Demon Lord VI - Son of Chaos, страница 1
Demon Lord VI
Son of Chaos
T C Southwell
Published by T C Southwell at Smashwords
Copyright © 2010 T C Southwell
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
Table of Contents
Chapter One – Light God
Chapter Two – Intervention
Chapter Three – Healer
Chapter Four – Demon Hound
Chapter Five – Wraiths
Chapter Six – The Battle
Chapter Seven – Aftermath
Chapter Eight – Grey God
Chapter Nine – Unbelievers
Chapter Ten – Vengeance
Chapter Eleven – Tarnished Light
Chapter Twelve – Child Goddess
Chapter Thirteen – Realm Gate
A Grey God’s impregnable shield sphere is his last defence against the darkness, but a domain key might unravel it and force Kayos to flee into the unknown, for to Move in the God Realm is to be lost… Bound, blind and powerless, the unbelievers who have captured the Demon Lord will kill him unless a light god comes to his aid, and without healing he can no longer wield the shadows. Kayos constantly changes the patterns of his shield sphere while he waits for his dark son to free him, and his time is running out…
Tryne roused from his pleasant reverie, tilting his head as he listened to the faint call. One plea was all he needed to know who had summoned him and whence it came. Such calls were so rare that most angels never received one. Lightness invaded his heart, filling it with purpose, and several hitherto unknown instincts kicked in. He rose from his seat at the foot of a waterfall and stepped into a Channel.
The call lingered like a beacon, luring him powerfully, undeniable and uplifting. He walked along the Channel until he found another that existed next to the domain’s Realm Gate, then followed it through the mighty Gate, the wards’ frisson tickling his skin.
In the God Realm, his true home, he soon found a Channel that existed close to the beacon and stepped across. He gazed out at a strange metal room, his eyes drawn to the man imprisoned upon the table. Making himself invisible, he stepped from the Channel and stood beside the man, studying him. Laying his hand lightly on the prisoner’s chest, he absorbed all that he needed to know about him.
Bane drifted up through the dark veils of unconsciousness, his head pounding as if it would burst. Pain rushed from his broken arm, and he opened his eyes in the oft-repeated, but again forlorn hope that his sight had returned. Closing them, he became aware of the light being who stood beside him and turned his head in that direction.
“I am here.”
“These people mean to kill me. Tell them what I am. Tell them to release me.”
The angel moved away, and Bane gritted his teeth against the pain. Soon it would end. He had not wanted to call upon an angel, but he had no choice. The favour would undoubtedly be large.
Senior Confinement Technician Enyo leapt up from his console with a strangled yell as a glowing being stepped from the air beside him. Huge, snowy wings framed the slender form of a man whose hair drifted about his head in skeins of spun gold and whose clear grey eyes glowed in an inhumanly refined face. A strip of gossamer fabric that looked like it was made from silver cobwebs clung to his narrow hips, and his feet seemed to barely touch the floor.
The apparition raised his arms, and looked as if he was about to deliver a speech, then the roar of automatic gunfire ripped the air, and Enyo dived behind a console. The two soldiers who stood at the shredder room door sprayed the apparition with bullets, their faces twisted. The being staggered, lowering his arms as bluish blood oozed from wounds in his chest and belly, then he turned and vanished.
Enyo emerged from behind the console, glancing around.
The guards lowered their weapons, and one said, “It’s gone, sir.”
“What the hell was it?”
“But you killed it anyway.”
“It was an intruder sir, possibly hostile.”
Enyo nodded. “Shoot first, then ask the corpse questions.”
“There is no corpse sir.”
“Even better.” Enyo looked through the window at the dra’voren. “It was probably a damned illusion.”
“No sir, we hit it.”
Enyo consulted the bioscanner screen, which showed the dra’voren to be awake, as he had noticed only a few moments before the apparition had appeared. Had it been another dra’voren? If so, it was a strange looking one, and his presence within the ship, undetected, boded ill for all of them. The scanners that detected the dark power were not installed inside the ship except for in the shredder room. How had a dra’voren found the ship while it was in stealth mode? The only possible explanation was that the captive had summoned him. He touched a key on the console, activating a communications link to Commander Nikira’s office.
Tryne walked along the Channel a little way and sank down, clasping the wounds in his chest. Gossamer threads appeared under his palms, formed from the air, covered the injuries and stopped the bleeding. He gasped as a dull burning filled him, his first experience of pain, and wondered what he should do next. The mortal tar’merin was in dire peril, as his own injuries testified, but it seemed that the men who had imprisoned him were not inclined to listen to an angel, and perhaps did not even know what he was.
