If there was one thing I was certain of, it was that I officially hated mercy duty.
I stopped, noticing the shallow rise and fall of a near-dead soldier's chest. I drew my sword, sliding it under his breastplate and left his cooling body behind me.
Not only was it messy (I was stuck walking around the field on foot, in the blood-soaked grasses) but I had to deal with an array of disturbing tasks.
Not all of the 'beyond hope' survivors went quietly. Some were screaming. Others were whispering hysterically. More than a few were missing multiple limbs.
I held my breath for as long as I could to bear the overpowering stench of war, scanning the area.
Lucifer had given me a small vial of eyedrops that gave me something similar to heat vision. Anything living pulsed orange and red, whereas the inanimate were blue or purple.
It was pretty convenient, actually.
I found a few stragglers before returning to the encampment, finding happily that a tub of hot water had been set up in my tent.
I soaked in it, rinsing away the blood and grime I'd acquired on my skin throughout the day. War was a dirty business.
I had little warning for the sudden swishing of the tent's flap, sinking into the tub in horror at the idea of an intruder.
"Don't trouble yourself, it's only me."
I looked up tentatively to see Lucifer.
"Nice timing, Your Highness." I scoffed, trying not to roll my eyes.
He moved away from the entrance, looking oddly cautious.
"Can I be sure of your confidence?"
I raised an eyebrow.
"Swear on the pentagram."
That was the equivalent of swearing on your mother's grave. Except if you broke your oath, you spent the rest of your life in eternal torture.
Lucifer dropped to his knees suddenly, grabbing at his head.
"You want some Advil?" I asked, watching with remote curiousity.
He threw his head back and jerked it forwards again, and I was shocked to see Charon looking at me from his place.
"Sweet mother of-"
"-Keep your voice down." he interrupted, rubbing his neck gingerly, "I don't know how strong my soundproofing charm is outdoors."
I gawked, stunned.
"Charm? Since when do demons have magic?"
"They don't. Now, I haven't got much time before His Highness wakes up-"
"-don't tell me you drugged him!" I hissed, "That's treason!"
"What a fascinating story. It's too bad you can't tell anyone." he taunted, tapping the pentagram on the side of his neck.
"What do you want?" I sighed, "If you want me to set you up with Manara, that's not going to happ-"
"-I don't want anything to do with that insipid girl. Just listen."
It took a lot of strength to keep myself shut up.
"I came here to warn you." he continued, "There's a great danger-"
"-yeah, we're kind of sitting on a battlefield. I know."
"Not that. There is a threat to His Highness' safety."
"I'm pretty sure he can hold his own."
"It is a threat that is hidden from him. You have to find it and eliminate it."
"What's this it?" I demanded, "Maybe try to be a little more specific."
"My visions are imperfect." Charon sighed, his pupils dilating momentarily, "I cannot give you more than that."
"Seriously? You scare me near out of my wits, intrude on my privacy, to tell me that the king might be in danger from some mystery threat?"
"Yes. Now, I'm afraid, I must bid you goodbye."
He shook his head suddenly, and when he straightened up he was Lucifer.
Charon smirked at my expression, before turning and striding out of the tent.