“What is your name?”
“Jacob, do you believe in destiny?”
20 years later
His eyes snapped open but he did not make a sound, he spent some time staring until he slowly sat up and took a look at his surroundings. He found that he was inside a spacious tent, he found the bedroll on the other side of the tent to be empty which was to be expected nowadays. There was a time when the missing occupant would have woken him up but those times were in the distant past.
Jacob didn’t sigh, he didn’t reminisce, his eyes sharpened, his mind focused and the sleepiness disappeared from his being, today was not the day to be distracted. As he got ready Jacob started to go over the mission at hand, he would do this every time he had work to do as a way to reaffirm himself.
Over the past few days there have been reports that monsters have begun invading human lands under the Order’s protection and as it is a single settlement has fallen to them. At first it was believed to be the Maou’s army, new intelligence suggested otherwise. There are certain misconceptions with monsters that Jacob had before he joined the Order which were fixed upon his education of his enemies.
First of all despite being responsible for changing monsters and being their ruler, the Maou does not have much control over them. The succubus monster lord is an extremely lax ruler and outside of the army at the Royal Makai is not responsible for most of the actions done in her name. For instance her daughters The Lilim are completely autonomous in their actions even though their goals ultimately coincide, that is the corruption of the entire world.
In this case, the army of monsters responsible for this invasion are a separate army from the Monster lord’s belonging to the realm of The Undead that is ruled by powerful undead monsters. After centuries of inactivity the movement of an undead army was something that took The Order by surprise however intelligence suggested that the reason for the aggressive stance now is due mainly in part to a single high ranking monster.
Her name is Rotter Schnee a high ranking Vampire general belonging to one of the governing family ruling the realm of the dead. It seems that the eldest daughter was seeking to expand her family’s land and had taken a small army to secure it from the Order. Jacob will see to it that she would come to regret her choices.
He had finished putting on his armor and now stood in front of a full length mirror. Even as a young teenager Jacob would marvel at himself in the mirror, not to be mistaken for narcissism (though he does look good in that armor) Jacob was taught by his father the measure of being a man. So Jacob would on occasion take a good look at himself and compare the present to the past to see what kind of man he had become.
It has been a long while since he had the time to spare for such a trivial thing and for some reason Jacob couldn’t help but compare his present self to the day in which he first started his training because he would always remember that one moment in time when the boy looked at himself in the mirror for the last time.
That was 20 years ago and Jacob was now a man, at 34 years old his body had filled out due to the rigorous training and Holy Blessings. He now stood at over six feet tall, his physique was lean and muscular, his hair was cut short with the bangs above his eyebrows framing his face, he spotted a stubble further adding to his roguish look.
Jacob’s armor was silver, well worn but well maintained, showing that it has been through some battle. There was strap attached to the pauldrons where a ceremonial cape could be worn, he had none at the moment. Jacob nodded to himself and reached for his weapon, a double ended halberd with the tip ending in a curved spear while the bottom was that of a curved blade (axe).
Jacob turned calmly to the knight, the man swallowed under his gaze, then Jacob smiled good naturedly “is it time?”
“Where is Sigrdrífa?”
“The Lady Valkyrie is communing with the Chief God my lord.”
“I see” or rather as expected “and the men?”
“They are currently eating my lord”
Jacob nodded “good, I will fetch the ‘Lady Valkyrie’ have two more plate ready”
“As you command my lord” the knight bowed deeply and left.
Once upon a time Jacob found the overly formal and respectful ways the knights addressed him to be a bit much. Nowadays he’s learned to live with it though he did shake his head a little at the display before walking off to find his guardian Angel. It wasn’t hard to find her, aside from the fact he could sense her Sigrdrífa had taken to secluding herself early in the mornings to ‘commune with the Gods’ as the knight so eloquently put it.
Again this was something Jacob was used to being Sigrdrífa’s partner for two decades. He found her in a tent erected to be a makeshift chapel, it was something Jacob and a few of the men found to be somewhat impractical as the space could have been utilized for something more needed for the battle ahead. Sigrdrífa insisted upon it however and far be it for anyone to deny a warrior of The Chief God this request.
Jacob silently knelt beside her at a respectable distance and offered his own prayer to the Chief God. They stayed like this for a few minutes until Sigrdrífa broke the silence with a low “amen.”
She retrieved her helm and looked to her former student now partner with a near stoic expression “are the men prepared?”
‘Business as usual’ Jacob almost sighed.
“I was told they were currently preparing, I thought you’d want to eat before going into battle.”
Sigrdrífa frown became just a little more pronounced at that and Jacob’s eyebrow rose a fraction, almost in challenge, but whatever she had to say she thought better of it and walked away. Jacob couldn’t help but watch as she left and surprisingly to any other man on the planet his eyes did not drift down.
Rather Jacob marveled at her for a different reason as unlike him Sigrdrífa seemed to be untouched by time. She was the same Valkyrie he met all those years ago, who came to his town, whisked him away and has been his teacher, comrade-in-arms, confidant and then friend ever since. She was still breathtakingly beautiful compared to most women (and even monsters), she still wore the same armor, had the same weapons and had more or less the same attitude though he could attest she has mellowed over the years.
If anything has changed it would be that her long hair was no longer straight, she had reluctantly had it done up in a (French) braid by a group of women. The new style must have made an impression on her for she kept it which was a nice change of pace. Another more subtle change Jacob has seen with Sigrdrífa was her attitude or maybe it was just Jacob’s perception of her that changed.
You could only spend so much time around someone even an angel and still think of them the same way. It would have made sense except the change in personality was a rather recent one. Sigrdrífa has been distant as of late, earlier attempts as to why were brushed off as nothing and that it was a personal matter, Jacob didn’t question it, as ‘personal’ equates to God and the last thing he wanted to do was get between a deity and their servant.
Breakfast was a surprisingly lighthearted affair with Jacob and even Sigrdrífa sitting with the knights. Heroes and especially angels are revered as these near mythical beings worshiped by the masses, their presence on the battlefield would be enough to raise morale, Jacob learned quite early on that it wasn’t enough to just make an appearance, slay the monsters then be on their way.
To ensure that the men they will be entrusting to fight at their back will never falter in the face of the enemy, they would have to humanize themselves in the eyes of the men. Heroes are not Gods, they are just people like them and for the men to see and experience this first hand that a Hero and an Angel can be normal like the rest of them yet remain unshaken in the face of the enemy greatly helps the men cope with some of the things they would endure.
Ironically Jacob discovered this after his third year of being a hero, they had campaigned against a potential invasion and won with him spectacularly slaying the leader who orchestrated the plot. During the victory celebration Jacob had too much to drink and revealed his thoughts during the battle, not as a confident warrior who had the backings of the gods but as an insecure young man who was afraid of failing his first campaign.
