Oristhnx looked at her for a second and then to the mortal. He lazily got up onto all fours and stretched before slinking down to the ground one long step at a time. He came to stand next to the mortals outstretched arm, the same arm he had been about to eat a short while ago and looked up at her again.
“What was it that you found? He has things deep down inside. I felt them as he was dying but not enough to know what they were.”
Niath stayed where she was, the deal had been made she had no reason to be afraid of him as long as she kept her end.
“I think I only found slightly more than you I am sure that one has something to do with a mate and that something else is related to kin.”
She turned from Oristhnx to the mortal and loosely crossed her arms.
“There is something else something that might give sport if he gets a chance to bring it forth I don't know what it is but it seems to have been placed there by a demon or at least been affected by a demon.”
“You can do nothing with it then?”
Niath sighed out loud she genuinely wanted to see what secrets the mortal held but in his current state she had gone as far as she would be able to.
“No as he is now, I have found all that I can. However once he wakes if the situation arises I might be able to get more the mortal mind is a liquid it takes many shapes and many states depending on what it is distracted by at the time.”
The winged panther let out a low growl that caused the air around Niath’s wings and tail to vibrate.
“I have him for my games not yours. When can I begin with him again?”
“He is not dying anymore, if you want to give chase I would let him wake on his own. I do promise that he will live. Even as he died his will was already attempting to save him he is not a regular mortal.”
For a brief instant Oristhnx thought back to his uncontrolled fall before he growled the memory away.
“I know... Be gone from him now do not let him see or feel you.”
Without another word Niath took wing and climbed high and away. She knew or at least had a very good idea about what the Kirogoth was thinking about when he growled. The beast-demon would not tell her what happened but he was wary of it and was going to make sure to do whatever he could to make sure it didn’t happen again. She landed on the cliff above and between the two goat-headed slaves they both turned towards her but then turned back to look down into the mists towards the human that was somewhere below. So far so good Oristhnx had told them she was off limits. They were horribly one track minded and it was hard to dissuade them from a course of action once they had chosen it, that made them rather hard for Succubae to deal with even one as attractive and skilled as she.
Danny woke a long time later, his face along with most of his hair and head were glued to the ground with dried blood. Once he tried to push himself up two things stopped him the fact that a lot of the rest of him was also stuck in place with hardened gore and the excruciating pain that accompanied any type of movement whatsoever. They had to be out there, he knew it. The thing chasing him was a cat and he was the mouse there was nothing more to it than that. The other two had come after the first time that Danny had really fought back, the damned coward got a little taste of what a warlock was capable of and went and got help rather than find out if there was more where the first introduction to gravity came from. He laid there a while longer playing dead sealing his mind off completely making sure that there would be nothing for anything to pick up on at a distance. They were up there somewhere, they were mocking him he had almost died, and he actually wasn’t sure exactly why he hadn't, for all he knew they helped him live to drag this out. He thought about his need to get home from there he thought about why he had to get home. Renault his specter brother trapped in the house unless someone got the amulet he was bound to and took it out. He thought about the things that he had seen try and take his brother and the giant dragon thing that sent them about how these things were still after Renault and how he couldn’t help him because whatever it was that was here wanted to play games with him. He went over all the work he had done to resurrect his brother and about how that work would allow him to have... he couldn't think her name it was simple for someone to think the name of a family member the name didn’t always have to have a picture attached to it. He could think about his mother without seeing her face in his mind’s eye, but as soon as his mind worked its way back to his lost wife Danny saw her, smelt her he heard her laugh he had a perfect image of her alive and real in every way. There in his mind she was almost still alive.
