""This is the story of Iras Aedari, a blacksmith's son, going to an event and visit a seer to find his future occupation. Although not everything ended up as intended and now he's in a rather unique position."" --------------- This is a story I started a while ago, and as I'm feeling like writing again I'm wondering if this feels interesting enough for people to read on a chapter-based upload. Any and every comment are appreciated, constructive criticism is preferred. As of this point I'm not looking for grammar or typo fix, should I continue it will be looked at much harsher at that point. EDIT1: Rewrote some parts and removed some repeating explanations. Should be a better and more logical read now. Still the same story so if you started reading you can just pick up where you left. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chapter 1 The annual ceremony was about to start. Though nameless and referred to as 'the ceremony' it was world known and the only day that all of Lisica was at peace. No war, no theft, no beatings; just a world-wide calm, even the coliseum was closed this day. At least if you believe the official reports. The ceremony itself was the main event, though the partying and general collection of selfless acts of kindness was an important part of it as well. It is a special event where a sentient endlessly burning flame was brought out of hiding into the public of the larger town squares. The ever-blue flames, as they were called, weren’t the main focus directly. Nor was the others of it's kind which were always connected via a strange link. No, the main event was their insight into the future. The flames had the gift of when someone offers their hand to them; they would gently burn the hand but at the same time it would tell of something important in the subjects future. More often than not it was their most suited future occupation, which helped in education. Some times it could foretell how they would die but not when, perhaps it would tell a hint of their true love and how to obtain it, or it might tell of a future murder you plan to do; which was the reason for the heavy collection of guards around these events. Food was given out freely, as was various drinks, no doubt a publicity stunt amongst the nobles. There was a long line in front of a collection of booths where you had to get registered to have the flame scry on you, this was also the first time that Iras Aedari, a smith's son was to attend the event. Entering the main gates of the V'ida capitol Iras could barely hide his excitement and even then it was clear of the adrenaline this young boy had though his body. The city was made mostly of fist sized stones put together into roads, having a square layout where there were wider roads around town for the important things and smaller roads elsewhere, to and from the town hall and exits gates the roads were especially wide. Buildings were made of wooden struts with tiled stones or solid pieces of rock as walls; more often than not the roofs of said buildings were of a wooden frame with either stone or hay on top. Most buildings were two story tall whereas some of the official buildings were three or even four, the tallest building was the mage tower that was located a tad east of the town square; it stood 8 stories tall. The young boy was accompanied by his father, Zotok, who after a lot of years traveling settled down and had a family; his skill with steel gained him a smiths job in the outskirts of Ytino. Iras often helped around in the forge when he could. After Iras' mother died due to a fever when he was 5 his father always took him with him when he could. Iras had a rather resilient nature to the heat and the small things Zotok let him forge from the bad quality metal was actually decent considering the poor material. They were doing well and this year Iras wanted to ask the sentient flame what would happen in his future. Naturally Zotok wished for his only son to carry on the forge but he was mentally prepared for anything. "Calm down, Iras!" Zotok shouted to his overly eager son as he was about to be overrun by a carriage. "The festival isn't going anywhere" He smiled afterwards. "I am calm!" Iras shouted back like most kids would do at the age of 14. The city roads were packed with torrents of people flowing back and forth; even within this chaos there were some order, the city guards did well in guiding the traffic around but even then it was rather chaotic. "Here" Zotok stated to his son as he handed him a thin wooden stick with several pieces of meat and vegetables on it. He had gotten it from a stand on the way not that his son would notice this given the circumstances. "... oh, thanks!" Iras replied as he took it, it tasted rather spicy but not overly so and was not bad at all. After about an hour or so they