Surprisingly the men especially the older knights empathized with him and for admitting something like this which few Heroes do so in spite of his lack of experience the respect the men with him then had for him grew. Sigrdrífa was understandably scandalized by this as she thought him never to admit weakness that a hero should be an unbreakable pillar of strength and virtue.
Jacob rebutted that they weren’t and if it’s one thing that Lescatie proved it was that Heroes are not infallible no matter what the church or even the gods would want the people to believe, they were as human as anyone. His continued admittance of weakness for a period of time had made him a pariah of sort, especially among other Heroes. Also the men did not look up to him as they would the strong silent types and Jacob was very talkative and social and so normal that on more than one occasion he was mistaken for an ordinary knight.
As the saying goes however, actions speak louder than words and Jacob’s near perfect track record for the church spoke very highly of his skill. For almost every battle he won and for the few he lost he made sure that there were as few ‘casualties’ as possible. Eventually he would become a renowned name in the hero community, infamous amongst the Mamono Lord’s army and celebrated by the people.
The Lance of Castiella they called him, for when he led the successful assault of neighboring demon realm, destroyed the ranks of monsters habituating the area, cleansed it of demonic energy and reclaimed the land for the Order in the name of the Chief God.
An hour later saw Jacob and Sigrdrífa riding at the front of the assembled army that marched towards their destination. Already they could hardly see through the thick fog ahead signifying that the land had already been corrupted into a demon realm. The way how demon realms work is that they are specifically suited for the type of monster that inhabit the area.
Not all demon realms feature constant darkness, with a red moon always hanging in the sky. Some of them have a regular day-night cycle and is hardly different from an uncorrupted land. This demon realm is suited for undead type monsters making it have an eerie almost haunted feel to it.
The sun was nowhere to be seen of course, there was a constant feeling of being watched, of someone or something creeping up on them. Whispers tickled the ears, distant yet could be heard by the men and not one single sound of wildlife in the forest which looked far removed from the reported dense foliage. This one was baron, the trees stripped of leaves, fruit and any animals that may have once lived in them, the branches looking like gangly limbs also added to the eeriness of it all.
The men were briefed on this, Jacob and Sigrdrífa along with a few of the veteran knights had personally told the men what to expect from this type of monster realm. It didn’t stop them from becoming nervous however, the realm itself was designed to make humans uneasy and even the enchanted armor they wore did little to alleviate the fact that the forest was ‘fucking creepy as fucking fuck.’
Luckily they needn’t have to actually step foot in that place as Jacob halted the procession which mostly consisted of mages and priests. Jacob came off his horse and along with the others they chanted then together let loose a massive fire spell spewing a torrent of holy flames. Unfortunately there was no way to unmake something tainted by demonic energy, you could only destroy it, and in the case of a land tainted with demonic mana, burn it.
The plan was for the mages to burn the forest while the army followed behind, they were separated into groups by the border so that they would make a scorched path to the main town. This time Sigrdrífa was not with him, she was needed elsewhere, something they both didn’t mind at the moment.
Jacob halted his own spell as the airs at the back of his neck stood on end. Jacob drew his weapon, an action that was mirrored by his men, he signaled the mages to halt for the moment as he surveyed the fog. Just then his eyes sharpened and he hurled the lance just as something flew through the thick fog.
There was a gasp as well as a shriek of pain as the weapon hit a tree with someone skewered on it, someone transparent.
The shout was like a signal and soon the lecherous spirits swarmed out of the fog like locusts and the men were the cornfield for their feast. However they would not find their meal so easily picked. The men at his back were donned in enchanted armor preventing possession, woven tightly around their crotch like a combat chastity belt, their weapons were engraved in runes that could inflict pain and true death on the undead.
Case in point the unfortunate spirit impaled upon the tree found herself unable to move, unable to faze through the enchanted spear. She screamed and panicked trying to escape but to no avail. Others tried to help but they all shied away from the holy relic and with each second the ghost found herself fading even more until a minute after she was struck through she disappeared from this world without hope for another chance to rise from the grave yet again.
Jacob retrieved his weapon and continued the extermination.
It was a testament to the skill of the men under him that not one of them had been taken by the ghosts. It wasn’t long before they were assaulted by other monsters, skeletons, zombies and even ghouls came at them hungry for spirit energy. This time a few of the men did fall but none were allowed enough time to be raped, at least that was the case for Jacob’s group.
Word arrived during a lull in the battle, Sigrdrífa had drove away a Lich, that was both good and bad. Good in that they won’t be impeded by anymore foot soldiers at the moment and bad because it would give the monster opportunity to regroup with her vampire superior. Jacob clicked his tongue but didn’t let the mages halt the procession.
Burning a path towards their enemy sounded simple in theory however in practice it was slow and tedious work that took from morning to evening. Between ensuring the deliberate burn of demonic energy from the land, they had to contend with ambushes that got more tactical and intense the closer they came to the town itself, exhaustion both physical and magical and of course, time.
The fire did more than scorch the earth, it also in a way filtered the air itself and allowed to sun to shine in all its glory. Jacob made sure that his men stayed on the light side of the threshold. So any nocturnal monsters *cough* vampires *cough* thought twice about confronting them.
‘Knowing her species though I doubt she would even deign to leave her stronghold just yet.’
With that in mind and the city walls in sight surrounded, Jacob called for the mages and any injured to regroup and rest at the back of the formation.
One of the mages came forward to stand next to him “there is great evil within that place.”
Jacob chose not to comment on that statement and instead ordered “prepare the catapults. We do not proceed until the fog is near completely dissipated.”
In little over an hour since they arrived Jacob issued the command to launch the catapults and the siege began in earnest.
It was hours later before they managed to break through the gates and storm the town. At this point it was well into the night so what greeted them on the other side were the rearguard of the army. Jacob could identify the usual rabble of zombies, skeletons and different ghost types but they were interspersed with Dullahan knights, barbarian ghouls and a berserker-
The order was on the tip of his tongue the moment he heard that first word “fall back!”
Jacob rushed to the front seeing one of his men get tossed up in the air with armor ripped asunder only to be snatched up by a Will-o’-wisp mid flight.
“Damn!” he made to the location to already see several undead mounting men with armors ripped off, the protection they provided against the monster’s charms all but null and void.
Jacob charged forth through the mass of bodies and with several swings of his halberd he relieved the monsters of their heads effectively killing them. The men who had been struggling were relieved, those who were in the throes of ecstasy screamed as the headless corpses dropped on them and while some bemoaned their luck but all straightened up when Jacob looked at them.
“Go back to the rear guard and get refitted for new armor, you, you and you” he gestured to the men who were successfully raped “get off the battlefield, you are no longer fit to fight.”
They went to complain but a sharp look from the Hero made them clam up. Jacob’s stern gaze went to the highest ranking man there as he spoke “ensure those three men are taken to the Priest and cleansed of any demonic energy that may have entered their bodies.”
