Wednesday, April 9, 2014

29 Moving faster now

It took Lily three days to get back with Asmodan she told him that she was happy with how she was now and then from that point on she seemed to avoid him completely. The Warlock noticed that she would wait during a normal eight hour day of work and then she would leave for most of the night. If he needed anything from her he called, that was it between them. Danny worried that things were ruined between them now. He felt that he may have lost a friend if that word could be applied to the relationship that they had.
                In the days after she let him know that she was happy and then began to almost completely ignore him Asmodan spent wandering around in the fog. He was still focused on his plans but rather than scheme in his rooms and write things down in his endless notebooks he would run thoughts through his mind and see what he could work through without Volnam interfering or making suggestions that were usually nowhere near being acceptable. The biggest issue he kept finding himself grappling with was the matter of the people in the city after he raised his wall. Would they be safe from the demons with the plans that he currently had in place? He didn’t want anyone here being hurt or killed needlessly it wouldn’t be fair that someone should die on account of his plans to bring his brother back. There was another small piece of him that told him that he was already tricking himself if he thought that he could set demons loose in a city and that a police officer wasn’t going to shoot at one and make him known to it. That officer would die. He told himself that if the Cops reacted in fear and choose to shoot at something the size of a bus and it killed them that would be the police’s fault. There was also the matter of the military; North Carolina had multiple military basses in and around it. Fort Bragg being the closest, there probably wasn’t going to be a situation where they weren’t going to get involved when a state capital was sealed off from the rest of the county.
                These things and more where working through his mind when he felt the attention of something focus on him. That drew his attention Asmodan had become used to drawing nothings attention in the fog especially at night. The Warlock changed nothing he kept strolling along seemingly lost in his own thoughts. The presence that was focused on him drifted away he had to focus to keep it locked in his mind, whoever it was almost seemed to have no mind at all. That was something that he was not used to with humans. They always had something on their mind and when they didn’t their subconscious minds were usually torrents of random chaotic mess that they never took the time to try and sort out. This mind was almost invisible, finally Asmodan mentally called to Volnam who was currently a few blocks over on west market street stealing drinks from drunken college kids at a place called the flying saucer. There was an outdoor patio and he would drop down onto a table grab a drink and then flap himself back up to the roof. Beer wasn’t anything that would get the imp drunk but he loved hearing the humans argue and occasionally fight when they turned to find their drink missing and immediately blamed the nearest person with the same looking drink. Asmodan ruined the Imps fun and summoned him. He wanted the Imp to spot and watch whatever it was that was following him. It didn’t take long before the Imp had found a spot to perch and began to send mental images of a barefoot human male keeping several feet back from him. Asmodan declined Volnam’s offer to lash him with his tail. After another minute of spying for him, Volnam asked Asmodan what was a matter with this one’s mind the Imp hinted at the possibility of this mortal being mindless and then shortly changed his tune to wanting to take this one home for study. Which was what Asmodan was expecting him to suggest, then finally the fog stalker made his move.
                The instant the mortal surged forward Volnam alerted the Warlock who spun at the last second and placed his hands on the back of the man’s head and swung him down at the ground. Like a wild animal the human took the fall and rolled over and up onto his feet in a fluid motion. Charging back at his chosen prey the barefooted man stayed low and hooked his left hand behind the others right knee and shoved the left shoulder back with his right. He ripped the Warlock off balance and slammed him into the ground. As the Warlock hit his attacker was already in the air hopping to land in a straddle over his downed target. Before he could actually land he was struck hard in the stomach and chest, hard enough to send him flying several feet up and back through the air he hit the wall of a building bounced off of it and landed on his hands and knees. Dizzy and gasping for breath he glanced sideways at the other man who was now climbing back up onto his feet rubbing the back of his head with his left hand and holding his right hand out curled into what looked like a claw.
“That hurt dick.”