reached the long line to be registered to talk to the flame, naturally they queued up and awaited their turn; something expected to be easier said than done. Though the wait didn't take as long as they expected this was merely just registering one's name and who you were, the real wait came when they got to the fire itself. The fire was on a pedestal in the middle of the town square, there were guards all around as well as sharpshooters on the walls and even on some rooftops. The standard and dresscode increased as soon as one saw the square. There was a spokesperson there who noted the results as well as shouted the names of the ones who were to approach the fire. He wore silk robes of deep blue, V'ida's main color, his headgear equally extravagant which bore the V'ida crest. The soldiers here wore their best armor, most wore leather armor with padded steel in certain areas, this was polished and maintained to keep a high gloss shine. The deep brown and black was almost reflective where they stood. The few men in full plate wore almost mirroring suits of steel, one could almost see one's detailed reflection in them. Then there were a few robed men around with extravagant staves or rods; most likely mages of the state which was a sight by themselves as high power mages were a rare thing. There were even a half-beast here, from the looks of it she was a leopard-woman, her fur groomed to a healthy shine as the light leather armor matched the color and spotted pattern she held. Overseeing all of this was a balding overweight man with quite a bit of stomach to him, he wore the V’ida colors as well as having a symbol on his right shoulder ranking him as a General in the army. Iras eagerly waited his turn and took in the experience on what happened to the other kids. "Irene Tarn!" the spokesperson shouted. A young brown haired girl went forth, hesitantly reached out her hand, palm down, towards the fire. It jumped onto her hand and sat there for a few seconds, in a small flash of blue it jumped off leaving the girl's hand only slightly burned. "Seamstress" the fire stated in it's high pitched voice. The girl cheered out as she ran to her mother's arms who held a similar joyful face. As the girl left the area the spokesperson again stated the next name."Alfred Garl!" A young black haired boy went forth and did the same with the fire. It jumped onto his hand and sat there for a few seconds. As it jumped off and left the boy slightly burned it stated the boy's future. "Soldier" The boy flexed and looked rather happy with himself, as he went over to his father some water was poured on the burn, they also looked rather happy. "Shiki Tou!" Another girl went forth, about Iras' age with long red hair, repeating the process. "Assassin" The fire stated. In the matter of a few seconds she was put in chains by the soldiers, her parents rushed to her aid but found only a wall of soldiers blocking their path. "If you'd come this way" they were 'asked' by one of the captains. Not really having a choice they were lead off the scene. Fear instilled in Iras for the first time, what if he were to become a murderer or worse? He kept looking at the different kids who approached, even the odd adult went to have their future told, Iras stood in silence halfway eager to know his future and halfway hesitant due to the possibility of his far from accepted occupation. "Iras Aedari!" the spokesperson shouted, breaking Iras to his senses. He hesitated a little but Zotok eagerly nudged him on. Sporting a very forced smile the young blonde lad went towards the fire, extending his hand towards it palm up. One of the soldiers forced a cough to get his attention, Iras looked at him and was given a sign to turn his hand around. As Iras was about to turn his hand the fire jumped into his palm. Some of the mages as well as the spokesperson's eyes widened. This normally didn't happen. The fire sat there for more than the normal time, it started to flicker between its blue color, fiery orange, red, black and deep purple. It's voice changed to a deeper tone, halfway gurgling bass toned. "Avatar of the black flame!" It shouted out as it turned pitch black and engulfed Iras' right arm in jet black and purple flames. Iras let out a yelp of pain and surprise as he tried to smother the flames without much effect, one of the mages quickly sprung to action and from his hands a steady stream of water poured, he doused the whole child, focusing it around the arm but keeping the rest of him wet. The water evaporated as soon as it came near the fire; it was as hot as ten forges at the same time, the public around had to go further away to avoid burns. Zotok tried to rush to his son's aid but was stopped by a wall of guards. The fire spread to his right eye and Iras fell to his knees being unable to stand. "RAAB?!" The