The Deal: Soul Protection Part 5

Thursday, 14 January 2016

I looked down at the blood soaked blade in my hand and the gold ring that was providing that extra supernatural power. I quietly prayed it would be enough to keep me from the same fate as the last two demons I just dealt with.
   Taking a deep breath I stepped out of the darkness and into what was basically the throne room for a very old and very pissed off demon. I managed to get about five steps forward into the room and closer to the scroll before my presence was finally noticed.
   ‘I know that smell.’ Said Henetia, sniffing the air.
   I held my nerves and continued walking towards his throne. As I got closer I realised that massive wasn’t quite the word to use to describe his size. Gargantuan was probably more apt and I quickly realized that going toe to toe with him was probably a very bad idea.
   Scanning the area around me I could see nothing that I could use to give me the upper hand in the battle that was about to take place. A sense of hopelessness started to wash over me. That was until he actually turned to face me and I saw that his neck area was the most exposed part of his body. I glanced down at the machete which was tiny in size, but if I aimed it correctly and with the power in the ring, I might just be able to disable him long enough to grab the scroll and make a run for it.
   ‘Is that the rest of my food?’ He asked, and this time he stopped sniffing and instead his head snapped round to face my direction.
   ‘Fuck me you are one ugly bastard even for Hell.’ I said with a smile as he looked down at me. I could see unbridled rage well in those stagnant and hate filled eyes of his.
   ‘A human, walking freely in my domain. I have never been so insulted in all my life. I’m going to have a lot of fun punish…’ He stopped suddenly mid-sentence as his gaze took in everything about me. ‘You’re his new toy.’ The words cut through me like a knife.
   ‘I’m no one’s toy.’ I stated bluntly, trying hard to mask how offended I felt.
   ‘You are his new play thing. Our lord’s very own little hitman. How does it feel to be the plaything of a spoiled child?’ The big demon chuckled and I was actually starting to get quite pissed.
   A head on fight was sounding more and more like a good option because I really wanted to kick his ass all over the hall.
   ‘Listen dickhead, I am no one’s plaything.’
   ‘Has he sent you to kill me too? I serve him for a millennia and this is the thanks I get for it?’ The laughter was quickly turning to anger and I decided to capitalize on that.
   ‘Yeah well, he is seriously pissed that you stole that scroll from the monastery.’
   ‘How could he have possibly known it was stolen? Even he does not have the privilege of entering the Monastery.’
   I wasn’t expecting that and now it was my minds turn to try and come up with something believable or at least creative enough to pass as the truth.
   ‘You really think that he is going to be locked out of any place in his own kingdom. The kingdom that he created and has controlled since the dawn of time. Did you really think he wasn’t going to notice you trying to break your way out of this place without his permission?’
   There seemed to be some sort of brain in that massive head because he took some time to think about what I said and I could see that if nothing else he did at least understand the logic of what I was saying.
   ‘The monks are bound by sacred scripture. They are untouchable in many ways, but even they have to answer to our lord, and I feel pretty certain that they would not bring down his wrath upon them by alerting him to the fact the scroll was missing.’ Damn this guy was good. ‘Which means that they have sought your help in getting it back. Yet another sin that will count against them when his lordship comes to judge them.’
   ‘Oh I’m taking the scroll back fat boy.’ I said defiantly. I kept my eyes on that soft, sagging area just under his chin. There was no way I was going to be able to kill him, but I should be able to wound him. Which would buy me enough time to grab the scroll and get out of this miserable place.
   ‘We both know there is no way your leaving my hall alive.’ He roared and the eternal rage that dwelled within him came rushing back with a vengeance.
   As Henetia began to push himself up and off his throne I decided that it was now or never. I mustered every ounce of energy I had and threw the machete at the rising demon lord.
   For what seemed like an eternity the blade spun through the air before it sliced through the soft, greasy skin of Henetia’s throat. I could see his eyes shoot open with surprise as the blade dropped to the floor, leaving behind it a wide gash which stretched half way across his throat.
   Blood began to pour from the wound almost immediately. As he clutched at his throat, gooey black blood oozing between his fingers, I burst into a sprint towards the scroll. I could see him turning, watching, as I grabbed hold of the ornate gold case, emblazed with mystical symbols I would never understand.
   The air, once filled with the demon lords booming voice, was now enriched with the sounds of him choking on his own blood. In the back of my mind I was surprised I had been able to cause so much damage with such a small object, but I had no time to ponder on my own magnificence.
   I had the scroll firmly gripped in my hand, but I could see no way out. Going back the way I came was not an option since there was no access to the monastery that way, and by now there was probably a horde of Grimoyle’s waiting to tear me apart.
   There is a secret passage way which will lead you to the monestry from Henetia’s chambers. The Monk had said, but I could see no other doorways or trap doors or even a bookcase that may have hidden a secret passage.
   That was until Henetia tried to take a rather half-hearted swing at me. I felt the whoosh of air above me as his meaty fist sailed past me and slammed into his throne of bones. There was a deafening rumble as the throne took the full force of his anger. Slowly it rocked on one side before crashing to the floor with a massive bang that almost knocked me off my feet.
   It was then that I saw what I had been looking for. A small wooden trap door had been placed countless centuries ago under the demons throne. I ran towards it, clutching the scroll in one hand and trying to watch Henetia’s movements as I went.
   The huge demon stumbled backwards as the blood kept coming from a wound that didn’t seem to heal. I pulled open the trap door and was about to jump into the passage beyond it when I looked up one last time.
   Henetia had managed to gain his balance, but only for a brief few seconds. His once rage filled eyes looked lazy and tired, like he was about to fall asleep. He teetered there for only a few seconds before he finally lost his balance for good and fell backwards out into the great hall and straight into the flaming pit known as Argol’s fire.
   I was mesmerized as the flames quickly turned dark green, just like its victims skin. My trance was quickly broken though when I could hear the sound of screeching Grimoyle’s descending upon the hall. It wouldn’t take long before they were in the room so I needed to get moving.
   Giving the bright green fire one last glance, I jumped into the secret passage way.