How was he to order them to release the tar’merin, in that case? If he could not aid the mortal god, he must find someone who could. Casting about, he located the nearest light god and walked along the Channel until he found one close to him, then stepped across. Strangely, he did not pass through a realm gate, but stepped straight into the blinding brilliance of a birthing chamber.
Tryne paused, considering. If the god was not yet born, he was not going to be of any help. He cast about for the next closest light god, and once again walked along the Channel, then stepped across to one that existed close to him. This time he passed through a realm gate, the wards touching him with a familiar shiver of power.
Tryne gazed out at a gazebo in a brilliant cloud garden, where a light god lay upon his couch, staring into an Eye. Tryne tore a door in the Channel and stepped out. The god looked up, his brown eyes narrowed and his blond brows drew together. Ash blond hair framed a finely formed, jovial face, and his powerful frame was clad in a light god’s customary silver-grey garb. Tryne bowed with the traditional flourish of his kind.
“I am Tryne.”
“Greetings, Tryne, I am Drevarin. What do you want?”
“Your help, regrettably.”
Drevarin chuckled. “That makes a change. You are injured. If I heal you, I get a favour.”
“The god who called upon me for aid will owe the favour.”
Drevarin waved the Eye out of existence and sat up, frowning. “A god is in danger?”
“Indeed. When I answered his call and did as he asked, I was wounded by the people who have imprisoned him, and mean to kill him.”
Drevarin’s expression became grim. “So, a lesser mortal god. Unfortunate, but I do not see how this concerns me, and if he is dead he cannot pay his debt.”
“He is not a less
Tryne recounted the tale, and at the end of it Drevarin’s eyes sparkled with excitement. “A mortal tar’merin? How amazing! Where?”
“The God Realm.”
Drevarin’s face fell. “You know perfectly well that I cannot find him there.”
“Have you explored beyond your domain, Lord?”
“A little. It is not a fun place.”
“Indeed. The tar’merin is close to a domain where a god lies unborn, but fully formed.”
“Ah. I know it.” Drevarin pondered. “Those people are powerful, and ignorant. They have been too long without a god to guide them. They have become irreverent and arrogant. If this tar’merin is at their mercy, he can expect none.”
“Will you help, Lord?”
“Earn the favour of a tar’merin?” Drevarin smiled. “I would be a fool not to. Come here.”
Tryne knelt before him, and Drevarin laid his hands upon the angel’s hair, healing him in a flash of golden light. Drevarin rose as Tryne stepped back, glancing around at the light realm with a slight frown.
“I dislike leaving my domain, but the place you speak of is not far. All I have to do is heal this tar’merin and proclaim his goodness to those horrible people?”
“He only asked me to tell them what he is and order them to release him. His healing is your choice.”
Drevarin beamed and wagged a finger. “A small deed for a greater favour. I have never encountered a dark god. He will be my first. It will be a grand adventure.”
Tryne looked at him askance, amazed that he would refer to travelling through the God Realm as an adventure. Drevarin struck him as a young god, and, judging by the confident swagger with which he strode to his Realm Gate, he had seen little of the horrors of the darkness, or the God Realm. Most light gods ventured outside their domains at some time to explore, and, since they had often seeded their domains, they had travelled through it in search of a realm seed before that. Drevarin, however, appeared to have been born in this domain, and his parent had left him to go out and seed another.
“What favour will you ask of him, Lord?” Tryne asked as they arrived before the Realm Gate.
Drevarin drew a shining key from his tunic and pressed it to the Gate. “At the moment, I have no need of his aid, but dark gods are always a threat. Should I ever need him, I have then only to summon an angel and send him to find this tar’merin. What is his name?”
“Bane, the Demon Lord.”
The Realm Gate glowed and chimed. “I hope he is powerful.”
“I could not tell. He has been stripped of his power, otherwise he would not be in the predicament that he is.”
“Indeed.” Drevarin stepped back as the Gate’s giant locks disengaged with a soft grating of stone. “Those people have learnt how to vanquish dark gods, but unfortunately they do not destroy them. Their silly attempt to rid the God Realm of dark gods is futile, and now they have captured a tar’merin. Do you know how rare tar’merin are, Tryne?”
“I have only heard legends, Lord.”
The Gate swung open with ponderous majesty, revealing the shivering darkness beyond. Drevarin walked through it, Tryne at his heels. “So have I,” the light god said, “from my mother. I will wager you never thought to meet one. I certainly did not.”
“I was surprised.”
Drevarin bent to study the ground, rubbing his chin. The Gate swung closed with a soft boom, the locks engaging again. “Now, which one of these leads to that accursed domain?”
Tryne gazed down at the sandy floor, but the trails Drevarin perused were invisible to anyone but a light god or demon hound.