General-looking man shouted in a questioning order. A rather bored looking fellow in the back sprung to action, his 5-gem necklace disappeared in a deep green haze as a spiral staff appeared in his right hand, the staff seeming to be made of semi transparent green rods coiling around each other as they extend up in a funnel-like shape As the gems in the staff-head started spinning around themselves he pointed it at Iras. A split second later a deep-deep green of barely transparent energy formed around Iras and an unlucky soldier which was too close in the attempt of aiding the boy. In the three following seconds two more of these barriers formed, making it so dark that one could hardly see what went on within it, even in the midday sun. It was silent for a few seconds as the apparent Raab kept the barriers sturdy. Suddenly a light of fire of all colors emanated from within the barrier cage, though orange and white were the most clear colors one could clearly see the deeper colors of green, purple and black. The fire went on for several seconds before it was quiet for about a minute. "Ok, open it up, but be ready" the General stated to the barrier mage. He waved his staff and muttered a magical word and the utmost barrier faded, only to show that the second one was almost broken and the first was all but gone. Raab still had his bored appearance to him but one could tell that even he was surprised "I thought you said that your barriers were impenetrable" The man in control barked with a slight annoyance due to the almost danger. "They are, but not when I create a triple layer barrier in the matter of seconds, it worked didn't it?" the mage answered with little, if any respect in his voice. Iras sat in a small crater about a meter deep reaching out to the full size of the barrier. The soldier that was trapped was ash, the only thing that even hinted to his existence was the metal which had superheated so fast that the remnants on the ground looked like a mist had passed by. The boy himself was in the middle of this crater, all the clothes had burned off his body and his hair had turned white. But this was not the most significant change. The right arm had changed, from the elbow and down to his fingertips it was that of black and purple molten lava. Though it still held it's shape -even the fingers were clearly seen- it looked like solid lava. Sitting there in the crater crying he turned to face his father, first then they noticed that though his left eye remained sky blue; the iris in his right had turned silver with a red line around it. "W...What is this?!" the General and the spokesperson asked in choir. "This-" a man from the crowd muttered louder than he intended, an old man with gray hair and a dusty appearance. "-means that he might be one of the avatars" the man ended in his shaky old voice really talking to himself more than anyone. Due to the relative silence at this point the General managed to overhear the elder speak ".... what?" he let out in a delayed outburst looking to the old man. "He is one of the Elemental Avata*" his explanation was ended by Iras screaming. "Hahahahahah!" the voice laughed out loudly, but it was no longer Iras’ own voice. It was that of the gurgling deep voice from when the flame entered his body. His right eye is glowing strongly and the arm took on a black-purple flame. "You will all die in agony before your new master!" there was a clear command in this voice. "All that lives exists as my playthings!" As soon as that last sentence was complete one of the archers had shot him in the head with a concussive arrow; one that has a steel ball at the end. "You there, who are you?" the General commanded at the old man. "I am Laric, the head librarian here in V'i*" Before Laric got to complete his introduction the General cut him off. "What more can you tell me about this 'avatar' thing?" "Sadly not much, I remember reading something about this years ago." Laric replied in a sad tone. "Very well, go to the library or wherever, we will speak as soon as you find something. In the meantime, Guards; seal off the area" the order sounded. Not really having a choice Laric returned to the library doing as he was commanded, shuffling his old legs over the dry stone road. As soon as Laric left and the area was secure the General went over to Raab. "Raab, if he as much as twitches wrong, seal him off and... take care of him.." The tone of the end of that sentence didn't have good things in sight for Iras. Zotok was finally allowed to go to his son's side, or rather weren’t stopped when he wrestled his way past the guards this time, taking off his long red coat at least he planned to let his son have some decency. Covering the unconscious body of his son he pulled Iras so his head rested in his lap. "What has happened to you.." Zotok