Chapter Ten: Demon Child
Grayson opened his mouth to say something, but whatever it was it changed fast as he saw the following guards.
“Bail time,” He said, grabbing both me and the kid and pulling us over each of his shoulders. I hadn't realised he was that strong. Each step winded me a little, his shoulders were hard and he wasn't trying to be gentle with his running. Gale was close behind.
“There catching up,” I said and Grayson muttered a curse. Where were we even going? As we ran people moved out of the way and gave us incredulous looks. Guessed we must've been a pretty odd sight. The guards continued to follow until the second fell and the first had to help him up. Then we were out. I hadn't realised we were leaving the city, but suddenly the gates rose above my head. Though I say gate loosely, it was more an arch of the same pale sandstone that all these buildings used.
“We should go into the woods,” Grayson said, pausing to catch his breath. Then I was thrown harshly to the ground.
“What the hell were you thinking?! Idiot!” He yelled. I knew my eyes were watering slightly from hitting the ground with such force.
“They were going to kill him!” I yelled right back, standing up. Ignoring the twinge of pain in my ribs.
“That's because he's a demon fool,” Grayson spat out with barely controlled anger. Gale quickly stepped between us, putting out her arms.
“Enough, what's done is done,” She said calmly, though based on the hooded look she gave me. She wasn't too happy with me either.
“Done is done? My ship is back there!” Grayson yelled, moving towards me and for a moment I panicked he might actually hurt me, his flaming red aura certainly suggested as much. Hunter hissed very loudly from the floor, his fur bristling. If Grayson was going to do anything, the noise side-tracked him. He let out a long sigh before looking to the side.
“So what do we do with you?” he asked and the kid glared back.
“What's your name?” I asked and he studied me before speaking.
“Fargo...why did you help me? Because your not a demon like that stupid guard thought,” He asked. At first glance I thought he was around ten, but now that I got a good look he seemed in his early teens. His voice was much deeper than his appearance would have you believe too.
“That's a complicated story, one that needs explaining. Though it's all random guesses...”Gale answered, trailing off uncertainly.
“So who would know the full story?” I asked, because I was getting sick of all this. This world made no sense, in what universe was killing kids right. Oh, guess he isn't much of a kid. Gale shrugged. Helpful.
“How old are you?” I directed to Fargo, because I knew it would keep bugging me.
“12,” he answered, still speaking with obvious caution. And he had kept a careful distance between us. He wondered over all of us, then saw Hunter, his tail flicking in agitation by me. And laughed.
“Oh wow, sucks to be you,” He said. Hunter's fur started to bristle again, his claws moving in and out as he prepared to pounce.
“Why, because I have a pet cat? Your odd...” I trailed off. He raised an eyebrow, as if he didn't understand my response then shrugged.
“Well, thanks for the saving, I'll just be off,” He said, turning to head off but Grayson grabbed him by the collar.
“We just got ourselves in a load of crap because of you, so more than thanks please, demon,” Grayson growled. Fargo eyes grew wide, so it wasn't just me who got scared by Grayson, good to know.
“Well there isn't anything else I can give you,” He murmured, his pale blue eyes drifting to the ground.
“Really, because if my recall correctly. Tattoos under the right eye means royalty amongst demons,” Grayson said and Fargo looked surprised. The kind that made me think of the word “busted!”.
“I'm one out of twenty-three,” He explained. Which didn't explain anything to me. Grayson swore under his breath.
“So your parents have you all fighting for the throne and so your royalty means nothing to us. Annoying,” Grayson said.
“If you're all fighting, why are you here and not there?” I asked confused. Then it dawns on me.
“Oh...fight to the death,” I whispered to myself.
“Yeah, hence hiding. I can't exactly match any of my older brothers at this age. I can't even change form yet,” He muttered angrily. Change form? I choose not to ask, everything was confusing as it was. And honestly I wanted to go back to sleep. The fading light told me we didn't have much of a choice anyway.
“Ermmm, where will we sleep?” I asked, because obviously our hotels was off-limits.
“You guys keep walking further into the woods and find a good camping spot. I know a few minor disguise spells and will try and retrieve what I can from the city,” Gale said.
“Be careful,” Grayson said and she nodded, a small smile touching her lips in response to his concern. Then she was gone and Grayson led the way. I tried not to think about what happened last time I'd gone near a forest. That creepy guy....I never found out his name, so I guess I'd just call him the creep for now. Suited him enough.
“Go gather wood, I'll find a nearby water source and get some of that. Fargo, stay here and do nothing,” Grayson said. Fargo gave me an outright glare for that but didn't object. Grayson left before I could say I had no clue how to gather wood. I went in the opposite direction and hoped I knew what I was doing. I knew enough to know wood shouldn't be damp and I figured little twigs wouldn't be much use. I found myself on a hill that was clear of trees and looked towards the city. At night I could see the small fires lit about the town. I hadn't meant to mess things up. Now we were stuck with nowhere to go.
I let out a sigh and headed back to camp, where Fargo was sat looking deep in thought on a fallen tree trunk.
“Hey,” I said as I threw the wood in the area Grayson had prepared earlier. It was empty of grass and rocks surrounded it. I remember reading somewhere that was how a proper fire was set up. I saw Grayson's bag lying nearby and found two flint stones inside.
“How likely do you think it is I'll pull this off?” I asked Hunter with a small laugh.
“I can do it if you want,” Fargo said and I shook my head.
“It's fine, need to learn this stuff,” I said. He shrugged and let me be. But after ten tries I was getting very annoyed with myself. I hadn't even pulled off the smallest of sparked.
“Nevermind. I give up,” I muttered darkly, Throwing the stones back in Grayson's bag and settling onto the fallen log next to Fargo. He laughed and leaned forward.
“You don't seem normal, you know,” He said as he places a finger on the nearest branch. I wondered what he was doing saying stuff like that when it didn't look like he was actually going to light it. Then a flicker of fire erupted from his finger. It spread quickly and soon smoky warmth surrounded me. I noticed his eyes burned a red shade for a few seconds before they faded back to their natural shade.
“How did you...”I trailed off.
“I am actually a demon, you realise that, right?” he asked. Admittedly a small part of me wanted to disbelieve the whole idea of demons.
“I think your different, but I wouldn't use the word demon. That makes you sound evil,” I said. He studied me again, his mouth twisted with confusion.
“To demons, humans are the evil ones,” He replied and I could see how it was possible. One of those feuds that no one knew who started. But no one wants to end. The whole thing seemed sad and hopeless. I hoped Gale and Grayson got back soon and explained everything.
“How old are you? Since you asked me earlier,” Fargo asked.
“16,” I replied. Technically 17 in two months in my world. I wonder if I'll get back in time to celebrate it.
“Good thing I don't drag you guys back home then, one of my many brother would probably pursue you relentlessly,” He muttered, in that way immature boys do before they understand why older guys care about girls. It made me giggle a little.
“I don't see how a demon would be interested in me, but thanks for the flattery,” I said, ruffling his hair. That earned a petulant glare but I didn't care.
“If you can't fight any of your siblings yet, why not stay with us?” I suggested and he smirked.
“That was actually what I was just thinking. Plus I want to learn why you smell like something not of this world,” Fargo replied. My smell? I'd never thought about that. Apart when I realised this world didn't have enough baths or shampoos and felt dirty. Hunter's nose poked at my hand, sniffing. As if he was saying he agreed.