The Return Chapter 17

A Deal With the Demons

By Firstborn Dragon

Rudy and Zed stopped outside of the castle, and waited for Boomerang and Lucied to catch up. Rudy knew he was taking a huge risk taking the two inside, but he also knew that he had to show Cecilia that Boomerang was in fact willing to help. No matter what Jack said.

Zed looked at Boomerang as he and Lucied caught up. "Took ya long enough."

Boomerang was not amused. "Shut up. Before I shut you up."

Rudy shook his head. He had a bad feeling that not only was he going to have to stop wars between Jack, Zed, and Boomerang, but also between Zed and Boomerang. A job he wasn’t looking forward to. As he turned to look at the two, they were all ready to break out into a fight. "Knock it off you two. We have enough problems without you two trying to kill each other."

The two stopped fighting, but Rudy knew that the moment they were given a chance, they’d try to kill each other. Which was the last thing he needed. "Boomerang, you’d better keep Lucied under control. The last thing we need is a fight breaking out because she happened to have killed the wrong person."

Boomerang grumbled under his breath, but he did reach down, to ensure Lucied understood that. Rudy lead the three into the castle. Some of the guards, as well as the servants spared the group an uneasy glance. Boomerang was incredibly nervous about being in the halls with so many guards. He was not eager to return to his bodiless existence. Lucied wasn’t anymore relaxed. Rudy walked up to one of the guards. Zed, Boomerang, and Lucied hung back. Rudy then started off in another direction. The three had no choice but to follow, or get left behind. An option none of them liked.

Boomerang shook his head. "I must have been crazy to let him talk me into this."

Zed laughed at that one. "He’s gotten me into worst. And I’ve only been with him for about a week."

"In other words, Rudy is a dangerous one for our kind to be around?" Zed looked around, then nodded. "But in a way, it’s a lot safer around him, then around some of his friends."

Rudy waited for the three to catch up. As he feared, Jack had already gone up to see Cecilia. But she must have been waiting for Rudy to show up, before making any choices. The four headed up to the council room. Jack and Cecilia were in there arguing.

"Jack, for once in your life, think. Rudy must know what’s going on better then we do."

"And maybe you’ve forgotten what they did to me! What they did to Elmina. Have you forgotten?"

It was at this point that Rudy walked in, followed by Zed, Boomerang, and Lucien. Cecilia turned around, and was a little surprised by the fact that any of the demons had entered.

Rudy didn’t even pretend to have not overheard. "It seems Jack is trying to cause a problem. As if we don’t have enough. Between the Forsaken, Zeikfried, and the other demons…"

"Other demons?" Cecilia looked at Rudy in surprise.

Rudy looked at Cecilia in surprise. "Don’t tell me he didn’t tell you!"

"Listen Rudy, I have other things on my mind." Jack wasn’t at all happy about the situation.

Boomerang finally decided to stand up for himself. "I know we fought. But that’s over and done with. So how about we forget about this? Zeikfried wants me dead, as much as he wants you dead. And I personally don’t want to return to a bodiless form any time soon."

Jack drew Slayer, and advanced on Boomerang. Boomerang drew his sword, and prepared to meet the challenge. Rudy jumped between them. "For the last time. Don’t we have enough problems without adding more to them! Jack, nock it off. What happened wasn’t their fault."

But Jack started to look for a way around Rudy. "I don’t care. Perhaps if she hadn’t been there, things could be different. But Elmina’s alive again. And that means I have to killer her again!"

Zed and Boomerang both looked confused at this.

"What the hell are you talking about?" Boomerang, still holding his sword, and trying to hide both is confusion and surprise at the current situation, asked Cecilia the question, as she was the only one not currently involved in the situation. "Who’s Elmina?"

Cecilia looked at the two. "You really have no idea, do you?"

Again both demons shook their heads.

Cecilia looked at Jack, who was still trying to get around Rudy. Then back to the two. "What do you know about Lady Harken?"

Zed shrugged, and Boomerang looked at her, puzzled. "Let’s see. First, she’s not one of the original demons, I don’t think. Second, no one really seems to know where she came from. Third, she’s undying loyal to Zeikfried. Fourth, she’s a very dangerous fighter…I think that’s about all."