muttered under his breath as he caressed the now white hair. As the sun rose the next day Zotok realized that he had fallen asleep. Looking around he saw that a lot of guards were doing the same, those who weren't asleep were on the verge of entering the dream realm as well. All but one, the barrier mage. There was something strange about him, even though his face and whole being had him look like he was bored, there was something about his eyes; it was if they were piercing the very being that Zotok was. The man's eyes almost seemed to have a dim green glow to them. "Wh..what are you?" Zotok managed to muster the courage to ask this, this Raab. "I am me." Raab answered truthfully. "... I can see that, but there is something strange about you" "There are things strange about everybody" he replied a split second after Zotok ended his statement. "No... I mean something specific, the other men sleep yet you is as awake as you were yesterday. You seemingly look bored but your eyes..." there were more curiosity than fear in the statement formed as a question.. "There are specific things that are strange about everyone. You have a naked son that looks part demon in your lap. Yet me being awake for one night is odd?" Zotok stopped talking to the man at this point, his answers were strange; they answered the question yet didn't at all. A few hours later Iras woke, he looked confused as he jerked awake like someone threw a cup of water on his face.. "Don't!" Zotok commanded him as Iras was about to move. Looking around Iras could see with rather ease what he meant, about this time most guards were awake and Raab were eying him with hawks eyes, a hair-fine trigger held the young boy's life present as the barrier mage would have him killed as he was ordered should it look needed. Iras tried to stand regardless, but fell back to his knees, taking support with both hands he first now saw the new addition to his body. Taking it up and looking at it with eyes filled with curiosity and fear, turning it in the rising sun as he inspected it thoroughly, opening and closing his hand realizing that it still worked fine. "W... what is this..?" he managed to mutter mostly to himself. "I...I don't know, Iras" Zotok explained. "There is a man looking into that for now, just.. Just keep calm" he tried to ease his sons feelings. Looking at Raab, Iras could not help to wonder about his strange face but any questions regarding others were easily suppressed due to his own alteration at the moment. A while later the old man from before came back, looking like he had not slept for a week. "Where is the General?" he asked loudly. "I'll get him" one of the soldiers answered as he left with great haste. The librarian looked at Iras, mainly his hand with some strange wonder, though Zotok took him in adverting his stare with a sort of sympathy. "What is it, old man?!" Zotok questioned Laric with slight anger in his voice. "Oh... no-nothing." Laric tried to hide his earlier face. Zotok got to his feet and walked commanding towards the librarian "Don't play me, old man. I know when someone is lying to me. What has happened to Iras?!" "I can't.. I mean.. I.." The old man stuttered as he started to walk backwards in an attempt to create a distance between the two. "You'll wait for the General" Raab broke in. "I recommend calming down" he commanded with eyes that still looked like he could not care less but still did. Looking around the soldiers around them had their hands on the handle of their swords, several crossbows were aimed their way. Not really wanting Zotok stepped down but held an angry eye on the librarian. The General arrived shortly after the debate had settled, still having some remnants of the meat dish he ate around his mouth. As he got closer he wiped the food away as he addressed the librarian. "Lark, W-" he was interrupted by what looked like a young boy in a rather nice silken attire, following him. "Laric." he corrected the General in a harsh whisper. "Laric! What have you found out?" the balding man asked more questionly than yesterday. "I..." Laric looked at Zotok as he stopped explaining. "I think it's best to say in private..." "Very well, we can talk in my room at the Inn" the General answered as he started to walk towards it. Closing the door behind him the librarian entered the rather extravagant Inn room after the General and his aid. He put a large dusty tome on a table and started explaining. "Every now and then, the texts doesn't say if there is a pattern, one person is chosen by the everblue flame to become an avatar of an element. There are listed avatars of water, energy, earth, light and basically most known elements. The last one of fire was the keeper of the Orange sun fire, he was able to fight dragons with their own flames.The avatar of water became a