SCALES-39

At around eleven or so a few female demons came to my door and led me to another room.

I was stripped, made to bathe in a tub full of hot water and some spicy-smelling herbs, anointed with various scented oils and dressed in a long white robe.

My hair was dried and braided, coiled up and onto my head in an intricate fashion with feathers and what looked like bone beads weaved into it. I was given a pair of plain sandals to wear and then led towards where I knew the hall to be.

The castle was dark and empty, and I couldn't help but feel a little freaked out when I couldn't hear a single sound of partying or general demonic noises.

This was really, really weird.

When we reached the huge double doors my demon escorts each opened one for me, bowing their heads as I walked through.

The hall was dark except for the thousands of candles on the floor, and I walked the path through the candles, demons on either side of me going onto a knee as I passed them.

I really hoped I wasn't some kind of a human sacrifice.

I couldn't stop my tail from swaying nervously. I'd gotten much more control of it than when it'd first shown up, but it still took a lot of effort to keep it still when I felt anxiety. 

It wasn't as annoying as my horns, though. They'd grown into  spirals so that I looked like a mountain goat, and it made getting into shirts pretty hard.

And they got caught in my hair sometimes.

When I reached the end of the path the demons formed a circle around me. A single shaft of moonlight entered the room, and I looked up to see Lucifer descending into the room with his bony wings.

He was in full battle armour, holding a gleaming silver sword in his left hand.

Okay, I was so dead.

When his feet touched the ground he folded his wings and I realized he had some kind of black markings painted on his face.

"Loyal subjects!" he started, in a loud, booming voice, "Soon we will be marching into battle. We will taste the enemy's blood upon our swords. We will reclaim our honour."

His hair sparkled like spun gold in the light as he continued.

"As is the tradition of old, tonight we will honour our Commander's first entry into war, that she may serve with the courage and might of those before her. That her blade may know no deficiency, nor hesitation."

So this was an initiation?

"As one deemed worthy, the High Commander will be given the first blood of the war."

Um, what?

I watched in growing agitation as a prisoner was dragged into the circle and forced to kneel in front of me, another assassin from Purgatory from the looks of him.

Lucifer handed me the sword and joined the circle.

I looked at the sword, at my face reflected in it, and then the prisoner. It was easy enough to see what I had to do. 

My grip tightened around the hilt of the sword.

I took a step and stopped. The prisoner watched me with hatred in his grey eyes. 

The End

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