"Anything to add Zed?"

"Like what?"

Jack heard this, and shook his head in disbelief. "You really don’t know, do you?"

Rudy was still standing in front of him, annoyed. "Jack, I’ve been trying to tell you that. Haven’t you figured it out yet? Alhazad was the one who did it, and only Zeikfried knew about it." Rudy threw up his hands in frustration.

By this time, Zed and Boomerang were totally confused. "Would someone mind telling us what you’re talking about?"

"So it proves they don’t know. They SAY that they had no idea. How do we know that?" Jack looked at the two, doubt showing very strongly in his eyes.

Rudy threw his hands up in the air. "Jack, you’re impossible. I’ve never come across someone with a one track mind like yours before. What the hell will it take to convince you?"

But Cecilia shook his head. "Rudy, give it up. I don’t think he’s gonna listen no matter what we say or do."

Just then, one of the guardsmen came running into the room. He fell over Lucied, who wasn’t very happy. She advanced, growling, at the man. He began to crawl away from her.

"Lucied, stop!" Boomerang felt there were enough problems, without having to worry about a wolf attack on a man.

Lucied looked at the man once more, the walked back to Boomerang’s side.

The solider carefully watched Lucied as he rose to his feet. Then he turned to face Cecilia, although he wasn’t at all comfortable about turning his back to the wolf. "My lady, I apologize for intruding. But it seems as though the monster responsible for burning the town last year is back. Only he has company."

Jack drew his sword. "Now here’s a fight I can handle. Unless you feel like trying to do something stupid again, Rudy. Like…"

But Rudy cut him off. "Nock it off Jack. I have enough problems, without you adding to them." He drew his AMR. Boomerang loosened his sword, even as Zed was doing the same. Cecilia grabbed her rod from on top of the table. "Get the army ready. If we cannot take them down, then we shall at least take as many of them as we can."

The guardsman bowed, and quickly left the room. One by one, the three heroes, and two demons trailed out of the room. Boomerang was the last to leave. He reached down, and touched Lucied.

"It seems that fate works against us this time. Yet, it seems we are always on the loosing side doesn’t it?"

"It dose. Yet now we hunt?"

"That we do my friend. That we do."

Rudy was the first one to exit the castle. Jack, Cecilia, and Zed were close behind. Boomerang and Lucied were the last to arrive. Even though the seven knew they couldn’t win, they weren’t going to give up without a fight. But what they weren’t ready for, was the offer the demons made…

Zeikfried walked forwards. He took out his sword, and plunged it into the earth. Then held his hands out to show that he was unarmed. "I come to make a deal with you."

Rudy moved to speak with him, but Jack was faster. "We don’t make deals. I’ll kill you myself, first!"

Zeikfried stood there for a moment. "Not even if it got you what you wanted?"

Jack held his sword out. He took up a fighting stance. "I said…"

But Rudy cut him off. "What do you want, Zeikfried?"

Zeikfried replied to Rudy, but kept his eyes on Jack. It was obvious who what the more likely to cause trouble. "A temporary truce. It seems we both have a larger problem at the moment. We will not bother you, if you do not bother us."

"And how do we know we can trust you?" Rudy replied, as he glanced at Jack out of the corner of his eye.

Jack was looking at Rudy in disbelief. Here he was trying to make a deal with the same monster who not only tried to control him, but also turned Elmina into a beast. Into Lady Harken… Almost as if his stray though had summoned her, Lady Harken stepped forwards.

"As I said. You get what you want, we get left alone." Zeikfried must have known she stepped forwards, but he made no notice of it.

"Prove it Zeikfried." The doubt was still strong in Rudy’s voice.

"Very well." He gestured back, towards Alhazad.

Alhazad nodded, and began to chant in a strange language. Lady Harken began to glow. Then, with a sudden flash, it was over.

"As I said. You get what you want." Zeikfried started to back away from Lady Harken.

Jack moved forwards, hand near his weapon, anger in his face. "If you lie, you’ll wish you were dead. I’ll hunt you to the ends of the earth, and beyond, if need be."

But Zeikfried just laughed. "We shall meet again. And that time, you shall die."

And with that, the demon army vanished, leaving the seven, and Lady Harken behind.


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