watery gem that once in contact with water could call on waves large enough to tear castles apart. Avatar of energy was said to be able to teleport away large cast*" "Get on with it!" the General broke in somewhat annoyed, he was not really in the mood for a history lesson. "yes.. yes.. Right.. This young boy has been pointed out to be a keeper of flame." he stopped himself for a few seconds, just long enough for the General to get impatient. "But?" "But he is the keeper of the black flame, not the orange or white, but the black flames..." Laric looked to the book to not stare into the Generals' "And this means?" "The black flames are the fires of demons..." Laric answered. "You heard the voice that came from him yesterday? I believe that might be the demonic side of his.. 'gift' trying to take control." "That.... that's...I need to.. You're dismissed, leave us" the General ordered. Laric could do little but do as told. He gathered his tome and left with a bow. "Send for my advisors, we meet in town hall tonight" the General ordered his aid. "Yes, m'lord" he answered with a nodding bow before he left. The whole town square had been locked down tightly, everyone trying to enter are being questioned or even arrested until further notice. There is a general unease in the capitol, though the ceremony had ended yesterday rarely has there been such feelings the day after the fire had spoken. The General and his advisors were holding their meeting in the town hall as Iras and his father were under heavy guard. "If what you say is true, the boy can be a serious threat" a tall and lean man dressed in silken robes and short oiled hair started. "If he has a demon in him and controls this, this, black fire. I see nothing good coming out of it." "Calm down, Lars-" a blonde dwarf with a beard which covered his whole frontal area broked in. "-everyone has a place in this world, though this man is different and have evil inside him it does not mean that he is evil. Who here can say that they have no evil within them? Besides, evil is a very relative term.” the dwarf grinned at the end. "Though you have a point, my instincts say that it might not be good to even consider his survival" a two meter tall lizard in green leather armor states."I vote for his ‘removal’. I can have my contact within Vyzia take care of this." "I agree with L'tek-" Lars agreed. "The boy is too much of a threat." The General sighed deeply. "What do you say, Raba, what does your dwarven intuition say?" The dwarf thought for a while, taking a sip of a large ale while he had pondered. "I think the best is if we train the lad, somewhere deserted so he cannot do harm to anyone. Teach him to contain this other side in him and perhaps have him join the kingdom g*" The General got on his feet and broke in before Raba got to complete his sentence. "You want a man with a demon within him to be a part of the guard? Are you insane?" "Not insane, using my mind. There is a dwarven saying; 'Even a broke forge makes good steel'. It loses some of its meaning during translation. Even though the lad is different and have so called evil in him. Like a smith with a broken forge it's not the forge that decides the blade; it's the smith that molds it." The General sat down with a long and drawn sigh, rubbing the top of his nose between his eyes as he considered the options. "Though Raba has a good point, I just can't take that chance. L'tek, make the preparations." "But-" Raba tried to break in but was again cut off by the General as he got out of his chair and left for the door. "Meeting over!" The General came back to the town square, Raab still had them under guard having a stare contest of sorts with Zotok. Though as soon as the boy's father saw the General his tone changed. "What is going to happen to Iras?!" he shouted at the man in charge. "Fear not-" the General started answering. "-we will start by testing his abilities in a secure location. If all goes well he will be released, perhaps even given a position in the army." he continued lying, though he held an honest face though all this, he seemed strangely adapt at this. Zotok calmed down a little. "That's good... that's good.." he sat down besides his son. "He's lying...?" Iras stated as he looked at the General. "... how come?" Zotok asked confused. "The.... voice in my.. head..." Iras replied through gritted teeth as he grasped to his head like he had the headache of the millennia. "Voice? What’s going on" Zotok asked rather worried as he took to Iras’ side. "I... I don’t know... get... out.." the reply were not aimed at anyone in particular, seeming to be aimed at whatever voice in his head. Zotok’s worry increased. "There is no reason to fear-" the General started defending his lie. "-I don't know about this voice of yours but you will be taken care o*" Iras