                The downed attacker did not respond he began to glance around Asmodan could tell he was planning his escape now. He waited for him to try it and sure enough the guy tried to lung out into the fog. As soon as he made his attempt Asmodan mentally grabbed him and flung him back into the wall he had already bounced off of once. The Warlock held him there against the wall squeezing slightly. As the Warlock approached him Jack saw something else a dark shape dart down and begin to hover off the man’s right shoulder it stayed back out of site and was just a floating shape about seven feet off the ground. He heard the wings flapping in the air.  The thing lowered until it was on the ground and then it walked up beside the man. They traded looks with each other and then the little demon thing asked him.
“What are you?”
Jack didn’t know how to answer he felt like he should be on the verge of panic but he wasn’t. He didn’t feel scared either which considering he was two feet off the ground against a wall hardly able to draw a breath and facing a man and what looked like a skinned winged monkey with a rodent like face. Part of him was sure he should be terrified. He finally decided to not answer and just stare at them.
“Silence huh? Ok I can talk in silence.”
                Jack felt a sharp stab in the back of his head and it dug through his skull until it was right behind his eyes there it stopped.
“Knock knock. There now let’s see what there is to see.”
                Asmodan dug around in the mind of his attacker he expected to see some sort of demon in here. But he didn’t he found a man, a highly irregular man.
“Who sent you to attack me? Is someone or something in the Abyss already getting antsy?”
                Jacks eyes bulged. The Voice in his head was so loud it was a Megadeth concert between his ears. He was sure that if this kept up it would kill him. What was this man?
“No one sent me, I picked you out in the fog.”
“You are just a thug then?”
                Asmodan asked out loud, doubt clear in his voice. There was no way someone with a mind like this is just out randomly mugging people in the fog, was there?
Jack was going to explain himself and stopped.
“Fine we do this, this way then.”
“No no… I will talk.”
                Jack panted out. The little monster standing beside the man said something in a language that made Jacks skin crawl to hear and the pressure holding him against the wall released him.
“My associate seems to be really into you, he actually pointed out that talking when you can’t breathe is hard. With most people he would have tried to talk me into painting the wall with what I could squeeze out of you. Now again what are you?”
“I am… damn what kind of question is that. I’m me a man what they hell is that?”
                Jack pointed down at Volnam.
“That is an Imp. We already know about him we want to know about you.”
“I… Hunt in the fog. The fog provides me with what I need. Food clothes money. I’m no thief the fog provides me everything.”
“So the fog provided you a short flight and then a bashing against a wall possibly followed with a violent death.”
“Everything the fog has given me to this point it can take away.”
                Asmodan turned to look down at Volnam.
“This guy is nuts.”
“He is wonderful. Now that he isn’t stalking you his mind is open and normal like any other and I can see all that he has done. He is a killing machine. He has killed so many and only since the fog has come. Given time he could kill… who knows how many. May I keep him I could teach him so much.”
“No you can’t keep him I should kill him now and do the world a favor.”
“No no, do not do that. If nothing else let him go we will have use for him later. There will always be a use for one like him. He is abandoned and he has abandoned.”
                Asmodan turned to look back at the older man leaning against the wall. The Warlock was still surprised that he wasn’t the slightest scared. He was curious and shocked but beyond that he was just ready, ready to run ready to attack again? Asmodan wasn’t sure he just knew to keep his guard up.
“So Mr. Fog worshipper I can’t have you running around killing people out here, but my… associate is begging me to not finish you and hide the body.”  
“Take me with you.”
                The Warlock was repulsed by the idea but he could feel the Imp dancing around in anticipation.
“No but no more killing for you. I will think about you and come back later.”
“If you come back later you won’t be able to find me.”
“There is nowhere on this earth that you can hide from me now that I know about you. DO NOT KILL!”
                The violence and the volume that came from that mental outburst was enough to overload Jack’s mind and he went down in a crumpled pile of unwashed body and clothes. Asmodan pulled out his wallet and grabbed a wad of cash and shoved it in the man’s pocket. If he was killing for food and Asmodan really wanted him to lay off the murder he had to give him an alternate way to eat.
“What the hell do you want to do with that one?”