“Yes Lord Jacob”
A scream alerted them and Jacob took off and rounded the corner to come upon the sight of the Dragon Zombie. With ghastly green skin, rotted wings, skeletal fragments where scale used to be and a plump, slovenly and even slutty appearance to go with her features this creature was a shadow of its former self that was an earth Dragon.
Jacob has fought a dragon before, it was by far the hardest battle he had ever fought in his early career as a hero and while he ‘delivered the final blow’ it was Sigrdrífa who did most of the heavy lifting. That was over a decade ago however and while Jacob had grown he felt more than a little relieved when it turned out that this Dragon Zombie wasn’t the Dragon he killed all those years ago.
It felt like one of those moments that would haunt a person, you know?
Schooling his features Jacob assessed the situation before he acted, the Dragon Zombie had someone cornered a young recruit who seems to be relatively fresh, the face looked familiar. This wouldn’t be the young man’s first campaign but it was clearly his first brush with a powerful monster.
Said monster was watching the man, sniffing he air about him and her tongue poked out tasting something. After a moment she smiled a smile that Jacob was too often familiar with.
“Hus…band…” her voice didn’t carry the soft melodic tones of other monsters but the gravely tone that could only be from having her voice box rotted and unused to.
Unlike her living counterpart the Zombie Dragon wasn’t dressed conservatively in a loincloth and top, going for a top that barely covered the bottom half of her large breasts and a thong bikini he’s sure is only there for aesthetic purposes since it did absolutely nothing to cover the effects of her arousal for the cowering man before her in the form of said arousal literally gushing down her legs and creating the beginnings of a puddle.
Jacob felt sorry for the poor man who was caught between being scared out of his wits, being in a state of disbelief and quelling his growing erection. Still it impressed him nonetheless when the obviously scared man steeled himself and charged after her, big mistake. The dragon gave the zombie equivalent of a squeal when he went after her either oblivious to his true intentions or ignoring the fact that he was trying to kill her.
Jacob had the distinct feeling it was the latter for she opened her arms to welcome him like a long lost lover even as his sword swung down. Even if she was a zombie she was still a dragon and being undead did nothing to change that fact so predictably the man’s steel blade came down and broke apart on her deceptively soft and plump skin. Jacob observed that while the sword was broken it did leave a cut but as fast as the cut was there it healed less than a second later.
‘Not as durable as a living dragon but has regeneration capabilities?’
While he thought more on this the dragon zombie enclosed her claws around him and lifted the shorter man to her grinning face “Hus…band…mine…love…” she drawled in that moan-like voice all unintelligent undead seem to possess before raining down slobbering kisses all over his face as the man struggled in vain.
While this was happening Jacob from his hidden position recognized an opportunity when the dragon released him to try and take off his clothes. As quick as a flash he struck, his halberd glowed a brilliant white and he thrust his lance into the dragon zombie’s turned back. The attack struck true, the holy weapon bypassed the dragon’s bone-like armor and thick skin to skewer the heart and exit through her breast.
The man screamed as he came face to face with a pointed blade covered in gore. As for the dragon zombie she blinked and looked down at the holy weapon still glowing and burning her exposed inside.
Jacob didn’t give her much time to react than that as he viciously pulled the weapon out and with a spin used the axe end to strike her head. The dragon zombie’s head wasn’t cut so much as it blown off in a mess of rotted blood and brain matter, the force of the attack threw her body aside and through the wooden wall of a house.
Jacob stared at the wall for a moment before he blew out a breath in relief. Not the most heroic way to kill a dragon of all things but he never cared for how he killed monsters as long as he did.
His gaze went to the panting shaking man “are you alright?”
The man’s mouth worked up and down for a moment before he seemed to catch himself “y-y-y-yes”
Jacob reached a hand to him and the man took it, the hero didn’t think he would have been able to get to his feet.
“What is your name soldier?”
The man stiffened, wiped some of the blood from his face and replied in a more composed tone “Rheal Burke sir”
Before Jacob could issue an order both men stiffened when an eerie moan sounded from the wreckage in the house. They both turned in time to see the Dragon Zombie stagger to her feet like her namesake.
‘Impossible I destroyed her heart and brain!’ Jacob thought getting into a stance but even as he thought that the hole in her chest closed up and her partially destroyed head began to regenerate, his eyes narrowed ‘I see with her I will have to decapitate her, for starters’
As her head finished reforming the rapture of her previous expression was gone replaced with a frown, her purple eyes glowed as they honed in on him.
‘No not me’ he gave a side glance.
Rheal was hyperventilating, frozen in horror as he gazed upon his would-be rapist. Jacob grabbed him by the scruff of his armor and barked out “run you fool, she’s after you, regroup with the others, have the Priest mask your spirit energy, I will hold her off”
Unbeknownst to Jacob the moment he manhandled the young man roughly the Dragon Zombie recognized him as a threat to her husband.
She released a roar worthy of any true dragon that shook the very air around them. Her glowing purple eyes landed on Jacob who cursed when he saw green miasma gathered in her mouth. He bodily tossed Rheal to the side and out of range as she took a huge intake of air, he managed to flip the mask of his helm down as she spew the ghastly miasma at him.
The ‘rotten breath’ covered a wide area, masking the immediate area in a green miasmic gas. Anything caught in its wake was corroded, anything that could have been living was now dead. Rheal witnessed this effect as he laid on his haunches staring at where the brave hero who saved his life for a second time once stood.
Unfortunately his voice alerted the dragon to his presence and like an animal who caught whiff of a particularly interesting noise her head perked and her eyes snapped to his position so fast a human might have whiplash from the action alone. Fear once again crept up within him as the night atmosphere, mist-like gas and moonlight seemed to highlight her glowing eyes giving her a sinister quality.
Then she grinned and with a mighty flap of her wings made a charge directly for him, Rheal screamed. Halfway towards him though something struck from behind and pulled her back. It was Jacob, the bottom half of his halberd’s shaft split to reveal chains connecting them with the axe acting as a makeshift hook he pulled and dashed forward at the same time. One of the dragon’s wings was ripped down the middle Jacob met it half fall stomped its body down and stabbed the lance into its neck.
“I thought I told you to run!”
Rheal scrambled to his feet and followed his order to which the dragon zombie flared in panicked anger. Jacob had to jump back to avoid being injured by her thrashing landing just behind the fleeing soldier. The dragon zombie got to her feet the hole in her throat closed up and her wing repaired she gave another roar and charged after Jacob. The hero ducked under her fierce yet clumsy swipe slashed at her back and after repositioning himself gave several thrusts with his weapon.
The Monster girl took all of the punishment with nary a grunt and spewed more Rotten Breath. Jacob dived to the side and brought up his weapon to deal with her follow up except there was none, the Dragon Zombie had used his moment of distraction to turn tail and go after Rheal. She took a shortcut, plowing through the houses, Jacob followed and they came out the side of another battlefield where the warriors were shocked by the appearance of a dragon.
