“To health and long life.”
“To the deaths of our enemies.”
“To the emperor, because that old bastard will never die.”
“My we all return home in glory.”
The five demons held their mugs aloft, as they toasted for the future. Formalities done they all dug into their meals. The private dining room of the Hound wasn’t luxurious by any means. It was a simple cramped room, with most of the space taken up by the table. The food was good and the beer strong, so the demons didn’t mind too much. It was certainly a step up from the accommodations they had during training.
Once the meal was finished the young demons turned their attentions to business. Kross the youngest, and the one most able to pass a human. He was most able to pass due to his only features to mark him as a demon were his purple eyes. Of the five he had always been the most physically frail, with his thin body. The kind of person that would be discounted in a fight.
“Ok, of the new students at the royal academy two of the girls are attending under false names. One calls herself Lia Diamond, and the other calls herself Ares Draste.”
“So which one of the humans is it?” Neris, Vex’s beloved sister was also far too impatient. Neris shared her brothers’ natural tan, but her delicately scaled face marked her out as a demon. To get around this she was forced to resort to heavy makeup. Her first attempts had caused her to look something like the cheaper human prostitutes. She had since taken up the style of the painted ladies in the east, and had gained no small number of admirers on her journey here.
“Calm down sis, let Kross have his dramatic reveal. He’s been stuck here a month longer than we have. With nothing to do but talk to the humans.” Vex scolded his sister. Vex was shorter than the rest, but thanks to his abilities plenty strong. He was forced to cover as much of his body as possible due to his black banding pattern, that fortunately didn’t cover his face. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to travel through the human lands.
“Humans aren’t that bad really, they have so many interesting things to say,” Kross cut in before Vex and Neris started arguing. “Anyways I don’t have some big reveal unfortunately. They both fit the potential profile. Lia claims to be from the border, says her father is a battle mage.”
“So she’s the one brother.” Derron, Kross’s older brother cut in.
“If you would let me finish, she’s apparently thirteen. Since the devourer first showed up three years ago that would mean she had been hunting down demons since she was nine or ten.”
“Ok, less likely she the one, I just want this done and to get home.” Derron who had the hardest time second to Neris passing, due to his tail and furred upper body. He had the body of a runner, his bones were shaped in such a way to improve his speed. Like Vex he was forced to wear body concealing clothing. Derron seemed to constantly have a frown, except when he was running.
“There are problems with the other girl too, unfortunately. No idea where she is from, but the student body is convinced she is a princess. She’s fifteen, which makes more sense then Lia.”
“So we have two potential possibilities for the young devourer. Sounds like all we need is some more hands on recon. Or we could just kill both in their beds.” Alcor took control with his voice of command, learned from yelling at fresh recruits. He backed up that voice with his massive body of pure muscle, if it wasn’t for his sharp teeth he could be a large human. He did have to do his best not to talk, or eat around humans, but otherwise didn’t have much trouble. Once he had decided on a course of action the rest would follow.
“I guess that’s my job isn’t it then.” Vex certainly wasn’t asking, he was the best at getting in and out undetected. “I’ll just pop over and take a look at these girls. We can discuss my findings in the morning and decide then.”
Vex got up with a little flourished bow, and headed out the back door that lead into an alley. Kross to Vex’s fortune followed him out. Vex had realized it as he was leaving that while he might know where the royal academy was, he had no idea where the girls slept.
The two of them walked in silence through the capital city of Legases, also confusingly called Legases, silly that. It was a city falling asleep, with only the main roads lit by lanterns. To Vex this city could barely qualify as such, with the trash on the uneven cobbled streets. It was nothing in comparison to the cites of the Empire.
“Thanks for following me Kross.”
“Not a problem, I like walking at night anyways. Did you know the baker’s daughter is sneaking off with the smith’s apprentice.”
“No I did not, I don’t even know who the baker is.”
“It’s going to cause all kinds of drama. She’s engaged to a judge’s son. I do so hope it all comes out while we’re still here. I would so love to listen to those conversations.”
“Why do you care so much about these humans? They’re filthy, and uncultured.”
“But that’s what makes them so very interesting to listen to.”
“You’re going to do well if you get in the spy core.”
“I know, they already invited me to join. Anyways this isn’t the first time she’s done this. The only reasons she’s engaged to the judge’s son is because they were caught together in a hayloft.”
Vex tuned Kross out as he continued to ramble on about the baker’s daughter, and her scandalous life. As Vex walked he noticed fog starting to form around his feet. He didn’t know if this was normal weather for the time of year, but more likely Derron had come through for them.
Here is a little preview of EH, short for Enchanted Heart, but that’s a terrible name and I need a better one. I’ve already re-written this piece so when it pops up again after I finish RA it will be different. Long story short you’re getting this instead of RA because I’m prepping for my trip to NZ. My Friday post will the the Defection prologue, and I will have a M/W/F schedule of Defection for the next 6 weeks. Afterwords I hope to start updating with RA again immediately, if that does not happen I will probably show up sometime after the New Year. If I don’t show up after New Years, I probably got killed by a highly intelligent carnivorous sheep in NZ.