Once he consciously placed the name with the rest of her and drew himself to the conclusion that these demons were keeping him from getting what he had worked so hard for, focused on and pushed himself towards endlessly. They were going to stop him from seeing her again, to hell with being burned in her presence it was worth it, without question he would burn to death just to see her in the same room as himself they would deny him that. The rage he felt he couldn't suppress. He forced himself up onto his knees with a primal scream on his lips a bellow that echoed on down the canyon. He felt hair and flesh tear off and stick to the floor that had held him. As if forcing the not-air from his lungs had created some type of magical void, or he had accidentally opened some extra reservoir within himself. Danny the human exhaled nothing but a scream. Asmodan the Warlock inhaled raw darkness the essence of the magical fuel used for power here in the abyss. Once he began he couldn't stop it was like braking a damn and then trying to stem the waters that raged in to fill the gap. Asmodan had to think, he knew taking in this kind of power without an outlet was dangerous but then again what wasn't lately? He knew how to disperse it all, send it all back out to where it came from but he could feel it as it came rushing into him that he couldn't get rid of it as fast as he was taking it in. he had to stop himself. He had always had to work at gathering power before; he had never had it forced into him. It was just too much too fast. His already wrecked body was beginning to hurt in a different way. Danny looked down at his hand and had a hard time focusing on it, he fought at it and finally it was the only thing his mind was worrying about and it was wrong. His hand was beginning to bulge as was his forearm; it was going to take root in his body with nowhere to go. He needed an outlet. What did he know, he knew telepathy that wasn't going to help. He knew how to gather power to get rid of it (slowly) which wasn't going to help this time. He knew how to store it in his body (slowly) again not going to help God it felt like his arm was going to rip open or explode our something. He knew... Ah hah!
Oristhnx was low on a ledge watching the mortal while it was he assumed, pretending to be dead. There didn't seem to be many things this mortal was very good at. The demon decided to move further up the cliff when he felt a spike of hatred and rage so powerful that he didn't have a chance to receive it like he would his normal meals from the man-thing. This hit him in the back of his skull like a boulder. He spun around to see what had happened and watched the humans arm begin to bulge. Something was happening but not being magically gifted the demon had no clue exactly what was taking place, whatever it was it seemed to be placing the human in a great deal of pain as well as fear. Ahh fear something he could use to sooth the trauma he had just received. As he was getting comfortable again he was almost blinded by intense reddish orange light. Fire erupted all around the mortal he was completely engulfed in it. The flames exploded out from him wave after wave. It was a completely wild and uncontrolled display at first, but then it began to shift subtly. Oristhnx was confused by what he was seeing, if the human was this dangerous why wait until now? It had allowed him to for all intents and purposes kill it once already. Hadn't it? The inferno began to darken, the reds and oranges of the flames began to deepen in color and then shift color completely it was not the natural color of fire from the mortal realms, these flames had taken on an almost oily nature they didn’t blast through each other and fight one color over the next in a wild display of uncontrolled energy working rapidly to consume everything in their path. No this fire rolled over itself almost lazily it burned hot enough that even from his elevated position on the opposite side of the canyon the Fel Lynx was beginning to feel the heat of those flames. The changing of the color of the fire seemed to be complete now. The mortal’s flames rolled and slid over each other in a sickening series of green hues the direction had changed as well instead of trying to escape the human they began to slide back over the crystal surface of the floor towards him and once at the base of his feet they began to rotate they spun and slid in a cocoon of green and black reaching up into the sky several feet above his head. Once the fire took on this new shape it stayed that way. Just burning up into the sky, a massive oily flame rolling over itself in all the most poisoned shades of emerald and onyx.
Danny had learned to control fire, learned it almost from his first day of actual study with his twisted midget of a tutor. The size of the for the most part didn’t matter only that it could sustain itself while he played with it. The time and practice it had taken to learn to cause the fire to burn on a fuel that he chose for it had caused him to pass out many times. each time he had failed Volnam had been there to point out that even the weakest of demonic magi could control fire in any way they willed by the end of their first day almost the end of their first lesson that is except for those that are created with the ability from the first time they open their eyes. It was annoying to hear over and over but it was something that he kept in mind. But here surrounded with this awesome... awesome... hell just power it was power he was surrounded with it and it felt like it was all his. he wasn’t afraid of it all once he had begun the process of sending it out in the glorious explosions and flashes of beautiful flame and once he had his grip on it, it was time to play with his new toy and how he did it. If only the damned Imp could see him now, the little bastard probably could, either by scrying him or actually coming here himself no he wasn’t here there was no liquor here the imp would probably never willingly come home again. Once the fire had been completely dominated totally bent to his will he held it there, around him all heat forced outwards he attempted not only force the heat of the flames away from him but use the fire to take the heat already near him and force that out as well. for the first time since he arrived in the abyss Danny was cool, no stuffy still air but instead just a faint hint of a cool breeze just swirling around him. The pain he had put it away in the back of his mind in his race for the focus he needed to solve the problem of being twisted and destroyed by the flood of raw power that he had somehow brought on himself. He allowed it back now, pain was important it told you that something was wrong, something that needed to be fixed. He had used slight amounts of power to strengthen himself before. Had practiced channeling it into his body to make himself stronger he had actually caused himself small stretch marks on his calves and thighs once in practice the power increasing his muscles too fast for his skin to compensate. Now he closed his eyes and pictured his body as it was now, he focused on those parts of himself that were damaged and each and every one of them seemed to scream out at him at once, he started at the top and worked his way down. Each place instead of making stronger he simply willed the power to make right again. One of the most wonderful things about power was that it wasn’t always the details that were important sure in powerful complicated long incantations where someone needed an exact result the details were very important but for this his body already knew what it needed he just gave it a turbo charger to help it get where it wanted to go. It felt like no time had passed and he felt better and more relaxed than he had since he had arrived. He thought about his situation again. They were out there still, he knew it he couldn't feel them but he made that mistake before they could hide their minds just like he could hide his. What were they thinking now as they watched him? He wondered to himself for a minute and decided it didn’t matter they would kill him or he would kill them there was not going to be anymore trying to get away from them he had a pointed stick to poke back with now or at least a shield to hide behind. Hmm hide behind that was an idea, for now anyway.