The dragon herself didn’t care, she looked around while sniffing the air until her gaze went to a group of soldiers and a few knights. She charged after them ignoring the men getting in her way, pushing aside ally and enemy alike to get to her singular goal only to hit a wall, an invisible wall of magic. The dragon Zombie roared and smashed her claws against the barrier while spewing more rotten breath.
The priest who cast the spell started sweating, cracks were already forming, it wouldn’t last long so Jacob held out his hand and chanted a spell silently and quickly. Ethereal whips of light appeared and restrained the dragon, it wouldn’t last she was already breaking them but he didn’t need it to last long for this.
Jacob ran forth reared his halberd back ready to decapitate it when he was intercepted by a black haired Dullahan. Jacob was forced to fight her off, managing to stab through her chest in a matter of seconds but it was all the time needed for the dragon to muster the strength to break free of her magical bonds. Instead of going after Rheal she turned to him and released her rotten in a wide arc.
Jacob’s first thought was to leap out of the way but a glance behind saw monsters and soldiers fighting and so he was enveloped in the rotten breath. The Dragon Zombie finished spewing her breath and turned to the barrier then with a single punch shattered it. Behind her the wind began to pick up and the ghastly mist was expunge revealing Jacob twirling his glowing Halberd at impossible speeds.
Still twirling the weapon Jacob dispersed the breath and with a spin he threw the halberd lance first. Again the dragon zombie found herself impaled and in her moment of distraction Rheal disappeared. Ignoring the lance in her chest she looked around, sniffed the air but upon not getting anything she started to panic.
Her cries of panic escalated, rotten breath started bubbling from her mouth as she looked around with tears trailing down her cheeks. The halberd was suddenly ripped from her chest though it served only to bring her attention back to Jacob who retrieved it with the help of an ethereal whip. Upon seeing him her face twisted into a scowl and after letting out a feral roar she dove after him.
Before she could rear her claw back she was side swiped by Sigrdrífa via a shield bash “Sigrdrífa!?”
The Valkyrie looked a little worse for wear covered in bruises, her armor had scrapes and dents, her face and hair had dirt in it but it didn’t detract from her overall beauty nor to the fact that she looked very, very displeased.
“You’ve wasted too much time here, go and kill the vampire before she escapes!”
“What happened to you?”
“The Lich is taken care of!” she shouted before bracing herself behind her shield in time to be tackled aside by the irate Dragon Zombie.
She used her sword to stab through its chest piercing its heart with her holy blade but the dragon grabbed her by the helm denting it with her claws and lifted her up before smashing her bodily into the ground all the while the Valkyrie’s sword was stuck in her chest. After the second smash Sigrdrífa slipped her head from the mangled helm and did two savage shield bash to the dragon Zombie before her hand glowed brightly and reached for the sword impaled in its chest.
Jacob had to cover his eyes as the holy light flooded the area but he shouted anyway “she can regenerate her heart and her brain, you have to decapitate her!”
The explosion rocked the area, Jacob was the first to recover he could faintly make out an “understood!” but all he saw when his eyes adjusted was the Valkyrie flying after an undead dragon trailing smoke.
After taking the liberty of finishing off the monsters who were stunned from the holy flash. After issuing orders to the recovered soldiers he took ten men with him and went to confront the orchestrator behind all of this.
As they traversed the street towards the mayor’s home, a manor he had built, Jacob couldn’t help but feel a little unease, although he did not let it show.
‘Where is everyone?’
From the moment they had came up to this point none of the knights had encountered any of the town’s original citizens. Not even the local garrison had come to fight alongside the undead and if they did they were disguised.
‘It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, they would have ended up the same.’
This place was occupied for weeks and was already designated a demon realm long before they arrived. This meant that everything and everyone was tainted by demonic energy and after a certain amount of time and exposure they would change. A human wouldn’t be able to survive being inside a demon realm for so long and still be considered human when they exited.
As such the order to claim the town and cleanse the land meant that they were kill the invading force and everyone in it then burn the town to the ground where they would try and rebuild it at a later date. Jacob wouldn’t lie when he confessed he absolutely hated this part of the job, in fact aside from fighting and driving off monsters he never took part in things like this.
There was a whole unit in the Order dedicated to that but neither Jacob nor the men under his control would have a heavy conscience by killing innocents, monster or not. You couldn’t get the Chief God herself to convince him to murder a child or innocent bystander of any species.
Which was convenient since even now he didn’t see the inhabitants, the houses were empty and looked to have been stripped of any necessities. Some of the fog was still on the streets, they were negligible at best but Jacob wasn’t one to take chances so he and a few mages burned some of the uninhabited houses to clear them away.
You never know.
Eventually they arrived at the manor to no resistance Jacob reached out his senses, there was someone in there, in fact there were a group of them but also something else, something wasn’t right.
“Halt” he commanded peering around.
“Is there something wrong?”
Jacob opened his mouth to reply but the hero could not find anything wrong and so he ushered the men inside.
“Wait” he grabbed his head in pain groaning lightly.
Having apparently exhausted himself during his earlier scuffle with the Dragon the hero was in no position to go on.
One of the men stepped forward “sir could it be that overdid it during your fight with the Dragon?”
Jacob shook his head “o-of course not I” he suddenly began to feel dizzy and stumbled only to be caught by two of the men.
With the hero suddenly fallen ill the two men took it upon themselves to escort him back while the others bravely went to confront the leader of the undead forces.
“Lord Hero allow us to take care of-”
Before the man could finish Jacob knocked the two men off of him and his hand latched onto the head of the man furthest away, his eyes glowed a shining white and in an empowered voice shouted “in the name of the Chief God I banish you!”
Holy light was forced into his body, the man screamed but it wasn’t a normal one, it sounded distorted as if two different persons were screaming and one of them was feminine. Then something was ejected from the man with the force of an arrow, it stopped before shooting up into the sky then with twist she stopped.
Illuminated by the moonlight, the woman was clearly not of the living with her legs ending in a smoky tail. Yet neither was she a common ghost, wearing an elegant white corset with vertical stripes, a green dress and dark green cloak which flowed seemingly to her tail and holding a scepter in hand the spirit cut quite an alluring, ostentatious yet mysterious figure all at once. The latter is especially true with the white domino mask covering her face.
Jacob narrowed his eyes “Phantom”
“Oh~” the Phantom perked up at the hero, her voice held a musical tone to it, as if she sang all her words “you know of who I am? Could it be that you have met one such as I, dear hero?”
Jacob frowned “I have not but I read on your kind. How you use your power to trap unsuspecting humans in realistic illusions conjured by your own delusions”
At that remark her smile lifted somewhat “illusions?” she looked affronted “I prefer to call it theatre”
“Why are you here Phantom?”
“Why would any mamono bother to come to such a drab place? I came to find my soulmate, my muse, my darling, the one whom I would forever dance in the moonlight with” she did a twirl as she said this before her eyes landed on him “I have heard tales of your exploit, we all have and I was presented with the opportunity to claim you as have others.”