I fell only a few feet into the secret passage way before I landed on solid ground with a thud. The scroll emanated a strange glow which I was actually grateful for since there was no torches to light my way.
   Dusting myself off, I continued north along the passage, unsure of what to expect or what to look out for.
   This better not be a set up! I thought to myself as I plunged through the darkness.
   I must have walked for about five minutes before the passage came to an abrupt end. Using the scroll like a torch I held it up towards the ceiling. Relief washed over me when I spotted the outline of another trap door.
   Unsure of what to expect, I reached up and pulled on the iron ring. After a couple of tugs the heavy wooden door swung downwards and slammed against the wall. Glancing up through the opening it left behind I could see a cathedral like interior brightly lit with torches.
   Tucking the scroll between the waistbands of my jeans, I reached up and grabbed hold of what felt like a cold, concrete floor. I was about to try and climb up when another pair of hands gloved in black leather, wrapped around both of my wrists and suddenly I was being pulled up and into the monastery.
The monk took a step back as he let go of my wrists. We stood between two massive pillars while other monks sat on the pews silently praying to their dark master.
   Feeling a little breathless I pulled the scroll out from my waistband and handed it over to the monk. He looked hesitant as he reached out and took the sacred parchment from my grasp.
   ‘Thank you Samuel. Both I and my brothers are eternally grateful for what you have done for us. Returning the scroll will help keep the balance within the realms.’ There seemed to be a hint of sadness in the monks’ voice, almost as if he didn’t want me to give him the scroll back.
   ‘I have a feeling I’m going to be seeing more of you as time goes on.’ I said, not fully understanding why I got that sensation. ‘So you might as well tell me your name.’
   There was a moment of silence, like he had to try and remember what his name was.
   ‘Pertilius.’ He said eventually, and as he did so he produced something in his free hand.
   I watched as he opened his palm to reveal a small piece of gold which had been shaped to look like several flames bunched together.
   ‘What’s this?’ I asked, a little uncertain that I would want to know the answer.
   ‘This is what the thief stole from the church. It is the soul of Beelzebub. The first true ruler of Hell and the creator of all things dark. Please take it.’ He said, pushing his open palm forward.
   I was hesitant to deal with another mystical artefact, especially considering it was me who had butchered the thief to get it back. However as Pertilius pushed it towards me my right hand started to tingle and I noticed that the gold band on my finger was glowing brightly.
   That glow turned to a bright light as I reached out take the ornate piece of gold and as soon as my fingers encased it I felt a sudden surge of energy unlike any I had ever felt before.
   I quickly uncurled my fingers to see the gold piece was bubbling and melting into my skin. Seconds later I could see gold rushing through my raised veins. My head felt like a ball of fire as I dropped to my knees and I could feel something strange happening to my skin.
   When I looked at my wrists I could see those same strange symbols on Pertilius’s robe engrave themselves in gold around my wrists, and I could feel the same thing happening to my forehead.
   With his free hand, the big monk helped me back up to my feet. The ball of fire in my head was slowly easing off to a gentle flame and with a shaking hand I traced the strange symbols which had now been permanently etched into my forehead.


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