broken in before the General could complete his sentence. "Liar!" the ring around Iras' right eye's iris started to glow ever so gently as the boy convulsed in clear pain, grasping at his head with both hands. Zotok was clear out of ideas at this point. “C... Get a healer, surely you have one?!” he commanded at the General, fearing the safety of his son. "... he might have me killed..." Iras managed to state between groans. The General's left eye twitched ever so slightly from his plans having been discovered already but he managed to keep his composure. “Come, then. Let’s take him to a healer and we’ll talk about it there.” This actually gave the General a great opportunity, he could speed up the process and have it done by tonight rather than waiting for the original plan to bear fruit. "I.... I..." Zotok started, clearly could not get a grasp of all this, leaning towards going with the General to the healer, after all his son had some rather serious problems at the moment. "I say you run" Raab broke in from nowhere. "Raab!" the General shouted out in disbelief. "You are a part of the V'ida army, you dare go against me?" "I'm a part of the army, eh? What is my rank? What is my pay?" Raab stated to the man in command. “Besides, this seems more interesting”. The General clenched his teeth in anger. "I will have you excecuted." Raab got to his feet with his staff in his right hand. "You barely know what I'm capable of, you have seen me fight, and you still want to threaten me?" his voice held a concrete threat but his face still had the same bored look. "Men! Kill the traitor! Kill the demon! End them both!" loud orders echoed across the town square. "I reccomend not attacking me-" Raab started. "If you let me be I will let you be, but as soon as I'm attacked I guarantee your deaths. I'm leaving now, good luck boy" Raab simply turned around and started leaving towards the nearest exit with a wave to no one in general. "But... You seem to be on our side, help us!" Zotok shouted to the leaving mage. "Too much stress, I hope to see you again. Avatar of the black flame" he replied as he left rather unhindered by the soldiers. "KILL THEM!!" the General shouted to the men as he took one of the guards' crossbows. Shooting a bolt towards the demon child. Though his lack of skill with actual hands-on combat made him miss the child completely, in stead he hit his father in the chest. All anger and fear dissapeared into an expression of mixed panic and surprise on Iras' face. He turned towards his father only to see him land on his back with a crossbowbolt throuh his chest. "... dad...?" was all he managed to mutter before he rushed to his fathers' side. "No... no.. This isn't happening.. You can't die..." Iras mumbled between tears as he tried to figure out how to help his father. "Somebody help him!" he shouted out, but no one came to his aid. "It... it's ok, Iras.." Zotok managed to cought out between the waves of pain and coughs of blood. "Be a good boy, won't you?" He asked as he put his hand on Iras' face, one last caress. "Run away... live..." "No. I won't run, come with me, I'll take out the*" "It's too late.... I will always love*" before Zotok got to complete the sentence his gaze went blank and his last exhale left his lips. Iras burst out in tears, screaming in agony at his lost father. "I... I can't" Iras stated as if answering someone not there. "I don't... don't know how.." he continued to state. "Yes... he should die for this..... Do it!" It was as if he was answering someone who only he could hear. The General had given a new command this time and it was followed. A wave of crossbow bolts and arrows were loosened from their launchers, aimed at the young boy. In the blink of an eye the boy had changed, his right eye was almost glowing and the arm had taken on a more lively radiance. A cyclone of purple and black flames spun around the boy for a few seconds, incoming projectiles were instantly taken care of and only the metal made it through but ended up far from hitting the boy. "You are all dead!" was all he said, his voice changed to the gurgling deep dark from before. The stance and everything but apperance that made the young boy into Iras was gone. This other side had taken over. Deep purple and black flames kept surrounding him, archers kept firing at the demon but all that happened was the incineration of their bolts. Though a few made it through they were either so heat-damaged that they posed no threat or just missed their mark, all but one. One bolt managed to find it’s way through the fire and dig itself deep in the left arm’s bicep, oh how it hurt but there didn’t seem to be much reaction from the being. Pushing the bolt through the muscle he was able to pull it out completely, a white-hot glowing finger was used to cauterize the wound. The few