“What? What are you talking about?”
She sighed dramatically with a hand on her cheek “haa~ unfortunately it seemed it was not meant to be. Oh well, perhaps I will try again elsewhere.”
“Hold it” he lashed out with magic fireball to which the Phantom held out her scepter and created a green barrier where it dissipated.
“Fare thee well great hero your journey is not yet over” she spoke theatrically “for inside the castle your princess awaits! It would be to your benefit to venture alone” she spoke cryptically the change from her theatrical voice to a relatively normal one actually threw him for a loop but before he could react further the Phantom disappeared.
Jacob scowled and turned to the men, the one who had been possessed was still unconscious. Understandably the others were a little shaken and to a lesser extent so was Jacob. There was the Lich, then a Dragon Zombie and now a Phantom. Three of the most powerful species of undead all in the same place and for what?
A single town, any one of them (sans the dragon) would be powerful enough to head an army but for a force this small…
Jacob shook his head, something else was going on here and he felt he would gain the answer from the leader.
He turned to the men “take him and regroup with the others, keep an eye out for any stragglers, I will go inside alone.”
He held his hands up to silence them “there is only a single entity in that place and I don’t want to have to worry about your safety when I go all out”
It was a particularly nice thing to spell out your weakness but it had to be done and they all silently nodded and left Jacob to confront the one responsible for this alone. Jacob eyed his halberd before steeling his nerves and gripping the weapon tightly.
Just one more to go.
The information he got on the enemy leader or rather on her family. They say that in the region to the north where it snows constantly lived a coven of vampires who once ruled. Long ago they had created a pact with the ice elementals as a sign of trust and it is said due to their long lives the vampire and elemental ceased to be separate entities and combined into one.
This mutation had the side effects of rendering the vampires completely immune to the cold and in fact they gained power from it. Their appearance had also changed, with their hair becoming white and their eyes turning a cold blue. This family of elemental vampires became famous for their power throughout the underworld, so much so that they changed their name to better suite their titles.
The name they chose was Schnee, which was of an old language meaning snow.
As Jacob opened the double doors and gazed upon the single room’s occupant he could see that the name fit her well. The first thing he noticed when he stepped through was the temperature, all the windows were closed yet he felt a draft, he could actually see his own breath as he breathed but luckily it wasn’t anything noticeable.
The only light in the room came from the moon where it shone partly on the woman sitting atop a throne with her legs cross. Like all monsters, she was beautiful, no rather she was breathtaking with an air of superiority granted by the immense power he felt and her status as nobility amongst her people.
Her long hair was tied into a ponytail held up by a crystal tiara. Unlike her subordinates she was dressed modestly in a white and grey dress under a grey coat which may or may not also be her wings and finally she wore heeled shoes. Aside from her tiara she wore no accessory and the sheathed rapier leaning beside her was certainly not an accessory.
After a moment she broke the silence uncrossing her long pale legs to stand “it’s about time you showed up, I was beginning to wonder if those trash were too much for you.”
Due to her family lineage she did not possess the blood red eyes of most vampires, no instead they were an icy blue with a slit in the middle and those ice blue eyes looked down on Jacob as he approached.
Jacob narrowed his eyes, something was off here He could tell she was sizing him up, he was as well and the first thing he realized was that she was young and not just as in a younger woman but young as in a teenager just turning 18. The description of Rotter Schnee said that she had the appearance of a noble woman in her mid to late twenties at best which begs the question.
“Who are you?”
The as of yet unidentified girl blinked owlishly as if he had asked something outlandish “e-excuse me?”
“You are a Schnee vampire of that I am sure but you are not Rotter Schnee.”
The girl sputtered, sputtered at his comment before she scowled “of course not you dolt!” she exclaimed furiously before catching herself “not that you deserve to even know but I am Rotter’s younger sister Shaibel”
‘Younger sister?’ at this point Jacob was to dispense with the banter and get to killing her but certain things about this whole operation were off and he had to know.
Also Rotter was a military commander known across the monster and human lands. The fact that they had made it this far with relative ease didn’t sit right with him. He was half thinking that this was some kind of trap laid out to exhaust and trap the forces within the town with a larger army hiding somewhere out of sight.
It would explain why the town was relatively empty.
“Are you the one who captured this town?”
“Of course, it was a small thing capture this place and make it into a demon realm” she looked very proud of her accomplishment before she added condescendingly “you humans are so weak all I had to do was release the dragon and you all fell before I even used the army proper.”
Ignoring the snide remark Jacob noted how she didn’t seemed overly concerned with the current state of affairs, that is, the Order was winning, her forces are being killed and her demon realm is being destroyed.
‘Is it confidence or ignorance?’
He had to know.
“Is this your first time leading an army?”
Her eyes narrowed and her arms folded “and what if it is?”
Ignorance it is.
He almost smirked “no reason.”
“Enough talk!” she snapped perhaps sensing his mirth “I came to this filthy hovel of a place for a specific purpose” suddenly the Jacob felt the temperature drop a bit.
Jacob held his lance defensively but asked curiously “what purpose?”
She smirked “for a servant.”
The vampire didn’t move so much as she blitzed forward gliding across the threshold as elegantly as a Titania with all the force of a rampaging minotaur. It was all Jacob could do with split second timing and instinct to angle his lance and tilt his body in a way that would parry the attack.
Even the action put a strain on him but the vampire raised an eyebrow “oh-oh, faster than I thought” then like a ballerina she repost on the spot slashing her rapier to the knee joint of his armor, the strike was fast and incredibly precise.
With a grunt Jacob twirled his halberd, the axe end blocked and parried, he made sure not to spare any of his strength which was why the Vampire was shocked when her strike was violently flung aside. It was so surprising she was momentarily left open something that shocked both of them and Jacob went to capitalize on this swung the lance only for her to leap back with a flap of her wings.
‘What was that?’ Jacob thought eyeing the girl who inspected her weapon.
“You are stronger than I realized”
Then it made a little sense, she was underestimating him. After everything that Jacob had done, all his deeds and the monsters he had personally defeated up to this point he was proud to say that when monsters fought him they didn’t underestimate him. Even the Phantom as theatrical and light as she had been kept more than a safe distance away and made her escape before he could find a way to bring her down.
‘Yet another evidence of her immaturity. It’s time I took advantage of it’
Jacob adopted a looser stance even as Schaibel got serious, reversing the earlier situation “I was wrong about you” he said deliberately with an air of nonchalance.
“What do you mean?”
“You’re weaker than the reports say or perhaps it should be expected given that I was sent to battle ‘The Crimson Snow’ and not her inferior replacement.”
As expected it didn’t go over well with the young vampire and she charged after him with reckless abandon.