Asmodan asked as they walked away back into the fog.
“For your kind he is one of the most beautiful I have seen.”
“You haven’t met any of our serial killers yet?”
“Slayers of breakfast foods?”
“You win as usual… I guess.”
“I will always win you are Human.”

                After an additional week Volnam warned Asmodan to keep an eye on Lily, he warned that she was beginning to give off an active magical aura. Asmodan pointed out that she was at least a third demon now and that it was to be expected. Volnam said that she could be completly Demon, and not know how to actively use magic. Asmodan filed the warning away and continued on with his preparations all his materials had been gathered he had spoken with the Imps that Volnam had gathered for him and they came regularly into the material world to continue the work of setting up a defensive wall that he decided he would need.  He had contacted Catabasch and received the update on the forces at his disposal. There were almost right at two thousand demons gathered in a camp ready to make their deals and receive the amulets for their payment along with the allotted time in the material plane.
Donning his robe and gathering his circle of Imps for show, He created a portal to Catabasch. Each Imp carried a burlap sack, each sack carried Amulets and leather cords. These would be tied to each demon as his swore his oath to the Warlock. The force of demons wasn’t ordered like a disciplined military unit that he would have seen on television, it was just a massive mob-like gathering of Demons. As he stood there looking out over the gathering he realized just how many demons two thousand actually was. There was a black cloud of demons laid out before him in the valley region that they had claimed for their gathering place. Mentally he checked with Volnam and was assured that all the imps that were with them had mastery over fire and once so assured he turned to the demons before him.
“You have all been among the force of Catabasch to long to back out now! If you deny me now you will be slain. You are mine until the coming sworn task is completed. Once you are all sworn to me, you will be provided with implements like those your fierce general now carries. This chosen valley is also mine and will be prepared as a place fitting the force of the Warlock!”
While he shouted out to the demons massed in front of him he mentally contacted Volnam.
“Volnam leave Pipzic with me to handle the amulets you take the others and begin working the sides of the valley I want something impressive. You can even set up a place for yourself something flashy to show your status among them. Set Catabasch up really smooth too. If they have to come into his place for anything they need to be properly impressed slash scared by his pull with us. Set up whatever makes us look better than the neighbors. Build barracks or whatever they need to sleep in and be safe from rival attacks set up doors… you’re a smart rat, set it up right. I’m going to be taking oaths for who knows how long.”
As he was finishing with his instructions with Volnam four Goatmen moved towards him three forcefully brining the fourth. He looked them over for a second and then called out to them.
“Your eager aren’t you?”
The three looked back and forth to each other and threw the forth down towards the warlocks feet. One calmly explained what they were doing before stepping back with the others.
“He was leaving. He said he would not serve one who would not even muster the power to project his voice to the back of the crowd.”
Asmodan stared at the one who was thrown down; he had gathered himself and was standing tall now. The Casaganoth was easily a foot taller than the human. More muscled his wings were pulled tight to his back. His chest, waist and legs were a course mottled black and brown fur. His feet were the standard hoofed goat like feet. His arms looked like they were ready for any arm wrestling challenge that might come his way. Unless it was one of the Morganoth that wanted to test him. The demon stood glaring and crossed his arms over his chest. His breathing was steady, great gusts of hot rank air moved from his nose. The head was like the rest of his cast and oversized horned animal affair. One horn rose straight up and back only even slightly curving towards the back. The other one, on the left side of his head spiraled like it was one side of a unicorn’s horn and the straight one refused to be the other part of the spiral leaving to do half the job on its own. Danny noted that he still hadn’t learned how this caste of demon decided or ended up with their horn styles some had thick curving horns like a ram on earth and other had straight thin horns like a gazelle’s but if there was a group of the things standing together you would most likely not see any two heads that matched.
Catabasch moved forward from the place he had been standing beside and a little further back from the Imps. One hand carried the massive crystal blade that Asmodan had cut for him. He swung it once playfully as he advanced and then lifted it in a two handed grip high up over his head preparing to split the blasphemous deserter in two when the Warlock raised his hand to stop him.