Niath watched from the ledge she had originally landed on when she heard the mortal call out. Her position started out hidden by the miasma but once the flames had been called and then shaped into the greenish shield that now surrounded mortal. The heat had actually caused the mists to swirl away in one massive gust that looked something like a miniature hurricane that played itself out in a few short seconds. Looking down at the shielded mortal it was the clearest that she had ever seen this small corner of the abyss. The explosion of rage that came at the start of the fire had rattled her but it was something that she had felt before, many a mortal had returned to their home to see a lover in the embrace of another and many times had that other been her. Jealousy had the ability to fuel rage in mortals that would drive them to do things that they just weren’t capable of without it. Niath could taste the difference though; the difference between the rages of love betrayed and rage from love denied. What or who this human could be so attached to? Was it one person or many? She spent a time waiting and watching as the flames changed colors and began their protective dance around the man-thing. She began to grow impatient waiting to see what he would attempt he was almost dead unless he had more restorative power than he had shown previously he was certainly showing more destructive power than he had let on to previously. Just as she was considering moving closer or around to the other side of the canyon the flames just vanished. The succubus’s eyebrows went up. “Surprise surprise” she whispered to herself. There was a deep hole just slightly smaller in diameter than the pillar of fire had been. Niath looked around for the Kirogoth before proceeding. Once she found him and his two thugs (shoot did her current bargain make her a third thug?) moving down to investigate she took wing and followed suit.
Once she landed she found that the others had already disregarded the hole in the ground as a ruse what they were now investigating was the narrow slit in the wall that none of them could come close to fitting through, It was both two short and narrow for the Casaganoth and two narrow for the Kirogoth, That left…
The three of them moved aside once she had landed and the panther looked from her to the slit in the wall.
“You know what to do.”
“Actually I don’t, do you want me to drag him out or kill him or”
she gave a nasty little smile and rotated her hips which had instantly stolen the goat lords attention.
So simple she thought to herself as she watched the two as they became lost in the sway of her hips. From there their stupid gazes began to wander up and down her, their lust empowered her. It was a wonderful cycle they lusted she grew more powerful which caused her to change in ways more appealing to whose ever lust it was which made them want her more which gave her more to work with. On and on it went until their ecstasy killed them in one way or another. Usually it was her that finished it once she was bored with them. There were a million ways to do it she was lazy most times and just let the barb of her tail finish off her meals. She could probably have them kill each other once she was done with them or maybe have them kill… no the bargain, she had her end of it. Still she could have them kill each other but the Kirogoth was as safe as she was.
“Enough they are mine. Leave them.”
“I promise you can keep them.”
“Get him out of there. Tell him that you belong to me but want freedom and that you will try and help him when you can. Explain the hopelessness of trying to evade me but encourage him nonetheless.”
She sighed as she nodded her head in agreement, as she did she used minor glimmers to add small bruises to parts of her body that she was sure that the human would feel guilty looking at but wouldn’t be able to help himself. Across her midriff a set of ragged scars that matched closely with the panthers claws puckered up from her skin they were angry and red. She was going to go with the appearance of recently being forced into the flying hunter’s service. Once her disguise was in place and she was satisfied with its details she sighed again and headed into the crevice. As she headed in the other took wing and headed in opposite directions of each other going much farther than they had before, the most recent display from the human called for a higher level caution. They didn’t know what to expect now.