Admittedly she thought the day was going too well when the assault on the demon realm began. She intercepted a Lich who had been trying to find Jacob, driving her off the first encounter and in their arduous second encounter she almost managed to finish her off, or at least destroy her body, only for the undead witch to escape her. Now after all that she now had to deal with a Dragon Zombie.
If there was any solace, it was that compared to an actual dragon it was slow and not very intelligent. Unfortunately it was also harder to kill and its rotten breath might be even worse than fire. She had to take the fight to somewhere more secluded which wasn’t very hard with how ferociously the dragon tried to harm her.
She managed to use her holy power to gradually burn the demonic energy sustaining her to a point where she didn’t regenerate instantly. It wasn’t as dumb as she thought and the dragon became weary and actually tried to escape, Sigrdrífa didn’t allow it.
They were almost outside the town proper when something caught the beast’s attention, something that made her forgo all attempts at escape and instead dash after it. Sigrdrífa only had to hear the frightened scream to know what was happening. A moment later the dragon zombie took flight with a screaming soldier wrapped in her arms securely.
The Valkyrie cursed and gave chase but couldn’t catch up, the dragon was somehow now faster than before.
‘Is she somehow feeding off his spirit energy without intercourse’ she didn’t know, she had never encountered a Dragon Zombie before and at the moment she didn’t care because they were moving further away from the town now something Sigrdrífa couldn’t allow so forming an energy lance and aiming it.
The thought of what would happen to the man crossed her mind but with a resigned sigh she whispered “forgive me” then she threw it with the force of a rifle firing.
The lance shot true and ripped apart a wing to pierce the monster’s shoulder and unfortunately from the blood curdling scream of the man it also pierced him somewhere. They started to plummet, as expected the lance didn’t kill the dragon and she made sure to hug the injured man to her body as they fell while helplessly flapping her other wing.
Sigrdrífa dived after them ‘I’ll finish off the dragon while she’s distracted and quickly get the soldier to a healer then assist Jacob’ with that thought in mind she picked up speed and readied her sword for a clean decapitation. The dragon saw her from the corner of her eye and snarled before releasing more rotten breath.
Sigrdrífa maneuvered out the way and had to continue doing so until the blast abruptly stopped. Not only that but she had suddenly lost track of them. The dragon and the man Sigrdrífa couldn’t find a single trace of them, one moment they were there and the next…
‘They’re gone? No, it’s just like with the Lich, which means they teleported’ Sigrdrífa gritted her teeth nearly screaming in frustration before she took a calming breath and flew off to assist Jacob.
The room was shell of its former self, destruction reigned, the room itself was half covered in ice with some furniture flash frozen, ice pillars jutted out randomly across the icy floor, the walls were partially destroyed and blood was splotched or smeared over parts of the ice.
In the middle of the frozen destruction stood the vampire and the Hero. Schaibel looked a mess, her unblemished skin was covered in bruises and injuries, her white hair was partially soaked in her blood from a head wound and her dress was torn and dirtied in places. Her perfect stance had been reduced to a half hunched position.
On the other hand while Jacob’s armor had seen better days and he too had some injuries they were nowhere as numerous or severe as the young vampire’s. He had also maintained his composure, something Schaibel was desperately trying to get back. In the eerily quiet room the only thing that could be heard were Schaibel’s panting breaths which blew out in puffs of cold air.
After a moment the vampire gritted her teeth “t-this is impossible the damn Valkyrie was supposed to be the only threat! You’re just a lowly human, you were supposed to be nothing!”
“Sorry to say but it looks like you were misinformed” Jacob held nothing but apathy in his tone as he seemingly disappeared from her sight and appeared already swinging his Halberd “and I am pretty strong too.”
The vampire screeched in pain as her eye was vertically slashed by the Hero who followed with a spinning back kick that launched her through an ice pillar. She only managed to barely sit up still clutching her eye when an armored boot stomped her chest planting her back down and driving he air from her.
“Stay down” Jacob ordered.
“You bastard, third rate hero, lowly human dog! How dare you do this to me! I’ll kill you!”
Her chilled arm reached for said foot when the axe side of the Halberd pressed her neck down hard enough to draw blood and burn her skin.
“Aagh” her arm went to the lance but her magic didn’t affect it.
“Let’s get something straight here vampire” Jacob leaned down resting a arm on his knee “you’re going to die” the finality of his tone and the look in his eyes made the vampire suddenly freeze in terror and he continued “now whether I give you a quick painless death or drag it out or” and he paused “hand you over to my superiors to torture for information or use as to bargain against the rest of your family is up to you, understand?”
The threat of being killed or tortured had the desired effect, Schaibel’s eyes widened in horror, her breathing started to escalate and she nodded as best as she could.
“Good” he eased the halberd from her neck just a bit “first of all what did you do with all the residents of this town?”
“T-they were all transported elsewhere by a mass teleportation spell”
“So they are alive?”
Jacob released a small sigh of relief and aggravation before he steeled himself “next question, who put you up to this? Why did they have you turn this town into a demon realm?”
Schaibel looked bewildered and Jacob fought not to roll his eyes “I know a military leader when I see one girl” the emphasis made her scowl until the blade at her neck changed her expression “I can tell from our encounter that you don’t know the first thing about leading an army which means someone else masterminded this. I want to know who and why.”
“I-it was a demon. An envoy from Lescatie” she got out quickly “she came to us, offered a way for us to find strong hus-I- I mean servants. Sh-she said you’d be here, that they’d send you if we turned an Order settlement into a demon realm”
she had a point, the Order would never let one of their territories remain a demon realm, not after Lescatie but something she said bugged him.
“You said they’d send me why me specifically? Any Hero could have been sent”
“B-because she said you wouldn’t allow a demon realm to remain so close to your home”
The pressure on her chest increased as Jacob glared at her with wild eyes ‘my home, my home? No one is supposed to know where I live’
As a precaution Jacob didn’t make it a habit of mentioning where he came from exactly. His hometown was fairly small and slightly isolated, out of the way enough to be overlooked on some maps and self sustaining enough not to engage in much trade. It was for all intents and purposes more of an urban village than a city-town.
Yes without a doubt having a hero being born there is the best thing to have happened from it apart from having an angel visit. But while Jacob is very famous and successful in the Hero circle and infamous among monsters, no one in his old home knew the extent of his fame, except his family. They knew he is a hero but he talked so less about his exploits they figured he must have been a low level hero not that it detracted from how proud of him they were.
It was all because of his paranoia, most heroes cut ties with their family when they achieve a certain amount of fame, it’s all for their protection as monsters aren’t above targeting their loved ones as a means to try and get to them. What kind of a monster of a man would kill his own family? Even in the name of the Chief God?
That’s how heroes become corrupted or lose themselves.
Jacob heard the story of a dedicated hero having to kill his entire family because a monster who lost her loved ones to his blade corrupted them. The Hero in question committed suicide after the deed.