“They want a display I will humor them.”
He said quietly to his would be enforcer. Then in a voice that would have damaged a normal humans ear drums he magically cast his voice in a manner that it would be heard in a neighboring valley if there was one.
“Create a circle! This one and I will duel!”
                He pointed at the Casaganoth who still stood with his arms crossed over his chest. The others immediately began to clear the center of their group away leaving a wide circle. There were stories of Warlocks but no one had seen one before so no one knew what to expect from one in a fight. The Demons at the back of the gathering climbed the sides of the cliff and tried to see what was visible through the thick portions of the miasma. As soon as Asmodan was inside this circle and his opponent who opted to fly landed on the opposite side he opened himself up to the miasma began to take it in. He missed it so much. The miasma that began to flood into his back and fill his being was so reassuring to him. The Warlock wanted to cry out in joy and victory and a hundred other emotions that he felt, it was like meeting a long lost brother or comrade in arms. It was like a lot of things but he had to put them aside now. He had already decided that he couldn’t use his fire shield or almost any other defensive spell he had learned for himself he also couldn’t rely on the voice. He needed to prove beyond doubt that he was the baddest dude that these things were ever going to come across. Physically magically mentally he had to take them all in right now on this goat faced idiot. The miasma kept flooding into him he felt himself fill. Danny knew that he was going to have to do something soon to avoid bursting apart at the seams if that could happen to him he still didn’t know.
“You must humiliate him he must suffer they must be awed by your power and terrified of crossing you.”
“If they are going to swear to me then who cares?”
“They care, it is how it is done. They do not do this for you because they want to. They do this because they are scared that they will go through what he is about to go through if they do not.”
“So don’t give them free will because they have never had it before?”
“You’re a dick you know?”
“I am wise.”
The Casaganoth let out an odd bleating bellow and charged. Asmodan put some of that gathered and gathering power to use and began to infuse his body with it. Although it hurt… a lot his physical mass doubled and then almost tripped in the time it took the demon to cover the distance to him. The Warlock felt the rips in his skin but he felt them behind the hum of power that was flowing through him. The Demon grabbed for his arms and tried to hold him in place to that he could smash his face in with what the Warlock was assuming a very thick forehead. The Demon had a longer neck than Danny took into account and still came close to smashing him in the face but Danny took a step back and pulled the demon low as he moved the goat pulled its chin to its chest and attempted to bring its horns to bear but Danny was waiting for them and as they came down he immediately shot his hands in and grabbed them both. All Horned demons present winced a little while they cheered as the Warlock using his bare hands ripped his opponent’s horns from his skull. The Demon reached back to grab at the holes in its head and as it did the Warlock brought up his knee smashing in the goat’s lower jaw. The Demon fell back and landed on the ground before the human. Asmodan smiled as he looked at the horns and placed them in a deep pocket of the robe. In English the Warlock charged his voice and tried something new. He chose English so if it didn’t work no one would know that he had failed. He commanded the flesh on top of the demons head to heal. The goatman rolled to his hands and hooves and as he rose to his hooves his hand right hand jerked to his head again and he felt his skin close over the holes in his skull where his horns used to be. It itched but other than that there was no pain. His head still scream in pain but he wasn’t bleeding. The demon glared at Asmodan who seemed to be only half interested in the fight. Asmodan watched trying his hardest to look like he could care less about what was going on. In reality he was glued to every move the demon made. He decided to taunt some and took the horns back out of the pocket he held them out in one hand and tossed them to the crystal at the demons hooves.
“You dropped these.”