mages tried their best but there were nothing they could do, their spells hit the wall of fire and detonated outwards or not at all. Gathering energy in the palm of his right hand the demon punched it into the ground which formed into a large purple fiery explotion clearing some of the town square of life, every soldier, part of buildings; everything within range reduced to a crater. Somehow the General made it through all this, standing behind a magical shield that one of the mages managed to set up, though fear finally kicked in and he fell to his knees. "I... I'm sorry. So sorry. Anything I can do to make it up to you. Money, women, gold. I can make you a rich man!" the General pleaded. "Your promises mean nothing to me, human. All you are in this world for is my amusement-" the dark voice of the demon explained as he moved closer. "-all you are here for is to give me your screams of agony" The end of his sentence marked his arrival before the shield between them, a heavy fire-covered punch shattered the clear barrier. Kicking the mage in the gut shortly after sent him tumbling backwards into the ruins of a building. Crouching next to the groveling General, the demon arm glowing with energy as he held it at his side. "Scream for me!" the voice commanded as he placed his purple glowing palm on the General's back. The army commander screamed out in painful agony as his clothes retreated from the heat in a red expanding rim. The boy’s grin grew and grew the more he heard the glorious sound of pain induced screams. The hand glowed brighter and brighter, which in turn added to the screams of the General; he was not allowed to die just yet. The hand almost stopped glowing, only to grab hold of the General's neck, this seems to have silenced the screaming for a few seconds, flinging him to the side into a stone wall fixed that. Coughs of blood and lack of movability was now the General's existence, the demon of his agony getting closer each second. "... gold... land... I... give.." he managed to mutter in a last plead for his life. There were no answers, only a grin, which grew even wider as he lifted his palm over the General's chest, it went from dull stone-gray to a bright white hot in the matter of a second. The heat was searing even from a distance which made the slow movement towards the man's chest ever more unbearable, as the arm got three feet away from the man his clothes started to sear and burn. A quick movement in the end forced the palm though the man's gut where it boiled him internally. The pain was so great he could not even scream, gritting his teeth so hard they broke from their sockets was Scelus' reward for this, until the man finally died. Turning around the demon surveyed his doing, it was glorious indeed and it was a nice breakfast of sorts from his long slumber. "Iras... Iras?" the demon spoke out into thin air. "you must see what we have done!" he tried to get into contact with his human host, but there was no answer. Suddenly having to widen his stance to regain balance as his vision blurred for a second, he first now realized how much energy he had used. "Feh.. This body can't hold enough energy yet... I'm giving you this favor, Iras. As my host; I will get us safe for now." Starting to run towards the nearest city wall he put all his energy into a jump, clearing the seven meter wall by a foot's lenght, a rough landing on the other side marked his escape before he ran into a forest, heading north towards the mountains. Iras came to in what looked to be a cave, a small fire was burning besides him. Looking down at his hand he realized that this was not a dream. "This is real, isn't it?" he asked no one in particular. [Yes] the voice in his head replied. "I can't get my father back... And what my dream of yesterday, of me killing everyone... it's also true..." It was more a statement than anything else. [Yes, and no. I did the killing with your body.] the disembodied voice answered. Iras didn't answer, just broke out in tears and pain. Two days later, after most of the grieving was done, Iras realized that he was hungry, lacking energy and still naked from the ordeal. "Who... What are you...?" he managed to finally ask The voice hesitated answering at first. [I am Scelus. A lord of fire, a demon in your tongue. I was sealed away quite some time ago and awakened in your body. Based on your memories I would guess that everblue flame, as you call it, bound me in your body.] Scelus answered. ".... So you are evil..." Iras added [You humans would call me that, yes. In our eyes you are ants, ants meant for our amusement. Much like when you used your bent glass to burn ants in the sun when you were younger.] The comparison was harsh but not unknown in stories and legends about demons. "... Can you leave my body?" Iras asked hesitantly. [No. Not