Chapter Forty-Three – Secrets
Eldrian’s bleeding, trembling hand continued to grip onto the blade of the sword as he struggled to pull himself to his feet, and when he saw that Daveon was too shocked to drive the weapon forward once more, he released his grip, and slowly lowered it to his side. The druid, once mentally recovered, handed Drodias back over to Kevin and took a step back.
“What do you mean you’re not controlling him?” uttered Daveon.
“Don’t kill her. Wait,” Eldrian said with a groan.
Arlandria hustled over to the injured wizard and consoled him. She looked to his wounds, and with her hands at the ready, she began her healing ritual. A soothing light started the process of closing the gashing in his flesh, and for that, he gave her a thankful albeit exhausted smile.
“What do you mean, don’t kill her? She’s a demon. Isn’t that what you came here to do? And she tried to control your mind,” Daveon barked.
Eldrian nodded. “I know, but—“
“And where are the home owners?”
“She didn’t kill anyone. Her magic might have been controlling me, and for that, I’m incredibly angry,” he said as he looked to Zayna. She lowered her head—ashamed. “But I heard everything she said. Her whole story. She doesn’t want to harm anybody. She just wants to live peacefully here on Earth. She was following a dream. This time, there was no malice behind it.”
“But that’s the entire point of finding these demons. They aren’t supposed to live on Earth.”
“That’s true. But that doesn’t mean she should be gutted like a fish. That’s too far. She didn’t do anything to deserve death, but you’re right about one thing. We need to tell Lucy we found the run-away.”
Zayna nodded her head. “I understand.”
“I’ll make sure to tell Lucy the truth. You shouldn’t be harshly punished for not harming anyone, but you oughta go back to the Demon World. They’ll just send more hunters after you otherwise,” Eldrian said.
With Arlandria’s magic as completed as it could be, she helped Eldrian steady himself, and he stretched open his previously injured hand. It hardly hurt now.
“So then, if we’re all trusting each other now, who summoned you?” Daveon asked. “Who helped you get to Earth? We deserve to know that much.”
“I really shouldn’t say,” replied the demon.
“You should,” Eldrian said. “To make up for what you did. I don’t like being mind controlled.”
With a timid sigh, the succubus fiddled with her fingers in deep thought. Her eyes peered up at the crowd still cornering her near the wall, but she finally took a deep breath and began to answer their question.
“It’s a bit of a long story, but the one who got me to Earth was… Deena.”
“What?” shouted every other one in the room nearly in unison.
Daveon furled his brow. “She’s gone too far now. Voodoo, dark magic, but now summoning actual demons to our world? This is the work of the nastiest kind of witch. Arlandria. Are you sure you didn’t notice her doing anything?”
The elf shook her head. “No. And since she disappeared, I haven’t been able to go back to her home. I went to Eldrian and Kevin’s house as a place to stay for the time being.”
“She wouldn’t betray us. There must be a story,” Eldrian said.
“You keep defending her, but she keeps giving us more reasons to distrust her,” Daveon stated. “And now she could be anywhere.”
“But she’s still our friend. We need to give her the benefit of the doubt.”
Daveon tugged on the brim of his toque. He lowered his head, and let out a deep exhale before looking to Eldrian once more.
“I’ll let you do what you need to do with the demon. I need some time to meditate,” he muttered as he moved to the exit, and proceeded to disappear from view.
The group stood silent for a time. But, there was work that needed to be done. Eldrian pulled out his phone and called for Lucy, one of Satan’s daughters, to come retrieve the demon and bring her back home. He told her everything, but too much was on Eldrian’s mind for small-talk. Even Arlandria knew to leave him to his own thoughts.
A robed, hooded figure made its way down the dark streets of Edmonton city. They were further masked by a downpour of rain that had only began a few moments prior, which also melted much of the snow that previously lined the asphalt. The roads were now as black as the void, and hardly a soul was amongst them.
The figure dipped away into an alley, disappearing like a shadow. It approached what appeared to be an ordinary wall, it did something with its hands among the stone to cause a door to magically spread open. The knob turned, and the figure disappeared inside, with the door vanishing behind it.
Inside was the Bliss Abyss. The ram-like barkeep, Pil, still ran the show behind the counter. There were several bizarre figures, from wizards to demons, but the robed figure made its way straight to the counter. The robe itself was drenched.
“Ahoy, friend,” Pill said with a wave. “Welcome to the Bliss Abyss. Looks like it was really coming down from wherever you came from. Stirling? It rains a lot there. It’s none of my business though. What can I get you?”