Danny had burned his way into the rock as soon as he remembered that the rock was invincible except for fire. The reason that there were very few structures in areas like this one was because not all demons could use fire and those that could rarely took the time to learn the control needed to do more than set someone else on fire. Everything here was a weapon first and a tool fourth or fifth. He took his little human sized tunnel back close to twenty feet and then made a sharp turn almost doubling back on the entrance tunnel back towards the same cliff face he had cut into, the turn was almost instant so sharp that he was sure that if that cursed cat could fit himself into the narrow opening he would have to have his damned spine removed to make the turn. When he was pretty sure that he was within ten feet of the cliff wall again he made a small chamber that even he couldn’t stand up in it was maybe four feet tall at best and about the same wide and deep. Finally he cut a large disc from the floor to use as a door and moved it to cover the entrance to the room. He sat against the back wall with his feet resting comfortably against the center of his door. Either he could hold it shut when someone tried to press it in on him or he would have his legs broken trying to hold it shut when someone slammed it in on him. After the last week or so a broken leg was laughable on the pain scale he told himself. He had what felt like a few minutes to rest before he heard something clacking down his hallway. Once it had come close to his make shift door he heard whatever it was shuffle and scrape to a stop. Danny pictured a space about a foot in front of his door and a few inches below the ceiling of the tunnel and focused on igniting a small green flame not much larger than one that he would get from using one of his cheap disposable lighters. If whatever it was had seen his display earlier it should take the small flame for what it was, one hell of a threat. He hoped it would be taken as a threat once he had barricaded himself in his little retreat he had felt whatever tie it was that he had with the power outside go from a raging torrent to a small trickle.
Niath thought she had been fooled for a second when she had reached the end of the tunnel. But the darkness was nothing to her vision to hers or any other demons. She saw where the tunnel ended and was about to check for a turn that she might have missed but then noticed that the edges of the tunnel did not match the edges of the wall that was blocking her way. It could be cleaver when it wanted to be she thought to herself. She knew the attempt would be a complete waste but she tried regardless. She reached out with her mind and tried to see if she could communicate with the mortal that way. As she had guessed it was pointless his mind was locked up tight if it was him in there. Did he speak verbally? Did anyone anymore? How much easier this would be if she could only get him to look at her. Mortal men always made the most wonderful arrangements when they were looking her in the eyes, or other things. When someone could find a mortal that is. They used to be something that you could come across pretty frequently but for some reason they have appeared less and less. Niath thought back to when it finally started to become a goal for the Magi of Nath to attempt to contact mortals who dabbled in magic rather than wait for the mortals to stumble in on them.
“Man mortal do not set fire to me. I am not here finding you to cause you harm.”
Niath felt foolish for the unsure tone in her voice. it was just ever rare for her to have to speak out loud and Abysseth was something that although almost all demons did learn it was something that Succubae didn't spend much time mastering their own form of communication relying on changes in aura, appearance and body language along with the mind speak had served her well for a long as she could remember. She stood outside his little door and waited for some response. Had a male of any kind ever kept her waiting outside their door before? She could not remember.
“You are Demon and I am Mortal of course you are here to cause me harm. Either that or bargain with me.”
His command of the language was very strong, much stronger than she would have thought. He even had the relationship between demon and man down, which would be a little harder to get around it meant that he would not trust her. Small deals lead to better ones. It was one of the first things a demon learned if they wanted to survive. It was simple you made a small deal something that had very little to offer or gain and from there you worked your way up with the being you were dealing with and as you got to know them better you worked at the angles until you had something strongly in your favor.
“Man mortal you know of the law of the bargain? Good listen to me now then. I promise that as long as I am allowed to be safe in your tunnels which you have expertly carved to keep my master out that I will offer no threat to you in anyway.”
OK she thought to herself, that was as one sided as she could get. She could probably kill him now and she was promising that she would do nothing and all he had to do was nothing. Well not one sided but she made the opening terms and did not even have anything to gain from it for him to counter offer and reduce on her.
“No threat? No. As long as I permit you to remain safely in my tunnel that you permit no harm of any type to my person.”
Niath stood there with her mouth half open. He had someone teach him how to do this; most demons don’t catch on to small words and change them for one with the exact meaning that they want. Most don't know enough meanings of words to be able to pick out a better one. He was picky about it too.
“Man mortal as long as we both are within your tunnels I will not permit any harm to your person as long as you will permit no harm to my person.”