by my own accord, nor by your power.] "You can read my mind?" [Yes, your memories, save some parts you don't know yourself. Anything you are aware of, I am aware of.] "Why can't I read yours?" [I'm not a mind, I'm a being of power... In time you might but not now. I'm much older than you, until your mind is stronger than mine you will not peer into my past.] the demon explained. Though strange this back and forth the demon had been rather forthcoming in answering it's new hosts' questions. And why not; odds were that they would be togeter for quite some time. They talked like this for a while until it was ended abruptly by Iras stomach growling. [Eat something-] the demon started commanding in Iras' head. [-eat something and gain power. This is both our bodies now and I need your energy.] There was a macabre tone to that latter part. "To kill?" Iras asked as soon as the demon stopped talking. [Amongst other things, there is nothing purer, nothing that gives me more pleasure than to have my playthings scream out in pain. In glorious agony. Bloodstained and screaming all they can muster, all until their voice is stopped by*] Iras broke in before the demon could continue it's fetish explanation. "Stop! I don't want to hear it." he commanded as he grasped his head with both hands. [You think you can command me, human?] "You... You're in my body, you listen to my rules" the lad commanded in hope that this was how it worked. The demon let out a laugther that could freeze blood. [You think you have control over me? I can control your body as well, you know.] "Then why don't you? Take my body from me and do as you please!" the boy dared his companion.Scelus let out a deep sigh. [Fair enough, you got me there. You are lucky enough to be in command.] The fear Iras just had for being taken over and doing more grotesque things with his body left ever so slightly. "I... I'm in command?" Iras asked in disbelief, almost laughing to himself at the irony. "Then.... why did you take control when my father..." he couldn't bring himself to say it. [Died?!] Scelus finnished his sentence rather loudly. [That's simple, you gave me control.] Though it was not wrong he didn’t let the boy know that it was not that easy, as he neared dark and revenge-like thoughts it was much easier for Scelus to just take control. Though Scelus had no face or body of his own Iras could feel him grin at that explanation. Iras started crying again at the reminder of his fathers death. [Oh for the love of... stop crying!] Scelus tried to command. "But... I can't... My father.." he muttered between tears. [People die all the time, we killed about ten or so after your father was killed. And. it. was. Glorious! The pain and fear that old man had, that General. It was like the best spice on the most succulent meat perfectly marinated!] Scelus explained with a strangely working metaphor. All things considered the demon did save the boy, if nothing but for itself Iras still live because of it. [We can talk later, can you hunt? Do you eat berries? You're not a blasted vegitarian, are you?" "... no?" Iras managed to reply [Good, you will find yourself getting more and more hungry the more powerful we become. My power comes from the body, not this mana the mages are so fond of. So eat up.] Scelus commanded. "Won't I get fat?" Iras tried his best but ended up with a very, very bad joke. His mind trying to block off the painful memories to priorotize survival. [As long as we are one you will never get fat, though not the best of partnerships; at least for me, you have no idea what power you might obtain if you master it.] The explanation had some hint of dissapointment in it but even a demon lord knew to take the little good within the bad. He might be under a human host but at least he lived still and had the chance to again obtain power. [Your... our right arm-] Scelus continued to explain. [-seems to be a part of my original body. It is not of this world, so don't be afraid to get it hurt. And we will never fear fire, fire is my slave, my blood; It will not harm you. Now, go eat; we're weak] Scelus didn't take pity on the boy, he simply told the few details he needed to hear to easier be able to keep his own, after all; the body was now shared by two beings that very much wanted to survive. Not having much skill in hunting, at least not at the foot of the mountain, Iras had his fill of berries, fruits and roots he knew were edible. As the demon stated he did eat much more than he normally would be able to. As the food was eaten, the boy felt more energized and more like his old self; not counting the more permanent changes to him. [Now that you have eaten-] Scelus started explaining in Iras' mind. [-there was a farm not far from here, go there and steal some clothes; we look terrible] the demon commanded.