And now this spoilt, rich vampire who is clearly in over her head was telling him there was a monster who was aware of where he lived?
“Who!?” he shouted “who is it that knows me!?”
Schaibel choked on the blade, feebly attempting to avoid getting her throat slit “g-guk, c-can’t brea *gasp* breathe”
“I WANT A NAME!”
“kuk…E…Evelyn!” she shouted out.
The name brought a shock to Jacob’s system, the grip on his Halberd slackened somewhat, as did the pressure he put on her chest causing her to gasp for air and clutch her neck.
“What did you say?”
A moment later and Sigrdrífa burst through the door with a yell “Jacob!” shocking them both.
Schaibel used the opportunity to slap her hand into the ground and an ice pillar shot up and nailed the distracted hero in the armored chest launching him off of her. The Valkyrie didn’t miss a beat and charged after her with a swing of her sword only for the vampire to dissolve into a group of white bats. They swarmed over the discarded rapier and molded back into the vampire at the broken window.
She cast her furious gaze over to the hero “I…I won’t forget this Hero” she spat “even it takes me the rest of your life I will have my reckoning” she shouted then melded into the shadows teleporting away.
A split second later and a holy lance destroyed the wall, Sigrdrífa snarled but it disappeared when Jacob groaned and wheezed, she went to assist him.
“I’m sorry Jacob, I distracted you at a critical moment” she said remorsefully.
Jacob managed to pulled off his dented armor and take in gulps of air “n-never mind that, it doesn’t matter”
“That wasn’t Rotter Schnee, that was her younger sister and she’s not the one behind this”
“Then who is it?”
He panted for a bit and looked her in the eye and Sigrdrífa was shocked to see fear in Jacob’s eyes for the first time in a long time.
“It’s Evelyn Sig” he said using her nickname “after all this time she’s returned and she’s after me again.”
Jacob turned away missing the shocked expression on the Valkyrie’s face but Sigrdrífa schooled it a moment later “what should we do?”
Jacob sighed releasing some of the tension and clearing his mind a bit “they transported all the residents somewhere else, they are lost to us. We burn this place to the ground then we make our way home.”
‘This time Evelyn, you won’t get away’
A recovered Schaibel Schnee with her left eye bandaged accompanied by a young Lich and a Phantom made their way through the training courtyard towards the main building. The fury she felt in her heart reflected on her indignant expression and the icy mana that leaked as she moved. While the ones accompanying her felt nothing, around them monsters, mostly succubi halted what they were doing as they noted the drop in temperature, the cold bloodied ones actually needing to embrace their comrades or spouses for warmth.
The vampire continued unhindered into the building until they came upon a door guarded by a scantily grey-blue haired Succubus dressed in lingerie armor and another monster having dark blonde hair and red highlights dressed in the same vain but with the addition of a wide brimmed hat whom immediately scowled at sight of her.
Schaibel mirrored the woman’s expression “out of the way half breed”
The woman bristled bearing her fangs as her eyes glowed red “what was that snowflake?” the Dhampir reached for her sword with the Schnee doing the same.
Before things could escalate further the doors opened t reveal another succubus, this one wore no armor, only thigh high boots, unbuttoned short shorts cut above her inner thighs with the zipper pulled down, a sleeveless jacket, a inner dress shirt with only the button over her navel buttoned, the shirt itself barely able to cover her breasts that had a red heart shaped pleasure rune on one. The cravat around her neck bore an inverted red eye, her dark purple hair was cut short in a bob and lastly the sex symbol for a male was inscribed in red on her left horn.
It only took a single glance at her thick spaded tail which had to rings around it for the insignia to make sense, this succubus was an Alp.
“Miss Schnee” the man turned mamono greeted “miss Evelyn was expecting you” she stepped aside gestured for them to enter.
“Hmph” Schaibel turned her nose up at the Dhampir and entered without a second glance.
Once inside the room Schaibel noted she wasn’t the only one inside the room as there was a devil sitting on a chair beside the table. There was also a succubus with short blonde hair, a Holstaur and a Cursed Sword, who all regarded them.
Schaibel as well as her companions also regarded the room’s occupants wearily in their own way. The vampire however set her sights on the Demon sitting at the table with a genial smile.
“Why hello Schaibel, what brings you here?” she said innocently.
‘The nerve of this, this scoundrel’
Humans have a saying to beware the tricks of a demon “you know damn well why I am here” she shouted slamming her hands on the wooden desk splintering it with her vampiric strength “you lied to us.”
“I did no such thing”
“You told us only the Valkyrie would be a problem, that the Hero was nothing without her. We should have been able to crush them with our forces. Instead my army was defeated, my demon realm is in ashes and we almost died fighting them!” The demon was no longer smiling at least but she did not look overly concerned either.
“My…how unfortunate” she spoke in a neutral if condescending tone.
Schaibel drew her sword so fast but the little devil was faster and before she was even halfway out of the sheath a blade was already at her neck. There was a click and blue eyes went towards the couch where the Holstaur still seated had drawn a pistol and aimed it at her centre mass.
If she had craned her neck just a bit she would have seen that her companions were also restrained, the Lich had three sets of blades pressed into her petite body and the phantom was being restrained by a magic circle courtesy of the Alp whose book was open and lightly glowing.
About the only person who hadn’t moved an inch in that second was Evelyn who sighed “goodness, you are too easily riled up Schaibel, even your sister could take criticism, especially if it was her fault a tragedy happened in the first place”
“What are you talking about?”
“You misconstrued my words. I told you the man was accompanied by a Valkyrie and that said Valkyrie was powerful. I did not in any way imply that the Hero would be any less so. I warned you not to underestimate the Order yet you sat back and watched as your forces were slowly decimated without ever once leaving your ‘throne.’ And now after being defeated so thoroughly you come here to release your frustration on me” Evelyn shook her head in disappointment “how uncouth for one who claims to be from noble birth.”
The temperature had been steadily decreasing with each word the demon spoke “you…bitch…”
“You seem determined to extract some kind of recompense from me despite this being your own folly” she stood up and with a gesture told her comrades to stand down “fine then, if you feel so strongly about it then please by all means” she spread her arms almost invitingly with a macabre smile that sent chills down the young vampire’s spine “come and claim it.”
Schaibel had her hand on the sword this entire time and was set in a half draw stance, she eyed up the demon who did not move. A bead of sweat slid down the side of her head despite the visible frost wafting off of her, then with a small snarl and gritted teeth she straightened stiffly.
“My mother will hear of this”
“She already has” Evelyn rebutted without missing a beat “and I must say Schaibel, she is very disappointed” when Schaibel’s features blanched Evelyn’s smile widened.
The young vampire did an about face stormed off, the Phantom gave weary glance about the room before following after her but the Lich stayed behind. With her face devoid f any emotion whatsoever she asked the young Alp “Eileen was not with the others who teleported, we cannot find her”
The Alp frowned “I understand, she was not in proper range of the array when I teleported her” she cupped her chin “something interfered and now I know not where she was teleported to”
“Is she alright?”