There now the insect had her agreeing to be his damn bodyguard as long as they were in his hole in the ground, it would be worth it the next time the Kirogoth dropped him off of a cliff and she was waiting at the spot where he landed, she smiled to herself just picturing the scene.
“Very well I accept the Bargain.”
As he finished the word bargain the little green flame winked out. She waited another minute and when the door did not move she cocked her head a little to one side.
“You are not to come out and meet me then?”
“Why would I do that? We have already both agreed to not let any harm come to each other in my tunnel. If anyone comes in here looking for me you have to stop them from taking me since they would only be here to do me harm. I know that they are not looking to harm you since you are with them. I am fine with my door closed. Besides my door remains closed as a courtesy to you lady demon.”
Niath’s head remained cocked to the side as she thought over what he had said. A minute passed and she was leaning against the wall of the tunnel.
“I am curious mortal, how is the door being closed a courtesy to me? I am not used to things being done as a courtesy.”
“That’s simple I know how hard it is to damage my door, I know that only someone with power over fire has any chance of damaging it. As long as my door is closed you will only have to defend me against someone who can use fire. If I keep my door closed and no one comes along with that talent than you have no need to possibly hurt yourself holding up your end of our pact. Am I wrong?”
“Where is this man-thing from?”
“You know that my master does not require food and will wait for the both of us to come back out from here. He will punish us both if we make him wait longer.”
“Your master only plans to torture me for sport I know that, and I have expected it from the beginning. I am surprised that he has waited as long as he did to start on me. ohh and I was under the impression that Kirogoth had horns, why does your master not?”
“I do not know I am only recently pressed into my master’s service. He is old I know that based on his size. He does not chat with me he only commands me and plays with me when he is very bored.”
“When I commanded him to fall, how far did he drop?
Commanded him to fall? That’s all he did he commanded him and he did it? Was he toying with all of them? It is pointless to be worried about it now, only try and be ready for it if it becomes an issue later.
“I did witness his fall. It was extremely far and would have been farther still had he not hit a ledge on his way. That fall did come close to killing my master I think.”
“Darn I guess I failed for both of us didn't I?”
Even Niath could pick up the sarcasm in his voice. He must have someone that he practices with regularly to have the language as free or freer on his tongue as she did.
“I am sure that you know that I was sent in here to bring you out. I am sure that I could stay in here until times end but most mortals leave bodies that require things to survive in their own world don't they?”
“So head out and be tortured for a while before I am killed or wait in here and see if I just drop dead from starvation from a body that isn't with me is that what you want to know?”
“Is there much else to talk about?”
“Sure what type of demon are you?”
“A very pretty one.”
“Pretty huh? By who's standards?”
“Everyone that I have come across so far.”
“Ahh let me guess, you are naked, have the slightest of horns a thin barbed tail, wings and hooves?”
“You are make excellent guesses.”
“Congratulations you are the first succubus that I have met. If you are nice, when I eventually conquer the Abyss if I do end up deciding to go that route I will not have you flayed as an enemy.”
“There are many things in the Abyss that already stand in line to “conquer the abyss” what makes you feel that you are more prepared to do it than they who have been building their power here since before your race came to be?”
“Are any of them the Warlock?”
This made Niath laugh there were no warlocks all demons knew that. It was as absurd as the legends of Khaoze.
“No I am most sure that they are not. I do not think that you will win many followers claiming to be one.”
“Really? Well I guess I wouldn’t get any followers claiming anything here would I? It would take displays of power and awesome amounts of intimidation and a Princes ability to strike a bargain wouldn’t it?”
“Yes man mortal it would.”
“I guess I am off to a good start then aren’t I?”
Niath couldn’t help herself she was laughing before she had a chance to stop herself.
“You would be dead at this moment had my master not commanded that I help you heal. I do not think that is a strong start for your cause.”
“But I got him to use your power to heal me from my fall, I have him too scared to come in after me so he sent you, and I even have you guarding my door while I take a break.”
Danny sounded smugger than he meant too but he was kinda proud of himself at this point. He did know that fear had nothing to do with the big kitty staying outside but he didn’t need to cut himself down, let her think he was short sighted or over inflated. The more that any of them had wrong about him the better.
“I think that he would have dragged you out himself if he could fit inside the tunnel you cut.”
“It’s possible, is he fire proof?”
“I am not sure.”
“Then it’s possible I would have had a new fuel for my fire too.”
“Lady Demon I am tired it has been a long day for me would you mind leaving me while I rest. Don’t worry I will be quite safe.”