He said in abyssal. The Goat grabbed them and held them like daggers the spiraled one pointing up and the straight one pointing down along his forearm. Asmodan began to walk a circle around the Demon he made the Demon turn in place to keep an eye on him. He could feel its desire to charge him but also the fear that tempered that desire. The last time he charged the human his horns weren’t in his hands. Asmodan walked and he for a brief second remembered his time at the hands of the two Casaganoth that worked for that damned cat. He didn’t mean it too but he felt his adrenaline spike as he stared at his opponent his cool was gone before he realized he was about to lose it. His hands shot up in front of him like claws and his mind wrapped itself around the demon in the same manner. He growled as he mentally lifted the demon into the air and slammed him back down again and again he slammed the demon into the invincible crystal. The Warlock noted as one hoof split then one leg made a popping sound that would have made a decent life form cringe but nothing present in that valley was decent. Again and again the demon was smashed into the unyielding crystal floor. Finally the demon began to bleat out pathetic sounds begging sounds; it was attempting to plead for mercy between impacts. Asmodan heard none of it and finally Volnam pierced the wall of red that the human had thrown up around his mind.
“You could probably command him to damage himself and the immolate him and be done with it at this point.”
                Asmodan mentally released the demon fifteen feet off the ground and the thing fell with a sound that was similar to a bag full of baseball bats and steaks. The demon had dropped its horns in the process of being smashed to pulp. The only thing that was allowing it to maintain a shape close to what it actually was, was the thick skin that managed to not split in a thousand different places.
Asmodan channeled his energy and charged his voice with power as he commanded the demon to disembowel itself with the curved horn that had rolled to its right when he dropped it. The thing screamed out as it moved against its will to grab the horn and continued to scream as it forced itself onto its back with the majority of its bones shattered from the repeated impacts. Once it lay there facing up into the sky the Casaganoth managed to work its arm onto its torso and using muscle alone forced the tip of the horn into the flesh of its belly and began to force it from left to right. The screaming continued but changed tone as the pressure inside its body changed as more and more of it was exposed to the open. Slow minutes later the thing lay there stomach open to the sky, arms lying to either side at odd broken angles. It’s smashed muzzle lolling to the left even though its skull was facing skyward. The breathing was shallow and rapid that all a temporary matter though, the Demon and the Warlock both knew that eventually he would regenerate to a point where the fight would have never happened. Asmodan was ready then with the fire he held out his hands in the air before him as he did the green flames began to burn in the air over the demon. He dropped his hands down to his sides and as he did the flames fell to the demon, which began his screaming anew. The Warlock was tired of the noise at this point and increased the intensity of the heat along with its hunger within seconds the head and neck along with most of the arms and legs were gone he poured more into the heat until the only thing remaining on the ground was small enough to fit in a  lunch box. In the center of the remains was the heart which he decided he was going to put to use. The Warlock issued a mental request to one of his Imps and it came forward a placed the mass of demon flesh in one of the bags that the amulets had been in.
He watched the interested look that crossed the faces of many of the onlookers and he called out the abyssal name for the Hate Engine, they all looked away no longer interested. From this point on it was the long process of Demons approaching him kneeling swearing their oath, making their pacts with him and receiving their amulet with a fitted leather cord to hold it in place. By the end of the of it all Volnam and the rest of the Imps had finished the first few barracks the doors of which could accommodate a Pit Fiend and at one point when asked about the size of them Volnam informed the Casaganoth that asked that their master traffics with the beings and that was why the doors were large enough to admit one. That piece of information spread faster and wider that the miasma once it was let out. The level of fear and respect that was being afforded the Warlock now was growing to legendary after what couldn’t have been much more than a typical day in the material realm. Once the oaths had been made the Warlock himself began to create rooms in the small cleft valley he had planned out his suite of rooms here in advance and had worked a few spells to make the process go faster rather than just summon flames and mentally direct them until the work was done. The door to his rooms however were not large or impressive in size there was a massive chamber where he could sit and meet with perhaps a hundred at a time and in the back of that room behind the throne like chair he had fashioned there was a very narrow door leading into a similar hallway that was anything but straight at the end of that where two more doors that could only be opened by someone with telekinetic talent themselves. Past these doors were his rooms there were six of them in total and none of them were equipped with a bed. He did not plan on ever sleeping in the abyss again. These were work rooms and labs similar to what he already had in the material plane but these he could practice in with the ability to pull on his most beloved source of power, the Abyss itself. Here he felt god like he had already healed the damage he had inflicted on himself when he physically charged himself up to fight the goat. Once he was done and his rooms were as close to done as they would be until he brought things to them from the material plane he just began to play with his power he sent lances of raw force off shaping them with his mind as they flew letting them slam into the invincible walls. He threw dragons from his hands to explode in greenish transparent bursts of power and then large predatory cats he made them stalk around the room and then sent them to pounce and explode as the dragons did. He played with all his powers but fire. He was contemplating using the fire when he felt the itch that was the mental phone ring of Volnam.