“What happened to that domain, Lord?”
Drevarin shrugged and set off to the right. “I have no idea. Before my time.”
Tryne followed the light god, whose faint luminescence kept the seething darkness at bay. “How long will it take you to get there?”
“A couple of days.”
“Then I should go ahead and tell him what has happened.”
“Yes, do that, and if necessary, do what you can to protect him. I would not want to get there and find him already dead.”
Tryne inclined his head and stepped into a Channel.
Commander Nikira glared at Enyo. “It was an illusion. No dra’voren could find Retribution while we’re in stealth mode. It’s not possible.”
“The guards shot it.”
“It looked like it was shot, that was part of the illusion.”
“Why would he cast an illusion?” Enyo glanced at the dra’voren on the other side of the armoured glass.
“I don’t know. To frighten us? Distract us maybe? Buy more time while we search for a non-existent dra’voren? That would keep us busy, wouldn’t it? And if it was a dra’voren, why hasn’t he killed anyone yet? Or the soldiers, for that matter?”
Enyo frowned down at his console. “I suppose so, but it certainly looked real.”
“I’m sure he can spin excellent illusions. Think about it. If it was a dra’voren, why would he reveal himself? If he had gained entry to the ship he could slaughter us without ever letting us see him.”
Enyo grunted, and Nikira turned to study the dra’voren through the window. His apparent concern for Ethra had softened her heart, but this attempt to deceive them hardened it again. It was all a ploy, the gentleness, the lies, all meant to trick them into believing that he was good. He had remained unconscious for ten hours after being hit with the stunner, and now he appeared to be asleep. His vitals were stable for now, but it was only a matter of time before he sickened again. Drontar would probably kill him before that happened, though. She had confined Ethra in a cabin, fearing that the girl would incite a riot if she was allowed to rejoin her group. The last thing she need was more problems.
Bane sensed the light being beside him and turned his head towards the shining radiance of the angel’s soul. “What has happened?”
“The people injured me before I could speak to them, Lord.”
“Then I require you to find a light god, and bring him here to speak to them.”
“I have already done so. He comes now.”
Bane sighed, opening his eyes briefly. “How long?”
“That may be too long. They will kill me soon.”
“Lord Drevarin asked me to protect you until he arrives.”
Bane smiled. “You are earning many favours.”
“Beware this room. It has a machine that renders me senseless, and will do the same to you.”
“Then I shall evade it.”
Bane studied the angel’s soul, which was so bright it faintly illuminated his outline. “Have you a name?”
“I am Tryne.”
“Was it difficult to persuade Drevarin to come to my aid?”
“Not at all. He is eager to save a tar’merin.”
Bane flexed his good arm, which was going numb, and considered asking Tryne to find out what was happening to Kayos. From what Kayos had told him of light gods, he assumed that one as powerful as the Grey God could defend himself almost indefinitely and he had no wish to owe the angel any more favours.
“Your foes come, Lord,” Tryne whispered.
“Do they mean to kill me?”
The angel vanished, then returned a moment later. “One of them has poison.”
“Let me deal with them while I can. If they render me senseless, it will be up to you.”
Bane turned his head as three soul lights entered his perception, all of them familiar. One was the man who had stuck something sharp in his arm, and the other two were the ones with weapons. With a flick of his will, he took control of them.
Enyo frowned at the bioscanner. The dra’voren’s brain image had flared briefly, and was now filled with white sparkles. He turned to Nikira, who stood gazing through the observation window.
“I can’t see anything.”
Enyo studied the medical technician, Jonar, who had stopped beside the table, and looked irresolute. He held the syringe loosely at his side, and liquid dripped from it.
“What’s in that syringe?”
“Only a tranquiliser. We don’t want him getting upset when we start testing poisons on him.”
The medical technician raised the syringe and pressed it to the dra’voren’s arm, then led the two guards out of the shredder room and glanced at the clock. Enyo watched the bioscanner, but, when the requisite number of seconds had passed, he shook his head, turning to Jonar.
“It’s not working.”
Jonar frowned. “The anaesthetic did. Why wouldn’t a tranquiliser?”
“You’re the medtech.”
“We’ll have to use anaesthetic then.”
Jonar left to fetch the drug, returned a few minutes later and entered the shredder room again. Once more he paused beside the dra’voren, then set up the drip and pressed the needle to his arm, taping it in place. He rejoined Enyo and Nikira at the bioscanner, and they waited. After almost a minute, the medtech frowned, turning to study the dra’voren through the window.
“That’s even more peculiar. It worked before.”
“He must be doing something to stop it,” Nikira muttered.