She pulled the hood down from her head. Beautiful red locks of hair fell free, with much of it tied back into a ponytail. Her skin was dark, and her eyes were a deep blue. It was Renatta.
“I am just waiting for someone,” she said. “But can I have a drink of water?”
“Of course. Coming right up.”
Pil retrieved a glass, and from the tap he filled it to the brim with ice cold water. He slid it to her with skillful speed.
“Thank you,” she said before taking a sip.
“No problem. Let me know if you need anything else.”
He continued on to tend to the rest of the customers, leaving her alone to stare towards the ripples in her drink. She sighed. It wasn’t clear when the person would actually arrive, but this was the place she was supposed to wait—so she did. From her pouch she pulled a donut and began to munch.
It wasn’t long before another figure joined the seat beside her. He had well-kept brown hair, tied back, and a slim but lengthy beard. His eyes were a radiant yellow, and much like her, he had a darker tone of skin. He straightened his silken purple outfit before resting himself down.
“Hello, señorita,” he said in an accent that was obvious Spanish. “Why is a beautiful young flower sitting all by her lonesome?”
“Just waiting for someone. Who are you?”
“Ah. My name is Nazario Cardozo. You see, I have a natural affinity with divinity. I am able to read one’s fortune with impeccable accuracy. I normally charge for the act, but for you, perhaps I could make an exception.”
She gasped. “Really? You can read minds?”
“But of course. Give me your hand, and I will prove it.”
Like an excited child, she offered her palm. He snatched it up quickly and looked deep into her eyes. He smiled.
“Your gaze. It sparkles so,” he whispered.
“Is that my fortune?”
“No, no. Just an observation.”
“Will I be rich?”
“Of course, my darling. I see you, side-by-side with a handsome and wealthy—“
“And all the food I can eat, right?”
“Yes. And also, a man who—“
“Please calm down, señorita. It is difficult to focus with you speaking so much. You should keep with being a silent beauty. Now, allow me to gaze upon your silky hand. Yes. I can see it now. You, and a man in all purple, happy together forever. Yes. True love. That is your future, señorita.”
“I do not know anyone who wears purple… I know someone who wears blue. Blue is close to purple!”
“Wait. Aha. I think you may be confused.”
A tap was felt on Nazario’s shoulder.
“Huh?” he said as he turned his head, but then his eyes widened.
A tall, toned, dark-skinned woman grabbed him by his throat and lifted him up from his seat. She had red hair down past her shoulders, and what she wore wasn’t unlike Renatta’s preferred garb—vibrant, red, traditional Indian silks. This woman’s was much more decorated. Nazario was thrown to the floor like a bag of potatoes.
From the ground, he looked up at the stranger. She had a circular blade on one side, and a shimmering scimitar sheathed on her other. Her bust held up a thick gold necklace, and hoops to match hung from her ears.
“How rude!” Nazario shouted as he stood up and dusted himself off. “You’re… Ah. Very tall. You know, I really should be going. There is much to do. Goodbye now!”
He sprinted to the door and disappeared in nearly an instant.
“Mom!” Renatta shouted as she threw herself into the taller woman, though now she spoke completely in Indian. It was likely that not a person in the room understood the two speaking, but they still kept their voices down.
“My sweet Renatta,” she said as she guided the girl to an empty corner table. “Let’s sit. We have much to discuss.”
The two of them sat, both Renatta and her mother. The older one looked to Renatta with a frown.
“You’re soaking wet,” she said.
“I know. It’s all right though. I’m just glad to see you again.”
“What of the news?”
“The reason you wanted to speak with me.”
“Oh! Yes. I think I finally did it, mom. I found him. A couple days ago, I managed to find the last of his associates, and there I found the location of him. The man who killed dad.”
“So you know what to do then, Renatta.”
“Of course I do. I’ll find him, and finally get revenge.”
“That’s my child. This is what you’ve trained for. Finally, all this time you’ve been spending in Canada will pay off, and you can come home. Take his life, and our family can finally be at peace.”
Renatta nodded her head, but it was always obvious when she was thinking of other things. Her face read like a novel, and her eyes were lost once more in the glass of water she was nursing. A lot had happened since her arrival in Canada.
“Something troubles you,” her mother spoke.
“No. It’s nothing.”
“It’s fine to be nervous, at least for now. But when you finally face the man, you must do so with your nerves intact. You’ll strike him down in the name of our family.”
“Yes, mom. You’re right.”
“Now come here, sweetie. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
The two of them embraced. They spent some time conversing in the Bliss Abyss, but soon, it was time for action. Renatta put back up her hood, and she left back into the streets of Edmonton.
Stay tuned for Chapter Forty-Four – How I Met Your Mother!