Demrin woke the following morning, bathed himself and pulled on his robes. He headed to his work chambers.
Several cages were hung from the stone roof, two of which were occupied. One by a Ghoul and one by a Demon of sorts. On the desk, a spell book lay open. Demrin recalled his perusal of it the previous night. He had been reading up on more powerful binding spells than those he already knew.
Readying a bowl of porridge, he sat himself on a soft armchair. He observed the Demon in the cage. It was greatly aggravated, throwing itself against the magically bound bars, snarling and hissing. His eyes slid to the Ghoul in the cage next to it. It sat there, staring at nothing, head and shoulders drooping. Its mouth lolled open and occasionally it emitted a low, unintelligent grunt.
Demrin reflected on the previous nights encounter with Miriam. That woman and her bloody Ghouls only caused him trouble. However she was also possibly the closest thing he had to a friend. He was the only one who knew her secret. It peeved him the way she called him by his original name. He was known by everyone as Demrin, he was no longer Samuel.
A loud bell tolled throughout the house. Someone was at the door. Placing his unfinished porridge on the table he rose and went to the front door. He pulled back several bolts and turned a key the pulled it open to receive his guest. It was the maid from the Wright house.
“To what do I owe the pleasure, at this early hour?” he asked.
“The master is furious”, she said, not bothering with formalities. Demrin gestured her into his home. He was curious. Why should Mr. Wright be furious?
When the maid had seated herself in his guest chambers and he had taken a standing position, she began to speak.
“The bloody Ghoul is back again. You guaranteed it was miles away. Mr. Wright does not take kindly to being lied to, Mr Artuna”.
“Back?” Demrin was shocked. They never came back this quickly. “I don’t understand”.
“Well you had better get a move on. He wants you back with me within the hour”.
“I shall join you in a moment. I must fetch something”.
Demrin entered his work chambers and retrieved his silver dagger. He rarely used his weapon, preferring his magic. But this could be a case for it. The dagger was a weapon he had fashioned in his early days as Warlock. It was powerful against any creature of the dark as it was a thing of the light. It was clearly a powerful Ghoul if it could return this quick.
He exited his chambers and gestured for the maid to lead the way.
Demrin was ushered up the stairs by a furious Mr. Wright. He entered the attic alone. Summoning a ball of flame to light his way once again, he began to search the gloom. Brushing cobwebs out of his way, he could find no sign of the Ghoul. Something struck him as odd but he couldn’t figure out what it was. Turning, he witnessed a flash of black. Running from the shadows was a beast. It struck Demrin with an almighty force. He was thrown back and he crashed down the stairs, tumbling as he fell. He smashed through the door and sprawled at Mr. Wright’s feet.
“That is no Ghoul”, he said as he picked himself up. “I suggest you and your family get out”.
Demrin didn’t check to see if Mr. Wright had obeyed. He was sprinting back up into the attic to confront the demon. He held his silver dagger ready. This demon was more powerful than any he had previously faced.
The demon ran from the shadows again but Demrin was ready. He side-stepped and brought the blade of the dagger down on the demons back. It roared an almighty screech that brought pain to Demrin’s mind. He spun and threw a ball of shadow at the creature. It was dark magic. He used it only as a weapon against the dark. However every use corrupted him slightly. Over-use of it would convert him to darkness. He had to be careful.
The demon ran again and he sliced across its chest with the blade. Summoning fire, he wrapped it around the blade. He swung the now flaming sword and caught the beast on the neck. It’s head was separated from its body in one clean swipe.
Panting, Demrin slid to the floor against a wall. In all his years as Warlock, he had never come across a demon such as this. With a sinking feeling in his stomach, he wondered was it a sign of things to come. Where had the beast come from, were there more close behind?