Approaching the group of slaves they immediately singled me out. Standing at least a head taller than everyone, and being covered in black scales made it easy for me to be seen. The freed children came running up to me with excitement as it was their first time being free. They danced around like children should to their heart’s content. As a few stragglers joined the group a large group of elves appeared lead by a few of the people from the inn. When they got within ten feet they stopped, and immediately bowed their heads.
“We are so sorry for the treatment we gave all of you. This war has taken much from all of us, and many of us are now the only ones left in our families.”, the leader said, “What we did to you was inexcusable on our part. We aren’t asking you to stay as this place is filled with nothing, but sad memories for you. Please accept our humble apologies.”
For the next few minutes there was a moment of silence before the young half-blood werewolf child spoke up.
“My mommy was taken away by demons when we ran away.”, she said tearing up, “Sister said that we may have a better chance living here as free people, but we went back to being in chains.”
The elves looked up in disbelief at the child. The thought that demons would enslave their own had never crossed their minds.
“My six half brothers, and father believe only pure-blooded demons should live freely. Half-bloods are either forced into the military, worked liked slaves, or in many cases, with females, used as toys by the pure bloods.”, I explained, “These people here are what you would call refugees. Most came out this way hoping to meet the families they should have on this side. Sadly most nations saw them as a plague…”
“Does he speak the truth?!”, the elves asked.
The elderly folks in the group displayed old whip marks, and chain scars on their bodies. Realizing just how big their mistake was they fell to their knees. In peace time elves were friendly folk not one to start fights. For them abusing innocent people was considered a taboo, and yet they all had committed that taboo daily. Just as they were about to speak again the sound of horses drew near. Looking up towards the castle a group of knights escorting the royal carriage approached.
“Shit…”, I said, “Everyone bunch together I will put a barrier around all of you.”
The half-bloods immediately huddled together as I put a sacred barrier around them. With this even a Heavenly Dragon wouldn’t be able to touch them. Returning my attention to the knights I collected my thoughts. My intention was not to fight if I could prevent it, but in this case it may happen regardless. The three companions of mine also collected their thoughts, and readied themselves for a fight.
Stopping a few yards from us the knights formed a defensive barrier around the carriage. Stepping out of the carriage the King, his wife, and their children turned towards us.
“So you are one of the Demon King’s sons?”, the King asked.
“I am sadly the Seventh Son. My mother, as you know, was taken prisoner by my father before being forced to have me.”, I said.
“The Priestess of the Holy Regana Empire…I know of whom you speak.”, he said nodding his head, “So why then are you here?”
“As you know already I have no interest in continuing this war. Though the economy on both sides need it to continue the bloodshed has to stop.”, I said, “Therefore I went on a journey to become the strongest adventure so I could gather people to fight my father.”
“And what then?”, the King asked.
“I will ascend the throne, and return the lands up to the Staxton River in the north. Everything north of that I will retain leaving just over twenty-five percent of this continent under my control.”, I said, “Humans, and the other races do not have the knowledge to cultivate the lands north of the river so you aren’t losing anything.”
“Father, he is lying!!”, the prince said reaching for his sword, “The demon is spitting nothing, but lies.”
“Silence!”, the King snapped, “He isn’t lying about the cultivation. Anything north of that river is unfit for our kind, or for any other races. Leaving it for the demons is a good choice, and the river provides a good barrier.”
“But father! He will start another war!!”, the prince said.
“I knew his mother when she first ascended as the chief priestess of her empire. I will believe him solely on her works alone.”, the King said, “Besides if he wanted to start another war he would have killed these people. They are unharmed, and seemingly distressed about something. Speak men what troubles you.”
The group of elves immediately told their King everything, and by the time they had finished the King wore a serious expression.
“I hadn’t taken into account that they had fled their own country looking for safety.”, he said, “This is quite troublesome for me as I have allowed this to go on for so long.”
Reaching the end of his rope the prince snapped.
“FATHER!!”, he yelled, “They started this war, and those urchins are only here to be stepped on!!”
“Silence, boy!!”, the King snapped.
Not minding his father he knocked his father away drawing his sword. Before he blinked he was already on me. Blocking his weak blow with my wooden sword I looked at him calmly.
“Settle your blood. I am not hear to fight.”, I said.
“Like I believe that!!”, he snarled, “I watched my wife, and daughter get taken by your eldest brother!! He forced himself on them till they died from bleeding out!! All of you are monsters, and I will kill every last one of you!!”
Adding magic to the next swing he launched a blow at both me, and the barrier. Intercepting both I blew him back with the back of my blade. Leaping at me again he launched a barrage of several spells at me. Jumping back I deflected the spells that followed me away from everyone into the air.
“Will you calm down you hot head!”, I said getting into a defensive stance.