She nodded “as far as I can tell, she sustained damage however” and she smiled lewdly at this “it is nothing that cannot be fixed with a little spirit energy donation from her new husband~”
The Lich nodded “then all is well” and with those words she strode out the door.
Closing the door behind her the Alp turned around with a wide smile “I like her, she’s polite”
“Tch” the Dhampir scowled “can’t say the same for the abominable snowflake. I swear to Maou I was going stab her through the chest if she so much as pointed her sword at miss Evelyn.”
“You know Carolyn, you don’t have to hate her because she’s a vampire” the Holstaur drawled.
Carolyn folded her arms “being a vampire has nothing to do with it” she received a bland stare “well not everything, her attitude pisses me off.”
“That is something we can agree on” the Devil Felicia spoke before turning to her Demon counterpart “we’re all here now. Are we finally going to do it?”
Evelyn smiled “as of yesterday Jericho and I managed to make a path through the barrier. We will be leaving by tomorrow”
“How long will we have before they show up?” asked the succubus with draconic wings a she regarded the Alp.
“It is a few days journey for them, plenty of time to convert the town”
“And the resistance?”
“A few soldiers” Evelyn answered with a dismissive wave of her hand “I guarantee Jacob and the Valkyrie will put up the most fight and I’m sure we can handle them”
“Ah~” the cursed sword sighed in ecstasy “I can’t wait, why can’t we go there now” the eye of her sword pulsed.
“Because I want everything to be perfect” Evelyn stated sternly as she stood “when Jacob returns I want him to see the paradise that I created for us. By that time he will have no choice but to accept what has happened and join us at which point the only enemy will be the Valkyrie and well…I’m sure she can be persuaded~” at this a few of the girls grinned maliciously.
They spent another few minutes hashing out the details of their plans the others left and suddenly Evelyn was alone. After a moment she waved her hand and the blinds blocked the windows, several clicks sounded denoting the doors being locked and a privacy barrier was cast over the room.
Evelyn reached into her drawer and retrieved a crystal ball and set it on the table. Her expression turned into one of anticipation as she eagerly stared at the blank ball. Soon however it glowed alight with demonic energy and images swirled to the surface. The images were of a tall ruggedly handsome man in armor wielding a Halberd to fight off his enemies,
“Aah, Jacob~” she sighed dreamily with hooded eyes.
Twenty years, for twenty years she was separated from her beloved and during that time he had grown into a splendid man, a fierce warrior and a powerful hero, as she knew he would. The thought of taking him, no having him take her wrapped in his arms made her hands travel south to her burning loins.
Yes Jacob was indeed all the things that would make any human girl and mamono wet but as it was being demonstrated before her he was every bit as deadly and ruthless to her kind. While he wasn’t spouting any self righteous garbage like those zealots, he showed no hesitation in taking a Mamono’s life.
At least, not anymore.
It broke Evelyn’s heart to see the boy whom she loved slowly turn into a remorseless killer of her kind. Of course if she couldn’t be with Jacob physically she would have measures to have him watched which was not an easy thing to do. The Valkyrie was very perceptive and Evelyn had lost more than few familiars to her before Jacob became strong enough to notice himself being watched.
The only time she could watch him was when he was distracted, in the heat of battle as he was today. Today’s assessment had proved her fears, it would not be an easy thing to sway Jacob to her side, as much as she would like to confront him alone and after disabling him intimately show him her love. Begrudgingly the demon had to concede that the Valkyrie had trained him well and now Jacob was a legitimate threat she was not sure she could handle alone.
And that was not even taking into account his annoying tagalong.
No she would require help but unfortunately general Desmona had left to find her errant husband. It hardly mattered and while she may not have raw power on her side there was still strength in numbers. And if the plan is successful there needn’t be a fight as once the Hero Jacob came home to see his beloved home converted into a demon realm he would lose the will to fight.
It sounded cruel on paper but the plan was to avoid any unnecessary conflict and once the initial chaos of the conversion was finished and the town settled into order, everything will work out. When Jacob returns and sees how happier everyone is he will have no choice but surrender leaving the Valkyrie who will no doubt see it as a betrayal and while spouting some nonsense about her God would attack.
The others will be enough to take care of her while Evelyn would console Jacob as she once did when he was younger. Yes she could see it now, he would be lost but she would guide him into this new world of debauchery.
Evelyn grinned as she dreamed the things they would do once she had her claws on him. finally she couldn’t take it anymore and with her face flushed she pleasured herself to the images of her would-be husband being displayed on the ball.
No, not would-be, Jacob was already hers from the beginning, he just didn’t know it yet.
The battle was over, they were victorious and what was once a peaceful village turned demon realm now lay in ashes but all was not well for Sigrdrífa. The Valkyrie felt that she had performed poorly this day, as not only did she let not one but two enemies slip from her grasp but because of her interference she had robbed them of another potential kill. It spoke volumes of how she felt that Jacob had to mention how he foolishly allowed a phantom to escape but it did little to assuage her feelings.
In fact Sigrdrífa felt infinitely worse that he had to stoop so low as to mention his own failure in an attempt. The blow to her pride was not one she took lightly and normally she would have scolded him but with how the day went the holy warrior had simply sighed and flew away not even looking back as he called out to her.
It hurt more than she’d like to admit but there was something she had to do.
And so Sigrdrífa found herself kneeling with her hands clasped and eyes closed near the edge of a lake in the dead forest.
“Dear lord who rules the heavens, another demon realm lays in ashes, the denizens who would corrupt your wonderful land purged from this world never to return a third time.” She paused, the forest remaining quite and she asked in a softer tone “have I done well my lord, has your servant appeased you enough for you to grace her with your presence once again?”
…again only silence greeted her desperate words and a bitter laugh escaped her lips “I thought not” her hands fell limply to her side and she slouched in her kneeling position. She was a far cry from the proud warrior she portrayed herself to the men and to him.
Her expression, her posture and her spirit were defeated, anyone who witnessed it would believe as such and Sigrdrífa saw this when she looked at her reflection but something else caught her eye. She looked to her lower wing and plucked out a feather, unlike the rest of them it was pitch black. Staring at the feather dispassionately Sigrdrífa posed a question.
“My God, why have you forsaken me?”
A sound alerted her and her eyes snapped to the side and as if the Chief God had been listening the whole time there stood the reason, a wide eyed Jacob who had dropped his lance in shock upon seeing…her shame.
Sigrdrífa let out a broken half sob, laugh at the gods’ cruel joke.
To Be Continued…
Author’s Notes Wow, holy shit this was long, okay so this not so little chapter acts as a prelude to future stories and introduces some characters and providing a why for some of the reason why they ended up where they are after this chapter. It also has the added benefit of taking out the padding for the real sequel of last chapter so i can get into the nitty gritty.