“There is something out here you should see.”
“Really not feeling it right now.”
“I insist that you come meet this being.”
“What is it? I thought I met them all with the pledging.”
“This one did not pledge to you, it has just arrived.”
“Can’t Catabasch take oaths and they can obey him when the time comes?”
“It is not here for the same thing as the rest of these… distractions.”
“Later Volnam I’m enjoying myself right now.”
Asmodan could feel the imps growing annoyance and the Warlock did intend on going out to see what was going on but he really liked harassing the little rat.
“It has brought a sword as a gift for the Warlock.”
Asmodan wasn’t harassing the Imp anymore.
“Really a sword? What kind that’s freaking cool. Gifts I never thought I’d get gifts from anyone. I’m coming out.”
                It only took him a few minutes to make it out of his hidden little warren of rooms and hallways, he exited behind his thrown and came around the chair to see a Demon of an unknown caste it was purple and black or purplish black or both or all at the same time, Danny thought in different light there might be blue in there too. The Demon was close to the eight foot mark and roughly humanoid it had a head like nub that rose up out of its shoulders and forward to a point in front of its chest. Its legs weren’t really legs they were more like the smoky stuff that came out of the bottom of a genie and connected it to its lamp in the cartoons. This stuff wasn’t attached to a lamp though it drifted down to the crystal floor and just kind of pooled there. Constantly streaming down and then as far as the Warlock could guess evaporating it couldn’t be soaking into the crystal maybe it was dissipating into the Miasma? He couldn’t be sure but he was going to find out sooner or later.
                The Demon stood there before him he was pretty sure that it was looking at him but its shapeless nub like projection of a head had no mouth or nose just white ghost light for eyes and they didn’t seem fixed solidly in place they seemed to drift randomly in about a four inch diameter of space inside the mound of stuff that made up the thing. It wore nothing and as far as he could tell it carried nothing. This immediately made him think that Volnam lied to him to get him out here. Its shoulders were massive just huge and the arms that hung down out of them were equally as hulk like. The body itself everything from the lower waist up was not mist like at all it was like a thick Jelly like substance it looked like Gelatin he was a walking children’s desert in grape demon flavor. Danny had just heard a large sampling of demonic voices as they went through the swearing oaths portion of the day and none of them sounded like this demon before him. All the other demons he had encountered so far be they beast like or humanoid had physical sounding voices, like they were made by the throat of the thing standing before him. This thing did not, its voice was echoey it came from someplace really far away and seemed to just echo out of the face of the thing in front of him a thing that as of now didn’t seem to have a mouth for the voice to come out of. Asmodan also noticed a lack of ears, nose… he had nothing but the eyes on his giant nub like head.
Asmodan stood there in front of the demon and waited. Then he mentally prodded Volnam until the Imp grudgingly introduced the Warlock.
“I present to you Warlock Asmodan Lenoir.”
                There was a pause and the demon dipped a bow to the Warlock which was odd because the head stayed at the same level ghost light eyes locked on Asmodan but the torso, shoulders and arms all dipped low towards the ground.
“I am Mezzphogus”
Asmodan stood there and waited some more. He was hoping to see a sword appear out of thin air but was feeling like he was going to be let down. He was also waiting to see if the Demon was going to announce why he had come. Finally when he had decided that he had waited long enough, the Warlock broke down and asked.
“Mezzphogus, why have you come?”