“Listen to him!!”, the King snapped, “All your going to do is level part of the city at this rate!!”
Not paying attention to us he leapt forward again colliding our swords together in a dead lock. I had no intention of fighting him seriously as he was only upset about his loss. Killing him would only leave a bad taste in my mouth, but talking him out of it wasn’t an option. The best solution was to overwhelm him with sheer force, but at my current level we were evenly matched. Besides I was almost at my time limit for maintaining this form. Throwing blows at one another the best we managed was intercepting each other’s slashes. Both of us realized now it was down to magic so he started using elven magics.
“Thorn Bind!!”, he shouted.
Thorny vines burst out of the ground attempting to hold me in place. Countering it I used demon magics.
“Decay!”, I shouted.
The newly sprouted vines withered away into nothing as I launched a series of fireballs at him. Slicing them with ease I launched another volley at him I quickly followed up with a Water Jet. The water, and fire met in front of him causing the water to turn into a high pressure steam cloud. Blasted back by the hot steam I leapt forward catching him off guard. Pushed into a corner he cast his next spell blindly in my general direction.
“Air Slash!!”, he said launching the spell.
Feeling not even a slight gust of wind I thought the spell might not have worked since he couldn’t see. Seconds later I found out it had in fact missed me completely, and instead hit the area where my companions were. Turning around in a panic I ran over to the women. Foreseeing the attack Ursela had managed to put up a barrier, but it didn’t stop the blast completely. Currently she lay on the ground coughing up blood. The sudden air pressure change had ruptured her lungs, and she was unable to breathe.
“Son of a bitch!”, I said prepping a healing spell.
As the spell started working the prince resumed his attack. Not in the mood for holding I vented my anger at him with one powerful swing.
“Vengeful Counter!!”, I said smashing my sword into his.
Catching him off guard with my strength my sword knocked his away. Smashing into his side he was launched through several homes before coming to a stop. Returning my attention to Ursela I focused my efforts on her. When she was breathing normally again I looked back at the prince who was stumbling back through the holes his impact had made. Walking over to him I gripped my sword tightly. Before he could utter a single word I smashed him into the road. Grabbing him by the hair I let off all my killing intent.
“Listen well, idiot! Harm my companions or my subjects again, and I will make you suffer. No one will harm the people I care about without a fight. Do I make myself clear?”, I said forcing a smile.
Only being semiconscious he nodded before passing out. Handing him back over to the knights I released my demon form. With a sigh I walked back over to my subjects to complete the transport spell. Handing the young werewolf girl a letter I told her to seek out the Grandmaster.
“Are you not coming with us?!”, they said in a panic.
“I will follow you as soon as I can. The King, I believe, wishes to speak to me about things moving forward.”, I said, “I am sending you to a place where half-bloods like us are already living among humans. By this evening I will be there to check on all of you.”
Nodding I send them off using a magic crystal since my magic wasn’t sufficient anymore. Cracking my neck I woke up Ursela who apparently was having a pleasant dream. Open her eyes she smiled at me.
“You are such an animal!”, she said with a wink.
“The hell you talking about?”, I said confused.
Looking around she realized she had been dreaming, and turned beet red. Before saying anymore she smashed my head into the street, and fled to the side of the other two women. Wiping my face off I shook my head in disbelief at her reaction. Giving her a few minutes to calm down the four of us approached the Elf King.
“I apologize for my son’s behavior. He really is a nice man it’s just he hasn’t been the same since his wife was taken away while fighting that demon a few years ago.”, the King said.
“Was the demon special because I thought we were all lumped together.”, I said.
“He called himself the next Demon King.”, the King said, “Standing nearly ten feet tall he was a formidable demon. He had muscles the size of small cannons, and wielded a mighty spear.”
“Ah…you my my eldest half-brother.”, I said with a unsurprised expression, “Figures he would take someone of high status. Like my father he had the same high blood taste in women.”
“Did you ever see him with an elf?”, the King asked hopefully.
“Listen…my brothers will take anyone they find attractive into their harem. Most hate it, but don’t have a choice in the matter.”, I said with a sad expression, “I have seen my fill of women carted off who couldn’t take the mental strain. If his wife were to still be alive she is now something you wouldn’t want to take her back from…you would kill her to end her suffering.”
“What do you mean?”, the King asked.
“Do I have your permission to approach?”, I asked, “This isn’t something your wife, and children need to hear.”
Giving his permission I whispered where she most likely was. The color drained from his face after hearing what I had to say. Looking at me with a serious expression he promptly told me to join him in his study. The women were also invited for some light snacks, and tea while the King spoke with me. Leaving the women in the sun room the princes, the king, and I sat down to have a meeting that would solidify the elven backing of me becoming the Demon King.