kevin. “Are you all right?”
He looked up from the floor with a bleeding hand, but by his expression, he had only recently regained consciousness. He was in pain, and exhausted, but his eyes looked directly up into Daveon’s. It was in a manner different than before.
Daveon slowly looked over to the demon before him. “You monster. You’re still controlling him, aren’t you?”
Zayna actually looked more surprised than the rest of them. She slowly shook her head.
“No… I’m not.”
Stay tuned for Chapter Forty-Three – Secrets!