                The demon stood there for a few heartbeats and then tilted its head back and forth looking over the room.
“I smell the mark of the Warlock on you mortal. But what master has trained you?”
                That comment confused Asmodan. He thought to himself Volnam trained me but why does that matter is there some other process that I should have gone through? What does this demon know that I don’t?
“I don’t understand, I was found on the material plane and trained by Volnam the Imp beside us. Is that what you mean by master?”
“A Warlock trained by a demon?”
Mezzphogus half shouted the question and the temperature in the room felt like it dropped several degrees. The Demon turned its head to Volnam white eyes no longer shifting around and no longer white. The ghost lights were now solid burning red embers. The Demon shot forth its hand which struck the imp and wrapped itself around him trapping all but his head. It’s not like a hand with fingers opened and grabbed the Imp it was more like when the surface of the fist struck the Imp everything behind it just wrapped forward and engulfed it. The blue demon lifted the Imp up to head level he stared at it face to face. Volnam was hissing and spitting like a pissed off cat. Then the Imps face erupted in a geyser of flames he summoned one of the few spells he had that he didn’t need his hands to direct or focus. The flames seemed to just roll around Mezzphogus not really affecting it. The demon pulled the Imp closer which led Asmodan to think that he really wasn’t worried about fire.
“What right Imp? What right did you have to take it upon yourself to train a Warlock? Did a predecessor charge you with the task?”
Volnam stopped struggling when he realized that though he was trapped he was not actually being hurt. He thought over the question and tried to find the best way to answer it. This Demon of unknown caste seemed to know something that Volnam did not. No one had asked Volnam to train a Warlock it was a scheme he came up with all on his own. He decided to go with a half truth or mostly lie depending on who he had to explain himself too later.
“I was charged through vision to find and train the Warlock. For countless years I have hunted the material plain and researched the bloodlines until I found this mortal. He is the rightful Warlock there is no doubt he had the Voice!”
The purpleish demon looked back to the Warlock.
“A simple test.”
Asmodan looked him in the eyes and nodded.
“Command me to drop this Imp before I crush it.”
As soon as he named the challenge Volnam began to grunt and then scream out.
Asmodan charged his voice with power and issued his command.
“Release him!”
A massive hole opened in the bottom of the demons hand and Volnam fell to the ground. He did not land how he should have, normally he would have used his wings to right himself or glide a distance away to safety after something like that, or at least flapped them once or twice to land softly but since most of the bones in them had just been crushed in multiple directions as well as the bones of his legs he just fell to the floor and began to drag himself hand over hand away and behind the Warlock.
“You have had not training from another Demon master?”
“No I have not. I have never known any teacher but the Imp you just crushed.”
“How did he come by the books?”
“What books? I have my own books all the notes and planes and theories that I have written down in my studies.”
                The Demon let out a long keening wailing sound that lasted for a long minute it seemed tortured. It was depressing really depressing.
“OK! OK! Damn man, knock it off already! Look I have questions what kind of demon are you what caste?”
“You are most assuredly full of questions you know nothing. The question you just asked of me proves that.”
“Should I know what you are?”
“Had you been trained from the books you would know what everything in the Abyss is on sight”
“No book would be large enough to list the inhabitants of the abyss in its entirety.”
                Volnam spit at the thing. Mentally he had called some of the other Imps from their tasks to come in and help him set his bones straight so that they would mend faster.
“Warlocks should be trained by their own. Not the depraved minds looking to take advantage of the unknowing. Allow me to kill this one and we can begin to find out what happened to the books you might have a basic enough knowledge that you can learn some of what they have to teach.”
“Nope sorry. I Have a pact with this demon he isn’t expendable.”
                The wailing moaning began again and Asmodan used his voice again to command him to not make that noise anymore.
“No Warlock should enter into pacts with demon kind. It goes against all that you are. The name Warlock means oath breaker.”

“Mezzphogus I think that you and I have a lot to talk about please follow me back to a space I have behind the audience chair.”

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